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MARKET WATCH 24 SEPT, 2021

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

 

PM Modi meets leading American CEOs; encourages them to invest in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met a group of five top American corporate leaders on a one-on-one basis from a range of diverse sectors ranging from drones to 5G Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday met a group of five top American corporate leaders on a one-on-one basis from a range of diverse sectors ranging from drones to 5G, semiconductor, and solar and encouraged them to step up their investments by highlighting the vast opportunities in India. "Talking technology...," the Prime Minister's Office said in a Twitter post after Modi's meeting with Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon and First Solar CEO Mark Widmar. They had a productive interaction, it said. "PM Modi highlighted the vast opportunities India offers. Mr. Amon expressed keenness to work with India in areas such as 5G and other" Digital India efforts, it added. Qualcomm, which started its operations in 1996, has operations specialising in wireless modem and multimedia software, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and embedded applications, and digital media networking solutions. In India, Qualcomm Ventures has invested in companies that address key domestic issues from dairy, transportation to defence. "Toward making India a global innovation hub!" Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted. The Prime Minister had a conversation with Amon on investment opportunities in hi-tech sectors in India. "Discussed recent electronics and telecom manufacturing PLI schemes; and measures to strengthen innovation ecosystem," he added. They discussed investment opportunities offered in India's telecommunications and electronics sector. This included the recently launched Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) as well as developments in the semiconductor supply chain in India, the MEA said in a release. "Strategies for building the local innovation ecosystem in India were also discussed, the ministry added. "Powering India's Solar Potential!" Bagchi said after Modi's meeting with Widmar. They discussed India's renewable energy landscape. Widmar shared plans to use the PLI scheme for manufacturing solar power equipment with unique thin-film technology; and integrating India into global supply chains, Bagchi said in a tweet. First Solar has successfully commissioned 150 MW of Utility-Scale Solar Power to the Grid in India and has installed 1.8 GW of solar capacity in the country. Early this year, it announced its intention to set up a new 3.3 GW Facility in India. As such First Solar is contributing to India's plans to ramp up solar power generation to 100 GW by 2022. During the meeting, the prime minister elaborated on India's efforts to harness solar energy, including the 'One world, One sun and One grid' initiative and investment opportunities in the sector, his office said in a tweet. "They talked about India's renewable energy landscape, particularly solar energy potential, and our target of 450 GW electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030, the ministry said. Discussions also took place about First Solar's interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using their unique thin-film technology by availing the recently launched Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, as well integrating India into global supply chains, it added. In his meeting with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, Prime Minister Modi discussed Adobe's ongoing activities in India and future investment plans, according to Bagchi. "Ideas to leverage Digital India flagship programme in sectors like health, education and R&D were also discussed, he said. "Deepening Knowledge Partnerships! he tweeted. After North America, India represents Adobe's biggest operations with over 6,000 employees across its campuses in Noida and Bengaluru. India also serves as an innovation hub for Adobe, with the Indian R&D team contributing to development of every Adobe product. Moreover, initiatives such as Adobe's Grassroots Innovation Challenge and Women-in-Technology Scholarship are fueling the ongoing digital revolution in India. Modi also met Vivek Lall, chief executive of General Atomics, and Stephen A Schwarzman from Blackstone. The Prime Minister and Lall discussed India's strides in drone technology, including the path-breaking reforms and PLI scheme, the PMO said in a tweet. "They spoke about strengthening the defence technology sector in India. Lall appreciated the recent policy changes to accelerate defence and emerging technology manufacturing and augment capacity building in India, the MEA said. General Atomics, which opened its first office in India in 2018, is making significant contributions to deepen India-US defence and security cooperation. It is working with both governments in an effort to provide India with the latest systems and technologies supporting national defence. General Atomics has also partnered with Indian companies to develop solutions for Indian defence as well as capacity building. "India remains an attractive investment destination! PM @narendramodi met Mr. Stephen Schwarzman, CEO @blackstone. Discussed ongoing projects and further investment opportunities in India, including under the National Infrastructure Pipeline and National Monetisation Pipeline," Bagchi tweeted. Blackstone, which started its operations in India in 2006 and has so far invested around USD 15 billion in various sectors including private equity, real estate, education, fashion, packaging and housing finance. Blackstone Real Estate Fund is said to be the largest owner of commercial real estate in India. The company played a key role in launching India's first real estate investment trust (REIT) along with its partner Embassy Group in 2019 and has since then launched two REITs in the country.

