20 October, 2020

"We’re Edging Towards 15% Growth"

Commerce secretary Tejendra Khanna speaks to Outlook on the need for radical policy measures for exports

"We’re Edging Towards 15% Growth"

Have you scaled down the target?

We haven’t done it officially, but the performance so far shows $38 billion is difficult to reach. Three main product groups, gems and jewellery, textiles, and leather goods, have seen prices drop over 9-15 per cent. There’s a global downturn in our major purchasers, the US, Japan and Germany. In the remaining half, we have a mixed picture. Electronics, software and engineering goods are doing well, but bulk chemicals’ prices are sharply down. I’d say our export growth would be edging towards 15 per cent. The high volume growth and the relative stability of the rupee are affecting competitiveness. We have to make more efficient use of infrastructure resources and cut down transaction costs. It’s a serious disincentive for the exporter, all these size barriers, licence barriers, customs barriers.

Would you suggest a devaluation to bring down the cost?

The exchange rate is really led by market forces now. The level of interest rate in the financial system is...



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