‘Gold import policy needs to be rationalised’

India 's exports will cross $325 billion in the current fiscal — the targeted figure that was missed in 2013-14, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher has said.

Endorsing former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke's optimism on the state of the global economy, Kher said it would get reflected in India's trade performance.

"US economy is certainly going up. The EU is not going down. India's performance will also improve," Kher told reporters on Wednesday at a standards conclave organised by the Government and CII.

Export target

While refusing to put a figure on India's export target this year as the foreign trade policy was still in formulation, Kher said it would be definitely more than $325 billion.

India missed the export target of $325 billion in 2013-14, as exports posted just a 4 per cent growth over the previous year to $312 billion.

The shortfall was mainly due to low demand in key markets, loss of preferential market access in the EU and quality issues faced by pharma exports.

Curbs on gold imports

On the issue of the existing restrictions on gold imports, Kher said that in the long-term the policy needs to be rationalised.

India's imports in 2013-14 declined due to a sharp drop in gold imports and slowdown in manufacturing sector.

Export sectors that took a hit in 2013-14 include gems & jewellery, electronics and pharmaceuticals. Apart from gold, import of project goods and machinery posted a decline.

(This article was published on April 16, 2014)
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