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Science & Technology Ministry to virtually reproduce all monuments using 3D technology: Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary
Mar 14,2017

The Union Science and Technology Ministry will reproduce all monuments, Buddhist Circuit using three dimensional (3D), cyber physical systems and other technologies with a view to virtually promote architectural heritage, a top official said at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++Without going for Bharat Darshan, you can sit in one place, in Delhi may be, and visit all the monuments, get all the information about them better than a guide can tell us because of the whole force of Wikipedia is behind you in that,n++ said Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science and Technology.

He was talking about a project undertaken by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) - Delhi about recreating architectural heritage. n++They recreated the lost city of Hampi, 3D printed it and also embed all the information related to the monuments, sculptures, their whole history in this physical model.n++

He said that one could stop, pause and ask for more information about certain elements in-there and one would get that thereby terming it a weak example of cyber physical as it is not driven by AI and so it is not inventing new facts about the monument but everything which is already there.

n++We are going to reproduce using the same technology now all the monuments - starting from Ghats of Benares, if you take a boat-ride in the Ganges you see all the facades, all the history of the place, (will) reproduce Buddhist circuit,n++ said Prof. Sharma.

He also said that there is an urgent need to create 20 million new jobs i.e. about two crore new jobs in India every year so it would be a challenge to use global technologies like AI as per the local needs.

n++One has to think very deeply about how to use the same technology to do the opposite of what the technology is being created for, so it would not help us to copy Japan, Germany because of the objectives being little bit different,n++ said Prof. Sharma.

He said that all these countries are developing AI because they do not have people. n++If you want to grow and remain competitive the way to go would be technology which can replace people but our problem is totally opposite.n++

n++We certainly need best of our technologists, scientists, even social scientists, economists to think very deeply about this problem of using AI to generate jobs,n++ he added.

He also said that the biggest challenge for India is to remain competitive not because of AI but despite AI to be able to create new jobs in every domain whether it is services or manufacturing because both of these domains will get affected as both require decision making.

n++We need strong policy statements to deal with what is coming and in fact what is already there, we need to modify some of it, we need to introduce new elements and policies,n++ further said Prof. Sharma.

He said that newer technologies like AI would impact sectors like education and healthcare in a big way. n++Doctors today in India have about 2.5 seconds to look at each patient which may be enough for a machine to arrive at good diagnostics but not for a human doctor.n++

May be we would create a knowledge bank which is completely and meticulously sealed and say that these are reference points of knowledge which are not alterable by machines. So unless we have these reference points it can get to be pretty scary in the future.

On the education front, he said that there is a need have bring in tools like AI and work on the challenges that these tools will pose to our traditional models of education.

n++Our education system is very conservative with direct emphasis on memorisation and on cracking exams but not on deep skills and developing insights into what it means to arrive at a decision and how to do things independently,n++ said Prof. Sharma.

n++So we need to start focussing on education in a very strong way,n++ he added.

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Implement Universal Basic Income for women, says ASSOCHAM Women Foundation
Mar 14,2017

Saluting the un-measureable contribution of women to the society, apex industry body ASSOCHAM picked up the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI), only for women, from a key government document, stating implementation of such a scheme can bring in significant transformation in Indias socio-economic landscape.

n++While India may not be ready for an all - encompassing UBI ,given the countrys scale of development where the difference between the rich and poor remains quite wide and it may not be an equitable thing to extend similar benefits across all strata of the economic paradigm, the women-only UBI can be considered favourably,n++ ASSOCHAM said extending its good wishes on the International Womens Day (IWD).

n++If women in the households have money in their accounts, their economic and social status would see a tremendous uplift. In the long run, this would also bring in corrections in the adverse sex ratio as the society would see women as an empowered lot,n++ the chamber said in a statement.

It added that a sub-idea for UBI for Women was enunciated in the Economic Survey of 2016-17 along with broader UBI. The key document, authored by the Chief Economic Adviser, rightly argued when it had said, n++Women face worse prospects in almost every aspect of their daily lives - employment opportunities, education, health or financial inclusion. Giving money to women also improves the bargaining power for women within households and reduces concerns of money being splurged on conspicuous goods.n++

Under the UBI, some fixed amount is transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries irrespective of their economic or social status. It is premised on the principle that an equitable society should guarantee a minimum income to each individual for access to basic needs.

