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Indias natural gas production up 4.2% in May 2017
Jun 23,2017

Indias natural gas production increased 4.2% to 2.77 billion cubic meters (bcm) in May 2017 over a year ago. Natural gas output of ONGC jumped 9.5% to 1.96 bcm, but that of private and JV companies dipped -10.5% to 0.56 bcm. Meanwhile, the natural gas production of Oil India rose 2.4% to 0.24 bcm in May 2017.

Natural gas output moved up 3.0% to 5.30 bcm in April-May 2017 over April-May 2016.

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Indias crude oil refinery output up 5.6% in May 2017
Jun 23,2017

Indias crude oil refinery output increased 5.6% to 20.90 million tonnes (mt) in May 2017 over May 2016. The output of public sector refineries improved 8.0% to 11.77 mt, while the output of private refineries jumped 15.1% to 8.54 mt. However, the refinery output of public-private JV refiners dipped 60.3% to 0.59 mt in May 2017.

Among public refineries, the output of Indian Oil Corporation increased 12.1% to 5.95 mt, while the output of Numaligarh Refineries moved up 8.7% to 0.26 mt, Chennai Petroleum Corporation 6.9% to 0.85 mt, and Mangalore Refineries 6.7% to 1.16 mt in May 2017 over May 2016. Further, the output of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation also increased 3.6% to 1.46 mt and Bharat Petroleum Corporation 1.7% to 2.08 mt in May 2017.

Among private refiners, the output of Reliance Petroleum surged 20.9% to 6.86 mt, while that of Essar Oil declined 3.6% to 1.69 mt in May 2017 over May 2016. Among JV refineries, the output of Bharat Oman increased 3.2% to 0.59 mt, while the output of HPCL Mittal dipped to nil in May 2016.

The cumulative refinery output increased 2.8% to 40.20 mt in April-May 2017. The output of public refineries increased 4.3% to 22.15 mt, while that of private refineries moved up 7.6% to 16.20 mt. The refinery output of JV refineries fell 34.3% to 1.85 mt in April-May 2017. Among public refineries, the output of Indian Oil Corporation improved 8.9%, Numaligarh Refineries 8.7% and Mangalore Refineries 6.2%, but that of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation declined 0.4%, Bharat Petroleum Corporation 0.7% and Chennai Petroleum Corporation 8.0%.

The overall capacity utilization was higher at 104.8% in May 2017 compared with 102.4% in May 2016, while it was nearly flat at 104.4% in April-May 2017 compared with 104.6% in April-May 2016.

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Indias crude oil production rises 0.7% in May 2017
Jun 23,2017

Indias crude oil production rose 0.7% to 3.10 million tonnes (mt) in May 2017 over May 2016. Crude oil output of ONGC increased 2.5% to 1.93 mt, while that of Oil India also improved 6.1% to 0.29 mt. ONGCs offshore output moved up 2.1% to 1.42 mt, while onshore production increased 3.6% to 0.51 mt. However, the crude oil production of private and joint venture (JV) companies dipped 4.5% to 0.88 mt in May 2017.

Crude oil output rose 0.1% to 6.04 mt in April-May period of the fiscal year ending March 2018 (April-May 2017), snapping 2.8% fall recorded in the corresponding period of last year. Output of ONGC rose 2.5% to 3.78 mt, while that of Oil India moved up 5.3% to 0.56 mt. However, the crude oil production of private companies fell 6.5% to 1.70 mt in April-May 2017 over April-May 2016.

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India signs loan agreement with World Bank and AIIB for electrification projects in Andhra Pradesh
Jun 22,2017

A Loan Agreement for part funding of US$ 240 million from the World Bank (IBRD) and US$ 160 Million from AIIB (60:40 ratio) for 24X7 Power for All in Andhra Pradesh Project was signed here today by Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs,Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India, Hisham Abdo, Operations Manager and Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank and D.J. Pandian Vice-President & Chief Investment Officer, AIIB. The Program Implementing Entity Agreement was signed by K. Ranganatham, Adviser (Energy), Department of Energy, Government of Andhra Pradesh on behalf of Government of AP, the Country Director (India) on behalf of the World Bank and the Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, AIIB on behalf of the AIIB.

