Exports for August 2017 once again showed positive growth with 26 out of 30
major product groups in positive territory barring the labour intensive sectors
like apparel leather, gems and jewellery, said Mr Ganesh Kumar Gupta, President
Engineering goods, petroleum, organic and inorganic chemicals, marine
exports, plantations, cotton yarns, fabs and made-ups, and plastics and
linoleum were some of the sectors that contributed impressively to the positive
growth in exports during the month.
However, labour-intensive sectors such as gems and jewellery, leather,
apparel and handicrafts either posted negative growth or modest growth, which
is a worrisome sign, observed the FIEO Chief.
"While we are very encouraged by the current trend in exports, I am
worried about future growth as order booking position from October onwards is
not very encouraging in view of increasing global uncertainties, rupee
volatility and challenges in the domestic front," he said.
There was some relief to exporters in the form of reduction in GST rate on
the supply of scrips like MEIS/SEIS/DFIA from 12 per cent to 5 per cent,
decrease in threshold limit of Rs 20 lakh (Rs 10 lakh for specified states)
without registration of job worker, and formation of a Committee under the
Chairmanship of the Revenue Secretary to address the issues faced by the
exports sector. The Committee will provide an institutional mechanism to
resolve the problems of exporters, Mr Gupta said.
He added that exporters have stopped taking orders with least or no working
capital at their disposal due to blockage of funds under GST and uncertainties
looming large on refunds for the months of July to October 2017.
The FIEO President reiterated that the need of the hour was an in-depth
sectoral analysis to pinpoint the factors responsible for the decline in
certain sectors, to help all the employment-generating, small, medium and micro
He welcomed the initiative of the
new Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu to have a day-long session
with Export Promotion Councils and leading exporters soon.