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RBI maintains status quo in Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17
Jun 07,2016

The Reserve Bank of India, on the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, has decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.50% in the Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17. It further decided to keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0% of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) and continue to provide liquidity as required but progressively lower the average ex ante liquidity deficit in the system from one per cent of NDTL to a position closer to neutrality. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 6.0%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 7.0%.

The inflation projections given in the April policy statement are retained, though with an upside bias. Considerable uncertainty surrounds these projections, which should be clarified by incoming data in the next few months, said the statement. Also, on a reassessment of balance of risks, the GVA growth projection for 2016-17 has also been retained at 7.6 per cent with risks evenly balanced.

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GDP Growth to Increase to over 8%: CII President
Jun 07,2016

n++The economy has definitely turned around and CII strongly expects GDP growth to pick up to over 8 per cent during the current financial year,n++ stated Dr Naushad Forbes, President, Confederation of Indian Industry. CIIs GDP projection for the year was 7.75-8.25% in April 2016, and Dr Forbes expects the year to close at the upward end of the band.

GDP growth for 2015-16 was estimated at 7.6% as compared to 7.2% for 2014-15. The last quarter growth rate of 7.9% is the highest for the year. Dr Forbes added, n++We believe that recovery is now well-entrenched and can be expected to pick up pace with better monsoons, rural demand, and ongoing fast-paced reforms process.n++

Signs of a recovery are evident in the improved performance of many more sectors than earlier as borne out by the marked pick-up in core sector growth. Consumer spending has remained strong, reflected, for example, in the rising sales of two-wheelers (over 21% in April 2016) and the growth of domestic air passenger traffic (over 22% in 2015-16).

Although the growth rate of gross fixed capital formation, a proxy for investment, has lagged at 3.9%, CII believes that the first quarter of the current year would show faster growth due to additional capex spending by Government on infrastructure projects. This would crowd in private investments as well, especially as the interest rates have come down, felt Dr Forbes.

There has been steady pick-up in the value of announced projects by both the government and the private sector. The share of completed projects as a proportion of projects under implementation has also improved in the quarter ending March 2016, the CII release said.

The CII Associations Council (ASCON) survey results for the quarter January - March FY16 reveal an improvement in production growth over the corresponding quarter a year ago. The current trends also point towards a bottoming out of growth in the majority of sectors.

As per the survey, more sectors have moved from low growth to moderate and high growth categories. Capacity utilization too has picked up, indicating demand acceleration. This reflects the increased growth in private consumption to 7.4% in the official data.

The Government has adhered to the fiscal deficit target of 3.9% and has announced several new policies which add to the comfort of investors including Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, National Capital Goods Policy and Intellectual Property Rights policy. The CII President stated that such policy announcements would infuse new investments into the economy.

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ASSOCHAM appeals to Haryana Government for strict vigil on Jat agitation, industry wary of flare-up
Jun 07,2016

In order to avert the repeat of carnage during the previous reservation agitation of February, 2016, the ASSOCHAM today made a strong plea with the Haryana Government along with the Central agencies to take effective pre-emptive steps to ensure that renewed Jat agitation does not disrupt normal life in the state and the neighbouring areas.

n++We hope the Haryana Government , having learnt from the previous violent agitation that cost the state thousands of crores of rupees and several precious lives, would make fool-proof arrangements to maintain the confidence of the common citizen and the investors, particularly in cities such as Gurgaon, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Panipat, Karnal,n++ the ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

Besides, strict vigilance must be maintained on all the water channels and resources in the state which are not only the supply sources to Haryana but other neighbouring states like Delhi. n++Along with better coordination with the Railways and the Central agencies, all the highways and railway lines must be protected at any cost and no untoward incident should be allowed anywhere in the state,n++ Mr Rawat said.

He said the state is still smarting under loss of property and lives during the previous agitation which had dent the investor confidence there. The maximum damage was done to the trade and small industries and under no circumstances peoples confidence should be affected again.

ASSOCHAM made an appeal to the Chief Minister Mr Manohar Lal to personally monitor the developments and n++Let the state administration be on top of the situation, rather than taking reactive steps.n++

The chamber said at a time when the country needs growth in a difficult economic environment, no state can afford any deterioration in the law and order situation. n++All the stakeholders and particularly those indulging in agitation should respect law of the land.n++

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Swachh Yug : Gram Panchayats along the Ganga to be made Open Defecation Free
Jun 07,2016

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, in partnership with Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, is intensifying support to the five States of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, to make all villages along the banks of the Ganga Open Defecation Free (ODF). There are 5,169 villages along the river Ganga that fall under 1,651 Gram Panchayats (GPs), 52 districts, and 5 States.

The campaign, being a collaborative effort between the Swachh Bharat Mission, local youth leaders (युवा) and the Namami Gange project (गंगा) - is being called Swachh यु-ग, which translates into the age of Swachh.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs, under the coordination of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, is enlisting the support of youth agencies such as the Bharat Scouts and Guides, Nehru Yuva Kendras and National Service Scheme. These organizations will be called upon to provide a large number of local youth volunteers to support a behaviour change campaign in the 52 districts under the Swachh Bharat Mission.

To take this initiative forward, a nodal officer has been identified for each district to work on making their district Open Defecation Free (ODF) in mission mode, as well as to focus on Swachhta at the village through proper Solid and Liquid Waste Management and maintaining general cleanliness. In addition to the monetary incentive offered by the government under the Swachh Bharat Mission, extensive interpersonal behaviour change communication training will be given to local trainers through a network of virtual classrooms across the 5 Ganga States.

The first Virtual Classroom will be launched tomorrow, June 7, 2014, with 12 districts of Bihar undertaking a 5 day training for 50 youth volunteers in each location, connected to the trainer virtually. The training will be a mixture of a classroom interactive component, as well as a field visit component. Youth volunteer organizations will assist in these districts through massive local youth involvement.

All relevant government departments would also be involved to contribute towards making this initiative a success. The local district administrations of the 5 States, through a series of video conferences, have been advised to mobilize local NGOs, associations, private sector organizations, faith-based organizations and developmental agencies to support this work.

The districts and States have been assured of full support from the Central government in these efforts. The State teams have, in turn, expressed their enthusiasm for and commitment towards the initiative.

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Agri Ministry Agrees For New Policy On Cold Chain, Also Promises To Augment Onion Storage Capacities In Maharashtra, MP & Odisha, Says Its JS
Jun 06,2016

The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare agreed to evolve a new National Policy on Cold Chain to provide direction for the long term approach for holistic infrastructure creation in both agri and horticulture products.

Making the aforesaid announcement at a National Conclave on n++Strengthening of Farm-to-Consumer Cold-Chain Infrastructuren++ under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Mission Director, MIDH, Dr. Shakil Ahammed also added that the proposed policy would be evolved in due course of time in necessary consultations with all concerned stakeholders including the Chamber of Commerce such as PHD Chamber.

In Addition the Joint Secretary also declared saying that the Centre has decided to expand the capacities of storages facilities for onion in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and even Karnataka to ensure minimum wastages on onion in view of its recent production in which farmers had to virtually throw away their onion produce in the absence of storage facilities in certain pockets of Maharashtra and even Karnataka.

Dr. Ahammed informed that capacity expansion for storages facilities in the State of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra would be respectively done to an extent of 38,000 tonnes, 6,800 tonnes and 12,000 tonnes although, he gave no time limit for the job.

Elaborating on the new National Policy on Cold Chain for agri and horticulture products, Dr. Ahammed indicated that the focus of the government of the day would be productivity and quality of the produce of both agri and horti products and that the policy for storing the agri and horti items would be designed keeping in view the two aspects of agri and horti produce so that the farmers do not loose on their produce and the consumer gets the best of the price in the entire supply value chain of the marketing of agri and horti produce.

The report highlights that as per latest estimates 1219 cold stores are either permanently closed or not available and the total number of functional cold stores is 5367, amount to a total storage size of 26.85 million tonnes. Therefore, a new National Policy on Cold Chain is called for accompanying host of incentives and tax holiday schemes so that investors flock in to create such infrastructure as is required to plug wastage in agri and horti products. It adds that seamless cold chain infrastructure is essential for doubling the incomes of farmers by 2022 as enunciated by Prime Minister Modi.

