The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sen pitch for state at export summit

Calcutta, June 3: Industries and commerce minister Nirupam Sen today revealed the key tenets of the state’s export policy which, he said, would be finalised in a month.

Speaking at a Confederation of Indian Industry seminar here today, Sen said the state’s share in Indian exports was pegged at 6.2 per cent at the end of 2001-2002. He added that Bengal would strive to increase its share to 9 per cent by 2006-2007.

To achieve this robust growth, the government would provide a host of incentives to exporters operating out of Bengal, Sen said. The minister also announced the setting up of a trade fair complex.

Besides the standard incentives already available to exporters, which include several subsidies and waiver of stamp duty and registration fees, the state would provide land to manufacturers who work out of export promotion parks and growth centres, Sen said.

The minister promised to simplify the process of obtaining approvals and clearances. A key initiative announced today was setting up of a state export promotion council.

Showcasing the state’s recent achievements, Sen said software exports from the state had grown 99 per cent in the year that ended on March 31. Steel exports had also gone up. “Bengal aspires to be among the top three states, contributing 15 per cent of India’s information technology revenues by 2010.”

Though exports come under the Union list and it is the Centre’s responsibility to promote international trade, states could supplement Delhi by improving infrastructure, Sen said.

But before announcing the postulates of the state’s proposed export policy, Sen dwelt extensively on the ill effects of globalisation. He said poor nations had not benefited from globalisation and the challenge facing them was “to thwart the onslaught of the new world order”.

The minister added: “Trade rules consistently work against products from developing countries.” He exhorted industry to make a more committed effort to increase exports.

Sen’s criticism of the integration of the world economy echoed Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz’s observations in his book, Globalisation and Its Discontent.

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