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A high level committee set up by CCRH to deal with issues related to false propaganda against homoeopathy: AYUSH Minister
Aug 09,2017

Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) is an autonomous body and apex research Body under Ministry of AYUSH. CCRH has an institutional mechanism wherein a committee consisting of Chairpersons of different Committees including Scientific Advisory Committee, Sub-committee on clinical research and Basic & Fundamental research has been set up to prevent false propaganda against homoeopathy and other related issues.

Homoeopathy is officially recognized system under the Ministry of AYUSH. For regulation of education and practice in Homoeopathy, a statutory body namely, Central Council of Homeopathy (CCH) was constituted under the provisions of Homoeopathy Central Council Act, 1973. Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH), and National Institute of Homoeopathy (NIH) are apex bodies under Ministry of AYUSH in the field of research and education respectively.

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Goods and Services Tax aims to bring informal sector under the ambit of formal economy
Aug 09,2017

The introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) aims to bring the informal sector under the ambit of formal economy. The GST framework captures every transaction from end to end, recording them from source to final destination, leaving no room for uncertainty while promoting transparency and corruption-free business environment, said Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (I/C), Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India.

Alluding to the advantages of bringing sectors under a formal regime, Mr. Goyal said that GST would enhance the tax base eventually leading to reduction in tax rates. The increased revenue from taxes would enable targeted spending towards betterment of poor, old, children and women and other deprived sections of the society. Besides, the government would be able to develop better infrastructure.

Mr. Goyal said that GST would create a level playing field by removing discrepancies from the system with the help of technology. Earlier, with multiple taxes in place, it was easier to evade taxes but the GST framework makes it necessary for businessmen to record each transaction. He also urged women to promote and become the harbingers of GST.

Referring to different tax slabs in GST, Mr. Goyal said that one tax for the entire range of goods and services would have created an imbalance in the economy by making common goods expensive. Therefore, with different tax rates, the government attempted to keep the tax on common goods lower or equal to earlier regime wherever possible to keep them affordable.

Ms. Vasvi Bharat Ram, President, FLO, said, n++With this session, we aim to empower women with enhanced knowledge on GST and the implementation of it in business as also daily lives. This is in sync with the vision of FLO, which is to Change Lives - Women Empowering Women as also with our mission to promote economic empowerment and equal opportunity for women.n++

Ms. Bharat Ram said, n++FLO believes that the resources and strengths of women need to be channelized, to help their full potential. It acts as a catalyst for the social and economic advancement of women and society at large. Educational and vocational training programmes, talks, seminars, panel discussions and workshops on a vast range of subjects especially concerning women and business are a part of this process.n++

She added, n++While we are happy that goods such as bindi, sindoor, kajal, bangles, which are specifically used by women, come under no tax slot. But, sanitary products, that are useful to every woman but is not accessible as widely has been made tougher to access because of its hiked up tax rate. This is something that we would request the government to look into as sanitary pads are not a luxury, it is a necessity for women.n++

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ADB Sells Dual-Tranche $750 Million 5-Year and $500 Million 10-Year Global Green Bonds to Spur Climate Financing
Aug 09,2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised $1.25 billion to help finance climate change mitigation and adaptation projects with the issue of dual-tranche 5-year and 10-year green bonds.

n++ADB is responding to the rapidly growing demand for green bonds with our second dual-tranche outing and our first 5-year green bond offering,n++ said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. n++We have found the dual-pronged approach taken today to be an efficient means of reaching ethical investors active at different segments of the yield curve. This approach means that ADB is reaching an increasing number of investors who understand the importance of the green label.n++

Proceeds of the green bonds will support low-carbon and climate resilient projects funded through ADBs ordinary capital resources and used in its non-concessional operations.

In 2015, ADB announced that it would double its annual climate financing to $6 billion by 2020. ADBs support for climate change will rise to around 30% of its overall financing by the end of this decade. Out of the $6 billion, $4 billion will be dedicated to mitigation through scaling up support for renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and building smart cities, while $2 billion will be for adaptation through more resilient infrastructure, climate-smart agriculture, and better preparation for climate-related disasters.

