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Bank Urged to Expand Work on Global Risks
Oct 12,2016

The World Bank Group must become n++better, stronger, and more agilen++ to confront major global challenges over the next 15 years, while also working to end extreme poverty, boost shared prosperity, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

That was a key message of the Development Committee, a ministerial-level forum of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, in a communiqun++ released at the close of the institutions Annual Meetings.

The committee representing the Bank Groups 189 member countries said the global development landscape will face n++critical shiftsn++ in the future, driven by climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, migration, and fragility, conflict and violence, urbanization and demographic changes. Addressing these changes will require more collaboration with others and more resources, it said.

Acknowledging an environment of n++sluggishn++ global economic growth and geopolitical and economic uncertainties, the committee also called on the Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to work with countries to n++enhance synergy among monetary, fiscal and structural reform policies, stimulate growth, create jobs, and strengthen the gains from multilateralism for all.n++

The committees message capped two days of meetings of the Bank and IMF shareholders - including most of the worlds countries. Ahead of the meetings, the Bank Group released a flagship report on poverty, shared prosperity, and inequality, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim outlined his vision to accelerate development and the fight against poverty for his second term in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

Kim said the Bank is increasingly involved in development challenges beyond its traditional mandate, including major new initiatives to address the refugee crisis, climate change, and the threat of pandemics.

Challenges, he said, include technological change and the automation of work, which could impact jobs and the ability of developing countries to compete globally. By 2030, its projected that almost half of the worlds poor will live in countries affected by fragility and conflict. Emerging markets and low-income countries currently face an annual infrastructure financing gap of up to $1.5 trillion, said Kim.

He asked member countries at the Annual Meeting plenary session to give the Bank flexibility to n++solve the most important problems and make sure we have the financial capacity to change the world for the poorest and the most marginalized.n++

Over the last 70 years, the World Bank has been able to leverage $15 billion in paid-in capital to provide $600 billion in loans, and so increase the amount of assistance available to developing countries. The Bank Groups private sector focused arm, IFC, leverages its capital 20 times, and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Association (MIGA) leverages its shareholder equity 39 times, according to a paper on the Banks n++forward look,n++ submitted to the Development Committee.

The committee said that it would consider options to strengthen the financial position of the Bank no later than the 2017 Annual Meetings October 13-15, 2017, in Washington.

It urged the Bank Group to n++help create markets, particularly in the most challenging environments, and to mobilize private resources, including through guarantees, especially for quality infrastructure, and for small and medium enterprises.n++

Kim, who was appointed last month to a second term as president of the Bank, outlined a plan to accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth, increase investments in human capital, and foster resilience to global shocks and threats.

He said private sector financing will be critical and the Group would aim to mobilize private sector investment in the most challenging sectors and countries, and do n++much more to tackle some of those risks that constrain the private sector in these markets.n++

n++I want you to know that going forward, we will be much more aggressive in putting on the table, capital and specific instruments that can reduce risk. In doing so, we feel that we can create new markets and encourage investors to venture into countries and projects that they never would have considered before,n++ Kim said at Brookings

The Development Committee welcomed a plan to increase the financing capacity of the World Banks fund for the poorest countries, the International Development Association, also known as IDA. n++We advocate for a strong IDA18 replenishment, with a broadened donor base. We welcome the innovative financing and policy package, including the proposal to enable IDA, which has recently received milestone triple-A ratings, to tap into capital markets to complement its resources.n++

More than half the worlds poor live in countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence, where IDA support is particularly important, it added.

The Development Committee also asked the Bank and IMF to help countries access finance for adaption to climate change, as well as mitigation and improved disaster risk management.

It urged the Bank to n++focus on building resilience while expanding insurance schemes and increasing investments in climate-smart land use, green infrastructure, and sustainable cities.n++ Kim announced assistance for Haiti during the Meetings to respond to damage from Hurricane Matthew, as well as $20 million from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, developed with assistance of the World Bank.

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Transport services account for lions share of 71% in investments attracted by infra sector: Study
Oct 12,2016

Transport services have garnered highest share of over 71 per cent in terms of investments worth over Rs 53 lakh crore attracted by infrastructure sector from both public and private sources across India as of 2015, noted a recent ASSOCHAM study.

n++Miscellaneous services sector which includes storage and distribution, education, health, recreational and other such services accounts for second highest share of about 13 per cent in total investments attracted by infrastructure sector by states across India, followed by communication (five per cent), wholesale and retail trading (five per cent), information technology (four per cent) and hotels & tourism (two per cent),n++ highlighted the ASSOCHAM study titled Analysis of infrastructure investment in India.

n++Total investments attracted by infrastructure sector across India have increased at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 10 per cent between 2010-2015 thereby increasing from over Rs 32 lakh crore to over Rs 53 lakh crore,n++ noted the study prepared by The ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau (AERB).

