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Improvement in Ease of Doing Business Ranking Inspiring: PHD Chamber
Nov 07,2016

While appreciating the importance in Ease of Doing Business to the rank of 130 by the World Bank, Dr. Mahesh Gupta, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that lot of things at the ground level are becoming visible and the business community is enthusiastic to enhance its growth trajectory going forward.

India is now ranked at 130th among 190 economies by the World Bank.

Implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code would improve the ranking further. It is also expected that the goods and services tax will help make significant improvement in Indias ranking next year, he said.

Going ahead, President, PHD Chamber, Dr. Mahesh Gupta suggested that the Government must focus on the reforms in labour laws and decriminalization of businesses as stringent labour laws are a major roadblock to enhance production possibility frontiers and employment generation in the economy.

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Industry Role Imperative for Smooth GST: Commissioner, Central Excise
Nov 07,2016

n++While the ultimate consumer is actually paying the tax under GST, industry is a part of the tax collection mechanism. To give way to a smooth and perfect GST, every link in the value chain and the supply chain has to work seamlessly, without any distortion,n++ said Mr Sanjiv Srivastava, Commissioner, Central Excise, CBEC, Ministry of Finance.

Mr Srivastava elaborated that a tax reform, if not properly implemented, might lead to increased litigation. Moreover, every sector of industry has different challenges and issues regarding the new regime. Making an amendment in the GST Law in India would be a difficult task since changes would be required in all State laws as well as the Central law. The Government is therefore targeting a unique tax system, which would take care of such issues without any detriment to revenue or to the industry, he stressed.

Mr Robert Tsang, Partner-Tax, India GST Implementation Leader, Deloitte, highlighted that the implementation of GST in India will be complicated. n++The devil will be in the detail,n++ said Mr Tsang, who also mentioned two fundamental international principles that will be relevant here. First, the OECD GST guidelines specify a destination principle, which signifies that a supply should be taxed wherever goods end up or services consumed.n++ Second is the principle of neutrality of the tax: n++GST should not be a cost to a business in a supply chain, only a cost to the final consumer of the good or service.n++ Mr Tsang noted, n++These two principles underline our Model GST Law too - so use them.n++

Finally, he added, n++The journey to GST is not a short one, and does not end in April next year. We should be prepared to keep sailing on the GST seas for at least the next 18 months, and be prepared for both calm waters and storms.n++

Throwing light on the industry point of view, Mr D D Goyal, Executive Vice President, Maruti Suzuki, stressed that in the wake of GST, we can expect the pain points in the present indirect taxation regime to be addressed. With one common tax rate for every state, GST is all set to make business transactions tax neutral. Mr Goyal also raised concerns arising in the GST regime such as transitional provisions, which the industry expects Government to resolve.

n++With the rates already being decided by the GST Council on 3rd November, and the vexed issues and law to be decided shortly, GST is probably all set to be implemented on 1st April 2017. GST is the most important milestone in the history of India, from an indirect tax perspective. GST is not just a tax reform, it is a complete business reform,n++ said Mr Harishanker Subramaniam, Chairman, CII Core Group on GST.

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Nearly 50% jump in demand for air purifiers in Delhi-NCR: Survey
Nov 07,2016

Air purifier market in India has seen a spike of about 50 per cent in its demand in wake of poor air quality in Delhi-NCR post-Diwali, noted a quick ASSOCHAM survey.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) conducted a survey to gauge the hike in demand for air purifying kits across 200 electronic and general stores in Delhi-NCR in past four days.

n++There has been an explosion in demand for air purifiers which has jumped nearly 50 per cent as air quality in and around Delhi has become hazardous post-Diwali festival,n++ said majority of electronic and general stores representatives selling such items.

n++The demand for air purifier in India has been growing rapidly across metros in India but as the smog problem became severe in Delhi after Diwali the demand for such kits has become really huge and is likely to grow steadily,n++ said many of the store managers.

However, many of these said that people looking to install air purifiers in their homes get disappointed owing to high costs and term it more of a luxury product. As such most of such customers are only enquiring and their number is growing by the day.

The demand is more from offices, industrial and commercial establishments, said many of these.

