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Growth rate in Foreign Exchange Earnings in rupee terms in May 2017 over May 2016 was 20.9% compared to growth of 7.9% in May 2016
Jun 19,2017

Ministry of Tourism estimates monthly Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism in India, both in rupee and dollar terms. Based on the credit data of Travel Head from Balance of Payments of RBI.

The highlights of the estimates of FEEs from tourism in India for May 2017 and Jan-May 2017 are as below:-

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in Rs. terms)

n++ FEEs during the month of May 2017 were Rs.12,403 crore as compared to Rs.10,260 crore in May 2016 and Rs.9,505 crore in May 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in May 2017 over May 2016 was 20.9% compared to growth of 7.9% in May 2016 over May 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January- May 2017 were Rs. 74,008 crore with a growth of 19.2%, as compared to the FEE of Rs.62,072 crore with a growth of 14.0% in January- May 2016 over January- May, 2015.

Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in US $ terms)

n++ FEEs in US$ terms during the month of May 2017 were US$ 1.924 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 1.534 billion during the month of May 2016 and US$ 1.491 billion in May 2015.

n++ The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in May 2017 over May 2016 was 25.4% compared to a positive growth of 2.9% in May 2016 over May 2015.

n++ FEEs during the period January-May 2017 were US$ 11.199 billion with a growth of 21.3% as compared to the FEE of US$ 9.231 billion with a growth of 6.0% in January- May 2016 over January- May 2015.

Note: Estimates of FEEs are based on following factors:

I. Per capita FEEs during April-June 2016= RBIs credit figure for travel (April-June 16)/FTAs (April-June 16)

II. FTAs for May 2017.

III. Inflation factor based on CPI (U) for May 2017.

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Shri Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017
Jun 19,2017

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.

The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth. ECBC 2017 sets parameters for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design with the inclusion of passive design strategies. The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

In his address , Shri Goyal, said, I would like to dedicate today ECBC Code 2017 to all the young children of India n++to the future of India for whose sake , it is incumbent on all of us to efficiently utilize every bit of resource , ensure implement such progressive and forward looking programmes of Government very diligently and ensure that we will leave behind for next generation a better world then what we inherited .n++

Shri Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Power, stated that ECBC 2017 will give clear direction and have criteria for new buildings to be Super ECBC: n++The new code reflects current and futuristic advancements in building technology, market changes, and energy demand scenario of the country, setting the benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally.n++

In order for a building to be considered ECBC-compliant, it would need to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%. Additional improvements in energy efficiency performance would enable the new buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status leading to further energy savings of 35% and 50%, respectively.

With the adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction throughout the country, it is estimated to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030. This will translate to energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by 2030 and peak demand reduction of over 15 GW in a year. This will be equivalent to expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and 250 million tonnes of CO2 reduction.

ECBC 2017 was developed by BEE with technical support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S.-India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy - Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.

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Industry Ready for GST: CII
Jun 19,2017

n++Industry is ready for the landmark tax reform of GST, which is expected to bring significant gains for economic growth, employment and exports. CII is undertaking more than 100 workshops across the country to enable enterprises to comply with the new regulations,n++ said Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry. He was referring to industry preparations for implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), slated to be rolled out from July 1.

With just over 2 weeks expected for GST introduction, CII has taken up a range of initiatives to encourage industry to be proactive in managing GST compliance. CII has launched a series of around 100 two-day Training Programmes across India. The workshops are expected to reach out to about 5,000-plus enterprises.

CII has been granted Approved Training Partner (ATP) status to impart GST training by National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) with Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Technical partners are GST Street and Tax Sutra.

Key issues covered in training programme include, among others:

n++Introduction to GST and overview of the model GST law

n++Registration Provisions; Time & Supply and Valuation of Goods & Services

n++Input Tax Credit; Payment of Tax; Cross Utilization of CGST/SGST/IGST

n++GST Returns and Matching of Credit; Refunds

n++IT Enablement and ERP Solutions

n++Transitional Provisions and GST- Impact Study

n++Sectoral Analysis: Manufacturing/Services

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India gives more liberal market turf to US tech majors; ASSOCHAM urges PM Modi to convey Donald Trump
Jun 19,2017

ASSOCHAM has urged Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi to remind President Donald Trump that If Indian IT firms have got a good foothold in the US, American top notch firms like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple, Coke and Pepsi are getting quite a liberal market access in India without any restrictions.

