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Cabinet approves Spectrum Usage Charge for the spectrum in various bands held by various operators or to be acquired by them in forthcoming auction
Aug 04,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the rates for Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for various bands of spectrum for which auction are going to be conducted shortly. With this decision the path is clear for issuance of the Notice Inviting Application for spectrum auction by the Department of Telecommunications.

As per the decision of the cabinet, the Spectrum Usage Charge is to be prescribed as given below:

(i) Spectrum acquired in forthcoming auction in 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 & 2500 MHz band is to be charged at the rate of 3% of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) excluding the revenue from wire-line services.

(ii) The weighted average of SUC rates across all spectrum assigned to an operator (whether assigned administratively or through auction or through trading) in all access spectrum bands including BWA spectrum obtained in 2010 auction shall be applied for charging SUC subject to a minimum of 3% of AGR excluding revenues from wire-line services. The weighted average is to be derived by sum of product of spectrum holdings and applicable SUC rate divided by total spectrum holding. The Weighted Average Rate shall be determined operator wise for each service area.

(iii) The amount of SUC payable by the operators during 2015-16 at weighted average derived after taking into consideration the spectrum acquired in the coming auction and excluding the spectrum in 2300 MHz/2500 MHz band acquired/ allocated prior to 2015-16, shall be treated as the floor amount of the SUC to be paid by the operators. Further, in case there is a reduction in AGR of the service provider, the floor amount of SUC shall be reduced proportionately.

This will facilitate to move to a simple, transparent and flat ad-valorem SUC regime in accordance with the law and avoid creative accounting to bypass the revenues.

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Demand for global air freight picks up in June 2016: IATA
Aug 03,2016

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight demand in June 2016 showing a rise in freight tonne kilometers (FTK) of 4.3% year-on-year. This was the fastest pace of growth in 14 months. Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs) increased by 4.9% year-on-year, keeping yields under downward pressure.

Freight demand increased year-on-year in June across all regions with the exception of Latin America which recorded a 9.8% decrease, compared to the same period last year. The Middle East and Europe posted the fastest demand growth in June with year-on-year increases of 8.0% and 5.1% respectively.

June saw an improvement in demand for air freight. Thats good news. However, we cannot read too much into one months performance. Air cargo markets have been in the doldrums for several years during which there were several false starts on indications for improvement. We will continue watching developments closely, keeping in mind that the air freight business environment is fragile. Global economic growth remains sluggish, world trade volumes continue to trend downwards and the industry faces heightened uncertainty in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, said Tony Tyler, IATAs Director General and CEO.

Regional Performance

Asia-Pacific airlines reported a 3.5% increase in demand for air cargo in June compared to last year. Capacity expanded 3.6%. The Asia-Pacific air freight market has been improving in recent months, most notably the large within Asia market. Nonetheless freight volumes from emerging Asia continue to face headwinds from weak trade in the region and globally.

North American carriers saw freight volumes expand 4.3% in June 2016 compared to the same period last year. Capacity increased 4.0%. International freight volumes continue to suffer from the strength of the US dollar which has kept the US export market under pressure.

European airlines witnessed a 5.1% increase in freight volumes and a 4.9% increase in capacity in June 2016. The positive European performance corresponds with signs of an increase in export orders in Germany over the last few months. Seasonally adjusted freight results for Europe are now trending upwards.

Middle Eastern carriers posted the largest increase in freight volumes of all regions for the 16th consecutive month in June - 8.0% year on year. Capacity increased by 8.7%. Although the leader in market growth, the Middle Easts international freight growth rate (6.5%) for the first six months of 2016 is less than half the 14.3% average growth for the same period in 2015.

Latin American airlines reported a decline in demand of 9.8% and a decrease in capacity of 2.6%. The region continues to be blighted by weak economic and political conditions, particularly in the regions largest economy, Brazil.

African carriers recorded 0.4% freight growth in June 2016 compared to the same period last year. African airlines capacity surged by 19.9% year-on-year on the back of long-haul expansion, continuing the trend seen since December 2015.

