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Low Risk Appetite to Keep Markets Range-Bound
Oct 25,2016

Debt and currency markets will focus on global cues over the coming week and are likely to trade in a range-bound manner. The 10-year G-sec yield could trade in the 6.71%-6.81% range (6.76% at close on 21 October 2016). The rupee is likely to trade at 66.70/USD-67.30/USD (66.89/USD at close on 21 October 2016).

Bond Rally to be Slow: An incremental rally in the bond market is likely to be slow and protracted, even as underlying fundamentals continue showing improvement in the recent past. A meaningful containment of inflation and inflationary expectations has the potential to open up room for another rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the near term. However, RBI will increasingly focus on the transmission of previous rate cuts, in order to support growth impulses.

Rupee to Face Headwinds: The subdued risk appetite globally will pose headwinds for currency. With foreign investors wary amid tepid domestic corporate sector performance, investment flows are unlikely to revive in a major way in the near term. Additionally, the upcoming FCNR B (foreign currency non-resident) deposits redemptions and strengthened prospects of the Fed rate hike will keep the rupee bias marginally weak.

RBIs Liquidity Operations Pre-emptive: A shift in interbank liquidity to deficit from surplus led to the RBI announcing INR100bn worth of OMO purchases, in order to alleviate the liquidity crunch. Given the lumpy state borrowings along-with scheduled G-sec borrowings as the system moves towards the period of seasonal liquidity tightness, RBI may continue intervention in order to keep the system in a close to neutral mode.

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GST will make Madhya Pradesh logistical hub of India : Finance Minister
Oct 25,2016

Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister said that with the introduction of the GST regime, MP, the heart of India will transform into a supply hub for all the four corners of the country. He lauded the visionary leadership the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh that transformed the state from a BIMARU state to one posting a double-digit growth and one that is a favoured investment destination.

Shri Jaitley said the state governments focused efforts in the area of water, power and empowering the weaker sections of the society have contributed to its development. He said that the turning point for the state was the exceptional growth of near 20% that it posted in its agriculture sector for a couple of years, which increased rural purchasing power and prosperity.

Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh welcomed investors to Madhya Pradesh and said that the state which believes in the adage n++Vasudeva Kutumbakamn++, which means that entire world is one family. He said that GIS stood for Growth with Investment & Sustainabilityn++ and that the state of MP considers investor as their friend and partner in growth. The Chief Minister spoke about the huge strides made by the state in the area of power, water and infrastructure and urged investors to invest in Madhya Pradesh.

The Chief Minister said that the state moved from single window policy, to open door policy and further to single table policy today where he and his team work on investment facilitation. He said that the state has a land bank of 1,25,000 hectares also assured availability of skilled labour as per industry requirements. The Minister said that the commitment of his government is reflected in the fact that many businesses in the state have been set up in a period of 1-1.5 years and also commenced production.

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Electronics & Information Technology Minister, Govt of India said that MP is an example of all-round development. He said that PM is the Captain of Team India and Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is the opening batsman of the team and has succeeded in leading the state to prosperity.

Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Govt of India appreciated efforts of the CM in the progress of the state of Madhya Pradesh. He said that the CM has targeted to achieve all-round and balanced development for the state with focus on with focus on villages, farmers and the poor.

Dr Naushad Forbes, President, CII & Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshal said that CII is privileged to partner with MP State Govt for GIS, the progressive convention series that showcases the remarkable progress made by the state of MP and the immense investment opportunity it offers. He said that Madhya Pradesh is not only fastest growing state in India but also fastest growing agri economy. This lays the foundation for rural prosperity and rural income which is favourable for overall economic development. Applauding the efforts of the State Government, Dr Forbes said that the state has laid the foundation for strong economic growth for the next 30 years.

Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said that the GIS exemplifies the spirit of teamwork under competitive and co-operative federalism. He thanked Chief Minister for the phenomenal leadership at the 5th GIS Summit.