In a technology driven and free market global economy, governed by rule-based multilateral World Trade Organisation, major trading partners should abstain from unilateral restrictions on flow of trade in goods and services. After all, the global economy is inter-dependent, the chamber said, expressing concern over a host of restrictions on visa for Indian IT professionals in the US.

It is a matter of concern that in the name of America First, restrictions are sought to be slapped on Indian IT firms, which are creating jobs in the US as well. Moreover, the software solutions the Indian firms develop for the world market are built around the platforms and tools of the American technology majors. Such a thing should be conveyed to the American President when our Prime Minister meets him during his impending visit to the US, the ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

It said India is among the fastest growing economies in the world, riding on the young consumers ever willing to spend on the global brands without restrictions from the government. Besides, the country is on a major digitization drive, throwing a world of opportunities to the likes Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter. n++Several of Indian infrastructure projects involving traffic and ticketing, customer relationship management, billing and the telecom backbone is running on combination of several hardware-software tools, platform and solutions, bulk of which is sourced from the US companies. Nobody in India, including our political leadership, grudges this. Thus, India is a truly an open and globally -integrated economy. This is what must be told to the new US administration, and there is no need for India to play on a defensive wicket.

The ASSOCHAM said even in the IT services , it is not only the Indian firms like TCS and Infosys which are outsourcing to the American clients but scores of American companies which have set up huge centres in cities like Pune, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Chennai and Hyderabad for their global clients. n++Yes, they do create jobs for Indians, but also repatriate billions of dollars as profits and India is fine with it. Thus, it is absolutely unfair to target Indian firms which are facing increasing pressure in the US through different non-trade measures like visa fee and other unrelated leviesn++.

With its expanding aviation market, India is a huge market for the American and European aircraft makers, besides offering opportunities in the financials. The market access has been given liberally even in agriculture.

n++It is thus a matter of concern that in the name of America First, restrictions are sought to be slapped on Indian IT firms, which are creating jobs in the US as well. Moreover, the software solutions the Indian firms develop for the world market are built around the platforms and tools of the American technology majors. Such a thing should be conveyed to the American President when our Prime Minister meets him during his impending visit to the US, Mr Rawat said.

India runs its overall trade gap of over USD 105 billion in goods alone with rest of the world, being liberal with its imports which aggregated USD 380 billion in 2016-17 while exports were about USD 275 billion. n++We give much more market access to the world than we enjoy elsewhere,n++ the chamber said, adding the US corporates are immensely benefiting by doing business with India and Indian companies and that must be conveyed to the US administrationn++.

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CBDT Notifies Rule 10CB for Secondary Adjustments under Section 92CE of IT Act, 1961
Jun 19,2017

Rule 10CB for operationalising the provisions of secondary adjustment has been notified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes on 15th June, 2017. It prescribes the time limit for repatriation of excess money and the rate of interest to be applied for computing the income in case of failure to repatriate the excess money within the prescribed time limit. Separate rates of interest have been provided for international transactions denominated in Indian currency and in foreign currency. The rates of interest are applicable on an annual basis.

The time limit of 90 days for repatriation of excess money shall begin only when the primary adjustments exceeding Rupees One Crore made in respect of Assessment Year 2017-18 or later, attains finality. Where the transfer pricing order is appealed against by the taxpayer, the time limit for repatriation shall commence only after the appeal is finalised by the appellate authority.

The Finance Act, 2017 inserted section 92CE in the Income-tax Act, 1961 with effect from 1st April, 2018 to provide for secondary adjustment by attributing income to the excess money lying in the hands of the associated enterprise, in order to make the actual allocation of funds consistent with that of the primary transfer pricing adjustment. The provision shall apply to primary adjustments exceeding Rupees One Crore made in respect of Assessment Year 2017-18 onwards.

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RBI paper on co-origination of loans in making: SS Mundra
Jun 19,2017

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working on a paper on co-origination of loans which can become an important way of catering to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), RBI deputy governor, Mr S.S. Mundra said at an ASSOCHAM event.

n++There had been already consultation and discussion with the banking industry because it is something where essentially banking and non-banking lender have to come together. So those consultations were already on, and it is a paper in making. Not that a final view has been taken,n++ said Mr Mundra.

n++The idea is it can be an alliance of only the people who are in the formal lending sector,n++ he said.

