ECONOMIC SCENE


 
Exports up 20%, trade deficit falls  to  $5.26 bn

Driven by a 20 per cent increase in exports, the country’s trade deficit fell to $5.26 billion in the first seven months this fiscal from a level of $ 5.85 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Imports grew by 14 per cent between April-October 2000 mainly due to a sharp 84.5 per cent increase in the dollar value of oil imports.   The value of oil imports in this period was $9.7 billion, as against a figure of $ 5.2 billion in the first seven months in 1999-2000.

Overall imports during April-October 2000 grew at 14 per cent, valued at $30.3 billion as against $26.5 billion in the first seven months of the last financial year.

Non oil imports during the first seven months of 2000-01 were estimated at $20.5 billion which was 3.48 per cent lower than the $ 21.2 billion non-oil imports in the same period in 1999-2000.

Readymade garment export up by 6.3% reach the target of 53.7%

The export of readymade garments in the period April-November of the current year has marked an increase of 6.31 per cent in terms of quantity and 6.30 per cent in terms of value over the like period last year. The export performance so far could achieve only 53.70 per cent of the target set for the year at $ 6,500 million.

The total exports of readymade garments in the same period have amounted to 894 million pieces valued at $ 3,490.3 million or Rs. 15,779.73 crore. 

Exporters of garments ink pact with DHL

The $5 billion garment exporting industry is gearing up to take advantage of the new textile policy and take exports to new high in coming years. As the first step towards this, the Confederation of Indian Apparel Exporters (CIAe) has signed a three year memorandum of understanding with DHL Worldwide Express with a view to remove some of the difficulties faced by the exporters.

“We will work towards identifying and resolving various issues that affect the export performance of the garment industry, including regulatory issues around the world” said CIAe President Shri Amit Goyal.

To meet the special needs of the Indian garment exporters, DHL has launched ‘Fashion First’ - a customized service for garment exporters to Europe and the USA, ensuring door-to-door delivery in major cities in 48 hours. “Through this tie up the exporters would now be able to have more access to e-commerce tools through our website www.ciae.org” said Shri Goyal.  

NCAER predicts GDP growth at 6.1% this fiscal

The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has projected the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate at 6.1 percent for current financial year, down from 7 per cent predicted, at the beginning of the fiscal.

The council sees the inflation rate going up to 7.1 per cent well above the 3 per cent experienced last fiscal and 5 per cent projected by NCAER at the beginning of 2000-01.

The real GDP growth in the first quarter of the fiscal has been estimated at 5.8 per cent, lower by over 1 percentage point as compared to the growth of 6.9 per cent of the corresponding period last year. The growth in the remaining three quarters would have to be about 6.2 per cent to end the year with a real GDP growth of 6.1 per cent.

Increase in the domestic price of petroleum products combined with poor investment scenario, lower agricultural output has led to lower overall rate of growth of real GDP. Higher POL prices have resulted in higher rate of inflation.

The survey says that the high import bill has widened the trade deficit in the first four months of the current financial year.  Although  the forex reserves with RBI and in the banking system are adequate to cover the increased import bill, firming up of interest rates in the US and appreciation of dollar vis-a-vis other major currencies led to pressures on the exchange rate of the rupee.

Marine exports up 27 per cent at $673 million in six months

Propelled by international demand, marine exports increased by 27 per cent in the first six months of the fiscal (April to September) at $ 672.96 million as against $ 530.30 million in the same period last year.

Total exports grew by 12.1 per cent and stood at 1,37,547 million tonne during April to September 2000, according to an official release. In value terms, there was a 32.4 per cent increase in exports at $ 653 million during April to September this year from $ 493 million in the corresponding period of last year.

The major buyers of Indian marine products, which account for 3.2 per cent of the total global exports, are Japan, EU, USA and South-East Asia including China.    
 

RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES ARE CAPABLE OF ADDRESSING THE OBJECTIVE OF BOTH DEVELOPMENT AND REDUCTION OF GREEN HOUSE GASES EMISSIONS :

The Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Shri M. Kannappan while delivering the inaugural address at the workshop on “Energy Environment and Climate Change: Policy Issues for Sustainable Development in India in the 21st Century” in New Delhi said that renewable energy technologies have the capability of addressing the conflicting objectives of both development and reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. These technologies may not be able to substitute or replace conventional energy in its totality. However, they were capable of supplementing conventional power and provide for the energy requirements of large sections of the population in developing countries. 
 
The supply and use of fossil fuels namely, coal, oil and natural gas are estimated to account for about 75% of carbon dioxide emissions, about one-fifth of methane and significant quantity of other gases. The industrial sector, barring power generation, accounts for one-third of global carbon dioxide emissions, the residential and commercial sector too accounts for one-third while transport sector about one-fifth. Energy related essential activities leading to economic development are thus largely responsible for GHG emissions.

In the international scenario on climate change, the Minister said, it has now been accepted that the developed countries will have to reduce their GHG emission levels. Also the developing countries needed to be helped both technologically and financially so as to adopt modern technologies that were energy efficient and less polluting. As regards the environment, the developing countries like India were faced with a conflicting task of generating huge amount of energy to sustain the development by using less polluting technologies.

About 40% of energy demand in India today is met through sources such as biomass, cow-dung and wood.  The present cumulative generating capacity in India is around 96000 MW with 71% being contributed by thermal sources, 25% by conventional hydropower, 2.5% from nuclear sources and the rest 1.5% from renewable sources.  The demand for electricity is growing by 8% annually.   The need to select appropriate technologies and economic models and policies which were conducive to the people living in rural areas was also emphasised.