Policy-makers in the commerce and industry ministry are grappling with options to boost exports amid shrinking order books as the country copes with one of the worst slowdowns in the world economy in the last 80 years.
India’s exports is projected to decline by 15 per cent October this fiscal, for the first time in any month in five years, and likely to miss the $200 billion target for 2008-09.
Nervous exporters, smarting under severe earnings erosions last year, are struggling to ink new contracts as demand shrinks amid growing bankruptcies in the US, India’s largest export market.
According to the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) exports of readymade garments from India tumbled 6.6 per cent in September over the same period last year.
Besides falling exports, a rising import bill on the back of a widening crude oil bill arising from a falling rupee has raised concerns about a yawning trade deficit.
Oil imports during the first six months of the current fiscal year (April-September, 2008) were valued at $ 55. 06 billion, up 59.2 per cent higher from last year’s $ 34.60 billion.
The US accounted for about 13 per cent of the total Indian $158 exports in 2007-08.
India exported $158 billion worth goods last year, slightly under a third of which were to the US.