Source: Business Standard

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GST investigation wing directs field units to take quick action in pending cases, issue show cause notices where needed

Synopsis

The wing, under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), has directed principal chief commissioners or chief commissioners to draw up an action plan to ensure that no cases are pending investigation beyond one-year. The Goods and Service Tax (GST) investigation wing has asked field units to issue show cause notices in time-barred cases that are pending investigation and warrant so, after it found that notices have been issued in only a few cases of tax evasion and availing input tax credit fraudulently. The wing, under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), has directed principal chief commissioners or chief commissioners to draw up an action plan to ensure that no cases are pending investigation beyond one-year.

Source: Economic Times

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Trying to ease rules to make it easier for units to exit SEZs: Goyal

The commerce ministry is trying to ease norms for Special Economic Zones and make it simpler for units to exit these areas, union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. The commerce ministry is trying to ease norms for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and make it simpler for units to exit these areas, union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. The ministry is also looking at ways for partial de-recognition of existing SEZs so that areas which have no more demand can be used for industrial or other purposes. "There are a large amount of areas lying across SEZs in the country. Now that the sunset clause (for SEZ tax incentives) has set in, probably we may not find enough traction for new people to set up units within SEZ, so we are trying to ease the system of SEZs going forward and make it easier for people to exit from the SEZ status," the commerce and industry minister said. He was interacting with exporters at SEEPZ (Santacruz Electronic Export Processing Zone), Mumbai. He also said different issues raised by exporters are under consideration of the government. Citing an example, he said the ministry is discussing with its finance counterpart the issues of allowing e-commerce seamlessly for artificial jewellery up to a value of USD 800 and depreciation of second hand goods. "We are also discussing how the SEZs can play a more important role in the DTA (domestic tariff area) through an equalisation levy," he added. In the Budget 2016-17, the government had stated that the income tax benefits to new SEZ units would be available to only those units which commence activity before March 31, 2020. SEZs, which emerged as major export hubs in the country, started losing their sheen after imposition of minimum alternate tax and introduction of sunset clause. The units in SEZs used to enjoy 100 per cent income tax exemption on export income for the first five years, 50 per cent for the next five years and 50 per cent of the ploughed back export profit for another five years. Talking about free trade agreements (FTAs), Goyal said: "I am trying to get more and more FTAs done with the UK, UAE, Australia, and the EU, to try and provide more market access for exporters." With the UAE, he said "I am fighting hard" to make sure that the gem and jewellery sector gets the 5 per cent duty concession that are currently charged in UAE, as part of the early harvest trade pact. On India's merchandise exports, he said the target of USD 400 billion by end of this fiscal year is "well on track so far". "We have a run rate of about USD 1.2 billion everyday that needs to be achieved," he added. Further, Goyal said the ministry is looking at Space Transfer Policy in SEEPZ, to make it easier for those who want to exit the area and get fair value for investments made in the unit. "We are trying to introduce elements in the policy which will facilitate faster exit and will also make it easier for you to recover investments that you have made in that unit. We are trying to create a robust policy," he added. Separately, speaking at the inauguration of Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at NITIE in Mumbai, Goyal said managing supply chains is becoming more and more complex owing to the challenges posed by global competitiveness and economic crisis. In this scenario, the Centre will contribute to cutting-edge research, knowledge-building and capacity building in logistics and supply chain management, through applied research and development activities, he said. "There is huge potential in industrial engineering, you can transform the future of this country by the work you are doing. A lot of industrial engineering also goes into sectors such as restaurant design and operations, e-commerce businesses and delivery of public services as well," the minister added.

