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Cabinet approves Nutrient Based Subsidy rates for Phosphatic and Potassic fertilizers for the year 2016-17
Dec 08,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of half yearly review of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for the year 2016-17.

Accordingly, in the interest of farmers, it has been decided to roll over the existing subsidy rates as given below for another six months till the end of the financial year 2016-17. 

It has also been decided to ensure that any fall in the international prices should be reflected by the fertilizers companies with subsequent reduction in MRPs.

(Per Kg subsidy rates in Rs.)

PeriodN

(Nitrogen)

P (Phosphorus)K

(Potash)

S

(Sulphur)

2nd half of FY 2016-17 (from October16 to March17)15.85413.24115.4702.044

With fall in international prices, the MRP of P&K fertilizers was reduced in July 2016. The fertilizer companies reduced the 50 Kg. bag prices of Muriate of Potash (MOP) by Rs. 250, Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) by Rs. 125 and Complex fertilizers by Rs. 50.

This is expected to result in increase in consumption of P&K fertilizers which will result in balanced fertilization.  As a result the yield from the crops will increase resulting in enhanced income to the farmers.

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PMFBY has provided coverage to 366.64 lakh farmers (26.50%) & at this rate it is likely to exceed target of 30% coverage for both Kharif & Rabi season
Dec 08,2016

The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched in the country from Kharif 2016 has made impressive progress in the first season itself. As on date the scheme has provided coverage to 366.64 lakh farmers (26.50%) and at this rate it is likely to exceeding the target of 30% coverage for both Kharif and Rabi seasons in 2016-17.

In terms of total area covered the achievement has been significant amounting to a total area of 388.62 lakh ha. and sum insured of Rs. 141339 crore. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was recast as a new scheme by the Government as the earlier existing insurance schemes were not meeting the full requirements of the farmers for insurance coverage.

The performance this season has improved by 18.50% in terms of farmers coverage, 15% in terms of area coverage and 104% in terms of sum insured in comparison to Kharif 2015, which happened to be one of the worst drought affected seasons when the number of farmers covered was 309 lakh (22.33%), total area coverage was 339 lakh ha. and sum insured was Rs. 69307 crore. The performance in Kharif 2016 is better despite the fact that there were teething issues to begin with. For instance, many States did the bidding process for selection of the insurance companies for concerned clusters for the first time and consequently, the notification of the scheme was delayed in a number of States.

The achievements in Kharif 2016 as compared to Kharif 2015 are notable specially as in Kharif 2015 in most of the States the cut-off date for availing insurance for loanee farmers was 30th September, 2016 and the enrolment under crop insurance shot up after prolonged spell of drought, whereas this year has been one of normal monsoons and window for availing insurance was much smaller with the cut-off date for availing insurance being 31st July, 2016, which was later extended to 10th of August, 2016.

Furthermore there has been a quantum jump of more than 6 times in the coverage of non-loanee farmers from 14.88 lakh in Kharif 2015 to 102.6 lakh in Kharif 2016, which shows that the scheme has been well received by the non-loanee segment. Another significant achievement in this season has been 104% enhancement in sum insured. This was made possible as PMFBY mandates that the sum insured must be equal to the Scale of Finance and therefore, reflects better risk coverage of farmers in comparison to earlier schemes.

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815.667 lakh Earmarked for J&K under National AYUSH Mission: Shri Shripad Yesso Naik
Dec 08,2016

Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), resource pool of Rs.815.667 lakhs (Rs. 734.10 lakhs as Central Share and Rs. 81.567 lakhs as State Share) has been allocated to Jammu & Kashmir during current year. However, there is no State/UT-wise allocation under Central Sector Schemes.

Further, the following steps have been taken by the Government to promote AYUSH in the Country including Jammu & Kashmir:

1. Under Central Sector Scheme of Information Education and Communication (IEC) provides for propagation of AYUSH systems of medicine in the country by creating awareness amongst the citizens about the efficacy of the AYUSH systems of medicine through various media and other publicity activities including organizing Arogya Fairs, participation in AYUSH related Fairs, organizing Workshops, Seminars on AYUSH systems of medicine.