While investments attracted by transport services sector have increased at maximum growth of over 13 per cent during the aforesaid period, followed by miscellaneous services (6.5 per cent), communication (5 per cent), wholesale and retail (two per cent), hotels and tourism (two per cent) and IT (one per cent).

n++Public sector accounted for highest share of 59 per cent in the total investments attracted by infrastructure sector, this is worrisome as India needs to look for more private sector participation in perking up infrastructure across the country, but it is seen that over the years reliance on public sources have increased,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the chambers study.

n++So far public investments have been the dominant form of infrastructure financing in India, but this is expected to change as large deficits and other commitments together with social obligations will constrain governments financial flexibility, thus there will be a greater need to mobilise private sector capital that can be invested into infrastructure,n++ said Mr Rawat.

At the state level, public sector investment shows that in 2015 public sources had highest share of over 95 per cent in investments attracted by Chhattisgarh in infrastructure sector followed by Bihar (92 per cent), Uttarakhand (87 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (80 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (77 per cent) amid top five states in terms of public investments.

Though in West Bengal (59 per cent), Tamil Nadu (58 per cent), Odisha (50 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (47 per cent), Gujarat (27 per cent) and Haryana (10 per cent) public investments share was below that of the countrys average share thereby implying that these six states would be leading in terms of private sectors contribution to infrastructure sector, noted the study.

Projects report cost escalation & delay in implementation:

Investments attracted by the transport services sector have registered steep cost escalation of 47 per cent thereby exceeding the actual cost of projects by a whopping Rs five lakh crore, besides these projects are also facing an average delay of over 44 months

Investment projects attracted by Telangana in transport services sector have registered highest cost escalation rate of about 89 per cent and are facing delay of over 51 months as of 2015.

Punjab (65 per cent), Jharkhand (59 per cent), West Bengal (58 per cent) and Gujarat (56 per cent) are other among top five states to have recorded high cost escalation rate in delayed transport services investment projects.


In its study, ASSOCHAM has suggested various measures like reducing delay in creating businesses, obtaining approvals, enforcing contracts; providing sufficient legal protection for investors; ensuring more transparent and predictable government decision making thereby minimising political and regulatory risks.

Co-ordination between government agencies together with a single window clearance system should be implemented with specific guidelines for time bound approvals. Besides, land acquisition and environment clearances continue to remain critical concerns for infrastructure developers as such these issues should be addressed proactively to balance the interests of all stakeholders.

There is also an urgent need to fill-up the skills related gap in handling infrastructure projects and the government should create a skill ecosystem in partnership with private players with a view to formalise professional training for project managers, suggested ASSOCHAM.

It also added that there is a need to improve depth and liquidity of corporate bond market to provide additional source of funding for infrastructure companies.

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Gold to further shine despite a golden run, says ASSOCHAM paper
Oct 12,2016

In the backdrop of continuous global political and financial risks coupled with revival in demand in the domestic market, gold prices are likely to stay firm in the range of Rs 30,500 -33500 per 10 grams despite the yellow metal having had a golden run up of about 25 per cent since January this year, an ASSOCHAM Paper has pointed out.

The prices, at present are ruling at Rs 31,000-31,500 for 24 carat purity gold in major Indian cities, even as the festive demand seems to be picking up. n++Going forward, the festive demand will get a further push from the wedding season, which is the main contributor to gold consumption in India. The upside in the short term of a few months is seen between Rs 1,500-2000 while the downside could be limited to Rs 1,000-2000 per ten grams, the paper said.

While India has been among the two biggest consumers of the gold in the world along with China with imports in the past going even up to 1,000 tonnes per annum, the inflows this year have been quite low on a combination of factors including a prolonged strike by jewellers who vehemently protested imposition of excise duty on jewellery in the Budget and continuation of 10 per cent customs duty on imports despite expectations of reduction. Gold imports between January and September aggregated 270 tonnes this year against 658 tonnes in the corresponding period of last calendar year, adds the ASSOCHAM paper.

n++The moot question among the buyers and analysts is whether scope for any further run is left when gold has seen so much of a rally, the best among all the assets classes - including quantitative easing led stock markets. Revival in Indian consumption, financial risks in the Chinese economy, tapering tantrums of the US Federal Reserve as also close American Presidential elections are all seen as the push factors for the gold to remain as a safe haven,n++ the ASSOCHAM Paper noted.

