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The severity of the cash crunch, in conjunction with a slow pace of remonetization, led to a slowdown in economic activity in India
May 09,2017

On November 8, 2016, the Government of India withdrew the legal tender status of all existing 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes, effective the next day, in a bid to nullify n++black moneyn++ hoarded in cash, address tax evasion, tackle counterfeiting, and curb financing of terrorism. The initiative affected notes with a total value of about 15 trillion rupees, which accounted for about 86 percent of all cash in circulation. At the time of the withdrawal, the introduction of a new series of 500 and 2,000 rupee banknotes was announced. However, the supply of new banknotes in the months following the initiative was insufficient, even as the authorities took multiple steps to ease the currency transition. While there was no limit on the amount of bank deposits for the phased-out bills, the scarcity of new banknotes prompted the government to suspend cash exchanges and impose tight caps on cash withdrawals by individuals as well as by corporations. As disruptions to payments arose, several temporary exemptions were granted to ease the cash crunch. These exemptions aimed at easing transactions in some public offices and for the farming sector, as well as making payments for public utility services and purchasing key primary products.

The key factor behind the short-term economic disruptions was the primarily cash-based nature of the Indian economy and its limited electronic payments infrastructure. At end-2015, currency in circulation in India stood at about 12 percent of GDP, one of the highest levels among countries covered by the Bank for International Settlements Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure. Cash accounted for about threequarters of the narrow money base, as a large number of households (particularly in rural areas of India) rely on cash for everyday transactions. Numbers of bank branches and ATMs per capita are relatively low in India; few payment cards with a cash function exist; and the average number of transactions per Indian made with payments instruments in 2015 totaled 11 transactions.

The severity of the cash crunch, in conjunction with a slow pace of remonetization, led to a slowdown in economic activity. Indias Purchasing Managers Index for services, which also covers retail and wholesale trade, collapsed from 55 in October 2016 to 43 in November, 2016. The growth of credit to the nonfood private sector decelerated from 9 percent at end-October 2016 to a 10-year low of just 4 percent by end-December, 2016. The consumer goods component of the index of industrial production declined by about 7 percent in December 2016, with production of consumer durables falling by 10 percent. Domestic sales of motor vehicles declined by 20 percent in December 2016 compared to December 2015, with the largest drop taking place in Indias mass-consumer-oriented segment of three-wheel and two-wheel passenger vehicles. Although the slowdown in industrial activity has been relatively muted, with overall industrial production falling by less than n++ of 1 percent from the previous year, investment activity appears to have been severely affected. As per the data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy, the number of new investment projects announced during the October-December 2016 quarter was the lowest in over a decade, and their combined value was only about one-half of the average recorded during the previous two years. While the remonetization proceeded slowly over the first few months, about 75 percent of the pre-demonetization level of currency in circulation was restored by late March.

IMF staff analysis suggests that, compared to the October 2016 IMF World Economic Outlook forecasts, cash shortages are likely to slow FY2016/17 growth by about 4/5 of 1 percentage point and FY2017/18 growth by about n++ of 1 percentage point. A decline in currency supply can be calibrated as a temporary tightening of monetary conditions, using previous money demand studies for India.1 The currency shortage associated with the currency exchange, assumed by the staff to gradually unwind through early 2017, corresponds to a substantial tightening of monetary conditions in the initial weeks of the initiative, which will ease as currency is replaced. Consequently, based on the IMFs India Quarterly Projection Model, GDP growth is expected to slow in the second half of FY2016/17, before gradually rebounding in the course of FY2017/18. An analysis of sectoral accounts that takes reliance on cash into account leads to similar estimates of growth for fiscal years 2016/17 and 2017/18. It is likely, however, that national accounts statistics, at least in the near term, may understate the economic impact of the cash crunch. Specifically, the impact on the informal economy and cash-based sectors, which are relatively large and have been affected the most by the cash crunch, is likely to be understated because these sectors are either not covered in the official statistics or are proxied by the formal sector activity indicators. Nonetheless, the economic repercussions from the currency withdrawal remain a key domestic risk in India, in part as the near-term adverse economic impact of accompanying cash shortages remains difficult to gauge.