2. Under National AYUSH Mission (NAM), the following provisions have been made for promotion of AYUSH in the Country including Jammu & Kashmir:

(i) Co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and Districts Hospitals (DHs).

(ii) Upgradation of exclusive State Government AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries.

(iii) Setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital.

(iv) Upgradation of State Government Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Educational Institutions.

(v) Setting up of new State Government AYUSH Educational Institutions in the States where it is not available in Government Sector.

(vi) Strengthening of State Government/State Government Co-operatives / Public Sector Undertakings Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy (ASU&H) Pharmacies

(vii) Strengthening of State Drug Testing Laboratories for ASU &H Drugs

(viii) Support for Medicinal Plant including processing and post-harvest management.

The Central Government has introduced the following Centrally Sponsored and Central Sector Schemes in the country:

1. Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM).

2. Central Sector Scheme for promotion of information, education, and communication (IEC) in AYUSH.

3. Central Sector Scheme of Centres of Excellence (COE).

4. Central Sector Scheme for Development of AYUSH Clusters.

5. Central Sector Scheme for Promotion of AYUSH interventions in Public Health Initiatives (PHI).

6. Central Sector Scheme of Continuing Medical Education (CME).

7. Central Sector Scheme of Extra Mural Research (EMR).

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Cabinet approves Reforms to Boost Employment Generation and Exports in the Made-ups Sector
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the reforms to boost employment generation and exports in the Made-ups Sector.

The following interventions have been approved in a time bound manner within the approved budget of Rs. 6,006 crore for the apparel package with the objective of creating large scale direct and indirect employment of upto 11 lakh persons over the next three years in the made-ups sector:-

1. Providing production incentive through enhanced Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) subsidy of additional 10% for Made-ups similar to what is provided to garments based on the additional production and employment after a period of 3 years.

2. Extension of Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMPRPY) Scheme (for apparel) to made-ups sector for providing additional 3.67% share of Employers contribution in addition to 8.33% already covered under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) for all new employees enrolling in EPFO for the first three years of their employment as a special incentive to Made-ups sector

3. Extension of Rebate of State Levies (ROSL) (for apparel) Scheme to made-ups sector for enhanced Duty Drawback on exports of Made-ups.

4. Simplification of labour laws:

(i) Increasing permissible overtime up to 100 hours per quarter in Made-ups manufacturing sector,

(ii) Making employees contribution to EPF optional for employees earning less than Rs 15,000 per month.

The interventions are expected to boost employment in the textile sector and create employment for upto eleven lakh persons, lead to increase in exports and enhance benefits to the workers in the textile and apparel sector.

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Expansion of the mandate of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the expansion of the mandate of Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project Implementation Trust Fund (DMIC-PITF Trust) and its re-designation as National Industrial Corridor Development & Implementation Trust (NICDIT) for integrated development of Industrial Corridors with permission to utilize financial assistance already sanctioned and sanction of additional amount of Rs.1584 crore within extended period up to 31 March 2022.

There is an existing approval for expenditure of Rs. 18,500 crore, out of which the unspent balance yet to be released to DMIC-PITF will be utilised by NICDIT. A further sum of Rs. 1584 crore for project development activities of four additional corridors and NICDITs administrative expenses upto 31 March 2022 has been provided.

The five Industrial corridors presently cover the States, namely, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu.

NICDIT would be an apex body under the administrative control of DIPP for coordinated and unified development of all the industrial corridors in the country. It will channelize Gol funds as well as institutional funds while ensuring that the various corridors are properly planned and implemented keeping in view the broad national perspectives regarding industrial and city development, and will support project development activities, appraise, approve and sanction projects. It will coordinate all central efforts for the development of Industrial Corridor projects and will monitor their implementation.

DMICDC will function as a knowledge partner to NICDIT in respect of all the Industrial Corridors in addition to its present DMIC work, till Knowledge Partner(s) for other Industrial Corridors are in place.

An Apex Monitoring Authority under the chairpersonship of the Finance Minister will be constituted to periodically review the activities of NICDIT and progress of the projects. It will consist of Minister-in-charge of Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Minister of Railways, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Shipping, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Chief Ministers of States concerned as Members.

