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Inland Waterways Authority of India awards contract for construction of Multi - Modal terminal at Sahibganj
Oct 19,2016

The multi-modal terminal at Sahibganj in Jharkhand is soon to become a reality. The Inland Waterways Authority of India has recently awarded the contract for construction of the terminal to Larson & Tourbo (L&T). With the targeted completion of Phase -1 in 2019, the state of the art terminal will have a cargo handling capacity of 2.28 MMTPA.

Given Jharkhands coal reserves of nearly 80 billion tonnes, the location of the multi modal terminal at Sahibganj is especially significant. It will play an important role in transportation of domestic coal from the local mines to intended thermal power plants owing to its good railway connectivity . Besides coal, stone-chips are also expected to be transported through the terminal.

The multi modal terminal will have facilities including berthing space for two vessels, stockyard for storing, belt conveyor system with fixed hoppers, barge loader, shore protection works, roads, ramps and parking area, and terminal buildings.

The Sahibganj terminal is the second out of the three multi-modal terminals planned under the Ganga Jal Marg Vikas Project, to be awarded for construction in a record time. Earlier in May, IWAI awarded the contract to construct a multi-modal terminal at Varanasi to AFCONS Infrastructure Ltd. The third terminal will be constructed at Haldia in West Bengal.

The Government is developing National Waterway-1 under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs. 4,200 crore. The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tons.

Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch. The project includes development of fairway, Multi-Modal Terminals at Varanasi, Haldia, and Sahibganj, strengthening of river navigation system, conservancy works, modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), night navigation facilities, modern methods of channel marking, construction of a new state of the art navigational lock at Farakka.

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ITPO signs MoU with DoC
Oct 19,2016

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 2016-17 was signed between India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Department of Commerce (DoC), Government of India.

L.C. Goyal, CMD, ITPO mentioned that for the year 2016-17, the Excellent financial target for Revenue from operations (Gross Sales) has been fixed at Rs.250 crore. He also mentioned that ITPO will make all out efforts to achieve n++Excellentn++ rating as per the targets given by DPE for the year 2016-17 and ensure delivery of better services to all the stakeholders .

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ESIC Would Provide Pan India Healthcare Facilities With Second Generation Reforms From March 2017, Says Its Insurance Commissioner
Oct 19,2016

Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) will shortly launch the second generation reforms as per which it will have Pan India presence covering over 650 districts of the country with its healthcare and community dispensaries facilities, according to its Insurance Commissioner, ESI, Mr. Arun Kumar.

Addressing a Seminar on n++Implementation of ESI Act & The Schemes Framed Thereundern++ under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Kumar also said that the corporation has decided to take in its fold all construction workers, according them with ESI benefits.

However, the ESIC is likely to propose to charge the financial contribution from construction workers employers to give them ESI benefits which would be drawn from the various welfare boards in which the construction companies deposit their construction cesses, indicated Mr. Kumar pointing out that this thinking is on progress at the higher level of bureaucracy within the union labour ministry.

Elaborating on the issue of second generation reforms in ESIC, Mr. Kumar said that currently ESIC has its healthcare and hospital facilities around 300 districts where the workers avail of medical and healthcare facilities. This facilities would be extended to all districts of the country as the government of the day under Prime Minister Modi has already a scheme to this effect, process of which would begun from March 2017 onwards.

He also informed that ESIC insured persons would be entitled for 26 weeks of maternity benefits from existing 12 weeks for which the corporation would bear the financial burden instead of employers.

Likewise, the wage threshold ceiling of workers for availing of ESI benefits is likely to be enhanced to Rs.21,000 per month from the current wage limit of Rs.15,000 per month for which a notification would come about in next few days although intentional notification to this effect has already been issued.

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Reforms Like Land, Labour, Capital & Entrepreneurship Needs Push For Over 7.6% Growth : PHD Chamber
Oct 19,2016

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday recommended four major reforms such as land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship for accelerated growth, exceeding 7.6% per annum to fulfil Indias aspiration to emerge a leading economy in the world.

