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Pro-Active Agri Policies Of Modi Govt. May Transform Farmers Lot: Radha Mohan Singh
Jul 26,2016

With the advent of Modi Government coupled with its pro-farmer policies, the black marketing of urea has come to an end and with policies such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the destitute of farmers in countryside is likely to be the history in next few years provided the states cooperate with centre in implementing its agrarian policies, claimed Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Mr. Radha Mohan Singh while addressing the members of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Singh who was speaking at an Interactive Session on Mission 2020 under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry also claimed that by 2017, the farmer community across India will have Soil Health Card in the possession that would not only lead to enhanced productivity of agriculture produce but also their income in general.

On post crop harvest losses as well as losses relating to fruits and vegetables, the Minister held that with ongoing proactively pro-farmer policies of the Modi government, the post harvest grains losses would come down significantly and such losses relating to fruits and vegetables would also be brought down substantially.

According to the Minister, most of the states have begun to cooperate with the centre in the execution of its agrarian policies including those of insurances but few states have yet to come forward on this front. He, however, added that persuasive efforts of the centre in this direction are on and the recalcitrant states would fall in line so that the growth of the agriculture sector also accelerates.

The interactive session was presided over by the President, PHD Chamber, Dr. Mahesh Gupta who felt that with increased income of farmers with suitable government policies, the demand generation for industrial produce would happen at a speed faster than anticipated.

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UP Govt. to soon notify Rs.10 Lakh worth of subsidy for plant and machinery in Micro and SSI Units from presently Rs.2 Lakh-Assistant Commission Noida
Jul 26,2016

The Government of Uttar Pradesh is going to enhance the subsidy element for plant and machinery deployed in units of micro and small scale industries across the state under its technology upgradation mission from Rs.2 lakh to Rs.10 lakh to upgrade quality of products coming out of such units, according to Assistant Commissioner, Industries, Noida, Mr. G P Goswami.

Speaking to the members of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry at a Seminar on Empowering Enterprises through Technology under the aegis of Chamber, Mr.Goswami also informed that this technology upgradation mission is available even for startups and standups provided these are setting up plants in the micro and small scale segment in which machineries needed to be deployed in the state.

n++The government of Uttar Pradesh at higher level has taken this decision which is likely to be notified in next 10-15 days and would benefit those entrepreneurs whose total capital investment in such units does not exceed the limit of Rs.5 croresn++, he said.

Mr.Goswami, however, further clarified stating that the UP government has no other particular scheme for startups and standups as these are financed through various schemes of the central government through its commercial banks.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy General Manager, SIDBI, Mr. A K Pandey said that the newly launched scheme of the central government, relating to startups and standups, though the SIDBI has been financing them with an interest rates of 5% but the response has been not that encouraging since queuing up of startups and standups for these has yet to happen.

He, however, added that some entrepreneurs have come forward to avail of financing and re-financing advantages under this scheme but it has yet to be evolved into success as startups and standups have to come out with project reports that can satisfy the SIDBI and its technological partner who can fathom the economic viability of such project reports.

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Tactical Support Keeps Markets Positive
Jul 26,2016

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) believes that the current momentum will continue in both debt and rupee markets over the coming week, even as two major global central banks - US Fed and Bank of Japan - outline their monetary policies. The 10-year G-sec yield is likely to stay at 7.22%-7.30% (7.25% at close on 22 July 2016). The rupee is likely to trade at 66.8/USD-67.5/USD as investors await cues from central banks (67.08/USD at close on 22 July 2016).

Bond Rally Tactical Rather Than Fundamental: The rally in the domestic bond market after the UK referendum has been largely unidirectional. Ind-Ra believes that the rally is more tactical than fundamental. On the ground, retail inflation surged as markets recovered sharply after the referendum. On the other hand, a well-distributed rainfall and a stable currency have been supportive to positive market sentiments. Ind-Ra believes that with continuation in momentum, the 10-year G-Sec yield can come down further without any immediate cut in the repo rate. However, the agency notes the presence of a significant tail-end-risk uptick in global bond yields as well as persisting uncertainty over who the new RBI Governor could be, which could derail the ongoing positive market sentiment.