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Innovation & Incubation Centre To Come Up At KVISs Under Utilized Assets Worth Rs. 50,000 Crores, Claims Its CEO at PHD Chamber
Jun 06,2016

Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is gearing up to channelize all its energies for suitable appropriation of all its utterly underutilized assets, spread across the country with an estimated amount of Rs.50,000 crores for setting up of innovation and incubation centre for start ups and stand ups to realize the Prime Minister ambition for enhancing innovations in multiple sectors of Indian economy for its overall growth, capital creation and additional employment generation.

Disclosing the above at an Innovation Summit-2016 Enhancing Innovative Capacities of MSMEs under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CEO, KVIC, Mr. Arun Kumar Jha also observed that one of the key policy making institutions in India - the NITI Aayog and the leading financing institution SIDBI - are collectively on the job.

n++KVIC has been grappling with the problem to seek a solution as to how the it could explore ways and means to suitably turn its dead assets located at different parts of the country in turning them into profit making centres. However, recently the NITI Aayog as also SIDBI have come into the rescue of KVIC by proposing to it various schemes and financial assistance so that such assets could be converted into yielding centresn++, said Mr. Jha.

According to him, innovation and incubation centres would be ideal to be set up in such places for necessary impartment of training to emerging entrepreneurs, largely in MSMEs segment for various sector of Indian economy so that their hidden potential is realized for growth, capital creation and additional employment generation in the country.

The CEO KVIC also admitted that his institution was toying with the idea of engaging celebrities to promote KVIC and its products but with Prime Minister agreeing to endorse the two, not only the sales of KVIC went up by 30% but also its brand image underwent a massive transformation in the recent past.

General Manager, SIDBI, Mr. Satya Prakash Singh expressed a concern saying that not many genuine entrepreneurs including start-ups and stand-ups have been approaching SIDBI for financing and therefore, asserted that crores of rupees grant and assistance already earmarked for such entrepreneurs in the Budget would be allocated through a high level of due diligence.

According to him, entrepreneurs and start-ups should first complete their home work in a meticulous manner and subsequently approach the SIDBI to support their venture that are found to be economically viable as the institutions will entertain only such requests.

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Ind-Ra: Coal Price Hike to Pressure Margins & PLFs of Power Generators
Jun 06,2016

The 13% to 19% hike in the base prices of lower grade coal (G6 to G17) by Coal India (CIL) this week will negatively impact the ailing thermal power generators in India and result in a shift to imported coal from domestic coal, especially for the coastal power plants, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). Ind-Ra believes this will squeeze thermal power generators operating margins, since they will need to absorb some of the increase in costs. Ind-Ra opines that some generators may be forced to reduce their plant load factors in order to cut losses.

Prices of the most consumed varieties of G11 to G13 grade coal will move up by INR100/t-INR150/t, translating into an increase of around eight paise per kWh. This comes over and above the INR300/t increase caused by the clean energy cess since 2015 and the recent increase in royalty to 18% from 14%.

Ind-Ra estimates that post the increase in domestic coal prices by CIL, domestic coal will cost around 5.75% more compared to imported coal for coastal plants on an average. The higher cost may cause many of these plants to shift their consumption to imported coal from domestic coal. Ind-Ra estimates, energy charge based on domestic coal at INR1.66 per kWh at FYE16, across a sample of power plants on the eastern and western coasts of India, which is around the same as the energy charge based on imported coal for coastal plants due to their proximity to ports. Around 10% of total coal consumed by the thermal power sector in India was imported in the last year.

On a Pan India basis (apart from coastal power plants), there exists an overhang in electric supply in the short term power market due to the paucity of long term Power Purchase Agreements for the last five years forcing power plants to supply power on a short term/merchant basis. The summer of 2016 has witnessed short term/merchant rates as low as INR1.6 per kWh on the power exchanges, which is barely sufficient to cover the variable expenses of these plants under the current cost scenario.

Considering the unfavourable demand-supply situation and the overall scenario for thermal power generators, it is unlikely that they will be able to pass on the full impact of this price rise to end consumers. Despite the negative impact of the price hike Ind-Ra believes it will not materially impact the credit profiles of large thermal power generators.

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Indias e-waste growing at 30% per annum: ASSOCHAM-cKinetics study
Jun 06,2016

India is emerging as one of the worlds major electronic waste generators and likely to generate 52 lakh metric tonnes (MT) per annum by 2020 from the current level 18 lakh metric tonnes growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 30%, an ASSOCHAM-cKinetics recent study coinciding with the n++Environment Dayn++ (June 5) noted.

