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I-Day speech: Modi says will invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infra, $5-trillion economy target achievable

Aug 16, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government will invest a massive Rs 100 lakh crore on developing modern infrastructure that will aid in nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion in the next five years. 
 
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort here on the 73rd Independence Day, he said reforms will continue to be ushered in to help India break into top 50 countries on the 'ease of doing business' ranking. 
 
To some the target of nearly doubling the size of Indian economy to USD 5 trillion in five years may seem difficult. But when we have in five years (of BJP rule) added USD 1 trillion as compared to USD 2 trillion size achieved in 70 years of independence, then this target is achievable, he said. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Exports growth to be in double digits this fiscal: Commerce Secretary

Aug 16, 2019

Exports growth of the country in the current fiscal is likely to be in double digits despite the challenging situation both on the external and internal fronts, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said here on Wednesday. 
 
In the last financial year, growth in exports was between nine and ten per cent and the volume touched USD 331 billion which was a  record, he said. 
 
Wadhawan also said the country had seen the continuous growth in the last three years. 
 
In the current financial year, we are expecting the growth to be in double digits, he said on the sidelines of an EEPC seminar here. 
 
The official said the global slowdown was almost visible as per the forecast of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and this fact would be factored in the revised Foreign Trade Policy (FTP). 
 
The present FTP is valid till March 31, 2020 and the policy is announced in every five years.
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Bringing India and Latin America closer in terms of trade and investment

Aug 16, 2019

In an era of global economic challenges, diversification of trade partners and access to new markets is becoming a priority for all economies, and more so for emerging market economies like India. Of late, the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has emerged as an important economic partner for India, despite both the economies being geographically and culturally apart. India and the LAC have a combined GDP of $8 trillion and account for over a quarter of global population. There are mutual benefits that can be derived from partnering. For instance, having established itself as a strong services-driven economy, India can help share its expertise in developing a modern services sector in the LAC region. And LAC countries can partner India to help meet its natural resources requirements and ensure food security for its burgeoning population.
 
Over the last decade, India’s trade with LAC has grown three-fold—to reach $39 billion in 2018, with India’s exports to LAC amounting to $13 billion and imports reaching $26 billion. India, thus, runs a trade deficit with LAC, to the tune of $13 billion. Importantly, India’s current trade with LAC is concentrated in a handful of product categories and with a few countries—Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Argentina absorbed more than 80% of India’s exports to LAC in 2018. Also, crude oil imports from Venezuela made it the biggest source of India’s imports from LAC during the year, constituting one-third of the total imports from the region.
 
The potential
There is a huge scope to strengthen India-LAC relations by deepening trade and investment ties. There is significant untapped potential for Indian exporters in categories such as machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical machinery and equipment, plastics, transport vehicles, pharmaceuticals, among others, owing to their high import demand in the region. Moreover, based on authors’ research, sectors such as communications, automotive, business and financial services, alternative/renewable energy, metals, food and tobacco, and hydrocarbons present opportunities for Indian investors for enhancing investments in the LAC region.
    
Source: Financial Express



Exports Surge 2.25% in July, trade deficit narrows to $13.43 billion

Aug 16, 2019

India’s merchandise exports rebounded and grew 2.25% in July, aided by higher shipments of organic goods, drugs and pharmaceuticals, while imports shrank, narrowing the trade deficit. 
 
Exports had slumped 9.71% in June on the back of intensifying trade tensions between the US and China. The government has started work on measures to boost exports, including a new export promotion scheme. 
 
 
Growth in exports shows resilience of the Indian exporting community even during such tough times and sluggishness in the global economy, said Sharad Kumar Saraf, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. He added that sluggish global demand and uncertainties emanating from the tariff war are clearly visible in the slowdown of exports globally. 
 
India’s exports increased to $26.3 billion in July from $25.75 billion a year earlier, data released by the commerce department showed on Wednesday. Imports declined 10.4% to $39.76 billion last month from $44.39 billion in July 2018. This resulted in the trade deficit narrowing to $13.43 billion from $18.63 billion a year earlier. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Venkaiah Naidu to visit Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia from August 17-21: MEA

Aug 16, 2019

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will embark on a trip to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from August 17-21, the first ever high-level visit from India to the three Baltic countries, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday. 
 
The vice president will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Minister of State for HRD, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, MPs P Ranee Narah, Manas Ranjan Bhunia and Ramesh Bidhuri among others, MEA Secretary (West) A Gitesh Sarma said. 
 
He said India had a historical connect and common linguistic roots with the Baltic countries. 
 