He also informed that RBI has been trying to develop a formal co-origination model whereby bank is not financing MFIs (micro finance institutions) and NBFCs (non-banking finance companies) for on-lending to ultimate borrower rather both of them join at each under-writing and loan level thereby sharing the loan amount in agreed percentage.

n++This can bring strength of two sectors together. The MFIs have a better understanding of the ground level, they have the last-mile reach whereas the banks can supplement the resources. Rather than simply going with financing or on-lending, this co-origination can become an important way to cater to MSME sector,n++ further said Mr Mundra.

He suggested the banks that for them to continue with meaningful lending, the one segment which will be very-very important will be MSMEs.

n++For bankers, apart from the market dynamics, the restrictions on their ability to finance large corporates, even the growing competition in the market would make it essential to finance MSMEs and also they should move quickly, relook at their processes and try to become proactive,n++ said Mr Mundra.

He said that it is very important for the lenders be it bankers or the NBFC lenders to understand and appreciate the lifecycle needs of the MSMEs. n++I think putting MSME in one bracket is a big misnomer, they are as different as chalk and cheese. Probably every lender has to think about micro in one particular fashion or may be small and medium there can be another common way of looking at it.n++

Considering that MSME units periodically get in to the cycle of difficulties owing to factors like sudden unexpected demand, he said that it is very important for the banks that products are designed to meet the lifecycle of MSMEs.

Noting the need to supporting the faltering MSMEs he said when we talk about MSMEs we should recognise that failure is the integral part of entrepreneurship. n++This should be recognised, they should be supported in such point of time.n++

He also said that RBI has advised the banks to open more MSME focussed branch offices at MSME clusters which can also act as counselling centers for MSMEs. n++Collaborating with SME association in these clusters can be mutually beneficial for banks and smaller firms.n++

Mr Mundra said that it is imperative to bridge the information asymmetry as large scale ignorance about banking products and practices together with lack of awareness about unfolding economic environment severely ails the MSME entrepreneurs.

n++The borrowers must develop awareness about changing economic dynamics and its impact on their business,n++ he said while adding that MSMEs must not fall in to the lure of quick expansion but should rather look to conserve capital and strengthen their balance sheet.

The RBI deputy governor also said that public sector banks (PSBs) may require capital infusion of over Rs 10,000 from the government than budgeted for the current fiscal on account of higher provisioning for bad loans and haircut on stressed assets.

Besides, he also said that RBI has no plans to issue second list of additional loan defaulters any time soon for bankers to start bankruptcy proceedings.

On farm loan waiver, he said that RBIs stand has been articulated several times including in the last monetary policy statement. n++As far as implementation and other parts are concerned I do not think we need to work as an agency for that.n++

In terms of the consolidation plans of the government, Mr Mundra said that nothing has so far has come to the regulator.

Earlier, in his speech he said that MSME sector will continue to remain relevant even in a scenario where more automation and artificial intelligence comes into picture as it involves local production for local consumption and services are generated locally for local requirement.

Highlighting the need to focus on work creation instead of job creation, he said, n++For all policymakers I would like to mention that whenever any policy is formed, it should be judged on one very important criteria that this policy will be instrumental in creating how many new jobs in the country.n++

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Relaxation in return filing procedure for first two months of GST implementation
Jun 19,2017

With the objective of ensuring smooth rollout of GST and taking into account the concerns expressed by the trade and industry regarding filing of the returns in GST regime, it has been decided that, for the first two months of GST implementation, the tax would be payable based on a simple return (Form GSTR-3B) containing summary of outward and inward supplies which will be submitted before 20th of the succeeding month. However, the invoice-wise details in regular GSTR - 1 would have to be filed for the month of July and August, 2017 as per the timelines given below -
       MonthGSTR - 3BGSTR - 1GSTR - 2 (auto populated from GSTR-1)July, 201720th August 1st - 5th September*6th - 10th SeptemberAugust, 201720th September16th - 20th September21st  - 25th September

* Facility for uploading of outward supplies for July, 2017 will be available from 15th July, 2017.