Chairperson of the ASSOCHAM Women Foundation, Ms Revati Jain said, n++As it is, the public spending on health and education in India are among the lower categories in the world. The worst sufferers are the women if enough resources are not spent on health and education. The issues of child mortality, infant mortality and even nutrition during pregnancy can be addressed if UBI is extended to women.n++

n++It could be argued that women from the rich and upper middle income groups do not deserve to be provided government support. But the problem of identifying the correct beneficiaries is far greater than the cost of an all - inclusive scheme,n++ said Ms Jain.

n++Maybe, the government can leave it up to the beneficiaries not to avail of the scheme, if they chose to. Say, for instance, if well placed women among the rich and upper middle class do not want UBI, they can voluntary give it up and they will give up,n++ added the AWF chairperson.

n++While most of the welfare schemes can be clubbed into the UBI, certain basic schemes focused on pregnancy benefits can continue along with UBI. The industry, can also be, on a voluntary basis, encouraged to extend its helping hand to the women welfare schemes,n++ she said further.

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Lok Sabha Passes the Admiralty Bill 2016
Mar 14,2017

The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 10 March 2017. The Bill aims to establish a legal framework to consolidate the existing laws relating to admiralty jurisdiction of courts, admiralty proceedings on maritime claims, arrest of vessels and related issues. It also aims to replace archaic laws which are hindering efficient governance. The Bill confers admiralty jurisdiction on High Courts located in coastal states of India and this jurisdiction extends upto territorial waters.

Introduced during the winter session of Parliament, the Bill came up for discussion in the Lok Sabha. The Minister of State ( RT&H, S, C&F), Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, presented an overview of the Bill in the House, highlighting the need for repealing five obsolete British statutes on admiralty jurisdiction in civil matters, which are 126 to 177 years old. The Bill provides for prioritization of maritime claims and maritime liens while providing protection to owners, charterers, operators, crew members and seafarers at the same time. During the course of discussion, thirteen members presented their views and raised various questions which were replied to by Shri Mandaviya. The Bill was then passed by the House.

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To cater to the needs of the local farmers, the Central Government has established this Banana Research Centre: Shri Radha Mohan Singh
Mar 14,2017

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that Bihar and particularly Vaishali district is very suitable for the cultivation of bananas and large scale production of banana can change the fate of farmers.

Shri Singh stated that Rajendra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pusa has got the status of Central Agriculture University only in October, 2016. After that the Government has established this Banana Research Centre to fulfil the aspirations of the banana growers of Vaishali. Banana Research Centre, Vaishali falls under Garole area and because of the ecological conditions of Garole, it has been selected for the establishment of this centre. He further stated that this centre will work in the areas of finding reasons of less production in banana, enhancement in acreage for cultivation, suitable utilization of the various parts of the plants, different products, marketing and value addition.

Shri Singh said that Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University has already started the research work for doubling the income from banana cultivation. With starting this centre the research work will get more momentum. He was hopeful that with the cooperation of the researchers of this centre and with the participation of farmers, it would help to bring a new era of banana cultivation in Bihar and surrounding states like it happened in Maharashtra.

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister further stated that the farmers of Maharashtra have developed a domestic and export market with the help of 26 cooperative societies operating in the state and thus has given a new direction in the field of banana cultivation. By adopting high density cultivation, tissue culture, drip irrigation etc. Maharashtra is transporting high quality bananas to the entire country through 12-15 thousand Railway Wagons.

Shri Singh further informed that the total production of banana in the country is around 14.2 million tons. India holds number one position in the world in the area of banana production and stands at number three in acreages which is 13 per cent of the entire acreage and 33 per cent of the total production. Among the states, Maharashtra is the largest producer followed by Tamil Nadu. Productivity of Maharashtra is 65.7 ton/ha, which is more than the average national production of 34.1 ton/ha. Banana is grown in Bihar in around 27.2 thousand hectare, production is around 550 thousand tons and average productivity is 20.0 ton/ha, which is very less than the national average.

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Mission Fingerling with a total expenditure of about Rs. 52000 lakh to achieve Blue Revolution
Mar 14,2017

Recognizing the potential and possibilities in the fisheries sector, Government of India has envisaged a program named Blue Revolution to unlock the countrys latent potential through an integrated approach. The Blue Revolution, in its scope and reach, focuses on creating an enabling environment for an integrated and holistic development and management of fisheries for the socio economic development of the fishers and fish farmers. Thrust areas have been identified for enhancing fisheries production from 10.79 mmt (2014-15) to 15 mmt in 2020-21.