As per market experts, the air purifier market in India is still in nascent stage and is estimated at about Rs 250 crore but has been growing by leaps and bounds since past one year owing to rising awareness about impact of air pollution.

n++The national capital has been facing problem of haze for quite some time, pollution, allergens and firecrackers together have further caused significant deterioration in Delhis air quality,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the chambers survey.

n++All these factors together with growth in infrastructure development activities, growing sales of automobiles, urabnisation and industrialisation provide a lucrative market for air purifiers to enhance overall quality of air in commercial, industrial as well as residential settings across the region,n++ said Mr Rawat.

n++Demand for air purifier installations is likely to grow exponentially as they become popular and would be installed in shopping complexes, malls, offices and homes and almost everywhere, more so as health problems like asthma and other lung related diseases are also growing rapidly,n++ he added.

n++Significant rise in per capita disposable income of consumers is also likely to drive air purifier sales,n++ further said Mr Rawat.

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India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework
Nov 05,2016

India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction signed a Statement of Cooperation during the second day of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016.

The Statement underlined the guiding principles, objectives and areas of cooperation between India and UNISDR towards the effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), which was adopted at the Third World Conference on DRR at Sendai in Japan in March, 2015.

India will partner with UNISDR to work towards strengthening the capacity of Asian countries in ensuring risk resilient development. It will also facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and collaborative efforts towards addressing critical regional challenges.

The cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the Sendai Framework through Training and capacity building for Asian countries; promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment, facilitate knowledge sharing and strengthen the capacity of UNISDR for monitoring and review of the Sendai Framework.

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Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution proposes exclusive zone for street vendors in each city
Nov 05,2016

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has proposed exclusive zone for street vendors in each city. The Ministry has decided to pursue the State Governments to allocate a place and to provide sanitation facility to ensure clean and hygienic food to consumers. This was announced by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution while addressing a press conference here today after the conclusion of Swachhta Pakhwada organized by his ministry during 16-31 Oct 2016. The Minister said that that one of the objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission is to create a permanent mechanism through new and innovative schemes. Shri Paswan mentioned, in pursuance of this, the Department of Consumer Affairs has decided to launch two new schemes related to Swachh Bharat Mission i.e. (i) Clean Consumer Fora and (ii) Clean Market.

The Union Minster said that under the scheme Clean Consumer Foran++ financial assistance will be provided to Consumer Fora for sanitation facility while under the n++Clean Market Schemen++ the VCOs will be associated and asked to adopt a market place where they can carry out awareness activities on Swachhta and also cleanliness of the market place in association with the market association/local authorities including provision of sanitation facilities for consumers and with exclusive sanitation facilities in each market place for street vendor. Financial assistance will be provided to VCOs

During the Swachhta Pakhwada (16-31October 2016) some of the significant activities carried out by the Department of Consumer Affairs as follows.

The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs inaugurated a Consumer Mela on 20th October, 2016, during the Swachhta Pakhwada, at Central Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi with the main objective of bringing the consumers and the companies face to face so as to resolve the grievances to the extent possible and also to make the consumers aware about their responsibility towards Swachhta. During the Consumer Mela, the Minister administered Swachhta Oath to over 2000 visitors and participants and appealed to the people to keep their surroundings clean. Nukkad Nataks on consumer awareness and Swachhta and Poster making competition by School children were also organized during the event.

Consumer Awareness Week was also launched during the Consumer Mela and observed during 20-27 October, 2016, which not only focused on the rights of the consumers but also on their responsibilities, including towards cleanliness. All State Governments and stakeholders requested to observe the Consumer Awareness Week in their respective states. Activities related to Swachhta were also carried out by the field offices/organisations of the Department.

During the Pakhwada the activities carried out by Department of Food and Public Distribution are as under:

n++ The pakhwada was started with oath of swachhta being administered in all the offices of the department and its organizations.

n++ The Minister of State, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Shri C.R. Chaudhary participated in the cleanliness drive organized at Ghewara Depot of FCI. Message of Swacchta was delivered by the Minister of State.

n++ During the pakhwada awareness processions were carried out and cleanliness drives in public spaces were carried out.

n++ Banners & Stickers advocating swachhta were used by all the organizations of the department to create awareness in the public

n++ Running trophy/awards instituted during the last pakhwada were continued. Cleanest sections were awarded in the department as well as FCI.

n++ Weeding out and recording of old records were carried out including review of recorded files in the record room.

