The union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles Shri Anand Sharma today reviewed the export performance with the Export Promotion Councils and leading Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the backdrop of a visible slow down in exports. The Minister noted that the performance in July 2012 has been worrisome as exports have dipped by 14.8% as compared to last year. The first four months of the current financial year have seen exports reaching US$ 97.6 billion as compared to US$ 102.8 billion during the same period last year. A sectoral assessment was made on the sectors which are facing critical slow down and clearly the labour intensive sectors like handicrafts, textiles and gems & jewellery have been adversely affected by this slow down.
Today’s interaction brought out the fact that the prolonged crisis in the Euro Zone has cast a long shadow on the exports and the measures have been taken in June are likely to have an impact beginning September. “I have said earlier that the various incentives that we have announced and the sector-specific thrust, the support that has been given to the SMEs and some major sectors, which are labour-intensive, handloom, handicraft, readymade garments, through interest subvention and other support measures. We hope that there will be a turnaround by the month of October, September-October, by the time we enter October, we hope that we will be able to bring about a positive improvement and enter a strong positive territory,” the Minister added.
The Minister explained that efforts are on to bring “down the transaction cost. All the major ports and airports will be functioning 24X7 when it comes to exports. We have discussed this with the Central Board of Excise and Customs.” The issue of procedural simplifications was also discussed.
Commerce Secretary, DGFT and the senior officers of Commerce Department have been directed to hold regional consultations with the State Governments and the exporting community and the process of consultations be initiated. Commerce Secretary has already held consultations in Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai and similar consultations have already been held in Ahmedabad and Cochin. “There will be monthly trade facilitation meetings between the Commerce Secretary, DGFT, our regional DGFT offices and the export councils. We will be monitoring this very closely,” added the Minister.
15 August 2012