The global volume of e-waste generated is expected to reach 130 million tons in 2018 from 93.5 million tons in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 percent from 2016 to 2018, according to a study on Electronic Waste Management in India, conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM )--cKinetics joint study on n++World Environment Dayn++.

As Indians become richer and spend more electronic items and appliances, Computer equipment accounts for almost 70% of e-waste material followed by telecommunication equipment (12%), electrical equipment (8%) and medical equipment (7%). Other equipment, including household e-crap account for the remaining 4%, it said.

The sad part is that a mere 1.5% of Indias total e-waste gets recycled due to poor infrastructure, legislation and framework which lead to a waste of diminishing natural resources, irreparable damage of environment and health of the people working in industry. Over 95% of e-waste generated is managed by the unorganised sector and scrap dealers in this market, dismantle the disposed products instead of recycling it.

In India, about 4-5 lakhs child labours between the age group of 10-15 are observed to be engaged in various e-waste (electronic waste) activities, without adequate protection and safeguards in various yards and recycling workshops, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM while releasing the paper. The chamber has also strongly advocated the need to bring out effective legislation to prevent entry of child labour into its collection, segregation and distribution, reveals the study.

n++E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), Printed Circuit Board (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs, headphones, white goods such as Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD)/ Plasma televisions, air conditioners, refrigerators and so on.

As per the study, E-waste workers in India suffer from breathing problems, such as asthma and bronchitis. Many workers are children, who are unaware of the hazards and by the time they reach 35 to 40 years of age, theyre incapable of working, points out the study.

About 2/3 of e-waste workers in India suffering from respiratory ailments like breathing difficulties, irritation, coughing, choking, tremors problems who all are engaged in various e-waste (electronic waste) activities due to improper safeguards and dismantling workshops.

The recovery of metals like gold, platinum, copper and lead uses caustic soda and concentrated acids. The workers dip their hands in poisonous chemicals for long hours. They are also exposed to fumes of highly concentrated acid. Safety gear such as gloves, face masks and ventilation fans are virtually unheard of, noted study.

According to the study, computers, televisions and mobile phones are most dangerous because they have high levels of lead, mercury and cadmium -- and they have short life-spans so are discarded more, adds the study.

The main sources of electronic waste in India are the government, public and private (industrial) sectors, which account for almost 75% of total waste generation. The contribution of individual households is relatively small at about 16 per cent; the rest being contributed by manufacturers. Though individual households are not large contributors to waste generated by computers, they consume large quantities of consumer durables and are, therefore, potential creators of waste, reveals the ASSOCHAM study.

E-waste accounts for approximately 40 percent of the lead and 70 percent of heavy metals found in landfills. These pollutants lead to ground water and air pollution and soil acidification. High and prolonged exposure to these chemicals/ pollutants emitted during unsafe e-waste recycling leads to damage of nervous systems, blood systems, kidneys and brain development, respiratory disorders, skin disorders, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart, liver, and spleen damage.

Despite the Indian government stringent law to regulate e-waste trade, destitute children still face hazards picking apart old computers, TV etc. The chamber has also strongly advocated the need to bring out effective legislation to prevent entry of child labour into its collection, segregation and distribution.

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List of MOUs/Agreements signed during the visit of Prime Minister to Qatar (June 05, 2016)
Jun 06,2016

 S.NoQatari SideIndian SideName of MOU/AgreementRemarks1

HE Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, CEO Qatar Investment Authority

Sh. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) Ministry of External Affairs

MoU between National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Ministry of Finance, Government of India and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA)

The MoU aims at establishing framework for facilitating participation of Qatari institutional investors in Infrastructure projects in India under NIIF.

2

H.E. Khalaf Bin Ahamed Al Mannai, Under Secretary, Ministry of Finance

Sh. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) Ministry of External Affairs

Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters between the Government of Republic of India and Government of the State of Qatar

This agreement promotes cooperation and mutual assistance between the two countries on matters pertaining to customs administration through exchange of information and intelligence.

