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Target, soft loans for exporters

March 18, 2008

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

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