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Exports to ASEAN stagnate while imports up 33%; question mark on FTA
Sep 02,2016

Indias exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have stagnated at USD 25 billion since start of the Free Trade Agreement with the 10-nation bloc from January, 2010 while imports rose by over 33 per cent to USD 40 billion, raising a big question mark over the utility of the trade-opening pact with the common market of south east Asia, according to an ASSOCHAM Paper.

Though the global slowdown also seems to have played a role in no growth in exports to the ASEAN, the same did not hold good for imports from the bloc. For the period between 2010-11 and 2015-16, the share of Indias total exports to the South East Asian region also dropped to 9.6 per cent from 10.3 per cent when the FTA came into force.

n++The impact on increased imports may be even more pronounced on conclusion of the current financial year since tariff is to be eliminated on as many more items as 800 under 1252 tariff lines. Tariff would have already been eliminated on 3,200 products under the Normal Track 1,n++ the paper highlighted.

The India-ASEAN overall FTA comprises two parts - goods and services. The agreement on goods was front-loaded, while services pact was back-loaded. The arrangement did not really help India. n++ Given that Indian tariff levels are generally higher than tariffs of ASEAN , India has relatively less to gain from this trade in goods agreement,n++ the chamber President Mr Sunil Kanoria said, pressing for effective access to market of services in ASEAN for India , an area of advantage to India.

In goods, Indias average rate in agriculture is more than 34 per cent against 13 per cent in ASEAN. Likewise, Indias average MFN tariffs for manufacturing goods are more than 10 per cent compared to 7.5 per cent for the opposite side.

The ASEAN-India Investment and Services Agreement came into force on July 1, 2015. Though a preferential deal on services trade with the region should bring significant gains to India, the services sector is protected through strict domestic regulations and various restrictive requirements.

n++Reaching a consensus on liberalizing domestic regulations for services licensing equivalence agreements are more time consuming and complex compared to tariff reduction modalitiesn++.

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Indian Postal Bank would be a game changer for the Banking & Financial system in the country: Secretary, DFS
Sep 02,2016

n++Launch of Indian Postal Bank is going to be a game changer for banking sector and the operationalisation of its 1.5 lakh branches would give a massive fillip to the Banking & Financial system in the country. Banks need to take advantage of such rapidly changing positive growth opportunities in the country and contribute further to development of nationn++ said Ms. Anjuli Chib Duggal ,Secretary, Department of Financial Services Government of India .. at the 69th AGM of Indian Bank Association ( IBA) in Mumbai.,

Speaking on the occasion she said that with so many additional Postal Bank branches on the ground and expansion of the network Bank Mitrase a significant boost would be given not only to the financial inclusion of the programmes of Government but also to the development of last mile Banking operations in the country. She said that other established Banking Institutions should take advantage of the same.

Ms Duggal said that Banks need to fore see technological changes and strengthen inter-institutional arrangement to take advantage of the growth and expansion opportunities being offered by the development of all the sectors. She exhorted the Banks to stream line the system of the recruitment of Bank Mitras and consider giving more functional autonomy to the Bank Branches in such matters.

Ms. Duggal appreciated the work done by the IBA in supporting the growth at social securities of government of India.

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Banking sector in India should focus on supporting Growth - Arun Jaitley
Sep 02,2016

n++Banks in India need to give top Priority to support the growth possibilities in the country . The sector has, no doubt. performed very well in the context of a non supportive global economic environment, but , it needs to show more progress in the coming yearn++ said Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley.

Speaking at the 69th AGM of Indian Bank Association ( IBA), Union Finance Minister said that the government was making all possible efforts to boost economic growth along with social security in an unprecedented manner through the enactments of various enabling legislations and institutional cum administrative reforms. The decision making process is being made more efficient and responsive . Shri Jaitley said that the world now looks at India a country with a hugely positive outlook .The banking sector should take it as an opportunity for not only its own growth but also make deeper impact on Indias growth story.

Shri Jaitley said that Jan Dhan Yojana , a tool of financial inclusion, is being hailed as a path breaking banking effort by not only in India but also by most credible experts at global forums and the launch of GST has demonstrated to the world ,the will of the Indian Government to continue with high impact economic reforms in the country. He said that the deeper participation of Banks is necessary to ensure that process of socio economic growth gets a bigger push in both public and private sector.

