10-mn job loss feared in export sector by March (Lead)

January 6th, 2009 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) The Indian export sector will lose nearly 10 million jobs by March following cancelled orders and higher transaction costs, a top official of an Indian exporters’ forum said here Tuesday.”This year is already bad for exporters and the next fiscal is only going to be worse. Exporters don’t have orders beyond January. The sector has already lost a million jobs and if the present trend continues, there will be approximately 10 million job losses in the export sector in India between now and March,” A. Sakthivel, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), told reporters.

“About 20 percent of the job loss will be in Tirupur, which accounts for Rs.12,000 crore (Rs.120 billion) of exports,” Saktivel added.

The export sector at present roughly employs 150 million people directly and indirectly.

“Fresh orders are drying up due to lower demand. Buyers are cancelling orders or rescheduling shipments. Apart from that, China’s price competitiveness is eating into Indian exports. Buyers are now also asking us to reduce prices even for already executed contracts,” Saktivel added.

According to him, Indian exporters also losing orders to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

India’s export figures already fell for the second successive month in November, and it is feared the country will miss its export target of $200 billion this fiscal.

Even if the country achieves exports of $170 billion, it should consider itself lucky, Saktivel said, adding: “And the picture will be gloomier next year as Indian exports will not exceed $160 billion, given the current economic scenario.”

“The fiscal stimulus announced by the government recently had all the necessary sops for the real estate and automobile sector, but the export sector was given a step-motherly treatment with only 2 percent subvention being offered,” said Saktivel.

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