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Opportunities galore for Japanese investments in Indias tourism infradevelopment: Tourism Minister
Oct 25,2016

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is determined to make tourism the backbone of the Indian economy as the sector has a multiplier effect on employment generation and foreign exchange earnings. Besides it encourages cultural and people to people exchange, said Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, here today while inaugurating the first-ever IndiaJapan Tourism Meet organized by FICCI in partnership with the Embassy of Japan. The Minister said that the historical ties between India and Japan can be traced back to the sixth century when Buddhism was introduced in Japan. Since then the Japanese have cherished their sentiments towards India. And now India is striving to make the travel to various destinations in the country a truly magnificent experience for Japanese tourists with a strong focus on infrastructure, experience and information.

Dr. Sharma said in India the Buddhist circuit has been set up, which are a set of important locations where Lord Buddha had settled in his lifetime. This circuit should find favor with the Japanese as they are keen followers of Buddhism. He added that medical, wellness and Ayurveda were other areas which Japanese tourists would find endearing.

The Minister said that India lacked 290000 hotel rooms and there was immense scope of investment in infrastructure development for tourism. He urged Japanese business community to explore this area for investment and assured them of Indian governments unstinted support. Dr. Sharma added that the Indian government was working towards creating appropriate tourism infrastructure, maintaining cleanliness of tourism destinations and making the environment safe and secure for foreign tourists.

Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, said that with the framework of Indo-Japan Tourism Council and Indo-Japan Tourism Summit that are set up and organized for the first time in India today, the participants should pursue n++action-orientedn++ outcomes to improve travel and tourism relationship between Japan and India in a visible way. This is a great opportunity for both governments and tourism industry to get together under one roof and to discuss the expansion of bilateral travel and tourism relations. The new networks that will be built among the participants today will create new opportunities, he added.

Hiramatsu said that travel and tourism between Japan and India was not as robust as we would expect, if we take into account the important relationship between the two countries. Japan welcomed about 100,000 visitors from India in 2015, and about 40,000 tourists among them. But 1.13 million Indians visited the United States during the same period. Therefore there is a tremendous potential of expanding travel and tourism between Japan and India.

In his keynote address, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said that given Indian and Japans economic ties, the share of tourism between the two nations is miniscule and there is scope to improve the numbers. A marginal rise in the number of tourists visiting the Buddha circuit alone could enable Indian to earn USD 6-8 billion every year. He added that with significant steps tourism could increase five-fold between India and Japan from its current level.

Billa said that Indian tourists avoid Japan as there is a perception that traveling to the country is expensive. Such notions needed to be corrected with improved aviation services and easier visa norms. He added that language was a barrier for Japanese tourists as in India there are not many guides speaking Japanese. Hence there was need to have guides speaking Japanese top attract tourists from Japan.

Kuniharu Ebina, Senior Vice Commissioner, Japan Tourism Agency, said that the Japan National Tourism Organization will open an office in Delhi by the end of fiscal 2016 to promote the attractions of Japan, so that more Indians will be interested in traveling to Japan. Besides, at the Indo-Japan Tourism Council, a bilateral meeting to be held tomorrow, the stakeholders plan to discuss current undertakings and issues of inbound and outbound tourism of both countries, and measures to improve and expand tourism exchanges. The expansion of bidirectional tourism exchanges cannot be achieved without the understanding and assistance of the tourism industry, he added.

Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Immediate Past President-FICCI, Chairperson -FICCI Tourism Committee & CMD - The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, said that India has a very high potential to be one of the favored destinations amongst the Japanese tourists, given the large number of destinations important from Buddhist interest as well as the burgeoning number of business tourists coming to India. Japan is the 10th largest source market for India in terms of inbound tourist arrivals. There were about 2.07 lakh tourists from Japan who visited India in 2015. Welcoming the delegates who have come all the way from Japan to get a first-hand experience of the wonderful culture of India, Dr. Suri added that with the B2Bs and conference a growth agenda and road map would emerge to further the synergies between India and Japan through tourism

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e-Postal Ballot System for Service Voters
Oct 25,2016


The Government has issued Notification on 21st October, 2016 amending rule 23 of the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961 enabling service voters, including armed forces personnel, to cast their vote in elections through e-postal ballot. Under this system a blank postal ballot paper would be transmitted to them electronically. This would cut short the delay experienced in the present system in two-way transmission of ballot paper by the postal services. The armed forces personnel serving in remote and border areas would be greatly benefitted since the present system of two-way transmission of ballot paper by the postal services has not been able to meet the expectations of the service voters.


