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Ready to start consultative process on private investment in railways: Rajen Gohain, MoS Railways
Oct 20,2016

Railway Ministry urges private sector to make investments in railway infrastructure, for which they are ready to offer an attractive and investment friendly environment particularly looking at investment partners in 400+ station building projects for high return on investment, said Mr Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railway at an ASSOCHAM event.

We have to move merely providing rail infrastructure to other support services such as technology up gradation, better logistic support and better passenger services in an integrated manner, said Mr Rajen Gohain, Minister of State for Railways, while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on ASSOCHAM International Summit on Invest Rail .

n++Need of the hour in Indian Railways is the massive investment and new technology without which we cannot move to become a world class transporter. Thus, the plan is to increase investment to nearly one trillion rupees in the next decaden++, said Mr Rajen Gohain.

Thus, Rail is the right forum for investment that can address nearly all investments challenges such as ensuring reduced global warming, volatile fuel costs, having lower energy consumption, reducing urban congestion, having less land usage, servicing an aging population and making transportation accessible to all ages across all income brackets. In addition, rail has lower infrastructure renewal and maintenance cost which is often mentioned as 20 times lower per ton kilometre that other forms.

n++Investment in rail will thus help in the planets sustainable and environmental goals and help in meeting the greenhouse gas emission targets. In addition, rail offers a more stable and sustainable form of transportation. We, in Indian Railways, are thus trying to have a collaborative approach in bringing governments, local authorities, railways and other stakeholders on the same wave length for a more sustainable form of transport systemn++, mentioned Mr. Gohain.

Investing in rail stimulates the economy while reducing CO2 emissions and urban congestion. As many countries worldwide plan to step up their investments in rail over the next decade, we in Indian Railways can and must do more. While India has the worlds fourth largest rail network, it has been outstripped by /china, which now has more than six times as much track following an intensive expansion and modernisation of its network over the past two decades. We are thus also looking in using PPP more- or as articulated in the coming years. We aim to keep people at the centre of all our activities and investments in our journey, said Railway Minister.

Indian Railways has one of the biggest network in the world and is recognised as one of the largest organisation under single management. It is also an admitted fact that for the past couple of centuries, transportation has fuelled the worlds economy. In this context, for the countrys economic and environmental health, it is thus time to restore the balance between road, air and rail.

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MoU Signed between NICPR and All India Institute of Ayurveda for Cancer Prevention and Research
Oct 20,2016

An MoU was signed between the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), an autonomous institute under Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), an autonomous institute under the Ministry of AYUSH. The main objective of the MoU is to set up a Center of Integrative Oncology at NICPR-Noida as joint venture of Ministry of AYUSH and Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for collaboration in the areas of cancer prevention, research and Care.

The MoU was signed by Prof. Abhimanyu Kumar, Director- AIIA and Prof. Ravi Mehrotra, Director- NICPR. This MoU would pave the way to carry forward the ongoing bilateral dialogue and facilitate collaboration with National Cancer Institute, USA.

Setting up of this Centre is an outcome of the deliberations held in Indo-US Workshop where in the invited US delegates from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NIH) deliberated with the eminent experts from India having expertise in Cancer research and other promising areas for two days to share experiences and work out a road map for future collaborations.

Dr. Swaminathan while appreciating the initiative observed that the main aim should be to reduce the incidence of cancer for which preventive aspects with the strengths of AYUSH systems should be explored. She viewed that the collaborative research should aim at developing traditional medicine as adjuvant therapy to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. She emphasized on collaborative studies both short term and long term involving institutions of repute at national and international level.

Shri Sharan appreciated the efforts and assured that funding would not be a constraint in carrying out the activities under the MoU. He outlined the five major action points as follows:-

n++ Awarding 10 new research fellowships every year - The process for the first batch will be completed by March, 2017.

n++ Minimum of five collaborative research projects will be supported in the financial year 2016-2017.

n++ Ministry would also develop few Centres of Excellence for cancer research and has identified the AIIA and the Rajaram Deo Anadilal Poddar Ayurveda Cancer Research Institute, Mumbai, a unit of Centre Council for Research in Ayurveda Sciences (CCRAS). This would be done by March, 2017.

n++ A Steering Committee and Scientific Advisory committee would be jointly constituted by the Ministry of AYUSH and the Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & F.W by Dec, 2016

n++ International Conferences would be organised annually.

On this significant occasion, a Web portal on Network for AYUSH Cancer Care (NFACC) developed by the AIIA was also launched by Secretary, AYUSH. The portal would help to collect the national data of experts, scientists, practitioners, institutes, universities located across the country and engaged in cancer care & research. An online App of NFACC has also been developed. This app will be available on the website of various AYUSH institutions which will provide a hyperlink to the main Portal. In future, this portal will have collection of research papers related to Cancer care, information about the facilities available for Cancer care through AYUSH systems.