Other Action Taken

n++ Rs. 200 lakhs contributed towards n++Swachh Bharat Koshn++ during 2015-16 by CWC.

n++ Rs. 133.25 lakhs contributed towards Namami Ganga by CWC.

n++ 50 Rain Water Harvesting Systems have been completed at a cost of Rs. 85.60 lakhs during 2015-16 by CWC .

n++ Letters have been issued to various sugar factory and distilleries to undertake cleanliness drive in the factory & surrounding areas.

Further Action

n++ Sanitation and water supply facilities in 51 FCI Depots will be upgraded/provided.

n++ An amount of Rs. 178 lakhs has been provisioned for n++Swachh Bharat Koshn++ during 2016-17

n++ 100 Rain Water Harvesting Systems have been planned for construction by CWC in the next two years.

n++ CWC has also planned to construct toilets blocks in ten schools.

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Rabi Crops Sowing Crosess 81 Lakh Hactare
Nov 04,2016

As per preliminary reports received from the States, the total area sown under Rabi crops as on 4th November, 2016 stands at 81.55 lakh hectares as compared to 88.92 lakh hectare this time in 2015.

             Wheat has been sown/transplanted in 4.28 lakh hectares, rice in 9.51 lakh hectares, pulses in 24.16 lakh hectares, coarse cereals in 13.84 lakh hectares and area sown under oilseeds is 29.79 lakh hectares.

 The area sown so far and that sown during last year this time is as follows: 

Lakh hectare 

CropArea sown in 2016-17Area sown in 2015-16Wheat4.282.76Rice9.516.25Pulses24.1630.07Coarse Cereals13.8429.92Oilseeds29.7919.91Total81.5888.92

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ECI launches online survey to assess level of awareness among Overseas Indian voters
Nov 04,2016

In order to assess level of awareness about the registration and voting process, ECI has initiated an online survey for Overseas Indian Citizens.

The objective of the survey is to study and determine the registration and participation rates among overseas electors. The unique survey, launched by ECI in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) will help in gathering opinions and voting preferences of Overseas Indians.

The survey shall help in not only identifying information gaps but also in finding the preferred methods of voting which can subsequently be shared with the Government and Legislators.

Apart from the survey, ECI has also launched an online competition, as a part of the initiative, to engage with the target population and seek their contribution to the cause - Every Indian Vote counts. Under the competition, participants can upload their original entries in categories like Slogans, Songs, Posters, Photographs, Essays and Short Film and Audio Visual formats. The winning entries will get round trip to India and a lifetime chance to be honoured by the Election Commission of India on National Voters Day, 25th January 2017 in New Delhi.

The survey shall run through the month of November-December 2016 while the online Competition will run through the month of November.

Dr Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner in his message to overseas Indians said n++I invite you to join this historic initiative of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for expanding the frontiers of electoral participation. In our constitutional scheme of government by the people, every voice matters, every Indian vote counts. We systematically want to address additional challenges that our overseas citizens might face for which we, in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences, are conducting an online survey to first understand these challenges so as to design our interventions accordingly. We invite you to enrich the process of our communication with the overseas citizens of this country. We would be delighted to feature your ideas in our Overseas Voters Campaign. We believe that the citizens must create a dialogue of their own to foster a vibrant democracy. Thus, join us in ensuring that n++No Voter is left behind. Let your voice be heard; express your creativity, share your dreams with fellow citizens and learn more.n++


The provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 was amended w.e.f. 10.02.2011 to make special provisions for citizens of India residing outside the country to get enrolled as an elector in the constituency in which his/her place of residence in India as mentioned in his passport is located.

Despite there being 11.4 million non-resident Indians across the world, at present only around 16000 of them are registered on the electoral roll as Overseas Indian electors. Election Commission of India is now taking up steps to reach out to the overseas Indians so that they get enrolled and also vote in elections in their respective constituencies.

