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Expect export orders to remain robust in FY22, vaccination of 18+ would aid factory output: Mahesh Desai, EEPC Chairman

New Delhi. : Despite logistics and manpower issues caused by the second wave of pandemic, shipments of engineering goods remained robust in the month of May, 2021.

“Like previous two months, exports of engineering goods saw a substantial year-on-year rise of 53.14% in May primarily on account of low-base due to strict lockdown in the same month last year. We expect the order book of exporters to remain strong in the current financial year given the demand trend from key markets such as US, China and Europe,” said EEPC India Chairman Mr Mahesh Desai.

As per preliminary data released by the government, engineering goods export recorded a positive growth of 16.09% in May this year compared to the same month in 2019.

Some of the product categories which have maintained high growth rate in recent months are raw steel, products made from steel, industrial machinery and other value-added items.

Mr Desai said that the export sector would continue as one of the main engines of economic growth.

India’s total merchandise exports in May 2021 is estimated to be US$ 32.21 billion, an increase of 67.39% over May 2020 and an increase of 7.93% over May 2019.

“The government has accorded priority tag to exports when it comes to policy intervention and it has supported the sooner-than-expected rebound in the sector after it plummeted in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak towards the end of FY20. Some of the assured duty refunds which have remained due are set to be released soon by the government and it will provide a major push to the sector. This will not only improve the profit margins of the pandemic-hit exporters but also boost sentiments considerably, hopes Mr Desai.

The government decision last week to extend the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and increase the tenor of the scheme for MSMEs and other eligible entities would provide much needed relief to the industry.

The additional credit would help MSMEs which have been affected by the disruptions in the last two months when the pandemic peaked. The additional liquidity would act as a cushion to the industry reeling from Covid-19 crisis.

“Further, vaccines are now also being made available for people in the age group of 18-44 and overall coverage is being widened. This means the working population will have more confidence and they will optimally contribute to productivity,” noted the EEPC Chairman.