Source: Business Standard

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Goods exports to hit record $190 billion in first half of FY22: Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal

 After a Covid-induced fall of 7% last fiscal, exports this fiscal have been supported by improved order flow from advanced markets following an economic resurgence there and rise in global commodity prices. Merchandise exports could hit a record $190 billion or even cross this level in the first half of FY22, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday. While the export would be 51% higher than a year before, aided by a conducive base, it would also exceed the pre-pandemic (same period in FY20) level by 19%. Addressing exporters in Mumbai, the minister said exports already hit $185 billion by September 21 this fiscal and exuded confidence that the country would realise the ambitious target of $400 billion in FY22. After a Covid-induced fall of 7% last fiscal, exports this fiscal have been supported by improved order flow from advanced markets following an economic resurgence there and rise in global commodity prices. Commenting on industry demand for regulating shipping costs and curb the recent surge, the minister indicated that any such step could act both ways. When costs will go down, the shipping lines and others would urge the government to do something as well, he explained, indicating that market-driven rates usually work better. Moreover, the surge in shipping costs is a global phenomenon, and not peculiar to India. Goyal said the government is also liberalising the rules to promote exports from special economic zones (SEZs). As such, amid the surge in shipping costs, the government recently extended some relief to exporters of specified select products by reintroducing the Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) scheme, with wider coverage and much larger support, for one year. Under the TMA, which was valid up to March 2021, the government reimbursed exporters a certain portion of freight charges and offered assistance for the marketing of select agricultural produce. Rates of assistance have been increased by 50% for exports by sea and 100% for those by air. The minister also said permission to allow e-commerce seamlessly for artificial jewellery up to $800 are under consideration. Moreover, he is “fighting hard” for the gem and jewellery sector to get a waiver from the 5% duty that is currently charged in the UAE, as part of the proposed free trade agreement with the UAE. Meanwhile, speaking at the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) in Mumbai, Goyal said India is at a “nascent stage” in industrial engineering study and research, which is essential for creating robust supply chains.

Source: Financial Express

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Piyush Goyal inaugurates Centre of Excellence in Logistics & Supply Chain Management at NITIE, Mumbai

Union Commerce, Industry and Textile Minister Piyush Goyal today inaugurated Centre of Excellence in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at NITIE in Mumbai. The Minister asserted that centre would be helpful the logistics sector become more costeffective, make the sector more competitive, create new jobs, improves export, engage better with the world markets, expand outreach and bring more economic activity to India. Union Minister For Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said that India is at a very nacent stage of industrial engineering training, research and study and lots more needs to be done as scope is unlimited. Mr. Goyal also said that in the current age where global supply chains are adding value to international trade and world is getting closer and working as one, the amount of interdependency in the current way of doing business in globalised world calls for significant value addition. He added that value addition in research, packaging, transport, storage and more can be thought through in global supply chain. Giving example of how pizza is delivered in 30 minutes, he said that the same has to be done in every walk of life including delivery of public services. Mr. Goyal also mentioned that with the work at NITIE the future of the country can be transformed.

Source: News on Air

Australia trade minister to visit next week to advance trade deal talks

For Australia, there are significant growth opportunities in critical minerals, infrastructure, energy and technology, Tehan said in his address Wednesday Australia’s trade minister Dan Tehan will visit India next week to advance talks on a free trade agreement called the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), an early harvest deal of which is to be concluded by December 2021. For Australia, there are significant growth opportunities in critical minerals, infrastructure, energy and technology, Tehan said in his address Wednesday. “Both countries are committed to achieving an early harvest announcement on an interim agreement to liberalise and deepen bilateral trade in goods and services, and pave the way for an early conclusion of a full CECA,” he said. CECA. Tehan said that he and commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal are seeking to make progress towards an interim deadline. “It’s an ambitious approach, and this meeting will be crucial, but it’s one that can be achieved if both sides are seeking a truly complementary agreement,” he said. In 2020-21, India’s exports to Australia amounted to $4.04 billion while imports were $8.24 billion. India mainly exported refined petroleum, medicaments, railway vehicles including hovertrains, pearls and gems, jewellery and made-up textile articles. Major imports were coal, copper ores and concentrates, gold, vegetables, wool and other animal hair, fruits and nuts, lentils and education-related services.

