Reacting to the April 2019 trade data, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president Ganesh K Gupta said the export figure of $26.07 billion with a growth of 0.64 per cent is discouraging as most labour-intensive sectors, including leather and leather products; both cotton and man-made yarns, fabrics and made-ups; and carpets are into negative zone. These sectors are still facing the problem of liquidity, apart from various other challenges, including global trade war, protectionism, fragile global conditions and constraints on the domestic front, according to an FIEO press release. Only 14—including petroleum, organic and inorganic chemicals; readymade garments; and handicrafts—out of 30 major product groups were in the positive territory during April 2019, Gupta said. He also expressed concern over the rising trade deficit, primarily on account of swelling crude import bill with further northward movement of prices and ban on Iranian imports along with rising gold import. Domestic issues, including access to credit, cost of credit especially for merchant exporters, interest equalization support to all agri exports, benefits on sales to foreign tourists and exemption from Integrated goods and services tax (IGST) under the Advance Authorization Scheme with retrospective effect should be seriously looked into.
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