Encouraged by the export figures for 2007-08, despite an appreciating rupee, the government is targeting an ambitious exports target for 2008-09. Senior Commerce Ministry officials told BT that they feel that an export target of $200 billion (Rs 8 lakh crore) for 2008-09 is entirely achievable. They point out that this year, exports are likely to be close to the Commerce Ministry projection of $160 billion (Rs 6.4 lakh crore), despite the apprehension till recently that this target may not be achieved. So, a 25 per cent increase is possible.
However, the ministry acknowledges that for this, it would have to lend a helping hand to labour-intensive industries such as textiles, leather and handicrafts, which have been hit hard by the dearer rupee. On the cards are loans at concessional rates to these sectors by banks.
— Rishi Joshi