No late fees and penalty would be levied for the interim period. This is intended to provide a sense of comfort to the taxpayers and give them an elbow room to attune themselves with the requirements of the changed system. This not only underlines the governments commitment towards ensuring that all the stakeholders are on board but also provides an opportunity to the taxpayers to be ready for this historic reform.

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Need to establish legal infrastructure for India to take lead in AI field: Study
Jun 19,2017

India should take lead in establishing a legal infrastructure on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to become a frontrunner, suggested a recent ASSOCHAM-PwC joint study.

The jointly conducted study by ASSOCHAM-PwC highlighted how an early public sector interest could trigger a spurt of activity in the AI field in India, instead of waiting for technology to reach a level where regulatory intervention becomes necessary.

It also said that a range of application for AI techniques in large-scale public endeavours like Make in India, Skill India and others could range from crop insurance schemes, tax fraud detection, and detecting subsidy leakage and defence and security strategy.

n++If investments are made in the two initiatives without due cognisance of how Industry 4.0 (the next industrial revolution driven by robotic automation) may evolve with respect to demand for workforce size and skill sets, there is a possibility of ending up with capital-intensive infrastructures and assets that fall short of being optimised for automated operations and a large workforce skilled in areas growing beyond the need for manual intervention only,n++ it added.

The report stated that Make in India initiative which focuses on twin goals of strengthening countrys in-house innovation and production capabilities with added creation of employment opportunities may not end up creating nearly as many jobs as it is poised to at this point in time.

Information technology (IT), manufacturing, agriculture and forestry are certain sectors that are expected to experience shrinkage of employment demand as robotic systems and machine learning algorithms take up several tasks, the report said.

Highlighting how AI can be effectively used in execution of government schemes, the report said that deep learning, a part of AI, can be employed to tackle issues of scale often prevalent in such schemes.

n++It is essentially a process that can be used for pattern recognition, image analysis and natural language processing (NLP) by modelling high-level abstractions in data which can then be compared with various other recognised contents in a conceptual way rather than using just a rule-based method,n++ it said.

The study further said that in comparison to the West and frontrunners of AI adoption in Asia, such as China and Korea, the culture and infrastructure needed to develop a base for the adoption of AI in mainstream applications in India is in need of an impetus.

Indian academics, researchers and entrepreneurs face a more acute challenge than corporates do in terms of the less than ideal infrastructure available for an AI revolution in India.

As such it is imperative in India to foster a culture of innovation and research beyond the organisation as is common in global technology giants. n++To encourage the same level of innovation in AI research efforts in India, initiatives to hold events and build user communities in the field of AI will go a long way.n++

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Ind-Ra: Demonetisation Could Cause Capital Erosion for MFIs
Jun 17,2017

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) says that following demonetisation and political interferences, microfinance institutions (MFIs), including non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and small finance banks (SFBs), with exposure to states (Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh) faced with asset quality overhang stare at significant credit costs and capital erosion in FY18.

Demonetisation Brings Inherent Issues to Fore: The current upheaval has validated Ind-Ras earlier opinion of borrower overleverage and idiosyncratic and systemic risks (due to political ecosystem) prevalent in the industry. Furthermore, borrower discipline, a key ingredient for the smooth functioning of microfinance, has severely deteriorated in certain districts of affected states and may take years to be restored. In addition, MFIs need to structurally look beyond joint liability group (JLG) loans for loan growth and product diversification by building capabilities.

Collection Pick-Up Slower than Ind-Ra Expectations: Ind-Ras analysis of MFIs within and outside of its coverage indicates that the aggregate collection efficiency (CE; collection/billing for that month; aggregate CE includes CE for the period November 2016-May 2017) of the majority of MFIs (with significant exposure to affected states) on portfolio outstanding as of December 2016 was 75%-80% in May 2017 compared with a low of 50%-60% in December 2016. Maharashtra was one of the worst affected states, with monthly collections in some districts in single digits. During the revival period after December 2016, the intensity of political interference in affected states was such that demand for loan waivers did not die down in some districts even after local elections.

