March 31, 2000
GOVT & ECONOMY
INDIA & THE WTO
CARS & MOBIKES
Y2K: BIZ FEATURES
BIZ IN THE USA
India opens import floodgates, seeks to crown the consumer
Commerce Minister Murasoli Maran's speech
Highlights of Exim Policy 2000-2001
'If removal of quantitative restrictions has adverse impact, we'll counter it through the weapon of tariff'
'My recent China visit has been an eye-opener. The enormous interest evinced by city and provincial officials in matters like foreign investment and exports is an example that needs to be emulated,' India's Commerce Minister Murasoli Maran told rediff.com.
India to set up Chinese-type export zones; DEPB to continue; QRs on 714 items to go
Major sector-specific initiatives in gems and jewellery, agrochemicals, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, leather, garments, silk, granites are on the cards to strengthen Export Oriented Units and Export Processing Zones.
Customs may work seven days a week
'The projected 20 per cent growth in exports in 2000-2001 is achievable. The southeast Asian and US economies are doing well. So the target is within reach,' Commerce Secretary P P Prabhu said.
Maran seeks to attract foreign direct investment through export zones
Quantitative restrictions have been removed on many items, but the domestic industry will still continue to get tariff protection under the anti-dumping mechanism.
Special economic zones to have total operational flexibility
These zones can also avail of duty-free import of capital goods and raw materials, and have access from the domestic tariff area without payment of terminal export duty.
India not to allow 'hire-and-fire' policy, says Maran
Maran asserts that a labour commission has been appointed to discuss such issues, and the country will not adopt such a policy for the present.
After export-boosting efforts, it's time for labour law reform, product dereservation
'India's tax and tariff structures remain anti-export biased. India's high overall tariff rates, especially tariffs on intermediate products that are used by exporters, impose a heavy indirect tax on export competitiveness,' says Nirupam Bajpai of the Harvard University, in an exclusive analysis.
Bouquets and brickbats for Maran's effort
Most industry associations welcomed the Exim Policy. However, exporters described it as 'a document with no pleasant surprises'.
Political parties, industry air extreme reactions to Exim Policy
P Chidambaram complimented the government. Rajesh Pilot said the policy would hurt the farmers. A K Antony said it would ruin Kerala.
India manages 11.32% growth in exports
Goods worth $ 30.221 billion, logging an increase of 11.32%, were exported during the first ten months of this fiscal. Electronic and engineering goods boosted the performance.
Exporters demand separate policy for small-scale sector
Exporters have called the new Exim Policy purely import oriented. They have demanded simplification of labour laws for exporters, scrapping of the policy of star houses, and a reduction in interest rates by 3 per cent.
'Free special economic zones from labour laws'
The government must do away with the Industrial Disputes Act at SEZs to attract foreign investors and to make these zones globally competitive, say software experts.
Murasoli Maran's Tightrope
Exporters expect incentives, so do importers. The commerce minister may feel compelled to appease everyone.
The Exim Policy Document
Exim Policy 1999-2000 on rediff.com
Web site of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry