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Gulfood opens at Dubai World Trade Centre
Feb 19, 2018
The Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the UAE’s Minister of Finance, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, officially inaugurated Gulfood 2018, a food and beverage commodity expo, on Sunday morning at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Running from February 18 until February 22, the event is the 23rd edition of the show, and will feature more than 5,000 local, regional and international exhibitors hawking their wares and 97,000 attendees bearing witness to the food industry’s latest trends and technology.
Specialised segments of the show will focus on the halal food industry, estimated in recent research to grow to a $10 trillion (Dh36 trillion) market by 2030; a chef competition; and dedicated areas for beverages, health and wellness foods, and fats and oils.
The exhibition also plays host to the world’s largest annual halal food sourcing trade show. A key issue on this year’s agenda is the standardisation of halal certifications. The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology is driving a push for the unification of halal accreditation and harmonised halal standards.
Wheat output this year would be around 98 mt: Agricultural Secretary
Feb 19, 2018
Wheat output this year would be around 98 mt, very similar to what the country produced last year, a top Agricultural Ministry official said on Friday. We hope this year wheat output will match last year’s 98 mt, said Agricultural Secretary S. K. Pattanayak, addressing a press conference here. For 2018-19, the government has set a target of 97.5 mt.
There was only a marginal decrease in the total area under wheat crop this year as compared to the actual area planted last year. Hence, the expectation is that output would be very similar to last year’s 98 mt, he said. However, he added, it was too early to make an assessment as the grains were still being formed. We will have a better idea after March 15, he said. Currently, the standing crop in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Western Uttar Pradesh look normal. If there are no adverse weather conditions, the output would be good, Pattanayak said.
Agricultural Commissioner of India, S K Malhotra, also present at the meeting, said the final tabulations showed that the total area under wheat last year was 30.59 million hectares. The area under wheat this year so far is 30.46 million hectares, he said. However, the latest weekly crop sowing data released by the Ministry last week still maintains 31.74 million hectares as the total area under wheat in 2017-18.
The Hindu Business Line
Govt to prepare roadmap for doubling farmers income by 2022
Feb 19, 2018
A two-day national conference will be held on February 19-20 to discuss challenges faced by the agriculture sector and chalk out a roadmap to achieve the government's target to double farmers' income by 2022.
The conference, which will have around 300 participants, has been called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who himself will attend the meeting on the second day.
Participants include farmers, scientists, economists, policy makers, representatives of farmers and trade associations, corporates and officials from Centre as well as state governments. NITI Aayog and related union ministeries would also attend the meet.
The Economic Times
Northeast land of unexplored opportunities for start-ups
Feb 19, 2018
While new ventures are gradually getting exhausted in other parts of the country, start-ups should try their fortune in the North Eastern region, said Union Minister of State of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh, on Sunday.
Addressing a gathering at the Skill India exhibition at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, Jitendra Singh invited young Start-Ups from all over India to come to Northeast and try their fortune through unexplored potentials of the region.
While all the avenues of livelihood and new ventures are gradually getting exhausted in other parts of the country and States, the immense unexplored avenues and potentials of North Eastern region are still available and beckoning the young entrepreneurs to come and try their luck, the minister said.
In addition, Singh also referred to the decision taken by the Ministry of Northeast to provide "Venture Fund" to any youngster who wishes to set up an entrepreneurship in the region.
He said, this provision will be in addition to the provisions already available in Prime Minister's Start-up India, Stand-up India programme, which includes provision of tax holiday as well as 3-month exit period.
He disclosed that over 65 proposals from youngsters all over India are under process to avail of the Venture Fund for setting up entrepreneurship in the Northeast.
He also informed that the first lot of Venture Fund documents were handed over to the new Start-Ups by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself during his visit to Aizawl, Mizoram in December last year.
Launched a few months ago, Venture Fund has already become popular among the youngsters. If we are able to move forward with the plan that we have envisaged for ourselves, he said, the day is not far when Northeast will become a favourite destination for young Start-ups from all over India.
With its vast unexplored avenues, he said, those looking for livelihood will soon find a potential enterprise in the Northeast, particularly in fruit, food, handicraft and tourism industry, he added.
Informal meeting of WTO countries will help find common ground, say officials
Feb 19, 2018
The upcoming informal gathering of World Trade Organization (WTO) countries will help find common ground in multilateral negotiations and revive multilateralism, officials privy to the details said.
India has invited around 50 countries for the two day meeting in March after talks at the eleventh ministerial conference (MC 11) in Buenos Aires collapsed in December.
It is expected to play a leadership role and give guidance on the way forward on agriculture and services negotiations. WTO director general Roberto Azevedo will also participate in the meeting where cross cutting areas like institutional issues of the multilateral organisation and problems with the appellate bodies would be deliberated.
