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Sharma promises ‘pragmatic’ trade policy on 18 April

Faced with muted exports, the government on Wednesday said it will come out with a 'pragmatic' Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) on 18 April, which among other things, would provide incentives to push shipments. 'A forward looking pragmatic foreign trade policy will be announced on April 18,' Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said said while addressing the CII AGM here.

The Minister has already held detailed consultations with the Finance Minister P Chidambaram on contours of the package to boost exports, to be announced as part of the Foreign Trade Policy. During April-February 2012-13, exports declined by 4 per cent to $265.95 billion. Sectors like engineering and textiles are registering negative growth. These segments are likely to get some sops in the FTP.

According to sources, exporters are likely to get benefits under focus product and focus market scheme. Special Economic Zones, which contribute about 30 per cent of the country's overall exports, are also expected to get incentives.

These would help in boosting exports and bridging the widening trade deficit, which has touched $182.1 billion in the 11-month period of the last fiscal. Last time, in December 2012, the government had announced incentives for exporters that includes extension of the 2 per cent interest  subsidy for one more year till  March 2014.
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