The Board of Trustees of NICDIT will consist of (i) Chairperson - Secretary, DIPP, (ii) Secretary, Department of Expenditure, (iii) Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, (iv) Secretary, Road Transport & Highways, (v) Secretary, Shipping (vi) Chairman, Railway Board, (vii) CEO, NITI Aayog, and (viii) Member Secretary, who will act as full time CEO of NICDIT. CEO, DMICDC will also function as Member Secretary/ CEO of the NICDIT.

The formation of the NICDIT will enable development and implementation of Industrial Corridor Projects across India by bringing in holistic planning and development approach and sharing the learning from development of Industrial Corridors, which will enable innovation in areas such as planning, design development and funding of such projects. This will help enhance the share of manufacturing in the country, attract investment in manufacturing and service industry sectors, which will have a catalytic effect on up-gradation and development of skills of the workforce and generation of employment opportunities.

Details and progress of schemes already running:

(i) Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is the first such Industrial Corridor, approved by the Union Cabinet in 2011 with a grant of Rs. 17,500 crore as Project Implementation Fund, and an additional corpus of Rs. 1000 Crore for Project Development activities, to be provided over a period of five years for seven industrial cities in Phase-I of the project, Government of Japan has committed US$ 4.5 billion investment in the first phase of DMIC project.

Construction work in four industrial cities/townships namely, Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) near Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Shendra- Bidkin Industrial Park near Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Integrated Industrial Township Project, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Integrated Industrial Township Vila-am Udyogpuri near Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh. Other Projects under DMIC are at different stages of project planning and development.

(ii) Chennai- Bengalutu Industrial Corridor (CBIC): As per initial master planning, three Nodes, namely, Tumkur (Karnataka), Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Ponneri (Tamil Nadu) have been identified for development.

(iii) Bengaluru Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC):- State Government of Karnataka has identified Dharwad Node for Development. The Government of Maharashtra has given in principle approval for Development of a node in Sangli or Solapur Districts.

(iv) Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) will use Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) of Railways as the backbone and the highway system that exist on this route. It is planned in such a way that there would be Integrated Manufacturing Clusters (IMCs) in each of the Seven State namely Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

The BMEC and AKIC projects are at early stages of project development.

(v) Vizag Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC):- In compliance of the commitment made by the Central Government in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, it was decided by the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India that Asian Development Bank (ADB) which had been getting a feasibility study done in r/o East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) will also take up the study of VCIC as Phase I of ECEC. ADB team has since submitted the final report regarding Conceptual Development Plan (CDP) of VCIC. The process of Master Planning of the four nodes namely, Vishakhapalnam, Machilipatnam, Donakonda and Srikalahasti-Yerpedu of Andhra Pradesh, as identified by ADB in their CDP commenced in March 2016 and is likely to be completed by March 2017.

Background

To accelerate the growth in manufacturing and for ensuring scientifically planned urbanization, Government of India (Gol) has adopted the strategy of developing integrated Industrial Corridors in partnership with State Governments with focus on manufacturing. Five Corridors namely, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIG), Bengaluru- Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) and Vizag-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) have been planned for development by Government of India.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India. The MoU was signed earlier this month.

The MoU shall enable exchange of officials from both the Governments to facilitate sharing of best practises, offering technical assistance and enhanced implementation of reforms. The collaboration shall also cover State Governments in its ambit. The UK government has shown interest to offer expertise in the following areas:

a) Support to small businesses and start ups

b) Starting business and registration

c) Paying taxes and tax administration

d) Insolvency

e) Construction permits

f) Getting electricity

g) Risk based framework for inspection and regulatory regimes

h) Trading across the borders

i) Competition economics

j) Getting credit

k) Drafting of laws and regulations

I) Reducing stock and flow of regulation

m) Impact assessment of regulations

Currently, India is ranked 130th out of 190 economies (as per Doing Business Report, 2017). The UK Government has achieved phenomenal improvement in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings in recent years. The beneficiaries include the officials from Central Government Ministries / Departments and State Governments through sharing of best practises, capacity building etc. Each side shall bear the cost of travel and logistics for its officials as well as for co-hosting trainings/ seminar/conferences.

