Economic Survey 2013: Urgent attention requires on infra, taxes to boost exports

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India's exports entered the positive zone after a gap of eight months. (Reuters) India's exports entered the positive zone after a gap of eight months. (Reuters)
SummaryIndia's exports entered the positive zone after a gap of eight months.

reposition itself in its traditional areas of strength like textiles and leather manufactures where it has lost considerable ground," it said.

The survey called for forays into new areas to boost India's exports as the prospects for world trade and India's trade are still uncertain.

"Some green shoots seem to have appeared with the import growth rates of the world and some of India's important trading partners like the USA, China, and Hong Kong showing slight upward movement in the last two months," it said.

It also said that with multi-lateral trade negotiations stalled and regional trade agreements (RTAs) on the rise, India has to follow a strategic regional trading policy

focusing on the potential technology-intensive items.

According to the survey, India may have to bargain more in its regional trade negotiations, particularly in cases where livelihood concerns of large pockets of the population are involved.

Further it said there is a need to address the inverted duty structure in sectors like electronics, textiles, and chemicals and the artificial inverted duty structure caused by

some FTAs.

Inverted duty structure impacts the domestic industry adversely as it has to pay a higher price for raw material in terms of duty, while the finished product lands at lower duty and costs low.

On the services front, a gold mine of opportunity in sectors like tourism, including health tourism, is waiting to be tapped, it added.

On imports, it said while the US' and Japan's imports from India grew by 12.6 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively, in 2012 (January-November), China's and Hong Kong's imports from India fell by 19.6 per cent and 17.9 per cent, respectively, in 2012.

On gold imports, it said the rise in imports of gold is one of the factors contributing to India's high trade deficit and CAD in 2011-12, forming 30 per cent of its trade deficit.

At 10 per cent in 2011-12, India's trade deficit as a per cent of GDP is one of the highest in the world.

Trade deficit reached a peak of USD 184.6 billion in 2011-12 from USD 118.6 billion in 2010-11 with the highest growth of 55.6 per cent since 1950-51.

"Moderate export growth and high import growth, particularly in POL (oil) imports due to high prices and high gold and silver imports, led to the highest-ever trade deficit in India since 1950-51, contributing to a high current account deficit (CAD) of 4.2 per cent of GDP," it said.

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