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Suresh Prabhu seeks Arun Jaitley’s help to boost flow of bank credit to exporters

Sep 20, 2018

Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu has written to finance minister Arun Jaitley requesting his intervention to improve bank credit flow to the export sector. 
 
Banks should restore export credit and extend the ‘gold card’ scheme wherein exporters with proven track record can avail credit on good terms, Prabhu said in a letter to the finance minister on Wednesday. He complained that banks are asking for a number of documents and taking abnormally long time to renew the limits for export credit, which is seriously affecting the flow of credit to the sector. 
 
Even renewal of limits has become problematic for the export sector even in respect of companies having excellent track record, Prabhu wrote in the letter referring to representations made by exporters. He sought solution for the critical situation arising from the sharp decline in export credit, which is affecting exporters in general and micro, and small units in particular. ET reviewed a copy of the letter. 
 
Prabhu’s letter comes in the wake of exporters complaining that some small and micro sectors are reeling under pressure because banks and financial institutions have been tightening lending norms while input tax credit refund continues to pose a challenge Outstanding export credit, which was Rs 28,300 crore on March 30, 2018, had come down to Rs 22,300 crore as of June 22, a decline of 21.2%. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



India Russia seek deeper cooperation in Space, Agriculture and Pharma

Sep 20, 2018

Ahead of the 19th India-Russia bilateral annual summit in New Delhi early next month. With the two -way investments having already crossed the $30 bn target, the two countries have now proposed to enhance this figure to $50 bn by 2025. To achieve this both countries are seeking deeper cooperation in various other sectors including Railways, agriculture, North South Corridor and the pharmaceuticals.
 
Both sides are also going to have the first ever India-Russia Business Summit involving top companies next month. Sources told FE Online that, During the recent visit of external affairs minister Suhma Swaraj to Moscow, both sides discussed ways and means to increase this momentum, ensure balanced trade, and remove barriers to trade.
 
Both want market access in the agriculture sector especially for grain products including wheat and bovine meat, and tropical fruits, the source added. Swaraj co-chaired the 23rd India-Russia Inter- Governmental Commission on Technical & Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), and Yuri Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
 
IRIGC-TEC is a standing body which annually meets and reviews ongoing activities of bilateral cooperation in the fields of bilateral trade and investment, science and technology, culture and other issues of mutual interest.
 
Both the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and Indian Space Research Organisation are likely to work together on the first manned space mission. Since India is planning to launch its first manned space mission by 2022, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in his Independence Day address, there is a scope for further expanding the scope for cooperation, the source pointed out.
    
Source: Financial Express



Canada looks to ‘diversify’, bolster India relationship

Sep 20, 2018

 As Canada looks to diversify at a time when future of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) looks uncertain, it seems most keen to strengthen its ties with India. 
 
Notwithstanding the outcome of its ongoing NAFTA negotiations with the US, the Canadian government and its business houses have decided not to put all their eggs in one basket, ie, the US, experts said. 
 
 
From health and education to renewable energy and indigenous research in infrastructure, Canada is already engaging with India for fruitful future alliances. 
 
Last week, Toronto hosted the second chapter of the annual ‘Invest India conference,’ attended by several policymakers and business leaders from both countries. Indian High Commissioner in Canada Vikas Swarup and his Canadian counterpart in India Nadir Patel led from the front. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



UP Cabinet clears paddy procurement Policy, ups MSP by Rs 200

Sep 20, 2018

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Paddy Procurement Policy 2018-19 under which the state government has fixed the minimum support price (MSP) for common paddy at Rs 1,750 per quintal from the earlier Rs 1,550 and Rs 1,770 for Grade I paddy.
 
At a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, it was also decided that the state government would procure 50 lakh metric tonnes of paddy from the farmers. Procurement last year was 43 lakh metric tonne. 
 
Informing about the decision, state government spokesman and Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said that the government will give recognition to only online purchases.
 
The state Cabinet has also approved a proposal to double the incentive for millers, contractors and farmers, and an additional Rs 20 will be given for the sieving, cleaning, washing and cutting processes. This amount was Rs 10 earlier.
 
Three thousand paddy procurement centres will also be set up across the state, the spokesman said.
    
Source: Sme Times



Government suggest exporters to comply with domestic & International standards, says official

Sep 20, 2018

There is a need for testing food products in order to ensure that it complies with domestic standards as well as international standards for exports, a top government official said at an Interactive Session on Swachhata Action Plan 2018-19 held in Gurugram.
 
There is also a need for testing of all imported food products to ensure that they are of the requisite standard and food products not permitted for manufacture domestically. Apart from this, the level of contaminants, additives, and pesticide residues in food items is required to be monitored regularly, said Mr Ashok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing and Industries at an Interactive Session on Swachhata Action Plan 2018-19- Hygiene in Food Processing Sector summit held in Gurugram.
 
In order to develop food safety and quality Assurance infrastructure in the country MOFPI has been extending financial assistance in setting up and up gradation food Testing Laboratories in the countries and setting up of HACCP/ISO standards to improve the overall quality of Food Safety and hygiene in Food Processing Sector summit held in Gurugram.
 
In order to develop food safety and quality Assurance infrastructure in the country MOFPI has been extending financial assistance in setting up and up gradation food Testing Laboratories in the countries and setting up of HACCP/ISO standards to improve the overall quality of Food Safety and hygiene in the country, said Mr. Kumar.
    