Rupee Gains to Stay Capped: Following the initial fallout after the UK referendum, the US Fed rate hike bets have been rising as incoming data signals that economic recovery is on course. In the upcoming Fed meeting this week, however, the Fed is unlikely to go ahead with rate normalisation as the near-term outlook still remains marred with uncertainty, especially with the US elections coming up later this year. Additionally, Bank of Japan is slated to review its monetary policy this week. Currency markets are likely to stay volatile this week as investors internalise developments across the globe. An imminent signalling of a Fed rate hike is likely to keep the rupee gains capped in the medium term.

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India-US Launch Innovative Agriculture Programme to Address Global Challenges
Jul 26,2016

The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the second phase of the Feed the Future India Triangular Training Programme, bringing specialized agriculture training to 1,500 agricultural professional across Africa and Asia. The Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri S.K Pattanayak and U.S Ambassador to India Shri Richard R. Vera launched the programme together at the National Agriculture Science Complex in New Delhi.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that in order to continue our successful partnership programme covering more countries in Africa and Asia, MANAGE as lead institution representing Govt. of India and USAID representing US Government signed a Limited Scope Cooperation Agreement( LSCA) on 7th November, 2005. The new programme will be called as n++Feed The Future: India Triangular Training Programmen++, in which 32 Training programme of 15 days duration will be conducted in India and 12 Training programs of 10 days duration will be conducted in selected African and Asian Countries during 2016-20 i.e., for 4 years. The entire expenditure including participants travel, insurance, lodging, boarding, local travel and programme fee will be met by USAID and MANAGE. The training areas will be identified based on demand analysis conducted in participating countries.

Shri S.K Pattanayak informed that 17 countries covered under the programme are Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan, Botswana, Ethiopia in Africa and Afghanistan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Vietnam in Asia. Also faculty of MANAGE visited Cambodia and Vietnam in Asia and Tanzania and Mozambique in Africa as part of Demand analysis.

The U.S Ambassador Shri Richard R. Verma said that by harnessing the expertise and innovation of out two great countries, we are unlocking new opportunities to address global development challenges, bringing us closure to our shared objective of eliminating global poverty and hunger.

Shri Richard R. Verma emphasized that the United States and India remain committed to their partnership of working, together to break the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger. Through sharing agriculture innovations worldwide, the U.S and India will help other countries develop their agriculture sectors, helping promote global prosperity and stability.

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Construction of the three new Institutes of AYUSH completed: Shri Shripad Yesso Naik
Jul 26,2016

Construction of the three new Institutes under Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India has been completed. These institutes are : (i) All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), New Delhi: It is apex Institute of Ayurveda with 200 bedded referral hospital to impart education in the field of Ayurveda at M.D. and Ph.D level.

(ii) North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Homoeopathy (NEIAH), Shillong: It is a state of the art institute consisting of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy Colleges along with attached hospital of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy with 100 beds and 50 beds respectively. The objective of the institute is to provide better medicinal/clinical facilities to the people of North East Region including Sikkim.

(iii) North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM), Pasighat-Arunachal Pradesh: It is the Centre of Excellence and apex research centre for all aspect of folk medicine knowledge. The objective of the institute is to provide better medical/clinical facilities in the Region.

Further, under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), there is provision for grant-in-aid to the State/Union Territory Governments for setting up of 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital as well as setting up of new AYUSH Educational Institutions in the State where it is not available in the Government Sector including tribal and hilly areas of the country.

The National Medicinal Plants Board is implementing the Medicinal Plants component of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) to promote cultivation of prioritised medicinal plants, establishment of nurseries and their post-harvest management in the States/UTs including tribal and hilly regions. For procurement of medicinal herbs, provision has been made for establishing collection centres, drying sheds & storage godown and market promotion.

The following steps have been taken under National AYUSH Mission to promote and popularise AYUSH medicinal system:

(i) Co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs).

(ii) Up gradation of exclusive State Government AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries.

(iii) Setting up of up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital.

(iv) Upgradation of State Government Educational Institutions.

(v) Setting up of new State Government AYUSH Educational Institutions in the State where it is not available in Government Sector.

