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MARKET WATCH 11 OCT, 2021

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INTERNATIONAL

"Aim for $450-$500 billion exports next year" - Piyush Goyal

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, Shri Piyush Goyal has called EPCs for $450-$500 billion exports next year Addressing a Mid-Term Review Meeting with heads of various Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) through video conferencing today, Shri Goyal directed discussions with all stakeholders before the new Foreign Trade Policy is finalized soon. Expressing satisfaction India’s exports have bounced back touching $197 billion in the first half of FY2021-22, Shri Goyal said with 48% targeted volumes achieved, we are on the right track. “Our exporters have made all of us Indians proud today,” said Shri Goyal, setting the bar higher “if we can aim to scale $450-$500 billion exports next year.” The Minister said Engineering Goods have much more potential and Textile exports should aim for $100 billion. “You must have seen we are coming out with schemes,” said Shri Goyal, referring to the various PLI schemes announced by the Government recently. Shri Goyal said the Government is negotiating FTAs with various countries and blocs including the UK, UAE, Oman, Australia, Canada, EU, Russia and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. “Equitable, fair and balanced and to the benefit of the Indian exporters, you will have to raise whatever are your concerns,” Shri Goyal said, adding mostly issues are related to market access rather than tariffs. Stating that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will unveil his most ambitions Infrastructure Development vision, - ‘Gati Shakti’ programme on Ashtami, the day of Goddess Durga representing Shakti, viz 13th October, Shri Goyal invited the Export Council heads to join the event by VC and participate with infrastructure issues of related export sectors. The National Logistics Policy has also been unveiled recently and exporters should flag their concerns, he added. On the issue of high global prices of Polymers and uniform application of Environment Laws, the input for the Plastics sector, Shri Goyal assured the Commerce Department will take it up with the Environment Ministry on allow import of virgin plastics scrap and related issues. Asking Export Councils to identify and name Exporters whose products fail to meet international standards and are often rejected due to inferior quality, the Minister said the EPCs have not identified specific exporters hurting the reputation of ‘Made in India’ products in the world markets despite repeated reminders. “Quality will define the future of our exports,” he quipped. Speaking on the occasion, MoS (Commerce & Industry), Smt Anupriya Patel assured exporters of speedy redressal of their concerns with various other Ministries that were hampering exports growth. Secretary, Department of Commerce, Shri BVR Subrahmanyam and other Senior Officers participated in the deliberations.

Source: PIB

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Aggressive marketing, timely roll out of FTAs to help exports touch USD 500 bn in FY22: Exporters

 Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in a meeting with export promotion councils stated that the country's exports are growing at a healthy rate and now exporters can aim for USD 450-500 billion of outbound shipments during the next fiscal year. Aggressive marketing of products, timely implementation of free trade agreements that are under negotiations and affordable credit to MSME players would help in taking the country's merchandise exports to USD 500 billion in the next financial year, according to exporters. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in a meeting with export promotion councils stated that the country's exports are growing at a healthy rate and now exporters can aim for USD 450-500 billion of outbound shipments during the next fiscal year. Exporters also suggested exploiting the potential of e-commerce for inclusive exports and increasing its base by bringing new start ups, artisans, weavers in exports. "The target of USD 450-500 billion for merchandise exports is quite pragmatic. Since the base of exports will now be sizable, we have no scope to be less than aggressive," Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said. He said that the sunrise sectors such as electronics, automobile and auto components, pharmaceuticals and chemicals should be the focus of exports. Leading exporter of Mumbai and founder chairman of Technocraft Industries India Sharad Kumar Saraf said that achieving exports of USD 500 billion in 2022-23 is feasible as this fiscal the shipments would cross USD 400 billion. "Exporters need to aggressively market their products. They also need to increase their production and for that the government should provide smooth approvals and clearances," Saraf said. He added that timely permissions, and easing of land laws would help in expanding capacities and then increasing exports. FIEO Vice-Chairman Khalid Khan said that India is negotiating free trade agreements with countries like the UAE, the UK and Australia and implementation of these pacts would help Indian exporters get easy and greater market access in these nations. "Timely implementation of these pacts would help in boosting our exports," Khan said, adding there is also a need to review the existing FTA with the 10-nation ASEAN bloc. He also asked for affordable and easy credit to MSME exporters. Sharing similar views, Hand Tools Association President S C Ralhan said that the issue of availability of containers should be resolved and the government should intervene in controlling the increasing shipping freight rates. "Small exporters are facing the heat of high rates. Working capital is also an issue for them. I suggest the government look into these matters immediately," Ralhan said. Plastics Export Promotion Council of India (PLEXCONCIL) chairman Arvind Goenka said a target of USD 450-500 billion is achievable but the government must ensure smooth and barrier-free imports of raw materials and processing machinery. Few FTAs like with the UAE and the UK should be implemented at the earliest, Goenka said. Seafood Exporter and MD of Megaa Moda Yogesh Gupta too said that USD 500 billion exports during the next fiscal year is achievable as production is going to increase significantly and an improving economy across the globe will help the exports. Exports during April-September 2021-22 have crossed USD 197 billion.