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Surge in Global Yields to Keep Indian Bond Markets Circumspect
Nov 04,2016

Emerging global risks will keep the domestic debt markets on the defensive and limit gains, given that Indian corporate bond spreads have already narrowed to near a one year low, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The agency believes that an uptick in global yields and several upcoming high-impact events globally will limit the softening of domestic bond yields and keep the rupee volatile. Indian corporate bonds are in a sweet spot presently (generic one-year bond spread over Government securities (G-sec) averaged at 37bp in October 2016, while five-year spread averaged 39bp* -lowest in 2016)- limiting the scope for incremental outperformance from hereon. The focus for the Indian DebtFX markets will shift from the Reserve Bank of Indias (RBI) accommodative monetary policy to two major drivers: (1) global developments and consequent risk appetite (2) incremental G-sec purchases through open market operations (OMOs).

Surge in Global Yields Signals Caution, Rupee to be Conduit of Transmission

The scope for G-sec yields to soften incrementally is limited, as globally government bond yields inch higher. The narrow spread between G-sec and developed market yields will keep the domestic debt market circumspect, as globally, economies brace for a potential reversal in yields from the June 2016 lows. Central banks of major developed economies expanded their monetary policies, as the countries battle deflationary pressures amid the fragile growth outlook. The low-rates phenomena pushed global bond yields to multi-year lows in June 2016. However, as central banks are left with fewer policy tools, the need for fiscal support has resurfaced. This has unsettled global bond investors - leading to a sharp surge in government bond yields.

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Gartners 2016 Hype Cycle for ICT in India Reveals the Technologies that are Most Relevant to Digital Business in India
Nov 04,2016

The technology lag that once existed between India and other major technology markets continues to narrow, according to Gartner, Inc. The Gartner Hype Cycle for ICT in India, 2016 shows that more local vendors are entering both emerging and mature technology segments in India, including areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and software as a service (SaaS).

When comparing the technology entries for India and the rest of the world, we noticed that the overall technology lag - that is, global traction versus India traction - is gradually closing. India has evolved from an ICT environment that was about 18 months to two years behind global trends at the start of the decade, to one in which most trends are in sync with global trends, said Santhosh Rao, principal research analyst at Gartner. Its clear that many of the technologies on the 2016 Hype Cycle for ICT in India also appear in the global ICT Hype Cycle.

The Hype Cycle for ICT in India, 2016 identifies 25 key technologies at various states of maturity that are most relevant for information technology in India and positions them on the Gartner Hype Cycle. This provides a snapshot of technologies that CIOs and senior IT leaders in Indian enterprises should consider when transitioning to digital businesses.

Beginning its ascent of this years Innovation Trigger is DevOps. The rise of digital business is driving increased awareness among Indian infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams about DevOps which focuses on rapid IT service delivery. The fundamental principles of DevOps aim to build an agile and flexible bridge between the development and operations functions of IT. These principles encourage a culture of innovation, small and quick releases, failing fast and inexpensively, learning from failures and supporting systems of innovation in a pace-layered approach.

Just ahead of DevOps on the Innovation Trigger is Crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing in India today manifests itself in four areas: crowdsourced communities for application development services; innovation platforms; hackathons and initiatives by local and central government. Crowdsourcing offers the potential to open up innovation efforts by stimulating and capturing creative ideas from outside an organization. This approach can dramatically increase the available human insight that can be applied to a task or challenge. Government organizations are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of the willingness of citizens to help in areas that reflect their local environments or special interests.

Poised just past the peak of this years Peak of Inflated Expectations, heading for the Trough of Disillusionment, is the IoT. The IoT can benefit Indian enterprises in multiple ways, but for successful IoT implementation, Indian organizations will first have to understand the business use case for which they want to use IoT. Success will also depend on aligning the IT and operation technology (OT) resources, processes and people carefully. Therefore, experimenting with pilot projects to understand the implications on people, process, technology and the business is an essential first step for Indian organizations.

The Indian economy is in good shape, and government initiatives such as Make in India and Digital India, are positive measures that are driving investment in India by multinational companies, said Pankaj Prasad, principal research analyst at Gartner. The computer software and hardware segments had a foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of $5.9 billion during the period from April 2015 to March 2016. This is an increase of nearly 150 percent compared with the same period last year, and Gartner expects these investments to gather further momentum toward the end of 2016.

