A vendor sorts tomatoes as he waits for customers at a vegetable market in Mumbai, India. Reuters
With India aiming to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has said that the country needs to improve the export of goods and services.
He stressed upon improving the export of goods and services.
“In agriculture, it is astonishing that 43-44 per cent labour produces 16 per cent of the GDP, whereas the export is negligible. We have tremendous demand locally and globally, but we need to unlock the growth potential,” he said.
Kumar was delivering the valedictory address at JGU’s two-day conclave on “Building a $5 Trillion Indian Economy: The Way Forward” this week.
In his inaugural address, N Sivasailam, Special Secretary (Logistics), Ministry of Commerce and Industry stressed upon the need to create long-term funding sources through institutional development, instead of depending on commercial banks for building the country’s infrastructure.
Speaking on the current economic slowdown, Sivasailam described the economy as a “riding a tiger from which we can’t get off”.
The Indian government has put out a bold vision of creating a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
To nearly double the economy in six years will require significant industrial growth coupled with access to infrastructure funds, financial inclusion of a broader section of society, adoption of emerging technologies, and smart trade policies, the experts said.
“There is a need to radically reimagine our knowledge system, including our universities, which I believe are the heartbeat of the future of building a $5 trillion economy,” said Professor C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice Chancellor, JGU.
The conclave witnessed a number of interesting sessions with policy makers, industry experts, economists, financial experts, law practitioners, academicians discussing the prospects of growth, and global economic and financial issues affecting the Indian economy.
Meanwhile as per the data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, August exports went down to $26.13 billion from $27.81 billion reported for the corresponding period of the previous year.
However, on a sequential basis, exports during the month under review was marginally lower from $26.33 billion worth of merchandises that were shipped out in July 2019.
“Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports in August 2019 were $19.60 billion, as compared to $20.76 billion in August 2018, exhibiting a negative growth of 5.61 per cent,” the ministry said in a statement.
On the other hand, imports declined by 13.45 per cent to $39.58 billion in August from $45.73 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2018.
“Oil imports in August 2019 were $10.88 billion, which was 8.90 per cent lower in dollar terms, compared to $11.94 billion in August 2018,” the ministry said.
“Non-oil imports in August 2019 were estimated at $28.71 billion, which was 15.05 per cent lower in dollar terms, compared to $33.79 billion in August 2018,” it added.
According to the ministry data, non-oil and non-gold imports declined by 9.33 per cent to $27.34 billion in August 2019 from $30.15 billion in August 2018.
Consequently, the trade deficit in August narrowed to $13.45 billion as against the deficit of $17.92 billion in the corresponding period of 2018.
“A sharp contraction in gold as well as non-oil, non-gold merchandise imports led to considerable shrinking of merchandise trade deficit in August 2019. The de-growth in gold imports is unsurprising in the light of the recent spike in prices of the precious metal, which has contributed to the contraction in imports of stones and precious metals as well. Such imports may revive to some extent in the festive season,” said Aditi Nayar, Principal economist, ICRA.
“The decline in non-oil, non gold imports in August, led by sectors such as transport equipment, machinery, coal and chemicals, provides a cautionary signal regarding the strength of underlying economic activity,” Nayar added.
According to Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, FIEO, contraction in exports is a reflection of uncertainties, sluggish global demand and rising tariff war.
“The softening of crude, steel and other commodities prices also pulled down exports. Only 8 out of 30 major product groups were in positive territory during August 2019. Rest all major sectors of exports, including almost all labour-intensive sectors of exports besides petroleum, were in the negative showing such a decelerating trend,” Saraf was quoted as saying in a statement.
Indo-Asian News Service