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Targets Termination of Contract with Welspun India Credit Neutral
Nov 02,2016

Target Corporation (Target) the second-largest discount retailer in the United States terminated its contracts with Welspun India (WIL: IND AA-/Stable) which may result in a one-time hit to profitability in FY17, however the long term credit profile of the company remains stable, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). WIL has initiated the review of the entire supply chain and processes through Ernst &Young and is in the process to strengthen its end to end systems for specialised products, namely from cotton procurement to spinning to processing and finishing.

As per discussions with the management, there will be a one-time impact on profitability in FY17, in case WIL bears the cost of the product recall and replacement or discounting. Ind-Ra believes that the one-time cost will not materially impact the credit profile of the company in the long term. The management has confirmed to Ind-Ra that other customers have continued their relationship / contracts with WIL.

Ind-Ra estimates that WILs credit metrics will not breach the negative triggers, namely the net debt/EBITDA being sustained above 3.0x in FY17-18, even after factoring in the one-time payouts and the loss of revenues from Target. Ind-Ra draws comfort from WILs strong liquidity, with cash and cash equivalent of INR6.26bn as at end September 2016 and low debt maturity of INR710m and INR1,990m in 2HFY17 & FY18 respectively. WILs interest out go is also low since most of the term debt drawn in the past is for capex which is covered under the Central and State Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme. WIL also has adequate access to fund based lines of bank facilities to support its working capital requirements.

The reason for Target terminating the contract with WIL was following a product specification issue with respect to provenance of Egyptian cotton in bedsheets. Target contributed to around USD90m of WILs revenues in FY16 (around 10% of WILs revenues). The quality issue was with respect to Egyptian cotton in one of the program of bedsheets valued at around USD8.50m in FY16. WILs overall shipment to Target under the said programme was around USD19m during the period July 2014 to August 2016. In FY16, the US geography contributed 70% of WILs revenues, including sales through Welspun Global Brands Ltd (WGBL; IND AA-/Stable) its sales and marketing arm (Ind-Ra has taken a consolidated view of WIL & WGBL).

Ind-Ra will continue to monitor the development and outcome of Ernst &Youngs review and any other action that may impact the credit profile of the company.

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Ind-Ra: Central Bank Meetings to Keep Market Cautious
Nov 02,2016

Debt and currency markets will focus on the slew of global data and on the outcomes of major central bank policy meetings. The 10-year G-sec yield could trade at 6.75%-6.85% (6.79% at close on 28 October 2016). The rupee is likely to trade at 66.55/USD-67.25/USD (66.78/USD at close on 28 October 2016).

Central Banks to Set Tone: A host of meetings of major central banks will set the market tone and determine investors risk appetite. The Bank of Japan kept its monetary policy unchanged. Global markets now await the US Federal Open Market Committees decision on 2 November 2016. Markets are pricing in only a remote possibility of rate movement this week (implied probability from federal funds futures rate probability at around 6%). The Bank of England meets for its monetary policy decision on 3 November 2016.

Bond Markets to Remain Range-bound: In the absence of any surprises on the global developments front, the domestic bond market will trade with a consolidation bias. Domestic investors are unlikely to heavily churn their portfolio ahead of global risks and may adopt a wait-and-watch approach. Foreign investors, on the other hand, have exhibited limited appetite for local bonds.

Risk Appetite to Drive Rupee Movement: The global risk appetite along with the markets ability to tide over FCNR (foreign currency non-resident) redemptions will have a deterministic impact on the rupee trajectory going forward. The near-term outlook for the rupee, against the backdrop of global developments, indicates potential volatility as investors reassess their outlooks. A clear indication by the Fed over its imminent rate hike could rein in any major appreciating bias of the rupee against USD.