Reading the trends and watching the global developments, the chamber Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said,n++ gold is finding a strong support levels in the international markets and is expected to stay above USD 1200 mark, as a starting point for the next possible rally. All in all, given the state of play in equity, debt and properties, gold would stand out for quite some timen++.

Yet another reason for the investors to seek refuge in gold by global markets is the prolonged phase of negative interest rates by a large number of central banks, which act as a big disincentive to the investing public to park their funds in banks which erode their wealth, rather than adding to the same.

n++The outlook for the precious metal remains upbeat taking into consideration several factors including reduced pace of the US Fed rate hikes , increased adoption of negative interest rates most recently in Japan , increased inflows in gold ETFs(equity trade funds) and decline in gold productionn++.

Back home, along with the official channels, smuggling of gold has seen up tick due to continuation of high import duties. The industry has been demanding lowering of duties to encourage official imports.

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Worldwide PC shipments declines 5.7% in third quarter of 2016: Gartner
Oct 12,2016

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 68.9 million units in the third quarter of 2016, a 5.7% decline from the third quarter of 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This was the eighth consecutive quarter of PC shipment decline, the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC industry.

PC manufacturers faced many challenges, which included weak back-to-school demand, and ongoing low demand in the consumer market, especially in emerging markets.

There are two fundamental issues that have impacted PC market results: the extension of the lifetime of the PC caused by the excess of consumer devices, and weak PC consumer demand in emerging markets, said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. According to our 2016 personal technology survey, the majority of consumers own, and use, at least three different types of devices in mature markets. Among these devices, the PC is not a high priority device for the majority of consumers, so they do not feel the need to upgrade their PCs as often as they used to. Some may never decide to upgrade to a PC again.

In emerging markets, PC penetration is low, but consumers are not keen to own PCs. Consumers in emerging markets primarily use smartphones or phablets for their computing needs, and they dont find the need to use a PC as much as consumers in mature markets.

The PC market continues to consolidate, as the top six vendors combined for a record high 78% of PC shipments in the third quarter of 2016 (Table 1). Lenovo continued to be the worldwide market leader based on preliminary PC shipments, but HP Inc. is nearly tied for this top spot, and these rankings could change when final shipment results are published. Lenovo has recorded six consecutive quarters of year-over-year shipment declines, while the nearest competitors, HP Inc. and Dell, have recorded shipment growth since the second quarter of 2016.

Table 1: Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q16 (Thousands of Units)Company3Q16 Shipments3Q16 Market Share (%)3Q15 Shipments3Q15 Market Share (%)3Q16-3Q15 Growth (%)Lenovo1443420.91478920.2-2.4HP Inc.1405820.41374418.82.3Dell1011114.7985613.52.6Asus53977.852717.22.4Apple49467.257097.8-13.4Acer46136.753707.3-14.1Others1538622.31835925.1-16.2Total6894510079098100-5.7Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs and ultramobile premiums (such as Microsoft Surface), but not Chromebooks or iPads. All data is estimated based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on shipments selling into channels. Source: Gartner (October 2016)

The stabilization of the PC business market was a key factor for HP Inc.s shipment growth, as a majority of its revenue was generated from the business segment. Dells shipment growth exceeded the regional average in most regions.

In the United States, PC shipments totaled 16.2 million units in the third quarter, a 0.3% decline from the same period last year (Table 2). This is the second consecutive quarter of flat year-over-year PC shipment growth.

Mobile PCs, which include notebooks, two-in-one PCs and Windows tablets, showed low-single-digit year-over-year growth, but the overall results were offset by a decline of desktop shipments, Ms. Kitagawa said. Traditionally, the third quarter has been driven by back-to-school PC sales, but back-to-school marketing campaigns have become less effective for driving PC sales. With so many PCs already in the consumer market, U.S. consumers do not feel the need to buy new PCs; many parents hand down old PCs to their kids. While our PC shipment report does not include Chromebooks, our early indicator shows that Chromebooks exceeded PC shipment growth.

Table 2: Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 3Q16 (Thousands of Units) Company3Q16 Shipments3Q16 Market Share (%)3Q15 Shipments3Q15 Market Share (%)3Q16-3Q15 Growth (%)HP Inc.479329.7464928.73.1Dell387424381323.51.6Lenovo228414.1198212.215.3Apple207612.9232514.3-10.7Asus8245.17834.85.3Others230014.2265716.4-13.4Total1615210016208100-0.3Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs, notebook PCs

Ministry of Railways signs MoU with Government of Odisha For Cost Sharing of Two New Railway Line Projects in Odisha
Oct 12,2016

Ministry of Railways signed MoU with Government of Odisha For Cost Sharing of Two New Railway Line Projects in Odisha. This was signed in the presence of Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Union Minister for Railways and Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha. On this occasion Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs and Member of Parliament from Odisha were also present. The signatories of the MoU were Shri SC Jain, ED Works from Ministry of Railways and Shri Sanjeev Rastogi, Principal Secretary, Government of Odisha. The MoU was signed for sharing cost of laying two new lines in Odisha viz. Jeypore - Malkangiri and Jeypore - Nabarangpur.