3

H.E. Sheikh Ahamed Bin Eid Al Thani, Head of Qatar Finance Information Unit

Sh. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) Ministry of External Affairs

MoU between Financial Intelligence Unit - India (FIU-IND) and the Qatar Financial Information Unit (QFIU) concerning cooperation in the exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism-financing and related crimes

The MoU facilitates exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, terrorism-financing and related crimes and persons connected thereto.

4

H.E. Rabeea Mohammed Al Kaabi, Under Secretary, Ministry of Education and Higher Education

Sh. Amar Sinha, Secretary (Economic Relations) Ministry of External Affairs

MoU between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the Government of Republic of India and the National Qualifications Authority/Supreme Education Council, Government of the State of Qatar for Cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications

This MoU aims to enhance cooperation between the two countries on skill development and mutual recognition of qualifications to facilitate mobility of skilled workers from India to Qatar.

5

Mr. Hassan Bin Abdul Rahman Al Ibrahim, Head of Tourism Development and Acting Head of General Tourism Authority

HE Mr. Sanjiv Arora, Ambassador of India to Qatar

MoU on cooperation in Tourism between the Government of the Republic of India and Government of the State of Qatar.

The MoU aims at bilateral cooperation in the field of planning and developing of tourism, through marketing and promotion as also to support cooperation between private sector stakeholders.

6

H.E. Ahamed Bin Abdulla Al Khulaifi, Assistant of Minister of Health For Administrative Affairs

Sh. Sanjiv Arora, Ambassador of India to Qatar

MOU between India & Qatar for Cooperation in the field of Health the Government of the Republic of India and Government of the State of Qatar.

This MoU provides cooperation in areas of health, including interalia in occupational and environmental health, pharmaceuticals, medical education, exchange of the best practices in the field of primary healthcare, research in the field of health care, technology, health care system and exchange of medical experts and scientists.

7

Mr. Faleh Bin Mubrarak Al Hajri, Director, Department of Culture and Arts, Ministry of Culture and Sports

Sh. Sanjiv Arora, Ambassador of India to Qatar

The First Executive Programme for MoU in the field of Youth and Sports between the Government of Republic of India and Government of the State of Qatar

As a follow up to the existing MoU in the field of Youth and Sports, the first Executive Programme provides for exchanges and cooperation in sports activities, training camps for sports teams and exchange visits of leaders and officials etc between the two countries.

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Ind-Ra: Expect a Status Quo Monetary Policy
Jun 06,2016

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to maintain a status-quo on interest rates in the second bi-monthly monetary policy review on 7 June 2016, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The RBI is likely to focus on inflation control, liquidity management and the pending policy transmission in the near-term.

The central bank cut policy rates by 25bp in the first bi-monthly policy review for FY17 on 5 April 2016 and narrowed the policy rate corridor to 50bp from 100bp, by reducing the marginal standing facility rate by 75bp and increasing the reverse repo rate by 25bp. This, according to the RBI, was done to ensure better alignment of the weighted average call rate with the repo rate.

Since the last review, call money rates have remained closer to the repo rate and liquidity conditions have been largely comfortable. The major reason for comfortable liquidity has been i) significant decline in the governments surplus cash with RBI, it declined to INR36.47bn on 2 June 2016 from INR809.82bn on 5 April 2016 and ii) open market operations by RBI (INR700.14bn). In the past policy meeting, the central bank tried to address two key issues - tight liquidity and weak monetary transmission. While the liquidity deficit has remained within the comfort zone of the RBI, the money transmission hasnt shown improvement.

A few other factors important for the RBIs monetary policy stance are: Feds rate decision later in the month, Brexit and the performance of monsoons. On all these counts, it is unlikely that any event will be disruptive for the global/Indian financial markets. However, concerns with respect to food inflation are unlikely to go away, despite the prediction of an above normal monsoon. A case in point is the sudden spike in prices of potatoes. The consumer price index inflation for April came in on the higher side at 5.4% and the wholesale price index moved into the positive territory after 17 consecutive months of negative growth, both driven by food prices.

Globally the uptick in brent crude prices and domestically higher minimum support prices will also push up headline inflation. Prices of global crude oil have risen from the level of under USD40/barrel in March 2016 to levels of around USD50/barrel, raising concerns about a cascading implication on inflation.

Ind-Ra expects that though there is a room for the RBI to cut rates by another 25bp in FY17, it is unlikely to happen in this policy meeting.

