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Engineering exports set to cross $70 b this fiscal

The Hindu BusinessLine:  June, 2014

New Delhi: Engineering exports are set to cross $70 billion in the current fiscal, growing by 15 per cent over the previous year, as demand in key markets such as the US and the UAE is on a rise.

“The flow of orders from the US and the UAE has increased substantially in the recent months. We are hopeful that this would continue the rest of the year,” Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) Chairman Anupam Shah told Business Line.

Engineering exports, which account for a fifth of the country’s total exports, had taken a big hit in 2012-13 with shipments dropping 3 per cent to $57 billion as demand in the recession-hit Western countries dried up.

With the global situation improving, exports picked up in 2013-14 and increased 9 per cent to $62 billion.

Apart from traditional markets in the US and the EU, markets in Eastern and Central European countries such as Poland also hold huge promise.

“The non-EU countries in Europe are virgin markets that we have successfully started tapping,” Shah said.

On the prospects for the on-going fiscal, Shah said that things looked bright if the export growth of 24 per cent in the April-May 2014 period was anything to go by. “We will go by a conservative growth target of 15 per cent, while we certainly hope we will have higher growth,” he said.

While export sops given by the Government helps exporters to stay competitive in the foreign market, what is also required is more clarity in existing policy so that exporters spend less time in handling litigation.

“For instance, while we have been told that there is no need to pay TDS (tax deducted at source) on foreign commission, there is no formal notification which leads to trouble,” Shah pointed out.

Engineering exporters also want States to speed up VAT refunds as payments are pending in some cases for as long as three-four years.