Anand Sharma satisfied with exports and industrial output growth

Anand Sharma satisfied with exports and industrial output growth New Delhi: Expressing satisfaction over growth in exports and industrial output, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Tuesday said the government needed to do more.

"Yes, it is encouraging, we are aware of upturn but we have to do more -- both on the exports and industrial manufacturing," he told media here.

Sharma further said that he would chair a high-level Board of Trade (BOT) meet on March 22 to review export performance due to uncertain economic conditions in Western markets.

"We have had two rounds of consultations that was with the CII and FICCI. Now, we have another round of consultation with the exports council. I have called the board of trade meeting on 22nd (March) that will wrap up the consultation processes. And then we will start working to give the final shape to this year''s foreign trade policy," he said.

The objective would be to boost exports and reduce the widening trade deficit, which has reached $182.1 billion in the 11-month period of the fiscal.

Exports of merchandise increased for second month in row in February by an annual 4.23 percent to $26.26 billion (around Rs.1.43 trillion) after decreasing for eight months.

India''s industrial output expanded for the first time in three months in January, an early sign that Asia''s third-largest economy may have turned a corner 26.26 billion (around Rs.1.43 trillion) after contracting for eight months in a row.

Production at factories, mines and utilities grew 2.4 percent in January from a year earlier, government data showed. The outcome was almost double the 1.2 percent forecast by analysts, and marked an encouraging bounce from an annual contraction of 0.5 percent in December.

However, the data highlighted pockets of weakness and underscored the challenges facing the economy as it struggles to motor on from a sharp slowdown. While production of consumer goods recovered, posting an annual growth of 2.8 percent in January, capital goods output -- a key investment indicator -- fell an annual 1.8 percent.

India''s economy has been hamstrung by weak capital investment and flagging consumer demand. A series of government policy U-turns and a slowdown in the rate of implementing key industrial and infrastructure projects have added to investor gloom.

ANI