Shri Jaitley complimented IBA for in being a partner in Indias growth story since independence . The event was attended by heads of various banks and top executives of Bank of counties besides Ms. Anjuli Chib Duggal, Secretary, Department of Financial Services Government of India ..

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CIL & ICFRE Signs MoU for Environment Related Issues in Coal Mining Projects
Sep 01,2016

Coal India (CIL) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) today signed an MoU for effectively monitoring of environment related issues in the coal mining projects. The MoU will also help in improving the rehabilitation and reclamation of the mined out areas. This arrangement would help CIL in proper compliance and monitoring of the conditions that are laid down by the MoEF&CC while according environment and forest clearances.

The MoU covers assessment and monitoring of plantation and eco restoration activities, preparation of wild life management plans, preparation of environmental impact assessment and environmental management plans, capacity building for the executives of CIL on environment and forestry issues etc.

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LIC declares special Diamond Jubilee bonus on all eligible policies
Sep 01,2016

On the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee celebration LIC of India declared a special Diamond Jubilee bonus on all eligible life insurance policies. It also launched the new LIC Diamond Bima policy on the occasion.

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Incorporation of Sagarmala Development Company
Sep 01,2016

As part of the efforts to promote port-led development in the country, the Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 2013. The company will have an initial Authorized Share Capital of Rs. 1,000 Crore and a subscribed share capital of Rs. 90 Crore, the Ministry of Shipping announced today.

The main objective of the company is to identify port-led development projects under the Sagarmala Programme and provide equity support for the project Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) set up by the Ports / State / Central Ministries and funding window and /or implement only those residual projects which cannot be funded by any other means / mode.

The Cabinet in July had approved the formation of the SDC under the administrative control of the Ministry of Shipping. The company would help in structuring activities, bidding out projects for private sector participation, identifying suitable risk management measures for strategic projects across multiple states / regions and obtaining requisite approvals and clearances.

The implementation of the identified projects would be taken up by the relevant ports, state governments/Maritime Boards, central ministries, through private or PPP mode. The Company would act as the nodal agency for coordination and monitoring of all the currently identified projects under Sagarmala as well as other projects emerging from the master plans or other sources.

It would undertake the preparation of the detailed master plans for the Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) identified as part of the National Perspective Plan (NPP) and provide a framework for ensuring the integrated development of Indian maritime sector. It would also manage the funding of coastal community development projects identified under Sagarmala. This will include projects related to value addition in fisheries, aquaculture, cold chain development, skill development, livelihood generation, local tourism and recreational facilities etc. which would be beneficial to the livelihoods of the coastal communities. The projects considered would be specific time-bound local interventions, innovative in nature and not covered under other existing Central / State Government schemes.

SDC would be raising funds as debt/equity (as long term capital), as per the project requirements, by leveraging resources provided by the Government of India and from multi-lateral and bilateral funding agencies. It would also aim to increase the scope of private sector participation in project development.

The incorporation of SDC is part of the ambitious Sagarmala Programme by the Government of India which aims to harness Indias 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade routes. The concept of the Sagarmala Programme was approved by the Cabinet in March 2015.

As part of the programme, a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for the comprehensive development of the coastline and maritime sector has been prepared. The NPP has identified more than 150 projects across the areas of Port Modernization & New Port Development, Port Connectivity Enhancement, Port-led Industrialization and Coastal Community Development.

The CIN number of the Sagarmala Development Company is U74999DL2016GOI305194.

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Demand for trained nurses will increase every year: FICCI-EY report
Sep 01,2016

The demand for trained nurses is expected to increase in the coming years, buoyed by the rising demand for tertiary and quaternary care in the country, highlights FICCI - EY report titled Nursing reforms: Paradigm shift for a bright future, released today at FICCI flagship annual healthcare conference - FICCI HEAL 2016.

India ranks 75th amongst 133 developing countries with regards to the number of nurses, with only 0.7 doctors and 1.7 nurses available per thousand people. The country needs an additional 2.4 million nurses to meet the growing demand. Despite being a major supplier of the health workforce, the health care industry in India is suffering a wide gap.

