statesman news service
KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: Although huge import of gold is often cited as the basic reason for the recent high level of current account deficit (CAD), deleberations at a panel discussion on ‘Modified Exim Policy 2013’ organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry here today revealed that decline in exports was basically responsible for the widening CAD.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sanjiv Kejriwal, member, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Kolkata explained that decline in exports contributed more to the poor export performance than import of gold.
Mr Suranjan Gupta, additional executive director, Engineering Export Promotion Council said that corruption and lack of infrastructure affected export of engineering exports in recent years. He said that there are 20-25 steps involved in exporting a consignment. It takes about six months to complete all these formalities involving about a 100 signatories. These hassles need to be removed to increase exports, Mr Gupta said.
Dr K Rangarajan, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata and Mr Mritiunjoy Mohanty, Indian Institute of Management said that the current CAD was unprecedented. Although imports had stabilised to some extent, the present problem was of declining exports.
Dr Rangarajan said that the annual exim policy had only cosmetic changes. Time has come to think of the next policy post-2014.
However, Mr Dipankar Sinha, Director General of Commercial Intelligence and Statics, Kolkata, maintained that import of gold and petroleum goods accounted for 50 per cent of the deficit. This month, nevertheless, import of such items have started to come down, he added.
Mr Tapan Chattopadhyaya, executive director, said though we have reached the terminal year of the exim policy, not much success has been achieved so far.