New Delhi: Commerce minister Anand Sharma on Wednesday announced a Rs625 crore stimulus package for certain export sectors, despite a 16.1% increase in February exports, the fourth straight month of growth.
The incentives are under the so-called market-linked focused product scheme for exports of 200 items in electronics, engineering and agrochemicals sectors targeting 15 countries, and for 300 products in the garments sector aimed at the US and the European Union. The incentives on garment exports are effective for six months beginning 1 April.
Sharma said the incentive was necessary as these sectors are yet to recover from the impact of the global economic slowdown.
Other export sectors that are still struggling include jute and carpets.
However, the minister said exports of commodities such as tea, coffee, spices and man-made fibre have picked up.
While 120 electronics products will benefit from the new incentive, 39 agrochemicals products and 34 engineering products can avail of the benefit.
In a statement, A. Sakthivel, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said the move would add to the competitiveness of these sectors at a time when rupee appreciation has started hurting exporters.
On Wednesday, the rupee closed at a 19-month high of 44.91 to the dollar.
Director general of foreign trade R.S. Gujral said exports are expected to be around $169 billion (around Rs7.62 trillion) for the current fiscal. Exports in the April-February period generated income of $153 billion against $172 billion in the year-ago period.
Imports grew at a robust 66.4% in February, valued at $25.06 billion, against $15.08 billion in the year-ago period.
In the April-February period, imports were valued at $240 billion, against $287 billion in the year-ago period.