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Railway stations and surrounding areas to be redeveloped under Smart City Plans
Oct 20,2016

In a major initiative, railway stations and adjoining areas will be redeveloped on Smart City lines for enhancing passenger amenities, easy access to stations, enabling optimal utilization of land at railway stations, as a part of Smart City development.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today in this regard by the Ministries of Urban Development and Railways in the presence of Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu and Shri Suresh Prabhu. Dr.Sameer Sharma, Mission Director, Smart City Mission and Shri Rajiv Chaudhary, Advisor, Ministry of Railways signed the MoU.

Both the Ministers lauded the joint initiative as a historic landmark that brings synergy in development of smart cities since there cant be a smart city without a smart railway station. Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said on the occasion that this convergence based city development will result in qualitative improvement in city life. He suggested involvement of local people in redevelopment plans.

Shri Naidu suggested that to begin with 10 cities could be taken up for the proposed redevelopment with the involvement of National Buildings Construction Corporation(NBCC) which has successfully executed redevelopment projects on self-financing basis. These cities are : Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Bhubaneswwar, Lucknow, Varnasi, Jaipur, Kota, Thane, Margao(Goa), Tirupati and Puducherry. This was agreed to by Railway Minister.

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu said that railway stations have been the core of city development and have become congested over time and their redevelopment offers immense opportunities for changing city landscape. Stating that redevelopment work of Habibganj railway station has already been awarded and plans for Anand Vihar (Delhi), Surat, Bijwasan and Gandhinagar are in advanced stage. He said that several countries like Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, UK and Belgium have showed interest in redevelopment and a Round Table of domestic and overseas bankers will be organized next week to discuss financing of these redevelopment projects.

To be implemented first in the 100 cities included in the Smart City Mission, redevelopment of railway stations will be undertaken in AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and HRIDAY (Heritage Infrastructure Development and Augmentation Yojana) cities extending the scope of the MoU to over 500 cities.

Railway station and the adjoining area in each of these cities will be redeveloped on the lines of Area Based Development provided in the Smart City Mission Guidelines. Average cost of redevelopment of identified area of about 500 acres in the Smart City Plans of 60 cities approved so far comes to about Rs.1,500 cr. The proposed redevelopment involving railway stations envisages improving passenger amenities, easy access to stations, integrated public transport hub, waiting halls and other amenities for passengers, development of residential and commercial spaces, land scaping etc.

The joint initiative of the Ministries of Urban Development and Railways widens the smart city development to one more area in each of the mission cities with each city required to select one area under respective Smart City Plans in the first phase.

The MoU proposes two Joint Venture options for speedy redevelopment of railway station centred areas. The first being between the Railways and the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) formed for execution of Smart City Plans, with equal share in equity. In the second model, National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) can be roped in with equal share among the three. NBCC can design, develop and execute the redevelopment plans on self-financing basis.

While the Ministry of Railways takes the responsibility of forming Joint Ventures, the Ministry of Urban Development will work with the States and Urban Local Bodies for integrating railway station redevelopment as part of smart city development plans.

MoU states that Both railway station redevelopment and Smart City concepts are part of holistic development of respective city. Redevelopment of railway station and its suburbs as part of Smart City Plans leads to an integrated public transport hub around railway station and encourage Transit Oriented Development.n++

The validity of the MoU is five years to begin with and can be extended with the consent of both the Ministries.

Smart City Plans of some cities have already included area based development surrounding railway stations. These include; Bhubaneswar, Thane and Solapur (Maharashtra), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Hubli-Dharwad (Karnataka).

Smart City Plans of some other cities may potentially impact city railway station and allied services. These include; Jaipur, Kochi, Jabalpur, Visakhapatnam, Indore, Pune, Bhopal, Chennai etc.

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Cabinet Secretary reviews availability and prices of essential commodities
Oct 19,2016

Cabinet Secretary, Shri PK Sinha today reviewed availability and the prices of essential commodities at a high-level meeting with Secretaries of Consumer Affairs, Agriculture, Food & Public Distribution, Commerce, Expenditure and others. It was observed that the recent measures taken by the Central Government have helped containing prices of most of the pulses, which are showing declining trends, and other essential commodities except Chana and Sugar. Cabinet Secretary directed Department of Consumer Affairs to consider all options to check the prices of both the commodities. He said that distribution of the Chana dal and other pulses should be taken up through postal network.