The difficulties and hardships encountered by the service voters, especially by the armed forces personnel serving the border and remote areas of the country, have been receiving the attention of the Government in recent times. The issue was also agitated before the Honble Supreme Court, in the matter of Neela Gokhale vs. Union of India & Anr. (Writ Petition No. 1005 of 2013) pleading for creating effective mechanism for the Armed Forces Personnel (AFP) and their families to exercise their right to vote easily and effectively.

In the above backdrop, the Government approached the Election Commission with a view to mitigating the difficulties faced by service voters in the matter of exercising their franchise. The technical team of the Election Commission has developed a system whereby blank postal ballot could be electronically transmitted to the voter, namely, e-postal ballot system. Voters entitled to postal ballot such as service voters, can download the postal ballot and print the blank postal ballot. After marking his vote in the blank postal ballot, the same would be returned to the concerned Returning Officer by post as in the present system of postal ballot. The Election Commission proposed that the categories of voters mentioned at rule 18 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be made eligible for e-postal ballot system. However, on a pilot basis, e-postal ballot system has been introduced by Notification dated 21st October, 2016 for service voters consisting of (a) armed police forces of the Union; (b) other forces subject to the provisions of the Army Act, 1950; (c) armed forces of a State serving outside that State; and (d) those employed under the Government of India in a post outside India.

Two-way electronic transmission has not been recommended by the Election Commission for security and secrecy reasons.

Major Impact:

One-way electronic transmission of blank postal ballot would considerably cut short the delay in receipt of the marked postal ballot by the Returning Officers on or before the date fixed for the counting of votes. Major beneficiaries would be the entire category of service voters as stated above, especially the armed forces personnel posted in border and remote areas of the country. With the issue of the aforesaid notification, a long-pending and near-unanimous demand of the service voters, including the armed forces personnel, has been fulfilled.

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Cash, gift vouchers most preferred Diwali festival gift by employees: Survey
Oct 25,2016

While a box of traditional sweets is the least desirable gift for office workers, cash and gift coupons/vouchers, prepaid cards are most desired this Diwali festival, noted a just-concluded survey by apex industry body ASSOCHAM.

The ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation conducted an online survey to gauge 1,000 full-time office workers opinions and about 500 human resource professionals on Diwali festival bonuses given by companies and their desired gifts between October 1 - October 15 in 10 cities of - Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Mumbai.

The ASSOCHAM survey showed that 45 per cent of office workers wanted cash or gift coupons/vouchers, 35 per cent wanted gadgets/electronic item/home appliances/utensils and other such things for personal use or for use in their households, 15 per cent gift-boxes of sweets or cookies and the remaining preferred various other things.

However over half of the HR professionals that ASSOCHAM interacted with said that cash rewards have the lowest impact and do little to improve employee satisfaction and performance, many of these opined that non-financial rewards have a greater and longer-lasting effect on employee.

Most of the HR professionals said their companies have identified staff members who have consistently performed better and deserve to be recognised with something tangible.

Further elaborating on this aspect, many said their companies adhere to the policy of meritocracy and would reward only the best staff thereby making it performance-based and not across the board.

n++Most of the companies in private sector have gradually moved away from a fixed Diwali bonus and instead provide benefits considering employees individual performance for past few years, so hardly any change is expected on this front,n++ said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing findings of the chambers survey.

n++Though companies are not getting very generous, but considering that Diwali being one of Indias widely celebrated annual festival, corporate gifting has become a tradition to express gratitude, appreciation, develop relationships and generate goodwill amid peers and employees,n++ said Mr Rawat.

Many HR representatives also said that though they have earmarked a certain amount towards corporate gifting, but they have not increased their budget compared to last year.

Many of these said they plan to give gift hampers including assorted chocolates, imported liquor, genuine leather bags and even personalised gifts like gym/club membership to their deserving employees and clients this year.

Crockery, sweets, dry fruits, bed sheets, gold coins, home dn++cor, tableware, luxury watches, designer apparel, expensive writing instruments, free holiday packages, movie tickets, dinner coupons, spa vouchers and hampers with a mix of festive essentials like torans, diyas, aromatic candles remain certain other popular gift options this year too.