Greater emphasis will be on infrastructure with an equally strong focus on management and conservation of the resources through technology transfer to increase in the income of the fishers and fish farmers. Productivity enhancement shall also be achieved through employing the best global innovations and integration of various production oriented activities such as: Production of quality fish seeds, Cost effective feed and adoption of technology etc.

Fish Fingerling production is the single most important critical input visualised to achieve fish production targets under the Blue Revolution. We need to establish more hatchery to produce Fry/PL required for different categories of water bodies. Barring few States thats to in terms of fry (15-20 mm size), all States are in need of Fingerling production (standard size 80-100 mm). Use of High Yielding Verities of brooders is another significant aspect to be addressed on priority.

The Department has identified 20 States based on their potential and other relevant factors to strengthen the Fish Seed infrastructure in the country. This program with a total expenditure of about Rs. 52000 lakh will facilitate the establishment of hatcheries and Fingerling rearing pond to ensure the fish production of 426 crores fish fingerling, 25.50 crores Post Larvae of shrimp and crab in the country. This will converge in the production of 20 lakh tonnes of fish annually and will benefit about 4 million families. The implementation of this program will supplement the requirement of stocking materials in the country up to a large extent, which is a much needed input to achieve the enhanced fish production.

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Industrial production expands 2.7% in January 2017
Mar 10,2017

Indias industrial production declined 0.4% in January 2017 over January 2016, snapping 0.1% declined recorded in December 2016. The manufacturing sectors production increased 2.3% in January 2017, mainly contributing to the increase in industrial production. Further, the mining output increased 5.3%, while the electricity generation also moved up 3.9% in January 2017.

In terms of industries, 09 out of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during the month of January 2017 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The industrial production rose 0.6% in April-January FY2017, compared with 2.7% growth in the corresponding period last year. The manufactured product sector output declined 0.2%, while the mining and electricity generation improved 1.4% and 5% in April-January 2017.

As per the use-based classification, the basic goods output improved 5.3% in January 2017 over a year ago, while the output of capital goods surged 10.7%. However, the consumer goods output declined 1%, while the output of intermediate goods also fell 2.3% in January 2017. Within consumer goods, the production of consumer durables fell 3.2%, while that of consumer non-durables was flat in January 2017 over January 2016.

The IIP growth in December 2016 has been revised marginally upwards to (-) 0.1% in the first revision compared with (-) 0.4% reported provisionally. Meanwhile, the growth in September 2016 has been also maintained unchanged at (-) 1.9%.

The industry group Electrical machinery & apparatus has shown the highest positive growth of 42.4% followed by 21.8% in Radio, TV and communication equipment & apparatus and 12.4% in Basic metals.

On the other hand, the industry group Office, accounting and computing machinery has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 16.0% followed by (-) 14.8% in Food products and beverages and (-) 13.4% in Other transport equipment.

Some important items showing high positive growth during the current month over the same month in previous year include Cable, Rubber Insulated 282.8%, Fruit Pulp 121.5%, Vitamins 46.9%, HR Coils/ Skelp40.0%, Telephone Instruments including Mobile Phones and accessories 31.7%, Plates 27.2% and Antibiotics and its preparations 25.9%.

Some important items that have registered high negative growth include HR Sheets (-) 39.6%, Ship Building and Repairs (-) 31.9%, Sugar (-) 28.2%, PVC Pipes and Tubes (-) 27.0%, Molasses (-) 26.0%, Leather Garments (-) 24.3% and Three-Wheelers (including passenger and goods carrier) (-) 24.3%.

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Income Tax Department identifies 17.92 Lakh persons whose tax profiles were not in line with cash deposits made by them during demonetization period
Mar 10,2017

Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated n++Operation Clean Moneyn++ on 31st January 2017 to leverage technology and data analytics for e-verification of cash deposits made during the demonetization period i.e. 9thNovember to 30th December 2016 to reduce compliance cost for the taxpayers and optimise Government resources.

ITD has identified 17.92 Lakh persons whose tax profiles were not in line with the cash deposits made by them during the demonetization period.

As part of the initial phase, the ITD has sought online response as per pre-defined parameters on source(s) of cash deposited by17.92 Lakh persons through its e-filing portal.

