Anand Sharma reviews export scenario with chambers, councils

NEW DELHI: The government today held discussions with industry chambers andexport promotion councils on ways to boost the country's shipments. 

"Commerce and Industry Minister 
Anand Sharma reviewed the export scenario. Chambers and export promotion councils (EPCs) suggested ways to boost exports," an official said. 

India's exports entered the negative zone after a gap of four months, recording a contraction of 1.1 per cent in May and leading to a trade deficit of USD 20.1 billion, highest in the last seven months. 

Ficci said that India's exports are facing several challenges which include fragile global economy, rise in protectionist tendencies and ballooning current account deficit. 

Current Account Deficit (CAD) touched a record high of 4.8 per cent of 
GDP in 2012-13 on rising gold and oil imports. 

CAD is the difference between the outflow and inflow of foreign currency. 

President of 
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Rafeeq Ahmed said the main reason for decline in exports is global demand slowdown. 

"This is a serious cause of concern. Unless manufacturing picks up in India, it will be difficult to push exports. Our focus should be to make manufacturing competitive and facilitate flow of investment in manufacturing," he said. 

He asked the government to devise a planned Export Development Scheme for 5 years with sufficient corpus to put focus on marketing. 

Besides FIEO and Ficci, representatives of apparel, handicrafts, engineering were present in the meeting.