Notwithstanding the near-term economic disruptions, the currency withdrawal and exchange initiative may help secure some long-term gains, particularly if complemented by reforms to strengthen Indias formal economy and the financial system. The scope for medium-term gains could span several dimensions:

n++ Fiscal gains- Bank deposits of large amounts (above US$4,000) were expected to attract high scrutiny from the Indian tax authorities and the information obtained as a result of income verification could lead to a durable impact on the tax revenue base. With only about 1 percent of the Indian population paying personal income taxes, the scope for broadening the tax base is clearly large. In principle, unreturned cash could also produce a one off revenue gain for the Reserve Bank of India that can enable an increased dividend transfer to the Government of India. Any such windfall revenue would need to be clearly established, should be only realized once, and should be absorbed prudently and preferably in a nonrecurring manner, for example through greater capital injections to public sector banks.

n++ Banking sector liquidity-The increase in banking system liquidity as a result of the currency exchange initiative has been massive, and it can reduce banks funding costs and thereby lead to a decline in bank lending rates. With a surge in bank deposits and waning demand for credit, the weighted average lending rate of banks on new loans declined by 56 basis points during November 2016 to January 2017. That said, even though the financial system is expected to weather the currency-exchange-induced temporary growth slowdown, the authorities should remain vigilant to risksn++in view of the potential further buildup of nonperforming loans, including among private banks and elevated corporate sector vulnerabilitiesn++and ensure prudent support to the affected economic sectors.

n++ Digitalization and de-cashing-The demonetization initiative can be seen as a follow-up to Indian authorities strong policy push toward greater financial inclusion. Over the past few years, 250 million previously unbanked Indians have been provided with a bank account, and more efficient customer identification is now in place, including with the rollout of a unique identification number (Aadhaar) and the adoption of know-your-customer technologies. More recently, an important technological milestone was the rollout of the Unified Payment Interface, which is an instant virtual fund that transfers service between two bank accounts using a mobile platform that was accompanied by the roll out of e-payment and point of-sale technologies. While the push for greater digitalization of the economy and the financial system is logical, large gaps

Total Foodgrains Production Estimates at record 273.38 mt
May 09,2017

The 3rd Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2016-17 have been released today by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare. The assessment of production of different crops is based on the feedback received from States and validated with information available from other sources. As a result of very good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the Government, the country has witnessed record foodgrain production in the current year. The estimated production of various crops as per the 3rd Advance Estimates for 2016-17 vis-n++-vis the comparative estimates for the years 2003-04 onwards is enclosed.

As per 3rd Advance Estimates, the estimated production of major crops during 2016-17 is as under:

n++ Foodgrains - 273.38 million tonnes (record)

n++ Rice - 109.15 million tonnes (record)

n++ Wheat - 97.44 million tonnes (record)

n++ Coarse Cereals - 44.39 million tonnes (record)

n++ Maize - 26.14 million tonnes (record)

n++ Pulses - 22.40 million tonnes (record)

n++ Gram - 9.08 million tonnes

n++ Tur - 4.60 million tonnes (record)

n++ Urad - 2.93 million tonnes (record)

n++ Oilseeds - 32.52 million tonnes

n++ Soyabean - 14.01 million tonnes

n++ Groundnut - 7.65 million tonnes

n++ Castorseed - 1.55 million tonnes

n++ Cotton - 32.58 million bales (of 170 kg each)

n++ Sugarcane - 306.03 million tonnes

As a result of very good rainfall during monsoon 2016 and various policy initiatives taken by the Government, the country has witnessed record foodgrain production in the current year. As per Third Advance Estimates for 2016-17, total Foodgrain production in the country is estimated at 273.38 million tonnes which is higher by 8.34 million tonnes (3.15%) than the previous record production of Foodgrain of 265.04 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. The current years production is also higher by 16.37 million tonnes (6.37%) than the previous five years (2011-12 to 2015-16) average production of Foodgrains. The current years production is significantly higher by 21.81 million tonnes (8.67%) than the last years foodgrain production.