The 5-year bond has an issue size of $750 million, a coupon rate of 1.875% per annum payable semi-annually and a maturity date of 10 August 2022. It was priced at 99.531% to yield 16.3 basis points over the 1.875% US Treasury notes due July 2022. The 10-year bond has an issue size of $500 million, a coupon rate of 2.375% per annum payable semi-annually and a maturity date of 10 August 2027. It was priced at 99.172% to yield 20.5 basis points over the 2.375% US Treasury notes due May 2027.

The transactions were lead-managed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Agricole CIB, and J.P. Morgan. A syndicate group was also formed consisting of Citi, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, and TD Securities.

Both issues achieved wide primary market distribution with 24% of the 5-year bonds placed in Asia; 29% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and 47% in the Americas. By investor type, 38% of the bonds went to central banks and official institutions; 31% to banks; and 31% to fund managers. For the 10-year bonds, 13% were placed in Asia; 69% in Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and 18% in the Americas. By investor type, 25% of the bonds went to central banks and official institutions; 52% to banks; and 23% to fund managers.

ADB plans to raise around $27 billion to $30 billion from the capital markets in 2017.

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Indian handset market crosses 350 million shipments in 2017: ASSOCHAM-KPMG study
Aug 09,2017

Indian handset market recorded over 350 million shipments in the year 2017 as compared to 280 million in 2016, a surge in revenue from INR 111,000 crores in 2015 to INR 135,000 crore in 2016, according to an ASSOCHAM-KPMG joint study.

Smart phones have also gained immense popularity in India in the last four years and constituted 43 per cent of the total handset shipments in 2016. Robust growths of the handset market coupled with enhanced connectivity of telecom services have been pivotal in growth of various industries such as retail, manufacturing, IT, e-commerce, etc, noted the ASSOCHAM-KPMG study titled Accelerating growth and ease of doing businesses.

Indian handset exports flourished from 2008 to 2012 going up to INR 12,000 crores but were interrupted by a decline of almost 30 per cent in two subsequent years. Accompanied by a parallel fall in handset manufacturing, downfall of handset manufacturing industry became a major area of concern for the government, noted the study.

In order to revive the industry, it is imperative to boost handset manufacturing in India. The FTTF, set up in 2014 has a target of increasing count of handsets manufactured in India to 500 million and handset exports to 120 million by 2020. Further, Make in India, Skill India, and other initiatives taken by the government played a pivotal role to achieve an 85 per cent growth in handset manufacturing recorded in the year 2015-16 (INR54,000 crores) over the previous year, which in 2016-17 grew to INR 90,000 crores.

Currently, the only export incentive available to handset manufacturers is a two per cent incentive under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) introduced in the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20. The industry is of the view that the government may increase the MEIS incentive and introduce new incentives such as freight equalization subsidy and to enhance duty draw back to 3 per cent to attract more players in the market and to encourage the existing players to ramp up manufacturing which would also create more jobs in India.

Secondly, zero import duty is applicable on few capital goods such as SMT lines etc. used for manufacture of handsets. However, various other capital goods used for manufacture of handsets and components are still not covered under zero import duty regime. Therefore, full import duty is currently levied on various capital goods used in manufacture of handsets and components. Though, under the new GST framework, manufacturers will be able to avail input credit for the equipment imported, imported equipment still add significantly to the overall cost of manufacturing in India.

Also, import of second hand capital goods has been restricted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and clearances for imports takes a long period of time to complete. Therefore, the possibility of a cost effective alternative to import the new capital goods is virtually eliminated.

Countries such as Vietnam and China, offer significant incentives by way of direct tax holidays which provide a very cost effective platform for handset manufacturers to set up production facilities. Vietnam provides tax exemptions to players for the first four years of revenue generation and levies only 10 per cent for the next 11 years, which may be extended to 26 years on approval of the Vietnamese Prime Minister. These initiatives by governments of other countries make those countries favourable for market players to undertake manufacturing, raising their global competitiveness, highlighted the study.

With the primary objective of making the handset manufacturing market favourable for existing players and attracting new players, the government may consider introducing reforms with regard to tax exemptions, favourable rates and incentives, etc.

A wider penetration of feature phones and smart phones would facilitate seamless application of upcoming technologies such as 5G, M2M, Internet of Things (IoT), etc. and also enable the government in achieving targets that it set under the flagship Digital India initiative, adds the study.

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140 Research Projects on medicinal plants are being currently supported by NMPB: Shri Shripad Naik
Aug 09,2017

A number of research / studies on medicinal values of plants are being carried out by various government as well as private universities / research institutions/ organizations in India.

