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Foreign Trade Policy 2023-28
Chapter 01 - Legal Framework and Trade Facilitation
Chapter 02 - General Provisions Regarding Imports and Exports
Chapter 03 - Developing Districts as Export Hubs
Chapter 04 - Duty Exemption Remission Schemes
Chapter 05 - Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) Scheme
Chapter 06 - Export Oriented Units (EOUs), Electronics Hardware Technology Parks (EHTPs), Software Technology Parks (STPs) and Bio-Technology Parks (BTPs)
Chapter 07 - Deemed Exports
Chapter 08 - Quality Complaints and Trade Disputes
Chapter 09 - Promoting Cross Border Trade in Digital Economy
Chapter 10 - Scomet: Special Chemicals, Organisms, Materials, Equipment and Technologies
Chapter 11 - Definitions
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Surprise boost: Economy grows 7.6% in Q2, beating estimates.
Dec 01, 2023
India's economy expanded 7.6% in the September quarter from a year earlier, exceeding expectations as manufacturing posted strong growth and investments gathered pace. Private consumption was tepid while a patchy monsoon dented farm growth, according to government data released on Thursday.
Economists had, in an ET poll, estimated a median 6.7% rise in gross domestic product (GDP) in the quarter.
The second-quarter GDP growth is just shy of 7.8% clocked in the June quarter and significantly higher than the 6.2% recorded in the September quarter last year. Growth in the first half of FY24 was 7.7% compared with 9.5% a year earlier.
'Manufacturing sustained expansion, endorsed by IIP (Index of Industrial Production) and core infra sector growth,' said chief economic advisor V Anantha Nageswaran.
The higher-than-expected growth triggered a raft of upgrades in full FY24 growth estimates.
'The latest numbers indicate that the economic recovery is on track despite the adverse geopolitical situation,' said Sunil Kumar Sinha, principal economist, India Ratings.
Manufacturing, which has a nearly 19% weight in the economy, posted a nine-quarter high 13.9% growth, as company profits improved on the back of strong demand and drop in input costs. The mining and construction sectors also posted strong growth, expanding 10% and 13.3%, respectively. Services growth was muted with financial services rising 6%, less than half the 12.2% growth in June quarter. Utilities grew 10.1% while trade, hotels, transport and communications grew 4.3%.
The demand-side data showed gross fixed capital formation, a measure of investment, rose 11% from a year earlier compared with 8% in the first quarter, lifting it to 35.3% of GDP.
The investment rate at 30%, measured in nominal terms, was the highest for the second quarter since FY15.
'Investment is showing strong growth trend,' said Rajani Sinha, chief economist, CareEdge. 'There could be some moderation in H2 as both government and private sector may restrain their capital spending ahead of the general elections.'
Private consumption grew a muted 3.1%, halving from 6% in the preceding quarter.
There was some moderation in consumption demand possibly due to the delayed festive season this year and weak rural demand, said Sinha.
The farm sector grew a modest 1.2% in the quarter, decelerating further from 3.5% in the preceding quarter.
The GDP growth number may persuade the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to hold the policy rate at 6.5% for the fifth time in a row at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on December 6-8, continuing to prioritise inflation control.
Economists lifted their FY24 estimates after the strong September quarter and resilient economic indicators in the current quarter.
'Given the higher than forecast outcome for Q2, we are revising our FY24 growth forecast to 6.2% from 6%,' said Aditi Nayar, chief economist, ICRA.
This is still shy of the RBI's 6.5% growth forecast for FY24.
'GDP growth for Q2 has been very buoyant coming in at 7.6%. This was far beyond expectations,' said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, Bank of Baroda. 'This will tend to push up estimates for the full year by 0.1-0.2 percentage point.'
Rahul Bajoria of Barclays revised the growth forecast for FY24 to 6.7%.
Earlier this week, S&P Global Ratings revised India's FY24 economic growth forecast to 6.4%, predicting robust domestic momentum.
The government is yet to revise its growth forecast from 6.5%.
'Will keep the FY24 growth forecast at 6.5% for now, will have to work out any upside to the projection, based on Q2 data,' CEA Nageswaran said.
'Monthly indicators show that Q3FY24 is off to a strong start with broad-based pick-up in consumption-oriented sectors, industrial activity and freight transportation services,' said Gaura Sengupta, economist, IDFC First Bank, projecting an upside to the FY24 number.
