Services Exports Touched All-Time High At $250 Billion In FY22, Says Piyush Goyal

India's exports to these countries would be in the range of about $2.5-3 billion while imports are in the range of about $10-11 billion.
File Photo.
File Photo.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said services exports touched an all-time high of around $250 billion (about Rs 19 lakh crore) in 2021-22.

The previous highest level was $213 billion (about Rs 16 lakh crore) in 2019-20.

"We have achieved the $250 billion target despite the fact that sectors like tourism and travel were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic... These are the highest ever services exports," he said at a briefing.

However, this is provisional data and the figure may increase once the final data is released, he added.

Further, Goyal said the services basket is now increasing, and "from low-cost services, we are moving up the value chain".

When asked about the exports target for the current fiscal for both goods and services, he said officials are already engaging with the stakeholders.

"From Friday, I am starting a round of talks with export promotion councils," he said, adding that the prime minister would also take feedback, and then "we will set the target".

However, these are challenging times because of the pandemic and the ongoing conflict, he noted.

On the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, he said India's total trade with these two countries is "very" large.

India's exports to these countries would be in the range of about $2.5-3 billion while imports are in the range of about $10-11 billion.

"There are few sectors which may get impacted" but increasing engagement with countries like Australia, and the UAE would help in boosting trade," the minister said.

Ukraine is the world's biggest sunflower oil producer and India imports almost all of its sunflower oil from there. Sunflower oil is India's second-biggest imported edible oil after palm oil.

Goyal said that India was a major player in this segment and "now again we are discussing with the farmer associations and the states to see how we can boost oilseed production in the country".

India can look for alternative sources of supply to meet any short-term disruption in supply, he added.

When asked about rising inflation, Goyal said the food grain situation is comfortable and the likely good monsoon would further increase the supplies.

He said that the whole world has been impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the effort of the government would be to become Aatmanirbhar in more areas.

Regarding rupee-rouble trade with Russia, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said that "no official talks are going on for this".

Instead, the government is trying to facilitate payments for the exports already made to Russia from banks that are not covered by sanctions, he added.

India's overall exports (merchandise and services) touched an "all-time high" of $669.65 billion in April-March 2021-22, jumping by 34.50 per cent over the year-ago period.

"Services sector has achieved an all-time high despite services like tourism, aviation and hospitality being severely affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic," Goyal said.

At another event for engineering exporters, the minister pitched for manufacturing world-class products for both domestic and export purposes.

Goyal, who also holds the consumer affairs portfolio, said "we take every complaint very, very seriously and now we have started acting with tough penalties on those who are mis-selling or misleading advertisements or trying to skirt the law. There we are trying to take serious actions."

The minister urged exporters to adopt an uncompromising stance when it comes to ensuring quality.

"We must not let quality culture weaken in the country," he cautioned.

Further, Goyal said India has the potential to export both goods and services worth $1 trillion each by 2030.

Engineering good exports account for more than 25 per cent of India's $400 billion-plus outbound shipments. The sector has recorded 45 per cent growth in 2021-22 and touched $111 billion. 

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