The report notes that the nursing sector in India continues to experience challenges in terms of availability, distribution and retention, with the lack of a rewarding career progression, individual welfare, and income parity being cited as key reasons, amongst others. Additionally, alternative careers with better pay-outs and less stressful work environments and opportunities to migrate overseas tend to better attract nurses. Vineet Chhatwal, Partner, EY India says, n++Nurses have a direct influence and role in determining the quality of care that is rendered to a patient. We need to make a concerted effort to ensure that this capability is recognized and rewarded in order to attract and retain qualified nursing professionals. A special emphasis has to be given to their continuous training and development for them to be able to leverage investments in initiatives such as digital health.n++

n++A crucial segment of human resources in the health sector, there needs to be a focus on improving the participation of these professionals in the policy and decision making process, and special emphasis placed on their training and development in line with evolving technologies in healthcare. This will ensure a build-up of well qualified and skilled talent pool to meet the rising demand of nurses in the country.n++

There is an urgent need for nursing transformation at the national and state levels in both the government and private sectors that can change the practice of nurses, expand current nursing roles while continuing to create new ones, and open up opportunities for nurses to participate in shaping the future health care delivery system. The report carves out 30 key suggestions to strengthen the nursing sector, which primarily deal with policy reforms, human resource development, strengthening the nursing practice, and education.

The report also highlights the need to revise the nursing curriculum - still governed by the Indian Nursing Act framed in 1947 and revised in 1948 - to make it relevant to the current health care industry requirements. Additionally, there exists a manpower skew and uneven opportunity of nursing studies across the country, with almost 52% of the nursing institutions concentrated in the south.

Nursing education needs to advance itself so that it remains competitive and relevant for the current technological environment, and rising customer centricity. This will also include opportunities for higher and specialized education, continuing nursing education and research and development, notes the report. Weblink

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Benefits under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana extended to people of all Hilly States including North-East States by treating them as Priority States
Sep 01,2016

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has decided to extend the benefits under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to the people of all Hilly States including North-East States by treating them as Priority States and release LPG connections to the eligible beneficiaries.

This step of the Ministry will effectively address the difficulty faced by poor people residing in the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura in accessing LPG for cooking purposes.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is being implemented with an objective to provide deposit free LPG connections to BPL households as a clean fuel solution. So far, more than 50 lakh connections have been released to the beneficiaries.

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Ministry of Railways Signs Joint Venture Agreement with the Govt. of Kerala
Sep 01,2016

In the august presence of Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu a Joint Venture Agreement was signed today i.e. 1st September, 2016 between Ministry of Railways and Government of Kerala for developing railway infrastructure in the State. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Ashok Kumar Mital, Member Engineering, Shri Aditya Kumar Mittal and other Board Members, and other senior officials were also present on the occasion. The JV Agreement was signed by Shri S.C. Jain, Executive Director(Works) on behalf of Railways whereas it was signed by Shri K.R. Jyothilal, Secretary, Department of Transport & Revenue (Devaswom) on behalf of Govt. of Kerala.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that the signing of JV Agreements with the State Governments is a farsighted step of Ministry of Railways by which Railways want to work hand in glove with the State Governments for the development of railway infrastructure in the State. He said that these kinds of JV Agreement is the best example of cooperative federalism for development of the nation as envisioned by our Prime Minister. Shri Suresh Prabhu pointed out that Kerala has been neglected for too long and now concerted efforts are needed to develop its railway infrstrucutre. He said that Railway Ministry has given maximum allocation to Kerala during 2014-15 to 2016-17. He further said that Railways is also working on the re-development of Kochi and Ernakulam Stations of Kerala State.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman, Railway Board said that todays JV Agreement will certainly fulfill the rail transport needs of the people of Kerala. He said that Railways want to extend railway network all over particularly in the States where demand is more and rail density is less. He said that railways has very limited resources and thus working in collaboration with the State Governments through JV Agreement can bring fruitful results for the people of the country.