Equity Erosion Possible: Ind-Ras analysis indicates that in case collections (on portfolio as on 31 December 16) do not increase from the current level, MFIs with significant exposure to affected states and with aggregate loans under management of INR10 billion and above could incur credit costs and capital erosion and, thus, higher leverage. At 80%, these MFIs could require an equity of INR1 billion-3 billion (depending on loans under management) to ensure their capital levels remain over the regulatory minimum. The aggregate recovery level on the December 2016 portfolio should exceed at least 85% by 2QFY18-3QFY18 to prevent capital erosion beyond the regulatory minimum, without additional infusion for some MFIs. At 95% collections on portfolio at end-December 2016, MFIs are likely to witness marginal capital erosion.

Lower-than-worse-case credit costs and equity erosions are supported by the fact that 15%-20% of assets under management of MFIs are off-balance-sheet, where credit enhancements, over-collateralisation and first loss default guarantees could range between 5% and 15% (on an aggregate basis).

Unintentionally Defaulting Borrower Unlikely to Clear Four or More EMIs: Ind-Ras borrower interactions over the last six months indicate that earning members have lost one-three-month wages/income due to demonetisation in FY17. However, business almost recovered in 1QFY18. The analysis suggests that incremental incomes of such borrowers in FY18 would be enough to repay three missed EMIs at best. However, MFIs may need to take haircuts on borrowers that have missed more than three EMIs or are intentional defaulters. The extension of loans by three months may work if default is unintentional.

Focus on Idiosyncratic Risk Mitigation: Microfinance: Borrower Overleverage Warrants Course Correction from MFIs indicated that MFIs need to go back to basics by focusing on vintage, quality of penetration (incremental borrowers to be new-to-microfinance), low ticket sizes, product diversification (one size fits all approach may not be incrementally fit for its borrowers). Ind-Ra opines that investors in MFIs need to increase their investment horizons to enable MFIs to develop tested products over one-two loan cycles. Over time, the regulator may relook at qualifying asset requirements to expand the target borrower segment for MFIs.

Time to Look Beyond JLG: Ind-Ra acknowledges that JLG loans address an important credit need and have an important role in financial inclusion. However, borrower selection and operating processes need to be reassessed, as pointed in Microfinance: Borrower Overleverage Warrants Course Correction from MFIs. Moreover, MFIs need to develop expertise in other secured and unsecured credit products and roll them out gradually (early experience not pleasant for most MFIs). Instead of pursuing growth, they need to adopt best practices of NBFCs, minimise employee churn, and innovate lending and risk sharing mechanisms.

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Kharif Crop Sown in 92.85 Lakh Hectare so far
Jun 16,2017

The total sown area as on 16th June 2017, as per reports received from States, stands at 92.85 lakh hectare as compared to 87.59 lakh hectare at this time last year.

            It is reported that rice has been sown/transplanted in 9.22 lakh ha, pulses in 2.22 lakh ha, sugarcane in 47.52 lakh hectare and cotton in 16.67 lakh ha.

             The details of the area covered so far and that covered during this time last year are given below:

                                                                                                                              Lakh hectare 

CropArea sown in 2017-18Area sown in 2016-17Rice9.229.40Pulses2.223.63Coarse Cereals8.447.65Oilseeds1.882.63Sugarcane47.5244.82Jute & Mesta6.907.22Cotton16.6712.25Total92.8587.59

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Setting up of GST Facilitation Cell in DIPP
Jun 16,2017

In pursuance to Cabinet Secretarys directions a GST facilitation cell has been set up in the Department with a view to facilitate the rollout of GST. The GST facilitation cell is headed by Sh. Sudhansu Sekhar Das, Economic Adviser. The cell shall have the following functions:

(i) Be in Constant touch with the major industry and business associations relating to the Department.

(ii) Shall be the first point of contact for addressing any issue being faced by any sector related to the Department.

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Gem & Jewellery Training Institute set up in Udupi, Karnataka, First of its kind in Southern India, aims to boost G&J sector in the region
Jun 16,2017

Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman laid the Foundation Stone for a premier Gem & Jewellery Training Institute in Udupi, Karnataka . Indian Institute of Gems & Jewellery (IIGJ) is being set up in association with National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad. This training centre shall be amongst the series of Training Institutes & Facility Centres set up by GJEPC (Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council) across India. With IIGJ Udupi , GJEPC forays into Education & Training field in the Southern India for the first time.

