Bikky Khosla | 22 Oct, 2019
Merchandise exports from the country contracted the
most in more than three years in September. According to data released last
week, exports declined 6.57 percent y-o-y to $26.03 billion in
the month. This is for the third time that exports declined in the current
financial year while imports dropped for the fourth consecutive month. No
doubt, rising protectionism and trade wars are affecting India's trade prospects.
The September trade figures show that only
8 out of 30 major product groups were in positive territory. All
other major sectors of exports including almost all labour-intensive sectors besides
petroleum were in the negative. This is a real concern. The WTO has already cut
its global trade forecasts for both 2019 and 2020, and the situation may worsen
further with the ongoing US-China trade war, Brexit crisis and developments in
Iran and Turkey.
The export sector has not been doing
well for quite some time, and now the situation is aggravating further due to worsening
global trade, making it essential for the government to intervene at the
domestic front. An exporters’ body has opined that rising raw material prices
and lack of low cost credit need to be tackled. Some others have called also for
equalization support to all farm exports, benefits on sales to foreign tourists
and quick refund of GST, etc.
The fall in exports for India has come
at a time when the economy has slowed to the 5 percent level in the first
quarter of FY20. India's growth projections have already been cut by several major
global institutions. Even the world economy is going through a rough phase. In
this situation, it is imperative that the Centre makes all-out efforts to handle
the domestic issues effectively and safeguard the export sector from further
I invite your opinions.