RTTNews - Various policy and sector specific packages to make exports attractive and competitive would be placed before the Finance Ministry for incorporation in the general budget,

India's new commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said at a press conference in the Capital on Wednesday after a brainstorming session with the representatives of the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) and other export promotion councils.

Sharma already met representatives of CII, FICCI and other business chambers and also apprised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of their difficulties. To help reduce transaction costs, there is a strong case for interest rate cuts, he said

Year-over-year decline in exports may continue until the end of August or the beginning of September, he said and promised special attention to hard-hit labor intensive sectors such as handlooms, textiles, leather and plantation industries. The minister said that his ministry would discuss the issue of support packages with the finance minister to help exporters in fiscal and non-fiscal measures to underpin India's competitiveness in trade.

Later, the commerce secretary, Gopal K. Pillai, said that quick estimates for May showed a 30% drop in exports to $10.8 billion from $15.5 billion in the same month last year. The official export figures would be announced on July 1.

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