Exports log lowest growth in five years (Lead)

November 10th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) Indian exports registered a 15 percent growth in October, the lowest in five years, said Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) R.S. Gujral here Monday.”Exports grew at 15 percent in October. This is the lowest growth rate in five years. It is a difficult time indeed for the exporters,” Gujral said at an award function of Capexil, a government body to facilitate export of chemical-based and allied products.

“During April-September this year, export grew at the rate of 30.8 percent, and 21. 9 percent during April-October,” said Gujral, and attributed the slump to the softening in demand in US and European nations.

“Exporters are going to face a challenging time. We need to work hard for better results in such challenging times,” he said.

“Last year, exporters faced the problem of a rapid appreciation of the rupee, and today the global financial crisis is impacting Indian exporters.”

“Financial measures like a reduction in cash reserve ratio (CRR) and repo rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will help traders,” Gujral said.

“Such measures, perhaps, have not yet benefited the small and medium exporters,” said Gujral, who gave away Capexil highest export award for 2007-08 to the state-owned MMTC Ltd.

Agreed Capexil chairman Surendra Gulati: “The small and medium exporters need special attention, as they account for 40 percent of the total exports.”

An industry lobby’s assessment says Indian exports are likely to fall short of the targeted $200 billion in 2008-09 by about 20 percent.

Seven key export segments - textiles, apparel, gems and jewellery, diamonds, brassware, handicraft and leather - are reeling under recessionary trends, said an appraisal of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

India’s foreign trade policy for the current fiscal has fixed export targets for 2008-09 at $200 billion.

India’s ministry of commerce and industry Monday released trade data, which put the total exports in September to $13.75 billion, a year-on-year growth of 10.4 percent.

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