India may lose two million jobs as overseas shipments of products including clothes and shoes declined due to the strengthening of the rupee against the US dollar, Jairam Ramesh, minister of state for commerce, said.
Minister of state for commerce Jairam Ramesh says unless remedial steps are taken, job losses would mount
“In certain sectors like textiles, leather, marine products and handicrafts, there is a net decline in exports which has led to job losses,” the minister said. “It was estimated that unless remedial measures are taken, the total job losses could be as high as two million,” the minister said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The rupee gained 12% in 2007, the sharpest rally in more than three decades, eroding the value of manufactured exports that make up about 15% of the Indian economy. While the currency slumped to a six-month low this week, exports may still miss the government’s target this year. Overseas sales may reach $152-155 billion (Rs6.1-6.2 trillion) in the 12 months ending 31 March, short of the $160 billion forecast, he said, adding, “as per the preliminary estimates, during April to January, there was a negative growth in dollar terms in the export of a number of items including cotton, primary and semi-finished iron and steel, plastic, non-ferrous metals, sports goods and handicrafts.”