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Exports jump 37 % to $246 billion in 2010-11

Special Correspondent

Engineering goods record 85 per cent growth


Imports stand at $350.3 billion

Trade deficit down at $104.4 billion


- PHOTO: V. SUDERSHAN

IMPRESSIVE GROWTH: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma (centre) with Secretary, DIPP, R. P. Singh (left), and Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar, addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday.

NEW DELHI: Braving the slow economic growth and declining demand from the western markets, India's exports posted an impressive 37.1 per cent rise at $245.9 billion for the fiscal ending 2010-11. During March shipments posted an impressive 43.9 per cent growth at $29.1 billion.

Releasing the export figures here, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said exports have not only posted a phenomenal growth but have also surpassed the growth target of $220 billion set for 2010-11. Exports had suffered in 2009-10 at a mere $178 billion under the impact of global slowdown and the government had to intervene to help exporters through different bailout packages.

“We have received the export figures for this fiscal and it is indeed heartening to see that our exports for the year ending March 2011 touched $245.9 billion, registering a growth of 37.5 per cent. For the first time, the figures have reached the $200-billion mark which was a target set for last financial year and exports have indeed exceeded our expectations. Imports for the same period stood at $350.3 billion and the good news is that the trade deficit figure has come down to $104.4 billion,” Mr. Sharma told newsmen here.

Mr. Sharma said engineering goods by far constituted the largest component of the exports entailing considerable domestic value addition and engineering exports crossed $60 billion, a growth of 84.76 per cent. Petroleum products exports were up 50.58 per cent at $42.45 billion.

The gems and jewellery sector, which is a considerable employer of people, saw an export of $33.54 billion showing a growth of 15.34 per cent. Drugs and pharmaceuticals sector for which India has gained a considerable global reputation saw total exports at $10.32 billion a growth of 15.08 per cent. In readymade garments, exports crossed $11.1 billion showing a growth of 4.23 per cent. Cotton yarn fabrics exports rose by 42.87 per cent to $5.66 billion. Exports of carpet, jute and leather, which are the labour-intensive sectors, assured considerable dynamism in growth. Agricultural exports and allied sectors, including tea, coffee, tobacco, spices, cashew, oil meals, fruits and vegetables and marine products, crossed the $12-billion mark to $12.92 billion. Iron ore exports have actually gone down by 25 per cent to $4.5 billion.

Mr. Sharma expressed the hope that based on the performance of exports, he was confident that the government would be able to achieve the target of exports of $450 billion which was set in the draft strategy paper and was released by the Department of Commerce.

He said the final strategy paper for doubling India's exports to reach $450 billion will be uploaded on the department site soon.

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