NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu will next week review sector-specific strategies to increase India’s exports 20% this year amid an uncertain global trade environment and credit availability. The ministry has identified nine sectors, including gems & jewellery, leather, textiles, agriculture and pharmaceuticals, to drive India’s exports to $400 billion in the next five years. These sectors accounted for $242 billion or 80% of the country’s total exports of $302 billion in 2017-18.
Prabhu had earlier asked exporters to prepare action plans and develop strategies to double India’s exports by 2025 to help create jobs, bring in foreign exchange and validate India’s international competitiveness.
“The minister will review the action plans on October 1. This is in continuation of the series of meetings that he has had with export promotion councils and secretaries of line ministries concerned,” an official aware of the matter told ET on condition of anonymity.
Besides export promotion councils, the minister will separately meet officials of other departments concerned.
India’s exports grew 16% in April-August compared to that a year ago.
“Doubling exports should not be such a big challenge. However, domestic constraints such as credit need to be linked into,” said Ajay Sahai, director general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
ET had earlier reported that exporters were told not to come up with incentives related to the Merchandise Exports of India Scheme as it was under review, with the US disputing it in the World Trade Organisation.
Sector-specific strategies are necessary in view of diverse challenges such as uncertainty of global trade, rigid approach of banks which is affecting availability of credit, high logistics costs and productivity standards.
Exporters have raised concerns over the slack flow of credit to exporters, high goods and services tax on gold and strict pollution norms for chemicals, besides currency fluctuations, citing these factors as hindrances to export growth. Prabhu recently wrote to finance minister Arun Jaitley, requesting his intervention to improve bank credit flow to the export sector.