Total Cost of the project is US$ 570 million, out of which US$ 240 million is from World Bank (IBRD) and US$ 160 million from AIIB. The rest will be counterpart funding from GoAP.

The objective of the project is to increase the delivery of electricity to customers and to improve the operational efficiency and system reliability in distribution of electricity in selected areas in Andhra Pradesh.

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Government of India and the ADB Sign $275 Million Loan for Upgrading Urban Services in 64 Small Towns in Madhya Pradesh
Jun 20,2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $275 million loan on 19th June, 2017 for improving urban services in 64 small towns in the State of Madhya Pradesh.

n++Madhya Pradesh needs substantial investments to keep pace with rapid urbanization. Availability of continuous piped water supply is vital for improving the urban infrastructure, and it will facilitate improved access to safe drinking water for residents in the project arean++, said Mr. Raj Kumar.

n++ADBs continued support to the States urban development, through this project, will improve further the quality, coverage, efficiency, and sustainability of urban service delivery, stabilize and deepen institutional capacity, and improve long term water service management,n++ said Mr. Sondjaja. n++A key element of the project is the use of design-build-operate contracts including 10-years operation and maintenance to ensure better sustainability of the water service operation and financial viability.n++

The project will develop sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient water supply in 64 small and medium-sized towns, and integrated storm water and sewerage infrastructure in two heritage towns of Khajuraho and Rajnagar. The project supports the State Governments priority to develop urban infrastructure. Previous ADB urban investments in the state have improved access to safe drinking water for more than 5 million residents in 4 major cities.

Along with ADBs loan, the Government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $124 million. The project will run for almost five years with an expected completion date of June 2022.

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India and Portugal Sign A Historical agreement to promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives
Jun 20,2017

A Protocol of Cooperation was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in the field of archives on 17th May, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. As a first step under this agreement, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over to the National Archives of India digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as Moncoes do Reino (Monsoon correspondence).

These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and is important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia, their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbourings Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

In 1777, these 62 volumes, consisting of over 12,000 documents, pertaining to the period from 1605 to 1651 were shifted from Goa to Lisbon where these were subsequently printed in under the title Documentos Remetidos da India(Documents sent from India) by the Academy of Science at Lisbon between 1880 and 1893. The original volumes had remained in Lisbon ever since.

After 240 years, this gap in the record series in the collection of the Goa State Archives was filled when on 17 May 2017, in a ceremony attended amongst others, by HE K. Nandini Single, Ambassador of the Republic of India to Portugal, and Ms. Teresa Artilheiro Ferreira, Chief of Division, Cultural Agreements and Cooperation Programmes Unit, Camoes, Dr Silvestre de Almeida Lacerda, Director General of Books, Archives and Libraries, handed over a set of digital images of the missing volumes of the Moncoes do Reino series to his counterpart Mr. Raghvendra Singh, Secretary to the Government of India and Director General of Archives, who led a two-member delegation to Portugal from 15-17 May 2017.

Speaking on this occasion Mr. Singh expressed his desire to work in close cooperation with the archival fraternity in Portugal and in India to make the centuries old relations between the two countries, more vibrant and meaningful. The Indian Ambassador added that ever since the very successful visit of the Portuguese Prime Minister to India in January this year, there is a lot of synergy between the two countries in diverse fields ranging from technology to education and from civil aviation to football - to name a few. Cultural being an important part of the lives of our people, is an important area where cooperation in the areas of shared heritage and legacy is greatly cherished by one and all.

