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Last updated: 30 Jun, 2020  

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Bikky Khosla | 30 Jun, 2020
India's exports sector has continued its sharp fall with the COVID-19 crisis refusing to cease. Our overseas shipments plunged 34 percent in March, 60 percent in April, and 36 percent in May on a year-on-year basis. A latest estimate shows that exports may witness 10 percent decline in the current fiscal; and in case of a second wave of Corona virus infection, the contraction may reach even 20 percent. In this backdrop, the sector should be provided with comprehensive support.

Last week, an export association has put forward a three-pronged strategy. First, focus on countries like the US and the UK which are providing demand stimulus. Second, make the best of the anti-China sentiments evident in countries like the US, EU, Japan, South Korea, Australia, etc. Third, revisit economies like LAC and CIS depending on crude & commodities exports as prices of such products are likely to be subdued. The suggestions sound quite reasonable.

It is also pointed out that our exporters are facing another major problem: thousands of them have recently been declared 'RISKY' without assigning any reason. This has added to the woes of exporters already hit by the prolonged lockdown. Additionally, another concern is that lately customs authorities are closely examining goods originating from China, leading to undue delay in clearance of imported inputs for Indian manufacturers. The Centre should urgently address these concerns.

Meanwhile, according to media report, the Centre will soon notify the exclusion of export turnover threshold limits for bestowing the MSME status on firms. The proposed move is in line with the recently announced new definition of the sector under which export turnover of MSMEs would not be taken into account for calculating the turnover limit. This move will definitely help our exports, but it seems the need of the hour is a comprehensive strategy to revive our exports growth.

I invite your opinions.

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