The Centre informed the Parliament on Wednesday that India’s overall exports (merchandise plus services) had reduced by 25.42% during the months of April and June, when compared to the figure during the same time last year. The government attributed the reduced figure to the nationwide lockdown to control the coronavirus.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal released the information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. Goyal said that the export figure was showing signs of improvement. “The latest merchandise exports show a recovery, with export decline reducing to -12.66% in August, 2020,” he said.

Goyal said that the Centre had taken steps to boost exports amid the crisis, including extending the validity of the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20) till the end of March, 2021 and allowing relaxations in timelines.

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The minister added that the industrial activity in the country was also beginning to go back to normal with the easing of restrictions. “The quick estimate of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation for the month of June, 2020 stands at 107.8 as compared to 53.6 and 89.5 in April, 2020 and May, 2020 respectively,” he said.

Data released by the government last week showed that India’s industrial output declined by 10.4% year-on-year in July, government data showed on Friday. The country’s industrial production declined 29.2% from April to July. India’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate, meanwhile, contracted by 23.9% for the April to June quarter. This was the first instance of an economic contraction for the country in at least four decades, and also the first GDP decline since India began publishing growth data on a quarterly basis in 1996.