The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said on Tuesday that the export from the country is expected to fall by 20 per cent in the current fiscal in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The outlook is "extremely negative" at the moment, and fall in export will also be accompanied by a decline in import, an official of the apex exporters' body said. "We expect that export during the current financial year is likely to fall by 20 per cent. In value terms, this will be around USD 50 to 60 billion," FIEO director general and chief executive officer Ajay Sahai said.
He, however, said there will be no significant pressure on the balance of trade as both export and import are expected to fall due to the COVID-19 outbreak. "However, this (fall in export) will put a question mark on job creation and also cause loss of jobs," Sahai told PTI.
Speaking on the stimulus package announced by the government, he said exporters need more support to improve their competitiveness in the global markets as China has started production. Sahai said, "Personally, I feel there has been not a single word on exports in the economic stimulus announced by the government. Only favour which the government has done is by extending the interest subvention scheme of MSMEs."
He said China is also giving rebates to its exporters. "Though the rupee has depreciated, it is not as sharp as what our competitors like South Korea, Turkey, Indonesia or Brazil have witnessed," he said, adding that this is putting pressure on Indian exports.
The apex body of exporters has requested the government to provide two per cent additional MEIS (Merchandise Exports from India Scheme) support to all exports and four per cent to labour-intensive sectors like apparel, leather, handicraft, carpets, marine, tea and processed food. "That is what we are looking for at the moment," he said.
Merchandise exports constitute roughly 12 per cent of India's GDP, and foreign exchange earning is around USD 320 billion, he said.