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Further import of 30,000 MT pulses approved
Aug 03,2016

The Government has decided to import further 30,000 MT pulses, consisting of 20,000 MT tur and 10,000 MT Urad, for the buffer stock. The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of Price Stabilization Fund chaired by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary, Shri Hem Pande here today. The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses from buffer stock.

So far, the Government agencies have procured about 1, 19, 572 MT pulses from the domestic market and farmers and 56,000 MT pulses have been contracted for import. Thus 1, 75, 572 MT pulses are available with the buffer stock.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has requested State Governments repeatedly to lift the pulses Tur and Urad from the buffer stock for distribution not more than Rs. 120/kg. These pulses are provided to the States- Tur at the rate of Rs. 67/kg and Urad at the rate of Rs. 82/kg. On the request of the State Governments, over 29,000 MT pulses have been allocated to the states as on 18.01.2016 but only 3 states have lifted some quantities against their allotments. State wise allocations and lifting of pulses are as follows:

(as on 01.08.2016)

A.    State/UT

AllocationLifted1Chhattisgarh1064.0832Maharashtra4352.2863Bihar5995.3254Andaman & Nicobar559.3445Andhra Pradesh4426.5192221.7416Tamil Nadu4090.8475007Telangana3958.6651999.3658Madhya Pradesh1674.029Rajasthan100010Gujarat1306.16211Karnataka705.093Total29132.344721.106

B.     Delhi

AllocationLifted1Kendriya Bhandar4002002.Safal3001003.NCCF100 40

 

Total800340

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Shipping Corporation of India Signs MoU with Government of India
Aug 03,2016

Shipping Corporation of India has signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Shipping for the financial year 2016-17. The MoU was signed by Shri Rajive Kumar, IAS, Secretary (Shipping) and Capt. B.B. Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, Shipping Corporation of India.

The MOU is based on the MOU guidelines 2016-17 issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE). It consists of parameters drawn on the prescribed evaluation criteria and factors such as capacity and its expansion, business environment, projects under implementation have been considered. SCI has set ambitious, growth oriented and aspirational targets against these parameters keeping its growth plans and objectives in view. These are also in line with the vision of the Ministry of Shipping and the Government of India to escalate the growth for the Maritime sector in India. The MoU will be periodically reviewed by the Ministry and the performance of the PSU would be evaluated and ratings awarded at the end of the financial year.

The shipping industry is cyclical and is presently experiencing a down turn. The freight rates have come under pressure due to overcapacity of ships and are subject to a lot of volatility. Despite unfavourable market conditions and down turn being faced by the shipping industry in general, the SCI has taken proactive measures for sustained growth in these challenging times including costs-saving and has reported a consolidated net profit of Rs.389.4 crores for the financial year 2015-16.

SCI has ambitious CAPEX plans in 2016-17 to augment its tonnage through acquisition of second hand vessels. SCI has been entrusted with the management of ONGCs MODUs Sagar Vijay and Sagar Bhushan for a period of six years. It has also been entrusted with the technical management of A&N owned 17 Foreshore vessels.

SCI is maintaining its focus on coastal trade mainly in coastal crude transportation and transportation of coal to meet increased demand of power generation. It is also concentrating on increasing its presence on coastal and near coastal trade and has restructured its SMILE service synergizing SCIs services with M/s. Shreyas services to seamlessly link the East Coast and West Coast of India to Persian Gulf. It has also restarted India-Myanmar shipping service and talks are on for including South East Asian ports in the service. SCI is also participating in the movement of project cargo especially in the defense and power sector.

To take advantage of the increasing opportunities in Inland Waterways, SCI has signed an MOU with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) during the Maritime India Summit 2016 to undertake inland waterways transportation on National Waterways 1, 2 & 5. n++

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Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. signs MoU with Government of India
Aug 03,2016

Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the financial year 2016-17. The MoU was signed by Shri Rajive Kumar, Secretary, Shipping and Shri Rajesh Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, in New Delhi.