In addition, the Chamber also emphasized reforms in agriculture and construction sector to enable it come out of on-going slowdown mode of economic activities to spur up demand for Indias industrial produce.

The aforesaid suggestions emerged at a Seminar on Growth Prospects of the Indian Economy under aegis of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry which also sought a fair playground for overseas MSMEs to be operational on Indian soil with relaxed labour laws and relaxed regulations for ease of doing business.

It was emphasized that land reforms has become imperative as it is a major ingredient in the four factors of production because of its availability factor with creation of land banks for utilization of industry.

Labour reforms, according to the suggestions of the Seminar is another ingredient of the four factors of production and amendment to the prototype land laws would be key for enhanced IIP with softening rate of interests and strengthening of micro financing institutions as part of proposed capital reforms.

As regards to entrepreneurship reforms, the Chamber is of the view that removal of administrative bottlenecks, improvement in infrastructure utilities and simplification of taxes would go a long way in promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Reforms in construction sector, as per PHD Chamber is not performing well because of reasons such as high interest rate and slowdown in demand as the growth of construction sector in Q1 of 2016-17 stood at 1.5 per cent.

Agricultural sector reforms are also crucial in enhancing demand with focus on irrigation, soil improvement and productivity, crop protection and organic farming, the economy would achieve higher growth and development in the future, concluded the Seminar.

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India is setting up an extensive mechanism to ensure speedy, affordable and timely delivery of justice to consumers
Oct 19,2016

India has drafted new Consumer Protection Bill through extensive stakeholder consultation and study of best practices across the world. While drafting the Bill, special emphasis has been made to ensure simplicity, speed, access, affordability and timely delivery of justice. In true sense it is a futuristic bill and a great transformative step towards strengthening consumer protection and giving a clear message by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi that Consumer is the King.

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Spectrum Payouts and Network Capex to Keep Telcos FCF Negative
Oct 19,2016

Telecom companies exercised a balanced approach in the recent spectrum auctions, however the purchase of spectrum and non-spectrum linked capex will keep free cash flows (FCF) of the telecom operators negative, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). There were no major surprises in the spectrum auction and as expected by Ind-Ra spectrum bidding was rational, therefore Ind-Ra maintains its outlook on the sector as n++Stable to Negativen++. There were no takers for the pricey 700MHz band and 900MHz, while active participation was seen in the 1,800Mhz and 2,300MHz bands, and the most active participants were Vodafone India (Vodafone; emerged as the highest bidder) and Idea Cellular Ltd (Idea). Each operators spectrum acquisition strategy was to ensure data capacity build up, which was indicated by the bigger block spectrum acquisition in the higher bands of 2300MHz/2500MHz.

As against the INR5.6trn valuation at reserve price, only INR657.89bn was realised. The winning prices were moderately higher (upto around 15%) than the reserve prices. The most steeply priced 700MHz representing 72% of the total reserve price remained unsold. Ind-Ra believes that the rationalisation in prices of 700MHz is a pre-requisite for its successful auction in future, given the strong divergence of views between operators and the regulator.

The immediate concern for the auction winners will be to put in place an optimal funding mix to meet the upfront (INR320bn) and subsequent staggered payments. Incumbent operators have the existing balance sheet strength to raise funds from the domestic or global markets. However, identifying the right long term funding mix to optimise the cost of funds and the monetisation of non-core assets to reduce the debt burden will be crucial for the credit profile. Upfront payment needs to be made within 10 calendar days from the issue of the demand notice (namely 10 October 2016).