Source: Economic Times

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India, UAE may sign comprehensive trade agreement by March

 Synopsis

"It will enhance ties, deepen economic and investment opportunities, and mark a new phase of strategic cooperation. We are optimistic that an agreement can be completed rapidly. (Commerce minister) Piyush Goyal and I are satisfied with the progress we have made to date. We look forward to the next round of productive talks," UAE commerce minister Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said. UAE is likely to reach a comprehensive trade agreement with India by December and sign the pact by March, UAE commerce minister Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi has said. The value of UAE's non-oil trade with India was expected to rise from pre-pandemic levels of $40 billion to over $100 billion in five years, the minister, who was in New Delhi on Thursday to begin trade pact talks, told ET.
Source: Economic Times

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India becoming global investment destination, says Gadkari

 India is becoming a global investment destination and the government is committed to providing a favourable policy framework, union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday. Addressing a virtual event, Gadkari also said to improve last-mile connectivity in remote locations, the road ministry has received proposals for 15 ropeway projects. "India is becoming a global investment destination and our government is committed to provide a favourable policy framework," he said. Gadkari also sought investments from global pension funds in India''s road projects. "We can make logistic parks of worth Rs 2 lakh crore along the national highways in 2 years," he said, adding his ministry is working on the second phase of Bharatmala Pariyojana that will go up to 2 lakh kms. The government envisages building 34,800 kms of highways at a cost of about Rs 5.35 lakh crore under the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojna Phase I. Gadkari also said the road ministry is building 350 roadside amenities. The minister pointed out that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) needs to have a financial arm, where it can form joint ventures with companies like JPMorgan and finance road projects.

Source: Outlook India

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India’s exports to EU declined in the last 20 years, accounts for mere 0.9% of the total imports of EU

India’s exports have seen a steady growth over the last six months, but bucking this trend trade with the European Union (EU), which is the second largest export market for India after the USA, has seen a steady decline. According to an analysis by MVIRDC WTC Mumbai, the share of the European Union in India's merchandise exports has declined in the last 20 years. The share of the European Union in India's overall goods exports declined from 18% in 2001 to 14% in 2020, even though there was growth in the absolute value of shipments. India's exports to the European Union stagnated around $45 billion since 2011 after rising from $8.1 billion in 2001. Today, India hardly accounts for 0.9% of the total import of the European Union, which reflects untapped export potential in this market. This is in stark contrast to the current growth in India's exports. According to India Exim Bank exports from India in the quarter ending September 2021 is estimated to be $98 billion. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry expects India's exports to grow to $1 trillion by 2027-28. It has planned to enhance exports of 31 commodities to 200 countries to attain the target of $400 billion exports in 2021.  

While the EU is seeing a decline, the share of Asia in India's goods exports grew from 38% to 46%, Middle East Asia rose from 13% to 15.6%, Africa's share expanded from 6.4% to 9.5% and Latin America and Caribbean's share increased from 2.4% to 4.5%. The share of North America (USA, Canada & Mexico) in India's goods exports remained steady around 20% in the last 20 years. Whatled to the stagnation? The report says India's value of exports to the European Union has not made much headway in the last one decade because of a slew of non-tariff measures taken by the bloc against Indian exports. Specifically, the plant and animal safety measures (technically known as sanitary and phytosanitary measures) has affected India's exports of agro commodities. The European Union has implemented eight sanitary and phytosanitary measures against India's agro product exports so far. In a statement, Vijay Kalantri, Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai said, "There is huge scope for Indian exporters to expand their footprint in the EU market. India needs to revive its negotiation of the FTA with the EU to resolve the non-tariff barriers." In order to increase the exports to the EU market, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai says India needs to take a three-pronged strategy: 1. Promote exports of mechanical appliances, electrical & electronic machineries and its parts, automobiles & auto components, which are top import items in the EU 2. Revive negotiation of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU to resolve non-tariff barriers.

