Mumbai: Despite the slowdown in world economies, the government expects exports to increase 20 percent in the current fiscal, a senior commerce ministry official said here on Friday.
"We are is still the second fastest growing economy. I see turnaround in exports and indications are that we can achieve 20 percent export target this year," Commerce Secretary S R Rao told reporters after meeting the exporters body Fieo here.
Last fiscal, the country crossed the merchandise shipment target of USD 300 billion a few dollars at USD 303.8 billion, making it the largest-ever trade numbers. But so was imports driven by high oil and gold prices which together accounted for nearly USD220 billion.
Rao expressed relief over narrowing trade deficit and said the trade gap would be under control.
Last month, exports dipped over 5 percent while imports shrunk over 15 percent, bringing down trade deficit to a 15-month low.
Director-General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Anup Pujari said the trade deficit stood at USD 185 billion last year.
"The government has taken steps to reduce the trade deficit this year. We are encouraging exports of manufacturing sector and impose anti-dumping duties to safe guard domestic manufacturing sectors," Pujari said.
Gold imports are also down due to price rise and duty levied on import of gold, he said.
Earlier, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (Fieo) president M Rafeeque Ahmed said increase in input costs, high interest rates and resultant high costs of funds and the rupee volatility are major challenges for exporters.
First Published: Friday, July 20, 2012, 17:42