Total production of Rice is estimated at record 109.15 million tonnes which is also a new record. This years Rice production is higher by 2.50 million tonnes (2.34%) than previous record production of 106.65 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. It is also higher by 3.73 million tonnes (3.54%) than the five years average Rice production of 105.42 million tonnes. Production of rice has increased significantly by 4.74 million tonnes (4.54%) than the production of 104.41 million tonnes during 2015-16.

Production of Wheat, estimated at 97.44 million tonnes is also a record. This years wheat production is higher by 1.66% than the previous record production of 95.85 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. Production of Wheat during 2016-17 is also higher by 4.83 million tonnes (5.21%) than the average wheat production. The current years production is higher by 5.15 million tonnes (5.58%) as compared to Wheat production of 92.29 million tonnes achieved during 2015-16.

Production of Coarse Cereals estimated at a new record level of 44.39 million tonnes is higher than the average production by 3.04 million tonnes (7.36%). It is higher than the previous record production of 43.40 million tonnes achieved during 2010-11 by 0.99 million tonnes (2.28%). Current years production is also higher by 5.87 million tonnes (15.23%) as compared to their production of 38.52 million tonnes achieved during 2015-16.

As a result of significant increase in the area coverage and productivity of all major Pulses, total production of pulses during 2016-17 is estimated at 22.40 million tonnes which is higher by 3.15 million tonnes (16.37%) than the previous record production of 19.25 million tonnes achieved during 2013-14. Production of Pulses during 2016-17 is also higher by 4.77 million tonnes (27.03%) than their Five years average production. Current years production is higher by 6.05 million tonnes (37.03%) than the previous years production of 16.35 million tonnes.

With an increase of 7.27 million tonnes (28.80%) over the previous year, total Oilseeds production in the country is estimated at 32.52 million tonnes. The production of Oilseeds during 2016-17 is also higher by 3.27 million tonnes (11.17%) than the five years average Oilseeds production.

Production of Sugarcane is estimated at 306.03 million tonnes which is lower by 42.42 million tonnes (-12.17%) than the last years production of 348.45 million tonnes.

Despite lower area coverage during 2016-17, higher productivity of Cotton has resulted into higher production of 32.58 million bales (of 170 kg each), i.e. an increase of 8.57%, as compared to 30.01 million bales during 2015-16.

Production of Jute & Mesta estimated at 10.27 million bales (of 180 kg each) is marginally lower (-2.39%) than their production of 10.52 million bales during the last year.

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Asias Dynamic Economies Continue to Lead Global Growth-IMF
May 09,2017

The Asia and Pacific region continues to deliver strong growth, in the face of widespread concerns about growing protectionism, a rapidly aging society, and slow productivity growth, according to the IMFs latest regional assessment, as per IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific.

The Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific estimates growth for the region to increase this year to 5.5 percent from 5.3 percent in 2016. Growth will remain strong at 5.4 percent in 2018, as the region continues to be the leader of global growth.

The report also cites the more favorable global environment with growth accelerating in many major advanced and emerging market economiesn++notably the United States and commodity exportersn++as supporting Asias positive outlook. Risk appetite remains strong in global financial markets despite some bouts of capital flow volatility in late 2016.

n++The signs of growth in the region are encouraging so far. The policy challenge now is to strengthen and sustain this momentum,n++ said Changyong Rhee, Director of the IMFs Asia and Pacific Department.

Strong growth ahead

In China, the regions biggest and the worlds second largest economy, policy stimulus is expected to keep supporting demand. Although still robust with 2017 first quarter growth slightly stronger than expected, growth is projected to decelerate to 6.6 percent in 2017 and 6.2 in 2018.

