NEW DELHI – The Engineering Exports Promotion Council of India Jan. 20 said the shutdown of the United States Federal government will hit exports to the country, which is among the largest destinations for Indian exports.
The U.S. government began shutting down Jan. 20 for the first time in more than four years after Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating.
"The shutdown of the U.S. Federal government is certainly bad news for the Indian exporters since the American economy is among the largest destinations for exports,” EEPC India chairman Ravi P. Sehgal said.
He further reiterated that for the engineering sector the "U.S. is the number one export destination, giving a robust growth in the current financial year.”
Between April-December period of the current fiscal year, engineering exports to the U.S. grew by over 50 percent to $7.5 billion, Sehgal said.
"With as many as 60,000 employees of the U.S. Commerce and Transportation departments being furloughed, the port operations as well as the clearing would be hit," he noted with concern.
Despite the ripple effect of the United States shutdown across the world, no flights from India to America had been cancelled, according to sources.
Though travelers were not impacted immediately, industry players said that if the government shutdown was prolonged, it would have an effect in the near future.
"The U.S. government shutdown will have no impact on those traveling from India. Airlines are functioning as per their schedules, the air traffic control, immigration and customs services which are deemed as essential services, are not covered by the shutdown," said Karan Anand, head of Relationships at Cox & Kings.
"The government shutdown could impact travelers planning a trip to the U.S. in the foreseeable future," said Sharat Dhall, COO-B2C, at Yatra.com, adding that "while there will be a miniscule impact on air traffic controllers, visa processing will certainly face some delay. Also, passport processing for the U.S. citizens visiting India or other foreign nations might also get delayed."
Air India has not cancelled or postponed any flights to the U.S., a source familiar with the matter said.