The MoU broadly consists of the performance evaluation parameters and targets for Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. for the ensuing year. The MoU will be reviewed by the Ministry on a regular basis and the performance of the PSU would be evaluated and ratings awarded at the end of the financial year. The targets agreed in the MoU are in line with the aggressive growth plans of DCI for making forays internationally in line with the Ministry of Shippings ambitious plans.

DCI has posted n++Very Goodn++ performance during the last financial year (2015-16) as against n++Goodn++ for the year 2014-15, despite very difficult market conditions. In the year ended 31st March 2016, DCI posted a turnover of Rs.676 crores. The Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) figures are Rs.83 crores. and Rs.80 crores respectively, representing an increase of 28% and 29 % respectively over the previous year.

DCI MUTLICAT an ancillary vessel has been added to the fleet of DCI. DCI has further placed order for an inland cutter suction dredger which will join the fleet very shortly. This would facilitate the Company to take up inland dredging works once again after a long gap. In continuation of the steps taken for capacity augmentation of its core dredging activity, the detailed Project Report is being prepared for higher capacity trailing suction dredgers.

During the year under review, maintenance dredging contracts were executed for Kolkata Port, Haldia, Kandla, Cochin Port Trust, Ernakulam, RGPPL-Dabhol and NST and its approaches of VPT. Capital Dredging Contracts were executed at Kandla Port, Kamarajar Port and Visakhapatnam Port. The works were executed either under the existing contracts or renewal of the contracts entered into with the Ports etc., during the previous years or new contracts entered into during the year.

As per the targets set in the MoU for 2016-17 that was signed today, DCI is to achieve a turnover of Rs.770 crores. The target for operating profit is Rs.65 crores for 2016-17 as against the actual of Rs.45 crores for 2015-16. Further in the current year 2016-17, finalization of a contract is in the final stages for deployment of a dredger outside India and this will enable the company to earn income in foreign exchange for the first time in many years.

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Over 25 lakh LPG connections released under PM Ujjwala Yojana
Aug 03,2016

25.44 lakh LPG connections have been released to women of BPL families as on today under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The scheme which was launched by Honorable Prime Minister in Balia, Uttar Pradesh on 01st May, 2016 is currently under operation in 553 districts of 24 States.

Under the scheme, 5 crores LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs. 1600 per connection in the next 3 years. Identification of the BPL families is being done through Socio-Economic Caste Census data.

The official website of the Yojana www.pmujjwalayojana.com contains the details about the scheme and the form to be filled by the intended beneficiaries. It has been brought to the notice of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas that a number of fake and misleading websites have come up on the internet on the PMUY. General public and other stakeholders may consult only the official website for any information with regard to the scheme.

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Rs.4,404cr more investment in basic urban infrastructure approved in 8 States/UTs for 2016-17
Aug 03,2016

Ministry of Urban Development today approved an investment of Rs.4,404cr in augmenting water supply, sewerage networks, drainage, urban transport and public and green spaces in urban areas in 8 States and UTs under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for the current financial year. An inter-ministerial Apex Committee chaired by Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary(Urban Development) has approved the State Level Annual Action Plans (SAAP) of these 8 States/UTs.

Investments approved were; Karnataka - Rs.1,625 cr, Andhra Pradesh-Rs.877 cr, Bihar-Rs.775 cr, Telangana-Rs.555 cr, Haryana-Rs.525 cr, Nagaland-Rs.40 cr, Dadra, Nagar & Haveli-Rs.3.70 cr and Andaman & Nicobar Islands-Rs.3.18 cr.

Total central assistance to be provided to these 8 States and UTs is Rs.2,085 cr and the details are: Karnataka-Rs.772 cr, Bihar-Rs.388 cr, Andhra Pradesh-Rs.352 cr, Telangana-Rs.277 cr, Nagaland-Rs.36 cr besides the total project to be borne by the central government for the two Union Territories.

