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100-day plan of Modi 2.0: Strategic sales, simplifying GST slabs, credit to MSMEs

Jul 16, 2019

The Union government's 167 'transformative ideas for implementation in the first 100 days of the Modi governments second stint - that is by October 15 -- is likely to see the Finance Ministry taking measured steps turning India into a $5 trillion economy by 2025 and and work towards its promise to double farm income by 2022 among others. 
 
The ideas which were also part of the government's earlier action plans while elections were underway have recently been reiterated by the Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha in a meeting with sectoral secretaries where he asked them to start implementing these ideas and update on the progress weekly. 
 
Sources said the ideas are a compilation of those aggregated during the elections time and also later as part of the Budget and the main aim is to lift the economy out of the slow growth, push consumption, demand and private investment which are the catalyst for any growth economy. 
 
The other plans for finance ministry to be taken within October 15 time period are simplification of GST by doing away with the two top rates of 18% and 28% where GST tax slabs could be merged into two main rates from four at present. 
 
The 100-day action is also to focus on freezing the bank accounts of the shell companies and those struck off from the MCA list. 
 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India will be USD 5 trillion economy by 2025: Piyush Goyal

Jul 16, 2019

Union Minister Piyush Goyal has voiced his confidence by saying that India will be a US$5 trillion economy by 2025 and the Centre is well poised towards achieving the target.
 
I am very confident that by 2025 we will be a $5 trillion economy. We are well poised towards achieving that, focused on different aspects of the economy which will take us there, the Union Minister said on Monday at UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting in London.
    
Source: Times Now News



India, UK set up 3 new bilateral trade working groups

Jul 16, 2019

India and the UK have agreed to set up three new bilateral working groups to tackle barriers to trade in specific sectors of food and drink, healthcare and data services as part of the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) meeting in London on Monday. 
 
The three new business-led working groups will be run by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) alongside the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). 
 
What makes JETCO so important is that it is more than just a government to government bilateral, there is the direct involvement of business," UKIBC Chief Operation Officer (COO) Kevin McCole told PTI in an interview. 
 
 
Today saw the launch of three new bilateral business-led working groups to take deep dive into the issues, from a business perspective, and make recommendations to ministers on how to unlock remaining barriers to trade in food and drink, life sciences and healthcare, and digital and data services, he said. 
 
 
The purpose of JETCO is to identify, and find solutions to, non-tariff barriers to trade. 
 
The Joint Trade Review, launched in November 2016, has made good progress – bilateral trade grew 22 per cent in 2018, against the average of 8.8 per cent per annum since 2002, McCole said. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India seeks investments, but won't sign unfair trade deals: Piyush Goyal

Jul 16, 2019

India has red lines to protect its economy and it won't sign unfair trade agreements, said Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in London on Sunday.
 
Goyal spoke to an audience of Indian diaspora after his government's policy measures on e-commerce, data localisation and a tax surcharge on the rich were believed to have spooked investors.
 
Indian government is looking for ideas from all sides to strengthen and to give confidence to international investors, with the best of technologies, to come to India and invest, he said.
 
India will sit down across the table and find a common meeting ground with the US and the UK, he said. There are obviously some red lines, which each side may find difficult to compromise, but as long as we can respect that, as one would do in a business transaction or while negotiating a good deal, it will not be impossible to resolve it.
 
He said countries have to protect their national interest and sovereignty.
 
He said trade agreements India signed in 2009-10 had not helped the country and "which is why India is looking at the US to put that baggage behind and move forward.
 
About the proposed free trade pact Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said that India is working for a fair deal that does not allow unfair market access.
 
From now, no agreement or trade pact on commerce will be at the cost of India's interests, the country's sovereign requirements and interests of the citizens.
    
Source: Business Standard



India-US trade talks recommence, but the US still looking at arm-twisting India

Jul 16, 2019

India complied with the US directives to stop importing oil from Iran after American waivers granted to eight countries still buying the oil expired in the first week of May. Coerced by the US, which is aiming at the Government change in Venezuela, India has also ended oil import from Venezuela, increasing further its dependence on Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the UAE.
 
Significantly, while the US deadline for importing oil from Iran was expiring in the first week of May, the US on 5th March 2019 gave a 60-day withdrawal notice to India on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits extended by the US, thereby bringing the deadline around the same time when the deadline for oil purchase from Iran was expiring.
 
The message was clear! Though the Parliamentary elections in India stalled the process for a short-while, India was left with no choice but to comply. It complied on Iran and it complied on Venezuela, without for a moment considering its own trade loss and the threat to eroding of relations, particularly with Iran, which existed long before the US was even discovered.
 
As India-US trade talks commenced again today, the US is still playing headstrong even though India has given reasonable arguments from its side to come to some agreement. India has to decide till when it will continue to pay heed to adamant, constantly changing the stance of the US, keeping only its political and trade benefits in mind and unmindful of all the rest of the world.
 
While not paying heed to India’s heavy oil dependence from abroad, the US didn’t even bring into consideration India’s concerns related to its geopolitical interests in the area when it recommenced talks with the Taliban, who it itself had branded as a terrorist organization while sidelining the present and previous heads of elected Government, viz. Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani. During the last five years, Afghanistan had become the second-largest recipient of Indian foreign aid and had invested heavily on infrastructure, including hospitals, roads, and dams, and contributing to the fabric of a democratic nation-state through various programs.
 
These investments were aimed at preventing Pakistan from setting up a friendly government in Kabul again, like in the 90s when the Taliban were in control, and also at avoiding the return of Jihadi groups like Al-Qaida from striking in India again, as they have done in the past. How laudable it would be that the US is seeking assurances from Taliban itself, designated as a terrorist organization, that it will not use Afghanistan to set up bases for terrorist attacks, in case the US leave the country, handing back the reins of power to the Taliban!
 
