Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on Friday, termed the current exports scenario as ‘disturbing and challenging’ and added that it would not be possible to even match last year’s exports figure of $306 billion.

The government had set an exports target of $360 billion for 2012-13 but gloomy global economic conditions have made it unmanageable . “India's exports may not be able to reach even last year's level of about $306 billion, and the trade deficit is likely to widen between a whopping $193 and $196 billion in the current fiscal. This is not a small number and that is where the crisis is. Therefore, every institution must ensure faster movement ,” Mr. Sharma said after the meeting of the Board of Trade held here. The meeting is part of the run up to the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) that is likely to be announced in the first week of April.

Mr. Sharma said that, given the present economic scenario, it was difficult to make some kind of intervention or to work out stimulus packages. “Given that there has been a downturn, resource availability also stands constrained. We have reached out to new shores in Africa, Latin America and the Far East, and have progressively expanded our footprints in these parts of the world. The results of these efforts are clearly visible,” he added.    

Referring to the interest subvention issue, the Commerce and Industry Minister said that it was being provided to all the small and medium enteprises.

“We are seriously considering how to strengthen it more,” he added. On the issue of container availability and movement, he said that the Ministry would like the industry to guide them so that they could put in place at least one major institute which could also add to the container capacity.

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