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Ministry of Shipping sponsors safety training progarmme for ship recycling workers under Sagarmala
Nov 02,2016

As part of its Coastal Community Development Programme under Sagarmala, the Ministry of Shipping has sanctioned Rupees 10 Crore as part of the first instalment to the Gujarat Maritime Board for capacity building and safety training of 20,000 workers involved in the ship recycling activities at Alanag- Sosiya recycling yard in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat. The total project cost is estimated to be Rupees 30 Crore over a period of 3 years.

The initiative has been identified in the National Perspective Plan (NPP) of Sagarmala for the upliftment of the coastal community and aims to provide health and safety training to the skilled and semi-skilled workers which is required while performing their work at ship recycling yards. Due to the accident prone nature of the ship breaking activity, Gujarat Maritime Board has been running an indigenous Safety Training and Labour Welfare Institute at Alang and has trained about 1.10 lakh labors over the last 12 years. However, with the increased volume of ship recycling over last decade and to bring the training standards at par with the international regulations like UN Body -International Maritime Organization, it is imperative to enhance the capacity build-up and upgrade the existing training standards.

The safety training programme under Sagarmala has been specifically designed and conforms to the Common Norms for Skill Development Schemes under National Skill Qualification Framework notified by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in Gazette Notification dated 8th August, 2015. A new module has been proposed which would impart comprehensive training to workers about Occupational Safety & Hazards at workplaces that are likely to cause injuries, death or chronic occupational diseases.

In India, ship recycling has emerged as an activity of sizeable volume, supplying raw material to steel industry for both re-rolling and re-melting. The Alang Sosiya Recycling yard is the largest ship-recycling yard in Asia, which employs an average 15000,-25000 labourers at a time and generates about 35 lakh LDT (Light displacement) per annum. On an average 350 numbers of ships are recycled every year in which more than 3 million MT of steel is generated through recycling route.

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Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seizes about 23.5 metric tonnes of Mandrax Tablets (Methaqualone)
Nov 02,2016

In one of the biggest seizure of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances, the officers of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), apex counter-smuggling agency of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), have seized about 23.5 metric tonnes of Mandrax Tablets (Methaqualone), a banned psychotropic substance under Schedule I of NDPS Rules, 1985. Active assistance of officials of Border Security Force at Udaipur has been taken by the officers of DRI for the operation.

Information was received that huge quantities of Mandrax Tablets have been concealed in a premises at Udaipur (Rajasthan) by one Mumbai-based mastermind. On 28th October 2016, a team of officers of DRI raided the premises of M/s Marudhar Drinks, Bhamasha Industial Area, Kaladwas, Udaipur.

During the search, DRI officers detected a hidden room filled with cartons of Mandrax tablets. The total number of tablets are estimated to be about 2 crore in numbers with a weight of about 23.5 metric tonnes (23500 kgs). The international market value of seized tablets is estimated to be over Rs. 3000 crores. This is one of the largest seizures of Methaqualone not only in India but also in the world. The mastermind of the syndicate has been arrested by DRI and follow-up operation is underway to nab others involved with the drug syndicate.

The major raw material for Mandrax is acetic anhydride which was manufactured by the syndicate at Shreenath Industries, Rajsamand. The other raw materials for Methaqualone, apart from acetic anhydride (manufactured at Shreenath Industries) are Anthranillic Acid (which was imported from Indonesia from Kandla Port by misdeclaring it as Mallic Anhydride), ortho toloudiene, phosporous trichloride, caustic soda (procured locally).

Methaqualone is a depressant, overdose of which can lead to coma and death. It is used as a recreational drug in Africa and Asia. It is commonly known as Mandrax, M-pills, buttons, or smarties and is usually smoked mixed with cannabis.

Relentless efforts put in by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence has resulted in neutralizing 10 other factories across several States in the recent past manufacturing various types of synthetic drugs like Mephedrone, Ketamine, Alprazolam and precursor chemical like Ephedrine.

