India’s goods and services exports to double by 2014: Anand Sharma
INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT EXPANDS BY 10.4% IN AUGUST 2009
CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY MEETS
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, during his interaction with the Members of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his Ministry, here today, stated that even in the difficult times, we would like to achieve an annual export growth of 15% over 2010-11 and added that in the remaining three years, the country should be able to come back on the high export growth path of around 25% per annum. The Minister informed the Members that by 2014, India’s exports of goods and services are expected to be doubled while the long term policy objective is to double India’s share in global trade by 2020. The Members who attended the Meeting were: S/Shri Harin Pathak, G.M. Siddeshwara, Chandu Lal Sahu, Kristappa Nimmala, M. Srinivasulu Reddy, Sharad A Joshi, T.K. Rangarajan, N.R. Govindarajar and Y.P. Trivedi. Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry; Dr. Rahul Khullar, Commerce Secretary; Shri Ajay Shankar, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion; and Shri R.S. Gujral, Director General of Foreign Trade also attended the Meeting.
Shri Sharma mentioned that during the last five years, our exports witnessed robust growth to reach a level of US $ 185 billion in 2008-09 from US $ 63 billion in 2003-04. “Our share of global merchandise trade rose from 0.83% in the year 2003 to 1.45% in the year 2008. Our share of global commercial services export rose from 1.4% in 2003 to 2.8% in 2008. India’s total share in goods and services increased from 0.92% in 2003 to 1.64% in 2008”, he added. The Minister further stated that while the impact of global recession is still continuing on our exports, the stimulus packages have started showing their impact in arresting the steep decline in exports; Gems & Jewellery exports have now been stated to be stable and improving, pharmaceutical exports is reasonably stable and some agri products like tobacco, flowers, vegetables etc. are also still doing well.
To meet the objective of sustained growth in exports, Shri Sharma said “our endeavour is to have a policy environment through a mix of measures including fiscal incentives, institutional changes, procedural rationalization, efforts for enhanced market access across the world and diversification of export markets. With this background, I have announced the New Foreign Trade Policy, 2009-14 on 27th August’09 giving special thrust to the employment oriented sectors which have witnessed job losses in the wake of recession especially in the field of textiles, leather, handicrafts, etc”.
As regards industrial slowdown witnessed during 2008-09, Shri Sharma said that it was generally widespread, affecting all the three key segments of the industry viz., mining, manufacturing and electricity and added that the deceleration was sharp in the the manufacturing sector. The Minister pointed out that the government has announced a lot of incentives to many labour-intensive industries. He further stated that “the impact of the stimulus packages announced can be seen in the revival of the growth of industry, particularly the manufacturing sector. During April-August 2009, the IIP recorded a higher growth of 5.8 per cent compared to 4.8 per cent during the same period last year. The industrial output expanded by a robust 10.4 percent in August 2009, highest in the preceding twenty two months. The industrial revival is broad-based with a double digit growth in the key segments of mining, electricity and manufacturing in August 2009”.
The Members of Parliament present in the meeting appreciated the Government’s initiative to arrest the decline in growth both from the domestic and export front, during the global economic slowdown. Members also raised the issue of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its implementation, move to restore the benefit of Income tax on exports, issues related to cotton exports, impact of exchange rate fluctuation on our economy, infrastructure facilities etc. They also desired to know about the WTO related issues and the impact on Indian industry due to agreement with ASEAN. Some of the Members emphasized that effort should be made for achieving the export target fixed in the present scenario of continuous decline in exports and limited revival of demand in developed economies. They suggested that Ministry should come out with assessment of job losses in the wake of continuing downturn, particularly for gems and jewellery units in Surat and Textile Units in Tirupur and to examine the need to frame incentives linked to job protection and job creation. The Members stressed that the new initiatives taken in FTP, particularly the Export Promotion Schemes which are currently provided for two years, need to be continued for at least 5 years to ensure stability and confidence in the exporting community for sustained growth in exports.
Replying to the suggestions of the Members present, the Minister informed that Agreement with ASEAN will certainly help India in market access to the South-East Asian countries, which constitute a major proportion of the World Trade. He highlighted the need for a “Rule Based Global Trade Regime” and stressed on the need for successful completion of WTO negotiation (the present Doha Mandate). He said that a Committee has been constituted to recommend the measures to reduce the transaction cost and time and ensuring easy access to Ports.
During the Meeting presentations from Ministry of Commerce and Industry were made on Foreign Trade Policy, Current Economic Crisis and the Impact on Trade and Industry.