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Govt considering forex loan at cheaper rate to exporters, higher insurance cover to banks: Goyal

Nov 21, 2019

The government is considering a proposal to provide foreign exchange loan at cheaper interest rate to exporters and higher insurance coverage to the banks on their export-credit-disbursement, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal informed Parliament on Wednesday.
 
The proposal is presently under consideration, he said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on whether the government proposes to provide foreign exchange loan at cheaper rate of interest to the exporters.
 
It is expected that it will enable banks to revise their lending rate for export credit and to provide foreign exchange loan at cheaper rate of interest, the minister added.
 
US-China standoff
Replying to a separate question, he said the current trade standoff between the US and China and the slowdown in international market is likely to have its impact on the imports and exports of countries, including India, and may bring about a shift in the bilateral trading patterns.
 
The retaliatory tariffs between US and China have provided a limited window of opportunity for enhancing India's exports to China and US, particularly in products in which India is also competitive, Goyal said, adding that India's exports to both the US and China have increased in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India offers huge business opportunities for Central, Eastern European companies: Piyush Goyal

Nov 21, 2019

India, with its 1.3 billion population, offers huge business opportunities for the companies of Central and Eastern European countries, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.
 
He further said both India and Europe also offer an opportunity to help kick-start economic growth in the world.
 
We have lots of opportunities together and I hope we can look for a greater engagement. We have both comparative and competitive advantages," he said here.
 
Goyal was addressing the India-Europe 29 Business Forum, organised by industry body CII.
 
Seeking investments, the minister said India provides several incentives including low tax rates for investors.
 
We offer incentives, we have cut down tax rates. We have 1.3 billion people market who are aspiring for a better quality of life, Goyal said.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Australian ex-PM Tony Abbott calls for bilateral free trade pact with India

Nov 21, 2019

Arguing that the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact is not comprehensive enough in scope, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for India and Australia to restart talks for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
 
Invariably, nations are very wary of anything that might end up leaving vulnerable countries permanently indebted to another. So, I would be cautious about RCEP as it looks like a trade arm of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Abbott told Business Standard on Wednesday. On a 5-day visit to India, Abbott met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday.
 
To focus on the RCEP, India had earlier decided to hold off talks on bilateral FTAs with both the nations. Now, with the government aiming for a deal with the US and deciding to restart similar talks with the European Union, the two southern nations are wary of missing out on trade with India.
 
Talks between New Delhi and Canberra on the proposed Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which had begun in 2011 had hit a wall back in 2017. Government officials maintained that Australia's demand for market access for its agro, dairy products and meat were untenable, especially since the country was uncomfortable opening up the services sector to Indian exports. Subsequently, both nations had decided to focus on the RCEP.
 
Last week, diplomatic sources had revealed that Australia and New Zealand had continued to push for India’s inclusion in the RCEP pact, weeks after New Delhi pulled out of it. Officials of both the nations have been in touch with other RCEP partners and had been the real force behind the RCEP nations deciding to keep the door open for India to join at a later date, sources in the know, said.
    
Source: Business Standard



Govt promoting labour-intensive manufacturing in tourism and agro-based industries: Gangwar

Nov 21, 2019

Government is strategically promoting labour-intensive manufacturing and expanding employment opportunities in tourism and agro-based industries, labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
 
There has been an all-round criticism of the government for not creating enough jobs for seven million youth that enter the workforce every year.
 
In fact, the periodic labour force survey of NSSO has shown unemployment rate at over four decade high of 6.1% in 2017-18.
 
According to Gangwar, government has taken various steps for generating employment in the country like encouraging private sector of economy, fast-tracking various projects involving substantial investment and increasing public expenditure on schemes like Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) and Deendyal Antodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM).
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Wheat output likely to rise 10% as acreage under crop increases

Nov 21, 2019

 Farmers may expand acreage under wheat by 18% this Rabi season banking on high soil moisture and enough water, said agriculture department The agriculture department has estimated a significant rise in wheat acreage and downfall in chana acreage by 10% this season. Agriculture department is estimating acreage under wheat in Indore division to go up to 9.45 lakh hectares in 2019-20 as against 8.02 lakh hectares in the last season. 
 
Indore agriculture joint director Rewasingh Sisodia said, As per the initial trend it looks like that farmers will expand area under wheat because extended rainfall resulted in abundance of water in the region.
 
