Government may extend sops for exporters


New Delhi : The Indian government may extend sops for the exporters who are still reeling under the impact of the global meltdown, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma hinted here Thursday.

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Releasing the annual trade data, Sharma said, “Some sectors continue to be hurt badly like engineering, electronic goods, handicrafts and carpets. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade along with commerce ministry officials will do the sectoral reviews to find out whether more steps are needed to be taken for the sectors that are getting hurt. The review will be completed by July.”

India’s merchandise exports grew a healthy 54 percent in March to $19.9 billion, but the value of the outward shipments dipped 4.7 percent to $176.5 billion for 2009-10, mainly due to the global meltdown.

The exports in March 2009 stood at $12.9 billion and in 2008-09 at $185.3 billion.

The exports were in the red for 13 successive months, starting October 2008. They started turning positive in November 2009.

On the exports front, the sectors which were in the red included engineering, electronics, handicrafts, carpets and cotton yarn, while the sectors which posted a positive growth in 2009-10 included marine products, iron ore, tea, tobacco, fruits and vegetables and man-made fibre.

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said the “looming economic crisis” in Europe and the contraction in exports from certain sectors may have adverse impact on exports in the coming months.

“They (exports) are not yet out of the woods,” he said.

The government has set a target of $200 billion-worth merchandise exports for 2010-11, the minister said, adding that India wants to double its exports by 2014 from the current levels.