The ongoing pandemic continues to drag India’s merchandise exports, which contracted by 8.74 per cent in November to $23.52 billion from $25.77 billion in the same month last year.

According to the official data released on Tuesday, the cumulative value of exports for the April-November period of the current financial year was $173.66 billion as against $211.17 billion last year, falling by 17.76 per cent in dollar terms.

However, non-petroleum and non-gold exports witnessed some improvement.

“Non-petroleum and non-Gems and Jewellery exports in November 2020 were $19.29 billion, as compared to $19.37 billion in November 2019, registering a negative growth of (-) 0.4 per cent,” the data showed.

Trade deficit narrowed to $9.87 billion as imports, too, declined 13.32 per cent to $33.39 billion in November. Oil imports during the month dropped by 43.36 per cent to $6.27 billion.

During April-November period imports contracted by 33.55 per cent to $215.69 billion.

Separately, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that the government is making a “genuine” effort to set up a single-window system for approvals and clearances and the first cut of the window would be rolled out by March-April 2021.

He added that foreign direct investments (FDIs) into India have been continuously growing as the country has one of the most facilitative policies to attract overseas investors.

“FDI inflows into India have been continuously growing. Even during the first nine months of this year, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, our FDI has grown and we have today one of the most facilitative and congenial FDI policies in the world,” Goyal said at CII Partnership Summit 2020.