India’s export touches record $418 billion in 2021-22: Minister - GulfToday

India’s export touches record $418 billion in 2021-22: Minister

A labourer carries a sack filled with sugar to load it onto a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata.  File/Reuters

A labourer carries a sack filled with sugar to load it onto a supply truck at a wholesale market in Kolkata. File/Reuters

India’s exports touched a record high of $418 billion in 2021-22, Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.

“In March, India’s exports touched around $40 billion which is itself a record as we have never bagged such a huge amount from exports in a month ever before,” he added.

Addressing a media briefing here, Goyal said that during 2021-22, $30 billion export was recorded on a monthly basis, and this was despite the second and third wave of Coronavirus pandemic hitting the country hard.

The engineering goods exports hit a record $111 billion, of which about $16 billion worth goods were shipped to the US alone.

“Our MSME sector, farmers, everybody together took India to new heights successfully,” Goyal said.

Mentioning about ‘RRR’ film, the Union Minister said it has been learnt that the film has done the highest-ever business of Rs750 crore in the history of Indian cinema.

Goyal said that similarly, Indian economy is also ready to break all records and the country has the capability to achieve impossible targets.

“The growth has occurred in sectors that has smaller enterprises and involves the agriculture sector. I congratulate the farmers for raising the agricultural produce. Wheat exports have grown from 2 lakh tonnes in 2019-20 to 21.55 lakh tonnes last year and to over 70 lakh tonnes in 2021-22,” the Commerce Minister said.

Similar growth has been recorded in jute products, textiles, leather, gems and jewellery and other labour intensive sectors.

“We will continue to work hard to enhance the capacity of MSMEs and farm sector to raise exports and create jobs,” he added.

Separately, Tiruppur Exporters Association (TEA) president Raja A. Shanmugham has said that the industry which is often referred to as the hosiery capital of South India and the Manchester of South is facing an acute crisis.

He said that the heavy increase in raw cotton prices had already affected the BUSINESS and now the Russia-Ukraine war has taken the business to a new low.

Shanmugham, who is himself exporting to Europe, said that the market was slowly recovering from the Covid-19 crisis and they hope that the war will be over and prices of raw cotton will come down so that the industry gets back to normal providing employment to 6 lakh labourers and earning huge foreign exchange for the country.

The industry has a projected revenue of Rs 33,000 crore from the export business and Rs32,000 crore from the domestic market with a total market cap of Rs65,000 crore. He said that unless the government supports the exporting units and strictly monitors the raw cotton pricing, the industry will face the heat even after the war between Ukraine and Russia ends.

India and Australia signed an interim free trade deal on Saturday that cuts tariffs on billions of dollars of commerce as the two Quad partners bolster their economic ties.

Both signatories are members of the Quad alliance with the United States and Japan, which is seen as a counterweight to an increasingly assertive China.

But while they both border the Indian Ocean, Canberra says India was only Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner in 2020, and accounted for just over four percent of its exports last year.

The Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement was signed simultaneously in New Delhi and Canberra by India’s commerce minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan in a joint ceremony.

India and Australia are “natural partners, connected by shared values of democracy, rule of law and transparency”, Goyal said.

“Our relationship rests on the pillars of trust and reliability aptly reflected in our deepening geo-strategic engagement through the QUAD and the supply chain resilience initiative.”

Two-way trade reached around $27.5 billion last year according to New Delhi, with resource-rich Australia exporting coal and other commodities, along with sheep meat, and India largely supplying finished goods and services.

Adani bids cancelled: India’s southern Andhra Pradesh has cancelled bids made for two separate tenders by India’s Adani Enterprises to supply imported coal as the prices quoted were too high, two state government officials told Reuters.

It is the first time in recent years that a major government tender for imported coal has been cancelled over high prices. Details on the cancellation have not been previously reported.

India has asked utilities to step up coal imports to address a domestic shortfall. However, expensive imports could add to the financial woes of state government-owned, debt-laden power distributors, which have overdue payments of nearly $15 billion to power generators.

Adani, India’s largest coal trader, offered to supply last month 500,000 tonnes of South African coal at 40,000 rupees ($526.50) per tonne and another 750,000 tonnes at 17,480 rupees ($230.08) in January, the officials said.

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