Funding for the new spectrum will be a combination of equity and debt for all players. Vodafone raised equity of INR477bn, which will be used for the upfront spectrum payment and also support additional capex. Idea has incremental capex plan of INR10bn post the spectrum acquisition, and its upfront payout for the spectrum will be part-debt funded given its moderate cash balances (1QFY17: INR7.8bn). Bharti Airtel Ltd had INR20.5bn of cash and equivalents at end-1QFY17; hence part debt funding could be used for the upfront spectrum payment.

Ind-Ra expects debt burden to rise for the top telcos, with the increase in spectrum and non-spectrum debt capex. In addition to the upfront spectrum payouts in FY17, network capex needs to be ramped up, which will keep FCF negative. Ind-Ra believes that the benefits of higher data volumes trickle down impact on revenue growth will be back ended. The launch of life-time free voice calls by Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) has threatened the major contributor of telcos revenues, namely voice calls. Ind-Ra thus expects RJios entry strategy to squeeze operational cash flows of the sector in FY17-FY18.

Idea reported negative FCF (post capex and spectrum payment of INR11.8bn) in FY16. Bharti had a positive FCF of INR148bn in FY16, mainly supported by INR57bn sale proceeds from tower assets and INR67.7bn from sale of investments.

As Ind-Ra had highlighted in the report, the bidding strategies revolved around augmenting 4G capability, and data centric bands (1,800Mhz/2,300Mhz) saw high traction. In line with Ind-Ras forecast, Bharti and RJio focused on plugging in spectrum gaps, while Idea and Vodafone focused on strengthening their position in key circles. The 800MHz band was taken up by RJio to fill in the gaps in Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (East) circles. Bharti and RJio bought most of the data-centric 2,300MHz spectrum band, whereas Idea and Vodafone bought most of the 2,500Mhz spectrum band. Vodafone strengthened its presence in its existing circles and also increased 4G capability to 17 circles from the earlier nine, while Idea has increased its presence to 20 circles from 11 earlier.

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Commerce and Industry Minister launches the CIPAM Logo
Oct 19,2016

The logo of the Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) was launched today by the Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman. On the occasion she said that this is an ambitious task as Indias intellectual property related activities need great traction.

The logo has been designed keeping in mind the slogan of the National IPR Policy: n++Creative India, Innovative Indian++. While the logo stands for n++Cell for IPR Promotion and Managementn++, the letters n++In++ and n++Pn++ have been stylized to represent n++Intellectual Propertyn++ as well.

The letter n++In++ stands for Intellectual, and is represented by a pencil, denoting the expression of creativity, and in the tri-colours of the Indian flag. The curve of the letter n++Pn++ stands for Property, and is denoted by a gear which depicts Innovation and Industry.

Cell for IPR Promotion and Management (CIPAM) has been created as a professional body under the aegis of DIPP to take forward the implementation of the National IPR Policy that was approved by the Government in May 2016, with the slogan - n++Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारतn++

CIPAM is working towards creating public awareness about IPRs in the country, promoting the filing of IPRs through facilitation, providing inventors with a platform to commercialize their IP assets and coordinating the implementation of the National IPR Policy in collaboration with Government Ministries/Departments and other stakeholders.

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Shopping malls facing up to e-commerce challenge: ASSOCHAM
Oct 19,2016

Faced with heavy discounts from e-commerce, shopping mall owners in major cities are shaping back, going aggressive in the run up to Diwali offering freebies and easy finance options, hoping to win back the footfalls and increase their business by at least 45-50 per cent in the ongoing festive season as compared to similar period last year, an ASSOCHAM paper has noted.

Armed with new sales strategy of giving a shopping and festive feel to the consumers, the malls in Delhi -NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai have already started seeing increased activity while Diwali still 10 days away, as per the feedback received from the retailers.

This is also attributable to the malls, which had come under the twin pressure of slowdown and e-commerce onslaught by way of deep discount, getting their promotional marketing right. Many of them have tied up with the manufacturers of consumer durables and fashion wears for tempting schemes with easy finance options like TV, refrigerators, off-season AC sale and even high end mobile phone handsets.