(vi) Public Health outreach activity to focus on increasing awareness about AYUSH strength in managing community health problems,

(vii) Adoption of villages for propagating AYUSH way of life and interventions of health care through AYUSH Gram,

(viii) School Health Programme through AYUSH by way of addressing the health needs of school going children through AYUSH,

(ix) Early prevention of non-communicable diseases and promotion of health care by way of Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) integrated with the principles and practices of AYUSH systems.

Further, the following activities are also undertaken to promote and popularize AYUSH Systems under Central Sector Scheme of Information Education Communication(IEC) :-

(i) Organization of Arogya Fairs both at the National and State Level;

(ii) Participation in Health Fairs/ Melas / Exhibitions organized by Government Departments, State Governments and other reputed Organizations;

(iii) Preparation and distribution of authentic Publicity material on AYUSH Systems including Multi-media/print media campaigns, audio visual materials for popularization of AYUSH Systems;

(iv) Providing financial assistance to reputed organizations, NGOs, educational/ research institutes for organizing Seminars, Conferences, Symposiums, Workshop, meeting, etc. on AYUSH Systems.

(v) Providing incentives to AYUSH Industry to participate in Arogya and other Fairs/ Melas/ Exhibitions/ Conferences/ Seminars etc. organized by Central/ State Governments/ Government organizations/ reputed organizations like Chemexil, Pharmexcil, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, ITPO etc. at State/ National level.

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Volatility in Industrial Output Growth Coupled with High Retail Inflation is a Cause of Concern
Jul 26,2016

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released indicate that the challenges for the economy are still very much intact. Even though the IIP has turned positive, the volatility in IIP data indicates that the industrial growth has not stabilised and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The growth in IIP is not showing any relationship with infrastructure industries data. While basic and intermediate goods have registered positive growth rates, there is no correlation with other used-based sectors in the economy.

On the other hand, retail inflation, particularly food inflation is gaining further ground because now even cereals inflation has firmed up above 3% after a gap of 16 months. Ind-Ra believes upside pressure from food inflation will remain a matter of concern as policymakers and the government cannot do much to control the prices of agricultural commodities such as pulses, vegetables and sugar.

Industrial production increased 1.2% yoy in May 2016 against a contraction of 1.3% in the previous month. The growth in factory output was primarily led by positive growth in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing (75.5% weight in IIP) output increased 0.7% yoy in May 2016 after two consecutive months of negative growth (April: negative 3.7%; March: negative 1.0%). Electricity, which has a weight of 10.3% in IIP, moderated to 4.7% in May 2016 from 14.6% yoy in the previous month. Mining output increased marginally to 1.3% yoy in May from 1.1% in April 2016. Mining growth has oscillated in the range 0.3% to 5.3% since July 2015.

At the used-based level, capital goods output continued its negative trend although it moderated from the previous month. Capital goods output contracted 12.4% yoy in May 2016 against a contraction of 25% in April 2016. Basic and intermediate goods continued with the positive trend and clocked growth rates of 3.9% yoy and 3.6% yoy respectively in May 2016. In-Ra believes a pick-up in capital goods output will require a further improvement in the manufacturing sector activity.

Consumer durables maintained the positive growth trend and grew 6% in May 2016 (April 2016: 11.8%). Negative growth in consumer non-durables moderated to 2.2%yoy in May 2016 from 10.8% yoy in the previous month. A pick-up in rural demand in the wake of above-normal monsoon is likely to give a fillip to both consumer durables and non-durables.

CPI came in at 5.77%yoy in June 2016, almost unchanged from 5.76% in the previous month, led by continued high food prices. Food inflation rose to 7.8% yoy in May from 7.5% yoy in the previous month. Food inflation remains at a much higher level compared to the same period in the previous year (June 2015: 5.4%; May 2015: 4.8%), which is remarkable since 2015 was a drought year. Retail pulses inflation moderated but still remains in high two-digit levels (26.9% yoy in June from 31.6% in the previous month). Vegetable price rose sharply to 14.7% yoy in June from 10.8% in the previous month. Sugar inflation increased to 16.8% yoy in June from 14.1% yoy in the previous month.