In last five years, DRI has seized more than 540 kgs of Heroin, and 7400 kgs of ephedrine along with other narcotics and psychotropic substances under NDPS Act 1985. DRI has been in active liaison with international enforcement agencies for combating the menace of drug abuse.

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Online submission of applications by urban poor for affordable houses from tomorrow
Nov 02,2016

In a significant initiative, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has enabled online submission of applications by the urban poor for affordable houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban) from tomorrow.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed today by the Ministry of HUPA and Common Services Centre e-Governance Services India of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in the presence of respective ministers Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu and Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Out of the over two lakh Common Services Centre across the country, about 60,000 located in urban areas will enable online submission of applications from November 3,2016 at a nominal cost of Rs.25/- per application. As per the MoU, CSCs will also facilitate printing of the acknowledgement receipt with beneficiary photograph which helps applicants in tracking application status. Beneficiaries have to visit the nearest CSC for seeking assistance for seeking benefits of PMAY(Urban) online. In case the beneficiary does not have Aadhar Card, CSCs will enable beneficiaries acquiring them. This process of applying online is e-KYC (Know Your Client) enabled which means applications are submitted after due verification.

Minister of HUPA Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said on the occasion that Digital India Mission is transforming the country and collaboration with CSC SPV will help in bringing more urban poor under the ambit of PMAY(Urban) by addressing the difficulties associated in physical submission of applications to Urban Local Bodies, for want of adequate help and guidance. He said that while 13.70 lakh urban poor were sanctioned affordable houses during 2005-14, about 11 lakh houses have been already sanctioned for urban poor during the last one year and this will pick up further momentum through online applications.

Minister of Electronics and IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that CSCs are the front end soldiers of Digital India Mission and are engaged in empowering different sections of the society through skilling and online delivery of services.

The MoU was signed by Shri Amrit Abhijat, Joint Secretary, Ministry of HUPA and Shri Dinesh Tyagi, CEO, CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd.

Through a similar MoU with the Ministry of Urban Development, CSCs have so enabled 15 lakh transactions helping beneficiaries apply on line for construction of toilets under Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas.

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Both promoter and buyer can terminate agreement in case of default by each other
Nov 02,2016

To ensure timely implementation of real estate projects, the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Agreement for Sale Rules, 2016 specify in black and white, the rights and obligations of both the promoters and buyers, including the right to terminate the agreement entered into by them in case of default by each other.

Agreement for Sale Rules notified by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation notified on October 31, 2016 seeks to eliminate the scope of such agreements being in favour of either of the parties. These Rules are applicable to the Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, Lakshadweep and Chandigarh.

Under these Rules, a 20-page Agreement has been specified in which the date of delivery of possession to buyer is to be clearly mentioned and a schedule of payment as agreed upon by both parties is to be enclosed. Violation of these commitments is to be treated as default, in which case, promoter and buyer can terminate the agreement.

If the buyer defaults by not paying to the promoter for a specified number of demands made by promoter and such a default persists for an agreed upon number of months, promoter can terminate the agreement and cancel the allotment made to buyer. Promoter, can then deduct the booking amount and interest liabilities from the amount to be repaid to buyer.

If promote fails to give ready to move in possession of the apartment or fails to complete the project as per the stipulated time, amounting to default, buyer can then terminate the agreement and is entitled to refund of amount paid with interest in 45 days of such termination. In case, the buyer does not want to withdraw from such a delayed project, he needs to be paid interest till the project is completed. This however, does not apply if the development of project is delayed by force majeure conditions like war, floods, cyclone, drought, etc., which are beyond the control of promoter.

The Agreement to be entered into stipulates that the total price of apartment/plot shall be escalation free except when development charges are increased by the competent authorities.

Agreement provides for certain rights of promoters including timely payments as per the mutually agreed upon payment schedule, interest in case of delay in payments by buyer, additional payments for increase in carpet area up to 3% of corporate area originally offered to buyer and no liability on his part in case of delay in execution of project due to force majeure conditions.

