Commerce Ministry is hopeful that the narrowing pace of decline in exports will sustain in the coming months on account of the steps taken by the government to boost overseas shipments, a top government official said. "I am hopeful that it (the narrowing pace of dip in exports) will sustain in the coming months. we have made lot of efforts," Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said. She said thesteps, like simplification of procedures, which "we have taken will slowly bear fruits". Exports fell for the 18th month in a row in May by 0.79 per cent, but the pace of decline has narrowed mainly on account of positive growth in key sectors like engineering and gems and jewellery. Exports have been falling since December 2014 due to weak global demand and slide in oil prices. However, since December last year, the pace of contraction is slowing down. The Commerce Ministry has taken several steps including reduction of paper work to improve ease of doing business and extending 3 per cent interest subsidy for exporters. One of the major sector - engineering goods - have entered into positive zone and recorded a growth of 2.2 per cent in May. Gems and jewellery exports too grew by 24.34 per cent to USD 3.71 billion. Exporters body Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said that exports are all set to take off from here onwards. "We can look for double digit growth from October onwards which may pave the way for reaching USD 300 billion in the current fiscal," it said.
However exports of pharmaceuticals dipped 10 per cent in May. When asked this, the Secretary said that pharma exporters are facing challenges in some African and South American markets. There are payments issues in countries like Venezuela and Sudan, she said, adding that "we are taking up the issue bilaterally".