This slowdown is predicated on a cooling housing market, partly reflecting recent tightening measures, weaker wage and consumption growth, and a stable fiscal deficit.

Japans growth forecast for 2017 has been raised to 1.2 percent with support from expansionary fiscal policy and the postponement of the consumption tax hike (from April 2017 to October 2019). The expansion would slow down to 0.6 percent in 2018 as the boost from the fiscal stimulus wears off.

The outlook for other Asian economies is also positive, but with some exceptions. Indias growth is expected to rebound to 7.2 percent in FY 2017-18 as the cash shortages accompanying the currency exchange initiative ease.

In most of the Southeast Asian economies, growth is expected to accelerate somewhat, supported by robust domestic demandn++an important driver of growth in these countries. Meanwhile, growth in Korea is projected to remain subdued at 2.7 percent this year despite the recent pick up in exports, mainly owing to weak consumption.

Uncertain outlook: downside risks

The regions outlook, however, is clouded with uncertainty. On the plus side, larger-than-expected fiscal stimulus in the United States or stronger business and consumer confidence in advanced economies could provide a further boost to Asias exports and growth. Reforms, such as productive public investment in infrastructure in ASEAN and South Asian economies, could help prolong the positive momentum.

But if the U.S. fiscal stimulus leads to higher-than-expected inflation pressures, the Federal Reserve could accelerate the pace of interest rate increases in response, leading to a stronger U.S. dollar.

A sudden tightening of global financial conditions could adversely impact Asian economies with high external financing needs and weak private sector balance sheets, including by triggering capital outflows and unwinding of productive investment projects.

Asian economies are especially vulnerable to protectionism because of their trade openness and integration to global value chains. A global shift toward inward-looking policies could suppress Asias exports and reduce foreign direct investment to Asia. Furthermore, a bumpier-than-expected transition in China or geopolitical tensions in the region could also weaken near-term growth.

Challenges to growth

Asia needs to tackle two longer-term challenges: population aging and slow productivity catch-up. According to the report, Asia is aging remarkably fast compared to the experience in Europe and the United States. As a population grows older, there will be fewer workers, and over time, a shrinking workforce and aging population can mean a rise in healthcare costs and pension expenditure.

This puts pressure on government budgets, and can translate into lower growth. The report estimates that over the next three decades, demographic trends could subtract 0.5 to 1 percentage point from average annual GDP growth in relatively old Asian economies such as China and Japan.

Slow productivity growth is another worry. The region has not been able to catch up to the high productivity levels of countries at the global technology frontier. Declines in trade and foreign direct investment could also be harmful to Asian economies given their vital roles in transmitting technology and promoting domestic competition.

Policies to reinforce growth

Given these challenges, macroeconomic policies should focus on supporting demand and structural reforms.

The report notes that monetary policy should stay accommodative in economies with economic slack and below-target inflation rates. Should inflation pressures gather pace, however, central banks should stand ready to raise policy rates.

Well-targeted structural reforms would help strengthen the regions resilience to external shocks and sustain strong and inclusive long-term growth. Considering Asias rapid aging, policies aimed at protecting the vulnerable elderly population and prolonging strong growth take on a particular urgency. These include measures that promote labor force participation of women and the elderly, as well as strengthening pension systems.

These policies should be supplemented by productivity-enhancing reforms. Priorities differ across Asias dynamic economies. Advanced Asian economies should focus on making research and development spending more effective and raising productivity in the services sector.

In emerging and developing economies, attracting foreign direct investment and expanding the economys capacity to absorb new technology and boost domestic investment is more urgent. These steps will help the region to build on and continue with the growth momentum.

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Moodys: Productivity growth slowdown remains a sizeable risk to global growth
May 09,2017

The persistent decline in labor productivity growth, one of the key drivers of overall economic performance, corporate profitability and the government tax base, remains among the most significant risks to the outlook for global growth, says Moodys Investors Service in a new report.

