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Rs. 834.71 crores has been allocated for NFSM-Pulses
Jul 18,2017

For the year 2017-18, an amount of Rs.1720.00 crores (Government of India Share) has been earmarked for National Food Security Mission (NFSM), out of which an amount of Rs.834.71 crores has been allocated, so far, for NFSM-Pulses to States for increasing the production of pulses in the country. An amount of Rs.169.28 crores has been released so far to States for implementation of the pulses programme.

In order to create awareness among the farming community with regard to cultivation of pulses, Government of India has been taking steps like organization of cluster/cropping system based demonstrations on latest crop production technology, cropping system based training, etc. through State Governments and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Besides, seed production of pulses through seed-hubs has also been taken up by ICAR Institutes/Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs)/State Agricultural Universities (SAUs).

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ICAR set target for achieving the goal of doubling farmers income
Jul 18,2017

DARE/ICAR has developed 596 high yielding climate resilient crop varieties/ hybrids of field crops for cultivation in different agro-ecologies of the country during past 3 years. During 2016-17 alone record 313 field crop varieties, 51 horticultural crop varieties, 51 new farm implements, 3 vaccines, 15 diagnostic kits and breeding technology for two new fish species developed. Nutrient rich (zinc, iron, protein) varieties viz., DRR Dhan 45 (18.18 ppm Zinc) and CRR Dhan 310 (10.3% protein) of rice; WB-2 (42 PPM Zinc and 40 PPM Fe) and HPBW-01 (40.6 PPM Zinc and 40.6 Fe) of wheat, Pusa Mustard 30 (zero erucic acid) and Pusa Mustard 31 (Double zero) of Indian mustard have been developed. Rice variety IR-64 Drt-1 (DRR Dhan 42) resistant to drought and Samba Sub-1 tolerant to submergence has been developed. IPM 205-7 (Virat), an extra-early (52-55 days) maturing summer mungbean variety, first-of-its-kind globally, developed. Being short duration variety, it will help in increasing the cropping intensity and diversify the rice-wheat cropping system. Pusa Basmati 1609, Pusa Basmati 1509, Pusa Basmati 1637 and Pusa Basmati 1728 have been developed by using new biotechnological tools. Developed 51 new equipment/technologies/products and processes; 219 new prototypes for farm machinery/new farm implements; established 51 agro processing centres; and supplied 16500 units of multiplied prototypes, in the frontier areas of agricultural engineering with great potential to increase productivity, reduce cost of cultivation, reduce drudgery, improve value addition, conserve resources, provide alternate means for energy generation. Demonstrated production potential of new technologies of pulses, oilseed and other crops through 3.21 lakh frontline demonstrations in farmers field. Skill development of 40.9 lakh farmers and rural youth. Produced and provided 8.79 lakh quintal seed, 12.52 crore planting material and 9.09 crore livestock strains and fingerlings to farmers. Provided agro mobile advisory to 3.95 crore farmers for improved decision-making. Established 150 pulses seed hubs to produce quality seeds of important pulse crops and production of additional quantity of breeder seed of different pulses was undertaken to attain self-sufficiency in pulses. Established 38 on-station Integrated Farming System (IFS) models and refined 63 existing IFS in 14 agro-climatic regions. All these efforts complement the Governments efforts to double the farmers income by 2022.

DARE/ ICAR has set targets, both for short and long term for complementing the efforts of the Govt. by providing technology back up for achieving the goal of doubling farmers income. Targets for next 2 years include, evaluation of 20000 germplasm and breeding lines and conservation of 4000 Germplasm for long term storage, conservation of 200 microbial genetic resources, to identify 30 genotypes and register for unique traits, clone and characterize 10 genes, testing 2000 entries in AICRP multi-location trials, identification of 40 varieties including pulses and oilseeds by AICRP varietal identification committees, production of 56000 quintal Breeder seed, developing and testing 25 new technologies, conducting 10000 front line demonstrations and organizing 220 farmers trainings.

