Exporters are Corona warriors for India’s external sector: Suresh Prabhu

NEW DELHI, May 23: Calling exporters, Corona warriors for India’s external sector, Former Commerce & Industry Minister and India’s Sherpa to the G-20, Suresh Prabhu said that as both domestic and international markets are going through its worst-ever crisis, therefore the role of the exports sector becomes critical at this juncture.
Applauding the mega economic comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crore announced by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Prabhu said that in the ongoing situation, first and foremost is to find the markets where demand support is given by their respective governments through a package such as the US and EU.
He also talked of identifying niche markets and key products for exports which is the need of the hour.
Elaborating on the issues and challenges being faced by the Indian exporters, during a video conference interaction with Federation of Indian Export Organisations members on ‘The Way Forward’ on Friday, Mr Prabhu said easy access and availability of credit has been a key concern.
The Reserve Bank of India needs to consider exports under private sector lending, ensuring the banking system to cater to the needs of the exporters, he said.
The objective of the session was to discuss the impact of Covid-19 particularly to the exports sector wherein Industry is passing through turbulent times and to listen to his valuable thoughts to overcome such an unprecedented situation.
The Reserve Bank of India may create an external market sensitive credit facility for exporters through banks and ensure banks don’t charge at a higher rate for this service, which would further ensure access to lower cost of finance, reiterated Mr Prabhu.
Emphasis should also be laid on price sensitivity along with import sensitivity as both are interrelated and can determine pricing of the product, he added.
In order to increase export competitiveness, sectoral studies can be conducted to identify and address key bottlenecks in the economy, added Mr Prabhu.
The Former Commerce & Industry Minister also asked for immediate action that needs to be taken for opening trade offices in the key global markets on the lines of South Korea and Canada.
”Emphasis needs to be laid on redefining subsidies besides aggressively supporting merchant exporters in marketing their products in such globally competitive markets,” Mr Prabhu maintained.
Others who attended the interactive session included FIEO Office bearers and leading exporters from all the regions of the country. FIEO President Sharad Kumar Saraf during his deliberation said that COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both Indian exports and economy on a larger scale. Its repercussions on the country could well be felt now as trade and industry operations have yet to start at its full capacity.
”With major economies including China, the US, Europe almost fully operational now, India trade and industry should be supported in a big way to start operations so that not only our exports are least impacted but our whole supply chain disruptions are also overcome,” added Mr Saraf. He welcomed the package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying that there is still a need for more to be done for exports and also praised the announcements made by the RBI particularly for easing liquidity concerns of the exporting community to a great extent.