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FM: Launches SMS Alert Service for about 2.5 crore private and Government salaried employees to directly inform deposit of tax deducted at qtr end
Oct 25,2016

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that better facilities and services to the taxpayers are the central to Direct Tax Reforms. He said that the tax payers have a right to know the deductions made from their salary/income on regular basis. He said that more and more tax payer services have to be provided in order to make the people tax complaint. He stressed on the Governments commitment towards continuously upgrading tax payer services. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking after launching the SMS Alert Service for direct taxes for about 2.5 crore private and Government salaried employees.

The new step is an effort by the Income Tax Department to directly communicate deposit of tax deducted, through SMS alerts to salaried taxpayers, at the end of every quarter. In case of a mismatch, they can contact their deductor for necessary correction. Simultaneously, SMS alerts will also be sent to deductors who have either failed to deposit taxes deducted or to e-file their TDS returns by the due date.

This initiative will initially benefit approximately 2.5 crore salaried cases. The CBDT will soon extend this facility to another 4.4 crore non-salaried taxpayers. The frequency of SMS alerts will be increased, once the process for filing TDS returns is streamlined to receive such information on a real-time basis.

All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to update their mobile numbers in their e-filing account.

The CBDT constantly endeavours to provide better taxpayer services and reduce taxpayer grievances. New schemes and e-initiatives to redress and reduce complaints of mismatches in tax deducted at source are key to this effort.

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The Government of Bihar should provide relief of 4% interest on loan to the farmers like other States
Oct 25,2016

The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh called on Government of Bihar to bear the 4% interest on loan to farmers so that they can get loans at zero percent interest. At present, the farmers of Bihar receive, loan at 7% interest, 3% of which is borne by the Central Government. Union Minister of Agriculture reiterated this at the Cooperative Conference of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) organized by Indian National Cooperative Union in Motihari (East Champaran). Shri Radha Mohan Singh added that if we require to take the country ahead in the developmental arena, we will have to develop the farmers agriculture as well as villages. We will have to increase the income of the farmers and for this purpose we will have to bring in another revolution.

The Minister further added that the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are the fundamental base for the development related to agriculture and cooperatives. The PACS are organized on the level of villages and have farmers as members. At present nearly 8463 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are working in the State of Bihar and almost 521 Trade Cooperatives are operational.Apart from this nearly 372 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) are performing their tasks in the district of Motihari.

Shri Singh said that there must be a provision of reservation in PACs with the purpose to ensure the partnership of weaker section of the society scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, backward class and most backward classes. It is also essential to bring about institutional improvement to develop these PACS in the form of development centre of rural economy. Through these PACS farmers are provided seeds, fertilizers, agricultural equipments along with short term loan.

The Union Minister opined that the farmers must be provided more grants so as to strengthen the distribution system and substantiate the economic base of the PACS in Bihar. It is required to ensure the surplus achievement of paddy as well as wheat through the PACS so that farmers could get the appropriate support price declared by the government on the basis of their producce. Simultaneously these PACS will have to be developed in the form of institutes based on beneficial democratic values for the farmers.

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare further added that fifty per cent PACS do not own their own godowns in Bihar for the storage of their products. Shri Singh said that until and unless there are storage facilities, the farmers will have to bear losses. The Minister further said that it is very much imperative to have the godowns raised for more and more PACS under Integrated Cooperative Development Project, National Agriculture Development Scheme so as to enhance the storage capacity of the godowns. Shri Singh further said the rice mills should be established under National Agriculture Development Scheme. The PACS should be provided enough margin money for common business particularly for storage of off season fertilizers. The Union Minister said that the attempts are on to computerized all the 8463 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies in Bihar. This programme will cost almost Rs. 2000 crore. 50% of which would be borne by Central Government through NABARD, 45% will be funded by Government of Bihar and rest of 5% will be provided by District State Cooperative Banks.

