PM to decide exporters’ fate
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will decide on further relief measures for the nation’s exporters, whose earnings have been eroded by the strengthening of the rupee against the dollar. The government is also considering the refund of some duties as a relief measure, trade minister Kamal Nath said in New Delhi on Tuesday. The cabinet will review norms for overseas investment in India next week, Nath said. Last month, India cut customs duty on man-made fibers and eased credit terms for leather and textile exporters. The government in October announced subsidized loans and tax breaks to exporters for the second time this year to help industries such as jute, cashew nuts and coffee. Nath said he expects the measures to help the textile industry and that more steps are being considered. He reiterated there would be no change in the government’s $160 billion export target for the fiscal year to March 31. India’s exports rose in October at the fastest pace in 15 months as exporters filled old orders and hedged to cope with the impact of a surging rupee against dollar. Exports rose 35.7% to $13.3 billion, while imports rose 24.3% to $20.8 billion, widening the trade deficit to $7.5 billion from $7 billion a year earlier, the ministry of commerce and industry said. The local currency has climbed more than 12% against the dollar this year and is the second-best performer in Asia. It is trading at near the highest in almost a decade. BLOOMBERG ‘No change in SEZ area ceiling’ New Delhi: Within a fortnight of commerce secretary G K Pillai talking about a possible relaxation of cap on land size for SEZs, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath on Tuesday said there was no proposal to change the 5,000 hectare ceiling prescribed by a Group of Ministers. “The government is not considering any proposal to relax the 5,000 hectare cap on land size for Special Economic Zones,” Nath said