In horticulture sciences targets for next 2 years include, collection of 400 germplasms and characterization of 500 germplasms, development of 100 pre-breeding lines, Identification of 60 promising/elite breeding lines, release of 30 varieties/hybrids, standardization of 50 production technologies, organization of 155 frontline demonstrations, developing 167 modules for capacity building of farmers and other stakeholders, production of 2261 kg breeders/truthfully levelled seed, production of 2250 tonne breeders seed of tuber crops and production of 12.5 lakh quality planting materials and 5 lakh rooted cuttings.

Targets have also been set for soil inventory and characterization (1:10,000 scale), designing and developing of organic farming package of practices, designing, developing and demonstration of climate resilient technologies, designing and developing technologies for managing soil health and designing, developing and testing of 3 technologies for Irrigation water Management. Separate targets have been set for animal sciences, fisheries sciences, agricultural engineering, agricultural education and agricultural extension also.

All these targeted activities are likely to increase the production and productivity of agricultural crops and other enterprises, add value to the produce, reduce cost of production and increase profit margins for the farmers.

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FM: Organized traders and unorganized sellers in Textile Sector have not been affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Jul 18,2017

In a written reply to a Starred Question in Rajya Sabha today, the Union Minister for Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley said that the organized traders and unorganized sellers in Textile Sector have not been affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Shri Jaitley said that the GST rate structure for the textile sector was discussed in detail in the GST Council Meeting held on 3rd June, 2017, wherein the Council recommended the detailed rate structure for the textile sector. Accordingly, the GST rates for the textile sector have been notified as under: 

S. No.

Type of fibre/filament

GST rate

Fibre

Yarn

Fabrics*

Garments and made ups**

1.

Silk

Nil

5%

5%

5% / 12%

2.

Wool

Nil

5%

5%

5% / 12%

3.

Cotton

Nil

5%

5%

5% / 12%

4.

Other vegetable fibres

Nil / 5%

5%

5%

5% / 12%

5.

Manmade fibres / filaments

18%

18%

5%

5% / 12%

* - 5% GST rate with no refund of unutilized input tax credit.

** - (i) 5% GST rate for garments / made ups of sale value not exceeding Rs.1000 per piece.

       (ii) 12% GST rate for garments / made ups of sale value exceeding Rs.1000 per piece.

 Thus, the GST rate structure for the Textiles Sector enables ease of classification and determination of rate.

 The main demand of the textile traders is not to put any tax on fabrics. However, the same cannot be accepted because of the following reasons:

 -+         Nil GST on fabrics will break the input tax credit chain and then the garments / made ups manufacturers will not be able to get the credit of tax on previous stages

-+         Nil GST on fabrics will result in zero rating of imported fabrics, while domestic fabrics will continue to bear the burden of input taxes.

-+         Generally, the GST rates are equal or lower than the pre-GST tax incidence. And therefore, the price of fabrics is not likely to go up. 

It is not correct to say that textiles sector was never taxed in independent India. In fact, during 2003-04, the entire textiles sector was subjected to central excise duty. Necessary steps have been taken to facilitate taxpayers to take GST registration. GST Sewa Kendras have been set-up in various centres to handhold the taxpayers and to provide all necessary guidance regarding GST compliance.

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Commercial Transport Scheme in Ganga River
Jul 18,2017

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented with the technical and investment support of the World Bank to strengthen the navigation capacity and promote transportation of cargo and passengers on National Waterway-1, on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System,.

The project has been appraised by the Public Investment Board, at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crore, and is scheduled to be completed by 2021-22. The project includes construction of multimodal terminals at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal, and a new navigational lock at Farakka in West Bengal.

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Increase in the Compensation Cess rate on cigarettes to make the total tax incidence on cigarettes in GST regime at par with pre-GST regime
Jul 18,2017

In pursuance of the recommendations of the GST Council in its 14th Meeting held on 18.05.2017 and 19.05.2017, the Compensation Cess rates under Section 8 (2) of the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, was notified vide notification No.1/2017-Compensation Cess (Rate), dated 28.06.2017 on Intra-State or Inter-State supply of the specified goods, including cigarettes.