The two new line projects viz. Jeypore- Nabarangpur and Jeypore- Malkangiri was included by Indian Railways in the Railway budget 2016-17 subject to requisite approvals from the Odisha government. Government of Odisha has agreed to partly bear the cost of these projects as detailed below:

n++JEYPORE - MALKANGIRI (130 Km)- 25% of total cost

n++JEYPORE - NABARANGPUR (38 Km)- entire land cost and 50% cost of construction.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Suresh Prabhu said that Orissa is a focus state for Indian Railways. The speed of implementation of projects will take Odisha ahead in rail connectivity. Odisha has minerals, tourism potential, etc. But development is lacking due to lack of connectivity. State Government alone cannot bring in connectivity. So Indian Railways is doing its part to improve the connectivity in Odisha. To improve the connectivity infrastructure in a particular state, Indian Railways is now forming Joint Venture with that State Government. Sharing of ownership will lead to more leverage in creating connectivity in the State. 11 Railway Stations including Bhubaneswar in Odisha is planned to be taken for Railway Station Redevelopment. Indian Railways is planning ways of developing Odisha as a tourism hub through IRCTC. Indian Railways through its PSU, IRCTC has also planned to market products of tribal SHGs in Odisha. Indian Railways has also planned to open a Rail Factory in Kalahandi.

Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha has said that Odisha occupies an important place on the map of Indian Railways. For the first time an all time high of Rs. 4880 Crore has been provided to Odisha. He also said that the rail connectivity in Odisha is way less than the national average and he is glad that this Government has given priority to his state for improving the rail connectivity. The two projects viz, Jeypore - Malkangiri and Jeypore - Nabarangpur will serve the most backward, Naxal affected and tribal areas of the state. Odisha Government will be providing land free of cost for these projects.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas has said that these projects will connect the Western Odisha for the first time. Development in Western Odisha was lacking only due to the lack of connectivity and this project will help in boosting the development in this part of the state.

Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs has said that this project will connect the most backward areas of the state and bring in the development to the tribal people of the area. These project will help the tribal people in selling their products to faraway places and help in their development.

Detailed Project Report (DPR) for JEYPORE - NABARANGPUR has been prepared while the same for JEYPORE - MALKANGIRI is under preparation. Once the DPRs are examined by Ministry of Railways, requisite approvals will be sought.

Salient features of new BG line between Jeypore - Malkangiri (130 km)

The proposed new railway line between Jeypore - Malkangiri will serve the remote areas of Koraput and Malkangiri districts of Western Odisha, which have no railway connectivity. Entire line will be passing through hilly terrain and thick forests.

The important towns en-route are Boipariguda, Tanginiguda, Maithili, Pandripani Road. The total Route Km of the proposed new line is 130 Km connecting district headquarters of Koraput and Malkangiri. Out of 130 Km of this route, 45 Km falls in Koraput District and 85 Km in Malkangiri District. The alignment passes through 12 stations including three passenger halts at Tanginiguda, Govindapalli & Maithili.

The line is proposed with overhead electrification, standard-III interlocking, Multi Aspect Color Light Signaling (MACLS) and Optic fiber communication.

Construction of new line involves about 4,00 lakh cum of earth work in formation, 98 bridges (22 major, 61 minor & 15 RUBs). Level crossings have been eliminated by proposing all road crossings with Limited height subways (7 Nos), ROBs (15 Nos) and RUBs. There are four nos. of Tunnels comprising a total length of 2600m approximately at location of very deep cuttings.

Salient Features Of New BG Line Between Jeypore - Nabarangpur (38 Km)

The area from Jeypore to Nabarangpur is well irrigated by canals. The important town en- route is Boriguma, approximately 18 Km from Jeypore, i.e. almost half way to Nabarangpur. There are five railway stations including two passenger halts at Ambaguda Road and Kaliaguda.

Construction of new line involve about 98 lakh cum of earth work in formation, 60 bridges (9 major, 40 minor & 11 RUBs). Level crossing have been eliminated by proposing all road crossings with Limited height subways and RUBs.