Source: Business Standard



Twenty-nine food safety labs in 25 states & UTs taken up for upgrades

Sep 20, 2018

Under the Central sector scheme of lab upgrades, 29 state food safety laboratories in 25 states and Union Territories (UTs) have been taken up so far for upgrades, while FSSAI has approved proposals of nine microbiology laboratories in eight states and UTs.
 
According to the country’s apex food regulator, proposals for setting up of 13 microbiology laboratories in 13 states and UTs are under consideration while a total grant-in-aid of Rs 126.95 crore has been released for the upgrade of these laboratories, so far. 
 
FSSAI is implementing a Central sector scheme to strengthen the food testing system in the country, including provision of mobile food testing labs (SOFTeL) with a total outlay of Rs 481.95, while the time frame for the implementation of the scheme is 2016-17 to 2018-19.    
 
The states where microbiological lab has been started grounding include one each in Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal, and two in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). 
 
The scheme envisages an outlay for strengthening of 45 state food testing labs in total with assistance given to at least one food testing laboratory in each state and two in larger states.
 
A non-recurring grant of around Rs 10 crore each for upgrade of state food laboratories for procurement of three major equipment, namely ICP-MS, GC-MSMS and LC-MSMS, setting up of a microbiology lab, creation of infrastructure for sophisticated equipment and setting up of microbiological laboratory, is being given besides recurring grant of Rs 35 lakh per cent year for professional services, consumables and contingencies as per the requirement of the respective state lab. 
 
    
Source: Fnb News



Cabinet defers Rs 4,500 cr sugar package; proposal may come up next week

Sep 20, 2018

The Union Cabinet did not consider Wednesday Rs 4,500 crore plan to more than double the production assistance paid to sugarcane farmers and transport subsidy to sugarNSE 0.00 % exporting mills, sources said. 
 
 
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) may take up the food ministry's proposal next week, they added. 
 
The ministry has proposed sharp increase in production assistance to farmers to Rs 13.88 per quintal for 2018-19 marketing year (October-September) from Rs 5.5 at present. 
 
 
The proposal to raise production assistance and transport subsidy of up to Rs 3,000 per tonne to mills for exports of five million tonnes of surplus sugar is part of the government plan to clear more than Rs 13,500 crore arrears sugar mills have towards farmers. 
 
Yesterday, sources had said the government will have to bear about Rs 4,500 crore on account of these measures to help sugar mills and cane farmers. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Indian agro exporters to get subsidy on sea routes

Sep 20, 2018

Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) and co-operative institutes in the state of Maharashtra will get a subsidy of Rs.30.000 (€365) per container if they export fruits and vegetables directly by sea. The Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) has decided to give out subsidies in order to promote farm export by farmers. 
 
The scheme will be effective for selected fruits and for selected countries. Subsidy will be given on export of fruits like mango, pomegranate, banana, onion and vegetables to eight select countries, said an official from MSAMB.
 
Farmers will get subsidy if they export mango and pomegranate to the USA and Australia, banana and mango to South Korea, Afghanistan and Russia, mango to Kazakhstan, banana, orange and mango to Iran, onion and mango to Mauritius, and onion and other vegetables to Latvia.
    
Source: Fresh Plaza



Compensate over R100/kg: State to APEDA

Sep 20, 2018

The state government has suggested the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to give compensation of over Rs 100 per kg for losses the grape growers incurred during the 2009-10 season.
 
The farmers had incurred losses during the 2009-10 season after European countries denied the consignments on the ground of pesticide being present in the grapes. The state’s feedback come after the union ministry of commerce had asked APEDA to get feedback of the state government over losses incurred by farmers.
 
Grape exporters have been demanding compensation to their losses since 2010. APEDA had assessed the losses around four months ago and fixed the compensation of Rs 80 per kg to grape growers.
 
In May, the ministry of commerce had asked APEDA to get the losses assessed by the state government. Accordingly, the APEDA had written to the state government’s agriculture department to give feedback on the losses incurred by the grape grower exporters.
 
Now, the state government has submitted its feedback to the APEDA, suggesting that grape growers be given compensation of Rs 100 per kg. This includes the cost of production, labour, transporting and shipment cost, Kailas Bhosle, senior office-bearer of Maharashtra Rajya Draksha Bagayatdar Sangh (MRDBS), said.
    
Source: Times of india



What India stands to gain from RCEP negotiations

Sep 20, 2018

 India has a whopping $104 billion trade deficit with the 16-member Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) grouping, which is 64% of India’s total trade deficit of 2017-18. No wonder, there is a raging debate on whether India should remain or quit the RCEP negotiations. RCEP comprises the 10-member Asean grouping and its six free trade partners, including China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Once concluded, RCEP will create the largest regional trading bloc, making up 25% of GDP, 30% of global trade, and 26% of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows.
 
Negotiations have dragged on for almost five years, primarily because of India’s reluctance to significantly open up its market, given the sensitivities around agriculture- and labour-intensive domestic industries. On 31 August, at the Singapore Ministerial, RCEP members, however, staged a coup of sorts by adopting a package of year-end deliverables, for which negotiations need to be concluded by December. Given that member countries, India and Indonesia, are going to polls early next year, sealing the negotiations will ensure that the deal will be signed sometime next year. India claimed big success as members conceded to its demand to liberalize their services market and allow movement of skilled professionals (Mode 4).
    
Source: Live mint



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