The fall in exports has been arrested and its growth is expected to be slow but steady in the coming months, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.
“At the moment, the fall is arrested (and it) is very clear. The growth is happening. We will only be looking at the steady growth. It may be slow but steady” she told reporters here.
She said this in a reply to a question on outlook for exports in the coming months.
Contracting for the second month in a row, India’s exports dipped 0.3 per cent to $21.51 billion owing to decline in shipments of products like petroleum and leather.
Exports were in negative zone between December 2014 and May 2016 due to weak global demand and slide in oil prices. Shipments witnessed growth only in June this year thereafter again entered into negative zone in July.
Meanwhile the minister also launched a dashboard on foreign trade data.
“This has everything to do with exports and imports. What is the global position and which country is buying from India, every data in exports and imports from ports to geographical areas are there,” she said.
This is part of the initiative of the ministry to provide easy access to the public with regard to India’s export, import and balance of trade data in an analytical format, over time and space.
She said technology will be used for transparent decision making and reaching out to people using real time data.
The detailed data would help user to inspect the trade that happens between India and a particular country, zoom into the activities of a particular port and reflect trade pattern over any months of the user’s choice.
Through this, countries can be sorted by import value and the corresponding value of export trade.
The commerce ministry in a statement said that digitisation of the government records and data analytics is crucial for fast and effective evidence based planning and policy evaluation.
The dashboard would provide an enabling environment to importers and exporters to identify and access global trade opportunities based on reliable and updated information, directly accessible to the public through government sources.
The Commerce and Industry Minister further said that currently there is a one month time lag in releasing of trade data as certain ports are sending the data manually.
“Many ports are yet to be digitised… It (data) has a time lag but sooner we will have the data on a real time basis,” Sitharaman said adding that it would also help in decision making process.
The new dashboard will help potential exporters, current exports and importers, export promotion councils and researchers and analysts, she added.
At the moment, the past two year data is available on the dashboard.
DGFT Anup Wadhawan said: “We are attempting to address that time lag and we hope to eventually graduate as all our ports become EDI (electronic data interchange).”
When asked about the report of some hacking into the customs network and misuse of schemes, he said: “Some stray incidents which have been reported and the Icegate authorities are looking into that”.
He also said that bulk of India’s export and imports are coming through EDI ports.
Talking about the government e-market (GeM) place, Sitharaman said government buyers will benefit from this transparent process.
“Today over 26 items are already on the GeM, we hope that by March 2017, over 100 such commodities which are bought (by government departments) to be done in a transparent manner,” she said.