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Indirect Tax Collections up to September 2016 show an increase of 25.9% over the corresponding period last year
Oct 12,2016

The figures for indirect tax collections (Central Excise, Service Tax and Customs) up to September 2016 in the current Financial Year 2016-17 show that net revenue collections are at Rs 4.08 lakh crore which is 25.9% more than the net collections for the corresponding period last year i.e. 2015-16. Till September 2016, 52.5% of the Budget Estimates of indirect taxes for Financial Year 2016-17 has been achieved.

As regards Central Excise, net tax collections stood at Rs.1.83 lakh crore during April-September, 2016 as compared to Rs.1.25 lakh crore during the corresponding period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 46.3%.

Net Tax collections on account of Service Tax during April-September, 2016 stood at Rs. 1,16,975 crore as compared to Rs. 95,780 crore during the corresponding period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 22.1%.

Net Tax collections on account of Customs during April-September 2016 stood at Rs. 1.08 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 1.03 lakh crore during the same period in the previous Financial Year, thereby registering a growth of 4.8%.

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HIMANSH, Indias Remote, High-Altitude Station opened in Himalaya
Oct 12,2016

Himalayan region has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps, as this region is aptly called the n++Water Tower of Asian++ is the source of the 10 major river systems that provide irrigation, power and drinking water for over 700 million people live in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh- nearly 10% of the worlds population. Understanding the behaviour of these glaciers and their contribution to the sustainable supply of water for mankind and agriculture is one of the grand challenges of Indian scientific community.

As part of the Indian governments initiatives to better study and quantify the Himalayan glacier responses towards the climate change, National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), Goa, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences has established a high altitude research station in Himalaya called HIMANSH (literally meaning, a slice of ice), situated above 13,500 ft (> 4000 m) at a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

The station houses many instruments to quantify the glacier melting and its relation to changing climate. Some of the instruments that are available at this research facility include, Automatic Weather Stations for weather monitoring, water level recorder for quantifying the glacier melt, ground penetrating radar to know the thickness of glaciers, geodetic GPS systems to study the glacier movements, snow fork for studying snow thickness, steam drill, snow corer, temperature profilers, as well as various glaciological tools. Further, the researchers would be using this as a base for undertaking surveys using Terrestrial Laser Scanners (TLS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) that would digitize the glacier motion and snow cover variations with exceptional precision.

The ongoing initiatives by NCAOR would contribute to the integrated study the glaciers in the upper Indus basin (Chandra basin) in Himachal Pradesh and their contribution to discharge. According to the UN data, the contribution of snow/glacier melt in annual stream runoff is substantially higher (>40%) in Indus basin as compared to Ganga and Brahmaputra basins (

Beneficiary of Venture Capital Fund scheme for Scheduled Caste (SC) Entrepreneurs launches his product
Oct 12,2016

Shri Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (I/C) for AYUSH launched n++Elixir for Lifen++, an Ayurvedic Proprietary Medicine at a function here today. Shri Giriraj Singh, Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises was the Special Guest. This product has been produced by a beneficiary of the Venture Capital Fund Scheme for Scheduled Caste (SC) Entrepreneurs launched by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in 2014-2015. The beneficiary M/s Mallur Flora & Hospitality Ltd. No. 11, RBI Colony, Bengaluru has been financed by Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India (IFCI) and Department of Welfare Govt. of Karnataka (KFSC).

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment launched the Venture Capital Fund Scheme for Scheduled Caste (SC) Entrepreneurs in 2014-2015. 50 SC entrepreneurs have till now benefitted from the scheme. The Scheme has helped the entrepreneurs in achieving economic empowerment.

The objective of the Venture Capital Fund Scheme for Scheduled Caste are as follow:-

1. It is a Social Sector initiative to be implemented nationally in order to promote entrepreneurship among the scheduled caste population in India.

2. Promote entrepreneurship amongst the Scheduled Caste who are oriented towards innovation and growth technologies.

3. To provide concessional finance to the scheduled caste entrepreneurs, who will create wealth and value for society and at the same time will promote profitable businesses. The assets so created will also create forward/ backward linkage. It will create chain effect in the locality.

4. To increase financial inclusion for SC entrepreneurs and to motivate them for further growth of SC communities.

5. To develop SC entrepreneurs economically.

6. To enhance direct and indirect employment generation for SC population in India.

Estimated SC Entrepreneur Population

As per Census 2011, the SC population is 20.13 crore, which constitutes 16.62% of the total population in India. There is a huge potential in such a large economy like ours for such schemes out of which SC population can prosper and get opportunities to progress into the main stream. Although, there is no reliable data on the profile of SC Entrepreneurs, but still, as per the rough estimates of various stake holders such as Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) etc. there are 1000 Dalit entrepreneurs with combined turnover of Rs. Sixty Thousand Crore. There are approx. 50 companies with turnover of Rs. 10 crore or more. Hence, there is a huge demand for providing concessional finance to such companies which can uplift these businesses and such entrepreneurs.

