New Delhi: Worried over a sharp contract of exports due to poor outbound shipments, the commerce ministry is likely to take corrective measures soon. The ministry has called a meeting of all export promotion councils on October 24 to discuss the way out for enhancing the exports in the country, according to a commerce ministry source.
The move of the ministry comes at a time when India’s exports figures have showed negative for the second consecutive month in September. Besides, the ministry is learnt to have expressed discontent over the poor performance by manufacturing, power and mining sectors in which industrial output shrank significantly in August.
“As exports contracted for the consecutive second month in September, we will hold a meeting with all export promotion councils on October 24 and it will be chaired by commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan. The councils will also suggest ways to contain fall in exports,” the source said.
“The country’s outbound shipments have also remained subdued so far this year, showing downward trend of economy. The ministry’s new measures may be a step forward to pep up the export growth,” the source added.
As far as exports in the country, experts feel that it may have a bearing on the overall economic growth, which fell to over six-year low of 5 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal. Out of the 30 key sectors, as many as 22 segments showed negative growth in exports in September.
India’s exports remained in the negative zone for the second consecutive month in September, contracting by 6.57 per cent to $26 billion mainly on account of significant dip in shipments of petroleum, engineering, gems & jewellery and leather products, according to the government data.
“Besides, imports also contracted by 13.85 per cent to $36.89 billion in September, narrowing the trade deficit to a seven-month low of $10.86 billion,” it said, adding that shipments of gems and jewellery, engineering goods, and petroleum products contracted by 5.56 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 18.6 per cent, respectively.
Also, industrial output declined by 1.1 per cent in August due to poor performance by manufacturing, power generation and mining sectors. Ludhiana-based exporter SC Ralhan has called for immediate release of foreign trade policy by the government to arrest the downfall.
“Government should immediately announce foreign trade policy. If it will be delayed, the government would not be able to control the damage,” Ralhan has said.
Trade Promotion Council of India Chairman Mohit Singla said there is a definite sign of manufacturing slowing down owing to the sluggish market demand, which has taken a hit at export.