Merchandise exports touch record peak of $95 bn in Q1

Despite second wave, exports rose by 47% in June

With India registering highest quarterly merchandise exports of $95 billion during the first quarter (April-June) of 2021-22, the country is now eyeing a target of $400 billion merchandise exports in the current fiscal, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

As per the official data released, the exports rose by 47.34% to $32.46 billion in June following strong growth in sectors such as engineering, gems and jewellery and petroleum products. However, India was a net importer in June 2021 with a trade deficit of $9.4 billion.

“Despite the severity of the second wave of COVID-19, highest ever merchandise export in a quarter of $95 billion has been achieved in April-June 2021, surpassing the previous record of $90 billion in January-March 2020,” the Minister said.

He added that the Commerce Ministry has decided that in collaboration with private sector, EPC, industry associations, MSME, engineering, agriculture, automobile, and steel sector, this year the country will be targeting to achieve merchandise exports of $400 billion.

The Minister said that measures such as sector specific interventions, simplification of procedures, extension of timelines and licences, had resulted in the record performance of exports. Further, Mr. Goyal said as per his discussion with stakeholders, he was confident that the services sector will achieve $350 billion exports by 2025, and may even go up to $500 billion very soon.

He also pointed out that India received the highest ever FDI inflow in 2020-21 of $81.72 billion, up 10% compared to $74.39 billion in 2019-20. “The positive momentum continues with FDI inflow of $6.24 billion during April 2021, which is 38% higher than April 2020,” he said.

Additionally, he said that the number of startups recognised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has crossed 50,000 and was spread across 623 districts in India. With these startups, nearly 1.8 lakh formal jobs have been created by over 16,000 recognised startups in 2020-21.

On remission of duties and taxes on export products, the Minister said it is at a very advanced stage of inter-ministerial discussion.

“It was a colossal task, there are about 11,000 items which need to be studied… We will shortly notify the rates. We will be very very soon coming out with more details of rates for different sectors. This is not a subsidy to any exporter, this is only a refund of taxes,” he added.

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