Source : Economic Times

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FinMin officials to meet global rating agencies next week, may seek upgrade

 

The ministry plans to present the economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic in support of its demand for rating upgrade The finance ministry officials will meet global rating agencies next week and may pitch for sovereign ratings upgrade for India, sources said. The meetings will begin with representatives from Moody's Investors Service on September 28 , they added. The ministry plans to present the economic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic in support of its demand for rating upgrade. It would also stress on the fiscal position and how it has shown improvements despite the havoc created by the second wave of Covid.

Source: Business Standard

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All states come on board for Rs 3 trillion discoms reforms scheme

States have been given till December to submit loss reduction plan; many of them will do so by October, says power minister States are in consensus with the Centre on the Rs 3-trillion power distribution reforms scheme launched this year, said R K Singh, union minister for power, new and renewable energy. Singh held a virtual meeting with state power ministers on Thursday. He said, however, the states have been given a two-month extension--till this December--to submit their loss reduction plan. "Almost all states have said that they will reduce their losses and draft a plan for it. Most of them will be able to submit their plan by October," Singh said, adding the ministry will handhold states in preparing their loss reduction plans. The new 'Reforms-based and Results-linked, Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme' seeks to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of all discoms/power departments (excluding private sector discoms) by providing conditional financial assistance to discoms for strengthening of supply infrastructure. The assistance will be based on meeting pre-qualifying criteria as well as upon achievement of basic minimum benchmarks by the discom evaluated on the basis of agreed evaluation framework tied to financial improvements. Implementation of the Scheme would be based on the action plan worked out for each state, this paper had reported earlier. An annual appraisal of discoms would be done to check their progress and funding would be disbursed accordingly. The Scheme will have an outlay of Rs 3,03,758 crore with an estimated gross budgetary support from the Central Government of Rs 97,631 crore. All the existing power sector reforms schemes namely DDUGJY, IPDS, PM-KUSUM scheme would be subsumed into this umbrella program. Singh said till yet Rs 2 lakh crore has already been given to the states under these schemes. The two key focus areas of the reform plan are strengthening the power supply system and modernising it. I want every discom to have an IT wing," he said. Under the modernisation plan, SCADA, Demand management system, digital systems, smart prepaid meters etc would need to be installed. Singh said states are required to prepare their plan based on thorough system study assessing the demand and the weaknesses in their power systems. The scheme has been designed as a bottom-up scheme and the discoms/States are empowered to prepare their own detailed project reports (DPRs) based on their need assessments prioritizing the loss reduction works, the minister said. During the meeting, Singh said states were also encouraged to avail benefits of PMKUSUM scheme for solarisation of agricultural feeders. State owned lenders Rural Electrification Corporation and Power Finance Corporation have been nominated as nodal agencies for facilitating implementation of the Scheme. State-owned discoms across the country and financially and operationally beleaguered despite four reform schemes in the last 15 years. The earlier discom reform scheme UDAY concluded in FY20 with most of the states failing to meet their stipulated targets and still in red.

