Bikky Khosla | 20 Feb, 2018
for the first month of the calendar year 2018 stood at $24.38
billion. The latest data released by the Commerce Ministry can be
interpreted in two ways. Year-on-year, there is a 9.07 percent growth
from $22.35 billion reported for January, 2017, but compared to the
previous month of December, 2017, when exports reached $27.03
billion, there is a decline of 9.80 percent. For October and
November, exports had stood at $23.09 billion and $26.2
billion. So, the trend of
growth is not that encouraging.
there are some other concerns as
well. First and foremost,
highly SME-populated and labour-intensive sectors like garments,
carpets, handicrafts, man-made textiles are not showing growth. Among
in exports of cotton textile by 16 percent y-o-y, apparel by about 14
percent y-o-y and man-made textiles by 7 percent y-o-y is
particularly depressing. Additionally, petroleum
product exports contributed nearly 6 percent to the total export
figures in January.
deficit for January is
also at an alarming level. It reached near
high of $16.3
billion in January, against $9.90
billion in January, 2017.
This increase is mainly due
to a 26.1 percent increase
in imports to USD 40.68 billion driven
by increased inbound
shipments of crude oil. During
the first 10 months of the financial year, the
gap expanded to $131 billion
against $88 billion during the same period a year ago. If this trend
continues, trade deficit in this fiscal may touch US$ 150 billion.
So, urgent steps
should be taken before it becomes too late.
exporters have complained that delays
in refund of input tax credits are
hurting growth of the sector. In this background, an exporter’s
body has also urged the government to look into the refund issues
seriously and undertake a clearance drive to clear all cases by 31
March, 2018. Recently, the
same organisation had also
pointed out that exports credit had shown a decline of -2.5 percent
in 2016-2017 and a y-o-y decline of -8.7 percent
in 2017. These concerns worth paying attention to
reverse further slippage and ensure a growth trend in the sector.
invite your opinions.