Even India’s Export Hit Record US $331 Billion, Trade Deficit At Its Worst
The data released by the Commerce and Industry ministry claims that the country’s exports have hit a record high of US $331 billion in the last financial year 2018-2019. According to The Times of India report, it has surpassed the country’s previous export peak which was the US $314.4 billion under the UPA regime. During the UPA-2 regime, the export grew by 126%, while in the current government it rose merely by 11%.
The month of March saw the highest number of outbound trade clocked at US $32.55 billion, an 11% high in the last five months. However, the current export rate still fails to touch the US$350 billion – the internal target set by the government.
“Through secular growth over the last three financial years, following the major downturn in the face of the global slowdown, merchandise exports for 2018-19 are estimated at $331.02 billion, the highest ever, surpassing the earlier peak of $314.4 billion achieved in 2013-14. This has been achieved in a challenging global environment,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.
What helped the country to achieve this figure is the significant growth in the exports of petroleum products (28%), chemicals (22.6%), pharma (11%), and electronics (39%). Notably, the current government has aided the country’s exports to be above US $300 billion for two consecutive financial years. In the financial year of 2017-2018, the exports stood at US $303.52 billion.
Despite the success, trade deficit widened
The government is failing to address the significant increase in the imports rate which is widening the trade deficit. For the financial year 2017-18, the imports were US $465.6 bn leading to a trade deficit of US $162.1 bn. Whereas, for the last financial year, the import shot up to US$507.4 bn, resulting in a trade deficit of US$176.4 bn.
The commerce ministry in a statement has said that the government has revived the export rate and have toppled the last best export rate – referring to the UPA govt’s regime. “This has been achieved in a challenging global environment,” said the ministry.
Mohit Sangla, the president of Trade Promotion Council of India on the rising exports said that the current government will certainly find a better way to renew its focus in the exporting sector. It further suggested that the government should break free from traditional items to achieve new heights.