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Indias industrial production declines 0.7% in August 2016
Oct 10,2016

Indias industrial production declined 0.7% in August 2016 over August 2015, while recording decline for second straight month. The manufacturing sector production fell 0.3%, while the mining output dipped 5.6% contributing to dip in industrial production. However, the electricity output also rose at moderate pace of 0.4% in August 2016. A decline in IIP and manufacturing output was primarily led by sharp 49.4% plunge in the output of small item - cable, rubber insulated, excluding which IIP grew 2.3% in August 2016.

As per the use-based classification, the basic goods output rose 3.2% in August 2016 over a year ago, while the output of intermediate goods moved up 3.6%. The consumer goods output increased 1.1%, but that of capital goods plunged 22.2% in August 2016. Within consumer goods, the production of consumer durables increased 2.3%, while that of consumer non-durables rose 0.2% in August 2016.

The IIP growth in July 2016 has been revised downwards to (-) 2.5% in the first revision compared with (-) 2.4% reported provisionally. Meanwhile, the growth in May 2016 has been revised upwards to 1.3% at the final revision from first revision of 1.1%, while it is also higher compared with 1.2% reported provisionally.

In terms of industries, 7 out of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector have shown negative growth during the month of august 2016 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.

The industry group electrical machinery & apparatus has shown the highest negative growth of (-) 49.4% followed by (-) 22.4% in furniture; manufacturing and (-) 6.6% in wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur.

On the other hand, radio, TV and communication equipment & apparatus has shown the highest positive growth of 15.2%, followed by 14.6% in other transport equipment and 12.4% in basic metals.

Some important items showing high negative growth during the current month over the same month in previous year include cable, rubber insulated (-) 86.2%, sugar machinery (-) 65.5%, woollen carpets (-) 35.7%, gems & jewellery (-) 31.0%, rice (-) 25.3% and h r sheets (-) 24.7%.

Some important items that have registered high positive growth include fruit pulp (762.0%). air conditioner (room) (59.1%), instant food mixes (ready to eat) (46.5%), ship building and repairs (41.1%), h r coils/ skelp (39.5%), scooter and mopeds (33.3%), stainless/ alloy steel (31.8%), c r sheets (29.7%), purified terephthalic acid (29.2%) and boilers (22.8%).

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Launch of Enhanced Foreign Trade Data Dashboard
Oct 10,2016

As part of the initiative of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to provide easy access to the public with regard to Indias export, import and balance of trade data in an analytical format, over time and space, Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman today launched a new enhanced Dashboard on Foreign Trade Data. Speaking on the occasion she said technology will be used for transparent decision making and reaching out to people using real time data. The Minister said this Dashboard is an improved version of the earlier EXIM Analytics Dashboard developed with many added features. It is more user friendly and would facilitate the general public to have an accurate picture on dynamics of foreign trade performance of India.

The new Dashboard gives a graphical collection of exports, imports and balance of trade of India; e.g., the Export turnover of the country - how it performs over time and space? What are the export destinations? What items are being exported? Which are the ports - inland, sea or airports from which the exports are taking place? The new interface is broadly divided into Exports, Imports and Balance of Trade views. Each of these views provide the user with features to inspect the trade that happens between India and a particular country, zoom into the activities of a particular port and reflect trade pattern over any months of the users choice.

The Import view gives a sharp perspective of how Indias imports have changed compared to the previous year. The user may also observe how the import value has fared across the months of that year. The Top Commodities and Ports section details the top 5 commodities and ports, in addition to the ones at the lower end. The clickable world map reflects the performance of India in imports to rest of the world. The darker the country shade, the higher the import from it. The flow diagram to the right of the world map will visualise what percentage of the top commodities have been imported from the various ports (thickness of the line reflects the magnitude).

If users are curious to see how their selected choices were to behave in the Exports area, they merely need to click on the Export view on the top navigation bar. Similarly, when users switch to the Balance of Trade view, they can see a world map detailing countries with positive/negative balance of trade with India. Countries can be sorted by Import value and the corresponding value of Export trade. Visual comparison of import-export trade values over the years is also available. Touching a monthly value in Trade Performance would highlight corresponding value in the Balance of Trade performance chart as well, making it easy to understand Indias position on Balance of Trade (BoT) in that month compared to the previous months.

Digitization of the government records and data analytics is also crucial for fast and effective evidence based planning and policy evaluation. This has an important role to play in effective and transparent governance. The Dashboard would provide an enabling environment to importers and exporters to identify and access global trade opportunities based on reliable and updated information, directly accessible to the public through Government sources.