The vice president's visit will be the first ever high-level visit (from India) to the three Baltic countries. The visit takes place in the context of increasing political engagement as well as intensified trade and commercial engagement," Sarma said. 
 
 
He added that Naidu's visit to the three Baltic nations was to advance India's outreach to the important countries in the region. 
 
This visit will provide an opportunity to brief the Baltic countries and hear their views on enhanced opportunities for cooperation, thus further strengthening our existing friendly ties, Sarma said. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



PM Modi appeals farmers to cut down use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides

Aug 16, 2019

 A month after his government pitched for 'zero budget farming', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday gave a call to farmers to gradually reduce use of chemical fertilizers and  and said it would be a great step in saving our mother Earth. 
 
The way we are using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, it is damaging health of its soil. As a farmer, as a child of this soil, I have no right to damage its health. I have no right to make my mother India sad nor do have the right to make her sick, said Modi while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the 
 
Underlining the importance of cutting down use of chemical fertilizers, the Prime Minister even appealed the farmers to do it in a campaign mode. 
Revered Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi) showed us the way. Should we not cut down the use of chemical fertilizer in our fields by 10 or 20 or 25 per cent and if possible should we not launch a 'Muktikar Abhiyan' (campaign)? This would be a great service to the nation, said Modi. 
 
Though distribution of 'soil health cards' among farmers helped them cut use of fertilizers to an extent, they, currently, still use about 55 million tonnes of urea and P&K (phosphatic and potassic) fertilizers every year for higher yields. Besides, there is also a rampant use of pesticides and herbicides to tackle crop damages. 
 
During its budget for 2019-20, the government had on July 5 proposed to focus on resource efficient and eco-friendly 'zero budget farming' and pitched it as an important step in doubling farmers' income by 2022. 
    
Source: Times of india



Ranong Port to boost trade with India

Aug 16, 2019

The Port of Authority of Thailand (PAT) is pressing ahead with the development of Ranong Port as a logistics gateway between Thailand and India as both countries have agreed to promote a new maritime route in the Andaman Sea.
 
PAT director-general Kamolsak Promprayoon said the development of Ranong Port will facilitate a new maritime route between Krishnapatnam Port in India and Ranong Port on the Andaman coast.
 
Lt Jg Kamolsak said the scheme to develop the port will also help materialise several aspects of cooperation under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Thursdaybetween the two ports.
 
Under the MoU, travel time between India and Thailand will be reduced from 10 to 15 days to seven.
    
Source: bangkokpost



Pulses exporters seek sops, say this will check prices

Aug 16, 2019

Exporters of pulses are seeking incentives from the government to boost shipments, saying also that it would also help support prices in the local market when the new crop is harvested in the coming months. 
 
The government has a stock of close to 3.5 million tonnes of pulses, including a buffer of 1.4 million tonnes, said industry executives. They anticipate kharif production to be similar to the previous year at 9 million tonnes, which could lead to a fall in domestic prices when the new supplies arrive in the market in October-November. 
 
The trade needs incentives to be competitive in the international market because Indian prices are too high, said Suresh Aggarwal, the president of the All India Dal Mill Association. A delegation of exporters will meet commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal in the coming days to present the demand, he said. India exported 2.70 lakh tonnes of pulses worth ?1,679.98 crore in 2018-19. Algeria, the UAE, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the US are the major markets for Indian pulses such as chickpea,tur or arhar (pigeon pea), moong beans, urad (black matpe) and masur (lentil). Exporters sought incentives after shipments in the April-May period, the first two months of this fiscal year, fell 58.6% to 28,962 tonnes. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Direct payment system for grain farmers of Punjab, Haryana soon

Aug 16, 2019

The Central government has decided to implement a major agricultural trade reform in two north Indian states by directly paying farmers the minimum support price for procurement of grains and removing agents from the process. 
 
While the agents, called arthiyas, will continue to be paid commission, payments to grain farmers in Punjab and Haryana will no longer be routed through them. The agents, many of them with strong political connections, are deeply entrenched in the grain trade in Punjab and Haryana and have threatened to launch an agitation against the move. 
 
However, the government appears determined to implement the change. Haryana and Punjab, which contribute the most to the nation’s food grain stocks, are the only states that continue with the practice of making payments through arthiyas. 
 
We have categorically told the Punjab government that we will not purchase paddy and other crops if commission agents are not removed from the system, said a senior agriculture ministry official. Punjab has assured us that it will devise a mechanism for direct payment to farmers, bypassing arthiyas from this kharif harvest itself. 
 
He said Haryana already has a system in place for direct payments to farmers. 
 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



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