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Cheapest option for India to boost farmers' income: Pay shortfall

May 23, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to double farm incomes by 2022. The most cost-effective way of fulfilling that may be by compensating farmers with cash when market prices of crops fall below support rates, a government adviser said. 
 
The plan is one among three suggestions being discussed by the National Institution for Transforming India, a government think-tank also known as NITI Aayog, which has been tasked to find ways to ensure farmers’ get at least 50 percent more than the production cost for their crops even when prices slump. 
 
The two other options are the purchase of crops by government agencies at support prices and providing incentives to private companies to directly buy from farmers, said Ramesh Chand, a member of the think tank. 
 
Although the government regularly announces purchase prices for about two dozen crops, it buys only small quantities of the commodities, except wheat and rice. Prices of many crops have fallen below the rates due to bumper harvests in recent years, triggering farmer protests. 
 
    
Source: The Economic Times



Centre unveils model contract farming law

May 23, 2018

The agriculture ministry on Tuesday released the Model Contract Farming Act, 2018, which lays emphasis on protecting the interests of farmers, considering them as weaker of the two parties entering into a contract. The ministry says that it is a promotional and facilitative Act and not regulatory in its structure. 
 
In addition to contract farming, services contracts all along the value chain, including pre-production, production and post-production, have been included in the Act, a statement from the ministry said. “The final Model Act - State/UT Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2018 has been approved by the Competent Authority, it says. 
 
    
Source: The Economic Times



Modi, Putin talk multi-nation trade corridor being built by India via Iran

May 23, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘informal summit’ with Russian President Vladimir Putin was heavy on defence and geopolitical discussions, at a time when US sanctions on Russia’s military have been picking up pace and Washington DC has turned up the heat on a trade war with India.
 
On Monday, Modi reached Sochi as part of his one-day tour of Russia and Putin saw him off in the early hours of Tuesday. The trip has been officially characterised as ‘agendaless’ by the government which has meant that the Prime Ministers’ topic of discussions have not been announced, while there also has not been a joint statement by both leaders after the conclusion of the trip.
 
So, what has instead surfaced is images of both leaders soaking up the culture of the Black Sea resort town and holding a meeting on a yacht. But reports from Russia now confirm that international geopolitical issues and that bedrock of India’s ties with Russia - defence - received maximum time from both leaders during talks.
    
Source: Business Standard



Nz-India Fta Talks to Benefit from more mfat funding :David Parker

May 23, 2018

The seemingly stalled New Zealand-India bilateral talks on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries are set to benefit from the recent increase in funding of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) – the department responsible for inking NZ’s trade negotiations around the world.
 
We have got quite a significant increase in the funding for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which will enable New Zealand Trade officials to do more at once because there will be more of them, Mr Parker said.
 
The Minister was in The Indian Weekender studio on Friday, May 18, immediately after the budget announcement in Parliament and spoke about a number of issues around the budget, ban on overseas buyers in NZ residential market and the current state of the art of the bilateral talks on NZ-India FTA.
 
Here are some excerpts from the interview.
 
IWK: Do you think your Ministry of Economic Development has got enough resources in this budget to keep our economy growing?
 
Mr Parker: Absolutely! The big-ticket items are $1 billion being spent in provincial regions. You know the way in which a country grows wealthier is by exporting more goods and services to the rest of the world so that we can import more things and afford higher standard living at home
 
NZ is never going to produce cars and mobile phones because our market internally is too small to do that cost-effectively. So we got to maximise the value of other things that we do now.
 
One of the problems of NZ is that over the past ten years is that exports have dropped from 30 per cent of GDP to 27 per cent of GDP. This is when the prior government had the ambition of lifting it from 30 per cent to 40 per cent. In my view, that outcome of going down, instead of going up, was a total failure and we need to do something completely different to prevent that in future.
 
It’s a simple longstanding principle of economics that the only way to grow your exports is to improve the productivity of your economy and to grow new points of comparative advantage over the rest of the world. So that we can sell higher value goods and product to the rest of the world because we certainly can’t compete on low wages and we don’t want to.
    