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that during the year 2015-16 the dairy cooperatives of Bihar were provided Rs. 149 crore, Rs. 51.05 crore for ICDP, Rs. 12.5 crore for cold storage cooperatives, Rs. 28.10 crore for the cooperatives related to marketing. In this way as a whole a sum of Rs. 240.80 crore were provided . Shri Singh reiterated his resolve that the representatives should avail themselves of different development programmes related to NCDC to remove the regional imbalances and to enjoy the economic improvement of the Societies. On this occasion, the Minister requested the personnel related to the cooperatives that the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) should make the farmers aware about the Soil Health Card Scheme in their respective areas so that they could protect the fertility of their soil. Shri Singh said that existing resources to meet the necessities related to human resources development of the sophisticated techniques and cooperative personnel are inadequate. Keeping in view, the increasing needs of cooperatives movement, Shri Singh said that due to the presence of only one National Level Cooperative Training Institute in Pune the participation of Eastern States and North Eastern States cannot be materialized. The Minister further said that the State Government was requested at Bihar State Cooperative Development Conference in February 2016 that a Cooperative Management Institute of National level should be set up in Eastern Champaran, Bihar.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh said that the Central Government for the first time has requested the people that they should frame all rules and regulations and schemes for the development of agriculture. Thereafter the Ministry of Agriculture and other Central Institute will enforce these schemes throughout the country altogether. They will be provided strategic as well as financial help to make them operational.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare requested the State Government of Bihar that they should work together while making the blue print of the schemes so that the new ways and means could be found out to work out the problems coming in the way of agricultural development.

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Indias fuel product consumption declines 0.7% in September 2016
Oct 24,2016

Indias fuel product consumption or sales declined 0.7% to 14.60 mt in September 2016 over a year ago. Diesel sales dipped 11.4% to 5.22 mt, while Petrol sales declined 3.4% to 1.82 mt. Sales of Kerosene fell 11.1% to 0.50 mt and Others slipped 2.9% to 0.57 mt. Consumption of Naphtha also eased 1.3% to 1.05 mt, while that of LDO moved down 0.3% to 0.04 mt. However, the consumption of Pet. Coke gained 20.2% to 1.78 mt, LPG 16.1% to 1.87 mt, and ATF 11.6% to 0.55 mt. Further, the consumption of Lubes/Greases increased 18.0% to 0.30 mt, Fuel Oil 5.5% to 0.59 mt, and Bitumen 7.6% to 0.32 mt in September 2016.

Consumption or sales of fuel product increased 8.3% to 95.57 mt in April-September 2016 over April-September 2015. Sales of Pet. Coke increased 35.1%, Petrol 10.8%, Diesel 2.9%, and LPG 11.2%. Consumption of Fuel Oil also moved up 17.1%, ATF 12.3%, Bitumen 12.4%, Lubes/Greases 15.0%, LDO 13.6% and Others 0.6%, but declined for Naphtha 0.3% and Kerosene 10.1% in April-September 2016.

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Indias natural gas production declines 5.5% in September 2016
Oct 24,2016

Indias natural gas production declined 5.5% to 2.60 billion cubic meters (bcm) in September 2016 over a year ago. Natural gas output of ONGC rose 1.5% to 1.84 bcm, but that of private and JV companies dipped 27.3% to 0.51 bcm. Meanwhile, the natural gas production of Oil India rose 7.2% to 0.24 bcm in September 2016.

Natural gas output declined 4.4% to 15.72 bcm in April-September 2016 over April-September 2015.

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Sagarmala: Revolutionizing logistics in India through port led development
Oct 24,2016

Sagarmala, the ambitious programme for Port-led development in the country is all set to change the logistics sector performance by optimizing Indias logistics modal mix. The flagship programme by the Ministry of Shipping will help in reducing the logistics cost for both domestic and EXIM cargo with optimized infrastructure investment. An overall cost savings of INR 35,000 to 40,000 Crore per annum by 2025 is estimated from the same.

According to a study conducted under the Sagarmala programme, there lies a significant potential for moving raw materials and finished products using coastal shipping and inland waterways which is 60-80% cheaper than road or rail transport. Although the share of coastal shipping and inland waterways in the countrys modal mix remains low, an emphasis on coastal shipping to complement road and rail transport can lead to overall logistic cost savings.

The programme aims to increase movement of coal through coastal route from 27 MTPA in FY 2016 to 129 MTPA by 2025 and increase the share of inland waterways and coastal shipping in modal mix to increase from 6% to 12%. The programme envisions reduction in the cost of power generation by Rs 0.50 per unit of power.