            In respect of cigarettes, the Fitment Committee had recommended that in line with the weighted average VAT rate [28.7%], the GST rate on cigarettes may be kept at 28%. In addition, Compensation Cess may be levied on cigarettes at rates equal to 1.05 times the Specific Excise Duty Rates [net of NCCD]. However, this method of calibrating the Compensation Cess did not take into consideration the cascading of taxes [that is in earlier regime VAT being charged on value inclusive of the excise duty]. As a result, the total tax incidence on cigarettes in GST regime has come down, as compared to the total tax in pre-GST regime.

            While any reduction in tax incidence on items of mass consumption would be welcome, the same would be unacceptable in case of demerit goods like cigarettes.

            The GST Council in its 19thMeeting  held today i.e. on 17.07.2017 reviewed the Compensation Cess rates on cigarettes and recommended the following increase in the same with effect from 00 hours on 18th July, 2017 i.e. the midnight of 17th and 18th July, 2017:

Compensation Cess Rates

Tariff Item

 

Present rate

Proposed Increase

New rates

 

Non- filter

 

 

 

2402 20 10

Not exceeding 65 mm

5% + Rs.1591 per thousand

Rs.485 per thousand

5% + Rs.2076 per thousand

2402 20 20

Exceeding 65 mm but not 70 mm

5% + Rs.2876 per thousand

Rs.792 per thousand

5% + Rs.3668 per thousand

 

Filter

 

 

 

2402 20 30

Not exceeding 65 mm

5% + Rs.1591 per thousand

Rs.485 per thousand

5% + Rs.2076 per thousand

2402 20 40

Exceeding 65 mm but not 70 mm

5% + Rs.2126 per thousand

Rs.621 per thousand

5% + Rs.2747 per thousand

2402 20 50

Exceeding 70 mm but not 75 mm

5% + Rs.2876 per thousand

Rs.792 per thousand

5% + Rs.3668 per thousand

2402 20 90

Others

5% + Rs.4170 per thousand

31%

36% + Rs.4170 per thousand

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Star rating of hotels is irrelevant for determining the applicable rate of GST
Jul 18,2017

Reports have been received expressing doubts whether 5-star Hotels are liable to pay GST @ 28% irrespective of the declared tariff of a unit of accommodation.

In this context, it is hereby clarified that accommodation in any hotel, including 5-star hotels, having a declared tariff of a unit of accommodation of less than INR 7500 per unit per day, will attract GST @ 18%. Star rating of hotels is, therefore, irrelevant for determining the applicable rate of GST.

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Consumers across India have unanimously hailed GST: Dr Jitendra Singh
Jul 18,2017

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that even though there are some initial reservations among certain sections of trading community during the transition phase following GST rollout, the consumers across India have, by and large, unanimously hailed the One Nation, One Tax GST reform introduced by the Central Government.

Dr Jitendra Singh made these observations when the National President of Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), Shri Manas Kumar Thakur met Dr Jitendra Singh and informed that the ICAI had opened a website (http://www.icmai.in) which contained a helpdesk page that could be accessed by anybody from anywhere. He disclosed that, on an average, there are at least 50 to 60 important queries being received online, the response to which was being provided in a time-bound manner within 24 hours, with the help of 60 experts spread all over the country.

Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the services rendered by ICAI and other similar organizations which had a stake in the GST implementation. He also suggested that like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Cost Accountants of India could also introduce specialized courses for its members to deal with the new nuances related to the GST.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, by and large, the GST has been welcomed by all sections of society, particularly the middle and lower classes. He said that there are certain initial issues, which are more of transitory nature and would be overcome in course of time through the mass awareness exercise launched by the Government and other agencies.

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Negative growth have come down to 17% from 27% : FICCIs latest Manufacturing Survey
Jul 18,2017

FICCIs latest Quarterly Survey on Manufacturing suggests slight improvement in the manufacturing sector outlook in the first quarter (April - June 2017-18) of the fiscal as the percentage of respondents reporting higher production in first quarter have increased vis-n++-vis previous quarter. More importantly, FICCI Survey suggests that the percentage of respondents reporting lower production has reduced considerably over the previous quarter thereby indicating a more positive outlook in months to come. The proportion of respondents reporting higher output growth during the April - June 2017-18 quarter has risen slightly from 47% January - March 2016-17 to 49%. Respondents reporting negative growth have come down to 17% in April - June 2017-18 from 27% as reported in the previous quarter, noted FICCI Survey.