The rights of buyers include timely delivery of possession of property by buyer, refund or payment of compensation with interest in case of delays, rectification of structural defects by promoter over a period of five years from the date of issuance of occupancy certificate etc.

The Agreement for Sale Rules, notified along with General Rules make it mandatory, disclosure of the number of apartment and the floor allotted to buyer, carpet area, number and the area of garage/covered parking, date of grant of commencement certificate by the competent authority, name of the authority that granted required approvals, Regulatory Authority with which the project is registered and such registration number, break up of cost including the cost of apartment, exclusive balcony or verandah, exclusive open terrace, proportionate cost of common area, preferential location charges, taxes and maintenance charges etc.

Underlining that timely execution of project is the essence of the Agreement to be entered in to, the Rules define the role and responsibilities of both buyers and promoters.

The Rules provide for amending the agreement with written consent of both the parties.

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Economy set to perform better in 2nd half of FY16: ASSOCHAM Bizcon survey
Nov 02,2016

Indian economy would be performing better in the second half of the current fiscal and the trend appears to have begun from the quarter beginning October, 2016 with 66.7 per cent of the latest ASSOCHAM Bizcon Survey respondents expecting uptick in sales, capacity utilization, though positivity on fresh investment is tentative.

Increased spend on infrastructure development, largely in the government is seen as the most important driver for a turnaround in the economic outlook for the current quarter and the last quarter of the financial year 2016-17.

The second best driver for the optimistic outlook is effective policy reforms followed by a stable foreign exchange rate of the Indian currency despite global head winds like uncertainty on account of the Federal Reserves next policy move and the most bitterly fought US Presidential elections.

While a big chunk of Bizcon Survey participants felt the present economic situation appears to be in a better shape than the previous six months on several parameters, the optimism is more pronounced for the second half of the current fiscal.

For instance on the parameter of industrial performance, the ASSOCHAM Bizcon done in September , noted over 83 per cent of the respondents believing things would look better in at the industry level in the ongoing six month period.

n++Good thing is, there is a clear turnaround in business confidence, which holds the key to new investment and consumer confidencen++, the chamber President Mr. Sunil Kanoria said. He said unlike the previous surveys, the latest round indicates a slight uptick even with regard to capacity utilization going forward and the order book. However, generation of new employment and improvement in wages is still some distance away.

The confidence was quite pronounced at the level of individual firms level, as about 89 per cent of the respondents expressed optimism about better days ahead.

In terms of the capacity utilization expectations, over 66 per cent participants shared the opinion that the industry would be operating at higher levels than 70 per cent of the plant or service facility capacities.

The majority (55.6 percent) of the respondents feel that there is an increase in the sales volume during July to September 2016 and also expecting better sales volume during October to December 2016. However, 38.9 percent of the respondents feel that their profits may not change in the short term (October to December 2016). n++The power to increase price on the part of producers and service providers would remain constrained till there is some more improvement in the consumer demandn++, Mr Kanoria said.

In the short horizon, the survey indicates that there will not be any change in the employment scenario in the industry. As majority (55.6 percent) of respondents believe that employment condition will not improve in the coming days.

In terms of the wage costs scenario, the majority of the industry (44.4 percent) opines that in the July to September 2016, there is no change in wages costs. Going forward as well, majority of the industry respondents (50.0 percent) feel that the wage costs will not change in future also (October to December 2016).

As many as, 38.9 per cent respondents felt that there was an increase in the raw material prices. In the shorter horizon industry is not confident about the raw material price witnessing much movement.

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Indian FMCG firms outpace MNCs in growth, revenue: ASSOCHAM-TechSci study
Nov 02,2016

During the FY 2016, domestic Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have performed significantly well vis-n++-vis the multinational companies in India, according to the just concluded study by ASSOCHAM-TechSci Research.