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Moodys: Global automotive manufacturing industry outlook revised to negative as demand softens
Oct 10,2016

Moodys Investors Service has revised the outlook for the global automotive manufacturing industry to negative from stable amid weakening global demand, the credit rating agency says in a new report. The outlook reflects expectations for fundamental business conditions over the next 12-18 months.

We lowered our outlook on the industry to negative to reflect the challenges automakers around the world will face as a result of softening demand following an extended period of growth in key markets, noted Bruce Clark, a Moodys Senior Vice President. And while profitability in the sector was previously supported by robust growth and strong margins in US and Chinese markets, todays revised outlook underscores the plateauing demand in the US, coupled with meaningfully diminishing demand in China.

Moreover, sales in Europe are forecast to contract modestly in 2017 while Japan will see sales growth of less than 1% in the timeframe.

In 2016, US sales will increase 0.3% and decline modestly by 0.6% in 2017 as pent-up demand experienced during and after the recession wanes.

Moodys says demand in the Western Europe auto market also appears to have peaked after posting 8% volume growth in 2016. Manufacturers ambitious volume expectations for new models will keep pricing pressures high, which could prompt discounting and incentives that eat into profit margins and cash flows.

Auto sales in China will grow 2.7% in 2017 as compared to 6.7% growth this year. If a tax cut on passenger vehicles with engines of 1.6 liters or smaller is extended by the Chinese government beyond year-end, it could positively affect sales growth in 2017. However, Moodys current expectation is for the tax cut to expire at the end of this year.

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Innovative and sustainable urbanization needed for India: Chandrababu Naidu
Oct 10,2016

Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Government of Andhra Pradesh, called for careful, innovative and sustainable urbanization in India as millions more people will move to cities over the next three decades.

Mr Naidu substantiated his idea by giving the example of Amaravati, a new greenfield capital city which has leverage land pooling by farmers. This encouraged farmers to donate their land to the new city area for a financial return in the future. The capital is not only an administrative city, but one with economic equity, dynamism, social equity and wealth creation for the state he said. He emphasized that urbanization is inevitable; however, it should be handled properly by concentrating on rural as well an urban development.

Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, said that comprehensive development of rural and urban areas is needed. India should focus on developing its agriculture sector and transform it quickly to manufacturing sector. He stressed that the planning and designing of a city with detailed engineering and embedded public transportation is the key for successful smart urbanization.

He pointed out that monetization of land values is required. For example, in Gurugram and Noida, smart urbanization took place but the gain in land value could not be reinvested. Mr Kant also suggested that India should look for innovative ideas and examples of successful urbanization in developing cities like Singapore (known for traffic integration), Yokohama (waste management), etc.

Both the panelists agreed that technology and internet of things is an important combination and the need of the hour. Automation would not lead to job loss but with the wealth generated by its implementation, parallel industries like tourism and others can be developed. It is also important to skill workers in technology.

Mr Shivnath Thukral, n++Managing Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, India, said that with the changing attitudes of Government and people, a flourishing environment for startups and technology development, India is poised at the edge of the fourth industrial revolution.

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Coordinated Patrol and India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise Commence at Belawan, Indonesia
Oct 10,2016

In a demonstration of Indias commitment to its ties with Indonesia and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, Indian Naval Ship Karmuk, an indigenously built missile corvette, based under the Andaman and Nicobar Command, alongwith a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, is participating in the 28th India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol and Second Bilateral Maritime Exercise, scheduled from 10-27 Oct 16 in the Andaman Sea.

Defence relations between India and Indonesia have been growing steadily with regular joint activities and interactions between the Armed Forces of the two countries. The two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) on respective sides of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002, with the aim of keeping this vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping, International trade and legitimate marine activities. The CORPAT has strengthened understanding and interoperability between the two navies and promoted net maritime security in the region.

The bilateral cooperation has increased significantly with the scheduling of the Second Bilateral Maritime Exercise alongwith the 28th edition of the CORPAT. The Opening Ceremony at Belawan, Indonesia from 10-13 Oct 16 is being attended by Commodore Girish Kumar Garg, the Naval Component Commander of the Tri Service Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) based at Port Blair. The Bilateral Maritime Exercise and the CORPAT would see participation by one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft from each Navy.

These interactions would also provide opportunities for extensive operational and training engagements, and contribute substantively to the maintenance of good order at sea. The Exercise seeks to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Indonesia, and underscore Indias partnership and solidarity with friendly countries of the region.