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ASSOCHAM urges for setting up road transport regulatory authority
Nov 04,2016

Apex industry body ASSOCHAM has mooted a proposal to the Union Government to constitute an appropriate authority either at the Central or state level to fix the ceiling on road freight rates and breaking local monopolies.

n++Transporters charge exorbitant rates for movement of iron ore and other raw materials from mines and ports to steel plants, besides they also prevent free competition through their dominating presence in local areas,n++ said ASSOCHAM highlighting the double whammy being faced by the domestic steel sector.

ASSOCHAM also submitted various suggestions to the Union Steel Ministry to bring back Indias steel sector on growth trajectory.

n++There is an urgent need to withdraw import duty of five per cent imposed upon metallurgical coke and coking coal to restore competitiveness of the domestic steel industry,n++ ASSOCHAM highlighted in a paper submitted to the Union Steel Ministry highlighting various issues that are restricting growth of the sector.

It also urged the Steel Ministry to bring down rate of royalty on iron ore to reduce the cost of raw materials for steel plants.

n++About 15 per cent royalty rate on iron ore together with district mineral foundation (DMF) at 30 per cent translates into royalty burden on end user of 19.5 per cent of iron ore cost,n++ it noted.

The apex chamber requested to reduce the DMF rate for new mines from 10 per cent for captive consumption of iron ore.

Considering that higher transport costs result in higher costs of production of steel in India, there is an urgent need to bring down freight tariff rates by up to 25 per cent across all raw material and steel products to gain competitive edge.

It is also imperative to prevent import of cheap steel in India through a combination of minimum import price (MIP) and import duties/safeguard duties on a sustained basis.

ASSOCHAM has also suggested that inclusion of pig iron, sponge iron and billets in the list of products covered under MIP since protection for upstream primary reduction of iron is equally vital.

Further, banks should extend working capital loans to steel companies on a priority basis, especially those which have not defaulted on interest payment, while structural problems relating to high debts of various steel companies would take time to resolve.

There is also a need to create a special funding mechanism for providing capital for brown-field expansion of capacities at the existing steel mills, more so as commercial viability of brown field expansion of steel plants is significantly higher than greenfield plants.

Sharing certain budget proposals, ASSOCHAM has reiterated its demand to accord strategic industry status to steel sector. Besides it also suggested to bring import duty on coking coal and metallurgical coke down to zero.

A comprehensive package for steel sector should be unveiled encompassing special financing arm for providing capital for expansion of capacities, easy extension of working capital loans, long-term policy on freight tariffs and augmenting transportation infrastructure capacity to meet needs of steel production.

Besides it should also include total revamp of process for grant of statutory approvals for mines and steel plants, long-term policy to prevent cheap imports of steel products and security of raw materials.

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Launch of web based system for submission of documents for release of grant-in-aid under Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain
Nov 04,2016

Food Processing Industries Minister Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal while addressing a press conference on the activities undertaken during the Swachchhta Pakhwada said that time has come to show by act and not only by words that cleanliness is next to godliness. Highlighting the objective of n++Swachchh Bharat Missionn++, the vision of Honble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi to make India clean by the year 2019; the year when we celebrate Gandhijis 150th birth anniversary, Honble Minister said that the goal of n++Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharatn++ can not be achieved without ensuring total cleanliness of our offices, schools, colleges, villages, cities, rivers etc. She also exhorted everyone to contribute in achieving this goal. Smt. Badal further said that we are integrating swachchhata into our schemes and promoting the concept of swachchh abattoir in Shimla, which will be implemented in other projects in the coming time.