The combined overall revenue of selected eight MNCs during the FY 16 registered a total of $9436.66 million, whereas the combined revenue of selected seven Indian FMCG is $11066.46 Million, reveals the joint study.

The highest profit after tax margin of leading Indian FMCG is maintained at 25.48% by ITC as comparative to Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care among selected Leading MNC players in FMCG Sector in India, which maintained the highest profit after tax margin by 17.03% which is comparatively lower.

The study has observed performance analysis of selected Indian FMCG Companies that the ITC is leading amongst others with its recorded 25.48% After Taxes Profit Margin (PAT) during the Financial Year, 2016; as its Profit After Taxes is $ 1514.57 Million against revenue of $ 5944.79 Million. While Britannia Industries stands second among other selected ones in terms of generated revenue by $1222.75 Million during the FY 2016 and has registered growth in revenue by 10.76% as comparative to FY2015, however its After Taxes Profit Margin (PAT) is 9.43% which is comparatively lower than its peers in the sector.

The performance of Dabur India is next to ITC in terms of After Taxes Profit Margin (PAT) registered with 16.34% which is $ 144.54 Million against the revenue of $884.62 Million. In terms of After Taxes Profit Margin (PAT), the Godrej Consumer Products is close to Dabur India with 15.37% which is on the basis of $113.80 Million of PAT against revenue of $740.24 Million.

The Marico also performed closely with that of Godrej Consumer Products as the percentage of PAT margin remained 14.19% which comes out on the basis of the disclosed figure of PAT $107.98 Million against the $761.14 Million of revenue. About the performance of Amul, although the company has revenue $743.69 Million, which is slight more than Godrej Consumer Products but the PAT margin is least amongst others having just 0.32%. In case of Amul, the reason can be the fact of controlled prices and nature of milk and milk made products.

The Performance of Patanjali Ayurved has been unmatched and leaves behind all its competitors in the segment with record growth of 146.31% in the revenue on Y-o-Y basis. As the Patanjali Ayurved has achieved the revenue of $769.23 Million during FY 2016 against just $ 312.31 Million during FY 2015.

After analyzing the performance of selected Multi-National Companies of FMCG Sector in India, the study has observed that the Hindustan Unilever is leading with its revenue earned $4921.10 Million with 3.84% Y-o-Y growth in the revenue. But its PAT margin during the year is $628.06 Million i.e only 12.76% which is comparatively lower than its competitor. As data analysis shows that Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care is leading amongst others with its recorded 17.03% After Taxes Profit Margin (PAT) during the Financial Year 2016 because its Profit After Taxes is $ 65.10 Million against revenue of $ 382.20Million.

Where the performance of Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare has recorded 15.94% PAT margin for having its After Taxes Profit of $105.68 Million against Revenue of $662.88Million, the Colgate-Palmolive (India) achieved 13.85% PAT Margin with its $88.69Million against revenue of $640.35 Million.

Gillette India achieved 10.19% PAT Margin for its just $32.77Million of PAT against $321.62 Million of revenue. The performance of Nestle India has declined during the FY2016 by 17.04% in the revenue achieved upto $1257.74 Million comparative to FY2015 when it was $1516.13 Million. Hence the Overall PAT margin during the year remained only 6.89%. The logic behind the data decline of Nestle India can be publicly known facts of post Maggy issue.

About the performance of PepsiCo India, there is 13.00% growth in the revenue during the FY16, when it has achieved $1250.77 Million as Compared to $1106.88 Million during FY15 and thereby the company could manage to reduce the negative Profit After Taxes from $43.08 Million in FY15 to $ 27.23 Million during FY16 however, company could not make it possible to have satisfactory overall profit as there was negative PAT margin by 2.18%.

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NHAI Awards Contract for 4-laning of Phagwara - Rupnagar section in the State of Punjab
Nov 02,2016

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has issued Letter of Award (LOA) for development of national highway section in the state of Punjab under phase IV of National Highways Development Projects (NHDP).