Cereals inflation rose to 3.1%yoy in June 2016 from 2.6% yoy in the previous month. Monsoon would have some softening impact on cereals inflation. Rainfall recorded a surplus of 1% (from an 18% deficit a fortnight ago) for the long-period average between 1 June and 6 July 2016. Also, the government can intervene in case of cereals and stabilise prices by increasing supply from the buffer stock. Given the supply and demand gap in pulses, prices are unlikely to see a significant moderation.

Core inflation (non-food non-energy) remained benign as subdued demand kept a check on manufactured products prices. Core inflation moderated to 4.6% yoy in June from 4.8% in the previous month. Fuel price inflation remained unchanged from the previous month at 2.9% yoy in June 2016.

While the room to cut rates in the August 2016 monetary policy may not be available, Ind-Ra believes the headroom may open up in 3QFY17. The bond market gained momentum following the resurgence of rate cut expectations. The debt market is likely to continue its positive momentum, gaining on account of low global yields, softness in crude oil prices and expectations of monetary measures by central banks globally. Additionally, an improvement in liquidity will continue supporting steepening of the yield curve.

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Work on Lucknow - Sultanpur section of NH-56
Jul 25,2016

On the Lucknow - Varanasi section of National Highway the work for 4-laning of Lucknow-Sultanpur section of NH-56 was terminated due to non achievement of financial closure and non- signing of state support agreement. Bids for four laning of Lucknow-Sultanpur section have been re-invited by NHAI and received. The work for 4-laning of Sultanpur-Varanasi section of NH-56 has been awarded in two packages and is under implementation.

In Bareilly-Lucknow section of NH-24, 4-laning of Lucknow-Sitapur section has already been completed and 4-laning of Bareilly-Sitapur section is under implementation.

The work for 4-laning of Lucknow - Kanpur section of NH-25 has already been completed.

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Introduction of Digital Tracking System of Containers
Jul 25,2016

With a view to introducing transparency in container operation, Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) has signed an agreement with Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation on 14 April 2016. Commercial Operation of Logistics Data Bank (LDB) Project has been operationalized at JNPT w.e.f. 01 July 2016 on a pilot basis. The logistics Data Bank Service would bring efficiency in the current Logistics & Supply Chain environment through use of information technology that would be helpful for tracking and viewing the movement of containers across the port to the ICD and end users.

Each container is tagged with RFID tag at JNPT and the same can be tracked through different RFID readers installed at different locations. This will provide visibility and transparency an EXIM container movement. This would also help in reducing overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor and lower the transaction cost incurred by the shippers and consignees as a result of predictability and optimization achieved through Logistics Data Bank (LDB) services.

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E-Auctioning Policy of Coal Mines
Jul 25,2016

The Government has so far allocated 75 coal mines for specified end uses (31 Coal mines through e-auction & 44 coal mines through allotment) under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Rules made thereunder. The Minister further said that the expected revenue of these 75 coal mines which shall accrue to the coal bearing States under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 is estimated at more than Rs. 3.53 Lakh Crores during the life of mine/lease period.

The estimated revenue from the e-auction of 31 Coal Mines is Rs. 1,96,698 Crores. As on 31.05.2016, the revenue already generated from the allocation of 74 coal mines under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 is 2,237 Crores (excluding Royalty, Cess and Taxes) which shall be devolving entirely to the coal bearing State concerned, Shri Goyal added.

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25 proposals approved for financial assistance to setup up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals under NAM
Jul 25,2016

The Ministry of AYUSH has received 35 proposals from 21 States for financial assistance to setup up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals under the National AYUSH Mission (NAM) of AYUSH. Out of that, 25 proposals have been approved by the Ministry to 16 States. In addition, proposals from Kerala for opening AYUSH holistic centers in 6 districts namely Trivandrum, Kozhikode, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur & Malappuram have been supported by Government of India for an amount of Rs.49.44 Lakhs.

Ministry of AYUSH has launched AYUSH intervention in National Programme for Prevention & Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases & Stroke (NPCDCS) in one District each in 6 States. Integration of Ayurveda has been initiated in 3 Districts viz. Bhilwara (Rajasthan), Surendranagar (Gujarat), and Gaya (Bihar). Homoeopathic intervention is going on in two States, Krishna district (Andhra Pradesh) and Darjeeling District (West Bengal). Unani intervention is going on in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. Yoga is an integral part in all the 6 districts.

