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Farm exports up 16.88 per cent in Apr-Feb FY21.

Apr 22, 2021

India exported agricultural commodities worth Rs 2.74 lakh crore till February of the 2020-21 fiscal, up by 16.88 per cent from Rs 2.31 lakh crore in the year-ago period, notwithstanding the pandemic, the agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.
 
Similarly, imports of agriculture and allied commodities increased by 3 per cent to Rs 1,41,034 crore during April-February period of 2020-21 from 1,37,014 crore in the year-ago period.
 
Despite COVID-19, balance of trade in agriculture has favourably increased to Rs 1,32,579.69 crore from Rs 93,907.76 crore in the said period.
    
Source: The Economic Times



Shri Piyush Goyal chairs meeting with various Export Promotion Councils.

Apr 22, 2021

Union Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, and Food & Public Distribution Shri Piyush Goyal today chaired a meeting with various Export Promotion Councils (EPCs). The Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Shri Hardeep S. Puri, and senior Officers of the Department of Commerce and DGFT also took part in the meeting. This was the 12th meeting held by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry with the EPCs in last one year, underlining the government’s emphasis on resolving the export related issues, at the earliest.
 
Shri PiyushGoyal lauded the performance of Exporters, for doing the nation proud in such difficult times through their resilience and hardwork. He said that during 2020-21, the Country’s cumulative value of overall exports declined by just 7% compared to the previous year, despite disruptions, uncertainty, lockdowns, gradual unlockdowns, supply chain difficulties, labour issues, and order cancellations in the Covid year. He said that under the circumstances, the performance of the sector was really superlative. Trade data for March 2021 reflects the build-up of a strong recovery in exports, as the Merchandise exports in March 2021 grew by 60.29% as compared to March 2020. Shri Goyal said that in the first two weeks of this month also, the performance has been very good.
    
Source: PIB News



MoU between the India and Bangladesh on the establishment of a framework of cooperation in the area of trade remedial measures.

Apr 22, 2021

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Director General of Trade Remedies, Republic of India and the Bangladesh Trade & Tariff Commission, People's Republic of Bangladesh on the establishment of a framework of cooperation in the area of trade remedial measures signed on 27th March, 2021 at Dhaka.
 
The primary objective of the MOU is to promote cooperation between the two countries in the area of Trade Remedies, covering the broad activities related to exchange of information, undertaking capacity building activities and activities in accordance with various provisions of World Trade Organization in the area of anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures in bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh.
    
Source: PIB News



Waiting time for availability of containers at ICDs and portscomes down.

Apr 22, 2021

Shortage of containers has been eased now in the country. Special Secretary in the Logistics Division, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Shri PawanAgarwal informed this during media interaction today. He said that 58% additional exports have been handled in March (YoY).He added that Container Shipping Lines Association (India) (CSLA)informed that this was about 17-18% more than the level of March 2019( pre-Covid).
 
During a review along with Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) and CSLA on 15th April 2021, FIEO informed that due to coordinated efforts, the issue of shortage of containers has been almost sorted out, except some shortage of food-grade containers for export of tea/coffee/spices and is localized to SouthernPorts (Kochi/Tuticorin/Chennai/Mangalore) which CSLA apprised is a long term issue due to import deficit at these ports. Further, CSLA said that the impact of Suez canal blockade is not much anymore. The bunching was handled well by Indian Ports mainly due to timely advance intimation, after the meeting of 26th March.
    
Source: PIB News



Agri ministry, ICAR to promote bio-fortified varieties cereals & pulses via revamped NFSM.

Apr 22, 2021

Agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal appraised officials and scientists about the preparatory steps taken by the ministry for observance of International Year of Millets in 2023 and requisite convergence modalities, according to an official statement.
 
Ahead of the annual Kharif conference scheduled to be held on April 30, the ministry of agriculture and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) have decided to jointly promote bio-fortified varieties cereals and pulses through the revamped National Food Security Mission (NFSM).
    
Source: Financial Express



Interface meeting for Kharif 2021 season held.

Apr 22, 2021

Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) jointly with ICAR organized Interface meeting for Kharif 2021 on 20 April, 2021 through video conference. Divisions of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare(DAC&FW) in consultation with their counter parts in ICAR formulated Group Recommendations on researchable issues for the pre-seasonal Interfaces held twice annually before Kharif& Rabi  seasons. These Group Recommendations are then discussed in detail at the Joint Plenary Session of DAC & FW-ICAR Interface.
 
The effort is aimed at understanding the key issues - both from Research and Development perspective in agriculture and allied sectors and evolving joint strategies to address those issues in the coming Kharif season. The issues warranting actions by States are then flagged in the National Conference on Agriculture and are discussed threadbare with the States in respective sessions to avoid any gap in their implementation.
    
Source: PIB News



FSSAI chief calls for regulatory vigilance to ensure food safety and quality.

Apr 22, 2021

Underlining the importance of safe and quality food amidst the pandemic situation, Rita Teaotia, Chairperson, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has said that the regulatory bodies need to be more vigilant to ensure food safety and quality.
 
Inaugurating the fifth session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) established under Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), Teaotia described the risk of unscrupulous and intentional adulteration of spices through substitution due to their high economic value. 'This economically motivated adulteration is a major malpractice and we need to be extremely vigilant particularly in the regulatory space to avoid such practices. It is important that we have harmonized Codex standards for spices products in global trade and this is a work that needs the highest priority to ensure the safety and quality of the spices and culinary herbs that are being traded across the world,' she said.
    
Source: Business Line



SEA seeks more measures on speculative activity in soyabean.

Apr 22, 2021

The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India has stressed the need to impose more measures to check the excessive speculative activity in the soyabean futures.
 
In a letter to the members of SEA of India, Atul Chaturvedi, President of the association, said that SEA was flooded with complaints from its members that the soyabean contract on the commodity exchange was witnessing an unnatural price run due to technical reasons and alleged price rigging by speculators.
 
This was resulting in soya arrivals drying up in market yards affecting soya crushers and the poultry industry.
    
Source: Business Line



Government may frontload its Bank Recapitalisation Plan.

Apr 22, 2021

The government may frontload its bank recapitalisation plan this year to strengthen weaker lenders and further support its privatisation strategy.
 
'While most lenders are adequately capitalised, we may take a call after the first-quarter results to see if some growth capital can be provided to further strengthen the banks,' said an official aware of the deliberations.
 
The government allocated Rs20,000 crore towards bank recapitalisation in FY22 and such capital is traditionally infused at the end of the financial year.Bank non-performing assets are projected to rise to 13.5% of advances by September, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s Financial Stability Report. The central bank cautioned that if the macroeconomic environment worsens into a severe stress scenario, the NPA ratio may escalate to 14.8%.
    
Source: The Economic Times



Sugar firms contract over 83% of 6 million tonnes export target.

Apr 22, 2021

Indian sugar companies have contracted more than 83% of the export target of 6 million tonnes for the ongoing 2020-21 sugar season, said the Union food ministry.
 
The surge in exports is mainly due to firm global prices and export subsidy, which has made exports lucrative.
 
This gain in export momentum will also help millers settle farmers’ cane arrears, which crossed Rs 23,000 crore till February, said officials.
    
Source: The Economic Times



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