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Punjab CM announces total waiver of entire crop loans of 8.75 lac small and marginal farmers
Jun 20,2017

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced total waiver of entire crop loans up to Rs. 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers (up to 5 acres), and a flat Rs. 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount, thus paving the way for eventual total waiver of agricultural debts to implement another major poll promise of the ruling party.

Making the announcements during his speech in the Vidhan Sabha, the Chief Minister said the move would benefit a total of 10.25 lakh farmers, including 8.75 lakh farmers up to 5 acres. The initiative would provide double the relief announced by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, he pointed out.

The decision is based on the interim report of the Expert Group, headed by eminent economist Dr. T. Haque, and tasked with suggesting ways and means to help the states distressed farming community.

Making it clear that his government stood by its commitment to waive off the crop loans of the farmers, Captain Amarinder said his government had also additionally decided to take over the outstanding crop loan from institutional sources of all the families of farmers who committed suicides in the state. It has also decided to raise the ex-gratia for suicide affected families to Rs.5.00 lakh from the existing Rs.3.00 lakh.

For debt relief to farmers for loans raised from non-institutional resources, the government has decided to review the Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Act to provide the desired relief to the farmers through mutually acceptable debt reconciliation and settlement, which shall be statutorily binding on both the parties, the lender and the borrower. The government has already constituted a Cabinet Sub Committee to review this Act, he added.

The Chief Minister proposed that the Speaker may constitute a 5-Member Committee of Vidhan Sabha to visit the families of the suicide victims, ascertain the reasons for suicides and suggest further steps to be taken to check this menace forever.

Captain Amarinder informed the House that his government had already decided to repeal Section 67 A of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, which provides for auction/ kurki of farmers land.

The Chief Minister also reiterated his governments commitment to provide free power to farmers but appealed to all big and well-to-do farmers of the state to give up power subsidy voluntarily. He announced his decision to immediately give up the subsidy at his own farms to set a personal example, and appealed to his colleagues to do the same.

Lambasting the previous Akali government for ruining the states agriculture and farmers, the Chief Minister said the Badal regime accepted a loan of Rs.31,000 crore to cover the shortfall in the cash credit limit for procurement of foodgrains, for which his government has to pay Rs.270 crore every month and Rs.3240 crore annually. Had this not been done, his government would have utilized the additional Rs. 31,000 crore amount also to benefit the farmers, he added.

Citing studies, the Chief Minister said there are about 18.5 lakh farming families in the state, and about 65% of them are small and marginal farmers, out of which about 70% have access to institutional finance.

Lamenting the problems faced by the farmers, the Chief Minister said his governments priority would be to continuously increase income of all those who are dependent on agriculture while preserving the ecological balance, and announced that a State Agriculture Policy focusing on increase in farmers income on a sustainable basis would be formulated soon.

The Chief Minister also announced a series of other measures to bring the agriculture sector back on track. These include an agriculture sustainability programme with focus on various initiatives to boost cultivation, growth and quality of crops, backed by attractive remuneration and greater incentives on alternative crops. Other measures include revamp of Farm Extension Services and a new legislation to regulate agriculture education.

Announcing the establishment of a Paddy Straw Challenge Fund to stop the practice of crop residue burning by the farmers, the Chief Minister informed the House that he had already written to the Prime Minister to allow a bonus of Rs.100 per quintal to all those farmers who incorporate the paddy straw in the soil instead of burning it, as the farmers need to be incentivized in this regard.

Reiterating his governments commitment not to allow Government of India to tinker with the MSP system, he urged the Centre to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and provide price support by way of deficiency pricing for Maize and other crops for which MSP is fixed by them.

Referring to the smooth and corruption-free procurement process ensured by his government, the Chief Minister said not only was every grain of the 120 Lakh MT wheat that arrived in the mandis in April this year smoothly procured but farmers were also given timely payment. The farmers would continue to get fair deal in the coming paddy and cotton season as well, he added.

