Indian exporters cite negative balance, seek relief

March 3rd, 2008 - 10:09 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Even as India’s merchandise exports in January showed signs of recovery with a 20.47 percent growth, exporters demanded more relief measures from the government to fight the appreciating rupee. “Exporters feel that the budget ignored exports, which constitutes about 14 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The day may come when export will not remain a viable economic activity,” said Ganesh K. Gupta, president of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

The exporters urged Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath to include relief measures for them in the upcoming Foreign Trade Policy for 2008-09.

Imports of both non-oil and other items grew by over 60 percent putting pressure on the country’s balance of trade.

Exports were valued at $131.41 billion (Rs.5308 billion) in January, more than the figure of $109.08 billion for the corresponding month for last year, but imports grew 63.57 percent to $225.04 billion from $137.58 billion.

As a result, the trade deficit ballooned to $9.36 billion for the month, against $2.85 billion for the same month last fiscal, according to data on India’s foreign trade released Monday.

The trade data also showed that oil imports during the month under review were 60.81 percent at $7.71 billion, against $4.79 billion in January 2007, and non-oil imports grew 65.05 percent to $14.79 billion from $8.96 billion.

Cumulatively, India’s exports were up 21.62 percent in the first 10 months of this fiscal at $124.19 billion, against $102.11 billion in the like period of last fiscal, while imports were up 29.63 percent at $191.60 billion, against $147.81 billion.

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