The details of project are as follows:

Sl. No.NH No.SectionLength Project Cost (Crore)Contractors name1344A4-Laning of Phagwara - Rupnagar section81 kmRs. 1444 croreM/s G.R. Infraprojects Ltd.

The 81 km long Phagwara - Rupnagar section passes through Banga Town and proposed Nawashahir bypass and terminates at Rupnagar. This will be the shortest route for movement between Amritsar and The City Beautiful, Chandigarh, two most important cities of Punjab and also tourist hub for Sikh pilgrimage. The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Punjab and in reducing the time and cost of travel.

The project will have 4 structures (Grade separator/flyover), 1 major bridge, 22 minor bridges, one Vehicular Underpass and one Pedestrian Underpass. The project would be executed on Hybrid Annuity mode and scheduled time of completion of project is 30 months from the date of commencement.

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Kerala declared Open Defecation Free
Nov 02,2016

The State of Kerala became the third State overall and the largest State so far to be declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Gramin). The declaration was formally made by the Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, in a magnificent ceremony at the Central Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. Shri Vijayan also distributed awards to and felicitated district collectors and other government officials who had been instrumental in bringing about this landmark achievement for the State.

With this, all 14 districts, 152 blocks, 940 Gram Panchayats and 2117 villages of the State have been declared free from open defecation. Freedom from open defecation has been proven to lead to significant health benefits in terms of incidences of water-borne diseases, especially in children, and provide safety and dignity for all, especially women and senior citizens. Kerala, with a rural population of approximately 3.5 crores, is also the largest State so far to have achieved the ODF Status, after Sikkim (~6 lakhs) and Himachal Pradesh (~70 lakhs).

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister, Shri Pinaray Vijayan, emphasized the importance of behaviour change communication in the efforts made by the State to achieve ODF status. He also underscored the need to sustain this status now that it has been achieved through a continued focus on sanitation.

Dr KT Jaleel, State Minister for Local Self Government, Welfare of Minorities, WAKF and Haj Pilgrimage, in his Presidential address, spoke about the importance of effective solid and liquid waste management to truly create a Swachh Bharat and Kerala.

In his welcome address on the occasion, the Chief Secretary, Shri SM Vijayanand emphasized the role of local governance in sustaining the ODF Status of the State and to focus on solid and liquid waste management in the next phase of efforts.

The Secretary, Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, in his address, lauded the State governments focused efforts on sanitation and congratulated the State on this landmark achievement. He assured that the Centre will continue supporting the States efforts towards creating a Swachh Bharat and Swachh Kerala in the next phase as well, as they continue their efforts to sustain ODF and focus on solid and liquid waste management.

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Indias manufacturing growth shifts up a gear: Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI
Nov 01,2016

Supported by stronger contributions from three of its five sub-components - new orders, output and stocks of purchases - the headline seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers IndexTM (PMITM) climbed to a 22-month peak in October. Rising from 52.1 in September to 54.4, the latest reading was indicative of a robust improvement in manufacturing business conditions that was in line with the long-run series average.

Once again, consumer goods producers outperformed their intermediate and investment goods counterparts, registering stronger rates of expansion for both output and new orders.

In October, output increased for the tenth straight month and at the quickest rate in nearly four years. Survey respondents attributed the latest rise in production to strong growth of new orders.

The amount of new work received by manufacturers grew markedly during October, with anecdotal evidence linking the latest rise to improved underlying demand. In fact, the rate of expansion was at a 22-month high. Data indicated that although foreign orders contributed to the upturn in total new work, the rate of growth in new business from abroad eased to a three-month low.

Outstanding business rose again during the latest survey period. The overall rate of accumulation was solid and the quickest in almost three years, with survey members reporting capacity pressures. In spite of this, businesses left employment unchanged.

Amid reports of orders being fulfilled directly from stocks, holdings of finished goods decreased again. That said, the rate of inventory depletion was modest and little-changed since September.