In any case, there is a better market experience this festive season, which is expected to give a leg-up to the consumer sentiment, ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

The ASSOCHAM study is conducted based on responses from 750 leasing managers, management representatives of malls, strategists, marketers and supervisors in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Dehradun.

The study noted that most of the retailers and consumer durable goods makers were upbeat about brisk business during the third quarter and therefore increased their overall marketing budget by about 30 percent to 40 percent for this period alone. They plan to conduct these promotional activities until early January, it added.

Some malls in national capital New Delhi reported record business on weekends as buyers rushed to get clothes, food, jewellery and cosmetics for Diwali celebrations. In value terms, the growth is 20 percent higher than the previous year while in volume terms it could be around 10-15 percent higher, reveal the mall managers.

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IATA forecasts global passenger demand to double over 20 Years
Oct 19,2016

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, a near doubling of the 3.8 billion air travelers in 2016. The prediction is based on a 3.7% annual Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) noted in the release of the latest update to the associations 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast.

People want to fly. Demand for air travel over the next two decades is set to double. Enabling people and nations to trade, explore, and share the benefits of innovation and economic prosperity makes our world a better place, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATAs Director General and CEO.  

Eastward shift, developing market focus

The forecast for passenger growth confirms that the biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region. It is expected to be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next 20 years. China will displace the US as the worlds largest aviation market (defined by traffic to, from and within the country) around 2029. India will displace the UK for third place in 2026, while Indonesia enters the top ten at the expense of Italy. Growth will also increasingly be driven within developing markets. Over the past decade the developing worlds share of total passenger traffic has risen from 24% to nearly 40%, and this trend is set to continue.

Risks, Challenges and Opportunities

The 20-year forecast puts forward three scenarios. The central scenario foresees a doubling of passengers with a 3.7% annual CAGR. If trade liberalization gathers pace, demand could triple the 2015 level. Conversely, if the current trend towards trade protectionism gathers strength, growth could cool to 2.5% annual CAGR which would see passenger numbers reach 5.8 billion by 2035.

Economic growth is the only durable solution for the worlds current economic woes. Yet we see governments raising barriers to trade rather than making it easier. If this continues in the long-term, it will mean slower growth and the world will be poorer for it. For aviation, the protectionist scenario could see growth slowing to as low as 2.5% annually. Not only will that mean fewer new aviation jobs, it will mean that instead of 7.2 billion travelers in 2035, we will have 5.8 billion. The economic impact of that will be broad and hard-felt, said de Juniac.

Whatever scenario is eventually realized, growth will put pressure on infrastructure that is already struggling to cope with demand.  Runways, terminals, security and baggage systems, air traffic control, and a whole raft of other elements need to be expanded to be ready for the growing number of flyers. It cannot be done by the industry alone. Planning for change requires governments, communities and the industry working together in partnership, said de Juniac.

The industry will also need to be able to grow sustainably. Earlier this month airlines supported the establishment of a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). This landmark agreement - the first among governments to manage the emissions growth of an entire global industrial sector - aims to cap net emissions with carbon neutral growth from 2020. Aviation is at the forefront of industries in managing its carbon footprint. Along with offsetting emissions through CORSIA, airlines are working with partners in industry and government to advance technology, improve operations and generate more efficiencies in infrastructure, said de Juniac.

Key facts

Fast-growing markets

The five fastest-growing markets in terms of additional passengers per year over the forecast period will be China (817 million new passengers for a total of 1.3 billion) US (484 million new passengers for a total of 1.1 billion) India (322 million new passengers for a total of 442 million) Indonesia (135 million new passengers for a total of 242 million) Vietnam (112 million new passengers for a total of 150 million).

The top ten fastest-growing markets in percentage terms will be in Africa: Sierra Leone, Guinea, Central African Republic, Benin, Mali, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Madagascar. Each of these markets is expected to grow by more than 8% each year on average over the next 20 years, doubling in size each decade.

