MUMBAI: Healthy increase in the country’s exports, improvement in the current account deficit (CAD) and focus on expanding manufacturing will help the Indian economy register a healthy growth rate, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
He was here to participate in a programme of the gems and jewellery industry.
The minister expressed confidence that the country’s goods and services exports would cross $800 billion this fiscal.It was $778 billion in 2023-24 and $776 billion in 2022-23.
Goyal said that the mood amongst industry and exporters is “wonderful” and a “very great” sense of confidence is there among the investors about the India growth story.
“I think this year we will end with over $800 billion exports…We also focus a lot on expanding our manufacturing capacities, so that our import dependencies can come down and CAD is also showing healthy improvement in the last few months.
“We are very confident that the Indian economy is poised for both healthy and organised growth and providing opportunities to lakhs of people across India,” the minister told PTI.
S&P Global Ratings has retained India’s GDP growth forecast for the current financial year at 6.8 per cent and said high interest rates and lower fiscal spur would temper demand.
While another rating agency Fitch estimates India’s growth at 7.2 per cent in FY’25, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates India’s GDP to grow at 7 per cent. Moody’s Ratings and Deloitte India estimates India’s GDP to grow at 6.6 per cent in 2024-25 fiscal, while Morgan Stanley projects growth rate of 6.8 per cent.
When asked if the ministry is looking at bringing an amendment bill on special economic zones (SEZs), Goyal said that several suggestions are on the table and are under consideration.
India recorded a current account surplus of $5.7 billion or 0.6 per cent of GDP in the March quarter. This is the first time in ten quarters that the crucial metric of the country’s external strength has turned into surplus mode.
In the year-ago period, the current account deficit stood at $1.3 billion or 0.2 per cent of GDP, and the same was $8.7 billion or 1 per cent of GDP in the preceding quarter ending December 2023.
India’s merchandise exports rose by 9.1 per cent to $38.13 billion in May even as the trade deficit widened to a seven-month high of $23.78 billion during the month, according to the latest government data.