Moodys expects global growth to accelerate to 3.1% this year and 3.5% in 2018 from 2.7% in 2016, as most advanced economies register stable growth and some emerging market economies regain momentum after several years of deceleration.

Despite the cyclical uptick, we expect global growth to remain significantly below pre-crisis levels in the near term, driven by slower growth in both employment and labor productivity, says Elena Duggar, an Associate Managing Director at Moodys.

While we expect productivity growth to rebound somewhat this year and next, there will be a notable impact on growth if it fails to improve, adds Duggar.

For example, should productivity growth remain at its 2016 pace of 1.2% or even at its average pace of 1.7% over 2011-2015, global growth in 2018 could be as low as 2.5% or 3% respectively, compared to Moodys current expectation of 3.5%.

Productivity growth has been slowing for a number of years, and in particular following the financial crisis. This trend is being driven by a combination of factors, including weak investment in the aftermath of the crisis due to the constrained availability of credit. A high degree of business pessimism and elevated economic and policy uncertainty has also contributed to the decline, partly by tilting investment away from higher-risk higher-return projects, which are the drivers of rising productivity growth.

Long-term trends such as population aging and the slowing growth in human capital and education are also behind the decline in productivity growth, as well as slower technology diffusion, lower dynamism of the economy, reduced technological spillovers due to the falling pace of globalization, and exhausted gains from sectoral reallocation in many countries globally.

The report examines the extent of the productivity growth slowdown across 123 countries globally, its drivers, its meaning for the economy, and why Moodys believes it remains a sizeable downside risk to global economic growth and, consequently, credit conditions.

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Delhi Metro to be extended from Najafgarh to Dhansa Bus Stand
May 09,2017

Dhansa Bus Stand in the National Capital will be connected by Delhi Metro in the next three years. Government of India has approved the 1.18 km Under Ground metro extension from Najafgarh to Dhansa Bus Stand at a cost of Rs.565 cr. This extension is scheduled for completion by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation by 2020.

Of the total cost of the project,central government will bear Rs.107 cr in the form of 50% Equity (Rs.75.50 cr) and Subordinate Debt. Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide Rs.323 cr while the rest will be borne by the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi including Equity (Rs.75.50 cr) and Subordinate Debt.

Najafgarh -Dhansa Bus Stand Metro Extension is estimated to serve the travel needs of an additional 10,000 passengers per day catering to the needs of people of Nangloi, Dhansa, Bahadurgarh and the adjoining areas.

As per 2016 estimates, 3.61 lakh vehicle trips are generated at Najafgarh. Since the area between Najafgarh and Dhansa is densely populated with substantial built up areas, extension to Dhansa Bus Stand has been made Under Ground.

The 4.50 km Dwarka - Najafgarh Metro Section, approved in September, 2012 is likely to be completed by December this year.

Work on Najafgarh-Dhansa Bus Stand extension is likely to start in July this year since the line alignment survey has already been completed and tenders called for.

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Measurement of Liveability Index of cities to begin next month
May 09,2017

Ministry of Urban Development will launch measuring of Liveability Index of cities next month based on indigenously evolved Index. This was announced by Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary (Urban Development), while addressing a World Bank organized knowledge sharing workshop on improving accountability for local governments.

To start with, Liveability Standards of 140 cities including 53 cities with population of one million and above and Smart Cities will be assessed. The Ministry has already invited bids for selecting the agency for carrying out the assessment based on the parameters evolved by the Ministry. The Ministry of Urban Development has come out with a detailed document on n++Methodology for Collection and Computation of Liveability Standards in Citiesn++ for the benefit of States and Cities.

Cities will be assessed on 15 core parameters relating to Governance, social infrastructure pertaining to education, health and safety and security, economic aspects and physical infrastructure like housing, open spaces, land use, energy and water availability, solid waste management, pollution etc. Cities will be ranked based on Liveability Index that would cover a total of 79 aspects.

