New Delhi: In an attempt to give Indian exporters some relief from the impact of global slowdown, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the time limit of two percent interest subsidy on rupee export credit for handicrafts, handlooms, carpets and Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs).

Citing the global recession, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma earlier this week assured the exporters to provide financial assistance. With the extension of the time limit, the exporters in these segments would be eligible for concession on credit which would be available up to March 31, 2012.

In a statement given by the RBI, the decision to extend the duration of giving subsidy is meant for labour- based industry in order to maintain the competitive efficacy of these segments in international market. It is to be noted RBI first provided its services on interest subventions on April 1, 2010 which lapsed this year.

Welcoming the RBI’s decision, the President, Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIO), Ramu S Deora said, “In the last 15 months the interest rate on the export credit has increased from 7 percent to 15 percent. Therefore, it was important to give the exporters some concession.”