Order books encouraging, expect healthy growth rate: Exporters

New Delhi, May 03 (PTI): Indian exporters are expecting continuous growth in the country’s outbound shipments despite increase in COVID-19 cases as their order books are encouraging and there is a pick-up in demand in rich markets.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President SK Saraf said that in most of the states , manufacturing and exports related services have been exempted from the restrictions and inter-state movement of cargo is permitted by the central government.
“However, a pandemic of such magnitude does cause disruptions since various stakeholders are not operating with full manpower including the industry. We expect the peak to come before mid-May and the situation should improve thereafter. With such assumptions, we expect exports to continue on the growth trajectory as the order booking position of exporters is very encouraging,” he said.
He also said that exporters are better equipped to deal with the situation with lockdown and shut down this time.
When asked about buyers demand for quick delivery of consignments, he said majority of buyers are more understanding and accommodating as they have also gone through or going through similar challenges and they have extended the delivery period with mutual agreement.
Seeking government intervention, Saraf said the government should open the filing facility for the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for 2020-21 (upto December, 2020), and Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) facility.
Sharing similar views, Ludhiana-based Hand Tools Association President S C Ralhan said that in the engineering sector, the order books are good and demand is picking up in the US and Europe.
“In the sector, the government should promote exports of manufactured and value-added goods. Key raw materials should not be encouraged for exports,” Ralhan said.
He added that the government should not curtail economic activities in the name of containing COVID-19 cases as it would impact migrant labours.
Apparel Export Promotion Council of India (PTI) Chairman A Sakthivel said that all the states have agreed for functioning of export units and the sector is not facing any kind of labour shortage.
“The order books are looking better. We need government support to further push the exports and they should not go for nation-wide lockdown,” he added.
India’s exports in April jumped nearly three-fold to USD 30.21 billion on account of healthy growth in key sectors including engineering, gems and jewellery and petroleum products, even as trade deficit widened to USD 15.24 billion, according to the commerce ministry’s preliminary data.

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