Regional growth Routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 1.8 billion annual passengers by 2035, for an overall market size of 3.1 billion. Its annual average growth rate of 4.7% will be the second-highest, behind the Middle East. The North American region will grow by 2.8% annually and in 2035 will carry a total of 1.3 billion passengers, an additional 536 million passengers per year. Europe will have the slowest growth rate, 2.5%, but will still add an additional 570 million passengers a year. The total market will be 1.5 billion passengers. Latin American markets will grow by 3.8%, serving a total of 658 million passengers, an additional 345 million passengers annually compared to today. The Middle East will grow strongly (5.0%) and will see an extra 258 million passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region by 2035. The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will all enjoy strong growth of 6.3%, 4.7%, and 4.1% respectively. The total market size will be 414 million passengers. Africa will grow by 5.1%. By 2035 it will see an extra 192 million passengers a year for a total market of 303 million passengers.

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Mandatory Standards for products and services in health, food sector on anvil
Oct 19,2016

The Government has taken number of initiatives for the protection of the interests of consumers. Very soon services and products in the area of health, food etc. shall have to follow mandatory quality standards. Precious metal like Gold and silvers shall have to wear hallmarking for the larger interests of consumers. New Bureau of Indian Standards Act has been enacted for this purpose and rules are being framed. This was announced by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affair, Food & Public Distribution while addressing Regional Editors Conference in Chandigarh today. Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan said his ministry is also working on new Consumer Protection Act which will have more teeth to protect the interests of consumers. An authority has been proposed under the Act to take suo motto action if product and services are not up to the standard. The Minister said charging over MRP is unfair trade practice and expressed hope that the new Consumer Protection Act will effectively check that.

Regarding misleading advertisements, Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan said effective provisions have been proposed in the new Consumer Protection Act. The Act will enable people to file complains in Consumers Courts online from any place in the country and it will ensure time bound admission of their complaints in the courts.

Highlighting reforms initiated in Public Distribution System, Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan said that so far 100 percent digitization of ration card has been completed and about 70 percent cards have been linked with Aadhar Cards to make the system more transparent and leak proof. The Union Minister said that at present more than 81 crore people are getting subsidized food grains i.e .Rs. 2/kg wheat and 3/kg rice under National Food Security Act and very soon beneficiaries from across the nation except Tamil Nadu will get food grains as Kerala has also agreed to implement the Act next month.

Referring efforts being made by Government to check prices of essential commodities, especially pulses, Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan said that incentives given to farmers will increase the availability of the produce soon. He said that besides increasing MSP for the pulses, the Government agencies are making direct procurement of pulses from the farmers at market price for the buffer stocks of 20 lakh MT. The states are being provided pulses at subsidies rates from this stock, said the Minister.

Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan asserted that consumer awareness is of paramount importance for safeguarding their interests, and appealed media to play an active role in this regard.

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PM launches National SC/ST hub and Zero Defect - Zero Effect scheme
Oct 19,2016

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today launched the National SC/ST hub, and the Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at Ludhiana in Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, he said Ludhiana is an important economic centre, and therefore, it is natural to launch a scheme related to MSME from the city. The Prime Minister said that the MSME sector is crucial for the economic progress of India. He said MSMEs must match global quality control standards.

Talking about the distribution of charkhas, the Prime Minister said Khadi is a priority for us, and a charkha at home brings more income. He said Khadi is marketed well now, adding that once upon a time, the apt slogan was Khadi for Nation, but now it should be Khadi for Fashion.

The Prime Minister said that a spirit of entrepreneurship among Dalits will benefit us. He added that there are youngsters whose dreams are to create enterprises and jobs.