Under AMRUT, committed total central assistance of Rs. 50,000 cr for the five-year mission period is allocated among the States/UTs based on urban population and number of statutory Urban Local Bodies in each State/UT and SAAP are accordingly formulated by States/UTs. Remainder of the project cost is to be born States, UTs and ULBs.

Earlier during the current financial year i.e 2016-17, the Ministry of Urban Development approved total investments of Rs.19,213 cr under Atal Mission for 20 States/UTs taking the total investments approved to Rs.23,627 cr with a central assistance commitment of Rs.8,655 cr.

Under Atal Mission which was launched in June last year, the total investment approved in basic infrastructure in urban areas in 500 mission cities stands at Rs.44,401 cr with total central assistance commitment of Rs.20,634 cr.

Under Atal Mission, States/UTs have proposed an investment of Rs.1,146cr in improving drainage networks in urban areas. As against the investment approved of Rs.281 cr in this regard during 2015-16, the Ministry of Urban Development has so far approved and investment of Rs.759 cr so far during the current financial year.

During the Apex Committee meeting, Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary(UD) informed the States/UTs that annual action plans for the remaining three years of Atal Mission will be considered and approved in one go in the last quarter of this financial year to enable States/UTs for proper planning and execution of the project to realise the mission goals as envisaged by the last year of the mission i.e 2019-20.

Under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), ensuring water supply connections to all the urban households besides water supply @ 135 liters per capita per day is accorded top priority followed by improving sewerage networks, storm water drains and urban transport with focus on non-motorised transport. Every mission city is required to provide/ develop at least one park each year.

Details of annual action plans approved under AMRUT today are as below:

Rs. Cr)

State/UTTotal investment
ApprovedCentral
AssistanceWater
supplySewerage
projectsStrom
Water
drainsUrban
transportParks/
Green
spaceskarnataka1,6257727267271191735Andhra Pradesh  8773524882691021818Bihar  775388628-124-24Telangana  555277502  40--13Harayana  525255245154  98-  4Nagaland    40  36    4-  35-   1Dadra, Nagar& Haveli      3.70    3.70   3.51---  0.09Andaman & Nicobar Islands     3.18   3.18  3.10---  0.08

Under AMRUT, central assistance is provided to the tune of 50% of project cost if the population of mission cities is less than 10 lakhs each and one third of project cost if the population is more than 10 lakhs each, 90% of the project cost for hilly and North-Eastern States and total project cost for UTs.

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Detailed feasibility study underway for setting up of Mega Oil Refinery on west coast of Maharashtra
Aug 03,2016

The Oil PSUs namely Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) have announced the plan to jointly set up an integrated refinery-cum-petrochemical complex with a refining capacity of 60 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) in 2 phases in Maharashtra. Engineers India (EIL) is carrying out detailed feasibility study.

Oil PSUs and EIL are in the process of site selection for the refinery in consultation with Govt. of Maharashtra. Setting of operationalisation targets depend on land availability, environment clearance etc.

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An in-principle decision has been given by the CCEA for Sale of Surplus Land of PSUs
Aug 03,2016

An in-principle decision has been given by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in respect of four closing companies, viz. HMT Chinar Watches, HMT Watches, HMT Bearings and Tungabhadra Steel Products (TSPL) that after their closure, their land would be transferred/sold to Central Government Ministries / Departments / CPSEs / Public Sector Banks/State Government Departments or their entities. The land will be sold/transferred by following the Expression of Interest (EOI) route. In case of land taken on lease from state governments, the same has been approved for being returned to them as per lease conditions.

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Growth of private sector activity reaches three-month high in July 2016: Nikkei India Services PMI
Aug 03,2016

Indian service providers enjoyed a welcome upturn in demand during July, with a faster increase in new business underpinning stronger growth of output and boosting confidence. Part of the upswing in incoming new work was supported by price discounts. Output charges were lowered for the first time in nine months, while input costs also decreased.

At 51.9 in July, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index posted above the no-change mark of 50.0 for the thirteenth month running, highlighting ongoing growth of output in the sector. Up from 50.3 in June, the headline index was at a three-month high and indicative of a modest rate of expansion.