The US is also unmindful of India’s heavy investments in Chabahar, which are on the verge of getting wasted, due to the US sanctions against Iran. Chabahar investments too were in India’s interest, as they provided an unhindered trade link, bypassing Pakistan, not only with Afghanistan but also in reaching out to other Central Asian countries, including the former Soviet Republics. This Port is vital to India’s geopolitical interests for many reasons; it gives India an alternative to CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and provides India an avenue to expand its trade and access to energy resources, in the Central Asian region.
    
Source: Financial Express



Asia on track to top 50% of World GDP by 2040: Report

Jul 16, 2019

 India is poised to overtake the UK to become the world’s fifth largest economy, with a GDP or gross domestic production about double the size of either Canada or Russia, in the coming years, according to research by the Mckinsey Global Institute (MGI).
 
Also, along with China, which competes as an economy with the US, the institute says, Asia is now the centre of global economic activity.
 
The rise of Asia is happening faster than expected. Fast-followers are already industry leaders. The rural class is already the urban middle class. Asian cities are already international financial centres,says the research.
 
McKinsey & Company, in partnership with the MGI, today launched Future of Asia – new research that examines, not how quickly Asia will rise, but how Asia will lead.
 
The MGI research examined 71 developing economies and singled out 18 of them for consistently posting robust economic GDP growth. All seven long term outperformers and five out of 11 recent outperformers are located in Asia.
 
If you want to understand the global economy and its future, you need to understand Asia, said Oliver Tonby, Chairman of McKinsey in Asia.
 
According to the research, the 21st-century will be characterized by a pivot toward Asia, and business and market leaders will need an accurate picture of what a future Asia will look like as they set long-term strategies.
 
McKinsey’s research highlights that the region is on track to top 50% of global GDP by 2040 and drive 40% of the world’s consumption. Furthermore, as consumption rises, more of what gets made in Asia is being sold locally instead of being exported to the West.
    
Source: Live mint



MSMEs & Startups must come forward to take best available guidance for starting an enterprise: Min of MSME

Jul 16, 2019

Government has multiple schemes to facilitate startups through their seed capital program, incubation Centre promotion and also funding through different sources, said Dinesh Rai, former secretary Ministry of MSME.
 
https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gifSpeaking at a program organized by Alliance for Indian MSME and Confederation of all India Traders (CAIT), he said There are funds available through banking channels, NSIC, SIDBI and other agencies. It is important that startups come forward and discuss with government agencies to take advantage of these schemes.
 
Addressing the gathering, Director-MSME-DI, PM Parlewar said that government has made lot of funds available for startups.
 
MSME ministry Minister, Nitin Gadkari is committed for development of MSME sector. It is advisable that MSME and startups meet him at his office at CGO Complex seminary Hills and take best available guidance for starting of any Enterprise, he added.
 
National President of CAIT, BC Bhartia said that the future lies in developing startups. The startup should come forward with their innovative ideas. Venture catalyst help them to present their project before Angel investors to get proper funding based on the valuation of their project.
 
On the occasion, Branch Manager of SIDBI Nagpur D Prasad Rao presented the various schemes of SIDBI for startups.
    
Source: Knn India



Government plans to tweak PMFBY; to make crop insurance voluntary to all farmers

Jul 16, 2019

Making crop insurance voluntary to all farmers, removal of high premium crops, giving flexibility to states to provide customised add on products -- are some of the key changes the Centre is planning to make to the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), a senior government official said Monday. 
 
 
The agriculture ministry has also proposed setting up of State Level Corpus Fund, and migration of savings to a National-level Insurance Risk Pool to quell public perception that insurance companies are making profits from the scheme, the official said. 
 
 
That apart, it has suggested a premium ceiling for coverage under the scheme at 25 per cent (to be revised every year) if irrigated area within a crop is more than 50 per cent. A premium ceiling at 30 per cent has been suggested if irrigated area within a crop is less than 50 per cent, the official added. 
 
Launched in April 2016, PMFBY provides comprehensive crop insurance from pre-sowing to post-harvest period against non-preventable natural risks at extremely low premium rate of 2 per  cent for kharif crops, 1.5 per cent for rabi crops and 5 per cent for horticulture and commercial crops. 
 
PMFBY is in the seventh season of implementation. Many challenges have been faced during the implementation of the scheme and the ministry has identified those gaps and proposed several changes and sought views of state governments on the same, the official told PTI. 
 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



To reduce fertilizer use, govt eyes direct subsidy transfer

Jul 16, 2019

In its bid to disincentivise farmers from excessive use of chemical fertilizers, the government is preparing to move on a long considered proposal for direct cash transfer of the subsidy amount to farmers’ bank accounts. 
 
The funds transferred will be used only for buying soil nutrients while two options are being explored to decide the cash subsidy — either by fixing the amount per acre/ hectare or a lumpsum amount for all identified beneficiaries on the lines of PM-Kisan scheme, official sources said. 
 
The plan to move to DBT will be a fundamental change in the manner in which fertilizer subsidies are administered in India as funds have been transferred to manufacturing and retailing companies. Direct payments to farmers are seen as better to ensure delivery of subsidies to the end user. 
 
The draft report of a panel under Niti Aayog member Ramesh Chand had recommended the two options and consultations are on to finalise the plan. Once the mechanism is approved, we will be able to roll it out in three to four months. Though authenticating size of land holdings is challenging, we can take the data from PM-Kisan, which has the details of beneficiaries and their land holdings, said an official. 
 
Currently, farmers are allowed to buy as much fertilizer as they want at subsidised rate and its based on a no denying policy. The government directly pays the subsidy amount to manufacturers or marketing firms. Under the new system, the subsidy will be credited to farmers. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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