India allows export of specified quantity of wheat, broken rice to five countries.
Dec 01, 2023
The government has permitted exports of specified quantities of wheat, wheat flour and broken rice to five countries, including Bhutan, Mali and Indonesia, a notification said on Thursday. The quantity notified for Bhutan includes 14,184 tonnes of wheat grain, 5,326 tonnes of atta, 15.226 tonnes of maida/semoline, and 48,804 tonnes of broken rice.
Broken rice shipments are also permitted to Mali (1 lakh tonnes), Senegal (5 lakh tonnes in six months), Gambia (50,000 tonnes in six months), and Indonesia (2 lakh tonnes).
The export is permitted through National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL), the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
NCEL is a company set up with cooperative societies as its promoters.
Though exports of wheat and broken rice were banned to boost domestic supply, outbound shipments are allowed on the basis of permission granted by the government to certain countries to meet their food security needs and on request.
'Export of (wheat grain, atta, maida/semolina, and broken rice) food commodities are permitted through National Cooperative Exports Ltd (NCEL),' it said.
No new issue in agri till permanent solution on public stockholding: India at a WTO meet.
Dec 01, 2023
India has told a WTO grouping with a major interest in farm trade that it will not discuss any new issue in the agriculture segment like imposition of export restrictions before a permanent solution is found with regard to public stockholding of food grains, an official said. This position was cleared during a mini-ministerial virtual meeting of about 28 WTO (World Trade Organisation) member countries on agriculture issues on November 28.
In the meeting, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal put forward New Delhi's approach to the issue saying that public procurement and stockholding of food grains serve the twin objectives of food security and income support to marginal farmers.
The 19-member Cairns group, which includes agri-exporting nations, lobbies for agricultural trade liberalisation. It was formed in 1986 in Cairns, Australia. Its members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Paraguay, and Peru.
Group members want the WTO to discuss comprehensive agriculture trade reforms such as not imposing export restrictions.
The group's representative was present in the virtual meeting.
'India has made it clear that no new issue in the agri sector can be discussed in the WTO before finding a permanent solution to a mandated issue of the public stockholding,' the government official, who did not wish to be named, said.
India recently criticised Cairns member countries during a WTO meeting on public stockholding of foodgrain for food security purposes in Geneva, stating that members are monopolising time to discuss their submission on domestic support.
On the public stockholding issue, India is pushing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to find a permanent solution as the issue is important for the country which has to support its marginal farmers and feed the poor people.
Developed countries that are major agri exporters allege that foodgrain bought at MSP if offloaded in the global market can distort prices so there should be a cap on support measures. It is strongly opposed by India.
In India, the government procures rice at a Minimum Support Price (MSP) and provides it to the poor through a public distribution system.
About 80 developing members, including the African Group, G33 Group, and Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Group, have been assertive, emphasising that this is a high-stakes issue because an outcome on public stockholding must be at the core of any potential agriculture package at MC13.
The 13th ministerial conference (MC13), the highest decision-making body of the WTO, is scheduled in Abu Dhabi in February next year.
To break the long-lasting stalemate in agriculture negotiations, the WHO chief has called for a mini-ministerial meeting on November 28.
Rice on cusp of fresh 15-year high in Asia after sharp rebound.
Dec 01, 2023
Rice prices are on track for a new 15-year high, threatening to spark more angst in Asia and Africa where the grain is the staple for billions.
Thai white rice 5% broken — an Asian benchmark — has jumped by $57 over the past two weeks to $640 a ton following a period of relative calm, putting prices just short of the highest level since October 2008. That milestone was reached in early August in the wake of sweeping export curbs from top shipper India.
Increased demand for Thai rice from unexpected buyers such as Brazil and the Philippines has contributed to the rise, said Chookiat Ophaswongse, an honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association. Higher domestic prices and a strengthening of the baht have helped to underpin the surge, he added.
'We’re selling well now because Vietnam is low on stocks,' said Chookiat, whose group sets the price for 5% broken and other varieties each week.
India ramped up export curbs in late July and is expected to keep them in place into next year as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to contain domestic prices ahead of an election. The measures led to a raft of supply deals and diplomacy as major consumers worried about supply.
