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Last updated: 14 Feb, 2023  

Exports.9.Thmb.jpg Budget: Exports push not enough

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Bikky Khosla | 14 Feb, 2023

Before the Union Budget 2023-24 was unveiled recently, it had widely been expected that the Centre would come out with extensive measures to support the export sector, particularly at a time when the country’s fiscal and current account deficits both are at a concerning level. The Budget has, of course, introduced a number export-friendly measures, but they, according to experts, although welcome, are hardly adequate.

The Budget increased allocation for some key export schemes. Allocation for Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme, for example, has been increased from Rs 13,699 crore to Rs 15,069 crore. Similarly, allocation for the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) has been increased to Rs 8,405 crore for the next financial year from Rs 7,461 crore in 2022-23. But again, these increases are grossly inadequate, according to industry watchers.

Critics also point out that allocation for the PLI schemes in almost every sector was reduced in the Budget. This comes as a surprise – an unpleasant one – considering the fact that the Indian industry was widely expecting a further boost to the scheme, along with efforts to address its deficiencies. Such a measure could have given a much-needed relief to the manufacturing sector, also benefitting the MSME exporting community.

Similarly, the increase in budgetary allocation for the Interest Equalisation Scheme from Rs 2,376 crore to Rs 2,932 crore is a welcome decision, but according to exporters’ association FIEO, this amount is not enough. In addition, it terms the increase in allocation for the Market Access Initiative scheme to Rs 200 crore as inadequate. No doubt, the Centre needs to do a lot more in the upcoming days to safeguard the sector from potential external shocks.

I invite your opinions.

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