Exports decline 1.76 pc to USD 300.6 bn in 2012-13
The declining exports have also pushed up the trade deficit during the fiscal to USD 190.91 billion from USD 183.4 billion in the previous financial year, he said while addressing a press conference to announce the annual supplement to the Foreign Trade Policy (FPT).
The decline in exports has been on account of global slowdown and negative growth in sectors like engineering and textiles.
Exports had stood at USD 307 billion during 2011-12.
The government had fixed an export target of USD 360 billion for 2012-13 which had been missed by a wide margin.
In order to encourage exports, Sharma announced a host of steps including extension of the zero-duty export EPCG scheme beyond March 2013.
The Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme, which is a major incentive programme of the government, would be available to all sectors, the Minister said.
Besides other schemes, the Minister also announced incentives for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to encourage exports.