It is estimated that for power plants located 800 to 1,000 km away from coal mines, the cost of coal logistics can contribute up to 35 per cent of the cost of power production. Particularly in the case of the Coastal power plants in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, that currently receive coal from Mahanadi Coalfields by Railways, significant savings can be achieved by taking coal through the rail-sea-rail (RSR) route. It is estimated that coastal movement of coal to these plants can result in annual savings of over INR 10,000 Crore to the power sector.

In addition, up to 50 Million tonnes of coal can be moved via coastal shipping for non-power thermal coal users (for example steel plants). Other commodities such as steel, cement, fertilizers, POL and food grains could also be moved via coastal shipping to the extent of about 80-85 MN tonnes by 2025. Additionally, an estimated 60 to 70 MN tones of cargo can also be moved over inland waterways (with focus on NW1, NW2,NW4 and NW5) by 2025.

The concept of port led development is central to the Sagarmala vision. Port led development focuses on logistics intensive industries (where transportation either represents a high proportion of costs, or timely logistics are a critical success factor). The population in adjoining areas would have to be sufficiently skilled to participate in economic opportunities on offer. The synergistic and coordinated development of four components, namely logistics intensive industries, efficient ports, seamless connectivity and requisite skill-base will lead to unlocking of economic value.

India, where the logistics cost (19% of GDP) is amongst the highest in the world will undergo complete transformation under the Sagarmala Programme, by unlocking the full potential of Indias coastline and waterways.

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Indias crude oil refinery production rises 7% in September 2016
Oct 24,2016

Indias crude oil refinery output increased 7.0% to 18.88 mt in September 2016 over September 2015. The output of public sector refineries improved 6.9% to 9.87 mt, while the output of private refineries also moved up 12.7% to 7.83 mt. However, the refinery output of public-private JV refiners dipped 19.7% to 1.18 mt in September 2016.

Among public refineries, the output of Mangalore Refineries jumped 27.9% to 1.11 mt, while the output of Chennai Petroleum Corporation moved up 27.5% to 0.85 mt, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation 11.6% to 2.00 mt in September 2016 over September 2015. The output of Indian Oil Corporation also inched up 8.3% to 4.60 mt, but that of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation declined 12.7% to 1.23 mt, and Numaligarh Refineries plunged 69.8% to 0.07 mt in September 2016.

Among private refiners, the output of Reliance Petroleum increased 1.7% to 6.13 mt, while that of Essar Oil zoomed 84.5% to 1.70 mt in September 2016 over September 2015.

Among JV refineries, the output of Bharat Oman declined 22.2% to 0.45 mt, while the output of HPCL Mittal also fell 18.1% to 0.73 mt in September 2015.

The cumulative refinery output increased 7.2% to 118.05 mt in April-September 2016. The output of public refineries increased 9.7% to 62.82 mt, while that of private refineries moved up 5.1% to 47.14 mt. The refinery output of JV refineries rose 1.3% to 8.09 mt in April-September 2016. Among public refineries, the output of Chennai Petroleum Corporation improved 14.6%, Indian Oil Corporation 13.2%, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation 7.5%, Numaligarh Refineries 6.7%, Bharat Petroleum Corporation 4.8% and Mangalore Refineries 4.1%.

The overall capacity utilization was higher at 104.3% in September 2016 compared with 102.4% in September 2015, while it was also higher at 105.3% in April-September 2016 compared with 104.7% in April-September 2015.

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Indias crude oil production declines 4.1% in September 2016
Oct 24,2016

Indias crude oil production declined 4.1% to 2.92 million tonnes (mt) in September 2016 over September 2015. Crude oil output of ONGC fell 2.8% to 1.80 mt, while that of private and joint venture (JV) companies dipped 7.8% to 0.85 mt. However, the crude oil production of Oil India rose marginally by 0.1% to 0.26 mt in September 2016. ONGCs offshore output declined 4.7% to 1.31 mt, while onshore production rose 2.5% to 0.49 mt.

Crude oil output fell 3.3% to 18.06 mt in April-September period of the fiscal year ending March 2017 (April-September 2016), snapping marginal 0.4% rise recorded in the corresponding period of last year. Output of ONGC eased 1.9% to 11.03 mt, while that of Oil India declined 2.7% to 1.60 mt and private companies fell 6.2% to 5.43 mt in April-September 2016 over April-September 2015.