Silent Feature of The Agreement

n++ Indian Railways has been playing a major role in national integration by connecting the remotest places and bringing people closer to each other. Railways receive a large number of demands for network expansion as a Railway line acts as an engine of growth for the area it serves.

n++ Railways have a large shelf of ongoing New Line, Gauge Conversion and Doubling projects needing about Rs 3.86 lakh crores to complete. We have been trying to meet the aspirations of public within limited availability of funds.

n++ To expedite the projects, Railways have been trying to mobilize resources through other than Gross Budgetary Support. Towards this mission, 10 State Governments have till now agreed to share the cost of 41 ongoing projects ranging from 25% to 67% of the project cost. Some States are providing land free of cost in addition to sharing of construction cost.

n++ In view of the growing demands for Railway Lines in various States and huge requirement of funds to execute them, Honble Minister for Railways has taken an initiative for setting up of Joint Ventures with States for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.

n++ Setting up of JVs will go a long way in identifying requirement of states keeping in line with other plans, finding avenues for funding of projects etc. Governments of Odisha, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat have already signed JV agreement with Ministry of Railways for the same.

n++ The present railway network density in Kerala is 2.70 Km per 100 square Km which is above national average 2.01 Km per 100 square Km. However, it is an established fact that the railway network density in the country as a whole needs to be improved and the States coming forward in this regard is a welcome step.

n++ Signing of these JVs will go a long way in developing infrastructure in the State of Kerala.

n++ The average outlay to Kerala in Railway Budget was Rs.821.0 crore during 2014-15 to 2016-17 which is an increase of 121% over the average outlay of 371.9 crore during 2009-10 to 2013-14.

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Duty Inversion Impacts Domestic Manufacturing: FICCI Survey
Sep 01,2016

According to recent FICCI Survey on Inverted Duty Structure in Indian Manufacturing Sector, a number of manufacturing sub-sectors continue to face inverted customs duty structure that is eroding their competitiveness against lower-duty finished product imports and discouraging domestic value addition.

In its report, FICCI said that various products spread across six manufacturing sectors have reported duty inversion, i.e. the import duty applicable on the finished product is lower than the import duty on the raw material or intermediate product. These sectors include capital goods (like boilers, pressure vessels, etc.), cement, electronics and electricals, rubber products (including tyres), minerals and textiles.

The Report, has been submitted to the concerned authorities, including Tariff Commission and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for necessary action, said FICCI. FICCI delegation of industry members has had several meetings with Tariff Commission and submitted detailed data required for carrying out valuation studies for different sectors.

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Swedish firms urged to cash in on early bird gains from Indias liberalised Defence Business Environment
Sep 01,2016

In a bid to deepen Indo-Swedish defence and aerospace cooperation, the Government of India has urged Swedish companies to forge large scale partnerships with Indian manufacturers and reap the early bird advantages from the amended defence procurement rules. The policy gives priority to indigenously designed, developed and manufactured defence equipment.

Mr. Sanjay Garg, Joint Secretary (DIP), Ministry of Defence, Government of India, the policy focus was not just on pure manufacturing. He said that the Government of India, on its part, in the last two years has approved 85% of the capital acquisition proposals under the new category called Buy Indian - Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) and Buy and Make (I). He said that the time was ripe for Swedish companies to find the right partner from the Indian defence manufacturing industry.

Ms. Josa Karre, Charge dAffaires, Embassy of Sweden, in her remarks, pointed out that both Sweden and India have a strong industry base and India had now become an attractive place for investors, adding that n++We have the expertise and know-how in the defence and aerospace sector to support your success.n++

Ambassador Anders Bengtcen, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sweden, said that there was tremendous scope for collaboration between Swedish and Indian companies in aviation, maritime security and combat training and simulation for army personnel. n++Swedish companies are here for a long haul and this was possible because of the trust and reliability that they enjoy,n++ he added.

Mr. Jayant D Patil, Chairman, FICCI Defence & Aerospace Committee and Senior Vice President and Member of the Board, L&T Heavy Engineering & L&T Shipbuilding; Mr. Sudhakar Gande, Vice Chairman, AXISCADES Aerospace & Technologies and Chairman, FICCI Taskforce on Aerospace and Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, shared their perspectives on Indo-Swedish cooperation in defence and aerospace sectors, stating that the policy framework had been streamlined and was extremely supportive of building strong partnerships between Swedish and Indian companies.

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Government notifies National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme
Sep 01,2016

Government has notified National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. It is for the first time a scheme has been notified to offer financial incentives to employers. The Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore with a target of 50 Lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20.Apprenticeship Training is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to develop skilled manpower for the country. It provides for an industry led, practice oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training. The National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 launched by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi focuses on apprenticeship as one of the key components for creating skilled manpower in India. The policy proposes to work pro-actively with the industry including MSME to facilitate tenfold increase opportunities in the country by 2020.