Source: Indianweekender.co.nz



Country-wide intra-state e-way bill system mandatory from June 3

May 23, 2018

The e-way bill for moving goods within a state will become mandatory from June 3, with the country-wide roll out of the mechanism. 
 
 
The government had launched the electronic-way or e-way bill system from April 1 for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another. 
 
The same for intra or within the state movement has been rolled out from April 15. 
 
So far, 20 states/Union Territories have made e-way bill mandatory for intra-state movement of goods. These states include -- Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. 
 
    
Source: The Economic Times



RCEP nations to meet on July 1 amid pressure to conclude trade pact

May 23, 2018

Pressure is mounting on member countries including India for early conclusion of proposed free tarde pact, RCEP, government sources said.
 
Trade ministers of 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) countries will meet on July 1 in Tokyo to take stock of the negotiations. Talks for the pact had started in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh in November 2012.
 
There is a pressure to conclude the negotiations at the earliest. Lot of issues are yet to be ironed out in areas like goods and services, said a source.
 
The mega trade pact aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
 
In the recently concluded 22nd round of negotiations in Singapore, issues were raised about the slow pace of talks.
 
RCEP bloc comprises 10 Asean members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners - India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
    
Source: Business Standard



Wheat import duty may be doubled

May 23, 2018

The government is likely to raise the import duty on wheat to 40 per cent from 20 per cent to protect local farmers from cheap imports, food ministry officials said. 
 
 
According to industry executives, wheat imported from Ukraine and Russia is available for about Rs 22,300 a tonne after payment of 20 per cent duty and clearing charges. 
 
This is offering stiff competition to the variety grown in Madhya Pradesh which is selling for Rs 22,800 a tonne in Bengaluru. On the other hand, premium wheat from Australia, which is available for Rs 24,300 a tonne, has steady clients in southern India. 
 
 
As per the government’s third advance estimate, the country is set to produce a record 98.61 million tonnes of wheat in 2017-18 crop year. 
 
Cheap imports in this scenario could hit Indian farmers hard, the officials cited earlier told ET on Tuesday. 
    
Source: The Economic Times



India, Nigeria partner to accelerate ICT growth, boost economies

May 23, 2018

Nigeria and India are set to forge closer relationship to accelerate Information Communication and Technology (ICT) growth and boost their economies, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Mr Shittu Adebayo, said on Tuesday. The minister made this known during the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2018 which held at Eko Hotels and Suites on Victoria Island, Lagos.
 
    
Source: Vanguardngr.com



Facing US sanctions, Venezuela wants trade with India in rupees

May 23, 2018

Venezuelan Ambassador to India Augusto Montiel on Tuesday launched a scathing criticism against the United States for interference in his country's domestic politics.
 
The US has termed as sham presidential elections held in the Latin American country on May 20 that returned Nicolas Maduro to power for a second six year term. Washington DC has imposed fresh sanctions against Maduro's regime even as the country's economy is crumbling and it faces a food shortage. 
 
The Ambassador accused the Trump administration of blockading ships carrying medicine supplies into Venezuela from countries like India. Montiel said US arm twisting led 14 countries, including Brazil and Argentina, to recall their ambassadors after Maduro's win. He stressed that sanctions have led to fall in Venezuelan oil production and is impacting trade with countries like India. 
    
Source: Tribune india



US supports India's emergence as a leading global power: top official

May 23, 2018

The Trump administration supports India's emergence as a leading global power and as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region, a top US official said today.
 
Speaking to PTI, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the ties between the US and India had never been stronger or better.
 
She was responding to questions on the status of India-US relationship amidst recent trade disputes between the two countries and New Delhi being caught in crossfire of American sanctions against Russia and Iran.
 
US President Donald Trump has signed a law, The Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act', CAATSA, imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. The Section 231 of the CAATSA mandates secondary sanctions on those who conduct significant transactions with the Russian defence and intelligence sectors.
 
The US-India partnership is rooted in shared democratic values and a commitment to a rules-based order, Nauert said.
 
We support India's emergence as a leading global power and as a key partner in our efforts to ensure that the Indo-Pacific is a region of peace, stability, and growing prosperity, she said.
    
Source: Business Standard



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