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Swachh Bharat Mission(Urban) broadly on course meeting toilet construction target
Oct 24,2016

During the two years of Swachh Bharat Mission, 22,97,389 individual household toilets have so far been constructed in urban areas of the country as against the five year mission target of 66,42,221 such toilets to be built by 2019. With 35% of mission target being met in two years i.e 40% of the mission duration, construction of toilets meant for ending Open Defecation in urban areas is broadly on course.

Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh have met the mission targets three years ahead in September this year with Gujarat fulfilling the target of 4,06,388 toilets and Andhra Pradesh building 1,93,426 toilets in urban areas and have declared them Open Defecation Free in urban areas.

Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu reviewed the progress of the mission in urban areas today.

Other leading performers are kerala having built 62,450 which comes to 68% of the mission target of 90,986, Chattisgarh-1,83,726 (61% of 3,00,000), Madhya Pradesh -2,34,377 (46% of 5,12,389) and Tamil Nadu -2,57,781 (43% of mission target of 6,02,029 toilets).

The States that have met over 30% of mission targets are: Maharashtra -33% having built 2,07,888 toilets out of the mission target of 6,29,819, Uttar Pradesh-31% (2,53,979/8,28,237), Karnataka-31% (1,09,704/3,50,000) and Jharkhand -30% (47,968/ 1,61,713).

Telangana has met 28% of the mission target having built 59,967 of the 2,16,075 toilets, followed by West Bengal-23% (1,20,628/5,15,419), Puducherry -22% (2,135/9,626), Punjab-19% (26,188/1,38,010).

States and Union Territories who have built less than 10% of mission targets are : Manipur (9%), Bihar (7.40%), Uttarakhand (7%), Odisha (4.40%), Mizoram (3.34%) and Arunachal Pradesh (1.60%).

Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on October 2,2014 targeting construction of 1.04 cr individual household toilets in urban areas based on 2011 Census. Subsequently, taking in to consideration the construction of toilets during 2011-14, mission target in this regard has been revised to 66,42,221 toilets based on the assessment of States/UTs.

As per the revised targets 14 States and the UT of Delhi account for 80% of the target. These 15 States/UT have till September this year built 21,64,860 toilets accounting for 94% of the total toilets so far built and 32% of the total mission target. States and UTs lagging behind proportionate targets are expected to catch up as mission progresses.

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Gartner Says Insurance Firms Should Investigate Insurtechs to Complement Their Own Digital Strategies
Oct 24,2016

Insurance sector CIOs need to expand their market insight concerning the innovation and disruption potential of insurance technology startups (insurtechs) to complement their digital insurance strategies, according to Gartner, Inc.

According to Gartner research, 64 percent of the worlds 25 largest insurance companies have already invested directly or indirectly via their venture capital arms in insurtech startups.

Gartner predicts that 80 percent of life and property & casualty (P&C) insurers worldwide will partner with or acquire insurtechs to secure their competitive positions by the end of 2018.

Juergen Weiss, managing vice president at Gartner, said insurtechs can stimulate or accelerate innovation among incumbent industry players and complement existing digital insurance strategies.

Gartner has seen growing interest among insurance business and IT leaders in collaborating with insurtechs or making them part of their overall innovation policies, but the research has also found that most insurance CIOs are not familiar with these companies or their value propositions, said Mr. Weiss. We advise CIOs to identify areas where insurtechs could complement their digital insurance strategies, and evaluate potential collaboration or investments.

Gartner defines insurtechs as technology companies (1) that are in their early stages of operation; (2) that drive specific innovation across the insurance value chain by leveraging new technologies, user interfaces, business processes or business models; and (3) that leverage different forms of funding, including, but not limited to, venture capital.

The number of technology startups in the insurance industry has more than doubled globally during the last three years, according to Gartner analysis of the sector conducted in the second quarter of 2016. Digital customer engagement, mobile insurance management and analytics are the most common technology focus areas of insurtechs.

Sixty percent of insurtechs have been founded within the last three years, and two-thirds of them have their headquarters in the U.S. EMEA is the second-most important region for insurtechs, with 27 percent having their headquarters there, mainly in Germany and the U.K. In Asia, countries such as Singapore and China (mainly Hong Kong and Shanghai) have begun to promote the development of a local insurtech ecosystem.

