India will miss export target, jobs being lost

March 19th, 2008 - 9:42 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) In a candid admission before parliament, Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh Wednesday said India would miss its export of $160 billion this fiscal even as the sector was witnessing job losses. “Exports during 2007-08 are likely to reach a level of $152-$155 billion against the target of $160 billion set for the year,” Ramesh told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to questions whether India’s merchandise exports were falling short of target.

To another query over the impact on jobs on account of an appreciation in the value of the rupee, the minister said in some sectors like textiles, leather, marine products and handicraft, there was a net decline in exports and jobs.

“While the exact details are not available, it is estimated that unless remedial measures are taken, the total job losses could be as high as two million,” he told the Rajya Sabha to a question posed by industrialist Rahul Bajaj.

Ramesh also said there was a decline in the export of traditional items and said some sectors like primary and finished steel, plastic, non-ferrous metals, marine products, sports goods and handicraft were particularly hit.

“It is the endeavour of the government to promote exports in line with India’s comparative advantage and the emerging situation in the domestic as well as international markets.”

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