25% of the prescribed stipend payable to an apprentice would be reimbursed to the employers directly by the Government of India. The scheme also supports basic training, which is an essential component of apprenticeship training by sharing of basic training cost with basic training providers in respect of apprentices who come directly to apprenticeship without any formal trade training (fresher apprentices).

Online portal for ease of administering. All transactions including registration by employers, apprentices, registration of contract and payment to employers will be made as online mode. Eligible employers shall engage apprentices in a band of 2.5% to 10% of the total strength of the establishment. Employers need to register on the apprenticeship portal and must have TIN/TAN and any one of EPFO/ESIC/LIN. Employers are invited to register on the apprenticeship portal to avail benefits under the scheme.

Brand Ambassadors will be appointed for states and for local industrial clusters to act as facilitators and promoters to promote apprenticeship training.

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Telcos to Exercise Selective Bidding; Spectrum Acquisition Strategy to Revolve Around 4G
Sep 01,2016

The upcoming telecom spectrum auctions slated for October 2016 will accelerate the ongoing industry consolidation, whereby the top telecom companies (telcos) will strengthen their spectrum holding positions, further marginalising smaller telcos, which are unlikely to meaningfully participate and invest further, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). Ind-Ra expects Vodafone India (Vodafone) and Idea Cellular (Idea) to be active bidders in the upcoming spectrum auctions for their 4G network rollout and Bharti Airtel (Bharti) -the most diversified spectrum holder - will look to bridge the gaps in its spectrum.

The proposed auction addresses supply side issues adequately, since the spectrum which has been put under auction represents 87% of the existing spectrum. The bidding is anticipated to be more balanced than the previous auctions in 2015 and 2014, where spectrum acquisition was driven by license expiry and hence continuity of operations. Participation will be also affected by the steep pricing of 700MHz band which constitutes 72% of the aggregate spectrum value at the base price.

Ind-Ra opines that the top telcos already have moderate-to-high leverage levels, which will weigh on their participation. Idea reported a higher net debt/EBITDA ratio in FY16 at 3.25x (FY15: 1.31x), which is its peak financial leverage of the last five years. Bhartis financial leverage was 2.4x at FYE16, which is expected to go up in FY17 with the increase in capex and margin moderation due to the intensifying competition in the data segment. Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) on the other hand is highly leveraged (net debt/EBITDA: 5.6x in FY16). Ind-Ra also expects key players to invest in profitable and bigger circles and rationalise spectrum in others and divest non-core assets to free up capital for investment into 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure.

Bharti has the largest spectrum holding at present, of the total 770MHz, across bands (900MHz, 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz and 2,300MHz); followed by Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio), which holds 596MHz spectrum across 800MHz, 1,800MHz, and 2,300MHz bands. This puts Vodafone (302MHz) and Idea (271MHz) at a disadvantage since they do not possess airwaves in the 2,300MHz category. Each of the top telcos are likely to bid in their respective top five circles by revenue, to plug in the data spectrum gaps in an effort to strengthen established operations.

Ind-Ra expects limited participation compared to the quantity put on sale, as one-third of the spectrum supply is of the high-priced 700MHz band, which is 3x-4x more expensive than 900MHz/1,800MHz bands and also involves a new ecosystem. Telcos interest however would be higher in circles where the pricing of 700MHz is lower than that of 800MHz/900MHz bands (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh -East and Uttar Pradesh -West), or where spectrum in 800Mhz and 900Mhz bands is not put to auction (Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, and North East). The 1,800MHz band could generate higher interest as it is an alternative band for 4G and priced cheaper than 700MHz. The 2,500MHz is also a new ecosystem and participation is expected to be muted.

The indicative schedule for payment under the deferred payment option for 1,800MHz, 2,100MHz, 2,300MHz and 2,500MHz bands includes the upfront payment of 50% of the bid amount and the balance after a moratorium period of two years in 10 equal annual installments, at an interest rate of 9.3%p.a., reduced from the earlier 10% in the spectrum auction of 2015. Telcos that win spectrum in 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands will need to pay 25% upfront and the balance after a moratorium of two years in ten equal annual installments, with interest.

The Indian telecom sector is at an inflection point of massive data adoption, repeating the precedence of the voice market growth trajectory (2007-2011) and therefore necessitating continued investment in the key resource - spectrum -during the coverage expansion phase. The spectrum acquisition will be subject to market evolution and 4G network rollout is expected to be undertaken pocket-wise, covering high data consumption residential and commercial locations instead of a circle wise rollout.