Presently, research projects on various aspects (viz. literary research, survey, identification, documentation, micropropagation, agrotechnology, drug standardization, pharmacological and clinical research etc.) of medicinal plants are being supported by different Ministries/Departments of Government of India (viz. Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture & Family Welfare, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology etc.) under their concerned schemes / programmes.

Under the Ministry of AYUSH, different Research Councils viz. Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM), Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy (CCRH) and Central Council for Research in Siddha (CCRS) are engaged in research & development activities on medicinal plants used in concerned system of medicine. In addition, the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH, under its Central Sector Scheme on n++Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plantsn++ is also supporting research & development projects on various aspects on medicinal plants to number of government as well as private universities / research institutions/ organizations across the country. At present more than 140 research projects, supported under NMPBs Central Sector Scheme on various aspects of medicinal plants, are ongoing in various universities/ research organizations in different states of the country.

Some of the premier research institutions/organizations doing research on medicinal value of plants are: Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP)- Lucknow, Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI)- Lucknow, Indian Institute for Integrative Medicines (IIIM)- Jammu, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT)- Palampur, National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI)- Lucknow, North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST)- Jorhat under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Research (DMAPR)- Anand, Gujarat under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Indian Council of Forestry and Education (ICFRE)- Dehradun, and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

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NITI Aayog selects 3 States for transformative change in Health & Education sectors
Aug 09,2017

In a major push to competitive, cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog, today, announces partnership with three States each to radically transform their Health and Education sectors.

NITI Aayog has selected Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka to improve healthcare delivery and key outcomes in these States. In Education, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have been selected for support to better learning outcomes. The six States have been chosen after a rigorous competitive process based on comprehensive metrics to determine potential for impact and likelihood of success.

States were called to, first, express intent of collaborating with NITI Aayog to better their Health and Education indices. States then made presentations for each sector which was assessed by a committee comprised of senior members of NITI Aayog and Health and Education ministries. The States highlighted the initiatives undertaken by them thus far, their willingness to accelerate improvement and justified why they should be selected for the institutional support being offered by NITI Aayog.

On thorough technical evaluation, the chosen States have committed to time-bound, governance reforms in both sectors. A Program Management Unit to push for efficiency and efficacy in governance structures and service delivery will now be available in the six chosen States for a period of 30 months. It is expected that these three years of focussed attention and support from the premier think tank will lead to a marked transformation and also provide a model for other States to replicate and adapt.

This three-way partnership between NITI, State Governments and a knowledge partner for each of the sectors is part of the Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH) initiative of NITI Aayog.

NITI Aayog has been working to foster co-operative federalism by ranking states through health, water, education, and agricultural indices. However, SATH has been launched to go beyond ranking states and to handhold them in improving their social sector indicators. SATH is a challenging and ambitious initiative as the baseline of various indicators and parameters of education and health in the States are in public domain. It defines a new dimension for cooperative federalism, where NITI Aayog and its knowledge partner will actively aid implementation of their recommendations, in addition to just policy inputs. All stakeholders will be under pressure from the day of signing of the MOU to initiate reforms or processes which will show improvement in education and learning outcomes.

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High Capacity Parcel Vans in Indian Railways
Aug 08,2017

To meet the demand of full vehicle load perishable traffic, Indian Railways has developed High Capacity Parcel Vans (VPs) with a capacity of 23 Tonnes which are attached to passenger carrying trains subject to availability of room in train and operational feasibility.

To facilitate transportation of milk through Rail, specially designed High Capacity Milk Tankers having capacity of 44.66 KL are run as Special trains. At present 3 Milk tanker trains are being run of which 2 trains are run by Gujarat Corporative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMFL) from Palanpur to Bhim Sen and other by Mother Dairy from Daund to Baraut.

In addition to this, Indian Railways also run special parcel train consisting of High Capacity Parcel Vans for transportation of fruits in bulk like Mango, Banana, Orange etc. on demand, on a fixed path between specific origin-destination stations. Railways supply rakes for transportation of fruits on indent basis.

For transportation of horticulture produce in container, Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) has procured 98 Ventilated Isolated Containers specially designed for movement of fruits and vegetables.