With growth of manufacturing production also quickening, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index climbed to a three-month high of 52.4 in July (June: 51.1). This reading was consistent with a moderate increase in private sector activity overall.

Leading services output to rise was a further expansion in incoming new business, one that was the most pronounced since April. According to survey participants, the upturn was supported by successful price negotiations with clients as well as improved marketing campaigns. Manufacturing order books increased at the quickest pace since March.

Employment was broadly unchanged in both the manufacturing and service sectors during July, as indicated by the respective indices recording only fractionally above the crucial 50.0 threshold. It has now been over two-and-a-half years since the private sector has seen meaningful job creation.

Amid reports of lower prices paid for fuel and some commodities, average input costs facing service providers fell in July. The decrease was the first since September 2015 and the rate of reduction was slight overall. Conversely, purchasing costs at goods producers continued to rise, although the rate of inflation softened to a five-month low.

Lower services costs were passed on to clients as indicated by an overall decline in selling prices, the first in nine months. However, output charges fell at only a slight pace as the vast majority of survey respondents signalled no change in prices charged. By comparison, factory gate prices rose at a slight pace, which was nevertheless the quickest since April.

July data highlighted a second successive monthly increase in unfinished business volumes at Indian service providers. The rate of accumulation was moderate, but above the long-run survey average. At manufacturers, work-in-hand rose at the fastest pace in one-and-a-half years. Higher backlogs were linked by private sector firms to delayed payments from clients.

Business sentiment among Indian service providers improved during July, with the degree of optimism reaching a four-month high. Those survey participants forecasting higher levels of output in the coming 12 months commented on expectations of better economic conditions and planned increases in marketing budgets.

Commenting on the Indian Services PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, economist at Markit, which compiles the survey, said: The Indian service economy started the second semester on a solid footing, posting its strongest performance since April and thereby indicating that underlying demand conditions remained reasonably firm. Nevertheless, growth remains below-par compared with the long-run survey trend and, although expansion has been sustained for 13 consecutive months, the sector has so far failed to generate jobs. Service providers signalled declining price pressures, with output charges being cut in line with an overall decrease in input costs.

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Horticulture Production Assessment under the Project CHAMAN
Aug 03,2016

The nature of horticulture crops is such that it is not easy to make assessment of their production. These crops, especially vegetables are grown in small plots, fields or in the back of the houses, do not have single harvesting in most of the cases which makes their assessment difficult. Many horticulture crops have multiple pickings in a single season. Similarly many fruit trees are scattered, which do not count for assessment.

In view of above difficulties several research studies were taken up by agricultural scientists in the past. Recently Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare has launched a new project called CHAMAN. Under this project sound methodology for estimation of Horticulture crops is being developed and implemented on pilot basis using Sample Survey methodology and Remote Sensing technology.

Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI) has developed a Sample Survey methodology which is now being implemented on pilot basis in 5 states for estimation of area & production in respect of major horticulture crops under the project CHAMAN.

Simultaneously under CHAMAN, another project for area and production assessment of seven major horticulture crops through Remote Sensing, is being carried out by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC). Besides estimation of crops, MNCFC is carrying out several developmental studies and is also conducting some research studies for precision farming and developing signatures for horticulture crops like vegetables, being grown in smaller plots, for their assessment.

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GST will mitigate the cascading effect of taxation : CII
Aug 03,2016

The roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be a revolutionary step in the field of indirect taxation reform in India, said Mr Sanjay Khurana, Chairman, CII Himachal Pradesh State Council at the Preparatory Workshop organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). By amalgamating a large number of Central and State taxes into a single entity, it will mitigate the cascading or double taxation effect in a major way and pave the way for a common unified national market, he added.

Talking about the objective of having this Workshop, Mr Khurana said that it is important for industry to understand the impact and opportunities offered by this particular piece of legislation. GST will affect all industries, irrespective of the sector. It will impact the entire value chain of operations, namely procurement, manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, sales, and pricing. It will also trigger the need to relook at internal organization IT systems, he added.