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Rs 2,000 Crores Credit Guarantee Fund For Start-Ups In Offing: Secretary, DIPP
Oct 18,2016

In addition to softening regulations for Start-Ups to further motivate their entrepreneurship, the government would shortly set up a Credit Guarantee Fund with a corpus of Rs.2000 crores to support their ventures and risk taking abilities, says the Secretary, DIPP, Mr. Ramesh Abhishek.

The Secretary added that with this corpus of Rs 2,000 crores in place, the Start-Ups would receive financial support from banks and financial institutions with collateral free guarantee.

Without prescribing any time limit as to when the Credit Guarantee Fund would come about, Mr. Abhishek, however, added that with this fund being operational in near future, the Start-Ups could look up for financial assistance for their ventures that would be available easily.

Elaborating on the issue of softening existing regulations for Start-Ups, Mr. Abhishek pointed out that DIPP would take up this issue with entities such as RBI, SEBI and Department of Corporate Affairs among others.

Responding to a suggestion mooted by the President, PHD Chamber, Dr. Mahesh Gupta seeking relaxations on existing taxes for Start-Ups, the Secretary, DIPP said that this issue was also being perused by the government among the various concerned stakeholders since the Start-Ups venture is one of the top priorities of the Modi government as it would not only create wealth for promoter of such ventures but also facilitate employment creation.

The Minister of State for HRD, Dr. Pandey also felt that sufficient incentives and motivations should be given to those that wish to set up their venture with the spirit of innovations and also suggested that the spirit of innovations need to be promoted at the basic levels of Indian education system through vernacular mode of communications.

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Vehicle manufacturers will have to give details about the emission and noise levels of each vehicle they produce
Oct 18,2016

Come 1st of April 2017, manufacturers of all kinds of motor vehicles as also E-rickshaws and E-carts will have to give detailed declaration about the emission levels of the vehicle they have manufactured. Through a recent notification, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has amended Form 22 under the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, through which manufacturers provide the Initial Certificate of Compliance with Pollution Standards, Safety Standards of Components Quality and Road -Worthiness certificate for all vehicles. Earlier, Form 22 only certified that the vehicle in question complied with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and rules there under, including the relevant emission norms - Bharat Stage I/II/III etc.

From 1st April, 2017 however, the vehicle manufacturers will have to provide emission details for each vehicle in the revised Form 22 . The Form will include the brand, chassis number, engine number (motor number, in case of battery operated vehicles) and emission norms - Bharat Stage - IV / VI /Bharat (Trem) Stage-III/III etc of the vehicle and specify the levels of each pollutant like carbon monoxide, hydro carbon, non-methane HC, NOx, HC + NOx, PM etc for petrol and diesel vehicles and also sound level for horn and pass by noise values. The amended rules will apply to all vehicles run on petrol, CNG, LPG, electric, diesel and hybrid, including agricultural and construction vehicles, as well as E-rickshaws and E-carts. Form 22 will be issued with the signature of the manufacturer. In the case of E-rickshaws and E-carts, this Form will be issued with the signature of an authorized signatory of registered E-rickshaw or E-cart association.

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India-Germany trade to touch USD 25 billion by 2018: PHD Chamber
Oct 18,2016

India and Germany are bound by tremendous business opportunities and close economic links based on the fundamentals of understanding and support, said Dr. Mahesh Gupta, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a press statement issued here today.

Based on strong complementarily and growth prospects going forward the trade between two nations is expected to touch USD 25 billion by 2018. Currently, India-Germany trade is valued at USD 18.9 billion.

Among various products, Indias thrust products in Germany included organic chemicals (9.57%), non-knitted apparels (8.46%), nuclear reactors and boilers (8.37%), knitted articles (8.16%), electrical equipments (5.76%) of total exports.

Germanys thrust products in India included nuclear reactors and boilers (29.91%), electrical equipments (10.68%), optical, measuring, photographic, medical or surgical equipments (8.14%), vehicles (7.44%), organic chemicals (5.49%) of total exports.

