India Export aim expected to be missed
With exports falling for six consecutive months, the Government has itself now raised a question mark over whether the annual export target of USD 360 billion for the current fiscal will be achieved.
Alarmed by the widening trade deficit, which has hit a record high of almost USD 21 billion, Government sources indicate that measures to boost exports may be announced soon.
According to Commerce and Industry Minister Mr. Anand Sharma, there is serious concern that the export target is unlikely to be met. The only bit of good news from the overall disappointing trade data is that exports are no longer shrinking at the rate they were.
The rate of fall in exports in October, at 1.6%, was much lower than the 11% dip recorded in September.
But since imports went up by over 7%, this has widened the trade deficit to a new high of over USD 20 billion. Widening of trade deficit is another bit of bad news for an already fiscally stressed economy, where the Government intends to keep the current account deficit at 3.7% of GDP.
Commerce Secretary Mr. S.R. Rao said that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is reviewing the performance of different segments of the export sector.
“The DGFT has done an extensive consultation with all the stakeholders. I think the review will be completed in the next two days,” he informed.
He also said after the analysis of the export sector, the Minister will take a call on whether there is any requirement of mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) and if specific steps are needed to boost exports. When asked if the Government would provide some support to exporters, the Secretary replied “of course”.
“We would be seeing positive growth in exports from next month which may show double digit growth from January onwards or even earlier,” he added.