India is fine tuning its strategy to boost exports. The focus sectors are: gems and jewelry, leather, textile and apparel, engineering, electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharma, agriculture and allied and marine products. Measures will be taken to ramp up domestic production through better capacity utilization, capacity creation and expansion in the short and medium-to- long term.
The possibility of rupee or barter trade with countries from where India is buying crude oil such as Iran, Venezuela and Russia is also being considered. During April-August, Indian exports rose 16.1 per cent while imports grew 17.3 per cent. India’s current account deficit in the June quarter of fiscal 2019 rose to a four-year high of 2.4 per cent, which has put further pressure on the weakening rupee.
In September, import duties were raised on products including refrigerators, air conditioners, jewelry, diamonds and jet fuel to arrest a widening current account deficit and a weakening rupee. Customs duties were not raised on imports of gold or electronic goods. While gold imports surged at an average 65 per cent in July and August, those of electronic items rose 15 per cent during the April-August period.
Arrangements may be finalized with countries like Russia for imports on deferred payment or increasing barter possibilities for balanced trade.