ECONOMIC SURVEY 2008-09
The Economic Survey for 2008-09 says that the outlook for the trade sector in 2009 is not very encouraging with IMF projecting a negative growth in world output at -1.3 per cent and world trade volume projected to growth at -11 per cent. With import demand falling from major trading partners from India’s export of goods and services is expected to be impacted. The steep fall in petroleum and commodities prices could have a positive impact in the import side and for the industrial sector. In 2010, recovery is expected with IMF projections at 1.9 per cent for world output and 0.6 per cent for World trade volume of goods and services.
The subdued global outlook calls for efforts at both national and international levels to revive growth. While efforts to promote exports are needed, the Economic Survey emphasises the need to guard against protectionist measures originating from our trade partners. The Survey says, we also need to desist from any protectionist tendencies and proceed on the reform path.
The Survey says, besides short-term relief measures and stimulus packages, some fundamental policy changes are needed. For the merchandise trade sector these include continuation of the reduction in customs and excise duty to make our exports and industry competitive, streamlining of existing export promotion schemes, giving special attention to export infrastructure alongwith rationalisation of port service charges, weeding out unnecessary customs duty exemptions and checking the proliferation of SEZs.
In the services sector a road map of specific policies needs to be drawn not only to overcome the impact of the current global crisis, but also to accelerate the growth of our economy and the total exports as this sector has been showing a steady and promising performance with relatively lesser support.