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US to hand over 'problem-list' in the hope to avoid trade war with India

Jul 20, 2018

The Trump administration will share a list of its trade issues with India next week, as the two sides seek to iron out their differences over bilateral trade that have arisen from tit-for-tat tariff actions in the last few months. This was agreed at a new round of talks between the two countries in Washington, an official said. All issues were discussed. 
 
They were talking of general things, we wanted specific. They will send us a text of what they want, in the next week or ten days, the official told ET. 
 
While preferential benefits to Indian exports under US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) and America’s higher tariffs on steel and aluminium were discussed at the talks, the US officials were also curious about the concessions that China has offered India under the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement. 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Most of GST refund claims by exporters sanctioned: Minister

Jul 20, 2018

Minister of State of Commerce and Industry, C. R. Chaudhary, on Wednesday said that several measures taken by the government has resulted in most of GST refund claims by exporters being sanctioned.
 
As a result of two 'Special Drive Refund Fortnight' organized in 2018, most of the claims filed till April 30 this year have been sanctioned, C. R. Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Parliament.
 
IGST refunds amounting to Rs. 21,142 crore and RFD-01A refunds totalling Rs 16,920 crore has been sanctioned by CBIC and State Governments as on 16.06.2018, he informed.
 
Some other measures taken to expedite the refund of GST to exporters which include certain common errors hindering disbursal of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) refund and solutions thereof, permitting manual intervention for corrections in figures by customs officers, he added.
 
Moving a step ahead for the ease of exporters, in case of refund of IGST where there is a mis-match of invoice details as filed in the Shipping Bill and GST Returns cases, an alternate mechanism with officer’s interface has been developed and circulated, he said.
 
In order to ensure smooth operation of the prescribed procedure and clearing the backlog of refund of IGST paid on export of goods, CBIC has directed Custom Houses to open a dedicated cell and e-mail address for the purpose of facilitating the pending IGST refund cases and Custom Houses have been directed to give wide publicity to this step.
 
Over a period of time various pro-active measures have been taken in consultation with GSTN, IT wing of customs and field formations, as a result of which most of the errors have been rectified and IGST refunds have been sanctioned, the minister added.
    
Source: Sme Times



Commerce and industry ministry working on national integrated logistic policy

Jul 20, 2018

The commerce and industry ministry is working on a national integrated logistics policy which will focus on increasing the warehousing capacity, an official statement said. This was highlighted by Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu during his meeting with a World Bank team here.
 
The team was led by Caroline Freund, Director of Trade, Regional Integration and Investment Climate and Junaid Ahmad, Country Director for the World Bank in India.
 
The minister also informed the team that work is being done towards identifying specific products and markets to increase India's exports by  $100 billion.
 
The policy will reduce the cost of goods and make Indian product more competitive, Prabhu said.
 
In the meeting, it was agreed that a workshop will be conducted with the World Bank and concerned ministries to identify specific interventions required to streamline logistics in the country.
    
Source: Money Control



Maharashtra agrees to hike milk procurement price to Rs.25/litre

Jul 20, 2018

The agitation by Maharashtra dairy farmers is likely to be called off as the State government has agreed to the demand of Rs.25 per litre being made the milk procurement cost.
 
The State government will provide Rs.5 subsidy to the milk co-operatives, which will have to be passed on to the farmers. The State government will have to bear Rs.75 crore as additional expenditure per month because of this decision.
 
On late Thursday evening, the decision was made at a meeting held by the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly in Nagpur.
 
The Minister of State for Dairy Development Arjun Khotkar said that effective July 21, the dairy co-operatives will have to pay Rs.25 per litre as minimum procurement cost to the farmers.
 
For the last four days, the farmers have been demanding for a higher milk purchase price. In places such as Pune and Satara, there were reports of trucks being vandalised by the farmers.
 
Farmers led by Member of Parliament and Chief of Swambhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), Raju Shetti have been seeking Rs.5 per litre rise in the milk procurement cost from co-operative and private dairies.
 
He has been in discussion with the State government and on Wednesday night had held talks with Maharashtra’s Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.
 
Earlier in the day, Shetti had told mediapersons that he was ready to withdraw the agitation if the milk purchase rate was fixed at Rs.25 per litre.
 
The State government’s proposal to provide a subsidy of Rs.2-3 per litre will benefit dairies and other stakeholders in the sector, but there are no guarantees that the subsidy will get passed on to the farmers.
    
Source: The Hindu Businessline



Free organic product check for farmers

Jul 20, 2018

The agriculture department, after launching its scheme to promote organic corridors in Bihar, will help farmers get their products checked for authenticity as part of its third agricultural roadmap.
 
The department will spend around Rs 51 lakh to get the samples checked at its own cost, without putting any additional load on farmers opting for organic farming.
 
Sharing this information, agriculture minister Prem Kumar said the samples would be tested at the National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), Hyderabad.
 
Organic farming is practised on 2,500 acres in the districts situated along river Ganga and along some national highways.
    
Source: Tele Graph india



Export or Perish: Why India must achieve a quantum jump in exports to drive growth

Jul 20, 2018

A quantum jump in exports presents a tremendous opportunity for India. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s production takes place in global value chains. Integrating with these supply chains will not only bring welfare gains, they will also increase efficiency and drive growth. Conditions are ripe for India to enhance exports to boost economic growth. 
 
India’s economy cannot survive without exports. In 2017-18, exports of goods and services contributed about 12% of India’s GDP. In contrast, exports made up over 42% of South Korea’s GDP. Similarly, in 2006, when China was growing at nearly 13%, the share of exports in GDP was more than 37%. For India to achieve double digit growth, exports will be a crucial part of the strategy. 
 