Rice is vital to the diets of billions and contributes as much as 60% of the total calorie intake for people in parts of Southeast Asia and Africa. Rising prices have fueled higher inflation in major buyers Indonesia and the Philippines.
The onset of El Niño, which typically brings drier conditions to growing areas in Asia, is poised to crimp supply even further. Thailand’s production is set to decline 6% in 2023-24 due to the climate phenomenon, while Vietnam directed some farmers to plant their new crop early warning of drought risks.
Maharashtra government may absorb 50% of import duty to promote orange exports to Bangladesh.
Dec 01, 2023
The Maharashtra government may absorb half the import duty impact levied by Bangladesh on oranges from India, said deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday. The duty hike had drastically brought down the consignment of Nagpur oranges to the eastern neighbour, which is the mainstay export market for growers here.
Bangladesh began imposing duty on oranges from 2019. Another round of hike this year has taken customs duty to 388 a kg for oranges. The hike makes the orange too costly for the Bangladeshi consumers.
UN agency urges western nations, including US, to curb meat consumption for climate goals.
Dec 01, 2023
The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) is set to unveil a groundbreaking global food systems' roadmap at the upcoming COP28 climate summit in Dubai, scheduled to commence this Thursday and extend for almost two weeks until mid-December, reported Fox News. The report is anticipated to urge Western nations, including the United States, to significantly curb meat consumption as part of a broader initiative to combat greenhouse gas emissions, according to reports from Bloomberg.
Jeremy Coller, the chair and founder of the FAIRR Initiative, emphasized the need for increased policy focus on the food and agriculture sector, noting the failure of leading meat and dairy companies to reduce emissions. Coller stated, 'Food system emissions deserve a place at the top of the table, alongside energy and transport, as they represent an estimated third of greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of methane.'
The FAO's unprecedented roadmap is expected to address not only meat consumption but also provide guidelines for farmers to adapt to erratic weather conditions and address emissions related to food waste and fertilizer use. While the recommendations may not be binding, the U.S. COP28 delegation is reportedly considering their endorsement.
The comprehensive roadmap aims to guide policy decisions on mitigating the climate impact of the global agriculture industry, a sector that has historically received less attention in past UN climate conferences. Previous COP summits primarily focused on emissions from the power, transportation, and manufacturing sectors.
Kaveh Zahedi, the director of the FAO Office of Climate Change, highlighted existing solutions such as agroforestry, soil restoration, sustainable livestock, and fisheries management. These solutions, Zahedi emphasized, offer multiple benefits, including support for biodiversity and food security.
According to a March 2021 study published in the Nature Food journal, the global food system, including land-use change, agricultural production, packaging, and waste management, contributes approximately 34% of total worldwide emissions, equivalent to 18 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year. Livestock alone is responsible for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to FAO data.
The UN has long advocated for a shift away from animal-based diets, citing their high impact on the planet. Choosing plant-based foods, the UN suggests, can reduce an individual's annual carbon footprint by up to 2.1 tons. However, in the U.S., agriculture alone generates about 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to federal data. The American agriculture sector, responsible for 1.4% of global emissions, has implemented various solutions, positioning it as the nation's lowest-emitting economic sector.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., defended American farmers, stating, 'America's farmers and ranchers are climate heroes, reducing emissions while providing abundant and affordable food, fiber, and fuel.' He cautioned against regulating producers out of business, emphasizing the essential role of American farmers in addressing global climate change.
The American Farm Bureau Federation reports that U.S. farmers achieve more than three times the production compared to their inputs, with significant emissions reductions in pork and beef production. In May, Chairman Thompson and a group of House Republicans criticized President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry for singling out food emissions, calling on the administration to disavow the comments made at the Department of Agriculture's AIM for Climate Summit.
Kerry had remarked, 'Food systems themselves contribute a significant amount of emissions just in the way in which we do the things we've been doing.' He emphasized the importance of agriculture in achieving net-zero emissions and suggested that emissions from the food system alone could cause an additional half a degree of warming by mid-century.
India sells over 4 million tonnes of wheat in open market from FCI stock in 5 months.
Dec 01, 2023
The Food Corporation of India (FCI) sold 2.84 lakh tonnes (lt) of wheat in the open market through auction on Wednesday, taking the total to nearly 42 lt so far, since weekly sales of the grain from the government reserves began on June 28 under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) to control domestic prices.
