Kochi: The relief measures announced by the Union government for exports in the wake of the appreciating rupee, have not left the plantation, textile and marine sectors quite satisfied because the businesses said the benefits will be minuscule.
A. Sakthivel, president of the Tirupur Exporters Association, whose knitwear had an export turnover of Rs11,000 crore during fiscal 2007, said although the announcements made about refunds on service tax paid by the exporters for general insurance, technical testing and analysis, and inspection and certification are welcome, the incentives have failed to enthuse exporters. Sakthivel said the finance ministry should give exemption from the payment of service tax for all services incurred by exporters. In addition, he said the interest rates for export credit should be cut to 6%. “Unless these issues are addressed immediately, the survival of the industry is at stake,” he added.
In the plantation sector, while tea and coffee exporters have welcomed the 4.5% reduction in the pre- and post-shipment credit on the prime lending rate, which now is between 12% and 15%, sector representatives said more needs to be done. Ramesh Raja, managing director of Bangalore-based coffee export house Ramesh Exports Ltd, said the industry has been facing the pinch of the rupee rising more than 11% against the dollar. He said exporters are yet to get the benefit of the raised duty entitlement passbook scheme, from 1% to 4%, because the customs authorities have not been notified.