With increasing volatility in Rupee and strengthening of steel price, engineering exports from West Bengal face threats that may have fallout on thousands of local employment. “Rupee getting stronger day by day and steel prices rising since protections, both hurting engineering exports and Bengal industry is suffering,” Bharat Chamber of Commerce president and engineering manufacturer cum exporter, Rakesh Shah told PTI. He said that the impact of rising steel price on engineering export of around USD 5 billion from this part of the country was high due to lower value addition like sanitary casting.
On top of these, the ‘Made in USA’ push was also going to eat into existing export pie, Shah said. “In the last one year, exports are down by 10-12 per cent. “If Rupee and other factors do not ease out, we face further slide that will definitely hurt local employment,” Shah, also former chairman of Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC), said.
In Bengal, most of the units are in MSME sector and direct employment runs into thousands. EEPC had said that there should be a price reimbursement scheme for domestic exporters and the Duty Free Import Authorization Scheme (DFIA) should allow imports of steel without paying any duty including anti-dumping or safeguard duty.