The government is mulling granting more incentives to exporters as part of its strategy to take exports to USD 200 billion in the current fiscal.
Within four months of giving fiscal packages worth Rs 1,125 crore, the Commerce Ministry has again started a review of specific sectors like handicrafts, electronics, telecom equipment, garments and leather to find out whether they need more support.
"The Directorate General of Foreign Trade is analysing the performance of different sectors and if some of them need support, the Commerce Ministry may approach the Finance Ministry (for extending incentives to them)," an official said.
The review, which started on April 1, is likely to be completed by April 23, the official added. The DGFT is having detailed discussions with each of the sectors, he said.
Following a similar exercise in December 2009, the government had extended market and product-specific incentives to over 2,000 items. Again, in March this year, about 500 products, including electronics, agro-chemicals and garments, were provided with sops to increase exports.
While exports, after contracting for 13 months, began recovering in November, several sectors continue to lag. Exports in 2009-10 are estimated to be in the range of $165-170 billion, down from USD 185 billion in the previous year.
The Foreign Trade Policy has set an ambitious target of $200 billion worth of exports for this fiscal.
The government announced fiscal sops worth Rs 500 crore in January and another Rs 625 crore on March 31.
Welcoming the Commerce Ministry's move, the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) said exporters have been affected by the recent appreciation of the rupee against the dollar.
"We apprised DGFT officials about the negative impact of this on exports," EPCH chairman R K Malhotra said.
He said the help provided to the textile sector under the Technology Upgradation Fund scheme (TUFS) should also be given to the handicrafts sector, which employs about 7 million people.