More than 12 lakh responses have been received from 8.38 lakh distinct PANs/persons which are under verification. In case explanation of source of cash is found justified, the verification is closed. The verification is also closed if the cash deposit is declared under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY).

Appropriate action in non-compliant cases is taken as per law, which includes searches, surveys, assessment of income, levy of taxes, penalties, etc. and filing of prosecution complaints in criminal courts, wherever applicable.

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Roll out of GST-1st July 2017
Mar 10,2017

The GST Council in its 9th Meeting held on 16 January 2017 took note of the work to be completed for the rollout of GST and after deliberations, agreed to extend the date for rollout of GST from 1st April 2017 to 1st July 2017. Steps taken to ensure rollout of GST by 1st July 2017 include approval of the Draft GST Compensation Law by the GST Council in its 10th Meeting on 18 February 2017 held in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Subsequently, the Draft CGST Law and Draft IGST Law were approved in the 11th Council Meeting held on 4 March 2017 at New Delhi. The issues of dual control and cross empowerment were resolved in the 9th Meeting of the GST Council held on 16 January 2017 in which a broad agreement was reached on the issue of cross-empowerment to achieve single interface of taxpayer with the tax administration in the GST regime.

All the decisions taken by the GST Council so far have been based on consensus among the Centre and the States.

At the Central level, the following taxes are being subsumed in GST:

n++ Central Excise Duty,

n++ Additional Excise Duty,

n++ Service Tax,

n++ Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty, and

n++ Special Additional Duty of Customs.

n++ Cesses and surcharges (Except Clean Energy Cess)

At the State level, the following taxes are being subsumed in GST:

n++ State Value Added Tax/Sales Tax,

n++ Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States),

n++ Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies),

n++ Octroi and Entry tax,

n++ Purchase Tax,

n++ Luxury tax, and

n++ Taxes on lottery, betting and gambling.

n++ State cesses and surcharges in so far as they relate to supply of goods and services.

GST will simplify and harmonise the indirect tax regime in the country. It is expected to reduce cost of production, thereby making the Indian trade industry more competitive, domestically as well as internationally. It is also expected that introduction of GST will foster a common or seamless Indian market and contribute significantly to the growth of the economy. Further, GST will broaden the tax base, and result in better tax compliance due to robust IT infrastructure.

GST Council is presently deliberating on various issues entrusted to it. All the decisions taken by the Council so far have been based on consensus. GST is going to be implemented soon in the country, therefore, simultaneous and concert efforts are also being made by the government in the form of IT readiness, rigorous consultations, workshops and training sessions for the industry and traders, and all other stake holders involved etc.

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Centre creating a dynamic buffer of upto 2 million tonnes of Pulses
Mar 10,2017

Government is creating a dynamic buffer of upto 2 million tonnes of pulses. As on 6.3.2017, around 14.25 lakh tonnes of pulses has been procured / contracted for imports for the buffer. During 2015-16, around 5.88 million tonnes pulses were imported.

The measures taken by the Government to improve the domestic availability, inter alia, include zero import duty on pulses, export ban on pulses with certain exemptions, regular enhancement of MSP for pulses, and implementation on National Food Security Mission (NFSM).

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Government approves renewal of the MoU between the ICAI and the College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS), Oman
Mar 10,2017

The Government has approved the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS), Oman with the aim of developing a mutually beneficial relationship in the best interest of members, students and the Institutes. It is expected that through this mechanism, an opportunity will be provided to ICAI members to expand their Professional horizons and substantial goodwill be generated for India, Indian Citizens and Indian Chartered Accountants in the Sultanate of Oman leading to greater employment and enhancement of remittances by Indian nationals to India. The ICAI Oman (Muscat) Chapter contributes in developing close relationships with the local Omani Community and has enabled Omani Nationals to pursue the Indian Chartered Accountancy course.

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Rs. 294.84 crores deposited by Pharmaceutical companies against demand notices issued by Government for overcharging patients for Scheduled Medicines
Mar 10,2017

The Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO) issued by the Government from time to time contains provisions to take appropriate action against any manufacturer selling a schedule bulk drug or formulation at a price higher than the ceiling price fixed and notified by the Government.