The Economic Times
FSSAI to complete work related to standards and regulations in a year
Feb 19, 2018
The work related to standards and regulations will be completed within a year’s time. This was claimed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), whose chairman, Ashish Bahuguna, stated at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) that the apex food regulator had expedited the processes for the formation of standards and regulations.
Adding that the basic structure, with regards to food safety standards and regulations, will be put in place soon, he assured the industry that the spate of regulations on food safety and standards will abate in the next six to 12 months, and added that the industry would be given ample time to align its products and processes seamlessly, so it can adhere to the revised standards.
FSSAI has been coming up with new and harmonised regulations at a rapid pace over the past few years. And at this speed, the work on regulations is probably going to end in another six months to a year’s time, Bahuguna said, adding that the regulator was working towards putting in place a basic structure with regards to the food safety ecosystem in the country.
Stating that the industry will be accorded sufficient time to comply with the regulations, the FSSAI chief said, We also want the industry to have ample time to adhere to the standards and make itself ready to comply with the same. We will give the industry enough time to integrate itself with the standards.
Bahuguna added that FSSAI was ready for discussions on the regulations and standards with all the stakeholders, including the industry, consumers, experts, etc., and even for a review of the regulations that have been laid down, if required.
We are open to discuss the regulations with the industry and other stakeholders and are even willing to revisit the regulations if required to do so, he said, adding that FSSAI assured the stakeholders that suggestions, ideas and issues, if any, would be addressed.
India, Iran sign nine agreements
Feb 19, 2018
India and Iran Friday Saturday signed nine agreements, including an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income.
The Agreement is on similar lines as entered into by India with other countries.
The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran& vice versa, and will prevent double taxation, an official release said.
The Agreement will provide for exchange of information between the two Contracting Parties as per latest International Standards. It will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance.
The Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.
According to a joint statement issued following the talks, with a view to fully utilise the potential of the Chabahar port and its connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia, India conveyed its readiness to support the development of Chabahar- Zahedan Rail line.
IRCON, India, and CDTIC, Iran, who are engaged in discussions, were tasked to finalise the technical parameters and financing options for the project in a time bound manner, the statement said.
Both leaders encouraged greater efforts for cooperation in railway sector including supply of steel rails, turnouts and locomotives.
The two sides also reiterated their commitment to the International North- South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and stressed on the need for inclusion of Chabahar within its framework.
India moving towards a $5 tn economy: PM
Feb 19, 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reiterated that India aspires to, and is moving towards, a $5 trillion economy over the next few years with sustained, comprehensive and holistic development.
Inaugurating the first mega global investors summit, Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018 here, he said the country is on the firm path of development simultaneously with the development of the states.
We are working towards becoming a member of the Five Trillion Dollar club, Modi said.
He also said Maharashtra would become the first state in India to become a Trillion Dollar economy in the next few years, while addressing a gathering of over 200 captains of Indian and global companies at Bandra Kurla Complex here.
Modi noted his government has taken a slew of steps to ensure all-round development of India with an ecosystem omprising a development-friendly, investor-friendly governance with minimal governmental interference.
Indian states are now policy-driven, governance is performance-driven with full accountability, a transparent ecosystem, various norms are being eased, the government is changing laws where needed, and scrapped more than 1,400 old or outdated laws, and for new or modified laws, care is being taken to ensure they are simplified, he said.
In recent years, various states of India have also competing among themselves to attract maximum foreign investments as per their needs and requirements, including Assam, he said.
On Maharashtra, Modi said during the past three years, this state has initiated unprecedented measures to lure foreign investors on all fronts, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The state's reforms have transformed business, huge improvements in its rating in Ease of Doing Business, changed the work culture, problems are being resolved in a timebound manner, debottle-necking has been achieved with inter-departmental cooperation, all of which have reflected on its development, he said.
India, Iran take major step towards Chabahar connectivity
Feb 19, 2018
India and Iran on Saturday in a major development signed a lease for the Shahid Beheshti Port at Chabahar between Iran's Port and Maritime Organisation and India Ports Global Limited besides inking slew of 12 other pacts across areas including trade promotion, agriculture, medicines and easy travel.
Chabahar Port lies just 90 km from the China-built Gwadar Port in Pakistan and gives India a strategic foothold in the region. The Chabahar project in south-eastern Iran is significant as it gives a transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan. It will also give India transit to Central Asia, Russia and other parts of Eurasia. Besides Iran agreed to convene a meeting in near future to operationalise INSTC.
India and Iran also agreed to expand counter-terror cooperation as both agreed that conditions that give rise to extremist ideologies must be addressed as well as states that support terror must be condemned.
As the agreement on Chanahar Iran is leasing to India a part of the area of the multipurpose and container terminal for 18 months to take over operations of existing port facilities in the first phase of the port development project.
The Economic Times
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