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Exporters fear 1 cr job losses by March

About one crore people employed in the country’s export sector are in danger of losing their jobs if fiscal steps are not taken urgently, the sector’s apex industry association said on Tuesday.

business Updated: Jan 06, 2009 21:52 IST
HT Correspondent

About one crore people employed in the country’s export sector are in danger of losing their jobs if fiscal steps are not taken urgently, the sector’s apex industry association said on Tuesday.

“There will be 10 million job losses by March,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president A Sakthivel said on Tuesday.

India’s exports contracted for second successive month plunging by 9.9 per cent in November as policy makers with grope for options to sustain growth amid the worst slowdown in the world economy in the last 80 years.

Nervous exporters are struggling to ink new contracts as demand shrinks following growing bankruptcies in the US — India’s largest export market. India exported goods worth $158 billion in 2007-08, but appears unlikely to meet this year’s target of $200 billion.

“The decline in overall export growth require concerted efforts on the part of exporters as well as the government,” said Sakthivel.

India’s exports, which account for about 20 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product, are a highly labour-intensive activity, employing 150 million people. Those in the handicrafts, textiles, knitwear, leather, and gem and jewellery sectors are likely to be the worst affected.

“I can safely say that negative growth trends will continue in December and in the next couple of months. I hope we will end the fiscal with exports of about $175-180 billion,” Sakthivel said.

“With the financial crisis in the US feeding into the real economy, the US economy is inexorably headed towards a slowdown. It is expected that the situation will begin to normalise only after 18-24 months,” said Kaushal Sampat, chief operating officer of data analytics and consulting firm Dun & Bradstreet.