S.R. Rao, Commerce Secretary
will have an impact on India’s trade”. Last time on June 5, the government had announced a slew of measures, including extension of 2 per cent interest subsidy by one year, as part of 7-point strategy to achieve 20 per cent increase in exports in the current fiscal. The government is also expected to soon come out with new guidelines to revamp Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and Export Oriented Unit (EOU) schemes to further boost the shipments. To provide impetus to overseas trade through courier and the Internet, the government had extended export benefits to e-commerce platforms on products delivered outside India. Further, in order to promote manufactured exports of green technology products, export obligation under EPCG scheme is being reduced to 75 per cent of the normal export obligation for 16 identified products like solar cells. Besides, the government had provided incentives for exports from northeastern states. It had added seven new markets to Focus Market Scheme and extended Market linked focus product scheme till March 2013 for apparel export to the US and EU.
EXPORTS IN OCTOBER
For the consecutive six months, India’s October fell by 1.63 per cent year-on-year to USD 23.63 billion. However, the decline in overseas shipments was slight compared to the previous month. The rate of fall in exports was much lower than 11 per cent dip recorded in September. For the first seven months (April- October) of the 2012-13 fiscal, exports have shrunk by 6.18 per cent to USD 166.92 billion. “In October, our export performance has slightly improved,” Commerce Secretary S R Rao has said. India’s apex exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has said that the decline in exports is primarily on account of slowdown in domestic manufacturing. Industrial production in September dipped by 0.4 per cent. “We would be seeing positive growth in exports from next month which may show double digit growth from January onwards or even earlier,” FIEO has added. Meanwhile, imports expanded by 7.37 per cent to USD 44.2 billion in October 2012, highest in 18-months, leaving a trade deficit of USD 20.96 billion. Prior to this, the highest monthly import was USD 45.2 billion in May 2011. However, imports during the period have dipped by 2.66 per cent to USD 277.13 billion. Trade deficit for the period thus stands at USD 110.2 billion. On increasing import bill, the Commerce Secretary has said it has increased due to jump in the gold and petroleum imports. Oil imports in October increased by 31.6 per cent year- on-year to USD 14.78 billion. However, non-oil imports declined by 1.73 per cent to USD 29.42 billion. During April-October, oil imports grew by 10 per cent to USD 95.5 billion, from USD 86.8 billion in the corresponding period last year. However, non-oil imports during the period dipped by 8.22 per cent yearon-year to USD 181.56 billion. Sharma has admitted that the USD 360 billion exports target is difficult to achieve in the back of global slowdown.