FICCIs latest quarterly survey assessed the expectations of manufacturers for Q-1 (April - June 2017-18) for eleven major sectors namely auto, capital goods, cement and ceramics, chemicals and fertilizers, electronics & electricals, leather and footwear, machine tools, metal and metal products, paper products, textiles and technical textiles, and textiles machinery. Responses have been drawn from over 300 manufacturing units from both large and SME segments with a combined annual turnover of over ₹3.5 lac crore.

However, the cause for worry was the rising cost of production (for a little over two-thirds of the respondents), the Survey noted. The cost of production as a percentage of sales for product for manufacturers in the survey has risen significantly as 69% respondents in Q-1 2017-18, against 60% respondents reported cost escalation in last quarter. This is primarily due to rise in minimum wages and raw material cost.

In terms of order books, about 47% respondents in April - June 2017-18 quarter reported higher order numbers which is almost the same as that recorded in the previous quarter.

Capacity Addition & Utilization

The average capacity utilization as reported in the survey for the manufacturing sector is about 75% for Q-4 2016-17 which is similar to that of Q-3 2016-17. The future investment outlook remains less optimistic. Even now, 74% respondents in Q-1 2017-18 as against 75% respondents in Q-4 2016-17 reported that they dont have any plans for capacity additions for the next six months. Although, the bleak investment outlook seems to be waning if Q-3 2016-17 is taken into consideration (when 77% respondents had no plans for capacity addition). High percentage implies slack in the private sector investments in manufacturing is here to continue for some more months. Large volumes of imports, under-utilised capacities and lower domestic demand from industrial sectors and OEMs are some of the major constraints which are affecting the expansion plans of the respondents.

On a broader perspective, in some sectors (like chemicals, capital goods, textiles machinery, cement, metals and paper) average capacity utilization has either remained same or declined in Q-4 of 2016-17. On the other side, some sectors including auto, textiles and electronics and electricals reported a rise in the average capacity utilization over the same period.

Inventories

As for the inventory levels, 87% of the participants in Q-4 (January - March 2016-17), as against an overwhelming 97% in Q-3 (October-December 2016), have maintained either more or same levels of inventory as their average inventory levels.

Exports

Export outlook of manufacturing sector for the first quarter of this fiscal also seems to be marginally improving as percentage of respondents expecting fall in Q-1 (2017-18) has come down from 22.8% in Q-4 (2016-17) to 18.5%.

Hiring

Hiring outlook for the sector remains subdued in near future as 73% of the sample participants in Q-1 2017-18 said that they are unlikely to hire additional workforce in next three months. However, when compared on a sequential basis, this proportion reflects a mild improvement over the previous quarter when 77% of the respondents were reportedly averse to hire additional workforce.

Interest Rate

Average interest rate paid by the manufacturers still remain high though have shown some sign of moderation with average rate of 11% but highest rates continue to be upwards of 14.5%.

Sectoral Growth

Based on expectations in different sectors, the Survey suggests that moderate growth is expected in metals, leather and footwear, machine tools and capital goods sector in Q-1 2017-18. Low growth is expected in sectors like chemicals, automotive, textiles and cement. Only in case of electronics and electricals high growth is expected for Q-1 2017-18.

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Moodys: Asian high-yield issuance remains robust in Q2 2017; YTD issuance above annual average
Jul 18,2017

Moodys Investors Service says that investor tolerance for lower credit quality and the refinancing needs of issuers continue to drive bond issuance in 2017, with Q2 2017 seeing the highest quarterly amount issued since Q1 2013.

