Centre may consider additional sops for exporters
THE government might consider giving more sops to exporters hit by shrinking margins due to the rupee’s upward spiral against the US dollar. “We have already give two sets of reliefs, the first one was valued at Rs 1,400 crore and the other was Rs 1,500 crore after which additional benefits valued at about Rs 3,200 crore were provided. We have given them enough, but if it becomes necessary to give them more benefits, we will look into it”, said finance minister P Chidambaram in Chennai on Sunday The strengthening rupee’s impact is felt in export and employment intensive sectors such as IT, textile and leather. For example, recent reports suggested that the surging rupee has cost 8,000 jobs in Tirupur alone, which is considered as India’s knitwear hub and employs around 4 lakh workers. However, Mr Chidambaram said, “Some of the reports are exaggerated. Exports are still growing at about 18 or 19% a year; in the long run, exporters have to learn to live with a competitive exchange rate.” The Indian rupee has been appreciating rapidly, nearly 12% since January this year, touching 39.27 against dollar earlier this month, its highest since March 1998. On Friday, it ended at Rs 39.45 a dollar. “We are concerned over the rapid appreciation of the rupee. The government has responded and acted very swiftly by giving them relief packages which together amounts to Rs 5,000-5,500 crore”, Mr Chidambaram added.