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Exports growth will improve but support still needed: FIEO

Enthusiastic about the country's strong export growth for the month of August, exporters' association FIEO Tuesday expressed hope that the growth would soon touch 20 percent in few months time, but it added that the non-performing sectors still needed support and the whole export sector should be brought under Priority Sector Lending. 

"Exports will only improve in months to come and he expects 20 percent growth in few months time," said Federation of Indian Export Organistions (FIEO) president M Rafeeque Ahmed in a press statement issued.

However, he viewed that Government needs to adopt two pronged strategy to support sectors which are still in red like engineering, electronics and gems & jewellery while simultaneously providing additional support to sectors such as textiles, pharma, chemicals, plastics, leather, cereals and value added agriculture products.

These sectors can easily add few more billion dollars to help us to cross the export target fixed for the current fiscal, he viewed.

The FIEO Chief also flagged again the issue of bringing exports under Priority Sector Lending to increase access to credit and aggressive marketing through an Export Development Fund for sustaining exports on long term basis.

According to official data released Tuesday, India's trade deficit narrowed to USD 10.9 billion in August from USD 12.27 billion in the previous month on the back of higher exports and lower imports. Exports jumped by 12.97 percent to USD 26.13 billion while imports declined by 0.68 percent to USD 37.05 billion in the month.

The reduction in trade deficit would also reduce pressure on current account deficit as the deficit in first five months is lower than the deficit recorded in the same period last year, Ahmed viewed.

Trade deficit in August was the lowest since $10.3 billion in March as gold imports declined from $2.2 billion July to $650 million in August, which was the second straight month when the value of shipments out of the country rose at double-digit rates.  

Commenting on the Trade Data for August, the FIEO chief added that a double digit growth in exports despite slowing down of the global trade in 2013 is a combined result of the entrepreneur skill of Indian exporters and pro-active support from the Government.