Bikky Khosla | 20 Oct, 2020
exports in September rose by 5.99 percent y-o-y to $27.58 billion, according to
latest official figures. In August, exports contraction had widened to (-) 12.66
percent at $22.70 billion, after (-) 10.12 percent in July and (-) 12.41
percent in June. So, the September exports figures seem somewhat encouraging.
They signal to gradual recovery of trade activities toward normalcy
globally, after a long, challenging period of contraction
caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A deeper look into the
September exports figures shows that 22 out of the 30 major product groups registered growth in the month,
and more importantly, some labour-intensive sectors witnessed double-digit
growth, though performance by some such sectors was not that impressive. Also,
some major constituents of our export basket turned positive or have started
showing signs of revival in the month. However, reduction in imports,
particularly of the materials used as inputs by labour-intensive sectors of
exports, is not a good sign.
While the September monthly figures inspire some optimism, exports in
five months of the financial year - April to September - give a dull
picture, however. During this period we
have exported lots of raw materials ranging from rice and cereals
to iron ore, while exports from our major sectors like ready-made garments,
leather goods, gems and jewellery, engineering products and electronics,
etc. have contracted in the range of 15 -55 percent. No doubt, this trend is a
amid recent news that India's per capita GDP may be lower for 2020 than that of neighboring Bangladesh, a new paper titled "India's Export-Led Growth:
Exemplar and Exception" views that while the latter's slice of low-skilled
goods exports is in line with its share of poor-country working-age population,
India is not following such a strategy. We are not giving adequate importance
to production in our key low-skill sectors which have massive exports and employment
generation prowess. We need to change this approach.
invite your opinions.