The provisions empower the Government to direct the manufacturer to deposit the overcharged amount along with the interest thereon from the date of overcharging, in addition to the penalty. Pursuing the above-mentioned provisions, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), under Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, has issued demand notices to companies which have overcharged patients. The details in the last three years is as follows:

Year2013-142014-152015-162016-17 (as on 28.02.2017)Cases of Overcharging90129263120Amountsdeposited by companies(Rs. crores)40.0890.1712.36294.84

The National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) is prepared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on the recommendation of the core committee appointed by them. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has revised the NLEM, 2015 on 23rdDecember, 2015 and subsequently Schedule Gô 1 of DPCO, 2013 was revised by Department of Pharmaceuticals on 10thMarch, 2016. There were 348 medicines listed in NLEM 2011. A total of 106 medicines have been added, and 70 medicines have been deleted to prepare NLEM 2015, which now contains a total of 376 medicines.

The initial price fixation/price determination is not under the purview of Government. Government only controls price of medical devices declared as essential drugs. Out of the 23 medical devices regulated as Drugs under Drugs & Cosmetics Act & Rules thereunder,3 devices namely GCondom, GIntra Uterine Device (IUD) containing copper & GCoronary Stents have been included in the Schedule-I of DPCO, 2013 and are under price control. The remaining 20 medical devices are categorized as non-scheduled formulations under DPCO, 2013 and therefore, no price has been fixed for these non-scheduled medical devices. However, manufacturers are not allowed to increase the price of these 20 medical devices more than 10% per annum.

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Direct Tax Collections up to February, 2017 show growth of 10.7%
Mar 10,2017

The Direct Tax collections up to February, 2017 continue to show a steady growth trend. The collection net of refunds stands at Rs. 6.17 lakh crore, which is 10.7 % more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. This collection is 72.9 % of the total Budget Estimates for Direct Taxes for Financial Year 2016-17.

As regards the growth rates for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT), in terms of gross revenue collections, the growth rate under CIT is 11.9% while that under PIT (including STT) is 20.8 %. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in CIT collections is 2.6 % while that in PIT collections is 19.5 %. Refunds amounting to Rs.1.48 lakh crore have been issued during April 2016- February 2017, which is 40.2% higher than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last year.

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Net Indirect Tax collection upto February 2017 stood at Rs 7.72 lakh crore, 22.2% more than the corresponding period last year
Mar 10,2017

Indirect Taxes

The figures for indirect tax collections (Central Excise, Service Tax and Customs) up to February 2017 show that net revenue collections are at Rs 7.72 lakh crore, which is 22.2% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. Till February 2017, about 90.9% of the Revised Estimates (RE) of indirect taxes for Financial Year 2016-17 has been achieved.

As regards Central Excise, net tax collections stood at Rs. 3.45 lakh crore during April-February, 2016-17 as compared to Rs.2.53 lakh crore during the corresponding period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 36.2%.

Net Tax collections on account of Service Tax during April-February, 2016-17 stood at Rs. 2.21 lakh crore as compared to Rs.1.83 lakh crore during the corresponding period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 20.8%.

Net Tax collections on account of Customs during April-February 2016-17 stood at Rs. 2.05 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 1.94 lakh crore during the same period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 5.2%.

During February 2017, the net indirect tax grew at the rate of 8.4% compared to corresponding month last year. The growth rate in net collection for Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax was 10.9%, 7.4% and 7.6% respectively during the month of February 2017, compared to the corresponding month last year.

Direct Taxes

The figures for Direct Tax collections up to February, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.17 lakh crore which is 10.7% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year. This collection is 72.9% of the total Budget Estimates of Direct Taxes for F.Y. 2016-17.

As regards the growth rates for Corporate Income Tax (CIT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT), in terms of gross revenue collections, the growth rate under CIT is 11.9% while that under PIT (including STT) is 20.8%. However, after adjusting for refunds, the net growth in CIT collections is 2.6% while that in PIT collections is 19.5%. Refunds amounting to Rs.1.48 lakh crore have been issued during April 2016-February 2017, which is 40.2% higher than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last year.

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Ind-Ra: Stable Input Prices, Fiscal Incentives to Support Textile and Cotton in FY18
Mar 10,2017

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has maintained a stable outlook for cotton textiles for FY18. However, the agency has revised its cotton outlook to stable for FY18 from negative for FY17. In addition, the agency has revised its outlook for synthetic textiles to stable for FY18 from negative for FY17. The stable textile outlook is in view of stable input prices, healthy capacity utilisation and steady domestic demand scenario in FY18 and support emanating through fiscal incentives and implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) that will improve the textile industrys export competitiveness. Moreover, the USs exit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is likely to realign textile trade and investments towards the Indian subcontinent that were diverted to Vietnam over FY16-FY17.