Source: Business Standard

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Global services trade remains below pre-Covid levels, says WTO

 

Global services purchasing managers' index (102.7) and financial services (100.2) indices indicated that the pace of growth has slowed down. World trade in services is recovering but is yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, said the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Thursday. This implies that the impact on India’s exports may see only marginal improvement. The services trade barometer showed a reading of 102.5, suggesting that the volume of services trade during April-September will continue to recover, once official statistics are available. “However, the fact that the indicator has recently turned downwards suggests that the expansion may proceed along a new, lower trajectory if the Covid-19 pandemic turns out to have a persistent impact on services trade,” said an official statement. A reading of 100 indicates growth in line with medium-term trends. Readings greater than and below 100 indicate above-trend and below-trend growth, respectively. Even as most component indices are on or above trend, the overall picture is mixed. The construction index (97.4) fell below the trend, while the index of information and communications technology services 100.0) and passenger air transport (105.6) picked up recently, but remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Global services purchasing managers’ index (102.7) and financial services (100.2) indices indicated that the pace of growth has slowed down. Growth in container shipping (106.8) has eased, even as throughput hit record highs. The recent surge in shipping costs appears to be more due to strong demand for traded goods than supply constraints, said the WTO. “The recent performance of services trade differs from the financial crisis of 2008-09, when services trade was more resilient than goods trade. Year-on-year growth in services trade should turn strongly positive in the second quarter due to a low base value in the previous year,” said the WTO. India’s services exports, focused on information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services, have managed to fare better than global peers. According to the Department of Commerce data, in August, services exports stood at $18.92 billion, a 17.22 per cent rise on-year and 7.83 per cent jump, compared to the same period in 2019. Cumulative services exports have managed to fare better than global peers at $92.08 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year. The barometer is part of the WTO’s efforts to develop new insights into services trade and will be released twice annually. According to the goods trade barometer, global merchandise trade in August continued its robust recovery from the shock of the pandemic, and hit a reading of 110.4, the highest on record since the indicator was first released in July 2016.

Source: Business Standard

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Exporters’ conclave in Mysuru

Mysuru stands fifth in exports in the State with total annual exports amounting to ₹2,916 crore. Also, between September 2020 and March 2021, Mysuru exported goods worth ₹2,914 crore. The major exports take place in pharma, textiles, wood products, IT, printing, medical equipment in Mysuru, according to the District Industries Centre. In Mysuru, the DIC on Thursday conducted an exporters’ conclave where the top exporters of the city displayed goods that are exported. As many as 154 industries are engaged in exports and 85 of them are identified as top exporters from Mysuru. Deputy Commissioner Bagadi Gautham inaugurated the conclave organised as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and Vanijya Saptaha, at the Zilla Panchayat premises. ZP CEO Yogesh, Joint Director Lingaraju and others were present. In his address, Mr. Gautham told the industrialists to adopt to the digital revolution and added they can prosper only if they do so. Using digital technologies, the industries can expand their earnings, he felt. He said the government and the district administration always supported industrial development. Mysuru houses globally-recognised industries and companies, and Mysuru was progressing well in the service sector DIC Joint Director B.K. Lingaraju said Mysuru stands second in the State in the service sector after Bengaluru, and stands fourth in freight transport. Industries in Mysuru exports goods to over 63 countries, including USA and Germany and those in the Gulf. An export house is coming up in Mysuru at a cost of ₹5-6 crore to further boost exports from the city, he said, adding that it will start its operations soon. Mysuru Industries Association Secretary Suresh Kumar Jain was present.

Source: The Hindu

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Crafts Council of India to conduct textiles and accessories show in Chennai