Captain Amarinder also announced the governments decision to computerize all the operations in the State under the End to End Computerization of Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) operations Scheme to ensure leakage/diversion free distribution of subsidized food grains to the eligible beneficiaries. The identified beneficiaries will be issued Smart Ration cards. and ration will be distributed through PoS devices using bio-metric authentication.

The Chief Minister further reiterated his commitment to the promotion of horticulture to help in crop diversification and boost farmers income. and announced a slew of initiatives for the same. It has also been decided to establish a Price Stabilization Fund to save the farmers from vagaries of market, particularly in the case of perishable commodities such as fruits and vegetables, he revealed.

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Road and Railway to be exempted under the GST regime: ASSOCHAM plea to Govt.
Jun 20,2017

In view of the long gestation period and showing negative returns, industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested that infrastructure and transportation such as road and railway sectors should continue to be exempted under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

In a note submitted to the Finance Ministry, ASSOCHAM has suggested that to avoid accumulation of input tax credit with the contractors, a similar exemption should be granted in GST on direct procurements made by the contractors for use in such projects. Further withdrawal of exemption on existing projects will have a negative impact on business revenues.

The Chamber says, alternative options should be provided in GST, such as Zero rating the Contract Value chain, in the event the current Exemptions are withdrawn, so as to protect the Infrastructure Projects from any additional tax burden.

The chamber spokesperson says, presently, highway toll collected from passengers and annuity amounts received from NHAI for construction and maintenance of highways is exempt from Service tax. While service by way of access to a road or a bridge on payment of toll charges has been specifically exempted in GST regime, exemption to similar income received in form of annuity from NHAI has not been provided. Essentially in case of annuity based project NHAI collects Toll charges and share Toll income in form of annuity.

Levy of GST on existing contracts with non-recoverable taxes from NHAI will have significant impact on revenue and therefore exemption should be accorded to annuity income as well.

As per contract with NHAI, concessionaire is required to a share a pre-defined percentage of income from toll collection with NHAI and there is no clarification whether sharing of such exempted income would be subject to GST. Since Toll income is exempt from GST, sharing of such income also should not attract GST.

It may be mentioned that currently the services provided to infrastructure project are exempted from service tax and wherever service tax is levied, works contract abatement is available and in VAT also abatement is available and the combined effective tax rate comes to 10% to 12% while the rate schedule released by GST council provides for 18% GST rate for Works contract services.

ASSOCHAM has strongly recommended that rate of GST should be retained at the current levels on the Goods and Services, on the existing projects in progress as any increase in existing tax cost will adversely impact the project financials, cash flow and margins, due to inability to pass on or recover such increased cost in the entire Contract value chain and GST rate on works contract services should be provided as 12% instead of 18%.

Similar rate structure has been provided by GST council for Construction of a complex, building, civil structure or a part thereof, intended for sale to a buyer, wholly or partly.

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Gartner Says the Banking and Securities Industry in India To Grow 8.6 Percent in 2017
Jun 20,2017

The Forecast/ Current Scenario: IT spending by banking and securities firms in India will grow 8.6 percent in 2017 to reach $8.9 billion, according to Gartner, Inc.

Analyst Take: n++The Indian banking sector has undergone a transformation. Banks are gradually lowering the number of branches and increasing capability in terms of their existing infrastructure,n++ said Moutusi Sau, principal research analyst at Gartner. n++Despite effects of demonetization in the banking sector, banks will continue with digital transformation projects.n++

Analysis: Demonetization is the primary reason for the slowdown in the banking and securities market in India. But the effects will be short-lived. The slowing manufacturing sector is also having an indirect effect on the banking and securities sector.

IT services will grow the fastest at 13.8 percent in 2017 followed by software at 13.4 percent. Firms in the banking and securities industry are investing more in enterprise resource planning (ERP)/ supply chain management (SCM)/ customer relationship management (CRM) to upgrade their existing infrastructure.

