Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that frequent fluctuation in currencies across the world, not just the Indian rupee, has become a new normal. She also said that the value of the currency is only one factor and exporters in India have learnt to take into account currency fluctuation while planning their consignments.
For enhancing export competitiveness, the minster has stated that it is not just the currency which gives the competitiveness but there are some other factors like infrastructure, raw material cost, energy supplies and state restrictions which are equally essential for exporters. Adding further, she said that rising of the local currency against the US dollar makes export uncompetitive as per unit realization comes down. She also highlighted that the exchange rate alone cannot be the one cause for export competitiveness and the volatility in currencies across the world has been the new normal in the last few years.
Sitharaman further said that strengthening of the Indian rupee is also a reflection on the performance of the economy and noted that since January, the domestic currency has strengthened by over 5 per cent against the US dollar. She added that a section of exporters too has expressed anxieties that rupee appreciation can impact their margins at a time when export has seen a growth.
Meanwhile, the export growth touched over five year high of 27.6 per cent in March on the back of better performance of petroleum and engineering sector, though the expansion during financial year 2016-17 stood at only 4.7 per cent. During the last financial year, exports aggregated at $274.64 billion. In March, outward shipments were at $29.23 billion.