The MoU shall facilitate various agencies of the UK government to offer professional courses on better regulation drafting for officials, capacity-building of frontline inspectors, sharing of best practises, etc. The collaboration is expected to expedite adoption of innovative practises by the Government of India, State Governments and their agencies leading to easing of regulatory environment in the country and fostering of conducive business climate in India.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) for Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) for Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property (IP). The MoU was signed on 7 November 2016.

The MoU seeks to establish a wide-ranging and flexible mechanism for developing and furthering the cooperation in the development of automation, new documentation and information systems in IP. It provides an opportunity for collaboration in training programmes, exchange of experts and technical exchanges and outreach activities.

Implementation of the MoU will result in enhancement of the capacity of the Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks to examine patent applications, which in turn will impact innovation positively.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Thailand on Cooperation in controlling narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to the MoU between India and Thailand in controlling narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, their precursors and chemicals and drug abuse.

The MoU is an effective framework to deal with all issues requiring mutual assistance and cooperation in the above areas. It will facilitate effective institutional interaction between India and Thailand. The MoU, once in force, would help in curbing transnational narcotics trafficking.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam on Cooperation In the field of Information Technology (IT)
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Vietnam on Cooperation in the field of IT.

The MoU aims to develop a long-term and sustainable cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual interest in the areas of IT in line with each countrys laws and regulations. Implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the IT sector, through institutional and capacity-building in the field of IT and Human Resource Development.

The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years and will be renewable by mutual written consent between India and Vietnam. It will be implemented by establishing a Joint Working Group on IT with representatives from both the countries.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Afghanistan on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Afghanistan on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

The MoU envisages cooperation between the two countries for application of space technologies in education, agriculture, weather forecasting, telecommunications, rural health, sanitation, urban development, resource mapping navigation, remote sensing and any other areas mutually agreed upon.

The MoU will benefit both countries in the following manner:

1.Development of space sector in Afghanistan;

2.Burnish Indias credentials as a nation with advanced space technology, one that can also assist other countries;

3.Afghanistan will move towards self-reliance in the space sector;

4.Help deepen bilateral ties and mutual understanding and trust between India and Afghanistan;

5.Provide India with a foothold in Afghanistans strategic space and communication sector.

Further, the MoU will boost high-tech jobs in the two countries in both core Science & Technology and R&D fields, and also the field of implementation. With ushering in of the era of mobile and internet-based applications and commerce, better communication and internet connectivity will boost creation of jobs in diverse fields.

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Cabinet approves the proposal of Election Commission for procurement of Control Units and Ballot Units during 2017-18 and 2018-19
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Election Commission for purchase of 4,10,000 Ballot Units (BUs) and 3,14,000 Control Units (CUs) during 2017-18 and 4,35,306 Ballot Units and 71,716 control units during 2018-19 at a tentative unit cost of Rs.7,700/- and Rs.9,300 respectively. The total estimated cost will be Rs.1,009.6 crore. The purchases will be made through Bharat Electronic (BEL), Bangalore and Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL), Hyderabad.

The Cabinet has also authorised the Election Commission to vary the quantity to be ordered on M/s. BEL and M/s. ECIL based on their production capacity and past performance in supply of machines.

This would facilitate phasing out of obsolete electronic voting machines procured during 2000-2005. It will enable the Election Commission to replenish the stock with a view to meeting the requirement of conducting General Elections to Lok Sabha and some of the State Assemblies due in 2019. Authorising the Election Commission to vary to the quantity would ensure better management of the procurement process and timely delivery of the units.

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Cabinet approves Pune Metro Rail Project Phase - 1
Dec 08,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the development of Pune Metro Rail Project Phase - 1. The Pune Metro Rail Corridor will be covering a length of 31.254 km comprising with two corridors i.e. Corridor-1 {Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to Swargate} covering length of 16.589 km (11.57 km elevated and 5.019 km underground) and Corriodor-2 (Vanaz to Ramwadi) covering 14.665 km (fully elevated).

The total completion cost of the metro rail corridor will be Rs.11,420 crore. The population of approximately 50 lakh of Pune Metropolitan Area will be benefitted through this metro corridor.

The project is scheduled to be completed in five years from the date of start of work as per the Detailed Project Report (DPR).

