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‘Improvement in export ratio despite slump in industrial production’: Commerce Secretary

New Delhi, Nov. 12 (ANI): Commerce Secretary S.R. Rao on Monday said that the country’s export ratio has slightly improved despite the latest IIP (Index of Industrial Production) data suggesting exports falling by 1.6 percent for the sixth month in a row.

Rao said that the Commerce Ministry has asked for an in depth review of the performance of various sectors.

“In the current financial year, our export performance has slightly improved with the results that have come in for the month of October. So far as compared to the same period, that is April to October, the previous year’s performance with the current year’s performance were down by 1.6 percent,” he said.

Rao also said that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade would conclude its detailed analysis of various export sectors in the next two days, which will be presented to the Commerce Minister.

“Our Director General of Foreign Trade has been having extensive consultations with the relevant stakeholders. This exercise is due to be completed in the next two days and with proper analysis we will be going back to the government, that is our CIM (Commerce and Industry Ministry) for taking a proper call whether there is a requirement of fine tuning the annual supplement that was released in the current year, and what specific steps the government needs to take for ensuring export performance is improved, and trade deficit is curtailed,” he said.

Trade experts, however, looked worried about the current situation in the market.

“On one hand, we are talking about the economy going in positive, because already the GDP growth is quite low. The GDP growth has been 5.25 percent, 5.5 percent. At this time what was very pertinent, what was very important for us is that the IIP should have been in positive and it should have been high,” said Aakadh Jindal, a trade expert.

“So ultimately the GDP should have been in some reasonable, or I will say, a good number. But this IIP, I think, the expectations from GDP are getting lower,” he added.

Jindal also added here that the government would have to take some definite steps so that the IIP ratings of the country’s economy can be boosted.

Industrial production contracted by 0.4 per cent in September due to dismal show by manufacturing sector and decline in consumer as well as capital goods output.

Growth in overall factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was 2.5 percent in September last year.

Industrial output in the April-September period this fiscal was 1 per cent, down from 5.1 per cent in the same period in 2011-12, according to the official data released on Monday. (ANI)