Commerce Secretary calls meeting with export promotion councils next week

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on October 18, 2019 Published on October 18, 2019

Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan (file pic)

The Commerce Secretary has called a meeting of all the export promotion councils next week, to work out a strategy for reversing the current decline in exports and look for ways to accelerate growth, despite the bleak outlook for global trade.

“Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan will meet representatives of all the export promotion councils on October 24. The councils have been asked to give details of the problems they are facing, and also give suggestions on how the government could help,” a government official told BusinessLine.

India’s goods exports declined by 6.5 per cent in September 2019 to $26.03 billion, while in the April-September 2019 period, the decline in exports was 2.39 per cent at $159.57 billion, compared to the same period last year.

Of greater concern to policy makers is the fact that apart from petroleum products, the fall in exports has taken place across labour-intensive sectors such as readymade garments, leather products, engineering goods and gems and jewellery.

“There is a realisation among policy makers that if goods exports do not grow, it would be more difficult to put the Indian economy back on the high growth path. Recovery of export growth is vital for a recovery in manufacturing and growth in jobs. Therefore, the government is serious about taking measures that could boost exports,” the official said.

The government has already started work on some sectors, such as engineering goods, based on past meetings. A short-term plan and a draft medium-term action plan is being considered for boosting exports in the sector and country-wise non-tariff barriers are also being identified with the help of the industry, the official pointed out.

“The government wants to have action plans for reviving exports in all major sectors, be it readymade garments and textiles, gems and jewellery, or leather and seeks inputs form the industry for the same,” the official said.

The Commerce Ministry is also working on a new foreign trade policy for 2020-2024, which will succeed the current policy, and consultations are being held with the industry for suitable incentive schemes and measures to boost exports.

India’s exports posted an 8.7 per cent growth in 2019-20, with the value of outbound shipments touching $330 billion, growing beyond the 2013-14 level of $314.4 billion for the first time.

Published on October 18, 2019
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