Turning adversity into opportunity, India has recorded highest-ever merchandise exports of $95 billion in the April-June quarter of current fiscal year (FY22).
This is 85 per cent higher than exports of Q1 of 2020-21 and 18 per cent higher than the exports of Q1 of 2019-20. It is also 16 per cent more than the previous highest Q1 exports of 2018-19 ($82 billion) and is higher than the earlier peak of exports in Q4 of 2020-21 ($90 billion).
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that sector specific interventions, involvement of all the stakeholders and functioning of the government as a whole helped in achieving the growth.
Simplification of procedures, and extension of timelines and licences has also resulted in the record performance of exports, he added.
The minister also said that going by the performance in first quarter of the fiscal, an ambitious target of $400 billion exports has been set for 2021-22.
In the first quarter period, several labour intensive sectors have seen a rapid export growth. The exports in the engineering goods sector has increased by $5.2 billion over Q1 of 2019-20. Likewise, rice exports growth has remained positive since May 2020 and rose by 37 per cent in Q1 of 2021-22 compared to Q1 of 2019-20.
India showcased robust export performance in April 2020 compared to major economies of the world. As compared to April 2019, India's exports growth during April 2021 was higher than other major advanced economies like the European Union, Japan, the US, South Korea, and the UK.
The country also received the highest ever FDI inflow in 2020-21 of $81.72 billion. This is higher by 10 per cent compared to $74.39 billion achieved in 2019-20. The positive momentum continues with FDI inflow of $6.24 billion during April 2021, which is 38 per cent higher than April 2020.
Goyal said that number of start-ups recognised by the DPIIT has crossed 50,000 and these are spread across 623 districts. Nearly 1.8 lakh formal jobs have been created by over 16,000 recognised start-ups in 2020-21. Several times more have benefited from the start-up ecosystem.
To improve the ease of doing business and reduce the compliance burden 6,426 compliances have been reduced in Phase-I and 3,177 compliances are being reduced in Phase II. The timeline for Phase I was March 31, 2021 and for Phase II, it is August 15 2021.
Goyal said that the world sees India as the trusted and reliable partner, and has more confidence in India's capability to provide quality products and services on time. With goods and services gaining momentum, a large number of employment opportunities will be generated, the economy will strengthen, revenues will increase, and the government will be able to help the disadvantaged sections in a more substantive manner, he said.
He further said that the performance of the services sector has also been excellent, and despite the pandemic, almost 97 per cent of 2019-20 service export levels were achieved in the last FY. He said that after deliberations with the stakeholders, he is confident that $350 billion service exports can be achieved by 2025, and may even go up to $500 billion very soon.