Under AYUSH services component of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), there is provision of co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centers (PHCs), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs) where services for treatment of various ailments including lifestyle diseases have been envisaged. In addition, there is also provision for setting up of up to 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital. In this regard, Grant-in-Aid has been released to the State Governments with respect to their proposals, as per the entitlement under NAM.

It is believed that the following are some of the risk factors involved in lifestyle diseases :

i) Tobacco and excessive alcohol use

ii) Unhealthy diet including excessive salt

iii) Sedentary habits, inadequate physical activities etc.

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Draft Rules for prescribing the manner of determination of amount received by the company in respect of share formulated
Jul 25,2016

Under section 115QA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act), additional Income-tax at the rate of 20 percent is levied on the distributed income arising out of buy back of unlisted share by the company.

The Finance Act, 2016 has amended the definition of n++distributed incomen++, with effect from 01.06.2016, to mean the consideration paid by the company on buy back of shares as reduced by the amount, which was received by the company for issue of such shares, determined in the manner as may be prescribed.

In this regard, draft rules providing for determination of amount received by company for use of its shares under different circumstances have been formulated and uploaded on the Finance Ministrys website ( and website of the Income-tax Department ( for comments from stakeholders and general public.

The comments and suggestion on the draft rules may be sent by 31st July, 2016 electronically at the email address,

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Coal Stock of 31.39 MT available at Power Utilities on 19th July 2016: Sufficient to operate The Plants for 23 Days
Jul 25,2016

At the end of April, 2016, the Coal stock at Power House end had been 34.94 Million Tonne (MT) as against the stock of 29.76 MT at the end of April, 2015

As on 31st March, 2016, the coal stock was 38.87 MT which is the highest in last four years. The details of coal stock position in the thermal power plants are as under:


Coal Stock as on

Coal Stock (MT)


As, on 19th July 2016, the actual coal stock position was 31.39 MT, which is sufficient to operate the plants for 23 days as against the normative stock requirement of 21 days. Further, these power plants receive coal on daily basis and consume it based on their daily requirement in line with their generation schedule. Hence, the coal stock is not static and is not kept/ stored for a long time.

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CIL sets target of producing 598.61 Mt. Coal in 2016-17
Jul 25,2016

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines today informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the off-take of Coal India (CIL) was 534.50 Million tonne against coal production of 538.75 Million tonne during the year 2015-16. Also, no power generation unit was in critical or supercritical condition for want of coal and there was a decline in coal import also from 217.8 Mte in 2014-15 to 199.9 Mte in 2015-16, the Minister added.

Shri Goyal stated that CIL has planned to produce more coal and has set a target of producing 598.61 Mt. coal in 2016-17 against an achievement of coal production of 538.75 Mt during 2015-16 with growth rate of 11.11%.

Further, the Minister said that over burden removal by CIL during 2015-16 was 1148.91 Million cubic meter as compared to 886.53 Million cubic meter during 2014-15.

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Lack of Capital Could Limit PSB Growth at 9% CAGR over FY16-FY19, Slowest in Last Two Decades
Jul 25,2016

Limited availability of growth capital for public sector banks (PSBs) could pull down their loan growth trajectories to a CAGR of 9% over FY16-FY19, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). This growth is the bare minimum needed to generate sufficient spreads that can absorb Ind-Ras expected operating and credit costs over this period. The growth is likely to be lower at 8.1% over FY16-FY19 for mid-sized PSBs with a few banks witnessing a loan book decline. Even for this growth, Ind-Ra estimates the average Tier-1 capital needed during FY17-FY19 to be around 22% of FYE16 CET (36% for mid-sized PSBs). This estimate is over and above the capital committed under Indradhanush programme.

While Ind-Ras expectation of limited credit demand beyond the refinancing requirements of levered corporates appears to be largely in line with the estimated credit supply for FY17, a sustained moderation in PSBs credit growth is likely to start impacting the nominal gross domestic product pick-up for FY18-FY19.