As a part of the Governments initiative to observe Swachchhta Pakhwada during 16-31 October, 2016, Ministry of Food Processing Industries also organized various special events during the Pakhwada through active involvement of the officials and other stakeholders of the ministry. A special Swachchhta Pledge taking event, Essay & Debate Competitions for employees of MoFPI and Special drive for weeding out of old files/papers as per the Government norms was organized by the ministry. In a meeting held in Panchsheel Bhawan that houses the ministry, Secretary, FPI, Shri Avinash Srivastava sensitized the promoters of Cold Chain Projects on the importance of Swachchhta and hygiene in their project area. NIFTEM, a deemed university under MoFPI, organized events like street vendors sensitization camps, cleanliness and hygiene drive in campus, hostel and a swachchhta awareness rally. IICPT at Thanjavur, another institution under the ministry, observed Swachchhta Pakhwada through cleanliness drive, beautification and tree planting activities within the campus and organized activities like Essay Competition, Workshops, Food Safety awareness camp for street vendors, skits etc., for highlighting benefits of swachchhta. Industry bodies like CII, PHD Chamber of Commerce and ASSOCHAM organised several programmes and workshops to create awareness on good hygiene practices.

The Minister also launched web based system for submission of documents for release of grant-in-aid under Scheme for Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure. Launching the software, the minister said that this robust e- Governance tool for online filing of claim for release of grant to a project this is an important initiative towards n++Digital Indian++ campaign. Smt. Badal said that it will help in effective monitoring of progress of the project and also ensure transparency in disbursal of funds to implementing agencies alongwith reduction of supporting documents, paper-work. Earlier, in June, 2016, similar software was launched for the Mega Food Park Scheme. Based on the experience gained, the software has been upgraded and now launched for the Cold Chain scheme also. It is an investor friendly initiative taken by the ministry. The minister also launched the new look website of the Ministry.

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Implementation of PSS for Procurement of Groundnut in the State of Gujarat During the Current Kharif Season 2016-17
Nov 03,2016

Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has received a proposal from Government of Gujarat for procurement of Groundnut under Price Support Scheme (PSS) in Gujarat during current kharif season, 2016-17. In this regard, Agriculture Ministry, GOI has given approval on 2nd November, 2016 for implementation of Price Support Scheme for procurement of Groundnut in the State of Gujarat during the current Kharif season and directed NAFED and SFAC to initiate the procurement immediately at MSP + Bonus at Rs 4220/Qtl.

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CSIRs Initiatives for enabling the Indian Leather Industry
Nov 03,2016

CSIR has come out with a n++Game changing technologyn++ for enabling the Indian leather sector achieve the set target of USD 27 billion by 2020 by making leather processing environmentally sustainable. This n++Waterless chrome tanning technologyn++ is a first of its kind technology to reduce chromium pollution load.

The Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences and Vice President CSIR, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, informed. The Minister highlighted the strategic role of CSIR in the exemplary growth of the Indian Leather industry.

Tracing the history of Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) of CSIR, established in 1948, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that this was a unique institute which from the very start had a strong academic and industrial linkage. A tripartite arrangement of industry-academy-research is a first of its kind, which is a role model for other sectors to emulate. The Institute represents the leather sector in all its planning and policy development. Over the years, the Institute is the global hub for transformation of a tradition bound industry into an innovation driven one. Technologies for bio-processing of leather, zero waste water discharge, value added materials from leather and indigenous chemicals for processing, are some of the highlighting features of this institute. CSIR-CLRI is a recognised Centre for testing of restricted substances, finished leather certification. CSIR-CLRI in association with other world bodies develops protocols for testing of restricted chemicals.

The Minister was proud to inform that CSIR Researchers today also adorn the position of Chairman of the BIS committees on leather, tanning materials etc. and footwear and also provide inputs to other committees as members. CSIR researchers are also members/chairmen for the relevant committees in International Standards Organization (ISO).

Through the Institute, Indian leather sector strives to achieve economic and environmental sustainability, leading to more than doubling of the annual turnover from the present in about 4 years. CSIR has been hand holding the industry since its establishment and has taken the export turnover of Rs.40 crores in 1960s to Rs.40,000 crores in 2015 through technological interventions, training and service. The re-enabling of the tanneries in Tamil Nadu in 1996 stands a strong testimony to the contributions of this organisation.