The average price of inputs rose markedly during October, with the rate of inflation quickening to the fastest since August 2014. Survey participants reported higher prices across a wide range of goods, but particularly highlighted steel, plastic and petrol.

Firms passed on to clients part of these higher cost burdens by raising their prices charged. The rate of output price inflation was the fastest in six months, but modest in the context of historical data.

Companies also attempted to offset the effects of marked input cost inflation by purchasing and storing a greater level of pre-production items. Buying levels grew at the strongest rate in 14 months, while stock levels increased at the fastest pace since July 2015.

Finally, the time taken for suppliers to deliver inputs was broadly unchanged (on average) in October.

Commenting on the Indian Manufacturing PMI survey data, Pollyanna De Lima, Economist at IHS Markit and author of the report, said, October data provide positive news for Indias economy, as manufacturing output and new orders expanded at the fastest rates in 46 and 22 months respectively.

The sector looks to be building on the foundation of the implied pick-up in growth in the previous quarter. Supporting this was the RBIs MPC announcement of a further 25 basis-point reduction in its policy rate to 6.25%. The extended easing cycle, however, brought upside risks to inflation, with manufacturers seeing purchase costs rising at the quickest pace in over two years. Part of the increase in cost burdens was passed on to consumers by way of higher selling prices, which is likely to continue on an upward trend as we head towards the year end.

Nevertheless, the breadth of the upturn in manufacturing should assist in its sustainability. Although the consumer goods sector again outperformed its intermediate and investment goods peers, all three sectors reported strong and accelerated growth in October. The domestic market was the prime source of new business gains, but lets not forget that there is also a robust export component in these positive numbers.

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Eight core infrastructure sector output rises 5.0% in September 2016
Nov 01,2016

The Eight Core Infrastructure Industries comprising nearly 38% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has recorded 5.0% growth in its output in September 2016 over September 2015.

Its cumulative output growth was 4.6% during April to September 2016-17.

Coal production (weight: 4.38%) declined by 5.8% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 increased by 1.2% over corresponding period of previous year.

Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22%) declined by 4.1% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 declined by 3.3% over the corresponding period of previous year.

The Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71%) declined by 5.5% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 declined by 4.4% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 5.94%) increased by 9.3% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 increased by 7.9% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%) increased by 2.0% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 increased by 5.6% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Steel production (weight: 6.68%) increased by 16.3% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 increased by 7.2% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Cement production (weight: 2.41%) increased by 5.5% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 increased by 4.5% over the corresponding period of previous year.

Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%) increased by 2.2% in September 2016 over September 2015. Its cumulative index during April to September 2016-17 increased by 5.1% over the corresponding period of previous year.

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Crop-Specific Infrastructure Creation Scheme Soon - Food Processing Minister
Oct 28,2016

A scheme for crop specific infrastructure creation is to be introduced shortly, stated Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries, at the 6th Cold Chain Summit organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Ministry of Agriculture and National Center for Cold Chain Development (NCCD).

The Minister said that the scheme would enable farmers to become entrepreneurs and start their own food processing or cold chain transportation ventures. Cold chain development would contribute to the target of doubling farmers incomes, reduce waste, and strengthen the agri supply chains.

Badal added that with FDI in place, farm produce could be directly linked with retail outlets. She suggested creation of FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisation) for crop specific clusters for top agri and horticultural produce in the states. The Minister asked CII to create a task force to link these FPOs to Industry.

S.K. Pattanayak, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, urged more investments in the agriculture sector and highlighted the necessity for cold chains. He added that the Government has several schemes for post harvest management and development, including cold chains.

J P Meena, Additional Secretary, MoFPI, outlined the impact of the GST regime on the food sector and associated cold chain infrastructure. He urged industry to adapt to the impending changing regime to maximize efficiencies.

