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Exports.9.Thmb.jpg Exports sector needs a helping hand

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IANS | 23 Jan, 2023

Merchandise exports increased nearly 1 percent in December, rising from $38.45 billion compared to $38.08 billion in December 2022, according to official figures released last week. While a top government official, commenting on these figures, viewed that India is "in the positive zone" despite a global slowdown, experts point out that the sector needs urgent help, particularly in the background of recent tensions arising in West Asia.

A deeper look into the exports figures shows that engineering goods, gems & jewellery, electronic goods and drugs & pharmaceuticals are of the sectors that majorly contributed to export growth in December. Exports from the gems and jewellery sector rose 14.07 percent to $2.90 billion, engineering goods exports grew of 10.19 percent at $10.04 billion and electronic goods exports increased 14.41 percent. These figures are encouraging.

It is also good news that our agricultural exports continue to grow in December and trade deficit during the April-December period improved considerably from $108.13 billion in 2022 to $69.34 billion in 2023. However, during the period, merchandise exports fell 5.70 percent year-on-year at $317.12 billion. There is another concern that that services exports, which have for some time now had performed well, is estimated to contract by 10.61 percent in December.

Meanwhile, an export association has pointed out that the recent tensions in West Asia added to woes of the exporting community as freight rates have gone up “unimaginably high”. It has urged the government to avail marine insurance for exporters and bring down the freight charges. It seems to be the right time for the government to come out with a host of supporting measures for the sector, also including low cost of credit and marketing support.

I invite your opinions.

 
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