The Statesman/Asia News Network
NEW DELHI — Hitting a two-year low, the country’s export growth during November 2011 logged an increase of just 3.87 percent over the same month in 2010 to US$22.32 billion. The poor performance is being attributed to the weak demand in the traditional markets such as the European Union and the U.S. Imports in the month rose 25.55 percent to US$35.92 billion, leaving a trade gap of US$13.6 billion, according to the data released by the commerce ministry here today. However, shipments during April-November 2011 grew by a robust 33.21 percent to US$192.7 billion, while imports during the period jumped by 30.2 percent to US$309.53 billion. This resulted in the trade deficit widening to US$116.8 billion during April-November 2011, from US$93 billion during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. The government is concerned over the rising trade deficit as the difference between exports and imports is expected to be as high as US$155-US$160 billion by the end of this fiscal. Oil imports during November were up 32.28 percent to US$10.3 billion, while imports of the commodity during April-November 2011 grew 42.67 percent to US$94.11 billion. Non-oil imports (including capital goods) in November were US$25.61 billion, recording a 21.69 percent increase, while during April-November 2011 they were to the tune of US$215.41 billion, up 25.46 percent. Commenting on the data, Ramu S Deora, president of the Federation of Indian Exporter Organizations, maintained that despite all odds and the dismal global situation, exports would touch US$275 billion by this fiscal year-end. “To boost exports and arrest the trade deficit, the government should provide export finance at concessional rate of not more than 7 percent for small and medium export segment and 9 percent for large business houses,” he demanded.