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Exports to provide 21 mn jobs: Nath

Commerce Minister said currently merchandise export activity sustains nearly 16 million jobs.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 23:26 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Commerce Minister Kamal Nath on Friday stressed the employment generation potential of the export sector, which is currently providing direct and indirect jobs to 16 million people.

Releasing a study, "Towards Employment Oriented Export Strategies: Some Explorations", by leading think-tank Research & Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), the minister said, "In all, merchandise export activity seems to sustain nearly 16 million jobs currently."

The report was released alongside the Annual Supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy (2004-09).

In his foreword to the report, Kamal Nath says: "It is only with a conscious multi-pronged, multi-dimensional effort that we can address the massive challenge of finding job opportunities for millions of our unemployed youth, and export-oriented production has a huge potential for generating jobs.

"In 2004-05, the export sector is reported to have generated incremental direct employment of 1.4 million over the previous year, bringing the total employment generated by the export sector in India to 9 million jobs, corresponding to exports amounting to nearly $80 billion achieved during the year," the minister said.

"This is besides the export-related indirect jobs created through backward linkages and in logistics and related sectors which are estimated to add up to another 6.9 million jobs," he stated.

Referring to the target of doubling exports to $150 billion by 2009-10, the report says the "achievement of this target of exports is likely to generate 13.6 million new jobs (8.16 million direct and 5.46 million indirect) in the economy in the next five years".

"If India is able to exploit export opportunities in labour intensive goods and follow labour intensive modes of production, India's merchandise exports in 2009-10 could reach $165 billion, which would generate 21 million new jobs (directly and indirectly)," the report states.

It has identified 12 export sectors: textiles and garments; leather goods; gems and jewellery; cereal exports; horticulture exports; flowers, fruits and vegetables; dairy products; processed foods; toys and sports goods; pharmaceutical industry; automobiles and auto components; consumer electronics and electronic hardware.

"The toy industry represents a classic case of a highly employment intensive industry with a sizeable international market of $80 billion where India has failed to make a mark," the report points out.

The international market of toys is dominated by China, which has a 75 per cent market share whereas India's share is an appalling 0.4 per cent.

"This is an industry where India needs to make a determined effort to enter the world market," the report states.

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 17:06 IST