Over 8.5% growth in the current fiscal so far is reasonable against the back drop of global headwinds and contracting global trade: President, FIEO
NEW DELHI : Though monthly January 2023 merchandise exports continue to remain in the negative territory, dipping by 6.58 percent at USD 32.91 compared to USD 35.23 billion of January 2022, however April-January FY 2022-23 exports rose by 8.51 percent to USD 369.25 billion. Reacting to the merchandise exports, FIEO President, Dr A Sakthivel said that monthly exports continue to remain in the negative territory mainly on account of global slowdown and rising inflation giving dent to the international demand. As expected, the challenges still continue due to recession like situation in most economies across the world. Dr Sakthivel added that the decline in exports during the month is also a reflection of the continued geo-political tensions between Russia and Ukraine, tightening global financial conditions and contraction in demand. High inventories and volatility in currencies has further added to such a challenging situation. FIEO President is also of the view that though the coming months are going to be little challenging unless both global economic growth and geopolitical situation improves drastically, however we will be on course to cross the previous year’s export target quite easily touching almost USD 440-445 billion with a growth of over 4-5 percent this fiscal.
Under merchandise exports, 14 of the top 30 key product sectors have exhibited positive growth in January 2023 with key sectors including Electronic Goods, Oil Meals, Oil Seeds, Iron Ore, Rice, Fruits & Vegetables, Cashew, Tobacco, Ceramic Products & Glassware, Petroleum Products, Marine Products, Other Cereals, Spices and Tea. While 17 out of the 30 key product sectors have exhibited positive growth during the April-January 2022-23, which is impressive looking at the current scenario. Decline in imports by 3.63 percent to USD 50.66 billion during January 2023 as against USD 52.57 billion in January 2022 is indeed a positive sign, thereby putting much lesser burden on trade deficit front. Decline in imports during the January 2023 has been mainly because of decline in imports of Gold, Electronic Goods, Pearls, Precious & Semi-precious stones, Silver and Organic and Inorganic Chemicals. Energy prices in recent times have seen some volatility due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which is also a point of concern as both energy and fertilizer prices may further go up globally, though much of the crude supplies to India is coming from Russia, opined FIEO Chief.
Dr Sakthivel added that in the current situation, the focus should be on providing easy liquidity at competitive cost, restoration of the Interest Equalization support to 5% and 3% respectively, IGST exemption on freight on exports, which lapsed on 30th September, extension of tenure of PCFC from 180 days to 365 days and notification of RoDTEP rates for the holders of Advance Authorization, DFIA and EOU units. Further, the Federation is also of the view that the new TMA scheme for agri exporters and announcement on allocation of export development fund with a corpus of Rs 5000 Cr for aggressive overseas marketing by MSME to showcase Indian products globally is the need of the hour. He stressed on the need to support exports at the district level with sizeable support for the District as an Export Hub scheme to bridge the supply side gaps.