NEW DELHI: India’s trade deficit widened to $14 billion during October 2017 against $11.13 billion in the year-ago period as exports dropped 1.12 per cent and imports grew 7.6 per cent during the reporting month.
Fall in shipments of textiles, pharmaceuticals, leather, and gems & jewellery pulled down the export by 1.12 per cent to $23 billion in October, retreating from a six-month high growth in September, trade data released on Tuesday showed.
Imports grew 7.6 per cent to $37.11 billion in October from $34.5 billion in the same period last year. Oil and non-oil imports expanded 27.89 per cent and 2.19 per cent to $9.28 billion and $27.83 billion, respectively, in October.
Data released by the commerce ministry showed that cumulative exports during April-October 2017-18 shot up by 9.62 per cent to $170.28 billion, while imports grew 22.21 per cent to $256.43 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $ 86.14 billion.
“The fall was expected as exporters, particularly MSMEs, were facing liquidity problem to pay GST for four months in a row without getting any refund,” said Ganesh Kumar Gupta, president, Federation of Indian Export Organisations.
India’s export sector had performed well with a growth of 25.67 per cent at $28.61 billion in September, which was its highest growth in the past six months.
“Exports should be outrightly kept out of the purview of GST as paying the tax first and getting refund is cumbersome, complex and complicated affecting exports,” said Gupta.