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India one of fastest growing large economies in world owing to key govt reforms in last five years: IMF
Mar 22, 2019
In what comes as a feel good factor for the Indian economy, the International Monetary Fund on Thursday said that India has been one of the fastest growing large economies in the world, asserting that the country has carried out several key reforms in the last five years, but more needs to be done.
Responding to a question on India's economic development in the last five years at a fortnightly news conference here, IMF communications director Gerry Rice Thursday said, India has of course been one of the world's fastest growing large economies of late, with growth averaging about seven per cent over the past five years.
Important reforms have been implemented and we feel more reforms are needed to sustain this high growth, including to harness the demographic dividend opportunity, which India has, he said.
Details about the Indian economy would be revealed in the upcoming World Economic Outlook (WEO) survey report to be released by the IMF ahead of the annual spring meeting with the World Bank next month, he said.
This report would be the first under Indian American economist Gita Gopinath, who is now IMF's chief economist. The WEO will go into more details. But amongst the policy priorities, we would include accelerate the cleanup of banks and corporate balance sheets, continue fiscal consolidation, both at centre and state levels, and broadly maintain the reform momentum in terms of structural reforms in factor markets, labour, land reforms and further enhancing the business climate to achieve faster and more inclusive growth, Rice said.
India, Peru hold 4th round of FTA talks in Lima
Mar 22, 2019
India and Peru have concluded a fourth round of negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) in the South American nation last week, the Department of Commerce said. The agreement is aimed at boosting the two-way commerce between the countries. India and Peru are negotiating a trade agreement covering goods, services and investment. The fourth round of negotiations was held from March 11-15 in Lima, Peru, the department said in a series of tweets.
The main chapters of the trade agreement include market access for goods, trade in services, movement of professionals, investments, dispute settlement, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, rules of origin of goods, customs procedures and trade facilitation. In an FTA, two countries significantly reduce or eliminate duties on most of the goods traded between them besides relaxing norms and rules to promote trade in services and increase bilateral investments. With growing uncertainties in its traditional markets, including the US and Europe, India is looking to enhance engagements with other regions such as Africa, South America and Central Asia.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said Peru holds huge potential for exports and investments for domestic exporters and businesses. The agreement would boost bilateral trade. Peru holds huge export potential for Indian exporters, FIEO President Ganesh Kumar Gupta said. Peru ranked third among export destinations for India in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. The bilateral trade between the nations increased to USD 3.13 billion in 2017-18 from USD 1.77 billion in the previous fiscal. Among the top-10 commodities that India exports to Peru are motor vehicles, cars, auto components, tyres, dyes, products of iron and steel, cotton yarn and fabrics. While the imports include bulk minerals and ores, gold, fertilisers, aluminium, coffee, crude oil and zinc.
DGFT comes up with online facility to obtain import licence for restricted items
Mar 22, 2019
The commerce ministry's foreign trade arm DGFT has come up with a new online facility for obtaining import licence for restricted category goods, a move aimed at promoting paperless work and ease of doing business.
Currently, importers need to obtain licence for certain goods such as gold dore, some pulses, plastic waste, and bio-fuels.
"Online application format for obtaining import licence for restricted items is notified," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a public notice.
The development would help in promoting ease of doing business for such imports, an official said.
In the online application, importers would have to provide information such as Import-Export Code, total CIF (cost, insurance, and freight) value of consignment and details of imported items.
In the latest ease of doing business report of the World Bank, India improved its ranking to 77th rank in 2018 out of 190 nations from 100th earlier.
Times of india
U.S.-India Trade Partnership Will Grow to $500 Billion, Predicts USIBC President Nisha Biswal
Mar 22, 2019
The U.S.-India trade relationship, currently valued at $120 billion, will grow to $500 billion in the near future, predicted Nisha Biswal, Indian American president of the U.S.-India Business Council, at a fireside chat here March 18.
The opportunities between U.S. and India are greatly below their full potential, said Biswal, who formerly served in the Obama administration’s State Department as the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. “It’s going to take its own path, but if you’re willing to climb the tree, ignoring the thorns, you will see success,” she said, adding: India has become the most important economic market in the world.
Citing a Jan. 11 2018 article in The Economist, entitled “India’s Missing Middle Class, Prashant Fuloria, COO, Fundbox, challenged Biswal’s assertions, noting that the size of India’s middle class and its purchasing power have been grossly overstated.
Biswal advised the audience of Indian American investors and others to get out of the capital and into states and cities in India, where real opportunities can be found.
The entrance of corporate giants Walmart and Amazon into India has been a great move for the country, said Biswal. “India’s producers of goods and services need to be able to access global platforms, she said.
Biswal also commented on the U.S.’s decision — announced March 4 — to terminate Generalized System of Preferences status for India (see earlier India-West story: https://bit.ly/2HeyWei). She noted that issues on price control, barriers on entrance into Indian markets, particularly in the agricultural sector, had prompted the move by the U.S.
