The global economic crisis has hit India where it hurts the most as over a dozen job-oriented export sectors slipped into disarray showing up to 70 per cent negative growth last month over a year-ago period.
Alarmed by sharp decline in export value in tea (-20 per cent), handicrafts (-70 per cent), carpets (-32 per cent), oil meals (-50 per cent), man-made yarn (-17 per cent), cotton yarn (-19 per cent) and marine products (-19 per cent), the commerce ministry is likely to recommend the lifting of export curbs on items like steel and agro products.
At a high level meeting, convened by Commerce Secretary G K Pillai on October 24, it was pointed out that the government needs to 're-look' at all export restrictions. "The global financial crisis is significantly impacting Indian exports and the impact could be more in the coming days," said an official involved in the stock-taking exercise.
With several sectors putting up a dismal show, the overall export growth in September this fiscal plunged to a little over 10 per cent from 26.9 per cent in August. Exports for the April-August period had shown a growth of 35.1 per cent.
The US and the 27-nation European Union bloc, two of the largest markets for Indian exports, are in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The volume of decline in international trade is also reflected in the crash in shipping rates. Rates for bulk cargo have dropped by nearly 50 per cent.
Ironically, the dismal export performance in September -- figures for which are yet to be officially released -- has come about in the face of close to 25 per cent depreciation in rupee value. A declining rupee results in better realisations for the exporters.