Amid global economic problems, the government on Tuesday unveiled 7-point strategy to boost exports which include extension of interest subsidy scheme by one year till March 31, 2013.
"We have now decided to extend the scheme (interest subvention) for another year till March 31, 2013 and expand its coverage to include other labour-intensive sectors namely toys, sports goods, processed agricultural products and readymade garments", Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said while releasing annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy in New Delhi.
"The underline philosophy of this year's supplement is based on seven broad principles", he said, adding these would include added thrust on employment-intensive industry and continuation of market diversification strategy.
The minister also exuded confidence that India would be able to sustain 20 per cent export growth in the current fiscal.
"It is our expectation that with these measures, we shall be able to sustain an annual export growth of 20 per cent this fiscal", he said.
India's exports grew by 21 per cent in 2011-12 to touch $303 billion.
To encourage exports, the government came out with an interest subvention scheme under which 2 per cent interest subsidy was given to handlooms, handicrafts, carpets and SME sector.
The scheme, which has been extended by a year, was to end on March 31, 2012.
The seven-pillars to boost exports, Sharma said, would also include efforts to increase exports from the north-east
Besides, he said, there would 'endeavour to reduce transaction cost through procedural simplification and reduction of human interface."
Efforts, the minister said, would be made to promote technological upgradation of exports to retain a competitive edge in global markets and encourage domestic manufacturing for inputs to export industry, thus reducing dependence on imports.
On market diversification, Sharma said, market-linked focus product scheme has been extended till the end of the current fiscal for exports to the US and European Union, in respect of apparel sector.
As regards the special economic zones, he said, "we will come out with new guidelines to make the operation of the SEZ policy more buoyant."
Besides, the minister said the government would revamp the 100 per cent export oriented unit scheme in the next few months.
To boost value-added exports and encourage technology upgradation, Sharma said, the zero-duty EPCG (Export Promotion Credit Guarantee) scheme would be extended by an year to March 31, 2013.
The benefits under the scheme, he said, would also be available to those units which had taken benefits under the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme.
The EPCG scheme will also be available for those who had surrendered their benefits under the Status Holder Incentive Scrip scheme.