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Industry is hoping for a friendly Foreign Trade Policy
Seven consecutive months growth of exports has contracted 3.67 per cent in February to USD 25.68 billion. The trade deficit showed a marked improvement mainly on account of a significant decline in gold imports.
Government data on Tuesday showed that the trade deficit in February came down to USD 8.13 billion, the lowest level in five months. It improved mainly on account of a 71.42 per cent decline in gold and silver imports to USD 1.63 billion in February from USD 5.71 billion in the same month a year earlier.

Total imports fell 17.09 per cent to USD 33.81 billion last month. Oil imports, too, declined 3.1 per cent to USD 13.6 billion. The government has estimated exports at USD 325 billion in this financial year.

After witnessing a 13.47 per cent growth in October, exports growth record has been in single digits until January.

Petroleum, engineering and pharmaceuticals like sectors which contribute significantly to the export basket, also registered a decline in February.

For the April-February period, exports were up 4.79 per cent to USD 282.7 billion. Imports during the 11-month period fell 8.65 per cent to USD 410.86 billion. The trade deficit during this period was USD 128 billion.

On this down fall industry body CII said, "The economic conditions in the U.S. and the euro zone are not very favorable for exports and we hope the Indian government will help the exporters by providing help by way of including more products and countries for Focus Product Scheme and Focus market Scheme, where we have a comparative advantage and this should be addressed on a priority basis as it will give the necessary push to the industry and help them reach the export target."

Chairman of CII National Committee on Exports and Imports Sanjay Budhia said, "We hope an industry friendly FTP is announced soon which will help stimulate India's exports."

Expressing concern on the decline in exports in the month of February, President of industry body FICCI said, "Though over 40% contraction in India's trade deficit is a positive development, nearly 4% dip in exports in February is worrisome and now it looks doubtful if we would be able to achieve the target of $325 billion in the full fiscal year. While this partly reflects sluggish recovery in global demand, domestic factors like negative growth in manufacturing have also been responsible for such weak export performance."

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