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Swachh Bharat launches Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017
Aug 08,2017

As the Swachh Bharat Mission approaches the third anniversary of its launch by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation today launched a third party verification survey report to take stock of the progress already made by the Mission in rural India. The Quality Council of India (QCI) has conducted a transparent third-party assessment of the present status of rural sanitation in all States and UTs, called Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017.

Under the Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017, QCI surveyed 1.4 lakh rural households across 4626 villages, and found the overall toilet coverage to be 62.45%. At the time of the survey, i.e. May-June 2017, the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) MIS reported the coverage to be 63.73%. The survey also observed that 91.29% of the people having access to a toilet, use it. The Swachh Survekshan Gramin 2017 report was launched at a press conference today in New Delhi by the Union Minister, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, and the Secretary, Shri Parameswaran Iyer.

It was also announced at the press conference that, to encourage States and districts to improve their Sanitation coverage and Solid Liquid Waste Management (SLWM), the MDWS will also begin ranking all districts in India based on the data available on the SBM-G IMIS quarterly. The ranking will be done based on parameters of Performance, Sustainability and Transparency, and the first ranking will be announced on 2nd October, 2017 for the quarter July-September 2017. To instil healthy competition amongst districts, they will also be given awards based on this ranking on a quarterly basis. The formula for calculating these rankings will be:

Total score (100) = Performance (50) + Sustainability (25) + Transparency (25)

Further, in response to the Prime Ministers call to the nation to Quit Filth, it was announced by Shri Tomar that the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) will celebrate the week leading up to the 70thIndependence Day as n++Khule Mein Shauch Se Azaadin++saptaah. Highlights of this week are:

1. More than 24 States have prepared their Swachhta Action Plan for the week to reinforce their swachhta efforts by innovative methods and with community engagement.

2. On 12 August, 2017, MDWS and MoWR, RD & GR will jointly announce 24 Ganga Grams from five States, Uttarakhand (3), UP (10), Bihar (4), Jharkhand (5) and West Bengal (2) to make them Aadarsh Ganga Gram.

3. 30 SwachhtaRaths will be launched at Allahabad on August 12, 2017 in the presence of the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Shri Tomar.

4. Swachhta Raths will also be launched in other parts of the country.

Shri Tomar also announced that, in the run up to completion of three years of Swachh Bharat Mission, MDWS is planning various Swachhta events across the country from 25th September to 2nd October 2017. During this week, National Swachhta Awards will be given to grass root level swachhta champions, district officers, Best Pakhwada Ministries, outstanding contributions by Ministries, PSU sponsors for Swachh Iconic Places and Swachhta Action Plan.

Over 4.54 crore household toilets have been constructed since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin. 2,20,104 villages, 160 districts and 5 States declared ODF.Sanitation Coverage has increased from 39% in October 2016 to 66% in August 2017.

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Export of Oilmeals up by 54% during April - July 2017
Aug 08,2017

The export of oilmeals during July 2017 is reported at 39,122 tons compared to 108,638 tons in July 2016 i.e. down by 64%, as per the export data compiled by Solvent Extractors Association of India. The overall export of oilmeals during April - July 2017 provisionally reported at 638,468 tons compared to 413,341 tons during the same period of last year i.e. Up by 54%.

In last three months the export of oilmeals improved compared to the previous year, thanks to good monsoon, better oilseeds production and price parity. In percentage terms export showing improvement, but still it is lower compared to earlier years, which can be seen from the below table. It may be also noted that India faced drought years during 2014-15 and 2015-16, which lead to lower production of oilseeds which affected export of oilmeals to a lowest level, however with good monsoon last year, export revived to some extent.

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Gartner Says Worldwide Semiconductor Capital Spending Is Forecast to Grow 10.2 Percent in 2017
Aug 08,2017

Worldwide semiconductor capital spending is projected to increase 10.2 percent in 2017, to $77.7 billion, according to Gartner, Inc. This growth rate is up from the previous quarters forecast of 1.4 percent, due to continued aggressive investment in memory and leading-edge logic which is driving spending in wafer-level equipment.

Spending momentum is more concentrated in 2017 mainly due to strong manufacturing demand in memory and leading-edge logic. The NAND flash shortage was more pronounced in the first quarter of 2017 than the previous forecast, leading to over 20 percent growth of etch and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) segments in 2017 with a strong capacity ramp-up for 3D NAND, said Takashi Ogawa, research vice president at Gartner.