The agency expects NPL aging to keep credit costs for PSBs at elevated levels of 170-180 bps in FY17 (280bp in FY16), continuing the pressure on profitability. Consequently, some PSBs would continue to report losses in FY17. Following the asset quality review (AQR) by the Reserve Bank of India in 1HFY16, a sizeable proportion of NPLs (including slippages from FY15) is likely to shift to the next classification bucket over FY17-FY18, attracting higher provisioning. The quantum of fresh slippages from the large corporate exposure may come down during FY17-FY18.

Ind-Ra expects un-provided non-fund-based exposures of large stressed accounts to continue to pose a threat to profitability for FY17FY18. However, the AQR exercise has ensured recognition of impaired loans and higher provisioning for cyclical sectors in deep stress, such as iron & steel, and a large proportion of stressed corporates that are yet to be provided for now belong to the infrastructure sector. Hence, stress resolution with a going concern approach (such as the S4A scheme) may prove to be effective.

Ind-Ras support floor for PSBs remains unchanged as the agency expects (even under severe stress scenario) the potential equity requirement (or the bailout cost), to avoid approaching the point of non-viability triggers, to be manageable at INR85bn-INR100bn. This could, however, change if the government of India changes its support stance.

Ind-Ra believes that the chances of AT1 coupon deferral remain high for banks with depleted reserves. Elevated credit costs are likely to keep profits subdued which would put PSBs with low, or in some cases non-existent, revenue reserves under pressure. However, Ind-Ra believes that the ability to service AT1 bonds varies widely within PSBs with a few banks benefitting from having built significant retained earnings over the years and a few with their stronger standalone profiles.

Ind-Ra estimates that at this projected growth PSBs still require a Tier-1 capital of INR1.2trn over FY17-FY19 including INR0.4trn in common equity tier 1 and INR0.71trn in Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds. The need for a pickup in AT1 market remains critical to managing the capital availability through the Basel-III transition. A mere INR180bn of AT1 bonds have been issued so far, with insurance and pension funds (which have the requisite liability profile and risk appetite to invest in these instruments) keeping away on account of regulatory hurdles and inadequate price discovery. Ind-Ra believes that barring a few large PSBs, most banks are looking to consolidate their balance sheets, reduce risk-weighted assets, and preserve capital.

Ind-Ra reviewed the ratings of large PSBs namely State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank and Union Bank of India.

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India - Japan Social Security Agreement to come into Force from 01st October 2016
Jul 25,2016

The Agreement on Social Security between India and Japan shall come into force with effect from 1st October 2016. With this addition number of Social Security Agreement (SSA) that would become operational would be sixteen. The Ministry of External Affairs, along with Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) - the competent authority for negotiating and concluding SSAs have completed the formalities for the Agreement to enter into force. The Social Security Agreement between India and Japan was signed in Tokyo on November 16, 2012.

Bilateral Social Security Agreements (SSA) are made with other countries to protect the interests of Indian professionals, skilled workers working abroad. The Government of India till date has signed SSA with 19 countries. The SSAs have been in operation with 15 countries so far.

An SSA generally provides for n++detachmentn++, n++totalisationn++ and n++portabilityn++ of Social Security benefits between agreeing nations. While under Detachment provisions, International Workers are exempted from making contribution in the host country, the Totalisation allows aggregating residency periods of social security contribution made by the Indian worker / professional in India and the foreign country to qualify for retirement benefits. The Portability further allows one to avail benefits in either country

The comprehensive SSA between India and Japan when operational from 1st October 2016 will favourably impact the profitability and competitive position of Indian and Japanese companies with foreign operations in either countries by reducing their cost of doing business abroad. Thousands of Indian and Japanese workers who are working in Japan and India respectively will benefit from the agreement. The SSA will also help more Japanese companies to consider India as a destination for their manufacturing investments.

Further to this, BRICS Second Employment Working Group meeting is being held in Hyderabad, on 27-28 July 2016. The forum is being planned to impress the BRICS group to adopt a resolution to take the necessary steps to ensure that Social Security Agreements are entered into between the member countries of BRICS. This is all the more because BRICS nations have individually signed SSAs with other nations. Trade relations between BRICS nations have been increasing over the years and major Industries and Enterprises from respective nations are making investments. The companies often make dual contributions in the absence of detachments provisions that affect the competitiveness.

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