India’s ambitious milestone of achieving $400 billion exports this year is within the realm of reach with an enabling and supportive ecosystem, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has said, responding to commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal’s recent statement that the performance of the country’s exports in 2020-21 gives a hope.
In a meeting with the senior officers of the Department of Commerce and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and the Export Promotion Councils recently, Goyal said: “India’s merchandise exports in April 2021 were $30.21 billion, an increase of 197.03 per cent over $10.17 billion in April 2020 and an increase of 16.03 per cent over $26.04 billion in April 2019. The value of exports in the first week of May 2021 is also up by almost 9 per cent over the same period of 2019-20 ($6.48 billion).
“Exports excluding POL (petroleum, oil, lubricants) have increased in this period by 15 per cent over the same period of 2019-20. Performance of exports in April 2021 and 2020-21 gives a hope that an ambitious target of $400 billion merchandise exports can be achieved this year.”
Responding to the new milestone of $400 billion for exports during the current fiscal year, Sharad Kumar Saraf, president, FIEO said that it reflects the optimism and confidence not only of the government but also of the trade and industry.
While facing numerous challenges in manufacturing and logistics, the recent export growth shows that the industry is better equipped to handle the second wave with minimum disruptions. Detailing the basis for achieving such milestones in exports, Saraf said that the order booking position of exporters is extremely encouraging. Moreover, increase in the prices of many inputs have resulted in re-negotiation of orders with some price escalation, which may also support exports in value terms by 10-15 per cent.
To achieve such a target, a concerted strategy would be required, treating exports a national priority by all wings and ministries of the government, Saraf said. Liquidity should be addressed by encouraging banks to lend to the export sector and more importantly instantly releasing all export benefits including Drawback, MEIS, GST and RoDTEP to name a few. This will help in making exports profitable else with delay in refund, exporters profitability is wiped out with increasing interest burden.
He also expressed his concern over the rising prices of domestic inputs and suggested reduction in import tariff to soften prices. He urged the shipping companies to rationally increase freight as all stakeholders are facing the same problem and with recovery in sight, all will sail together.