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coronavirus: Export sector may lose 15 million jobs unless immediate relief announced: FIEO

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Deserted Bandra-Worli sealink during the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak.


WorldIndiaConfirmed6,761Deaths199Confirmed1,595,350Deaths95,455New Delhi: Above 15 million jobs may get lost in India’s export sector with half the orders getting cancelled and rising non-performing assets in exporting units, the apex body of exporters said on Friday.

“With cancellation of over 50% of orders and gloomy forecast for the future, we expect 15 million job losses in exports and rising NPAs amongst exporting units, hitting the economy very badly,” said Sharad Kumar Saraf, President, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

The organisation’s estimate comes days after the International Labour Organisation said about 40 crore workers in India working in the informal economy are at risk of falling deeper into poverty during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

As per the World Trade Organization, the decline in world trade due to Covid-19 will likely exceed the trade slump brought by the global financial crisis of 2008-09 with merchandise trade expected to decline 13-32% in 2020

“We are left with very less orders and if factories are not allowed to work with a minimum work force to execute them timely, many of them will suffer irreparable losses and bringing them to the brink of closure as they are saddled with fixed cost, which in any case has to be absorbed by them,” Saraf said.

Relief sought

Calling for fine balancing between life and livelihood, he asked the government to immediately announce a relief package for exports.

FIEO has asked exports related manufacturing immediately to be allowed with minimum work force adhering to safety, sanitization and social distancing norms.

It suggested a Covid Interest free working capital term loan to exporters to cover the cost of wages, rental and utilities, EPF and ESIC waiver for three months from March to May, 2020 along with extension of Pre and Post shipment credit by 90-180 days on their maturity, roll over of forward cover without interest and penalty, automatic enhancement of limit by 25% to address liquidity challenges and extension of Interest Equalisation Benefits.


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