New Delhi, Dec 6 : Federation of Indian Exports Organisations (FIEO) President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said on Thursday that to maintain the double-digit growth of Indian exports, banks' cooperation was necessary and solutions related to debt and challenges should be addressed on a priority basis.
'The bank credit issue of exporters are yet to be resolved. PSU Banks officials including MDs, EDs, GMs, AGMs are not accessible to exporters particularly from the MSME sector.
'This has tightened the hands of these exporters to take orders. As they are not able to discuss issues and challenges with regard to availability and cost of credit to the exports sector,' Mr Gupta said.
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, who is taking several steps to promote exports would not fructify if banks would not lend to exporters smoothly and at affordable rates, he said.
'On one hand, the government is pushing digital India initiative and paperless transactions, these banks demand bundles of documents, collateral and other papers for considering our applications for smaller limit (Rs one to five crores) of loan. It takes months and months to get these limits approved and in the meantime we lose our orders. The issue needs urgent attention of the government,' he stressed.
Similar is the problem with the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Limited (ECGC), which is very reluctant to extend insurance cover, Mr Gupta said. 'They reject claims on very flimsy grounds. I would urge the Commerce Minister to look at the matter on an urgent basis. If banks and ECGC continue to behave like this, we would not be able to register double digit growth rate in exports,' he said.
The matters which should be the focus of the government to push exports include enhancement of Duty Drawback rates and more products like fabrics should be included under MEIS. The Interest Equalisation scheme should be increased from three to five per cent by the Prime Minister and should be extended to merchant exporters as well, as they contribute about 35 per cent in the total exports, he said.
To promote exports of GI products, government should join hands with FIEO to set up big stores at airports also and GST refunds at airports should start immediately, he stated.
These measures would help in reaching USD 350 billion exports and recording substantial growth rates, he said. (UNI)