Centre to announce new package of sops this week

Concerned over the declining exports for the seventh consecutive month, Commerce Secretary S. R. Rao, on Tuesday, announced that the government would announce a new package of sops for the exporting community by the end of this week.

“Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will be announcing a new package for boosting exports by the end of this week. There has been a slight improvement in exports and the government will give a boost for the last quarter to post a good growth,” he told reporters here.

Exports continued the declining trend and registered a 4.17 per cent dip at $22.3 billion during November. These stood at $23.2 billion in the year-ago period. However, imports grew by 6.35 per cent to $41.5 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $19.28 billion. During April-November this fiscal, shipments have shrunk by 5.95 per cent to $189.2 billion.

Mr. Rao said although shipments were declining, the contraction had been slightly checked during the first eight months of the fiscal. During April-October, exports were down by 6.18 per cent. He hoped that in the last quarter of the fiscal (January-March), the export performance would pick up.

The Commerce Secretary said the continuous rise in crude oil imports had pushed the import bill to $318.7 billion during April-November 2012. “What is most distressing is increased demand in petroleum products. Crude oil imports continue to be very high. It is a cause of worry as it impacts current account deficit,” he added. Oil imports in November increased by 16.7 per cent year-on-year to $14.5 billion. Non-oil imports grew by 1.5 per cent to $27 billion.

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