At a meeting called by the commerce department, they said products that rely on imports have been affected by the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) has asked the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) to review existing insurance products to ensure risk cover against loss because of abnormal delay in delivery of shipments. Irdai has also been asked to modify the terms and conditions of such policies, if necessary.
Ravi Sehgal, chairman of Engineering Export Promotion Council, said there were about 30-40 per cent engineering products that were seeing increase in exports, but there were others that had imported components, and these were affected. Shipments to Iran, Italy or Southeast Asia were impacted, he said.
Sources said that for auto parts, ships were taking too long and this was affecting the production cycle, and the industry would have to spend more on air freight. “We have sought 5 per cent duty reduction to offset part of air freight cost. As for electronics, the stock will be depleted by April and a plan needs to be drawn up now,” one of those who attended the meeting, chaired by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash, said.
Sources said some firms had imported plant and machinery but could install these because of a lack of professionals thanks to travel restrictions. “Once it resumes, we request faster clearance for these professionals,” one person said.
Meanwhile, DFS advised all public sector undertakings to set up special cells to provide full assistance to industry segments and micro, small and medium enterprises and process their requests with sensitivity. Banks were also requested to provide support to units that were identifying opportunities for import substitution.