According to Gartners latest view, the next cyclical down cycle will emerge in 2018 to 2019 in capital spending, compared with 2019 to 2020 in the previous quarters forecast. Spending on wafer fab equipment will follow a similar cycle with a peak in 2018. While the most likely scenario will still keep positive growth in 2018, there is a concern that the growth will turn negative if the end-user demand in key electronics applications is weaker than expected, said Mr. Ogawa.

Table 1: Worldwide Semiconductor Capital Spending and Equipment Spending Forecast, 2016-2020

(Millions of Dollars)

20162017201820192020Semiconductor Capital Spending70,568.977,794.577,443.571,814.873,239.5Growth (%)9.110.2-0.5-7.32.0Wafer Fab Equipment, Including Wafer-Level Packaging37,033.143,661.043,690.440,515.841,342.7Growth (%)11.417.90.1-7.32.0Other Semiconductor Capital Spending33,535.834,133.533,753.231,299.031,896.8Growth (%)6.81.8-1.1-7.21.9

Source: Gartner (July 2017)

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Monthly subscriber additions in the telecom industry which showed a declining trend over 1QFY18
Aug 08,2017

India Ratings and Researchs (Ind-Ra) report on Indias telecom sector highlights the trends in the telecom sector with a focus on subscriber additions, subscriber market share, circle wise additions, broadband subscribers, data usage and pricing.

The key highlights of the report include monthly subscriber additions in the telecom industry which showed a declining trend over 1QFY18, after posting high growth during October 2016 to February 2017 on account of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltds (RJio - IND AAA/Stable) free offerings. RJio gained 9.9% market share between September 2016 and May 2017. Bharti Airtel Limited leads rural subscriber market share, while RJios subscriber base is more urban-centric. Weaker players are losing market share with the competitive play shifting to data from voice. Rural markets are hitherto providing positive net additions to the subscriber base, as against urban markets which have saturated. The overall tele-density in India increased to 93.6% in May 2017 from 83.1% in May 2016.

The proportion of active wireless subscribers was around 86.3% of the total wireless subscriber base in May 2017 (May 2016: 90.6%). The lower industry VLR (visitor location register- measures active subscribers) ratio reflects the multiple sim phenomenon and an increase in dormant subscribers.

Going forward, competitive intensity could increase in rural markets with the launch of low cost Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE) phones targeted at 2G/first time data users. Jiophone is likely to also accelerate migration from 2G to 4G which will step up the demand for telecom tower sites especially in the unpenetrated areas are housing the larger piece of the target market. The industry data usage has grown rapidly (1000MB per user in the quarter ending March 2017 from 884MB in the quarter ending December 2016) as data tariffs declined. Ind-Ra expects data realisations and average revenue per user levels to continue to remain subdued in view of unlimited voice and data bundled plans.

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Fitch: 1H17 Global Bank Rating Trends Sharply Negative
Aug 08,2017

Global bank rating trends were sharply negative in 1H17, with downgrades significantly outnumbering upgrades, says Fitch Ratings. We changed 92 bank Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs), making 1H17 the most volatile six-month period in recent years. There were 71 downgrades and 21 upgrades, with more than half of the downgrades related to our reassessment of sovereign credit strength.

Emerging markets (EMs) dominated the IDR changes with 57 downgrades and eight upgrades, compared with 14 downgrades and 13 upgrades in developed markets (DMs). Notably, we downgraded 36 IDRs in the Middle East and Africa and 11 IDRs in EM Americas, while all eight upgrades were in EM Europe.

The global distribution of Outlooks remains skewed, with 13% of IDRs on Negative Outlook/Watch and only 5% on Positive.

In EMs, the share of Negative Outlooks (18%) decreased in 1H17 as Outlooks stabilised in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and South Africa (following downgrades), and in Colombia and Panama. At end-1H17, 80% of Negative Outlooks/Watches came from the Middle East and Africa and Latin America, in particular Brazil (14), Qatar (nine) and Mexico (seven). Only 2% of EM banks were on Positive Outlook.

In DMs, Positive Outlooks at end-1H17 (8%) slightly outweighed Negative Outlooks (7%). This was mainly due to Outlook revisions on six Japanese and six Italian banks to Stable from Negative. In all cases except for one in Italy, the revisions mirrored sovereign rating actions. Positive Outlooks are concentrated in Europe, particularly in Spain where they reflect banks improving asset quality supported by the economic recovery.

