The Commerce Ministry will push for stepping up benefits for exporters under different market-linked schemes in lieu of the popular DEPB, which is scheduled to end on June 30. The case will be taken up with the Finance Ministry which has refused to give any more extension to the Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB) scheme.

Exporters get refund of duties on import content of their export products under the 14-year-old DEPB which has been given several extensions. It costs the exchequer about Rs 8,000 crore per annum.

“I will go back (to the Finance Ministry) and argue why those (market-linked incentives) should (not) be stepped up…,” Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said.

He said helping exporters during the global financial meltdown had paid off. “If we could not have made that move in 2009, we would have been in deep trouble,” he said.

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