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Fitch: Strongest World Growth Expected Since 2010
Jun 20,2017

The recovery in global growth is strengthening and is expected to pick up to 2.9% this year and peak at 3.1% in 2018, the highest rate since 2010, says Fitch Ratings in its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO).

Faster growth this year reflects a synchronised improvement across both advanced and emerging market economies. Macro policies and tightening labour markets are supporting demand growth in advanced countries, while the turnaround in Chinas housing market since 2015 and the recovery in commodity prices from early 2016 has fuelled a rebound in emerging market demand, said Brian Coulton, Fitchs Chief Economist.

The biggest positive forecast revision since Fitchs March GEO is to the eurozone. Here, stronger incoming data, improving external demand and greater confidence that ECB QE is gaining traction on activity have resulted in an upward revision of 0.3pps to the 2017 eurozone growth forecast, taking it to 2%. The recent pick-up in world trade growth has also been striking.

However, this improving global picture implies an evolving monetary policy outlook. China has recently seen a tightening in credit conditions, which will start to have an impact on growth later this year and the Fed looks set to pursue a normalisation course at a rate of three or four hikes per year through 2019. Low core inflation allows the ECB to carry on with QE for the time being, but the reduction in deflation risks will see the programme phased out by mid-2018.

With the Fed now signalling that QE will start to be unwound later this year, these monetary policy adjustments could spark some volatility in global financial markets attuned to persistent monetary accommodation, added Coulton.

The changing impact of fiscal policy on growth in the advanced economies also remains an important factor behind the improved near-term outlook. Fiscal policy began to shift to a mild easing stance from 2016 in the US and the eurozone after several years of substantial fiscal tightening over 2011 to 2015. Fitchs analysis of multipliers suggests this shift has had a significant impact on growth dynamics in the advanced economies and seems likely to provide a further boost to growth over the next couple of years.

Demand growth in the larger emerging market economies is recovering strongly in 2017. Both Brazil and Russia have recently seen a return to positive real GDP growth rates and the latest data suggest consumption and investment is starting to pick up in Russia. Following very large declines in aggregate demand in the aftermath of sharp falls in commodity prices in 2014, there is now room for demand to recover in large emerging market commodity producers.

The two key downside risks identified last quarter - eurozone fragmentation risk and aggressive US-led protectionism - have not gone away but have certainly diminished somewhat in recent months, noted Coulton.

Emmanuel Macrons decisive victory in the French Presidential election, as well as his partys success in National Assembly elections, have eased concerns about anti-European and anti-euro sentiments gaining additional traction. Furthermore, despite tough rhetoric on trade in the election campaign, the US policy approach to reforming trade relations has not, so far, translated into aggressive unilateral measures. However, the lack of much visible progress to date on agreeing specific tax reform measures raises the risk that US fiscal policy may not be eased as much as anticipated in our baseline forecast.

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Ind-Ra: Religare Enterprises Dependent on External Inflows for Immediate Payouts
Jun 20,2017

Religare Enterprise Limited (REL; IND AA-/Stable) is likely to meet its immediate debt repayment (including interest) of INR1.55 billion on 30 June 2017 through external flows, due to temporary insufficient cash on its own book, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). REL may raise short-term bank loans or commercial papers to meet the immediate payouts.

In April 2017, REL had announced a stake sale in its health insurance subsidiary. The company expects to receive sale consideration in the near to medium term (post the necessary regulatory approvals), which would provide comfort to the liquidity situation. As a holding company, REL has depended upon cash receipts in the form of dividends from the key operating subsidiary, Religare Finvest Limited (RFL; IND AA-/Stable) as well as interest income from loans and advances. However, RFL was unable to provide dividends to REL in FY17 due to higher credit write-offs.