A total of 25 deals totaling USD11.6 billion closed in Q2 2017 -- compared with 26 totaling USD10 billion in Q1 2017 -- the highest quarterly amount since Q1 2013, with year-to-date issuance of USD21.6 billion approaching the full-year record of USD23.3 billion set in 2013, says Annalisa DiChiara, a Moodys Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Furthermore, year-to-date issuance is already well above annual average issuance of USD14 billion since 2010, and we also believe that refinancing risks remain manageable and, in the absence of exogenous shocks, the market should be able to absorb upcoming maturities, adds DiChiara.

In addition downgrades moderated considerably in Q2 2017 to 2.79x, approaching the long-term average of 2.41x, adds DiChiara. Although credit quality showed signs of improvement, around 47% of corporate family ratings were in the single-B category and 13% in the Caa-C range says DiChiara. And B3 and below remained elevated at 23 companies or 17.8% of the total.

During Q2 2017, B3-rated bonds accounted for a significant portion of issuance or USD4.6 billion, while China Evergrande Groups (B2 stable) USD3.8 billion accounted for the bulk of that amount.

Furthermore, China-based corporates dominated issuance at 70% of the total, with Indonesia at 13%, India at 12% and Macau at 5%.

Moodys further notes that the number of B3 and below companies have generally been on the rise since 2012, and stood at a 5-year high of 17.8% of our Asian high yield portfolio at 30 June 2017. Such issuers accounted for USD9.8 billion of rated debt, with around US2.3 billion maturing by 30 June 2018.

In total, USD128.6 billion of rated and unrated maturities are scheduled through to 2021, and USD6.7 billion of rated bonds will mature by 30 June 2018.

Meanwhile, Moodys Asian Liquidity Stress Index (Asian LSI) weakened in June, rising to 25.6% from 25.2% in May 2017.

The Asian LSI measures the percentage of high-yield companies with SGL-4 scores as a proportion of high-yield corporate family ratings (CFRs) and decreases when speculative-grade liquidity improves.

The June figure ended six months of continuous improvement, and the reading now remains just above the long-term average of 22.9%, highlighting that weak liquidity is still a concern for many companies in Asia.

Although Moodys has assigned SGL scores to all 129 high-yield rated companies, only 102 of these companies have rated debt outstanding totaling $72.6 billion at 30 June 2017. In addition, the amount of rated debt in June 2017 was at its highest level since December 2010. At end-June, SGL-1 and SGL-2 companies together accounted for 48.5% of the rated debt outstanding.

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Ind-Ra: Banks to Take a Hit of Minimum INR180 billion for 12 Accounts Identified for Bankruptcy Proceedings
Jul 18,2017

Indian banks need to provide a bare minimum INR180 billion additionally towards 12 accounts identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for reference to the National Company Law Tribunal under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in FY18, estimates India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). Ind-Ras analysis pegs the weighted average provisioning currently at 42% by banks towards the 12 identified accounts. Ind-Ra forecasts the additional provisioning to eat into banks profits by around 25% in FY18. This indicates a shave-off in return on assets of 12bp in FY18.

The agency notes that the new minimum required provisioning stands at 50% towards each of the 12 identified accounts, which indicates that banks with average provisioning of 50% on these accounts may also need to provide additional provisions to reach 50% towards each of the 12 accounts.

Ind-Ra believes that the additional provision burden could add disproportionate pressure on the profit and loss accounts (P&L) of a few mid-size public sector banks (PSBs) and hence the agencys outlook towards these banks remains negative. The agency also notes that the additional provision requirement may stretch the profitability of a few large PSBs in FY18, putting the standalone ratings of these entities under pressure. Ind-Ra continues to maintain there is an increasing divide between the large and smaller PSBs, with the former having some access to growth capital, better market valuation, and also some non-core assets to divest while the latter would only receive bailout capital if required and would need to ration their capital consumption over next two years.

The 12 accounts are broadly classified across five sectors, which have been further reclassified as iron and steel, infrastructure and others in Ind-Ras study. The weighted average provisioning of 45% (as of March 2017) towards the iron and steel sector exposure continues to be the highest across all sectors, given the deep entrenchment of stress in the sector, low capacity utilisation and high expected ultimate haircuts. The weighted average provisioning as of March 2017 for the infrastructure sector exposure is 36%. Ind-Ra highlights much of the unrecognised stress (INR7.7 trillion as of September 2016, 35% of which is expected to slip into the substandard category over the next 12-18 months) forms a part of the infrastructure sector where a going concern approach towards resolution could fetch a more favourable value in comparison to a liquidation approach given the nature of the assets in the sector and the fact that many of the projects in the sector are under stress on account of cash flow mismatches and project overruns.

