NEW DELHI : Several exporters have received pending payments for shipments made to Russia before February 24 — the day the Russia-Ukraine conflict began — and the Department of Financial Services is working with banks to facilitate the clearance of remaining dues, a government official said.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) had shared with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in March that Indian exporters have payments of about $400-500 million pending in Russia.
“DGFT had shared that information with the Department of Financial Services (DFS). About 60 per cent of the exporters have received their payments from Russian buyers and for the remaining, DFS is working to facilitate the payments,” the official said.
Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries, Sharad Kumar Saraf said some exporters have received their stuck payments but now it has stopped.
“The government should immediately start rupee-rouble trade with Russia to push exports,” Saraf said.
Ludhiana-based Hand Tools Association President S C Ralhan too said that several exporters have received their dues as all banks are not under sanctions.
“The government should take some decision on the matter immediately as it could hamper our exports and they should allow rupee-rouble trade,” Ralhan said.
FIEO Vice President Khalid Khan said payments are coming in sectors including pharma, and food.
“However, still exporters are struggling to get money from Russia. The RBI should give clear directions to the banks to accept payments from all the sectors,” Khan said.
FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai said that while exporters are concerned about pending payments, they are not unduly worried about defaults happening as some mechanism will be found to receive back exports proceeds.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West has slapped a slew of sanctions on Russia and has also isolated the country from the payment systems, which is impacting settling trade payments.
Major export items from India to Russia include pharmaceutical products, tea, electrical machinery and equipment, organic chemicals, and vehicles.
In the past too, India had devised a mechanism to pay for imports from Iran, when sanctions were imposed on the Persian Gulf nation.
India’s exports to Russia stood at $3.2 billion in 2021-22 as against $2.7 billion in 2020-21. Imports were at $8.7 billion last fiscal year as against $7 billion in 2020-21.