During FY16 and FY17, REL had sold off and realised purchase consideration from the sale of its stakes in various key businesses such as life insurance business, domestic asset management company and global asset management company. The company has significantly brought down its external debt since the last couple of years by utilising the money raised from the sale of businesses. The lower external debt outstanding (forms just 18% of total debt) provides REL with the buffer to raise additional debt. REL has access to sufficient liquidity buffers available with operating group companies - RFL and its subsidiary Religare Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (IND AA-/Stable) in the form of cash, liquid investments and unutilised sanctioned bank lines.

RELs ratings are driven by support from its key operating subsidiary, RFL. Post the one-off credit losses in RFL, REL had infused equity into RFL which strengthened RFLs equity buffers. Ind-Ra expects RFL to resume payment of dividends to REL from FY18, which would keep the rating linkages intact. That being said, Religare group is in the restructuring mode. This involves selling off stakes in businesses and announcements relating to the merger of certain subsidiaries into REL. This would simplify the corporate structure and knock-off the inter-group liabilities. It would lead to a decline in RELs double leverage with significant reduction in debt from subsidiaries (82% of RELs debt).

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Growth rate in Foreign Exchange Earnings in rupee terms in May 2017 over May 2016 was 20.9% compared to growth of 7.9% in May 2016
Jun 19,2017

Ministry of Tourism estimates monthly Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism in India, both in rupee and dollar terms. Based on the credit data of Travel Head from Balance of Payments of RBI.

The highlights of the estimates of FEEs from tourism in India for May 2017 and Jan-May 2017 are as below:-

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in Rs. terms)

n++ FEEs during the month of May 2017 were Rs.12,403 crore as compared to Rs.10,260 crore in May 2016 and Rs.9,505 crore in May 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in May 2017 over May 2016 was 20.9% compared to growth of 7.9% in May 2016 over May 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January- May 2017 were Rs. 74,008 crore with a growth of 19.2%, as compared to the FEE of Rs.62,072 crore with a growth of 14.0% in January- May 2016 over January- May, 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in US $ terms)

n++ FEEs in US$ terms during the month of May 2017 were US$ 1.924 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.534 billion during the month of May 2016 and US$ 1.491 billion in May 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in May 2017 over May 2016 was 25.4% compared to a positive growth of 2.9% in May 2016 over May 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January-May 2017 were US$ 11.199 billion with a growth of 21.3% as compared to the FEE of US$ 9.231 billion with a growth of 6.0% in January- May 2016 over January- May 2015.

Note: Estimates of FEEs are based on following factors:

I. Per capita FEEs during April-June 2016= RBIs credit figure for travel (April-June 16)/FTAs (April-June 16)

II. FTAs for May 2017.

III. Inflation factor based on CPI (U) for May 2017.

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Shri Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017
Jun 19,2017

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.

The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth. ECBC 2017 sets parameters for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design with the inclusion of passive design strategies. The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

In his address , Shri Goyal, said, I would like to dedicate today ECBC Code 2017 to all the young children of India n++to the future of India for whose sake , it is incumbent on all of us to efficiently utilize every bit of resource , ensure implement such progressive and forward looking programmes of Government very diligently and ensure that we will leave behind for next generation a better world then what we inherited .n++

Shri Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Power, stated that ECBC 2017 will give clear direction and have criteria for new buildings to be Super ECBC: n++The new code reflects current and futuristic advancements in building technology, market changes, and energy demand scenario of the country, setting the benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally.n++

In order for a building to be considered ECBC-compliant, it would need to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%. Additional improvements in energy efficiency performance would enable the new buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status leading to further energy savings of 35% and 50%, respectively.

With the adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction throughout the country, it is estimated to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030. This will translate to energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by 2030 and peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year. This will be equivalent to expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and 250 million tonnes of CO2 reduction.

ECBC 2017 was developed by BEE with technical support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S.-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy - Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.

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Industry Ready for GST: CII
Jun 19,2017

n++Industry is ready for the landmark tax reform of GST, which is expected to bring significant gains for economic growth, employment and exports. CII is undertaking more than 100 workshops across the country to enable enterprises to comply with the new regulations,n++ said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry. He was referring to industry preparations for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), slated to be rolled out from July 1.