T. Nanda Kumar, Former Chairman National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Chairman-CII Jury Cold Chain Awards, called for right infrastructure support to the food processing industry. The industry needs better quality raw material both in terms of intrinsic quality and in terms of food safety. He also urged for the need of business models which are purely not price arbitrage, but will give larger benefits to farmers and which will reduce wastage and increase turnover.

Pawanexh Kohli, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Advisor, National Centre for Cold Chain Development, stated the need to increase farmers opportunity to sell more, and linking them to more markets.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, mentioned that CII has been working on building a strong service portfolio in cold chain and will continue to engage in training and capacity building activities, promote partnerships to strengthen the cold chain infrastructure in the country, and develop post- harvest management protocols as avenues for strengthening crop - specific cold chain infrastructure.

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84,460 more affordable houses for urban poor sanctioned for five States
Oct 28,2016

Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has approved construction of 84,460 more affordable houses for urban poor under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban) in five States with a total investment of Rs.3,073 cr for which Central Assistance of Rs.1,256 cr has been approved.

To be built under the Beneficiary Led Construction component of PMAY (Urban), West Bengal has been sanctioned 47,379 houses with an investment of Rs.1,918 cr for which Central Assistance of Rs.711 cr has been approved.

    Punjab got 15,209 houses sanctioned with an investment of Rs.424 cr and Central Assistance of Rs. 217 cr.

    Jharkhand has been sanctioned 12,814 houses at a total cost of Rs.464 cr with Central Assistance of Rs.192 cr.

    Kerala got 5,968 houses with an investment of Rs.179 cr for which Central Assistance of Rs.89 cr has been approved.

    Manipur, for the first time has got 3,090 houses approved for construction with a total investment of Rs.88 cr with Central Assistance of Rs.46 cr.

Under the Beneficiary Led Construction component of PMAY (Urban), each eligible beneficiary belonging to Economically Weaker Sections is provided Central Assistance of Rs.1.50 lakh for expansion/upgradation of existing house as per the Guidelines.

            With these approvals, the details of affordable houses approved for the benefit of urban poor in these five States, under the four different components of PMAY (Urban) so far are:

StateTotal houses approvedTotal investment involved (Rs. Cr)Total Central Assistance

so far approved (Rs. Cr)

West Bengal1,22,2594,9461,834Jharkhand   52,9861,919  795Punjab  26,563   745  369Kerala  15,267   442  220Manipur    3,090     88    46

   With these latest approvals, a total of 10,95,804 affordable houses have been approved during the last one year under PMAY (Urban) with a total investment of Rs. 62,740 cr for which Central Assistance of Rs.16,289 cr has been approved.

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Himachal Pradesh declared Indias Second Open Defecation Free State
Oct 28,2016

The State of Himachal Pradesh was today declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), making it the second State in the country (after Sikkim) to achieve the feat.

With this, Himachal Pradesh has successfully achieved a total rural sanitation coverage of 100% in the State, with all 12 out of 12 districts in the State being both, declared as well as verified, as ODF.

Speaking at the occasion Chief Minister, Shri Virbhadra Singh, said that he was very happy and proud that his State was the first large State in the country to have achieved this milestone. He said that the State of Himachal Pradesh would be very happy to share lessons that they have learnt in this journey with other States to help realize the vision of a Swachh Bharat.

Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, said that Himachal Pradesh would not have been able to lay claim to this landmark achievement if making sanitation a priority had not become a jan aandolan, a peoples movement, in the State.

He said that he was very confident that it was thanks to the people of Himachal Pradesh that not only had the State achieved the ODF Status, but would be able to sustain it in the future as well.

The Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare, Shri JP Nadda, in his address, said that as Himachal Pradesh was also his home State, this was an occasion that brought double joy to him. He also spoke about the close relationship between access to sanitation and good health for rural India. He said that the two Union Ministries will work closely together to achieve convergence in the pursuit of a Swachh and healthy India.

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