The Minister further elaborated that Chromium is the most sought after tanning agent with about 2.0 billion sq. ft. of leather being made in India. About 20 thousand tons of chrome tanning agent is discharged in the wastewater. CSIRs n++Waterless tanning technologyn++ has now found PAN INDIA acceptance, with tanners in all clusters enrolling for its adoption. Significance of this technology is that a) it completely eliminates two processes before and after tanning, b) eliminates the use of water in tanning, c) reduces the total dissolved solids in wastewater from this process by 20% and also d) brings down the usage of chromium by 15-20%, resulting in material saving. Efforts are now on to translate this technology both nationally and globally. Several countries including Ethiopia, South Africa, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Vietnam and Brazil have evinced interest in this CSIR technology.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, then highlighted that such technological interventions in the leather industry will realise the vision of Make-in-India, in terms of development of first of its kind leather chemicals, environmental friendly leather processing, global fashion forecasting for colours, designs thus leading to increased trade and exports.

Growth of any industry strongly depends on the availability of associated skill as well. CSIR has a strong mandate to develop, train and re-train the required manpower for this sector. The Minister highlighted that Prime Ministers Skill India dream is realised through training programs of CSIR-CLRI. About 60% of the skilled manpower in leather industry is from CSIR-CLRI. Training comes at all levels, be it the technical degrees or vocational programs, the Institute has tailor made programs to suit the needs of the industry, from time to time including reaching the unreached and under-privileged sections of the society.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed that CSIR has prepared and submitted to the Government, a Technology Mission plan for Leather sector at a cost of approximately Rs.2400 crores. This initiative is a inter-ministerial project with M/o Small and Medium Enterprises, M/o Skill Development, M/o Environment and Forest, M/o Water Resources. Through this plan, it is envisioned to provide proactive measures to upgrade and expand the technologies and thus the capacity of CETPs, along with skill development required. The envisioned modules include

a. Systematic collection of raw hides/skins

b. Technologies for capacity utilization of tanneries

c. Enhanced environmental management

d. Framework for quality benchmarking and certification

Over the years, CSIR is the global hub for transformation of a tradition bound leather industry into an innovation driven one. CSIR-CLRIs role in R&D consultancy has the paved way for other sectors like metal, food, pharma and chemicals for similar interventions and positioning themselves globally.

The mission of CSIR through CLRI is to meet the requirements of global leather sector, relevant regulatory and statutory bodies and other stake holders with continual improvement in its services, while aligning itself to the National agenda through technology innovation led solutions for the sector.

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Global air freight surges 6.1% in September 2016
Nov 03,2016

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in September 2016 showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 6.1% year-on-year. This was the fastest pace of growth since the disruption caused by the US West Coast seaports strike in February 2015.

Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), increased 4.7% over the same period. Load factors remained historically low, keeping yields under pressure.

Septembers positive performance coincided with an apparent turnaround in new export orders in recent months. Some unique factors also may have contributed, such as the rush replacement of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices during the month, as well as the early impacts of the collapse of the Hanjin marine shipping line at the end of August.

Demand for air cargo strengthened in September. Although with growth in world trade virtually at a standstill, the air cargo sector still faces some major hurdles. We did have some encouraging news. The conclusion of the EU-Canada Free Trade Agreement is good news for the economies involved and for air cargo. Growth is the way to overcome the worlds current economic challenges. The EU-Canada agreement is a welcome respite from the current protectionist rhetoric and positive results should soon be evident. Governments everywhere should take note and move in the same direction, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATAs Director General and CEO.

Regional Performance

Airlines in all regions except Latin America reported an increase in year-on-year demand in September. However results continued to vary considerably.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw freight volumes increase by 5.5% in September 2016 compared to the same period last year. Capacity in the region expanded 3.4%.The positive Asia-Pacific performance corresponds with signs of an increase in export orders in China and Japan over the last few months. Seasonally-adjusted freight results for Asia-Pacific carriers are now trending upwards.

European airlines experienced a 12.6% increase in freight volumes in September 2016. Capacity increased 6.4%. The strong European performance corresponds with an increase in reported new export orders in Germany over the last few months.

North American carriers saw freight volumes expand 4.5% in September 2016 year-on-year, as capacity increased 2.6%. International freight volumes grew by 6.2% - their fastest pace since the US seaports disruption boosted demand in February 2015. However, in seasonally-adjusted terms volumes are still just below the level seen in January 2015. The strength of the US dollar continues to keep the US export market under pressure.