Addressing the function Smt. Sitharaman said that Across the Globe, the best of jewellery pieces are majority hand made. Global retail giants like Cartier, Boucheron or Van Cliff command premium prices for their hand made jewellery. She said India, whose forte lies in crafting most intricate handmade jewellery should capitalise on this opportunity by building necessary infrastructure.The Minister said by setting up institutes like IIGJ and other facility centres GJEPC once again has come forward to further equip Indian Gem & Jewellery sector and make it globally competitive. She said she was confident that IIGJ in Udupi will aid in providing exciting career opportunities to youth of surrounding regions in this sector.

Mr. Manoj Dwivedi, Joint secretary said With over 100 retail stores and engaging workforce of over 5000 people, Udupi boasts of a rich jewellery lineage. By setting up IIGJ here, GJEPC envisions to productively use the talent available here by providing required training and guidance.He said GJEPC has joined hands with NID, Ahmedabad to ensure that best of jewellery and manufacturing courses are offered to the enrolled students. He applauded GJEPC for taking this visionary step which would not only skill the youth but also create more job opportunities in Southern India.

Commenting on setting up of Institute, Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman, GJEPC said that IIGJ in Udupi is one of the ambitious projects taken up by GJEPC to tap the unutilised potential of youth in this region and thereby giving a significant boost to Indian G& J sector. This Institute strongly embodies Honourable Prime Ministers Make in India initiative and much professed emphasis on design & handmade jewellery. It is closely aligned with the vision of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honourable Commerce & Industry Minister to establish a one of its kind, full-fledged Jewellery Institute at Udupi with strong Design focus. He said this is yet another step towards the pursuit of n++Skill Indian++.

The Institute will provide training to the youth in the region in various aspects of hand-crafted jewellery making, which could eventually lead to employment opportunities in the G & J sector. It will also aim at enhancing the skills of the existing work force already engaged with the industry. Creation and upgradation of such trained work force will in turn help in fostering development of the local jewellery industry.

The Institute will focus on three levels of skills:

1. NEW SKILLING for developing fresh skills in candidates who have no prior domain learning/working knowledge of jewellery

2. UP-SKILLING for upgrading the skills of candidates who have prior domain learning and are already working in the sector.

3. Give a design & technological orientation to the local industry to be competitive in the Indian & world market

Keeping the objectives in mind, the Institute shall offer Manufacturing & CAD designing courses on jewellery. Indian Diamond Institute, based in Surat & IIGJ has been involved on behalf of GJEPC to collaboratively develop the programme curriculum with NID, Indias Premier Design Institution.

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Ind-Ra: Qatar Diplomatic Isolation Credit Neutral for LNG Industry in India
Jun 16,2017

The recent diplomatic events involving Qatar are unlikely to have a near-term impact on the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) volumes imported into India by Petronet LNG Limited (PLL; IND AA+/Positive), says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) as LNG vessels continue to sail for India from Ras Laffan Gas Terminal (Ras-Gas). In Ind-Ras assessment this event is credit neutral on PLL. Thus, Ind-Ra does not factor in any immediate volume or price impact on the end-user industries viz. fertiliser, power, refinery and city gas distribution.

Moreover, in case LNG supplies from Qatar are affected, there is ample liquidity in the spot LNG markets globally and hence volumes disruption, if any, will be for a limited period. However, the diplomatic stand-off in Ind-Ras opinion highlights geopolitical concentration of Indias energy imports.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar recently and cut-off land, sea and air contact. Qatar exports its LNG largely through Strait of Hormuz which passes though Iranian and Omani territorial waters and transit through the Strait is protected under a UN Convention. While LNG exports from Qatar could be threatened in the event that Iran and Oman restrict shipments from Qatar, the possibility of this is remote given Irans diplomatic stance. Moreover, Fitch Ratings in its report Fitch: Duration of Diplomatic Dispute is Key to Qatar Impact believes that the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members do not desire to completely alienate Qatar, which suggests that both sides will work towards a relatively swift resolution.