Experts said better soil moisture and water availability will also help in improving per hectares yield of wheat in the region that may result in overall hike in output this year. 
 
Indian Agricultural Research Institute regional station Indore head Dr SV Sai Prasad said, “Wheat output may go up by 10 per cent owing to higher acreage and conducive weather conditions.
 
According to the research institute, quality of wheat is likely to improve this season resulting in better remuneration for farmers. 
 
In 2018-19 acreage under wheat in the state was reported at 55 lakh hectares, while output was 173 lakh tonne. Last year, the yield was 31.4 quintal per hectares, as per the research institute. 
 
Area under chana is estimated to drop 10.50 per cent to 3.92 lakh hectares as against 4.39 lakh hectares, according to the agriculture department. 
    
Source: Times of india



Shinzo Abe may visit India in December for bilateral meet with PM Modi

Nov 21, 2019

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to visit India in mid-December and New Delhi and Tokyo are working out the dates between December 13 and 17 for his annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
 
As for the venue of the bilateral talks, the Indian side is scouting for locations and is considering Odisha and Assam as possible places for the meeting.
 
While Assam’s Guwahati is the first choice for the bilateral meeting, Odisha’s Bhubaneshwar has emerged as a top contender owing to its infrastructure and local administration.
 
It is learnt that the picturesque Sun temple in Konark in Odisha could provide a backdrop for the summit meeting between Modi and Abe. Such a picturesque backdrop will be comparable to the summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Modi in Mahabalipuram in October.
    
Source: Indian Express



Resource rich Kazakhstan explores business opportunities in West Bengal

Nov 21, 2019

Resource rich Central Asian state of Kazakhstan has decided to explore business opportunities in West Bengal. On November 18-19 Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India Yerlan Alimbayev paid a working visit to Eastern India’s largest economic and financial center in Kolkata.
 
Kazakhstan’s Ambassador met with the Governor of the state, the Chairman of the Kolkata Seaport, the Managing Director of the West Bengal industrial development Corporation, and also held talks with the leadership of the Kolkata Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a number of leading Indian companies.
 
The Ambassador spoke about the state and prospects of bilateral relations and ways to strengthen it.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Cabinet approves import of 1.2 lakh tonnes onion: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Nov 21, 2019

The Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to the Food Ministry's recent decision to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions in a bid to improve the domestic availability of the key kitchen staple and check prices.
 
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed about the decision at a media briefing after the Cabinet meeting.
 
On November 16, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had announced that the government will import 1,00,000 tonnes of onions through state-run MMTCNSE -2.65 %, which has already floated a tender for buying 4,000 tonnes of the commodity from the global market.
 
The government is also facilitating private imports and also relaxed phytosanitary and fumigation norms till December.
 
The move comes after the government's various efforts to boost the domestic availability failed to cool down the retail prices significantly. Retail prices of onions are continuing to rule above Rs 60/kg in the national capital and other consuming centres.
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Natural farm produce to be available in Mandi, Una soon: HP Min

Nov 21, 2019

Residents of Mandi and Una may soon get natural farm produce as Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Department is planning to open such sale outlets there, agriculture minister Ram Lal Markanda said here on Wednesday.
The plan to open more such outlets has been proposed after the success of pilot project at Secretariat here, he added.
 
Presently, the sale outlet in HP Secretariat is functioning twice a week and this frequency will be increased in future, depending on the demand by consumers, he added.
    
Source: outlookindia.com



CSCs to speed up enrollment under the farmer income support scheme-PM Kisan

Nov 21, 2019

The Ministry of Agriculture has tied up with digital kiosks or Common Service Centers under the Ministry of IT and Electronics to meet their target of enrolling 14 crore marginal farmers across India.
 
The tie-up with CSCs will speed up the enrolment process under farmers’ income support scheme -- Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) with their network of over 3,00,000 centres across the country
 
So far only around 7 crore farmers have been enrolled in the PK-Kisan scheme against the target of 14 crores and the partnership with CSCs is expected to shore up that number.
 
Farmers can visit nearby CSCs to get enrolled and avail the scheme’s benefit. CSCs have also been given the mandate to make any changes such as address or nominee in previous enrolment.
 
CSC has already been doing the enrolment work for PM Kisan Maan Dhan – a Centre-sponsored pension scheme for farmers.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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