$400bn exports plan to take off

The government’s ambitious $400-billion export target for the current fiscal year will roll out on Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding detailed consultations with businesses, officials and Indian missions overseas. The Centre seeks to map 200 countries and set targets for each of them as well as for various products and states that ship these goods.

“The targets have been disaggregated in three-ways — according to regions and countries, based on products and commodity groups, and according to export promotion councils. Each ambassador has been assigned a target for his territory and the Centre is working towards expanding exports across products and states. Even the smallest country is being covered,” a commerce department official said.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal is pushing for a massive 37% jump in merchandise exports at a time when global trade is recovering from the Covid blow. So far, growth has been ahead of the asking rate, with the commerce department estimating that monthly exports of $32.5 billion during the remaining nine months of the financial year will be good to see it through.

Apart from boosting employment, especially for our MSMEs and high labour-intensive sectors, exports are seen as an engine that will drive manufacturing and investment. It also ties up with the government’s call to make India a large manufacturing base, which is a critical element of the global supply chain.

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