Commerce Minister has asked officials to identify the regions, countries where exports could be increased, list out items with growth potential

The Centre is working on a detailed strategy to achieve the ambitious goods export target of $400 billion set for the current fiscal and is looking at region-wise and product-specific breakups, so that focussed initiatives and decisions for accelerating growth could be taken, according to officials close to the development.

“The Commerce Minister has asked officials of various regional divisions to objectively assess the growth potential in different countries keeping the overall target in mind. Subsequently, items, too, will be identified and sub-targets set,” the official told BusinessLine. “The idea is to zero in on areas where there is maximum potential for growth and work towards it,” he added.

Private industry

The export of $400 billion, although ambitious, especially when compared to exports worth $290.63 billion carried out in 2020-21, can be achieved in collaboration with private industry, MSME sector, and other sectors such as engineering, agriculture, automobile and steel, Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had recently said addressing the media.

“Even when compared to exports valued at $313 billion in 2019-20, when production and trade was not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the target of $400 billion is a challenge,” the official added.

However, given the fact that in April-June 2021-22, India recorded the highest ever merchandise export in a quarter valued at $95 billion, surpassing the previous record of $90 billion in January-March 2020, makes the Ministry hopeful that the $400 billion annual target may not be out of bounds.

Identify scope

Commerce Ministry officials will now examine details of India’s exports to various regions such as Europe, North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Africa and identify places of scope for stepping up growth and to what extent.

“The government has to first see where the additional export market of $110 billion can be created. The thrust sectors and items also need to be simultaneously identified,” the official said.

Once the exercise is carried out, officials may consult the industry to identify the constraints that are being faced in the identified areas and markets and see how these could be removed, he added.

“Some incentives may also be considered but right now the focus of the government is to first finalise the input duty refund rates under the new RoDTEP scheme that exporters are patiently waiting for,” he said.

Top sectors, which performed well during the first quarter 2021-22 growth were iron-ore, rice, cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, handloom products, engineering goods, plastics & linoleum, chemicals, electronic goods, petroleum products, marine products and drugs & pharmaceuticals.

Source: The Hindu Business Line