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External rupee value far greater than internal; mismatch hurting exporters: ASSOCHAM
Aug 08,2017

Declining by close to six per cent over the last one year, rupee is now trading at 63.63-70 against 66.93 to a dollar in August, 2016. n++So, clearly the external value of rupee has strengthened quite,n++ the ASSOCHAM Paper said.

On the other hand, despite a falling inflation, now ruling at a five -year low, the rupee has weakened at least in reverse proportion to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that is inching up all the same.

n++Yes, inflation is down; but it is still inflation and not disinflation or deceleration in prices. That means rupee is able to purchase less of commodities ( to the extent of 1.58 per cent at least) , but when it comes to its value measured against dollar, it has gained by about six per centn++, the paper noted.

A stronger rupee has begun to bite exporters, as is evident in the falling pace of growth in shipments. No doubt, exports have been growing for the last nine months ending June , 2017 but as the Reserve Bank of India has also observed that the n++export growth weakened in May and June from the April peak as the value of shipments across commodity groups either slowed or declinedn++.

Exports have shown growth of 4.39 per cent to USD 23.56 billion in June 2017, as compared to USD 22.57 billion a year ago. But this growth had peaked to 20 per cent in April this fiscal. This deceleration in growth is visible in the subsequent months. Moreover, thanks to declining value of dollar, in Rupee terms, during June 2017 exports had shown a negative growth of 0.04 per cent.

While the year on year value of dollar has dropped by about six per cent, the greenback was trading at a recent peak of 68.73 in November, 2016 and the decline from this high has been much sharper at 7.42 .per cent.

n++It clearly translates into erosion in margins between 6-7 per cent only on account of currency appreciation and the trend is likely to continue on the back of robust inflows in the stock market. The inflows of dollar , taking the countrys foreign exchange reserves to record level of USD 392 billion, are a result of global liquidity flush finding ways into the financial markets of the emerging economiesn++, said ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat.

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25% growth in number of Income Tax Returns filed in current fiscal Advance Tax (Personal Income Tax) collections up by 41%
Aug 08,2017

As a result of demonetization and Operation Clean Money, there is a substantial increase in the number of Income Tax Returns(ITRs) filed. The number of Returns filed as on 05.08.2017 stands at 2,82,92,955 as against 2,26,97,843 filed during the corresponding period of F.Y. 2016-2017, registering an increase of 24.7% compared to growth rate of 9.9% in the previous year. The growth in returns filed by Individuals is 25.3% with 2,79,39,083 returns having been received upto 05.08.2017 as against 2,22,92,864 returns in the corresponding period of F.Y. 2016-2017. This clearly shows that substantial number of new tax payers have been brought into the tax net subsequent to demonetization.

The effect of demonetization is also clearly visible in the growth in Direct Tax Collections. Advance Tax collections of Personal Income Tax (i.e. other than Corporate Tax) as on 05.08.2017 showed a growth of about 41.79% over the corresponding period in F.Y. 2016-2017. Personal Income Tax under Self Assessment Tax (SAT) grew at 34.25% over the corresponding period in F.Y. 2016-2017.

The above figures amply demonstrate the positive results of the Governments commitment to fight the menace of black money. CBDT is committed in its resolve to eradicate tax evasion in a non intrusive manner and widening of tax base.

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GST Council Recommends Increase in Maximum Ceiling of Cess Leviable on Motor Vehicles Falling Under Headings 8702 and 8703 to 25%
Aug 08,2017

The GST Council considered the issue of cess leviable on motor vehicles in and recommended that Central Government may move legislative amendments required for increasing the maximum ceiling of cess leviable on motor vehicles falling under headings 8702 and 8703 including SUVs, to 25% instead of present 15% . However, the decision on when to raise the actual cess leviable on the same will be taken by the GST Council in due course.

It was noted that after introduction of GST, the total tax incidence on motor vehicles [GST + Compensation Cess] has come down vis-a-vis the total tax incidence in pre-GST regime. The Schedule to the Goods and Service Tax (GST) (Compensation to State) Act 2017, specifies the maximum rate at which Goods and Service Tax Compensation Cess may be collected. In respect of motor vehicles, the maximum rate at which Goods and Service Tax Compensation Cess may be collected is 15%.

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