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Jul 12, 2012, 08.43 PM IST
India's exports have declined by about two per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year, as demand for merchandise slowed in the western markets.
"Overall, my information is for the quarter of April-June, the decline will definitely be less than two per cent," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters here today.
A senior Commerce Ministry official is expected to release the export figures for June and the first quarter tomorrow.
The export shipments for the April-June quarter in 2011-12 were USD 77 billion.
Sharma said the government has already taken some steps to help exporters and the drop in the shipments is "manageable". He said the benefits of some incentives announced in the annual supplement of the foreign trade policy would "kick in".
Further, senior officials of the Commerce Ministry, including the Commerce Secretary and the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) would visit different centres in the country from where exports take place.
"Senior officials will be visiting the locations from where the exports are taking place to see that how we can ensure that smooth transactions are there, and hurdles if any, are removed, because, sometimes delays and transaction cost lag make our exports less competitive," he said.
The export shipments in April-May of 2012-13 total 50.13 billion. The government is looking at exports of USD 360 billion in the current fiscal against USD 303 billion in 2011-12.
Expressing concern over deceleration of annual industrial growth in May he said "we will urge the RBI to revisit this issue (interest rates) to ensure that capital is available to the industry .. given the slowdown there is every justification to ensure that Indian industry remains competitive and the manufacturing grows".
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