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Chidambaram a hurdle to exports growth: Kamal Nath

A Correspondent in New Delhi | September 11, 2008

Who would you blame for India not achieving its exports target for the second consecutive year now?

Well, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has laid the blame squarely at the doorstop of Finance Minister P Chidambaram and his ministry for the roadblocks that will see India miss its exports target yet again.

The government had set the export target of $200 billion for 2008-09, an increase of over 28 per cent over the last year. The target of $160 billion set for the last year had fallen short by $5 billion.

Kamal Nath has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to resolve over 50 issues which, because of the finance minister's hurdles, have posed many a problem. Nath has stressed that if these issues were resolved in time, "we can achieve growth targets set for industrial production and exports in the remaining months."

His complaint is, ". . . unfortunately a number of issues are still pending clearance with the ministry of finance," and he has sought the prime minister's intervention since "despite efforts at various levels, we have not been able to resolve these issues."

Pointing out that extra efforts would be needed this regard, considering the slowdown in the global economy, Kamal Nath has pleaded with the prime minister that "we need the support of every arm of the government in our efforts."

The issues on which he has sought the prime minister's intervention include exemptions under the Income Tax Act in various fields and various other forms of relief that his ministry has been seeking for different sectors.

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