The weighted average selling price of wheat was Rs.2,128/quintal on November 29 e-auction, which almost same as was in the previous week, official sources said. But, the weighted average selling price was Rs.2,279/quintal.
There was a record participation of 2,420 bidders in the last wheat auction despite traders being kept out of the process and stringent checking happening to ensure only processors get the wheat so that atta (flour), maida and sooji prices will remain under control, an official source said.
The average selling price on November 15 auction dropped to Rs.2,233.61/quintal from Rs.2,251.79 in its previous week. But, the rates have started moving up in past two rounds of auction.
The government has increased the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat for next rabi marketing season (April-March) to Rs.2,275/quintal from Rs.2,125 in the 2023-24 season.
The Food Ministry has announced that wheat sales under the open market sale scheme (OMSS) will continue till March 31, 2024, and 101.5 lt will be offloaded to keep the prices in check. So far, 23 rounds of auction have been completed in which 41.81 lt of wheat have been sold, officials said, adding there may be another 17 rounds by March 31.
Govt steps to cool prices
'As seen by the interest of bidders in past few weeks, there could be another 48-50 lt of wheat FCI can sell maximum by March 31, taking the total to about 90 lt this year,' a flour miller said.
The government has taken a number of steps to keep wheat prices under check. While traders have been kept out of the auction by allowing only processors to take part, the per bidder quantitative cap has been hiked to 200 tonnes from 100 tonnes in each round from November 1 so as to ensure higher availability in the market.
The government has also introduced verification of last three months of electricity bills of the processing plant/unit before issuing the release order to the successful bidders. This is primarily done to keep traders out of the auction, directly or indirectly, officials said.
Besides, 2.28 lt of wheat has been allocated at concessional rates to cooperative organisations Kendriya Bhandar, NCCF and NAFED for converting the grain to atta and sell to the public under ‘Bharat Atta’ brand at a maximum retail price of Rs.27.50/kg. Of the 78,450 tonnes of indent placed by these agencies, the lifting was only 44,246 tonnes as of November 28.
Punjab Agri Export Corporation: Department starts weekly organic mandi.
Dec 01, 2023
City residents can explore the freshness of locally sourced organic produce at Doaba Organic Market, which started on Sunday.
The weekly mandi is the initiative of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in cooperation with Punjab Agri Export Corporation. Notably, only certified farmers by the Agriculture Department could sell products at the mandi. Farmers from Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur came to sell their produce and processed products on Sunday.
People can buy fresh, organic vegetables, jaggery, pulses, mustard oil, among other products every Sunday between 12 pm and 2 pm from Kheti Bhawan, Ladowali Road, near DC Complex, Jalandhar.
The prices of items will be decided by a committee of farmers and technical guidance will be arranged by the Department of Agriculture and Horticulture.
'It is a good opportunity for everybody. Certified organic farmers are part of the mandi. Indulge in the goodness of nature every Sunday,' said Jaswant Rai, Chief Agriculture Officer Jalandhar.
Sukhdip Hundal, Deputy Director of Horticulture Department, Kapurthala, said it was a great initiative and one must come and visit here.
Paramveer Singh Bimb from Birampur village in Hoshiarpur and a captain in Merchant Navy was part of the mandi. He said he got certified around seven years ago. 'We grow vegetables, pulses and basmati on 15 acres of land. We process the products and then sell these further,' he said.
Singh has a stall at the mandi where he sells pulses, turmeric, seasonal vegetables, mustard oil and unpolished basmati, among others.
While talking about organic farming, Singh said they preferred cow-dung based farming in which they don’t use any chemical or pesticides in their crops.
'We use khatti lassi and other natural fertilisers,' he said, adding that the prices of the products were customer-friendly.
Uttarakhand only state to have GI-certified millets.
Dec 01, 2023
As many as 18 products of Uttarakhand were awarded a geographical indication (GI) certificate by Chennai-based Geographical Indication Registry.
Some of the 18 GI tag products include candles of Nainital, litchi of Ramnagar, Buransh juice and millets of Almora. Notably, Uttarakhand became the only state in the country to have GI-tagged millets.
Managing director of Uttarakhand Organic Commodity Board, Vinay Kumar, said on Thursday, “Uttarakhand is the only state in the country that has GI certified millets.
Owing to our rich biodiversity due to the Himalayas we are sure to get more GI tags. We've already applied for more.'
