Shun over-dependence on imports, certain geographies, deliver affordable products: Piyush Goyal tells industry

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NEW DELHI: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Friday asked industry to reduce over-dependence on imports, certain geographies and deliver affordable products, stating that it is good that India’s imports are behind what they were last year even as exports have revived to a large extent and the economy is recovering.

Calling upon industry to shun over-dependence on imports and certain geographies, as this leads to long-term dire consequences, Goyal exhorted them to make in India, use indigenous resources and skilled manpower, produce quality products, and use the economies of scale to deliver affordable products.

His statement comes in the wake of India imposing a slew of restrictions to contain imports from China with which it has a burgeoning trade deficit.

“Most of the markets abroad have not been able to make such a remarkable comeback…On the issue of imports, the Minister said that they are still far behind and this is a good thing,” Goyal was quoted in an official release after his virtual meeting with export promotion councils.

India’s exports in May shrank 36.47% compared to a 60% contraction in April while imports contracted 51.05% in May to from an almost 60% contraction in April.

As per an official, the reasons for low imports are stricter scrutiny of inbound shipments and malpractices such as imports under the ‘others’ category.

Goyal said that the exports, after setbacks in first two months of this financial year, due to Covid-19, are recovering fast, as the Unlock process gains and the economic activity makes a revival. He said that the data of June, 2020 will reflect the gains, with the merchandise export figures touching almost 88% of the corresponding period last year.

At the meeting, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) raised the issue of consignments stuck at the West Bengal-Bangladesh land border as drivers coming from Bangladesh have to undergo a 14-day quarantine before entering that leads to delays. The organisation also sought fast resolution of the issue of ‘risky exporters’ and immediate release of their refunds amid the liquidity crunch due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Tagged COVID-19, FIEO, imports, , piyush goyal

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