The immediate fallout of the diplomatic isolation is limited to fuel costs of LNG vessels, as vessels heading to Qatar or arriving from Qatar are not able to halt at the port of Fujairah, which is a key bunkering port. This means that LNG vessels use LNG as fuel instead of FO/LSHS. Ind-Ra notes that the switch-over is unlikely to have any material impact on the transportation costs (around USD 0.35/mmbtu) and on the profitability of PLL. However, PLLs long term contract with Qatar extends till 2028 and Ind-Ra discounts the possibility of an immediate second renegotiation given that the contract has already been renegotiated recently. Hence the long-term LNG imports from Qatar into India are unlikely to be repriced significantly and will continue to track crude prices.

Ind-Ra notes that though the LNG volumes from Qatar have not been directly impacted due to the diplomatic stand-off, the same could be under threat if short-term LNG prices remain soft as compared to long-term ones, which Ind-Ra expects to be the case. Ind-Ra notes that the LNG market has transitioned to a buyers market from a sellers market and the buyers would flex their power after expiry of the existing long term contracts. Qatars diplomatic stand-off adds to the buyers advantage as Qatar depends on the oil and gas for 50% of its gross domestic product and would be keen to retain its exports.

India Ratings had highlighted in the report Spot Liquefied Natural Gas Prices Fall 15%-21% Lower Than Term Prices, Could Impact Long-Term Volumes that spot LNG prices are likely to remain benign, as LNG markets become buyer dominated from supplier dominated. This would be driven by a combination of: (i) significant supply-side capacity additions, (ii) peaking of demand from major LNG importers (Korea, Japan and China), (iii) competition from alternate fuels such as fuel oil and coal, (iv) increase in the share of non-long-term LNG, (v) expiration of long-term LNG contracts and (vi) increased competition in the Indian LNG market.

Globally, the LNG liquefaction capacity stood at 301.5mtpa as of January 2016. Over the next five years, the International Gas Union estimates that capacity will grow by 46% (141.5mtpa, primarily in North America (62mtpa) and Australia (53.8mtpa). It is also interesting to note that nearly 890mtpa of new liquefaction capacity is proposed, with 670mtpa in US and Canada alone, on account of the shale gas supplies. According to India Ratings, even if a significant part of this proposed capacity does not come on-stream the supply will remain significantly higher than demand. Moreover, in an oversupplied market, the key liquefaction players presently (Qatar and Australia) could price gas at operating costs. Additionally, renegotiation of long-term contracts in India in terms of pricing formula and destination flexibility, points to the leverage that buyers are enjoying in the LNG market.

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Atal Pension Yojana (APY) can now be subscribed digitally
Jun 16,2017

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has now introduced n++APY@eNPSn++ which involves a complete digital enrolment process. This is the latest in the series of various initiatives taken by PFRDA for expansion of outreach of Atal Pension Yojana (APY), to give additional push to cover the as yet unreached population at greater ease. PFRDA has conducted meetings with Banks and Deptt of Post at Kolkata, Bengaluru & Mumbai respectively for the earliest roll out of the facility call.

The APY was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 9th May, 2015 and became operational from 1st June, 2015. APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on the age of joining the APY.

APY subscribers base is more than 54 Lakhs subscribers. APY fund managers have generated a return of 13.91%.

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Water Storage Level of 91 major reservoirs of the Country continues to be at 20% of their capacity
Jun 16,2017

The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on June 15, 2017 was 30.903 BCM, which is 20% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 20 for the week ending on June 08, 2017. The level of June 15, 2017 was 126% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 107% of storage of average of last ten years.

The total storage capacity of these 91 reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62% of the total storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.

REGION WISE STORAGE STATUS:-

NORTHERN REGION

The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are six reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 4.82 BCM which is 27% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 23% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 28% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year but is less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

EASTERN REGION

The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 3.76 BCM which is 20% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 18% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 16% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

WESTERN REGION

The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 27.07 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 5.95 BCM which is 22% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 11% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 20% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the storage of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

CENTRAL REGION

The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 42.30 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 12.50 BCM which is 30% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 20% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 15% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the storage of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

SOUTHERN REGION

The Southern region includes States of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states) Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. There are 31 reservoirs under CWC monitoring having total live storage capacity of 51.59 BCM. The total live storage available in these reservoirs is 3.88 BCM which is 8 % of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 11% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 17% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the corresponding period of last year and is also less than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Tripura, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period are AP&TG (Two combined projects in both states). States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

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