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India loses to China, Singapore in cost competitiveness in auto sector: study
Jun 06,2016

India loses out to China, Singapore, Indonesia and even to Bangladesh when it comes to achieving cost competitiveness in the automobile and automobile components industry in terms of major parameters including labour, fuel cost and price of raw material, an ASSOCHAM -Thought Arbitrage joint study has pointed out.

In terms of four parameters - cost of raw material, labour , fuel cost and rent paid, India is a clear loser to China, which is the worlds largest producer and has been developing rapidly since the 1990s, the ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage joint study on Assesssing Indias Manufacturing Cost Competitiveness noted.

Development of the automobile industry in China n++primarily came through foreign direct investment, which has come in the form of alliances and joint ventures. Most of the fully Chinese made cars are used in the domestic market and its exports are mostly light trucks and auto partsn++, it said.

Compared to China, Indonesia and Singapore, India spends heavily on raw materials for manufacturing automobiles and components. n++While these countries spend about 29 per cent, 23 per cent and 57 per cent of their value of output on raw materials, respectively, India spends around 69 per cent, clearly indicating a disadvantage for Indian++.

Indian auto and auto components industry has high labour costs relative to Bangladesh, Indonesia and China. It enjoys a cost advantage only with respect to Singapore, which spends 13.13 per cent of its output value on wages and other benefits to workers. India spends 8.29 per cent of its output while Bangladesh spends a mere 1.87 per cent, Indonesia 4.46 per cent output value and China nearly seven per cent of its total sales on labour.

In comparison to the proportion of output value spent on fuel by Bangladesh (0.18 per cent) and China (1.22 per cent of total sales), India spends a significantly higher proportion (1.99 per cent ) of its output on fuel, Indonesia is the only country over which India enjoys a slight cost advantage, spending 2.03 per cent of its output on fuel.

n++In case, we have to realise the Make in India and attract lot more FDI , we need to work on reducing the cost of production in all the parameters, especially at a time when the world demand is subdued,n++ ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

In his comments, Director of the Thought Arbitrage Research Institute , Mr Kaushik Dutta said n++To remain relevant in both internal and external market environment, manufacturing sector producers need to be cost competitive as costs have direct impact on price competitivenessn++.

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State wise port led development projects being / to be implemented
Jun 06,2016

GUJARAT - Rs.54,856 cr

Port Modernization

ProjectsInvestment ( INR Cr)1

LPG Import Terminal at Kandla

5002

LNG Import Terminal at Mundra

4,0003

Dredging of the common channel of Magdalla and Sewagram

304

Mechanisation of Barge Unloading Facility at Kandla

1005

Development  of Tuna Tekra Container Terminal at Kandla

2,0006

Development of Tuna Tekra Additonal Bulk Terminal at Kandla

1,2007

Mechanisation of Fertiliser Handling Facility at Kandla

2008

Mechanisation of Food Grains Handling Facility at Kandla

155

Total

8185

Port-led Industrialization

ProjectsInvestment

( INR Cr)

1

Petrochemical cluster in Gujarat

4202

Development of an export based apparel cluster in Saurashtra

3,3213

Cement Cluster in Gujarat

7354

Maritime cluster in Saurashtra

5,0005

Development of marble based furniture hub in Kutch

2,2586

Auto cluster in Sanand

4,465

Total

16,199

Port Connectivity

ProjectsInvestment ( INR Cr)1

Expansion of Salaya Mathura Pipeline

1,0002

Expressway from Sarkhej ( Ahmedabad) to Mundra

10,0003

Expressway from Sarkhej ( Ahmedabad) to Pipavav

9,0004

Connection of Western DFC to Hazira

3005

Connection of Western DFC to Pipavav

2,5006

Connection of Western DFC to Mundra

3,5007

Providing alternative Road from Bhavnagar to Sosiya-Alang Ship Recycling Yarad

708

RoB on Kandla-Kutch Road

1259

Product pipeline from Jamnagar to Mundra

500

Total

29,695

Coastal Community Development

ProjectsInvestment ( INR Cr)1

Development of Gujarat Maritime University

2682

Ro-Pax Ferry Services between Gogha and Dahej in Gulf of Cambay

509

Total

777

G

ASSOCHAM hails India growth story; time to make growth job -oriented, sustainable
Jun 06,2016

Hailing Indias emergence as the fastest growing major economy in the world with the GDP expanding by 7.6 per cent, ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said it was time to build on the gains and bolster private investment which will be a big catalyst for job creation and achieving the ultimate objective of sustainable growth.

n++At 7.6%, Indias GDP growth rate for FY16 is at a 5-year high. This is good news and firmly puts India as the worlds fastest growing major economy. However, the sustainability of this growth momentum will certainly depend on how well and how fast government can help revive the investment, especially in the private sectorn++ the ASSOCHAM President said.