The approved alignments are expected to provide the much needed connectivity to the commuters and would traverse through some of the densest and traffic congested routes in the Pune Metropolitan Area. It will considerably reduce the traffic congestion and will bring in fast, comfortable, safe, pollution-free and affordable mass transportation system in the city, which in turn will contribute to further development and prosperity of the area. Development and prosperity of Pune Metropolitan Area will also contribute to the prosperity and development of the nation.

The Project will be implemented by Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MAHA-METRO), which will be a 50:50 jointly owned company of Government of India and Government of Maharashtra. Project will be covered under the legal framework of the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978; the Metro Railways (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002; and the Railways Act, 1989, as amended from time to time.

The existing Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Limited (NMRCL) which is a joint Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of Government of India (GoI) and Government of Maharashtra (GoM), would be reconstituted into Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-METRO) for implementation of all metro projects including Pune Metro Rail Project Phase-1 in the State of Maharashtra outside Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The project will benefit from experience and learnings from other Metro Rail projects in Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Nagpur etc.

Background:

Pune Metropolitan Area includes Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). Both the cantonment areas namely Pune and Khadki have witnessed rapid growth of population. The population of Pune Urban Agglomeration was 4.99 million as per 2011 census compared to 3.57 million in 2001 census. This is further projected to increase to 6.90 million in 2021 and 7.73 million in 2031.

Rapid industrialization and intense commercial developments in the past decades have resulted in steep rise in travel demand, putting Punes transport infrastructure to stress. With the projected increase in the areas population, strengthening and augmenting the existing transport infrastructure has assumed urgency. With the growing economy and inadequate public transport services, the passengers will shift to private modes, which is already evident from the high vehicle ownership trend in the region. This would not only aggravate the congestion on streets but also increase the air pollution. Hence, Metro Rail System has become essential.

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Global air freight demand up 8.2% in October 2016
Dec 07,2016

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets in October 2016 showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs), rose 8.2% year-on-year in October. This was the fastest pace of growth seen in 18 months. Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), increased 3.6% over the same period.

Global air freight markets look set to end 2016 on a high note. Demand is growing at its fastest pace in 18 months. It remains to be seen how long this growth trend will endure after the year-end peak period and we still face headwinds from weak global trade. But there are some encouraging signs. The peak has been stronger than expected. And purchasing managers are reporting a pick-up in new export orders. So we will enter 2017 propelled by some much-needed positive momentum, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATAs Director General and CEO.

Some one-off factors are likely impacting Octobers positive results: (1) there is potential modal shift to air cargo following the collapse of the Hanjin Shipping Company in August and (2) there could be some last minute reliance on air transport as companies exercised caution in ordering as a result of weak market conditions earlier in the year.

Structural market shifts are also likely underpinning a portion of the stronger performance. This includes strong growth in cross-border e-commerce and pharmaceutical flows. Preparation for the increasing popularity of sales events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday may also have contributed to the increased demand peak.

The drivers of stronger growth are sending a major signal for change to the air cargo industry. Whether it is e-commerce or the trade in pharmaceuticals, shippers are demanding more than current paper processes can support. The shift to e-freight is more critical than ever, said de Juniac

Regional Performance

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

Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand in freight volumes both from the Within Asia air cargo market as well as on routes to and from the region increase in October 2016 compared to the same period last year. Regional demand increased 7.8% and capacity grew by 3.9%. International freight volumes expanded 8.0% in October, contributing to an annualized increase, in seasonally adjusted terms, of 15% since March 2016.

North American carriers freight volumes expanded 3.7% in October 2016 compared to the same period last year, and capacity increased by just 0.1%. International freight volumes increased by 7.2% in October - their fastest pace since the disruption at US seaports in February last year. Seasonally-adjusted freight volumes are back to the levels reached since the post-global financial crisis bounce-back in 2010. US exports continue to suffer from the strength of the US dollar which has kept the US export market under pressure.

European airlines posted the largest increase in freight demand of all regions in October, 13.4% year on year. Capacity increased 5.9%. Octobers positive performance corresponds with the sustained increase in export orders in Germany over the last few months and the ongoing weakness in the Euro. International freight demand grew by 13.2% year-on-year in October - the fastest pace since April 2011 - and the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic was very strong.

