NEW DELHI: Expressing concerns over rising trade deficit, a Parliamentary Panel recently urged the Government to take steps to improve export competitiveness and give a fillip to shipments. A Parliamentary standing committee on Commerce in its report said that export not only generate jobs but also boost manufacturing.
It expressed caution that the recent rally in oil prices would result into further widening of trade deficit in the year ahead.
Trade deficit -- the difference between imports and exports -- in January widened to an over three-year high figure of USD 16.3 billion.
"In spite of positive growth in exports, the problem of rise in trade deficit continues. The concern has been further aggravated with a loss of competitive edge of our export basket and lack of an impressive growth in exports in labour intensive sectors," it said.
The report said that there is an urgent need for taking corrective measures in these areas and it is the right time that India become an integral link in the global supply chain across all industries.
"All the factors that inhibit our export competitiveness must be addressed adequately and on urgent basis," it said adding the decline in export-GDP ratio is a matter of grave concern.
It suggested to promote exports through diversification of export basket, developing a world class export infrastructure and integrating with global value chain.
"Much needs to be done to provide real fillip to exports," it said.
The report also recommended to permit scrips provided to exporters under export incentive schemes for the payment of GST in case of domestic procurement of goods being manufactured for exports and also for paying IGST in case of outbound shipments.
On Special Economic Zones, the report suggested the Commerce Ministry to hold consultations with its finance counterpart on "whether the country can afford SEZs or not".