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India's overall (merchandise and services) export was US$ 394.96 billion during 2020-21 (April-January) as compared to US$ 443.24 billion during 2019-20 (April-January), i.e. a negative growth of 10.89%. During 2020-21 (April-January), India's overall import was US$ 400.84 billion as compared to US$ 514.57 billion during 2019-20 (April-January), i.e. a negative growth of 22.10%. India's overall trade deficit was US$ 5.88 billion during 2020-21 (April-January) as compared to US$ 71.33 billion in 2019-20 (April-January), with a high reduction of trade deficit of US$ 65.45 billion.

In order to increase the production and exports of Pharma, Agriculture, Automobile, and Defence items and to re-energize India's trade performance, some of the key steps taken are:          

India s Trade Performance during COVID-19 Period
  1. A comprehensive 'Agriculture Export Policy' to provide an impetus to agricultural exports is under implementation.
  2. Product specific Export Promotion Forums (EPF) for eight high potential agri- products i.e. Grapes, Mango, Banana, Onion, Rice, Nutri-Cereals, Pomegranate, Floriculture and Plant material have been created to promote export of identified products in a focused manner.
  3. Subsidy is provided under Operation Greens scheme for transportation of fruits and vegetable through Kisan Rail.
  4. Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES), Market Access Initiatives (MAI) Scheme and Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) have been launched to promote trade infrastructure and marketing.
  5. Assistance to the exporters of agricultural products is made available under the export promotion schemes of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA), Tobacco Board, Tea Board, Coffee Board, Rubber Board and Spices Board.
  6. Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for 13 sectors- 3 sectors in March, 2020 and 10 sectors in November, 2020 with an outlay of Rs 1.97 lakh crore has been launched to provide a major boost to manufacturing. These sectors are  (i) Automobiles and Auto Components, (ii) Pharmaceuticals Drugs, (iii) Specialty Steel, (iv) Telecom & Networking Products, (v) Electronic/Technology Products, (vi) White Goods (ACs and LEDs), (vii) Food Products, (viii) Textile Products: MMF segment and technical textiles, (ix) High efficiency solar PV modules, and (x) Advanced Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery (xi) Medical devices (xii) Large scale electronics manufacturing  including mobile phones (xiii)  Critical Key Starting Materials (KSMs) /Drug intermediaries and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API).
  7. Scheme for promotion of Bulk Drug Parks to provide grant-in-aid to 3 Bulk Drug Parks has been launched for creation of Common Infrastructure Facilities (CIF).
  8. Export authorisation procedures have been streamlined through introduction of online procedures and portals for promotion of exports of Indian defence products.
  9. A scheme for export promotion of Indian Defence Equipment manufactured in India has been rolled out.
  10. Subject to strategic considerations, domestically manufactured defence products are promoted through Lines of Credit/Funding; Defence Lines of Credit (LOCs) are extended to sovereign governments to enable buyers in those countries, to import goods and services from India.
  11. A new category of capital procurement 'Buy (Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured))' has been introduced in Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) - 2016 to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment.
  12. The ‘Make' procedure of capital procurement has been simplified. There is a provision for funding of 90% of development cost by the Government to Indian industry under Make-I category. In addition, there are specific reservations for MSMEs under the ‘Make' procedure. Separate procedure for ‘Make-II' category (Industry funded) has been notified under Defence Procurement Procedure 2016 to encourage indigenous development and manufacture of defence equipment.
  13. The Government of India has enhanced FDI in Defence Sector up to 74% through the Automatic Route for companies seeking new defence industrial license and up to 100% by Government Route.
  14. Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) has been extended by one year i.e. upto 31-3-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
  15. Interest Equalization Scheme on pre and post shipment rupee export credit has also been extended by one year i.e. upto 31-3-2021.
  16. A new Scheme, Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP), has been launched.
  17. Common Digital Platform for Certificate of Origin has been launched to facilitate trade and increase FTA utilization by exporters.
  18. Promoting and diversifying services exports by pursuing specific action plans for the 12 Champion Services Sectors.
  19. Promoting districts as export hubs by identifying products with export potential in each district, addressing bottlenecks for exporting these products and supporting local exporters/manufacturers to generate employment in the district.
  20. Active role of Indian missions abroad towards promoting India's trade, tourism, technology and investment goals has been enhanced.

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

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