After an enforced hiatus of one and a half years due to Covid-19, artisans across India are eagerly looking forward to reaching out to various markets. And helping them is the Crafts Council of India (CCI), which will conduct the ‘Textiles & Accessories’ show in Chennai from September 30 to October 1. The exclusive and rare textile collection, which will be exhibited, is the result of an interface among designers, master weavers and artisans. The idea is to nurture heritage weaves and textile traditions and use them to create contemporary products and focus on eco-friendly sustainability. Revived antique Benarasi saris, mulmul, jamdani and West Bengal’s cotton saris with imprints of hand block art; ‘gota ka kaam’, zardozi, zari work and more will be on display. You will find tribal ‘Miri’ motifs on handwoven cotton saris from Assam, lace on chiffon in jewel colours and much more at the textile show where each sari is an ode to weaverartisan-designer magic. Participants include Abha Dalmia whose revival of the eternal Benarasi sari comes in innovative layered borders and antique motifs; Anuradha Kuli who brings in the flavours of tribal Assam; Naina Jain whose saree come with tie and dye and embroidery; Nilambari’s exquisite floral motif saris and Juanita’s soft fashion IndoWestern and salwar suits. Jyoti Dhawan’s Andaaz has the salwar sets and dupattas with zari and zardozi work. Torani presents Chanderi, organza and silk embellished garments for men, women and children. Roha offers floral themes in hand embroidered pastels while Aziz Ansari’s Maheshwari saris, dress material, fabric and dupattas say it with flowers. Adding to it all is the Kara collection of soft slow fashion and kurtas and tunics presented by Mulberry Blue. Exquisite new craft flavours are brought to Chennai by Vivek Narang with kantha throws from Sindh, Pakistan, along with a vintage Benarasi sari collection. Meera Basu brings Dhanekali and Tanghail in tussar, kora and silk muslin while Mura Collective will feature Shibori saris in soft pinks and the trademark blue. Studio Medium’s apparels use traditional handwoven and resist dyeing techniques using only natural dyes. And to dress every occasion is jewellery by Moksh, with every piece epitomising stylish design and craftsmanship. All government issued Covid safety protocols will be followed during the show. The exhibition will be held at Mayor Ramanathan Chettiyar Centre (MRC Centre), San Thome High Road, from 10am to 7:30pm.

Source: Times Of India

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Government gives more time to companies for holding annual general meetings

Corporates are required to hold AGMs within six months from the end of a financial year. For the fiscal year ended March 2021, AGMs were to be conducted by September 30 and now that deadline has been extended. Companies will get an additional time of two months beyond September to conduct their annual general meetings for the fiscal year ended March 2021. The corporate affairs ministry has asked Registrars of Companies (RoCs) to give two more months to companies for holding their Annual General Meetings (AGMs). Under the companies law, corporates are required to hold AGMs within six months from the end of a financial year. For the fiscal year ended March 2021, AGMs were to be conducted by September 30 and now that deadline has been extended. The ministry has advised RoCs to accord approval for extending time by two months beyond the due date by which companies are required to conduct AGMs for 2020-21, according to a communication dated September 23. The ministry has received representations seeking extension of time for holding AGMs for the last fiscal year, "citing many difficulties due to second wave of COVID-19 and consequent lockdown". The communication is addressed to all the Regional Directors and RoCs under the ministry, which is implementing the Companies Act, 2013. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry had provided various relaxations, including in deadlines for submission of filings.

Source: Economic Times

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President Biden plays down probability of US-UK trade deal

US President Joe Biden recently played down the probability of a post-Brexit free trade deal with the United Kingdom as he held talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the White House. Biden said he would discuss the issue ‘a little bit’ with Johnson. "We're going to have to work that through," he added. However, a direct deal with the US remains a ‘priority’ for Downing Street. Johnson too downplayed chances of securing an agreement with the United States before the next general election, saying: "The Americans do negotiate very hard." Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office before the talks, Biden said: "We're going to talk a little bit about trade today and we're going to have to work that through." Biden will not prioritise a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom as he has “a lot of fish to fry”, Johnson was quoted as saying by UK media reports. UK ministers, meanwhile, are mulling over joining an existing North American trade pact, BBC reported.

