Government Says Some Export Sectors Doing Well Despite Global Headwinds

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New Delhi: Expressing confidence that impact of government initiatives to boost shipments will be visible soon, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that some export sectors have done well despite global headwinds.

“In spite of the headwinds, there are some sectors definitely performing. So the story is a mixed story. Month-on-month figures may talk about exports falling, but the story is not across the board. Some sectors are still managing to keep their growth story going,” the minister told PTI.

The minister said depreciation of the currencies is also impacting exports.

“It is not just rupee versus dollar… every currency opposite us is depreciating. As a result, you really suffer. And if your crude and commodity prices have fallen, currencies are devaluing, your exports quantum may remain the same but your realisations suffer,” Ms Sitharaman added.

Sectors which are recording healthy growth include pharmaceuticals, plastic and linoleum and handicrafts. She further said that steps announced by the government to boost exports “do take time to yield results”.

“There is a time lag between the decision taking time of the government and the results showing time at the ground. Last September, we came up with two major schemes… you need at least six months to gauge the impact,” she said.

Ms Sitharaman added that both – 3 per cent interest subsidy scheme and extension of duty benefits under Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) – have been just launched late last year.

“By the time the rules and the money and everything goes through the bank, it does take a bit of a time. And for us to measure what impact does it have, it will take a while,” she said.

Falling for the 15th month in a row, exports dipped 5.66 per cent in February to $20.73 billion due to contraction in shipments of petroleum and engineering goods amid tepid global demand.

Trade deficit, however, fell to near five-year low of $6.54 billion during February as imports too slowed down.