Push for exports, cash in on Indian rupee exchange rates: P. Chidambaram to traders

Nov 23 2013, 19:16 IST
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P Chidambaram said there cannot be too much compression on imports and India would have to boost exports (Reuters) P Chidambaram said there cannot be too much compression on imports and India would have to boost exports (Reuters)
SummaryFinance Minister P. Chidambaram today said imports cannot be 'compressed'.

we will do a risk management of exporter, the cargo and customs station."

"Every minute cargo either coming into India or going out of India dwells in the customs station, adds to your cost. We are fully aware that this cost has to be minimised in order to keep a competitive edge to our exports", he said.

To a query from a participant on why details of a cargo were not sent to its destination ahead of the flight departure despite there being a law, Chidambaram asked the Central Board of Excise and Customs why no action was taken to implement it.

"I am trying to ask the Board (Central Board of Customs Excise) why this has not been taken all these years? We will find out," he said, when told that Western countries have a concept whereby details of cargo loaded must be sent to the destination airport before it lands there.

Later, a senior Air Cargo Association official told PTI that if cargo details are not sent to any Western country, particularly the US, ahead of the aircraft's departure, a fine of USD 5,000 is instantly levied on the Indian exporter once the aircraft lands. "This is in practice even now", he said.

On the government's measure to control gold imports, he said it was a deliberate policy taken by the government.

To a query by Bhaskar Bhatt, who represented Titan Industries, Chidambaram said: "Our policy today is we are restraining gold coming into India. That is a deliberate policy we have taken".

"Use gold available in the domestic market and use it for jewellery we have no problem. We are not to liberalise gold imports," he said.

Asked if banning of gold imports was leading to smuggling of the yellow metal, Chidambaram said: "We will take care of that. Why you are worried about that?"

"We are fully aware it will affect the gold jewellery business to some extent. But if you are importing gold for the purpose of export, that window is still available. Let me make that very clear. If you want to import gold for the purpose of export, nothing has been done to close that window," Chidambaram said.

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