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State bullish on exports

Calcutta, July 23: The government has set an ambitious target of cranking up Bengal’s share in total exports from India to 9 per cent from the current 6 by 2007.

The prospect of the Chinese market opening up following the Sino-Indian pact on trade through Nathu-la in Sikkim has, among other things, spurred the government to peg the export target at one-and-a-half times above the current contribution.

The new export policy, placed in the Assembly today by commerce and industry minister Nirupam Sen, says: “Based on global export trends and in recognition of the importance of exports as an engine of economic growth, the West Bengal government sees export as a priority area for development of the state.”

The government feels the target can be achieved through a flurry of activity in, particularly, the sectors of agro-based products and mineral resources.

It has identified several main sectors by analysing the import baskets of the major importing countries.

The policy said the government will take necessary steps to coordinate with all departments, chambers of commerce and industry, export promotion councils and commodity boards to create a favourable environment for export growth.

In a bid to encourage exports, the government said exporters do not have to pay sales tax on proceeds from transfer of licences such as exim scrip.

Moreover, the government will support and help set up export parks for several products to offer necessary infrastructure and regular monitoring. A state export promotion council will be set up in the directorate of industries to monitor the functioning of the export parks.

The state government will also set up a permanent Trade Fair Complex in Calcutta equipped with modern infrastructure facilities.

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