BUSINESS

Omicron will be short-term disruption for businesses, says Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will be a short-term disruption on businesses, adding that supply chains and industrial activities will continue at full speed.

His remarks came while addressing a press conference here. “Omicron will be a short-term disruption for businesses but supply chains and industrial activities will continue at full speed,” said Goyal while addressing media.

Goyal said that India has registered a merchandise export of $37.29 billion, which is a jump of 37 per cent over the December 2020 figures of $27.22 billion and a 37.55 per cent jump over the figures of $27.11 billion in December 2019.

“India’s merchandise export in April-December 2021 was $299.74 billion, an increase of 48.85 per cent over $201.37 billion in April-December 2020 and an increase of 25.80 per cent over $238.27 billion in April-December 2019,” he added.

The minister called this achievement ‘historic’ and attributed it to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also congratulated all the Export Promotion Councils (EPC), exporters, and Indian Embassy officials all across the globe for contributing to this historic achievement.

Coming to exports, India’s merchandise import in December 2021 was $59.27 billion, an increase of 38.06 per cent over $42.93 billion in December 2020 and an increase of 49.7 per cent over $39.59 billion in December 2019, said the minister.

“India’s merchandise import in April-December 2021 was $443.71 billion, an increase of 69.27 per cent over $262.13 billion in April-December 2020 and an increase of 21.84 per cent over $364.18 billion in April-December 2019. The trade deficit in December 2021 was $21.99 billion, while it was $143.97 billion during April-December 2021,” he added.

Goyal said that the service sector has an important role in achieving this milestone. “During 9 months (April-December 2021) services sector has seen export of $178 billion as compared to $150 billion in (April-December 2020).

Goyal commended the performance of Uttar Pradesh’s performance and said Uttar Pradesh has been the best-performing state in exports.

UP is doing very well in One District, One Product scheme. I expect that its exports will rise to Rs 2 lakh crores in the current financial year, which is a growth of 60 per cent,” he added.

Replying to a question on the Comprehensive Trade Partnership agreement with UAE he said it is close to conclusion. “India is neear conclusion of free trade agreement deal with Australia,” he added.

Goyal is hopeful that India will launch trade negotiations with Britain this month and hope to conclude an interim trade deal by March 2022. Goyal said that India will also launch trade negotiations with Canada and Israel soon.

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