The Weekend Leader - Extend moratorium on debt repayment: EEPC

Extend moratorium on debt repayment: EEPC

New Delhi


The Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) of India has urged the government to extend the moratorium on debt repayment as the top markets for engineering exports are under lockdown that is in place to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

According to EEPC India, of the top 25 markets, accounting for over 75 per cent of Indian engineering exports, most of the major destinations are in the state of lockdown or under stringent restrictions due to the outbreak of the dreaded virus.

Consequently, the council has urged the government to extend the moratorium on debt repayment beyond three months besides demanding that the loans should be restructured.

"The engineering products account for one-fourth of India's total merchandise export basket," said EEPC India Chairman Ravi Sehgal.

"While all our major markets are in a severe grip of the global health crisis, the operations are completely or near shut in the absence of labour and transportation even as port facilitation services through government departments are available for help. Our exports, at this point of time, are in a state of seizure as we face uncertainty," Sehgal added.

Notably, for the April-February period of 2019-20, India's exports of engineering items to the largest 25 markets aggregated to $53.30 billion, out of the total shipments of $70.6 billion.

The council noted that there are widespread disruptions even in the smaller markets.

Furthermore, the council expects the April data to be quite dismal as nations across the world are pushing hard on restrictions.

"The extension of the Foreign Trade Policy by one year up to March 2021 is a step in the right direction, as that would enable the continuance of different export schemes such as MEIS," Sehgal said.

"But we are facing survival issue and the measures announced by the Reserve Bank of India and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman need to be topped up and made more inclusive," he added. IANS

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