Seeking to push ahead with the reforms agenda that could be achieved through the administrative order route, the Government will in the next 3 to 4 weeks, announce some major initiatives to boost investor sentiment and push exports to uplift the sagging economic mood. .
The Government has set a $360 billion target because of global economic uncertainties but that looks tough in view of the continued slowdown in the economy and growth of exports. ``I am sure that the government is taking proactive steps. In the next 3-4 weeks, I expect significant policy announcements which should encourage our industry, our exports,’’ Commerce Secretary, S.R. Rao said at a summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CCI) on ``Repositioning in the Emerging Global Value Chain.’’
Mr. Rao said global trade is shrinking and countries such as China, US, Japan and EU are not showing signs of improvement. These are the major destinations for Indian exporters. Keeping this in mind, it would be difficult to achieve the $360 billion target of exports for this fiscal. ``Proper cooperation between Indian entrepreneurship and the government could help in achieving the exports target. I am sure that the government will do everything to improve the investment and manufacturing climate in the country,’’ Mr. Rao added.
India's exports during the April-July period shrunk by 5.06 per cent to $ 80.4 billion. Industrial output in the April-June quarter too contracted by 0.1 per cent this fiscal.
Mr. Rao was of the view that cost of credit was a great worry at the current moment. Asking exporters to explore more and more new markets like in Latin America, Africa and CIS region, Mr. Rao said the market diversification scheme for exports has already yielded positive results.
On free trade agreements (FTAs), the secretary said that India has already concluded 10 such pacts and is negotiating 17 more. ``FTA's are going to influence the business of imports and exports. We need to work on production levels to realise the potential of FTAs,’’ he said. India has operationalised FTAs with Malaysia, ASEAN, South Korea and Japan. Currently, the country is negotiating an ambitious comprehensive free trade pact with EU.
In his theme address, CII president and chairman Godrej Group, Adi Godrej, said India needs to expand its manufacturing exports, take advantage of opportunities that arise because of the changing landscape, such as the possibility of supply chains currently based in China being relocated, and find ways to integrate itself more effectively in the new value chain. ``Early implementation of GST and NMP, and improvement in logistics would be critical factors in accelerating growth,’’ he added.