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CII calls for DEPB extension
January, 12th 2007

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has called for an extension of the Duty Entitlement Passbook Scheme (DEPB) beyond 31 March 2007 to ensure the competitiveness of Indian exports. The chamber has also called for a continuation of the target plus scheme and continuation of income tax benefits to Export Oriented Units (EOUs) beyond 2009.

In a memorandum to the Directorate-General of Foreign Trade, B S Meena, submitted on Thursday, CII trade policy committee chairman Sanjay Budhia called for improving export infrastructure to boost exports from India.

CII, in its suggestion, also called for a re-evaluation of the 5% customs duty on capital goods under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme since peak tariff rates have fallen in the last few years.

Units producing electronic components with an investment of over Rs 1 crore should be treated at Export Hardware Technology Parks (EHTPs), CII has said. The chamber has suggested further simplification of procedures to move towards a self-declaration system with minimum documentation.

Reacting to the suggestions, Mr Meena said the government will continue to play its role as enabler. "We will work towards streamlining procedures and work in a transparent manner to move forward in exports."

Export Oriented Units (EoU) and units in EHTPs have suggested easier inter units sales and trading which is at present very difficult, CII said.

India's exports during November 2006 at $9.8 billion were 57% higher than the same period in 2005, said Mr Budhia. With this sort of performance, exports are likely to top $100 billion in the current financial year and $150 billion in 2007-08.

CII has also suggested that soybean, cashew and meat exports should be brought under the Visesh Krishi Upaj Yojana so that the huge export potential of the sector can be tapped.

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