The stable cotton outlook is in view of an increase in acreage, a rise in supply in 1QFY18 (due to demonetisation) and a decline in global inventory assisting with a balanced supply. Ind-Ra expects operating profitability levels of Indian cotton ginners and exporters to moderate in FY18. Liquidity position of small players was acutely affected due to a surge in cotton prices in 1HFY17, followed by a challenging operating environment in 2HFY17 due to demonetisation.

Ind-Ra expects cotton acreage to increase 10%-15% to nearly 120 million hectares in FY18, leading to increased production. Ind-Ra projects a domestic stock-to-use ratio of nearly 13% for cotton marketing year (MY) 17-18 (MY16-17: 15.3%, MY15-16: 13.8%). The expectation is in view of continued auction of Chinese reserves and global cotton processing countries (excluding China) holding about six months of inventory.

A unified tax structure in the form of GST is likely to create a level playing field for the cotton and polyester industries, and promote enhanced sponsor interest towards the polyester chain. Ind-Ra opines that textile companies would be able to deleverage their balance sheets in FY18 in the absence of major investments due to adequate capacities and pending uncertainty over the GST tax rates. The next round of investment cycle is expected from FY19. Ind-Ra expects an improvement in the credit profiles of textile companies, including raw cotton players, driven by lower cotton inventories, limited capital investments and reduced borrowing costs.



Positive: Favourable trade agreements with the US and Europe leading to a significant increase in Indias exports and a higher-than-expected domestic demand would be positive for the sector outlook.

Negative: Any or combination of the following factors could lead to revision of the sector outlook to negative:

- Slowdown in demand emanating from weak domestic spending in or protectionist trade policies by the US or Europe leading to underutilisation of capacities

- High volatility in input prices adversely impacting contribution margins


Increased Domestic Consumption: A substantial increase in domestic mill cotton consumption, driven by a rise in demand for Indian textiles on account of higher domestic consumption and/or exports will lead to a revision in sector outlook to positive.

Higher-than-Expected Global Production: A substantial increase in global cotton production leading to a high stock-to-use ratio than FY15 and/or increased cotton prices on account of GST leading to a higher-than-expected shift from cotton to man-made fibres will lead to a revision in sector outlook to negative.

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Allocations for women by different Ministries/Departments has increased to Rs. 90,624.76 crores in 2016-17 under Gender Budgeting
Mar 10,2017

In order to mainstream gender across sectors and all levels of governance, Government of India, has adopted Gender Budgeting as a tool in 2004-05. Ministry of Women and Child Development has been consistently promoting gender budgeting across the country as a pathway to ensure gender mainstreaming at all levels and stages of the budgetary process. Gender Budget Statement was introduced as a part of the Union Budget in 2005-06. To facilitate integration of gender analysis in policies, programmes and schemes, the Ministry of Finance in consultation with the Ministry of Women and Child Development had issued a Gender Budget Charter on 8th March, 2007 outlining the composition and functions of the Gender Budgeting Cells (GBCs). The most important milestone in this regard has been the institutionalization of the progress through formation of GBCs in various Ministries and Departments. As of now, 57 Central Ministries /Departments have set up GBCs. Another important progress made in the Gender Budgeting system is inclusion of a column on gender impact in the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) document with effect from 1st April, 2014 for inclusion of womens concerns at the planning stage and inclusion of a gender perspective in the Outcome Budget Process. The magnitude of Gender Budget as reflected in the GB Statement shows allocations made for women by different Ministries/Departments has increased from Rs. 14,378.68 crores in 2005-06 to Rs. 90,624.76 crores in 2016-17.

Funds are released to Central/ State Govt./Autonomous institutions for carrying out the training programmes for enhancing gender sensitivity and gender expertise, training of the Gender Budgeting Cells for mainstreaming gender concerns across levels of governance. Government autonomous institutions both at the national level and state level have been supported by the Ministry to develop in-house GB expertise and have started imparting training to various other stakeholders. To support the training programmes in a structured and sustained way the Ministry is in the process of designating nodal centres at the state level. 20 states have already designated their nodal centre and at the Central level, National Institute of Financial Management Faridabad has been designated as the nodal centre by the Ministry for undertaking gender budgeting activities.

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