Expressing his views on GST, Mr Amit Sarkar, Partner & National Head, Indirect tax, Grant Thornton India LLP said that GST is not just a game changer for the taxation structure of the country, but will also be an opportunity for India to upgrade its regulatory environment to the global best practices. He was of the opinion that if handled and implemented well, GST has the potential to unlock countrys growth prospects.

It is encouraging to see the efforts that the Government is making to bring GST to the best interest of the country said Mr Krishan Arora, Director, Indirect tax, Grant Thornton India LLP. He was hopeful that the monsoon session would witness consensus reached amongst all the political parties facilitating in this landmark reform progressing towards reality.

Sharing his perspective on GST and its economic benefits to industry, Mr Babu Khan, Regional Director, CII Northern Region said that GST, when implemented, is expected to usher in a harmonised national market of goods and services and shall lead to a simplified, assessee-friendly tax administration system. It will subsume most of the countrys central and state level duties and taxes, thus making the country one national market and contribute significantly to the growth of the economy

Along with this, an Workshop for industry on recent changes related to Direct Taxes such as Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS), Income Declaration Scheme etc was also organised by CII

Addressing the issues on Domestic Transfer pricing, Mr Rajeev Jain, Director, Grant Thornton India LLP expressed that Domestic transfer pricing regulations were introduced in India by virtue of amendments brought out by Finance Act 2012. FY 2016-2017 will see the conclusion of first round of assessment proceedings for cases involving domestic transfer pricing disputes. There is a lot of speculation regarding the positions which would be taken by the Indian revenue authorities on various issues like coverage of transaction with indirectly held entities, applicability on capital expenditure transactions, benchmarking approach of director remuneration etc, he added.

Sharing the recent development Ms Priyanka Sahi, Direct Tax Specialist said that the notification of foreign credit rules and valuation rules for indirect transfer is a welcome move by the Government bringing about clarity and showcasing Governments keenness to lend an ear to the stakeholders involved. However, what also needs immediate attention is the roll out of final ICDS guidelines in tandem with adressing MAT implications as the industry moves towards adoption of Ind AS, she added.

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Hope to see GST become a reality tomorrow: CII President
Aug 03,2016

The ambitious Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill has been listed for discussion in Rajya Sabha which hopefully would be passed and bring about the biggest change in the countrys tax structure since independence.

The sincere determination and the persistent efforts of the government in consensus building and gaining support of almost all political parties in reaching to an agreement so far is indeed commendable, said Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII.

Dr Forbes also commented that, while government has left no stone unturned to seek a consensus, the willingness and maturity of the key opposition party in terms of understanding the issues and straightening out the differences is indeed praiseworthy. Industry can now think of One India, which was truly pursued by all political parties in true letter and spirit, and hopefully the Bill will see the light of the day tomorrow, said Dr Forbes.

GST is Indias most significant tax reform in decades. GST, when implemented, is expected to usher in a harmonised national market of goods and services and shall lead to a simplified, assessee-friendly tax administration system. Once implemented, it will subsume most of the countrys central and state level duties and taxes, thus making the country a national market and contribute significantly to the growth of the economy, Dr Forbes further commented.

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Rains lead to increase in vegetable prices by 40%: ASSOCHAM
Aug 03,2016

Prices of vegetables such as lady fingers, cabbage, beans, brinjal, bitter gourd have increased by 35-40% over a month as heavy rains in several parts of the country have hit the supply line to Delhi-NCR, according to an ASSOCHAM paper.

The prices in Delhis wholesale markets have gone up by nearly 35 to 40 per cent over a month. Traders at the Azadpur Mandi, Asias largest wholesale fruits and vegetables market, said crops are not coming out of the fields due to stagnant water in fields, leading to shortage. Also, the weather department also has predicted similar weather condition for the next few days.