Source: Economic Times

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Identify low-quality manufacturers who hurt brand 'Make In India': Govt to exporters

 Union Minister Piyush Goyal in a meeting with heads of Export Promotion Councils urged them to identify exporters who fail to meet international standards frequently and are often rejected due to inferior quality Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal urged the heads of Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) to identify and name exporters whose products fail to meet international standards and are often rejected due to inferior quality. The Minister also said the EPCs have not identified specific exporters hurting the reputation of ‘Made in India’ products in the world markets despite repeated reminders. “Quality will define the future of our exports,” he quipped. Goyal also asked EPC heads to take steps to increase exports to $450-$500 billion next year. Ahead of the finalisation of the new Foreign Trade Policy, Goyal, in a mid-term review meeting with EPCs, said India’s exports of $197 billion in the first half of FY2021- 22, was on the “right track”. “Our exporters have made all of us Indians proud today,” said Goyal, setting the bar higher “if we can aim to scale $450-$500 billion exports next year,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Referring to the government’s recent Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes, Goyal said engineering goods segment has much more potential and textile exports should aim for $100 billion. The Union Minister also said the government is negotiating Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with various countries and blocs including the UK, UAE, Oman, Australia, Canada, EU, Russia and Southern African Customs Union (SACU) comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. “Equitable, fair and balanced and to the benefit of the Indian exporters, you will have to raise whatever are your concerns,” he said, adding mostly issues are related to market access rather than tariffs. He also invited the EPCs to participate in the launch of PM ‘GatiShakti’ National Infrastructure Master Plan on Wednesday by PM Narendra Modi to explore infrastructure issues related to exports. The National Logistics Policy has also been unveiled recently and exporters should flag their concerns, he added. On the issue of high global prices of polymers and uniform application of environment laws, inputs for the plastics sector, Goyal assured the Commerce Department will take it up with the Environment Ministry on allow import of virgin plastics scrap and related issues.

Source: Times Now News

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‘High input cost to hit demand’

PHDCCI president Pradeep Multani said prices of the basic raw materials have increased by more than 50% during the last one year and they are posing a challenge to the small businesses to operate as it impacts cost of production and affects competitiveness in domestic and international markets. High cost of inputs, skyrocketing global commodity prices, shortage of containers and unavailability of some raw materials, such as semiconductors, will have an impact on the demand and production possibilities in the coming months, PHDCCI said. PHDCCI president Pradeep Multani said prices of the basic raw materials have increased by more than 50% during the last one year and they are posing a challenge to the small businesses to operate as it impacts cost of production and affects competitiveness in domestic and international markets.

Source: Economic Times

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India Inc revenue likely grew 18-20% on-year in 2nd quarter

