New Fiscal Begins With Over 15 Per Cent Growth In Exports

New Fiscal Begins With Over 15 Per Cent Growth In ExportsInside view of a jewellery shop in Connaught Place New Delhi, India. (Pradeep Gaur/Mint via GettyImages)
Snapshot
  • The growth in labour-intensive sectors like Gems and Jewellery, Handicrafts and Carpets was particularly appreciated by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Defying all odds, India's exports have shown an impressive performance in April, the beginning of the new financial year, amid the challenging times.

India's exports in April 2021 were recorded at $30.63 billion, as compared to $10.36 billion in April 2020, exhibiting a growth of 195.72 per cent. In Rupee terms, exports were Rs 2,28,071.76 crore in April 2021, as compared to Rs 78,951.41 crore in April last year.

Despite the global economy passing through hard times, exports in April 2021 exhibited a positive growth of 17.62 per cent in Dollar terms and 26.17 per cent in Rupee terms as compared to April 2019.

The value of engineering goods shipments registered a year-on-year growth of 238.27 per cent during April 2021 owing primarily to lower base effect and strong demand from traditional markets.

This shows recovery in external trade is very much on track and improved trade outlook, said EEPC (Engineering Exports Promotion Council of India) Chairman Mahesh Desai.

Reacting to the trade data of April 2021, FIEO (Federation of Indian Export Organisations) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that the impressive growth reiterates our assessment that order booking position of our exporters is extremely good and with gradual improvement of situation in the country, exports will grow further.

He said that over 15 per cent growth on the base of April 2019 is a better indicator and reflects a positive double digit trend.

Saraf particularly emphasised that the growth in labour-intensive sectors like Gems and Jewellery, Handicrafts and Carpets augur well for the job scenario, which is most relevant in the current context.

Saraf added that such a growth has been mainly on account of 30 out of 30 major product groups of exports showing either a very impressive high positive growth starting with four digits and almost all ending with a very high double digit growth continuously defying all the odds for the second time during the year 2021 as still the global economy is passing through these challenging times.

The FIEO president added that the exports of Gems and jewellery, Jute manufacturing including floor covering, Carpet, Leather and leather products, Cotton yarn, handloom products, other cereals, Ceramic products and glassware, Electronic goods, Oil meals, Cashew, Mica, Coal and other ores, minerals including processed minerals, Engineering goods, Petroleum products, Tobacco, Cereal preparations and miscellaneous processed items, Iron ore, Oil seeds, Meat, dairy and poultry products, Tea, Marine products, Spices, Coffee, Organic and inorganic chemicals, Rice, Plastic and Linoleum, Fruits and vegetables and Drugs and pharmaceuticals were the sectors which contributed towards showing such a spectacular performance by the exports sector during the month.

Saraf also added that such a growth performance in exports during the first month of the new financial year augurs well for the sector as it will help in paving a new growth path for the sector as a whole during the fiscal.

The FIEO chief also reiterated that the continuous support and help provided by the government during these difficult times has been commendable.

The EEPC observed that the recent surge in Covid cases has some downside risks to the growth as various state governments have imposed lockdowns and curfews to contain the spread of the virus.

“This has caused a slowdown in inter-state movement of goods and shortage of manpower. In order to address this, we urge the government to classify the export sector as essential services,” EEPC Chairman said.

Desai noted that the government has largely taken a very balanced approach to deal with the health crisis focussing both on saving lives and protecting livelihood.

In a very encouraging development, the Department of Commerce has taken up various issues of exporters with the Finance Ministry for their early resolution.

Some of the pending issues pertain to Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP), Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) and Inverted duty structure.

"Once resolved, it will further provide impetus to the export sector," said Desai.

Given the growth trends in the previous fiscal and April this year, it is hoped that merchandise exports could touch $400 billion in FY22. The value of exports in the first week of May was up by almost 9 per cent (over the same period last year) pointing to a positive trend, the EEPC Chairman concluded.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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