The Associated Chamber of commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) findings reveals that the perishable fruits and vegetables will bear the maximum brunt. Traders in Delhi said green or perishable vegetables like cabbage, Okra (bhindi), brinjal, Karela and coriander recorded high wholesale rates.

The disparity between Wholesale Price (WSP) and Retail prices for essential vegetables like bhindi (Okra), cabbage, Karela went up beyond 35-40% from 30 June to 30 July 2016, according to ASSOCHAM recent paper.

According to the paper, Cabbage, which was sold at 20-25 per kg in the wholesale market, touched 35 per kg. Similarly, wholesale price of brinjal varies between 20 and 25 per kg at Azadpur Mandi, adds the paper.

The crop lying in the field is bound to rot due to heavy rains. The crop is not coming out of fields and hence there is a short supply in the market, adds the paper.

Okra, which were available for Rs 20 to Rs 25 a kg, are now being sold at Rs 35-40 per kg in the market. In some of the localities in the city, vendors quote Rs 50 a kg of Okra.

The prices of beans have increased twofold in the last few days and reached Rs 55. Carrot also has become expensive and was being sold at Rs 50 a kg. Prices of other vegetables are green chilly (Rs 60 per kg) garlic (Rs 52), capsicum (Rs 45) and lemon (Rs 80/kg), ginger (Rs 120), cauliflower (Rs 48), corriander leavers (Rs 120 a kg). The options are very less for common man who has to manage with potato (Rs 20 a kg), onion (Rs 18 a kg), brinjal (Rs 24 a kg), cabbage (Rs 33 a kg) and cucumber (Rs 20 a kg), Spinach (Rs. 26 a kg).

The majority of Indian retailers are selling vegetables at prices which are significantly higher than the wholesale price index (WPI), reveals the ASSOCHAM latest study. The difference between WSP and retail prices on an average stays around 35-40%.

Wholesale price have benefited multiple times middlemen and traders, particularly for sale of essential commodities and worst hit in the process remained farmer and consumer as farmers margins squeezed badly with consumers paying unreasonably higher prices. Due to difference in both prices of wholesale and retail prices, the extra amount which end consumers are paying for vegetables is utterly disproportionate, adds the findings of the paper.

The essential vegetables incorporated in the study are brinjal long, brinjal round, Cabbage, Garlic, Ginger, Chilly, Okra, Peas, Potato fresh, Potato store, Tomato hybrid and Tomato local, highlights the paper.

ASSOCHAM urges government needs to improve infrastructure facility through encourage public private partnership (PPP) initiate for the development of cold storage and facility should be provided those farmers which are coming from the long distance area.

On the retail front, the analysis has observed that retailers are charging very high prices as compared to wholesale prices of the vegetables. In such scenario, government needs to play proactive role to control the retail price through surveillance scheme, adds the paper.

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New Mangalore Port Attracts more Cargo from Chikmagaluru
Aug 03,2016

The proactive business promotion drive by the Port by conducting business meets at various locations of the hinterland had yielded positive results. The Port had a series of business meets at Chikmagaluru and Mudigere where various potential coffee curing and trading firms are located. The recent meet with M/s Mudremane Coffee Curers, M/s Vidya Coffee and M/s Belur Coffee Curing & Trading Co. has contributed to the movement of more coffee for export through the Port. M/s Mudremane Coffee and M/s Belur Coffee, who are already using New Mangalore Port has assured to divert more cargo through the Port. M/s Vidya Coffee, who have set up state of the art new fully mechanized coffee curing plant at Chikmagaluru has committed to move their entire export consignments through New Mangalore Port.

New Mangalore Port being the highest coffee exporting port in the country is keen in adding more infrastructures for the smooth handling of containers. Additional container storage area of 20,000 sq. mtrs already commissioned and another 23,000 sq. mtrs is nearing completion. In addition to the existing 3 reach stackers, 2 more will be inducted by Sept.2016. The Port is also in the process of mechanizing one of its general cargo berths for exclusively handling containers and other clean cargo. Once all these development works are completed the port is expected to emerge as one of the leading container handling ports in the west coast of the country.

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