New Delhi: Reacting to the highest-ever double-digit decline in monthly exports during March by 34.57 per cent at USD 21.41 billion, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president Sharad Kumar Saraf on Wednesday said the spread of covid-19 across the globe has not only pulled down the world sentiment to its lowest but has also affected the global supply chain and brought economies in recessionary condition.
The FIEO chief said that at least during the first quarter of the current financial year 2020-21, the sector will see a similar growth trend, which will be a global trend.
However, from the second quarter of the fiscal, exports may start showing nominal growth depending on the condition evolving in the international market.
Further with major global players including China, the US, economies of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Russia, Gulf countries facing the brunt as oil and other commodity prices have drastically declined during recent days, the short-term perspective of the exports sector looks grim, he said.
Saraf said that 29 out of the 30 major product groups were in negative territory during March 2020 except for iron-ore.
A similar trend was also observed in the annual figures of 30 major product groups, where 22 out of the 30 major product groups were in negative territory.
Further imports of USD 31.16 billion with a very high double-digit decline of 28.72 per cent during the month and an annual dip of 9.12 per cent has come as a relief both on the trade balance and current account deficit front.
Saraf reiterated that with the cancellation of over 50 per cent of orders, gloomy forecast, major job losses and rising NPAs amongst exporting units, the FIEO urges the Central government to immediately announce a relief package for exports as any further delay would be catastrophic.
Covid-19 interest-free working capital term loan to exporters to cover the cost of wages, rent and utilities, EPF and ESIC waiver for 3 months from March to May 2020 and Extension of Pre and Post shipment credit by 90-180 days on their maturity is a much-needed, he said....