Let me begin by wishing you all Seasonís Greetings. The year 2015 was one of the most challenging & very successful years for Carpet Export Promotion
Council (CEPC) which witnessed heavy turnout of overseas buyers, resulting in tremendous business in both the flagship Expositions of India Carpet Expos during the year 2015.
I complement all my fellow Exporters for showing good performance amidst dwindling and changing economic scenario. Handmade Carpet exports have again registered consecutive impressive growth of nearly 17% in the last year.
I am glad to inform you that the Government has announced amendments in the MEIS. It envisages increase in exports through enhancement of Market coverage to the B & C group Countries. This initiative could improve the industry sentiments and boost the exports of Handmade Carpet items to these groups of countries. We are happy that our consistent efforts highlighting the disadvantages of the exporters and continued follow up with the Ministry have yielded, as in the original policy issued in April 2015 there was no incentive for exports of such items for Africa and Latin American countries falling under the B & C group of Countries.
In 2015, we had full support of the Government and export incentive measures announced included expanding interest subvention as well as increasing the corpus on the Market Access Initiative (MAI), Market Development Assistance (MDA). Additional plan allocations for MAI / MDA will help in export marketing with formation of an Export Development Fund with sizable corpus for aggressive marketing. We thank the Govt value the continued support offered to carpet sector.
Like previous years, the Indian carpet and floor covering industry had an impressive presence in DOMOTEX 2016 through Carpet Export Promotion Council. In 2015 DOMOTEX Hannover, India was their partner country. There was a noticeable change in composition of the Indian contingent in the context that the exhibitors participated under the lead organisation i.e. Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) sponsored by Govt. of India. CEPC made its best efforts in putting up an impressive show to highlight Indian handmade carpets, Rugs, Druggets and other Floor Coverings. CEPC played a very proactive role in facilitating business deals for its member-exhibitors and also liaison with the fair authorities for better infrastructural facilities for their stalls.
Likewise, this year the India Carpet Expo 2016 has a record number of participants, i.e 266 as against 283 in the previous year and is spread over to 11200 sq. mtr. area. Also a huge number of 412 buyers have confirmed their presence to this Expo. India Carpet Expo over the years has become very popular amongst the carpet importing countries mainly Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ghana, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, U.A.E., U.K., U.S.A., Ukraine.
Friends, I would like to inform you that the Finance Minister held pre-budget consultations with the industry captions at New Delhi. During the meeting various important issues were discussed including the reconsideration of inverted dusty structure to give a boost to Make in India, exemption of Service tax from exports, creation of Export Development Fund (EDF), exemption of Terminal Excise Duty (TED) on purchase of Capital Goods, provision of fiscal incentive to MSMEs for the motivation of aggressive export marketing and restoring benefits under SHIS to Status holder exporters. Besides issues like non-residents to be kept out of the ambit of section 206AA and Merchant exporters to be given Interest Equalization Benefits were also discussed.
New Duty Drawback Rates announced meet Exporterís Expectations. Members can see the item wise rates in the Duty Drawback Section in this issue. Union Governmentís decision of CCEA to launch an Amended TUFS scheme is a welcome step in the right direction.
Concerned over the decline in exports, the Government announced a 3% interest subsidy scheme for exporters to make the labour - intensive exports sector globally competitive, which is a reprive to the exporter community and Council welcome the government move.
On behalf of Committee Of Administration of CEPC, I assure all of you that The Carpet Council will take up all the pending issues of the industry to increase participation in all the important events meant specifically for our sector. To explore participation in various expos / exhibitions in new markets such as Latin American Countries, South East Asian Countries, South Africa, China and Russia. We do have many export promotion activities in the coming months to increase our exports. (See the Annual Plan for 2016-17 inside this ussue).
I look forward to interacting with you through my messages here and through interactions at various meetings, seminars and workshops that we organize. Needless to add that without your active participation, feedback and constructive criticism, we will not be that much effective.
As we move into the new year with the new Secretary (Textiles) and the new Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) taking responsibility for the further growth of the industry in general and the Council in particular.
I shall work with all my possible enthusiasm and dedication and assure you that 2016 would come up as an exciting year and I look forward to working with you all towards meeting challenges being faced by our sector.
With best wishes and hoping for our continued interactions.
With Kind Regards,
KULDEEP RAJ WATTAL