The country's exports as well as imports are showing positive trends as the outbound shipments are approaching the last year's levels, after making a sharp dip in April this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
The minister said this during his meeting with various export promotion councils (EPCs) on September 3.
The meeting was held to discuss the issues concerning the country's global trade, ground-level situation, and problems being faced by the exporters.
On imports, Goyal said that inbound shipments of capital goods have not declined, and the reduction has been seen mainly in crude, gold and fertilisers.
He added that the trade deficit is reducing drastically and India's share in the global trade is improving due to resilient supply chains.
He also said the ministry is trying to generate more reliable and better trade data so that the nation can do better planning and frame policies accordingly.
"The country's exports as well as imports are showing positive trends. The exports are approaching the last year's levels, after making a sharp dip in April this year due to the pandemic," an official statement said on Friday quoting the minister.
Further, Goyal said 24 focus manufacturing sectors have been identified that have the potential to expand, scale up operations, improve quality, and lead enhancement of Indian share in global trade and value chain.
These sectors have capacity to do import substitution and push exports.
On the issue of recent changes in the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), the minister said that the capping of Rs 2 crore will not affect 98 per cent of the exporters who claim benefit under the scheme.
The government has already announced the Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme for exporters to replace MEIS.
This new scheme would reimburse the embedded taxes and duties already incurred by exporters.
He said that special economic zone (SEZ) issues are being taken up with the finance ministry.
In a separate statement, export promotion council for SEZs and export-oriented units (EOU) said it raised matters such as resolution of incentives under the SEIS (Service Exports from India Scheme) for the exports made during 2019-20 and this financial year.
"In order to boost domestic manufacturing and check imports, there should be exemption from five per cent health cess on medical devices manufactured in SEZ/EOU units and supplied to the domestic market," it said.
Contracting for the fifth straight month, India's exports slipped 10.21 per cent to USD 23.64 billion in July, on account of decline in the shipments of petroleum, leather and gems and jewellery items