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Keep the Faith on Growth Path: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Stressing that the fall in exports has been arrested and growth will steadily take place, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that export during 2015–16 had registered a 15.5% decline but 12 sectors,  which mostly consists of MSMEs, have recorded positive growth in value terms.

NEW DELHI: Speaking at the Regional Editors Conference of Southern States in Chennai today she said Export during 2015–16 valued at USD 262.30 billion had registered a 15.5% decline but 12 sectors like Tea, Tobacco, Spices, Fruits & Vegetables, Cereal Preparations & Miscellaneous Processed Item, Ceramic Products & Glassware, Drugs & Pharmaceuticals, RMG of all Textiles, Jute Manufacturing including Floor Covering, Carpet, Handicrafts Excluding Hand Made Carpet & Plastic and Linoleum. recorded positive growth in value terms.

With reference to Southern States, Commerce Minister said four new projects have been set up in Tamil Nadu under ASIDE, one Project has been approved in Kerala and two Projects were approved in Karnataka and two projects in Andhra Pradesh.

Sitharaman said India is the largest producer, exporter and consumer of spices in the World, during 2015-16 the export of spices & spice products from the country was 8,43,255 tons valued Rs.16238.23 crore. In the case of export of cardamom (small) there is an all time achievement of 5500 tons valued Rs.450 crores during 2015-16.

Commerce Minister said annual tea production is 1233 million kgs. against the target of 1195 million kgs., which is an all-time record.

She said in India, coffee is cultivated in about 4.34 lakh hectares mainly confined to southern states viz., Karnataka (54.20%), Kerala (19.7%) and Tamil Nadu (8.0%), which form traditional coffee tracts.

She said During the last 4 years, more than one lakh small growers have benefitted under the Board’s development schemes and this has helped in achieving an all-time record crop production of 3.5 lakh MT in 2015-16,the welfare measures of Coffee Board have supported about 38,000 children of labourers and tiny growers with education stipends and merit incentives, during the last 4 years.In the Rubber Sector Southern states account for 44% of NR consumption in the country indicating the extent of rubber based industrialisation.

Major tyre companies have factories in the Southern States and there are many MSMEs in general rubber goods sector manufacturing a range of rubber products.

Commerce Minister said that the Ministry was looking into diversification of export product basket, diversification into non-traditional markets and conclusion of ongoing FTA negotiations and initiating new FTAs for promotion of exports.

Talking about Industry, Minister said manufacturing sector grew at 9.3% in 2015-16, much higher than the 5-6% growth in previous 3 financial years and was the major contributor to the healthy 7.6% growth of GDP in 2015-16.

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