FIEO President, Ganesh Kumar Gupta, responding to May, 2018 trade data, said that the exports data for the second month of the fiscal though have shown a robust growth but MSME units particularly in labour-intensive sectors such as gems & jewellery, leather & leather products, RMG of all textiles, jute manufacturing including floor covering, carpets, handicrafts, agri-products and many other sector of exports are either showing very modest growth or are into negative territory. These sectors are still facing the liquidity crunch as banks and lending agencies have continuously been tightening their lending norms, as reflected in sharp reduction in exports credit, which does not augur well for their exports.

FIEO Chief, Ganesh Kumar Gupta, however said that a lot of cushioning this time around has been provided by the petroleum sector to exports, as it not only outperformed but had an over impressive growth of about 105 per cent. FIEO Chief once again expressed his concern on the rising trade deficit, primarily on account of swelling of crude imports bill due to rising global oil prices, which would further add to inflationary conditions and also on the current account deficit front.

23 out of 30 major product groups were in positive territory during May, 2018. Besides petroleum, engineering, organic & inorganic chemicals, drugs & pharmaceuticals, cotton yarn/fabs/made-ups, electronic goods and plastic & linoleum etc. have also shown positive exports growth during the month.

Gupta said that domestic issues including access to credit, cost of credit especially for MSMEs should be seriously looked into as global challenges and increasing protectionism, has also added to the woes of the exporters. FIEO President also said that uncertainties in exports due to increasing protectionism and sanctions on Iran and Russia are adding to our woes. He requested the government to explore the possibility of trade in Indian rupees with the two countries.