The outbreak of coronavirus has stagnated the economy as a result of laying thousands of people, especially in the informal sectors, now that the economy has started its reviving, it is facing a lack of labour. The export merchandise might pick up the pace in upcoming months, but one of the biggest problems that the export industry is facing is a scarcity of manpower and labour.
The director-general of the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) Ajay Sahai said the exporters are not getting long term projects, however, there is no problem in getting short term orders. This trend might help in the initial revival of the economy, but in the longer run, nothing can be assumed. He also added that the situation is likely to improve because the main orders are receiving from Europe and the US and the situation in the order book is slightly hopeful.
Another problem that the exporters are facing is a shortage of labour to move the merchandise. The factories are still not running in the fullest capacity like they usually do, but future guidelines of Unlock process would facilitate in maximizing exports.
The chairman of the Council for Leather Exports PR Aqeel has assured that the situation of the industry is improving as the order books look promising. It would still take time in the revival, but a good number in the order books give hope.
On the same point, the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel positively verified the growth in the exports of the country. He also said that Indian goods would outdo the current slowdown and this would help in pushing outbound shipments. He has also said that the federation is convinced that they would be able to increase their exports significantly even though the factories are working at a 60 per cent production level, but as per an estimation the production is likely to reach the pre-COVID level by November.
An Apparel industry based in Ludhiana, said that the orders are indeed coming, but the problem lies with the shortage of manpower that has decreased production. The exporters are expecting the flood situation in Bihar to resolve so that the movement of migrant workers can begin. However, this brings the next question of the mass movement of migrant workers in a post-COVID world.
The at present situation is alarming for sure, but the service providers in the informal sector would have to travel again to get a two-square meal for themselves. With the increasing numbers of the COVID-19 will a scenario of free movement be possible is still a question to think of.
India’s export fell for the first time in the June quarter as the key import items of petroleum and textiles declined sharply. The country’s trade resulted in a surplus for the first time in 18 years as the import rate fell by 47.59 per cent.
The import merchandise that negatively fell under the purview is gold, silver, petroleum, transport equipment, fertilizer, machinery and machine tools. However, the export of oilseeds, spices, pharma, tobacco and other chemicals.
Even though the imports have decreased drastically, which is positive for any economy, the Indian economy has a long way to go in reviving the economy and creating employment opportunities in India.