The state now has 27 indigenous products GI-tagged. In 2016, the state got its first GI tag for its popular spice 'tejpatta' (Cinnamomum tamala).
Farmers, social organisations and women self-help groups involved in the production and promotion of these 18 products would be felicitated by the state government on Saturday, for their contribution in keeping these products in running condition.
Giriraj Singh urges CM to ban halal products in state
Union minister Giriraj Singh requests Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to ban 'halal'-certified products immediately, citing connection with anti-national and terror activities. Singh's request comes after UP government's ban on 'halal certification' trade and initiation of crackdown. Singh emphasizes the need for a thorough investigation into this trade practice. Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav responds by focusing on jobs and development. Singh reminds Nitish of his association with BJP and highlights the deterioration of the rule of law. Singh argues that 'halal karobar' is unconstitutional and anti-national. He also highlights the significance of FSSAI certification and the emergence of institutions giving 'halal certification' in exchange for money.
ISB Executive Educations Product Management Programme: Augment your career as an efficient product manager
ISB Executive Education launches Product Management programme in collaboration with Emeritus. The programme focuses on honing the skillsets required for aspiring product managers. McKinsey & Company's report highlights that 80% of product managers are involved in design activities, and 60% have analytical skills. Product managers require strategic thinking, superior communication skills, market research capabilities, analytical skills, time management, negotiation skills, and networking capabilities. The 12-week programme covers product development, market analysis, competitive positioning, and more. ISB is accredited by EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA, and offers a strong curriculum, live masterclasses, hands-on projects, and industry-relevant tools. The programme provides access to Emeritus Career Services and a strong alumni network.
Kashmiri Kishtwar Saffron Gets Prestigious GI Tag, Graded Grade 1.
Dec 01, 2023
Saffron, or Zaffran is one of the most precious spices in history and recently, Kashmir's Kishtwar saffron has been recognised with a GI Tag for its unique and outstanding quality.
Saffron is revered as one of the most – if not the most – expensive spices in the world. The delicate strands, hand-collected from the stigmas of crocus flowers can cost lakhs per kilogram. And among the most expensive, and highest quality saffron, comes from Kashmir. There are a few major growing regions that have won acclaim and recently, Kishtwar Saffron, from the Kishtwar Region of Jammu and Kashmir has been bestowed with the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indications Registry
A GI tag is a mark of quality, which acts as a mark of intellectual property and solidifies that the product originates from a specific geographical region and bears unique and valuable characteristics due to its place of origin. The origins of Kishtwar saffron can be traced to the scenic Kishtwar region, nestled in the mountainous landscapes of Jammu. Referred to locally as 'Kung' and nationally as 'Kesar,' this spice holds pivotal economic importance in this secluded district. Mandal, the saffron production area, encompasses around 120 hectares of cultivable land, establishing Kishtwar as a significant hub for saffron cultivation.
Kishtwar has gained renown for producing the most valuable saffron harvest, popularly known as Kumkum. This esteemed variety not only signifies the economic significance of saffron cultivation but also carries cultural value as a symbol of freshness and purity. Saffron, referred to by its Sanskrit name 'Kum-Kum' or 'Lohit,' holds a place as a cultural heritage in the region.
Aside from winning the GI tag, Kishtwar saffron was also awarded a Grade 1 quality rating when 1150 grams of saffron flowers harvested from Berwar underwent thorough physical and chemical analysis at the India International Kashmir Saffron Trading Centre (IIKSTC), Dussu Pampore. This process resulted in the extraction of 110 grams of fresh saffron filaments and 20 grams of top-tier dry Lacha saffron, subsequently designated as Grade 1.
The quality of Kishtwar saffron stands out, even when compared to the well-known Pampore saffron from Kashmir. This superiority is attributed to various factors, including the quality of the land, climate conditions, and the meticulous technique of plucking flowers and separating the red and yellow carpels from the petals.
Since manual saffron production is a labour-intensive process, these achievements mark a significant win for the growers and producers of the area and stand as a testament to years of dedicated work. The GI tag and subsequent Grade 1 award are a big step towards improving the economic climate of Kishtwar for the growers and for the reputation of Kashmiri saffron.
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Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)
(Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India)
NCUI Building 3, Siri Institutional Area, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi - 110 016
Phone : 91-11-41486013, 20863919, 20867008, 20867007