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Last updated: 03 Jan, 2022  

Exports.9.Thmb.jpg Exports at record high

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Bikky Khosla | 03 Jan, 2022

Merchandise export in December 2021 rose to $37.29 billion, the highest ever monthly achievement, which shows an increase of 37.0% over $27.22 billion in December 2020 and 37.55% over $27.11 billion in December 2019. For April-December 2021, exports figures stand at $299.74 billion, an increase of 48.85% over $201.37 billion in April-December 2020 and 25.80% over $238.27 billion in April-December 2019.

These above figures are encouraging. The current trend indicates that India is on course to achieving the $400 billion merchandise exports target for the fiscal. The non-petroleum exports figures -- which in December 2021 stand at 31.67 USD billion, 27.31% higher against December 2020 and 34.92% higher against December 2019-- also look good. It is also encouraging that several labour-intensive sectors like gems & jewellery, engineering goods, textiles, handloom products, etc. performed well in December.

Increasing imports are a concern, however. Imports in December 2021 stand at $59.27 billion, an increase of 38.06% over $42.93 billion in December 2020 and 49.7% over $39.59 billion in December 2019. For April-December 2021, cumulative imports stood at 443.71 billion, an increase of 69.27% over USD 262.13 billion in April-December 2020 and 21.84% over USD 364.18 billion in April-December 2019. This increasing import trend needs to be reversed.

Also, as far as export is concerned, there should be no scope for complacency. Particularly, with the increasing number of omicron cases in India and globally, the Centre should urgently prepare a strategy to cushion the sector. In addition, the long-standing demands of the sector – such as needs to extend the interest equalisation scheme, provide fiscal and tax support to address logistics challenges, develop an Indian shipping line – need to be discussed urgently with stakeholders.

I invite your opinions.

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