Economy

Need to pitch for renewal of US duty free import scheme: EEPC India chief

K.R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on September 01, 2013

Aman Chadha, Chairman of EEPC India

A pick up in engineering exports to the United States hinges on renewal of the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program, Aman Chadha, Chairman of EEPC India, has said.

India’s engineering exports to the US fell 14 per cent to $1.89 billion during April-July 2013 from $2.18 billion in the same period last year.

Overall engineering exports recorded 5.77 per cent decline in April-July 2013 to $ 18.03 billion against $19.14 billion in same period last year.

“Our competitiveness will be further eroded if GSP is not extended. The Indian Government must request the US Government to extend the validity of the scheme”, Chadha told Business Line here.

Chadha maintained that exporters are not gaining much from the sharp slide in the rupee.

India’s rupee posted the biggest monthly loss in 20 years in August on concerns of deepening economic slowdown.

“Volatility we are seeing is the biggest problem. It is getting difficult for us to manage this volatility. Buyers are also asking for discounts. We need a stable dollar”, he said.

The US GSP program, whose legal authorisation expired on July 31, provided duty-free entry to the US for up to 5,000 products when imported from one of the 127 designated beneficiary countries and territories.

This was intended to promote economic growth in the developing world.

Products that were eligible for duty-free treatment under GSP include: most manufactured items; many types of chemicals, minerals and building stones; jewellery and many types of carpets.

On the other hand, the products that were not eligible for GSP duty-free treatment include most textiles and apparel; watches; most footwear, handbags and luggage products.

DRAWBACK RATES

EEPC India, which is the apex export promotion council for engineering sector, also wants drawback rates to be increased by 25 per cent across the board.

The current drawback rates do not correctly measure the hidden taxes that exists on exported goods, Chadha said.

Many local levies like octroi, entry tax, electricity duties are not compensated by the present drawback rates, he said adding that drawback rates must take these hidden taxes into account.

>srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

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Published on September 01, 2013
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