Consumer Affairs Secretary was also asked to pursue states to impose stock limits and to carry dehoarding drives to ensure availability of all the essential commodities during ongoing festival season. The meeting also reviewed distribution of pulses to the State Government from the buffer stock

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Moodys: Carbon reduction policies bring risk, opportunities for global unregulated utilities
Oct 19,2016

Global unregulated utilities and power companies, as the largest source of carbon emissions in most developed countries, will need to contribute a large share of the emission reductions agreed under the Paris Agreement , says Moodys Investors Service in a new report published today. However, generators with the right business mix may find opportunities, while supportive policies in some markets may ease the transition for those negatively affected. Moodys report, titled Global Unregulated Utilities and Power Companies: Carbon Transition Brings Risks and Opportunities, is available on Moodys subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release. We expect to see a continued rise in renewable energy, more distributed generation, and overall lower growth in the demand for energy as a result of efficiency improvements. Disruptive technologies, including energy storage, could also challenge the economics of power generation businesses, says Graham Taylor, a Moodys Vice President -- Senior Analyst and one of the reports authors.

These trends have already had a material impact on the credit quality of some utilities, particularly in Europe, and will pose an increasing challenge for those with material exposure to higher-cost generation, adds Mr Taylor.

However, utilities with flexible generation, competitive advantage in developing renewables, or innovative service offerings may be better positioned to weather changes in the sector.

Moodys will consider utilities ability to adapt to changing policies and market conditions in its assessment of their credit quality. As a starting point, its assessment will use a central scenario consistent with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) agreed at the United Nations Paris Conference. In addition, Moodys analysis will also qualitatively consider a wider range of potential outcomes, depending upon either a more or less rapid carbon transition.

In its central scenario, Moodys expects a drop in revenues for power generators currently earning significant profits from selling electricity at market prices, as the growth of low-cost or subsidised renewable generation weighs on wholesale prices. Plants that are more carbon-intensive compared to their local market may also be unable to recover the higher costs imposed by carbon taxes and similar measures. However, even as generators with high variable costs are able to run profitably for increasingly short periods, efficient and flexible plants may benefit by balancing renewables.

We will also incorporate regional variations in the profitability of various fuels. For example, in the US low prices will drive strong demand for natural gas over the next decade despite it being a fossil fuel. Gas is seen as a less carbon-intensive bridge to a cleaner energy future, said Swami Venkataraman, Senior Vice-President and one of the reports authors.

Moodys recognises that disruptive technologies are likely to transform the electric system over time. Broader deployment of renewables as well as smart meters and appliances, distributed generation, energy storage and smart grids will challenge companies focused on centralised energy generation.

Utilities with regulated transmission and distribution networks and other sources of highly-predictable earnings may be more resilient, although these may also become more risky over time as distributed generation shifts the burden of network costs.

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Moodys: Higher Equity Prices and Lower Bond Yields Drive Rise in Moodys Global Asset Price Index
Oct 19,2016

Global asset prices continued to pick up in the third quarter as equity markets rose in nearly all countries and declining bond yields boosted prices in most sovereign bond markets, Moodys Investors Service said in a quarterly report.

Moodys Global Asset Price Monitor Q3 2016 report, which analyses price trends in equities, bond markets, property, foreign exchange and private credit, found that asset prices are at elevated levels in advanced economies (AEs), while emerging market (EM) prices show fewer signs of overheating.

Equity markets advanced in virtually all countries we track during the third quarter, but are still below their 10-year averages when the data is adjusted for nominal GDP growth, said Rahul Ghosh, a Moodys Vice President -- Senior Credit Officer and the reports co-author. Bond prices in advanced economies are elevated across the board, while many emerging markets are also benefitting from strong investor demand.

Advanced economies equity markets are looking more expensive than those in emerging markets. Elevated equity indices, accompanied by high price-to-earnings ratios, point to risks of asset price corrections in the United States, Denmark and Sweden.

In three-quarters of the global bond markets that the Moodys monitor tracks, yields were at least one standard deviation below their 10-year average, compared to two-thirds in the previous quarter. Real yields - calculated as the sovereign yield less consumer price inflation - are near post-crisis lows in AEs, but remain at around 10-year average levels in EMs.

House prices to GDP were high in Norway, Sweden and, to a lesser extent, Austria, Germany and Australia. In EMs, prices were high in Turkey and showed some elevation in Malaysia in relation to income.

Safe haven currencies, including the US Dollar, Swiss Franc and Singapore Dollar, remain elevated based on 10-year averages, while most EM currencies appear undervalued by the same metric.

The British pound was a significant underperformer as political uncertainty following the UKs vote to leave the European Union and monetary easing weighed heavily on the currency.

Mexico, Argentina and China recorded the strongest pick-up in private credit to income from a year ago. Chinas credit boom stands out amongst EM economies in terms of both its rate of growth and when compared to income levels.

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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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