NEW DELHI: Indian exports will fall short of the envisaged target of $325 billion in the current fiscal year (FY14) though it would be more than what was achieved in the last financial year, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said.
For the April-February period, the country's merchandise exports were up 4.79 per cent at $282.7 billion. Imports during the 11-month period fell 8.65 per cent to $410.86 billion. Trade deficit during this period was at $128 billion.
In 2012-13, exports dropped 1.8 per cent to $300.4 due to the global demand slowdown.
Exports during the current financial year will touch about $312-315 billion, Rafeeq Ahmed, president of the Federation of Indian Exports Organisation (FIEO), has said.
Besides global slowdown, domestic factors like declining manufacturing growth also has impacted the exports growth, according to exporters.
Apex exporters body FIEO has suggested the government to fix exports target at least for next five years and announce some major policy decisions in the forthcoming Foreign Trade Policy for 2014-19 to boost shipment.
FIEO is working on a paper for the new policy which would include recommendations to increase exports. India's manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the index, declined by 1.6 per cent in December as against a 0.8 per cent drop in the year-ago period.
On the currency swap agreement, Sharma said that an inter-ministerial committee is examining the matter.
India is exploring possibilities of entering into currency swap agreements with trade partners to shore up exports and bring down trade deficit, which is putting pressure on the rupee.
India has signed currency swap agreements with Japan ($15 billion) and Bhutan ($100 million). China has shown active interest in entering into such an agreement with India but it is yet to be signed.
Currency swaps have emerged as an important derivative tool after the global financial crisis of 2008 to hedge the exchange rate risks.