Shri Rajiv Gauba said that a sense of healthy competition is being promoted among cities and towns in the country to focus their attention on improving governance and infrastructure availability. He further said that more than providing funds to State and City Governments, Ministry of Urban Development is according priority for incentivizing implementation of reforms that have a far reaching impact on governance and service delivery.

Stressing on the need for decentralization and empowering of city governments, Shri Gauba stressed that n++Cities cant be run and managed from state capitals and secretariats. They should be made to stand on their own for improving performance, responsibility and accountabilityn++.

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Ind-Ra: InvITs To Potentially Deleverage Infrastructure Sector by around INR130 Billion in FY18
May 09,2017

The first four infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs) which are likely to hit the primary markets in FY18 could reduce the overall debt of sponsor groups by close to INR130 billion; thereby providing cash flow relief to the beleaguered sector, says India Rating and Research (Ind-Ra). The companies which are likely to deleverage by using the InvIT route in FY18 are Sterlite Power Grid Ventures (SPGVL, IND A/Stable), Reliance Infrastructures (R-Infra, IND A+/Rating Watch Negative) and IL&FS Transportation Networks (ITNL, IND A/Negative) and the recently closed issue of IRB Infrastructure Developers (IRBIDL, IND A-/Rating Watch Positive).

InvITs will enable infrastructure developers to deleverage their balance sheets and refinance remaining debt (potentially INR36 billion) at lower costs. Deleveraging will provide a fillip to the coverage metrics of SPVs housed under the InvIT structures and refinancing (through bond/bank loans) and will further improve the credit profile of InvITs.

Ind-Ra had highlighted in the report Softened Interest Rates Likely to Brighten Solar Sector that bank financing to the infrastructure sector has been declining, which makes it imperative for investors and developers to scout for alternate sources of funding such as masala bonds, InvITs among others. The current low interest rates regime is favourable for the bond market as well as InvITs.

InvITs would allow infrastructure developers to not only deleverage their balance sheets but also refinance remaining debt at lower interest rates. InvIT structures have robust debt service coverage ratios, and refinancing will further improve the credit profile of InvITs.

Ind-Ra has been a pioneer in rating InvITs and also has been the first to rate the first InvIT which has hit the primary market. Ind-Ra has rated both InvITs which have / are expected to hit the primary markets this month namely - IRB InvIT Fund (IRB InvIT, IND AAA/Stable) and India Grid Trust (IndiGrid, IND AAA/Stable).

Post issuance, Ind-Ra estimates IRB InvITs consolidated external debt would be INR7,704.55 million on 31 March 2017. The rating on IRB InvIT is a reflection of the combined credit quality of the underlying assets. Ind-Ra expects significant deleveraging (77.5% of the INR35.13 billion debt on 31 December 2016) of the operational toll road projects post receipt of subscription proceeds, resulting in robust coverage metrics and favourable gearing. The overall operational track record of the combined portfolio (around 4.5 years) and highly fungible cash flows of InvIT structure bolster the overall credit profile. IRB InvITs cash flows show considerable resilience to stress cases, reflecting ample cushion for timely debt servicing in potential downside scenarios. The debt infused by IRB InvIT in the SPVs shall be subordinate to the external debt and IRB InvIT shall not have a right to call an event of default under any project documents and/or any financial documents until the external debt is fully paid off.

SPGVL has floated an InvIT called India Grid Trust (IndiGrid) and is planning to hive off Sterlite Grid1 Limited (SGL1) under the trust. SGL1 holds the two operating transmission assets - Bhopal Dhule Transmission Company Limited (BDTCL) and Jabalpur Transmission Company Limited (JTCL), which are the initial portfolio assets. Subscription to IndiGrids units will be raised in a process similar to an initial public offer for raising equity funds by companies. BDTCL plans to mobilise INR7.2bn non-convertible debentures with a tenor of five years. The proceeds from units will be used to retire the existing bank loans and promoters sub-debt in BDTCL and JTCL. Post the issuance, SPGVL is likely to hold 15%-25% of IndiGrid, depending on the valuation/subscription by other investors.