Although India’s exports have been rising of late, there remains ample room for further growth. In 2017-18, exports of goods and services grew by nearly 13%. Exports grew by over 20% in May 2018 compared to May 2017. It seems as if the dip in exports witnessed over the last five years may be behind us. This is an opportune time to shift gears and pursue exports more aggressively, building on the government’s existing initiatives. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



Indonesian, Indian palm oil bodies team up to promote sustainable trade

Jul 20, 2018

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), recognising for the first time Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) and the Indian Palm Oil Sustainability Framework (IPOS) as legitimate sustainability frameworks for palm oil production and trade between both countries, was inked by the Solvent Extractors Association (SEA) of India, the Indonesian Palm Oil Board (DMSI) and global sustainability support organisation Solidaridad Network Asia Limited (SNAL) during a high-level meeting with the coordinating ministry for economic affairs, in Jakarta, Indonesia, recently.
 
It is expected that such cooperation would lead to joint promotion of IPOS and ISPO aligned sustainable palm oil in Indian, Indonesian and other markets through awareness creation amongst all stakeholders including consumers.
 
The MoU signing was witnessed by Darmin Nasution, Indonesia’s coordinating minister for economic affairs, who hosted a high-ranking palm oil delegation from India on a visit to Indonesia.
 
It comprised Shatadru Chattopadhayay, managing director, SNAL; Atul Chaturvedi, president, SEA, and director, Adani Group; B V Mehta, executive director, SEA, and senior representatives of Indian palm oil companies like Godrej and Vijay Solvex.
 
The ceremony was graced by the representatives of the Indian Embassy, the ministries of agriculture, trade and foreign affairs and other delegates in the office of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Jakarta.
 
The event was followed by an open discussion on issues related to India-Indonesia palm oil trade matters, exploring synergies between the IPOS Framework and ISPO and develop a roadmap towards supporting each other.
 
Nasution welcomed the cooperation and hoped that through the cooperation between SEA, DMSI and SNAL, will be able to strengthen our relationship, and thereby, taking forward the discussion on continued growth of palm oil and its derivatives as was discussed between Indonesian president Joko Widodo and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s visit to lndonesia. He also hoped that this collaboration will be a long lasting one and a win-win for both Indonesia and India in line with the commitment by the leaders of the two nations.
 
Chaturvedi, said, The MoU would lead the way for long-term sustainability of palm oil sector in the region by reducing barriers and facilitating enhanced production and trade of sustainable palm oil.
 
I am confident that synergies between IPOS and ISPO would jointly safeguard the competitiveness of the palm oil industry, readiness for facing future consumer demands in sustainable manner and fulfill the national commitments towards sustainable production and trade of palm oil, he added.
 
Chattopadhayay stated, Solidaridad is happy that with this MoU a process of recognising respective national sustainability initiatives on palm oil in Asia has been initiated for the first time.
 
Such cooperation would allow expansion of palm oil production and trade benefiting producers, extractors and consumers in Asia without compromising on the social and environmental aspects. Solidaridad looks forward to supporting the operationalisation of the agreement as sustainability partner, he added.
    
Source: Fnb News



Utilise Central schemes, industry told

Jul 20, 2018

Director in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries Atul Saxena said here on Thursday that Kerala had immense potential in food processing and agriculture sectors, and that it should make use of the programmes offered by the Union government to give a fillip to the food processing industry.
 
He also urged industry members to avail the benefits of schemes offered by the Centre.
 
Mr. Saxena was speaking at the inauguration of the summit on food processing industry, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
 
In his special address, he gave a brief overview on the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana.
 
The scheme is expected to benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5 lakh direct and indirect employments. Mr. Saxena also said the scheme would leverage an investment of Rs.31,400 crore.
 
The key speakers at the summit included K.V. Shibu, Assistant Commissioner of Food Safety, Government of Kerala, and Aju John Mathai, director of projects at the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam.
    
Source: The Hindu



Number of registered MSMEs crosses 4.8 million

Jul 20, 2018

MSME minister Giriraj Singh on Wednesday said the number of micro, small and medium enterprises in India has crossed 4.8 million as on July 12, 2018.
 
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Giriraj Singh said MSMEs registered on Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM) Portal  from September, 2015 to  12th July, 2018 is nearly 48.40 lakh.
 
Out of which 43,18,841 are registered as micro, 5,00,942 as small and 19,766 as medium enterprises, he added.
 
He informed that the highest number of  7,70,871  MSMES registered are from Bihar  followed by Uttar Pradesh (5,96,036),  Delhi (5,88,483),  Maharashtra ( 5,70,101) and  Gujarat (4,86,080).
 
The number of  MSMEs registered from North-Eastern states, including Sikkim,  are 27, 722, with Manipur standing highest at 17,239.
 
MSME registration allows entrepreneurs the benefits from various schemes  like Credit Guarantee Scheme, Credit Linked Capital Subsidies Scheme, Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme, Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme,   Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship, Revamped Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of  Traditional Industries, Design Clinic Scheme for MSMEs and financial support to MSMEs in ZED certification scheme, besides the schemes of other Ministries.
 
The minister informed that under the Public Procurement Policy, 358 product items have been reserved for exclusive procurement from MSEs.
 
Singh also informed the House that Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is a credit linked subsidy scheme, for setting up of new micro-enterprises and to generate employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas of the country through KVIC, State Khadi & Village Industries Board (KVIB) and District Industries Centre (DIC).
 
He said that recognizing the importance of MSME sector,  a recent ordinance has empowered the Government to provide the MSME special dispensation under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
 
The MSME minister said that to increase the registration at UAM portal the State Governments and industry associations have been urged through communication, interactive session over video conferencing.
    
Source: Sme Times



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