Reacting to the April 2018 ex-im trade data, Mr Ganesh Kumar Gupta, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, commented that the exports data is not encouraging with almost all the labour-intensive sectors such as gems and jewellery, leather and leather products, RMG of all textiles, jute manufacturing, including floor coverings, carpets, handicrafts, agri products and many other sectors dominated by MSMEs in negative territory. These sectors still face the problem of liquidity as banks and lending agencies have continuously been tightening their lending norms. Besides, the flow of GST refunds has slowed down, which does not augur well for exports in the new fiscal.
The President FIEO added that the overall cushion provided by the petroleum sector to exports in recent months was also not available in April as the exports declined by 4.5 per cent.
He also expressed concern on the rising trade deficit primarily on account of the swelling crude imports bill with further northward movement of prices, which may add to inflationary pressures.
Only 16 of the 30 major product groups were in positive territory in April 2018 with engineering, organic and inorganic chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals, cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, electronic goods, plastic and linoleum and rice showing noteworthy exports growth.
Mr Gupta said that domestic issues including access to credit, cost of credit, especially for MSMEs, and the pending GST refunds that are affecting exports should be seriously looked into as global challenges and increasing protectionism have also added to the woes of exporters, as per a release.