The closer India got to elections, it became harder to come to resolutions on these issues, she said, predicting that post-election, the government will work with the U.S. Trade Department to resolve the outstanding issues.
Nigeria, India to enhance bilateral relations
Mar 22, 2019
The Federal Government says it will continue to partner with the Indian Government to enhance the existing bilateral relationship between the two countries. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this when he received the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria in his office in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that Nigeria has an existing robust relationship with India in terms of trade, education, labour, foreign affairs, among others and both countries have mutually discharged their responsibilities to each other.
According to him, I will want to solicit your support to protect Nigerians working in India by issuing them with relevant work permits and ease of doing business in India.
As we all know, there are few Nigerians that are in India that are also doing their own businesses there.
A lot of Nigerian investors have set up their industries there and likewise some Indians have set up theirs here also.
We have protected Indians working here, given them work permits and also open up the ease of doing business with them because they are good entrepreneurs and have employed hundreds of Nigerians in India.
Add cows, subtract chemicals: Organic farming a plus for climate-hit Indian farmers
Mar 22, 2019
As climate change brought less predictable weather, farmers Deepankar Mandal and Sanjib Mandal used to struggle with growing uncertainty about whether they would get a crop each season.
Rains have become erratic, insufficient or wrongly timed, said Deepankar. "The crops failed, the water table got lower each year (and) there were newer pests attacking our paddy and vegetables.
Most years, we were battling against the odds for our survival, added the farmer from India's West Bengal state.
But in recent years, they have tried a new way to cope: producing biogas from cow manure to provide clean energy at home, and then using the leftover slurry to improve the soil in their fields.
The change has helped them save money by cutting out costly chemical fertilisers. It has also reduced deforestation and allowed them to restore the earth so it now holds more water, helping them through droughts, the farmers said.
Moreover, with biogas to cook at home, we do not have to wander for hours here and there in search of firewood from nearby forests, said Chobi Mandal, Deepankar's mother.
'India transforming, has become fastest growing economy'
Mar 22, 2019
Fifteenth Finance Commission Chairman N K Singh on Wednesday said India has being transforming since the last three decades.
I can claim a close association with economic policy-making in India for the last three decades. During this period, I have seen India’s economic transformation from a country struggling with its sluggish growth to one of the fastest growing economies in the world, an economy which is vibrant, competitive, and open, said Singh.
We now confidently engage with the world, participate in global negotiations on a wide range of issues, and seek to influence important development frameworks, he added.
The initiative of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure clearly reflects India’s commitment to address a key priority through a partnership with so many countries, international agencies, and eminent knowledge institutions, he said.
I derive a huge personal satisfaction when I see India change from just a recipient of external assistance to a country which confidently identifies strands of risks and suggests long-term solutions in a multilateral setting, he added.
I see this initiative as very timely and relevant for several reasons. First, there will be a spurt in investment in infrastructure sector across the countries, requiring trillions of dollars in investment.
Second, as we have seen in recent years, these investments require credible public-private partnerships, based on a framework of judicious risk allocation and accountability. These partnerships would work much better if we can set up risk pools to deal with various kinds of risks.
Third, we also struggle with increasing demands from the states for enhanced allocations for recovery and reconstruction, when disasters batter their infrastructure, Singh said.
We need policies and measures which reduce such losses and improve the quality of infrastructure recovery. I look upon the Coalition as a much-needed initiative to engage closely with improved quality, standards and regulations, and the need for long-term recovery in infrastructure sector, the Finance Commission chairman said.
Towards farms of the future: How AI is revolutionising agriculture in India.
Mar 22, 2019
Technological interventions - on the part of the government and tech majors - are likely to lead to better agricultural practices, yields, and an improvement in the lives of farmers.
Ask any tomato farmer in Kolar, Chikkaballapur or Belagavi districts of Karnataka what his biggest worry is, and his answer will be the price fluctuations of the crop.
Act against sugar mills selling sugar below MSP: Food ministry
Mar 22, 2019
The food ministry has asked states to ensure that sugar millsNSE 1.97 % are not selling the sweetener at below the minimum selling price (MSP), which has been increased recently to Rs 31 a kilogram from Rs 29.
In a communication to all the principal secretaries of sugar-producing states, the ministry said mills must follow the SugarNSE 1.03 % Price (Control) Order, 2018, which directs them to sell sugar at the MSP.
All mills have to sell sugar at Rs 31 a kg plus GST and transportation charges. Action may be taken against mills selling sugar below floor price, said a senior official.
The official said the department had found that some mills were selling sugar either at below MSP or at MSP inclusive of GST to liquidate their stock. This is against the directives of the government and is in violation of the Sugar Price (Control) Order, 2018, he said.
The government, in February this year, increased the MSP of sugar to 31 for the year 2019-20. The higher MSP would provide more liquidity to sugar Mills, which can then be able to pay arrears on sugarcane to farmers. As on February 13, mills’ arrears to farmers amounted to Rs 20,167 crore.
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