Source: Fibre 2 Fashion

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Global Textile and Garment Manufacturers Initiative Publishes White Paper on Commercial Compliance

The white paper contains the core principles that manufacturers as part of the Sustainable Terms of Trade Initiative (STTI) do not want to see breached by the companies that buy from them. And it suggests how manufacturers will collaborate to apply commercial compliance in the apparel sourcing business The initiative, led by the STAR Network, the International Apparel Federation (IAF) and the Better Buying Institute and supported by GIZ FABRIC consists of 13 industry associations from nine countries facing similar challenges regarding purchasing practices in the textile and garment industry. Through a process of consultation, these associations have now jointly agreed on the text of the white paper that is published today. This marks the first joint manufacturers’ position on the improvement of purchasing practices. The white paper establishes commercial compliance as a leading principle for the manufacturer’s perspective on the improvement of purchasing practices. STTI defines it as ‘purchasing practices that do not cause obvious and avoidable harm to manufacturers’. The white paper lists ‘key recommendations’, defining what purchasing practices manufacturers consider to be breaches of their definition of commercial compliance. The associations participating in the initiative recognise that the breaches of these key recommendations seriously impair their ability to run a commercially viable business, let alone to contribute to stronger and more sustainable supply chains. Going beyond the key recommendations, the work by the associations has also yielded a set of further recommended improvements to current common purchasing practices. Importantly, the white paper also contains a comprehensive research agenda aimed at finding out how purchasing practices can adhere to commercial compliance and be further improved while maintaining the flexibility and commercial independence that is to the advantage of both buyers and suppliers, as well as their customers and workers. A phase 2 to the initiative is foreseen to start within weeks. In phase 2, two major and interconnected approaches will emerge. The initiative will seek structural dialogue with buying brands and retailers and some of the MSIs in which they participate on the inclusion of the concept of commercial compliance in purchasing practices codes. Secondly, the initiative will aid the creation of a system of improved transparency regarding commercial compliance. The white paper and its executive summary can be found on IAF’s website.

Source: Fashion United

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US Trade Representative visits Charlotte region's textile industry with talk of reshoring U.S. manufacturing

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai made a trip to the Charlotte region on Sept. 23 with the goal of connecting with textile manufacturing leaders. Tai is holding roundtables with industry leaders today before a discussion with students at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. Tai toured the Milliken & Co. Magnolia Finishing Plant in Blacksburg, South Carolina, before a roundtable there discussing women in the textile business. She then went to Mount Holly for a tour and roundtable with textile industry leaders at the American & Efird plant. She will finish the day at JCSU. Despite the stark decline of textile manufacturing, Tai said the pandemic showed the strengths of the sector. She hopes that increased calls for reshoring U.S. manufacturing since the pandemic hit apply to textiles too. The Charlotte region's deep ties to the industry prompted Tai's trip here. "I think that, in the scramble that we had a year and a half ago over PPE, for example, that was a real realization for probably everybody in our economy that the erosion of our manufacturing base has gotten to a point where, in a moment of crisis, there is a certain set of things that there just aren't enough of in the world, we need to be able to step up and produce," Tai said, referring to shortages of personal protective equipment and other items in the early days of Covid-19. "And the textiles industry has really, really stepped up." Gaston County includes one stop on Tai's tour. The county has been relevant in the textile manufacturing space both before and after the sector's significant decline. Companies there are among those Tai discussed in helping produce PPE. Gastonia-based Parkdale Inc. has been one of the nation's largest federal contractors for emergency Covid-19 protective and testing supplies. Beverly Knits, also in Gastonia, worked with Parkdale and other manufacturers on a national effort to ramp up mask production. Tai hopes her trip to the region sends a message that the textile industry is a priority in trade talks and policy at the federal level. She also pitched President Joe Biden's plans for infrastructure as critical in helping the textile sector rebound as well as manufacturing as a whole. "I think it leads straight into the conversation that is going on right now, hot and heavy in Washington with lots of relevance for the entire economy, which is America investing in America, investing in our infrastructure, investing in our people and making sure we are thinking about our future strategically," Tai said. "The global marketplace is increasingly competitive. There are others who are investing in themselves. We've got to go toe-to-toe with them."

Source: Biz Journals

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