Construction-linked sectors are estimated to have grown 22-25 per cent onyear, benefiting from the low-base effect of last fiscal. Higher commodity prices and continued revival in demand for consumer discretionary products likely lifted corporate revenue 18-20 per cent on-year to Rs 8.2 lakh crore in the second quarter of this fiscal, indicates a CRISIL Research study of 300 companies (excluding from the financial services and oil sectors) that account for 55-60 per cent of the market capitalisation of the National Stock Exchange. Revenue from consumer discretionary products such as automobiles likely spurted 19-21 per cent on-year, aided by higher realisations and volume. Construction-linked sectors are estimated to have grown 22-25 per cent on-year, benefiting from the low-base effect of last fiscal. Overall revenue growth would be primarily supported by price hikes driven by costlier commodities. On-year volume growth would be mostly in single digit across key segments except commercial vehicles. To be sure, growth momentum would have slowed compared with the 47 per cent on-year increase seen in the first quarter. On a sequential basis, overall revenue is likely to have grown 8-10 per cent. Revenue from consumer discretionary products is expected to have risen 23-25 per cent sequentially after demand was hit by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the first quarter. Construction-linked sectors are estimated to have grown a moderate 3-5 per cent as seasonal weakness slowed down execution and volume growth. Revenue in the automobiles sector is estimated to have grown 27-30 per cent sequentially, led by an increase in realisations. That, in turn, is expected to steer growth for ancillary segments such as auto components and tyres, which have likely grown a robust 12-14 per cent and 6-10 per cent on-quarter, respectively. Overall revenue of the sample set is expected to have risen to Rs 15.8 lakh crore in the first half of this fiscal, up 30- 32 per cent on-year. Says Hetal Gandhi, Director, CRISIL Research, "Elevated commodity prices and healthy realisations would lead to better revenue performance across sectors in the second quarter. As many as 24 of the 40 sectors represented by these 300 companies have likely grown over 20 per cent on-year. But overall revenue growth would be a notch lower at 15- 17 per cent excluding commodity sectors such as steel and aluminium. On a sequential basis, it could be even lower at 8-10 per cent, with export-linked sectors such as IT services and pharmaceuticals proving to be drags, even though growing at a stable 4-6 per cent."

Source: Economic Times

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Indian exporters to explore wider opportunities for business with Mauritius

 'Newer possibilities emerging due to free trade pacts' Indian businesses will get a chance to explore wider prospects of trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius, in the post Covid-19 scenario, during a virtual interaction to be held this week with the Indo-Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and officials from the Consulate of Mauritius in India. “India and Mauritius have recently entered into a limited free trade agreement covering 310 export items for India, including food and farm products, textile articles, plastics, chemicals and electronic product. There is a huge possibility for Indian businesses and exporters to increase their exports to Mauritius as well as rest of Africa using Mauritius as a gateway. The conference will focus on the wide canvass of opportunities, especially in post-pandemic times,” an official tracking the matter told BusinessLin.

Source: The Hindu Businessline

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Green Strategic Partnership between India, Denmark will make bilateral relations stronger: Kovind

Danish public and private sectors are already actively involved in several states in India, taking forward key national missions such as Make in India, Jal Jeevan Mission, Smart Cities, Digital India, Startup India, Clean India and Clean Ganga, etc., he said. President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday met Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and said that the Green Strategic Partnership between India and Denmark will further strengthen bilateral relations. During the meeting, the president also noted that India and Denmark have strong trade and investment ties, according to an official statement. Danish public and private sectors are already actively involved in several states in India, taking forward key national missions such as Make in India, Jal Jeevan Mission, Smart Cities, Digital India, Startup India, Clean India and Clean Ganga, etc., he said. Frederiksen called on Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here. The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark is the first head of a government that the President has received since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said. Welcoming Frederiksen, Kovind said that India and Denmark are long-standing friends and the warm and friendly ties between the two countries are rooted in history as well as shared values and aspiration. "The recently launched Green Strategic Partnership between India and Denmark will make our relationship even stronger," the statement quoted Kovind as saying. The green partnership, finalised at a virtual summit between the prime ministers of the two countries, aims to create a framework for significant expansion of cooperation in areas of renewable energy, environment, economy, climate change, and science and technology. Kovind also extended an invitation to the Queen of the Kingdom of Denmark, Margrethe II, to visit India next year, which would coincide with the momentous occasion of the Golden Jubilee of her reign and 75 years of India's independence, the statement said. He said that the Queen's visit to India in 1963 as Crown Princess is still warmly recalled in the country. "The President thanked Her Excellency and the Government and people of Denmark for their solidarity during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India," the statement said.

