In the FY14 annual supplement of Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014 announced today, commerce minister Anand Sharma said trade deficit had widened to USD 190.91 billion in the fiscal year 2013 versus 183.4 billion in the previous year.
Exports for the year fell to 1.76 percent to USD 300.6 billion. However, Sharma stressed that exports will play the lead role in stabilizing India’s current account deficit. The April-February trade deficit figure stands at USD 182 billion. Exports in March stood at USD 30.8 billion compared to USD 28.8 billion in the same month of previous year. Imports dipped by 2.87 per cent to USD 41.16 billion in March, leaving a trade deficit of USD 10.31 billion from USD 13.5 billion in March last year.
Since global economy continues to see downward growth, thrust on value added exports will increase. India has become the largest exporter of wheat and rice. He said trade negotiations are on with many countries and an EU-India trade pact is expected to have a meaningful conclusion soon.
Following are the highligts of the announcement:
- Zero duty EPCG scheme to be available to all sectors
- Norway added to `Under Focus' market scheme, total No. at 125
- 126 engineering products included in Focus Product Scheme
- FY13 exports via SEZ scheme increased by 31%
- Multi-purpose SEZ space reduced to 500 vs 1000 hectare earlier
- Specific sector SEZ space reduced to 50 vs 100 hectare
- 2% interest subvention extended to textile sector, more engg goods
- Ownership transfer of SEZ units allowed
- Incremental exports schemes to be extended to 53 more nations