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Last updated: 15 Aug, 2021  

Exports.9.Thmb.jpg Fast-rebounding exports

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Bikky Khosla | 15 Aug, 2021

Merchandise exports rose to $35.43 billion last month. This growth is 49.85 percent higher than $23.64 billion worth of exports registered in July, 2020 and 35.05 percent higher than exports registered in July, 2019. This is also the highest-ever exports recorded at least in the previous 9 years and, no doubt, recovery in key global markets played a key role in this growth. This development is welcome.

A deeper look into the last month exports data shows that while growth was led by higher demand for labour-intensive sectors like engineering goods, gems and jewellery, textiles and apparels and chemicals and electronic goods, it is also noteworthy that exports of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery in July 2021 grew 28.18 percent y-o-y to $26.12 billion. This figure is 32.3 percent higher than the pre-Covid level (July 2019).

Meanwhile, it is good to see that the government has continued to push exports of agricultural and processed food from regions which were not earlier part of our export map. Recently, a consignment of dehydrated Mohua flower was exported to France from Chhattisgarh. Similarly, a consignment of processed Himalayan Goat meat sourced from villages of Uttarakhand hills was exported to Dubai.

Complacency can a problem, however, and at this moment the Centre should instead focus on addressing some major challenges being faced by the sector. One such major issue is delay in notification of the RoDTEP rates due to which exporters are losing out on huge orders. Similarly, the sector is also demanding release of the necessary funds for MEIS and clarity on SEIS benefits. These issues need to be resolved urgently.

I invite your opinions.
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