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Govt Should Help Exporters As Growth Slows: Khullar

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India's exports grew by annual 44.2 per cent to $24.3 billion in August, showing an impressive year-on-year expansion but the Commerce Ministry clearly sees "difficulties down the road", making out a case for stimulus to exporters.

Disclosing the monthly trade trends, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said merchandise shipments for August looked quite good, compared to the same month in 2010-11.

But the correct way, he said, would be to compare August performance with that of July when exports had grown by a whopping 82 per cent.

Khullar said, month-on-month, the consignments were down 17 per cent in August from July. The good annualised showing was on the back of low-base of comparison.

Indian exporters enjoyed record growth in the last fiscal year and have notched high double digit growth in recent months, buoyed by demand for the country's cars, petroleum products and precious stones. July's reading was more than 80 percent growth.

However, economic turbulence in the United States and Europe, India's top sales destinations, means growth will likely slow down further in September and October, he said, likely bulging the trade deficit for the fiscal year ending March 2012.

Import growth has surged in recent months as India, one of the world's fastest growing major economies, imports anything from oil to transport equipment to industrial machinery, despite recent industrial data pointing to a slowdown.

"I don't know when, something will have to be done," Trade Secretary Rahul Khullar told reporters, when asked whether the government would provide stimulus measures for exporters.

"Up till now we have had a good run, but you could be looking at difficulties down the road. If you want to prevent them, then you better kick in now with action."

India's August exports rose 44.2 per cent to $24.3 billion, while imports for the month rose 41.8 per cent to $38.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $14.1 billion, Khullar said on Friday.

The trade deficit has shown a widening trend over the last three months. It widened to $14.1 billion in August from $11.1 billion in July and $7.7 billion in June.

Khullar warned that trade deficit for the current fiscal that ends in March could top $130 billion. The trade deficit for fiscal year 2010/11 stood at $104.8 billion.


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economy india rahul khullar top 1 exports imports trade deficit