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Real estate sentiments sluggish this Diwali: ASSOCHAM survey
Oct 10,2016

Buried under high debt and inability of the developers to complete and hand over the pending projects well beyond the commitments to the hard-pressed consumers, the troubled housing sector is not witnessing any festive activity this year despite the latest cut in the policy interest rate by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), an ASSOCHAM survey has said.

Based on the data and information collected from 250 builders in the Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh and Dehradun, the survey found that the demand for new projects is hard to come while new launches have come to a trickle, marked by lack of consumer confidence and cash deficit of the builders.

Under such a scenario, the demand for new launches, if at all there are, has come down by over 50-60 per cent in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai while it is lesser by about 40-45 per cent in Hyderabad and Chennai. In Bengaluru, the activity has come to a total standstill, first by the demolition drive and then by Cauvery dispute agitation, adds the recent survey.

n++Whatever market is there, it is mainly for the end-users and not for investors, sale has been increased for the smaller units (2 BHK & 3 BHK)n++, reveals the survey.

n++Customers are preferably looking for ready to move in property rather than going for under construction property. But not many properties fall in this categoryn++, adds the Secretary General Mr. D S Rawat.

The resale or secondary market is also dull this festival season, marked by drop of at least 20-25 in prices this festive season. There is very little resale happening especially in the NCR and surrounding areas. Supply is in excess with private small time builders in the unorganised sector flooding the market with units.

The unsold inventory pressure in NCR region is the highest among all other cities. The NCR residential market still has an estimated 1,70,000 units of unsold inventory which is approximately 30% of the units under construction, adds the survey. As per the survey, there are nearly 8-10 million workers engaged in building and other construction activities who face uncertain future if the sector does not revive.

The ticket price 3-bedroom, 2 BHK and single room flats has seen correction by 30% in Noida, 25% in Gurgaon and 15% in some key areas of Delhi, yet the demand stays subdued

All approvals of real estate projects must be accorded in a time bound, accountable and simplifies manner, the ASSOCHAM said suggesting that the process and status of all approvals be made on line so as to bring transparency.

The property analysts have predicted that till March next year the demand for plots, houses and flats may drop by at least 15 to 20%. The housing inventory in the NCR area is huge as a large number of projects are coming up in the peripheral areas, said Mr Rawat.

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Regulators, corporates cannot escape public scrutiny: SEBI chief
Oct 10,2016

As a strong votary of transparency in corporate India, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) U K Sinha today said at an ASSOCHAM event regulators too cannot escape the scrutiny of their working as they are, in several cases, empowered as mini states with vast powers.

Delivering the 19th JRD Tata Memorial Lecture under the aegis of the ASSOCHAM, U K Sinha said, it was time to pause and think whether we are creating too many institutions to ensure accountability or should we aim towards more accountability in more institutions.

He cautioned the large companies as well about the narrative of public accountability now extending to corporates; a phenomenon earlier restricted to politicians and bureaucrats.

He said whenever a large episode of misconduct is detected , a perception gets built about regulatory capture coming in the way of effective action. Giving examples of outcry on ponzy schems, the SEBI Chairman said while a need was felt to further empower the regulators, it is also then incumbent on the regulators to be accountable to Parliament and public. This is all the more true because in several cases in several countries the regulators are given powers equivalent to n++mini states enjoying quasi-judicial powers along with executive powers which in many cases have Parliamentary backing by way of sub-ordinate legislations or rules which are attached to the main laws.

Reminding the corporates of the changing environment where there is more scrutiny, Sinha raised the issue of corporate compensation at the senior levels. Citing global examples, he said companies after companies are paying in exorbitantly to their CEOs even if they are making losses.

In the FTSE 100 companies, the CEOs pay is 180 times more than the average pay of employees. In the USA, the pay of S & P 500 CEO was 204 times more than the median pay of workers in 2015....

In the Indian context, Sinha said the SEBI has noticed and stopped instances where small insignificant private companies were being merged with the listed companies at a huge valuation primarily to provide gain to the promoters at the cost of other shareholders.

However, the SEBI chief pressed for checks and balances to ensure that in the name of accountability the very functioning of the regulators is not throttled. He cited examples how in the course of SEBIs probes into the ponzi schemes, public interest litigations and criminal complaints were filed against the regulator. But, the courts, have played a commendable role in this regard. Courts have shown remarkable maturity and restrain.

Sinha also touched upon the issue of gender sensitivity among the Indian firms which still do not measure up to the global standards despite improvement in the last five years.

Earlier, welcoming the SEBI Chairman, ASSOCHAM President Sunil Kanoria emphasized the need for transparency in functioning of the corporate India. Paying tributes to the legendary JRD Tata, the ASSOCHAM chief said the chamber has been receiving national and international luminaries for the prestigious JRD Tata Memorial Lecture.

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