Middle Eastern carriers saw demand growth slow for the third consecutive month to 1.2% year-on-year in September 2016 - the slowest pace since July 2009. Capacity increased by 6.2%. Seasonally-adjusted freight growth, which had been trending upwards until the past year or so year, has now halted. This turnaround in performance is partly due to weaker conditions in the Middle East-to-Asia and Middle East-to-North America markets.

Latin American airlinesreported a decline in demand of 4.5% and a drop in capacity of 4.7% in September 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. The within South America market has been the weakest performing market so far this year with volumes contracting 14% year-on-year in August, the most recent month for which route specific data are available. The comparative strength of the US economy has helped boost volumes between North and South America with US imports by air from Colombia and Brazil increasing by 5% and 13% year-on-year respectively.

African carriers saw freight demand increase by 12.7% in September 2016 compared to the same month last year - the fastest rate in nearly two years. Capacity surged year-on-year by 34% on the back of long-haul expansion in particular by Ethiopian Airlines and North African carriers.

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Growth of services output gathers pace in October: Nikkei India Services PMI
Nov 03,2016

A solid and accelerated upturn in incoming new business placed with Indian service providers led companies to scale up activity during October. Survey data indicated that this placed pressure on firms capacity as backlogs of work rose further, but employment levels were unchanged over the month. Input costs increased again, although at a marginal rate that was softer than in September. As for output prices, these were broadly unchanged.

At 54.5 in October, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index recorded above the no-change mark of 50.0 for the sixteenth straight month, highlighting ongoing growth in the sector. Rising from 52.0 in September, the latest figure was consistent with an accelerated rate of expansion that was marked overall.

Manufacturing production also increased at a quicker rate, one that was the fastest in 46 months. Subsequently, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index rose from 52.4 in September to 55.4 in October. This pointed to a marked pace of expansion in private sector activity that was the quickest in nearly four years.

Boosting growth of services output was a pick-up in new orders, which expanded at a solid pace that was faster than in September. According to panellists, the upturn was supported by greater client requests and improved demand conditions. Manufacturing order books also rose at a quicker pace, with growth climbing to a 22-month high.

October data highlighted ongoing pressures on Indian service providers capacity, as unfinished business volumes rose for the fifth consecutive month. Little-changed since September, the overall rate of backlog accumulation was solid. A similar trend was seen among manufacturers, where outstanding business rose solidly.

Service sector employment was unchanged over the month, with almost all survey participants reporting the same payroll numbers as in September. Likewise, manufacturing staffing levels stagnated in October.

Higher prices paid for petrol resulted in a further increase in average input prices facing services firms. That said, October saw cost inflation ease to a marginal pace that was much lower than the long-run series average. In fact, less than 2% of monitored firms reported rising cost burdens. Within manufacturing, purchase price inflation reached a 26-month peak.

Softer inflationary pressures assisted service providers with their pricing strategies. Amid reports of efforts to attract new customers, selling prices were left unchanged by around 98% of firms. Overall, a fractional reduction was recorded as the respective index recorded only just below the no-change mark of 50.0. Conversely, factory gate charges rose again, and at the quickest pace since April.

Indian services companies remained upbeat towards the 12-month outlook for activity, but the overall level of sentiment was at a four-month low. Those firms anticipating growth indicated that improved market conditions and aggressive marketing campaigns are expected to boost activity. Nevertheless, worries regarding fierce competition for new work restricted confidence.

Commenting on the Indian Services PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, economist at IHS Markit, and author of the report, said:

The service sector joined its manufacturing counterpart in offering a more upbeat level of performance this month, providing reassurance in the sustainability of the upturn of Indias economy. Incoming new work was the main driver of output growth, with survey respondents highlighting strong demand and improved market conditions.

One underlying concern is the sustained stagnant trend in workforces, with both manufacturers and service providers showing some reluctance to hire. Hopefully, the added pressure on capacity shown in the PMI surveys will translate into job creation as we move towards the end of 2016.

Nonetheless, a healthy level of overall positive sentiment regarding future business opportunities was seen and, with competitive pressures offering just a minor bump in the road of confidence, the services economy looks set to maintain its strong performance in the near term.

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