To cut trade gap, exports need more boost: FIEO chief

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Exports in the first four months of this fiscal (April-July) have jumped by $10 billion every month to hit $26-27 billion but exporters continue to face several challenges.

Talking to Business Line, Mr Ramu S. Deora, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), said that the 81 per cent export growth in July was “a measure of amazing entrepreneurship of Indian exporters coupled with their aggressive aim to diversify both at the product and country level, underpinned by the government through market-linked spurs”.

However, imports too have been growing with a trade deficit at $42.7 billion in the first four months, presaging a huge gap of $125 billion for the year. Hence, he said, the government must give further booster doses to exports to bridge the bulging trade deficit.

The continued wobbly recovery of India's major markets — the US and the European Union (EU) — the sustained hike in interest costs to exporters and the uncertainty over the continuation of the DEPB scheme have worsened the woes of exporters, he added. 

Mr Deora hoped the FIEO appeal to the Empowered Committee for ab initiowaiver of the service tax for 17 export-related services will be incorporated in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout. This would improve the competitiveness of Indian exporters.

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