New Delhi: Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma will meet finance minister Pranab Mukherjee later this week to finalize a package of incentives, including tax concessions, for exporters, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said.
Trade boost: Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar. He expects merchandise exports to be around $165-170 billion this fiscal. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
“An independent survey was carried out as to what we would like to see as a package for the export sector,” Khullar said. “The proposals consist of two parts. One, the direct and indirect tax proposals, which I have discussed with the revenue secretary. Some degree of consensus has emerged.”
The other part involves the extension of tax concessions to export-oriented units and software technology parks and retaining an interest subsidy scheme, Khullar told reporters at a function organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
“Those issues are still up in the air and they have not been finalized as yet. The commerce minister will have a meeting with the finance minister later this week on these issues. That will give a clearer idea as to what to expect from the Budget,” Khullar said.
After 13 months of contraction, India’s merchandise exports returned to positive territory in November. Exports grew 9.3% to $14.6 billion (Rs68,182 crore) in December.
“December was a pleasant surprise. I expect January exports to be in the range of $14 billion,” he said.
He added that this fiscal he expects merchandise exports to be within the range of $165-170 billion. During April-December, exports were valued at $117.58 billion.
Khullar said the continuation or withdrawal of stimulus provided to export sectors will depend on the Budget allocation for the commerce department by the finance ministry.
“I do not know what will be the allocation for commerce department. Once I get the allocation for the fiscal, I will decide. If the allocation is pruned, then I have to prune irrespective of whether things are doing well or not,” he said.
Any decision of withdrawal of the stimulus to the export sector will be taken in April. “By the end of the current fiscal, I will have a clearer view on how different sectors have fared and then we will take a call,” he said.