Out of the total INR180 billion required provisioning, the iron and steel sector contributes around INR105 billion and the infrastructure sector INR41 billion. The iron & steel sector had faced severe stress at the time of the Asset Quality Review exercise conducted by the RBI last fiscal.

India Ratings highlighted in the report FY18 Bank Outlook: Long Tail of Credit Costs to Subdue Profitability Despite Plateauing Stressed Assets that impaired assets will peak at 12.5%-13% by FY18/FY19. Credit costs however will show an extended recovery period (FY18F: 185bp; FY16: 230bp), as a large proportion of recently acquired higher-bucket NPLs keep aging. This would keep the return on assets for PSBs and private banks at around 20bp below their respective long-term medians. Factoring this in Ind-Ra expects banks to require INR910 billion in tier-1 capital till March 2019 to grow at a bare minimum pace of 8-9% CAGR. This includes the INR200 billion of residual tranches from the government of Indias Indradhanush programme.

The banks have been given six months to finalise the resolution plans for other non-performing accounts that do not currently qualify under this criteria, close to around 500 accounts. If no resolution plan emerges in that period then banks will have to begin insolvency proceedings on these accounts too said RBI, which Ind-Ra believes will translate into more resolutions in FY19.

Ind-Ra believes the fear of insolvency will force all stakeholders to seek remedial measures and resolve stress swiftly, which will be positive, in the event it occurs. The fear of liquidation or winding up could have a positive impact as stakeholders would be willing to arrive at common ground to escape liquidation, nevertheless haircuts specially towards the larger exposures are inevitable.

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Inflation outlook to stay muted for more months: ASSOCHAM
Jul 18,2017

With the country set to reap a record foodgrains production and the industry not enjoying any pricing power, the inflation outlook remains quite muted at least till festival season of Durga Puja and Diwali, an ASSOCHAM analysis has suggested. n++The inflation, based on the Index of Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the past six months, between January and June, 2017 clearly shows that there has been a sharp drop in the pace of price rise , not only in the headline number to below one per cent but also in several individual items of interest to the common household. Besides, the inflation for the manufactured products, more so for the manufactured food products, has seen a significant decline in the past six months. The headline WPI inflation has dropped in the past six months from 4.26 per cent in January, 2017 to 0.90 in June this year. For the manufactured products, it has decreased from 3.37 per cent to 2.27 per cent, while for the manufactured food products, the figure has dropped from 10.73 per cent to 3.09 per cent on the annualized basisn++. , said the ASSOCHAM note.

n++Going forward, there could be some disruption for one or two vegetable items such as tomatoes, having seen crop damage, but overall, the situation is going to remain quite comfortable for the consumers at least till October-November. Floods in some parts of the country, may also play a spoilsport. However, a vigil needs to be maintained for ensuring that farmers are protected from the market distortions and the procurement agencies like the Food Corporation of India and other government wings both at the Central and the State levels along with the cooperatives like NAFED are fully geared to lift the farm produce in time and at remunerative rates n++.

Commenting on the situation, the ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said, the concept of e-platforms for the farm produce is excellent, but the same needs to be given a big push by the state governments, disallowing those middle men who may not be happy to shift to the transparent system of mandi operations.

He said the fact the inflation for manufactured food has dropped from a double digit to just about three per cent clearly reflects easing of the raw material costs for the food processing firms thanks to abundant supply of farm produce.

The last three months have witnessed a dramatic fall in the WPI inflation from 5.11 per cent in March to less than one per cent in June. n++Here again, the impact of bumper foodgrains and the entire cereals production is clearly visible. With the wheat harvest and arrivals of the new crop began from April, the wheat inflation saw a sharp drop from 11.33 per cent in February, then to 6.33 per cent in March and to 0.29 per cent in June this year on an annualized basis.

