Sharma meets export bodies, reviews downfall

In order to discuss ways to boost exports from the country, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma Monday met industry chambers and export promotion councils.

"Anand Sharma reviewed the export scenario. Chambers and export promotion councils 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 percent in May and leading to a trade deficit of USD 20.1 billion, highest in the last seven months. 

Apex industry body FICCI has 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, "While  the world trade grew, our exports witnessed a decline. This is a serious cause of concern."

"There is strong relationship in exports. 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, which has basically dried up in recent times."

While complimenting the minister for agreeing to their demand to increase MDA threshold limit and entitlements, FIEO chief said, "We hope that additional funds would be made available to give effect to such announcement as our present allocation under MDA is based on pre-existing criteria."

"I would re-iterate my plea to form a planned Export Development Scheme for a period of 5 years with sufficient corpus equivalent to at-least 0.5 percent of country’s exports to put focus on marketing which is seriously lacking in micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) exporters," he added.