New measures soon to boost exports, investor confidence

August 28th, 2012 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) The government will soon announce new steps to boost exports and investors’ confidence in the Indian economy, Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao said Tuesday.

“The government is taking proactive steps. In the next three-four weeks, I expect significant policy announcements which should encourage our industry, our exports,” Rao said at an export summit organised here by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Rao said the government would do everything possible to improve investment and manufacturing climate in the country.

On India’s exports performance, Rao said it would be difficult to achieve $360 billion exports target in 2012-13.

India’s exports declined by 1.7 percent to $75.20 billion in the April-June 2012 quarter as compared to $76.50 billion during the corresponding period of last year, according to government data released recently.

The government has set a target of 20 percent year-on-year increase in exports. In fiscal 2011-12, India’s exports crossed $300 billion.

However, he said the government was hopeful of achieving the $500 billion export target by 2014.

“We have set ourselves an ambitious target of taking our exports to $500 billion by 2014. Though the uncertain economic climate globally, and particularly depressed demand in our traditional markets in Europe and US, are a setback, we remain hopeful of achieving our targets,” the commerce secretary said.

“This has, to an extent, been made possible by the conscious policy of market diversification that we have followed over the last decade or so,” he said.

Rao expressed concern over the high trade deficit, but said it was not possible to curb it as the deficit was largely due to high import of petroleum products.

“Our merchandise deficit is offset by the strong growth that India has registered in the export of services, which not only accounts for close to 35 percent of our total exports but has also generated a net surplus of $64 billion last year,” he said.

Services exports have registered an average annual growth of 24.8 percent over the last ten years. Net inward remittances from overseas Indians, recorded at $53 billion in 2010-2011, have also alleviated the merchandise deficit to a very large extent, the commerce secretary said.

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