Government To Cut Insurance Premium Rates For Small Exporters: Piyush Goyal
Piyush Goyal in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)  

Government To Cut Insurance Premium Rates For Small Exporters: Piyush Goyal

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The commerce ministry will soon approach the Cabinet for reduction in insurance premium rates to 0.6 percent for small exporters having an outstanding limit of less than Rs 80 crore, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.

The commerce and industry minister said the premium rate is 0.72 percent.

Further, premium rates for exporters having outstanding limit of over Rs 80 crore will be streamlined with a view to help them.

Such exporters will be divided into categories such as non-gold, jewellery and diamond, among others.

This is being done as insurance claim ratio for gold, jewellery and diamond players are high and that impacts banks' lending ability.

"For accounts with limits below Rs 80 crore, the premium rates will be moderated to 0.60 per annum and for those exceeding Rs 80 crore, it will be 0.72 per annum for the same enhanced cover," Goyal told reporters in New Delhi.

He said that Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India has launched a new scheme Niryat Rin Vikas Yojna.

This will provide more comfort to banks to lend to exporters.

The minister said the scope of cover has been enlarged to include not only the principal outstanding but also for the unpaid interest for a maximum of two quarters or the non performing asset date, whichever is earlier.

The cover percentage has been enhanced to 90 percent from the present average of 60 percent for both principal and interest.

Goyal also said that the Export Credit Insurance Scheme envisages simplified procedure for settlement of claim and also for provisional payment up to 50 percent within 30 days on production of proof of end-use of the advances in default by the insured bank.

The ECIS support will be in force for a period of five-years and on conclusion, the standard ECGC covers will be available for banks with its regular features.

Goyal said that under the scheme, inspection of bank documents and records by ECGC officials will be mandatory for losses exceeding Rs 10 crore as against the present Rs 1 crore.

"The proposed cover will bring down the cost of credit due to capital relief, less provision requirement and liquidity due to quick settlement of claims and will ensure timely and adequate working capital to the export sector," he added.

Further, the minister said that after getting an insurance coverage of 90 percent, small exporters will get loans at competitive rate at about 7.6 percent.

"If borrowers' track record will be good, they will get easy loans at affordable rates. And on this, there would not be any interest subvention," he said.

With this measure, "as per our estimate by March this year, I think there would be about 30 percent growth in export credit. And about 20 percent growth every year," he said, adding that the ECGC would cover Rs 3 lakh crore of loans.

Four mega shopping festivals - for gems and jewellery, handicrafts, yoga and tourism, and textiles and leather - will be organised and states have been asked to apply for this.

So far, Uttar Pradesh has requested to organise handicrafts festival.

Talking about foreign exchange credit, he said that State Bank of India and ECGC together have a developed a concept under NIRVIK scheme.

Under this, for all exporters, State Bank of India will make available dollar denominated funds to all the banks, which face issues in raising funds.

"Banks have agreed that they will lend these funds at London Interbank Offered Rate plus 150 basis points rate (which will be around 3.5 percent) to exporters," the minister said, urging banks to offer this foreign exchange funds to exporters.

With all these measures, Goyal said, there should be no complaint from exporters that are facing issues in getting funds at affordable rates and easy terms.

These are the lowest rates and government will not have to give interest subventions, he said.

"I do hope to see significant improvements in credit availability for exporters," the minister said, adding the measures would help boost exports and achieve $1 trillion for exports.

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