Source: Economic Times

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Govt issues guidelines for optimum utilisation of power generation capacity

It has been brought to the notice of the government that some power plants are not generating to their full capacity at any given time. Ministry of Power on Friday issued guidelines for operationalising optimum utilisation of generating stations as per the requirement in the electricity grid. A ministry directive issued on Friday provided guidelines in this regard. According to the order of the ministry, it has been brought to the notice of the government that some power plants are not generating to their full capacity at any given time and the unutilised capacity remains idle as they are tied up under power purchase agreements. Whereas in the public interest, such power needs to be despatched (supplied) where there is a requirement in the grid by the other users or consumers, it stated. According to the Tariff Policy, 2016, power stations are required to be available and ready to dispatch supply at all times. For optimum utilisation of un-requisitioned generation capacity of any generating stations regulated under Section 62 as well as those having PPA (power purchase agreement) under Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003, the generators have been permitted to sell power in the power market in consonance with laid down policy of the central government. Keeping these factors in view and after careful consideration, the government hereby issues the guidelines in accordance with the aforesaid provisions of the Tariff Policy, 2016, it stated. The guidelines provide that where the procurer does not requisition power from the power plant with which he has signed the PPA, up to 24 hours in advance prior to 00:00 hrs of the day of delivery of power, the generator shall be free to sell the un-requisitioned power in the power exchange. Besides, it provided that where the procurer decides not to schedule power for any period, either full or part capacity, from the generating station with which it has signed the PPA, which may be more than 24 hours in advance, the generator shall be free to sell the unrequisitioned power for the period for which it has not been requisitioned on the power exchange. The developer and the procurers having the PPA would share the gains realised from the sale, if any, of such unrequisitioned power in power exchange in the ratio of 50:50, if not otherwise provided in the PPA, it provided. Such gain will be calculated as the difference between the selling price of such power and the energy charge rate (ECR) as determined under Section 62 or Section 63 of the Electricity Act, 2003, it stated. The obligation for the procurer with regard to the fixed charges shall remain the same in accordance with the PPA, it said. These provisions shall apply both for the power plants whose tariff has been determined under Section 62 or Section 63 of the Electricity Act 2003, it stated. The power plants shall continue to have obligations and duties to make their plants available as per the terms of the PPA, it stated.

Source: Economic Times

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India does a turnaround on trade spurred by post-covid economic reality

India is racing to wrap up a clutch of quick-fire bilateral trade pacts by the end of March, officials said, as economic necessity spurs a shift from New Delhi’s usual go-slow approach on trade deals. The shift also means that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is prioritizing “early harvest" pacts over comprehensive free trade agreements with partners, a move that’s leaving some countries perplexed, officials said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. Modi’s office is pushing ministries, particularly foreign and commerce, to deliver on initial deals with countries including Australia and the U.K., several officials said. That’s even as India walked away from Asia’s biggest multilateral agreement in 2019 and has shown little interest so far in a Trans-Pacific pact. For Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, historically wary of being tied down to overseas deals and upsetting its loyal vote base of small traders, the emphasis on one-to-one quick trade deals is a U-turn of sorts after pushing for the need to be self-reliant. The stakes are high politically as Modi looks to revive an economy battered from the pandemic and attract more investment from the U.S. and its allies looking to India as a counterweight to China. The urgency to wrap up deals swiftly stems from the realization that the window of opportunity to benefit from the realignment of global supply chains may be short lived, according to officials. New Delhi is currently negotiating bilateral trade agreements with 20 nations and expects to complete half a dozen deals, including those with Australia and Britain by this Christmas and March next year respectively. This push for one-to-one trade agreements with emphasis on early harvest deals instead of comprehensive FTAs has perplexed at least two countries, the officials with knowledge of the talks said, asking not to be identified as talks were ongoing.There was no immediate comment from the prime minister’s office or the foreign ministry. India’s realization about the need to prioritize trade as a geopolitical strategy in turn has led to a bigger focus on pushing for higher exports and quick trade deals that can boost GDP growth, according to officials. In August, Modi himself conveyed the urgency as he addressed the heads of India’s overseas missions and urged them to help boost exports as global supply chains realign.While India announced manufacturing sops like productionlinked incentives to attract global supply chains and create employment, these could take longer to show results, said Amitendu Palit, an economist specializing in international trade and investment at the National University of Singapore who worked for India’s finance ministry in the past. There has been growing pressure on the trade ministry to examine proposed deals more closely, the officials said. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has now set a steep target of $400 billion for India’s annual merchandise exports for the fiscal year that ends in April 2022 -- almost 38% higher than $290 billion recorded last year. He’s also seeking to push that number to $2 trillion by the end of this decade. The target is a first for New Delhi after having side-stepped multilateral trade pacts since Modi came to power in 2014. His government has pushed for more self-reliance and a reduced dependence on imports. It was part of the reason India ended up walking away from the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. India has “earned more trust" from trade partners during the pandemic by ensuring that not a single supply chain was disrupted, which has led to a surge in interest about signing agreements given the country’s economic growth plans, said a senior commerce ministry official, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. The official added that early harvest deals will “ensure things move faster" in areas where there’s easy agreement while negotiations can continue on issues that will need more time before final, comprehensive deals are signed.