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Reviving Growth and Job Creation are the Key Priorities: Shobana Kamineni, President, CII
May 09,2017

n++With tremendous opportunities available in the Indian economy, further strengthening of the growth process and job creation is on the horizon,n++ said Ms Shobana Kamineni, President, CII. The reform agenda has picked up with substantive policies such as the goods and services tax (GST), insolvency and bankruptcy norms, FDI liberalisation and ease of doing business being implemented. Conditions are positive for an economic recovery in the current year, with GDP growth expected to lie in the range of 7.5-8.0 per cent.

n++One of the key priorities for CII this year would be to help revive domestic investment, which has been flagging and the economy has been growing largely on the back of exceptionally high government spending on infrastructure, etcn++ Ms Kamineni said.

n++Industry is completely ready for the introduction of the landmark tax reform from July 1, 2017. CII has been calling for a single national tax for the last ten years and we will try to make its implementation as smooth as possible,n++ said the CII President.

Going forward, n++it is possible to target 1 per cent additional growth each year to reach 10 per cent in the next three years. The drivers for this step up in growth would include the benefits from implementation of GST, greater participation of women in the labour force, the urbanisation process which will drive greater economic activity in areas such as construction and government spending of up to Rs 30 trillion in various infrastructure projects over the next few yearsn++ Ms Kamineni added.

A CII estimate shows that the entire construction sector can add 30 million jobs in the next ten years. These projects will also provide essential connectivities for enhancing opportunities for income growth. Total spending of Rs 30 trillion is envisaged over the next 4-5 years under projects such as the investment program of the Indian Railways, 20,000 kilometers of highway building under the Bharatmala project and Sagarmala for port-led development. n++Our conservative forecast is that based on these projects, Indias GDP could increase by as much as 50% over the next five years. Similar increases in job creation can also be expectedn++ the CII President opined.

She added that n++it is eminently possible to create 5 million jobs each year, if the GDP growth rate can be boosted by an extra 1%. CIIs analysis shows that as of now, we are creating about 3.7 million jobs annually. 10-12 million people enter the working age population every year. Of these, about half actually do not look for jobs as they prefer to go into education or other activities. CIIs intensive skill development activities are ongoing and are designed to enhance the employability of the workforce.n++

For the economy to move to a higher growth path, the slowdown in investments must be reversed. Consumer demand has been improving across sector and this should lead to higher capacity utilisation and further, to capacity expansions soon. A good monsoon would further boost rural demand. Solution to the NPA issue can no longer be postponed. We are encouraged by the package approved by the Cabinet last night. In addition, CII feels that the current interest rate structure is still too high to induce investments and the RBI must find ways to continue on a downward interest rate path.

n++CII would continue to request the Government for quick action in reducing corporate income taxes for all corporates. This has become urgent given the lowering of tax rates across many other countries. The 25% rate is currently applicable only for companies with turnover up to Rs 50 crore. Eventually, the corporate tax rate could be brought down to 18% together with the removal of all incentives. CII believes this will lead to much better tax compliancen++ the CII President said.

In an effort to achieve the objectives outlined in the theme for the year, CII is also setting up time bound Special Task Forces in the following areas:

1.Agriculture Income Tax

2.Judicial Reforms

3.Cyber Security

4.Security and Privacy

5.Heal from India

6.Justice for Common Man

7.How to make India Tax Compliant

8.Globalisation: Can India Lead?