Of course the biggest contributors to a sharp fall in inflation are the vegetable prices which have dropped by over 21 per cent in June, 2017 year on year. n++It is here, the inflation should start reviving in the next few months,n++ the ASSOCHAM note added.

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MoU Signed between Department of Defence Production and BEL
Jul 18,2017

Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a Navratna Schedule A Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financial year 2017-18 with the Ministry. The annual MoU was signed between Secretary (Defence Production) Shri Ashok Kumar Gupta on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Chairman and Managing Director, BEL Shri MV Gowtama.

The revenue from operations has been targeted at Rs. 9000 crore. The Operating Profit to Revenue from Operations target has been set at 14 percent and PAT to Average Networth has been set at 15 percent.

Turnover from exports and increase in indigenous content are given additional focus during the year, along with other parameters like CAPEX investment and Monitoring of CAPEX projects, Reduction in Trade Receivables, and HR related parameters.

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Anti-Dumping Duty on Steel Imports
Jul 17,2017

The Government had imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from 4.58% to 57.39% of landed value on Cold Rolled Flat Products of Stainless Steel from China, Korea, European Union, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and USA on 17 April 2014.

Anti-dumping duty on the above items were further extended by five more years as per Government notification dated 11.12.2015. After a sunset review, it was found that:-

(i) there is continued dumping of these goods from above mentioned countries/territories though the volume of imports has declined;


(ii) the performance of the domestic industry has deteriorated in the current injury period due to the impact of the dumped imports from these countries; and


(iii) the dumping is likely to continue and the performance of the domestic industry is likely to deteriorate, if the anti-dumping duty is revoked.

Anti-dumping duty is imposed on the basis of margin of dumping which can vary across countries, producers or exporters. Accordingly, there are variable rates of anti-dumping duty on different exporting countries, producers or exporters. Details of country-wise duty imposed are given below-

S. No.CountryADD as % of landed value

1

Peoples Republic of China

57.39%

2

Korea RP

5.39% to 13.44%

3

Chinese Taipei

15.93%

4

South Africa

12.34% to 36.91%

5

Thailand

4.58% to 5.39%

6

USA

9.47%

7

European Union

29.41% to 52.56%

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The Government has accorded in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of three units of Steel Authority of India
Jul 17,2017

The Government has accorded in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of three units of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) viz, Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Plant, Bhadravati, Salem Steel Plant, Tamil Nadu and Alloy Steel Plant, Durgapur. These three units of SAIL have been consistently making losses.

The details of the significant steps taken by SAIL to improve the financial performance of the three plants are as under:-

(i) Capital investment to improve the facilities;

(ii) Reduction in consumption level of raw materials;

(iii) Production optimization and product-mix improvement;

(iv) Improvement in techno-economic parameters;

(v) Waste management;

(vi) Strict control on demurrage expenses;

(vii) Reduction in inventory of finished/semi-finished products, stores & spares and raw materials, etc;

(viii) Reduction in logistic cost for transportation of Raw Materials and Finished Steel; and

(ix) Reduction in specific power and water consumption.

The entire process of the strategic disinvestment is to be carried out with the help of Transaction Adviser (TA), Legal Adviser (LA) and Asset Valuer (AV) who would advise on appropriate mechanism of disinvestment.

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Relaxation for Reserved Category in NET
Jul 17,2017

University Grants Commission (UGC) has informed that the new qualifying criteria for declaration of result for UGC NET Examination is as follows:

n++ Top 6% of the UGC NET candidates who appear in all three papers and secure at least 40% aggregate marks for candidates belonging to General Category and at least 35% aggregate marks for candidates belonging to social groups viz., Scheduled Castes /Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes (Non-creamy layer)/ People with Disabilities will be declared qualified for NET to be eligible for Assistant Professor by following the extant reservation policy of Government of India.

n++ Out of the total number of candidates qualifying for NET for Eligibility for Assistant Professor, the candidates who have applied for Junior Research Fellowship (JRF), shall form the consideration zone for JRF. The available fellowships will be awarded as per merit by following the extant reservation policy of the Government of India.

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