National Interest

The re-engagement on trade by Modi’s nationalist government comes as a more than a yearlong border conflict with China continues to linger and regional security is now newly threatened by the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. New Delhi is looking at strengthening trade with G-7 nations with strong Indo-Pacific strategies and those with growing influence in central Asia such as the United Arab Emirates. U.K. and India are negotiating tariff cuts and market access for around 600 products each in a bid to clinch an interim agreement by March, said the people. Items under discussion include Indian textile products, leather, footwear and chemicals, they said. In return, India may grant access to processed food, some farm products along with fintech, life sciences, and medical equipment industry. “Strategic and economic ties bolster each other. At the moment, countries and companies are looking for alternatives to China, with partners they can trust," said Tanvi Madan, director of The India Project at the Brookings Institution. “But these are tough political issues in India and partners have heard this rhetoric before. It would significantly improve India’s credibility if one of these deals gets done." This would involve a shift from the current trade policy that has protected the interests of small domestic traders. “We are nowhere opposed to bilateral trade deals," said Ashwani Mahajan, the coconvener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a group aligned with Modi’s party that commands influence among traders and had backed the decision to step out of the RCEP in 2019. “Having said that, we believe strategic relations cannot be at the cost of national interest."

Reform Gaps

Apart from risking political capital, the government’s hesitation about signing comprehensive deals also comes from a lack of reforms. Regulation in crucial areas including investment protection, e-commerce, data protection and even agriculture need to be in line with those in place in European and OECD markets. It’s a gap the South Asian nation will need to fill before broad trade agreements can be completed. The current enthusiasm for quick deals may be linked to a pandemic-connected fall in India’s global goods trade deficit to $88 billion in the year to November 2020, said Richard Rossow, the Wadhwani chair in U.S.-India policy studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, citing his own data. The deficit spiking to $133 billion in the year to August 2021 “will put a damper on any attempt to craft a robust trade agreement. India could likely still move ahead with a trade agreement including light commitments, but a world-class deal does not seem likely," said Rossow in an email. “I am not terribly hopeful."

Source: Live Mint

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Surat industry in crisis: Coal shortage, rising costs may force textile units shut for a month

The industry faced a similar slowdown when migrant workers employed in these processing units returned to their home states during the Covid-19 lockdown last year. Fuel crisis arising from coal shortage and increase in costs of colour and chemicals has led to rising production costs, forcing several mill owners in Surat to propose shutting down the dyeing and printing mills for the whole of November. The suggestions came during a meeting of the South Gujarat Textile Processing Association (SGPTA) meeting on Friday. The industry faced a similar slowdown when migrant workers employed in these processing units returned to their home states during the Covid-19 lockdown last year. President of South Gujarat Textile Processing Association (SGTPA), Jitubhai Vakhariya, said, “In a meeting on October 8, the mill owners suggested to keep the factories shut for a mont, due to a rise in the prices of colours, chemicals and coal. Textile traders are not agreeing to hike the charges of dyeing and printing. We have called for another meeting on October 20 to discuss the issue and take a decision.” Weavers sell grey cloth to the textile traders who then send them to the mills for dyeing, printing and finishing. The boilers in dyeing and printing units generate steam using coal, majority of which is imported. However, a shortage of coal has led to a three-fold increase in prices of colour chemicals, following which the textile mill owners carried out a meeting with the SGTPA and requested to keep the dyeing and printing mills closed for a month from November 1. Sanjay Saraogi, owner of Laxmipati group of industries, said, “Coal imported from Indonesia is mostly used by the industry in Surat than lignite coal. Around 15 days ago, the price of imported coal was Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per tonne and now it has reached Rs 14,000 to 15,000 per tonne. Generally, around 30 to 35 tonnes of coal is used in the textile industry in a day to generate steam.” “Lignite coal generated from Surat and Bharuch are also used in textile mills but its efficiency to generate steam is less and can only be used as a substitute. Even the price of lignite coal, which was available at Rs 5,000 per tonne has gone up to Rs 12,000. Lignite coal is also short in supply and we are going through a tough time,” he added. Pointing out that the industries were also facing short supply of colours and chemicals, some of which are imported from China, Saraogi said that local traders who had stocked them have increased prices. “For instance, the price of Hydo, which was available at Rs 60 per kilogram, has gone up to Rs 200, while that of formic acid has increased from Rs 32 per kilogram to Rs 150 per kilogram. If we increase the printing rates, we will lose business,” he said. Another mill owner, Pramod Chaudhary, said, “If we keep the mills running, we will have to face huge loss daily. While majority of the mills run on works given by textile traders, a few of them purchase grey cloth from weavers and process them to sell from their own shops or textile markets. If we keep the mills closed, we will have to spend a huge amount to restart as the machines get jammed… We also fear that it may force migrant workers to go back to their native places.” There are over 350 dyeing and printing mills that house over five lakh migrant workers from states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Andra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. “This would be the first time when textile mills may have to be closed due to fuel crisis. We would suggest that instead of keeping them closed for a month, they should reduce production and keep the mills closed for two days a week. It would help both the owners and labourers. There are several labourers who work on daily wages and if the mills remain shut for one month it would be difficult for them to survive,” added Saraogi

