‘Low share of India’s exports, imports in global trade is a matter of concern’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 21, 2018

Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog   -  Sandeep Saxena

Need to revisit duties, set targets to improve shipments, says NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman

The government and the private sector should work in consonance to bring exports at the centre-point of economic activity and take advantage of external demand conditions, Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, said.

Addressing a meeting of the CII Economic Affairs Council in the Capital on Tuesday, Kumar said the low share of India’s goods and services exports is a matter of concern.

“We need to improve our skill set and human capital as well as take cognisance of external demand conditions,” he said. Kumar also felt that India would — given its low per-capita income — do well in positioning itself as a small economy on the world stage rather than boasting as the sixth largest economy ready to take on the world.

He felt the recent fall in rupeewas not a cause of worry as it was getting back to its natural value. Besides, there is nothing much that the government should do (say fiscal steps) to stem the fall of the rupee as the move would adversely impact growth.

Hence, the prevailing environment should be leveraged to push exports and foreign capital inflows. “We also need to revisit safeguard and anti-dumping duties to boost export growth and set targets to improve our export share,” he said.

He said the government is also committed to maintaining fiscal discipline, despite our external vulnerability.

He said the NITI Aayog was also involved in the drafting of the Land Leasing Act, MSP, doubling farmer’s income, among others.

The NITI Aayog would be releasing the Development Agenda for 2022 ‘New India 2022’ in place of Five Year Plans which would be a comprehensive document containing the objectives, current situation and the way forward.

On employment, Kumar announced that the government will start releasing quarterly data on employment based on household surveys shortly which would address the lacunae and the dearth of current and reliable data on employment in the country. In his view, the rise in rural wages is a testimony to the spike in employment generation in the country.

On Ayushmaan Bharat (Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana), Kumar expressed confidence that private hospitals and healthcare providers will come on board if appropriate package rates are offered.

As on date, up to 9,000 hospitals have registered for empanelment and are in the process of being vetted. They will only be empanelled if they meet the criteria of the scheme, a senior Union Health Ministry official said.

Earlier, in his address, Kumar said that nearly all States — except four — have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for the Ayushmaan Bharat scheme. Most of the States have decided to adopt the Trust model, he added.

Published on August 21, 2018

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