Dr. Mahesh Gupta also added that Indian exports into Germany were mainly focused on Consumer Goods, viz. nearly 54% of the total exports. On the other hand, nearly 61% of the total imports from Germany were focused on Capital Goods.

This clearly describes the characteristics of Germany being heavily endowed with capital-intensive goods is exporting India. On the other hand, India a relatively more labour-intensive nation is exporting more consumer goods to Germany, he said.

It was also highlighted by Dr. Mahesh Gupta that Indias export pattern has become more and more aligned with the import pattern of Germany over time. Both nations witnessed a favourable complementarity scenario.

Also, the basket of exportable products from India remained opulently diversified over the years, thereby rendering Indian exporters relatively less susceptible to volatility in a turbulent trade scenario.

Also, both nation registered satisfactory intra-industry trade numbers with substantial contribution in each others value chain, which is expected to grow further in the coming times, further added Dr. Mahesh Gupta.

Dr. Mahesh Gupta presumes that with further liberalization of FDI policy in different segments and the advent of GST next year, FDI from Germany is expected to touch a new growth trajectory.

Going ahead, it is essential for both the parts to become proactive and adopt deem policies to rejuvenate the falling trend in trade. Both nations should continuously meet and engage in discussions related to mitigating bilateral trade issues, defence ties, renewable energy, skill development and other vital areas.

As India is moving ahead as the front runner in growth of its economy, it needs extrinsic support from all the countries and Germany is one such nation which can truly transform into a sustainable partner for trade and economic growth.

Indias inordinate and skilled human capital highly aligns with the technological capabilities of Germany whereas German companies are competent in rendering infrastructural necessities to India, especially in logistics and construction sectors, added Dr. Mahesh Gupta.

Going ahead, growth prospects for trade and development between two countries are very promising and sustainable, not only for the coming years but for the coming decades, said Dr. Mahesh Gupta.

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Moodys: APAC telecommunications sector sees slowing but healthy revenue and EBITDA growth; outlook stable
Oct 18,2016

Moodys Investors Service says that slowing but still healthy revenue and EBITDA growth drive its stable outlook for the Asia Pacific telecommunications sector over the next 12-18 months.

Organic revenue growth will be broadly in line with our forecast average GDP growth for the region, but lower than the 5.2% growth recorded in 2015, owing to increasing mobile penetration rates and ongoing competition, says Annalisa Di Chiara, a Moodys Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Aggregate EBITDA will grow, albeit slightly, as it did in 2015, but the portfolios average EBITDA margin will contract slightly amid intensifying competition, higher costs for providing data services and investments in margin-dilutive digital businesses, adds Di Chiara.

Moodys conclusions are contained in its recently-released report Telecommunications -- Asia Pacific: Slowing but Still Healthy Revenue and EBITDA Growth Drive Stable Outlook.

Revenue growth, EBITDA generation and margins, and capex intensity are the three factors driving the outlook for the regions telecommunications industry.

Moodys expects year-on-year average revenue growth of 3%-4% over the next 12-18 months, EBITDA growth of 0%-2%, and capex as a percentage of revenue to remain in the 23%-24% range.

EBITDA margins, however, will on average contract slightly to around 39% by year-end 2017 from around 40% at year-end 2015.

Although capex will increase slightly in 2017 as operators continue to build out their 4G networks to handle larger volumes of data traffic, revenue growth will keep the capex-to-revenue ratio stable.

Average debt to EBITDA will also rise slightly in 2016 on incremental debt used for acquisitions, capex and shareholder returns, but will return to 2015 levels next year in 2017 as incremental EBITDA from acquired businesses will help offset the debt raised by these companies.

Liquidity remains a key credit strength for the sector, says Moodys, given the resilience of demand, which provides steady, recurring cash flows. The sector also has demonstrated strong access to the capital markets.

The rated portfolios cash and projected cash flow from operations can cover all their cash demands, including capex, dividends and scheduled debt maturities, over the next 12 months.

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