Digitalization is one of the top priorities for insurance CIOs, according to Gartner surveys. However, the vast majority of insurance CIOs are still struggling to progress their digital strategies.

Gartners research indicates that only 12 percent of insurance business and IT leaders consider their organizations to be digitally progressive, while the majority believe that their organizations are digital beginners or intermediate, at best. Reasons for this include a lack of agility caused by legacy IT systems, flat IT budgets and a lack of the right skills or the delivery models to support innovative business models.

Collaborating with insurtechs, or at least evaluating them, could therefore provide a number of potential benefits for insurers, said Mr. Weiss.

According to Gartner, insurers have six main options to capitalize on the opportunities that insurtechs provide:

1.Partner (for example, Axa partnering with BlaBlaCar for carsharing).

2.Acquire, that is, purchase the intellectual assets and hire all resources of an insurtech.

3.Purchase (like one would buy technology from an incumbent vendor such as SAP).

4.Invest (obtain a minority or majority share, either directly or indirectly, via a VC arm, such as Allianzs investment in Simplesurance).

5.Incubate (for example, let insurtechs compete to get into a startup accelerator; mentor them; and give them a space to work and exchange ideas).

6.Insure the operations or assets of insurtechs.

Insurance CIOs who are planning to partner with insurtechs also need to be aware of the risks.

Not all of them will survive, said Mr. Weiss. Insurance CIOs will need to develop a fail-fast approach and an exit plan that secures intellectual property and critical resources.

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Gartner Says Retailers Must Use Algorithms for Competitive Advantage
Oct 24,2016

In the new digital economy, retailers can best gain competitive advantage through the application of algorithms that reduce costs and grow top-line revenue, according to Gartner, Inc.

Kelsie Marian, principal research analyst at Gartner, said examples of algorithmic retail in action are emerging and yielding results for aggressive retailers.

Retailers are some of the original data hoarders, using years of store-level sales data for demand planning since the mid-1980s, but what we see today is vastly different, said Ms. Marian.

Data is ubiquitous in the new retail environment, and retailers will survive only if quality data is embedded into every decision, minute by minute, across the retail organisation. But retailers cant humanly scale to keep pace with growth of data, so a fundamentally different approach is necessary.

Gartner describes algorithmic retailing as the application of big data through advanced analytics across an increasingly complex and detailed retail structure, to deliver an efficient and flexible, yet unified, customer experience. Algorithms connect big data to results.

Gartner predicts that merchant leaders will be algorithms by 2020, prompting the top 10 retailers to cut up to one-third of headquarters merchandising staff.

According to Gartner, there are four main functions where algorithms can have a big impact in retail.

1) Cost of goods sold

Cost of goods sold is the largest cost of retail operations at 55-60 percent. Since it is driven by the selection, assortment, pricing, promotion and inventory levels of items listed for sale, it has the largest possible benefit from the application of algorithms. Algorithms can both reduce the cost basis and increase top-line revenue.

2) General and administrative

General and administrative is an overhead at 15-18 percent of the cost of retail operations. It typically covers headquarters activities such as finance, legal, HR, advertising and IT, as well as warehousing and distribution. Algorithms used here will significantly improve cost optimization.

3) Labor

Labor represents 13-16 percent of the cost of retail operations, but is rising sharply, and directly impacts the quality of the customers experience. Algorithms can support both cost optimization and customer service.

4) Stores

Stores will remain a major cost of retail operations and an integral part of the retail landscape. They provide a major source of competitive differentiation for multichannel retailers, with store services much of what employees provide to customers. Algorithms can help with pricing, inventory and improving the in-store customer experience.

Retail CIOs and their teams play a pivotal role in helping business leaders understand the benefits and limitations of algorithms, and how algorithms can support their business goals, said Ms. Marian.

Gartner advises retail sector CIOs to:

1) Identify and classify all data sources, and identify data gaps that must be filled.

2) Prepare for an explosion of Internet of Things (IoT) data generated by products, customers and stores.

3) Review examples of how other retailers are successfully using algorithms.

4) Develop a framework for identifying current and future opportunities to improve performance through automation by algorithms.

5) Ensure that smart data discovery technology is bringing big data discovery to the business user at the time of decision. This is a critical step on the path to process automation.

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