Slowdown in exports sector arrested: Anand Sharma


New Delhi : Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Monday said the sharp decline in India’s exports over the last few months has been arrested.

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“The sharp fall in the exports has been arrested. You can even see a slow revival,” Sharma told reporters here on the sidelines of a seminar on industrial productivity.

“We have gone for a diversification of the market abroad. Also, exporters are taking all efforts to revive the market,” the minister said.

India’s merchandise exports fell for the 11th straight month in August, with the value of shipments falling 19.4 percent to $14.29 billion from $17.72 billion in the like month of last year.

However, the rate of decline has come down to below 20 percent in August compared to 28-33 percent in each of the preceding four months.

According to Federation of Indian Exports, the sector would register positive growth in January.

Asked about Kerala’s criticism against a free trade agreement (FTA) the government recently signed with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the minister said: “An Empowered Group of Ministers is already looking into this issue.”

“Then what’s the need for a separate committee or a panel,” the minister asked.

Earlier Monday, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders from Kerala called on Sharma to express their concerns about the India-ASEAN trade pact.

According to the CPI-M-ruled Kerala government, the FTA would be detrimental to the state’s agricultural sector, especially to plantations.