New Delhi: A high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday decided to curb non-essential imports and increase exports, besides announcing five-pronged measures to increase dollar inflows into the country to fund and reduce the current account deficit (CAD).
The CAD rose to 2.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2018-19 from 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18.
These measures will increase dollar inflows by up to $10 billion in the country.
The government decided to cut non-essential imports and increase exports, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting, adding the measures would be announced in the next few days after consultations with the ministries concerned.
However, experts are not impressed. “This is an old narrative, from before the liberalisation era when non-essential imports were, to an extent, considered to be anything apart from petroleum,” said trade expert Biswajit Dhar said.
However, in today’s global trade regime, one has to be careful in imposing tariffs, he added.