Mr Kanoria, who is also the Vice Chairman of Srei Infrastructure Finance, said the government focus on investing in the physical and social infrastructure did have a decisive impact on the GDP growth. However, it is the large scale private investment which would bring in vibrancy in the economy which has the potential to grow well over eight per cent within the current financial year itself. n++ But for that to happen, an all - out efforts must be made by the Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India to work closely with the banks to resolve the problem of the large scale non-performing assets, taking a pragmatic view of the difficult situations that the corporates across different sectors like steel , power and construction , have run inton++.

He said, once the private investment picks up, that would be reflected in the better ratio of the Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) to GDP. This ratio has been shrinking for the fourth successive year, while our GDP continues to grow.

n++The success of the Make in India initiative hinges on some key reforms. In this context, introducing the Bankruptcy Code and getting it passed by both the Houses of the Parliament is a big step forward. Now we need its quick implementation as that would help resuscitate a lot of stuck projects and unlock capital. The government also needs to expedite the rolling out of the Goods & Services Tax (GST) by building political consensus. This is something which will greatly help in improving the investment climate. It would also send out a very strong signal to the foreign investors establishing this governments pro-reform credentialsn++ remarked Mr. Kanoria.

n++The pick-up in agricultural growth is a very positive development. Hopefully a good monsoon this year coupled with the steps announced in the Union Budget for rural development will provide a further spurt to the rural economy. Improving the irrigation network and mechanization of agriculture should figure high on governments agenda. At the same time, Centre must collaborate with state governments to improve the ease of doing business so that more entrepreneurs can be groomed. For a country like ours where almost a million gets added to the workforce every month, creation of job creators is imperativen++ concluded Mr. Kanoria.

The ASSOCHAM President said at a time when the global demand is at a new low and risks like possible exit of Britain from the EU, known as the Brexit and likelihood of the US Federal Reserve raising the interest rates, loom large, domestic reforms in the agriculture sector, taxation and nursing back the bank.

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104 Villages Electrified Last Week ; 8,095 Villages Electrified Till Date Under DDUGJY
Jun 06,2016

104 villages have been electrified across the country during last week (from 30th May to 5th June 2016) under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY). Out of these electrified villages, 7 villages belong to Arunachal Pradesh , 17 in Assam, 23 in Jharkhand, 6 in Rajasthan,8 in Madhya Pradesh , 13 in Bihar, 3 in Chhattisgarh, and 27 in Meghalaya .

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Allocation of Domestic Natural Gas to APGDC for CGD operations in East Godavari & West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh
Jun 06,2016

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) has approved the allocation of 3,000 SCMD domestic natural gas to Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Corporation (APGDC) for East Godavari and West Godavari Geographical Areas. This decision would enable APGDC to start regular CNG sale from its recently commissioned CNG station in Kovvur, and thus bring West Godavari district on the CGD map of the country. The allocation of domestic gas for CGD activities has been a long-standing demand put forth by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and APGDC.

MoPNG has been aggressively pursuing the rollout of CGD networks across the country so as to maximize the reach of CNG for transport and PNG for domestic households. Under the Governments policy, domestic natural gas is allocated on a high priority basis to CGD entities in order to fully meet their requirements of CNG (transport) and PNG (domestic).

APGDC is a Joint Venture company promoted by GAIL Gas Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of GAIL (India) Ltd., a Central Public Sector Enterprise) and APGIC, an Andhra Pradesh State Government Public Sector Enterprise, with the objective of pursuing CGD and other gas-related business activities in the state of Andhra Pradesh. APGDC, in consortium with HPCL, was awarded the PNGRB authorization in 2015 for laying and operating CGD networks in the Geographical Areas of East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.

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