CHENNAI: Despite the appreciation of the rupee against the dollar, the demand for Indian goods has not come down, M. Saikumar, Zonal Joint Director-General of Foreign Trade, Chennai, said Tuesday.
“There has been no negative growth, and we are on the forward track,” he said, delivering the inaugural address at a seminar on ‘US dollar fluctuations and Indian exports- the road ahead’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and State Bank of India.
“In the long term, the rupee appreciation will pay rich dividends and help Indian exporters as technology upgrade is happening thanks to the availability of cheaper inputs and imported goods,” he said. In the southern region, he said, several clusters had been formed the in leather, textile, handicrafts and apparel sectors to help workers. There was a slight dip in their profits. Job losses had occurred in the unorganised sector, and not in the organised sector. The rupee had been on the rise since 2003-2004. But it was impracticable to adopt two sets of exchange rate as sought by exporters to minimise the impact. Besides, Mr. Saikumar said, it was not possible for them to switch to other currencies, as 87 per cent of the exports and 86 per cent of the imports were dollar-based. It was time to address issues such as the cost of funds, procedural bottlenecks, transaction costs and infrastructure problems.
FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council chairman M. Rafeeque Ahmed spoke.