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Digitising govt. processes imperative to minimise corruption & ease state machinery operations: ASSOCHAM plea to UP govt.
Sep 01,2016

Improving ease of doing biz to positively impact employment generation even beyond UPs borders

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has suggested the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government to improve the level and extent of digitisation of processes to ensure smooth operations in shorter timeframes which will minimise contact with government agencies and reduce scope for corruption.

n++The UP government should conduct a detailed study using primary research methodologies to quantify total results of government initiatives in improving ease of doing business in the state,n++ suggested an ASSOCHAM-Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI) study titled Ease of doing business in Uttar Pradesh.

n++The administration should constantly monitor systems and processes of state machinery, revamp or discard outdated processes and set up new ones in keeping with modern business ethos,n++ recommended the study that was jointly released by ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat and Ms Kshama Kaushik, director, TARI at a press conference in Lucknow today.

n++UP being Indias most populous state, improving ease of doing business in the state will have a positive impact on employment even beyond its borders,n++ said Mr Rawat.

n++Regulatory reforms and initiatives taken by UP government like setting up a single window system of Nivesh Mitra, online industrial grievance redressal mechanism, issuance of VAT registration certificate in a single day, e-stamping facility, self-certification for compliance with labour laws, e-sancharan system and others are steps in the right direction,n++ said Mr Rawat.

Uttar Pradesh holds enormous industrial potential, which is yet to be fully realised and considering that the state has set an average growth rate of 10 per cent in the gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the 12th Plan (2012-17), it needs to attract large scale investment in manufacturing, infrastructure and services sectors to generate more employment opportunities for its large working population.

n++Improving regulatory framework for business is a key pre-requisite for increasing investment and thereby creating jobs, as such the role of state in ensuring ease of doing business holds utmost importance for growth of manufacturing and services sector and generate employment,n++ suggested the ASSOCHAM-TARI study.

Though various industrial policies of the UP government provide concessions and incentives like stamp duty, entry tax exemptions, interest free loan, capital interest subsidy and others, however availing the same is often cumbersome and time taking involving many administrative processes and checks.

n++The UP government may consider developing a standard checklist of documents and standard operating procedures (SOP) for entrepreneurs availing these incentives and publicise them through website and other channels to bring transparency and efficiency in processes,n++ recommended the study.

Besides, a clear timeframe may be established for completion of various process and granting approvals for availing these incentives.

ASSOCHAM has also suggested to integrate the system of providing incentives under industrial policies with single window system of Nivesh Mitra, where an entrepreneur can check application, make payments, track status of approvals and refunds/credits under schemes.

Considering that Nivesh Mitra does not facilitate entrepreneurs with a composite application form for all departments, the study has suggested the UP government to implement a composite application form.

Besides it should ensure that all no objection certificates (NOCs) required for setting up an industry in the state is received online and there is minimal manual intervention. It should also facilitate payment of fees of various departments online to get clearances.

The study has further suggested that single tax identification (ID) for an entrepreneur may be generated through the single window system of Nivesh Mitra for paying all taxes.

n++Single tax ID will greatly facilitate the entrepreneurs with greater transparency and compliance who are subject to various taxes at a state level, including value added tax (VAT), central sales tax (CST), entry tax, entertainment tax and luxury tax,n++ it said.

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Streamlining the Process of NOC, PCC, Voyage Return and Voyage Assessment in case of Foreign Shipping Companies (FSCs)
Sep 01,2016

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a Circular bearing number 30/2016 on 26th August, 2016 for the purpose of streamlining the process of issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC), Port Clearance Certificate (PCC), Voyage Return and Voyage Assessment in case of Foreign Shipping Companies (FSCs). This prescribes guidelines for assessing officers to be followed for issue of said NOC leading to Port Clearance of ships belonging to foreign shipping companies. The assessment of voyage returns subsequently filed by the FSCs shall also be governed by the same.

The Circular has done away with the administrative requirement of obtaining a voyage NOC for foreign shipping companies entitled to 100% relief from payment of taxes in India on account of a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between India and the country to which the foreign shipping company belongs.

This Circular is another step by the CBDT towards further improving the ease of doing business in India for the foreign shipping companies.

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