With just over 2 weeks expected for GST introduction, CII has taken up a range of initiatives to encourage industry to be proactive in managing GST compliance. CII has launched a series of around 100 two-day Training Programmes across India. The workshops are expected to reach out to about 5,000-plus enterprises.

CII has been granted Approved Training Partner (ATP) status to impart GST training by National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) with Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Technical partners are GST Street and Tax Sutra.

Key issues covered in training programme include, among others:

n++Introduction to GST and overview of the model GST law

n++Registration Provisions; Time & Supply and Valuation of Goods & Services

n++Input Tax Credit; Payment of Tax; Cross Utilization of CGST/SGST/IGST

n++GST Returns and Matching of Credit; Refunds

n++IT Enablement and ERP Solutions

n++Transitional Provisions and GST- Impact Study

n++Sectoral Analysis: Manufacturing/Services

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India gives more liberal market turf to US tech majors; ASSOCHAM urges PM Modi to convey Donald Trump
Jun 19,2017

ASSOCHAM has urged Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to remind President Donald Trump that If Indian IT firms have got a good foothold in the US, American top notch firms like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple, Coke and Pepsi are getting quite a liberal market access in India without any restrictions.

In a technology driven and free market global economy, governed by rule-based multilateral World Trade Organisation, major trading partners should abstain from unilateral restrictions on flow of trade in goods and services. After all, the global economy is inter-dependent, the chamber said, expressing concern over a host of restrictions on visa for Indian IT professionals in the US.

It is a matter of concern that in the name of America First, restrictions are sought to be slapped on Indian IT firms, which are creating jobs in the US as well. Moreover, the software solutions the Indian firms develop for the world market are built around the platforms and tools of the American technology majors. Such a thing should be conveyed to the American President when our Prime Minister meets him during his impending visit to the US, the ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

It said India is among the fastest growing economies in the world, riding on the young consumers ever willing to spend on the global brands without restrictions from the government. Besides, the country is on a major digitization drive, throwing a world of opportunities to the likes Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter. n++Several of Indian infrastructure projects involving traffic and ticketing, customer relationship management, billing and the telecom backbone is running on combination of several hardware-software tools, platform and solutions, bulk of which is sourced from the US companies. Nobody in India, including our political leadership, grudges this. Thus, India is a truly an open and globally -integrated economy. This is what must be told to the new US administration, and there is no need for India to play on a defensive wicket.

The ASSOCHAM said even in the IT services , it is not only the Indian firms like TCS and Infosys which are outsourcing to the American clients but scores of American companies which have set up huge centres in cities like Pune, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Chennai and Hyderabad for their global clients. n++Yes, they do create jobs for Indians, but also repatriate billions of dollars as profits and India is fine with it. Thus, it is absolutely unfair to target Indian firms which are facing increasing pressure in the US through different non-trade measures like visa fee and other unrelated leviesn++.

With its expanding aviation market, India is a huge market for the American and European aircraft makers, besides offering opportunities in the financials. The market access has been given liberally even in agriculture.

n++It is thus a matter of concern that in the name of America First, restrictions are sought to be slapped on Indian IT firms, which are creating jobs in the US as well. Moreover, the software solutions the Indian firms develop for the world market are built around the platforms and tools of the American technology majors. Such a thing should be conveyed to the American President when our Prime Minister meets him during his impending visit to the US, Mr Rawat said.

India runs its overall trade gap of over USD 105 billion in goods alone with rest of the world, being liberal with its imports which aggregated USD 380 billion in 2016-17 while exports were about USD 275 billion. n++We give much more market access to the world than we enjoy elsewhere,n++ the chamber said, adding the US corporates are immensely benefiting by doing business with India and Indian companies and that must be conveyed to the US administrationn++.

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