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Govt funds up for export promotion

Monica Gupta in New Delhi | July 16, 2004 11:12 IST

The government has enhanced funds for various foreign trade and export promotion programmes this fiscal to over Rs 1,600 crore (Rs 16 billion) ahead of the first national foreign trade policy to be announced next month.

The commerce and industry ministry had last year been allocated Rs 1,444 crore (Rs 14.44 billion) for the foreign trade and export promotion, which has been increased to over Rs 1,600 crore (Rs 16 billion) this fiscal.

The increased allocation includes over Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) for the revamped market access initiative (MAI) scheme which provide funds to exporters to undertake market studies and surveys, opening of showrooms and warehouses as also participation in fairs and publicity campaigns including brand promotion.

The government had last year spent Rs 30 crore (Rs 300 million) on the market access initiative  programme, which has been more than trebled to Rs 102 crore (Rs 1.02 billion) this fiscal.

The objective of the programme is to formulate specific strategies for specific market and products. Senior government officials told Business Standard that the coverage of the programme has been expanded to include states and Indian missions abroad.

Hitherto, the scheme was limited to export and trade promotion organisations and exporters. States like Andhra Pradesh have already been sanctioned funds from the programme and other states like Chattisgarh have submitted their proposals to the ministry.

Besides this, the programme will now provide incentives to boost exports from engineering, agro-chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

"In order to make the scheme more effective, projects for market access would be sanctioned in a manner that there is a single project for a particular product for a particular market for the period of two-three years so as to get the maximum results," an official said.

The programme will now reimburse registration charges for product registration abroad for new sectors like pharmaceuticals, bio-technology and agro-chemicals. In addition to this, exporters will also be reimbursed testing charges for engineering products abroad.

Along with the market access initiative scheme, the ministry has also revamped the market development assistance (MDA) programme which will encourage participation in fairs and buyer and seller meets in the four focus areas - Latin America, Africa, CIS and ASEAN (including New Zealand and Australia). The funds for market development assistance have also been hiked marginally to Rs 55 crore (Rs 550 million) this fiscal from Rs 52 crore (Rs 520 million) last year.

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