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Procurement of Toor from Maharashtra under Price Support Scheme (PSS)
May 09,2017

The proposal for implementation of Price Support Scheme (PSS) for procurement of Toor during the current Kharif season 2016-17 was received from Government of Maharashtra. As per their proposal, it was mentioned that expected production of Toor in Maharashtra will be 12.56 lakhs MT and they have requested for procurement of 2 lakhs quintal during 1st November, 2016 - 29th January, 2017.

This proposal was transferred to Department of Consumer Affairs to create a buffer stock of pulses by making procurement directly from the farmers at MSP plus bonus under Price Stabilization Fund (PSF). This procurement continued till 22nd April, 2017 and around 4 lakhs MT of Toor was procured which is 31.95% of total expected production. Due to continuous arrival, State Government had decided to procure the Toor from the farmers who have been registered or token has been issued till 22nd April, 2017 at various procurement centres from their own resources.

On 5th May, 2017, request for implementation of PSS was again received from Government of Maharashtra. In the fresh proposal they had requested for procurement of 20 lakhs quintal (2 lakhs MT) of Toor upto 31st May, 2017. They have also informed that as per their third estimate the expected production in the State will be 20.35 lakhs MT. The Notification for harvesting period of Kharif Toor was revised from September to March and extended upto 31st May, 2017.

Considering the proposal, this Department has approved the procurement of one lakh MT of Toor under PSS upto 31st May, 2017 with the condition that the procurement already made as per State Government Notification dated 27.4.2017 shall not be reimbursed or adjusted from the procurement made under PSS and State Government will make necessary arrangements for godown space and other resources for smooth PSS operation in the State.

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Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from 01 July 2017
May 08,2017

Clarification on Recently Notified Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 The Government has notified the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 on 28th March,2017 and the provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force with effect from 1st April,2017, except those relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} which would come into force from 01 July 2017.

Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the Ministry of Labour & Employment, on 12 April 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act.

Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01 April 2017.

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Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from 01 July 2017
May 08,2017

Clarification on Recently Notified Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 The Government has notified the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 on 28th March,2017 and the provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force with effect from 1st April,2017, except those relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} which would come into force from 01 July 2017.

Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the Ministry of Labour & Employment, on 12 April 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act.

Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01 April 2017.

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Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from 01 July 2017
May 08,2017

Clarification on Recently Notified Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 The Government has notified the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 on 28th March,2017 and the provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force with effect from 1st April,2017, except those relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} which would come into force from 01 July 2017.

Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the Ministry of Labour & Employment, on 12 April 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act.

Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01 April 2017.

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Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from 01 July 2017
May 08,2017

Clarification on Recently Notified Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 The Government has notified the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 on 28th March,2017 and the provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force with effect from 1st April,2017, except those relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} which would come into force from 01 July 2017.

Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the Ministry of Labour & Employment, on 12 April 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act.

Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01 April 2017.

Powered by Capital Market - Live News

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from 01 July 2017
May 08,2017

Clarification on Recently Notified Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 The Government has notified the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 on 28th March,2017 and the provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force with effect from 1st April,2017, except those relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} which would come into force from 01 July 2017.

Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the Ministry of Labour & Employment, on 12 April 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act.

Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01 April 2017.

Powered by Capital Market - Live News

Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} would come into force from 01 July 2017
May 08,2017

Clarification on Recently Notified Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 The Government has notified the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 on 28th March,2017 and the provisions of the Amendment Act have come into force with effect from 1st April,2017, except those relating to crn++che facility {Section 4(1)} which would come into force from 01 July 2017.

Keeping in view queries received from various quarters, the Ministry of Labour & Employment, on 12 April 2017, had issued certain clarifications on various provisions of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017. One of the clarifications issued by the Ministry stated that the enhanced maternity benefit, as modified by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill, 2016 can be extended to women who are already under maternity leave at the time of enforcement of this Amendment Act.

Having received further queries and to remove doubts, it is further clarified that it is mandatory on the part of employers to extend the benefit of enhanced maternity leave to those women workers who were already on maternity leave on the date of enforcement of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act,2017 i.e. as on 01 April 2017.

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