Middle Eastern carriers saw air freight demand increase by 9.2% in October 2016 year-on-year, marking an improvement over the last few months performance. However seasonally-adjusted growth has slowed, predominantly due to weak freight volumes between the Middle East and Asia, and the Middle East and North America. Capacity in the region increased by 4.2%.

Latin American airlines experienced a demand contraction of 0.1% in October 2016, compared to the same period last year, while capacity decreased by 1.8%. International freight volumes grew by 0.2%. In seasonally-adjusted terms this is an improvement over the last few months. The region continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions, particularly in the regions largest economy, Brazil.

African carriers freight demand increased by 7.4% in October 2016 compared to the same month last year. However, capacity surged by 24.7% on the back of long-haul expansion, in particular by Ethiopian Airlines. International freight demand for African airlines slowed in October, but still remained robust at 7.7% year-on-year.

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October global passenger demand moderates: IATA
Dec 07,2016

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for October showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 5.8% compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew 6.3% and load factor slid 0.4 percentage points to 80.1%.

Octobers performance was a slow-down on the 7.1% year-on-year growth rate recorded in September but still was broadly in line with 10-year averages. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance.

Passenger demand growth in October was consistent with long-term trends but represented deterioration compared to September. While the negative traffic impact from terror attacks and political instability in parts of the world has receded, the long downward trend in yield - which helped to stimulate travel - has leveled off. Furthermore, the recent OPEC agreement to restrict oil production suggests fuel prices have ended their slide, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATAs Director General and CEO.

International Passenger Markets

October international passenger demand rose 5.9% compared to October 2015. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity rose faster, up 6.6%, causing load factor to slide 0.6% percentage points to 78.6%.

Asia-Pacific airlines traffic rose 7% in October compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 7.1% and load factor dipped 0.1 percentage point to 76.9%. The strong upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has slowed in recent months, although it is too soon to determine whether this is an actual weakening or just a brief pause. On the other hand the Asia-to-Europe market, which is highly sensitive to shock events, is continuing to recover.

European carriers saw October demand climb 5.7% over October 2015. Capacity increased 6.2% and load factor slipped 0.4 percentage points to 83.2%. International demand for European carriers appears to be returning to normal after the disruption caused by terrorism and political instability earlier this year.

Middle East carriers experienced a 7% rise in demand in October, the slowest pace for the region in 18 months, although perhaps the timing of regional celebrations could have affected the results. Capacity increased 10%, however, with the result that load factor dropped 2.0 percentage points to 70.1%, its lowest level for the month of October since 2006.

North American airlines traffic climbed 2.4% in October compared to the year-ago period. While this was the lowest among the regions, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, passenger volumes have still risen at an annualized rate of around 5% since March. Capacity rose 4.9% and load factor dropped 1.9 percentage points to 80.1%.

Latin American airlines had a 7.1% increase in traffic in October, supported by robust demand for international traffic within the region. Capacity climbed at a much slower rate of 2.1%, causing load factor to surge 4 percentage points to 84.3%, highest among the regions.

African airlines traffic growth slowed to 5.8% year-on-year in October, from 9.1% in September. Economic conditions in parts of the continent remain challenging. Capacity rose 4.3%, and load factor strengthened to 68.8%, up 1 percentage point.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic demand climbed 5.6% in October compared to October 2015, which was matched by a similar increase in capacity. There was continued wide variation in individual country results, with India and China enjoying double-digit growth rates while other markets experienced much slower growth and Brazil remained in decline.

Indias domestic market soared 22.7% year-on-year in October, supported by significant growth in real consumer spending and increases in the number of airport pairs served.

Chinas traffic jump of 14.1% in October was attributable to similar factors - although flight frequencies actually have fallen year-to-year.

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RBI maintains status quo-Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17
Dec 07,2016

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Reserve Bank of India in its Fifth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17 kept the key policy rates unchanged after reducing the rates by 25 basis points (bps) in previous policy statements. The policy repo rate, at which it lends to the scheduled banks borrowing for the short liquidity gaps, under the liquidity adjustement facility (LAF) thus stands unchanged at 6.25%. The decision of the MPC is consistent with an accommodative stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5% by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4% within a band of +/- 2%, while supporting growth. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 5.75%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75%.

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