Source: Indian Express

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FY22 credit growth turns positive first-time ever

What stands out this time around is that positive growth happened despite a more debilitating impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic Credit growth turned positive year-to-date (YTD) at 0.1 per cent in September for the first time in 2021-22 (FY22), reflecting gradual pick-up in demand. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data, bank lending rose Rs 7,283 crore till September 24, against a contraction of 1 per cent (or Rs 99,280 crore) on a YTD basis in the same period last fiscal year (2020-21). Outstanding bank credit stood at Rs 109.56 trillion as on September 24. What stands out this time around is that positive growth happened despite a more debilitating impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a normal year, YTD growth in bank credit turns positive in August-September, ahead of the busy season in the second half which starts in October. In 2019, YTD growth had moved into positive territory in early October. YTD growth in 2020 had turned positive only in November, according to the RBI data. Economic activity had almost come to a standstill during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020 due to a nationwide lockdown. During the second wave this year, manufacturing and services activity continued in a calibrated manner, given that curbs were more localised. Saurabh Bhalerao, associate director and head–BFSI Research, CARE Ratings, said the overall non-food credit growth continues to be driven by retail and agriculture and allied activities segments in August. However, slower growth in the industry and services segment continues to crimp overall credit growth. With the onset of the festival season, bank credit is expected to improve further, led by growth in the retail segment covering housing, automobiles, and consumer durables. This rise is expected to be buttressed by bank rate cuts to push retail credit. Many banks are offering loans at record-low interest rates ahead of the festival season. Year-on-year credit growth has also shown momentum at 6.7 per cent in September, up from 5.1 per cent last September. CARE Ratings has pegged bank credit growth to be in the range of 7.5-8 per cent for FY22. What could support this growth is a low-base effect, economic expansion, extended emergency credit line, and retail credit push. The medium-term prospects look promising with diminished corporate stress and increased provisioning levels across banks. Retail loan segment is expected to do well, compared with industry and services segments, said Bhalerao. While bank deposits have continued to grow at a rate higher than credit, the pace of deposit mobilisation has moderated in 2021. YTD growth in deposits was 3.2 per cent till September 24, down from 5.1 per cent a year ago.

Source: Business Standard

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Textile exports surge 28pc in first quarter: Habib

 Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said textile exports in the first quarter of current fiscal year have increased by 28 percent. Sharing details of increased exports in a tweet on Saturday, the minister said textile exports stands over $4.4 billion which will help increase foreign exchange and stabilise the economy. In another tweet, he said the overseas Pakistanis had sent US $2.7 billion remittances in September (2021), registering growth of 16.9 percent over the same month last year. He said overall remittances in the first quarter of the current fiscal year (2021-22) stood at US $8 billion. The remittances grew by 12.5 percent in the first quarter compared to the corresponding period last year.

Source: Daily Times

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Pakistan – Africa Trade Development Expo Holds In Lagos

 The government of Pakistan has concluded plans to hold a Pakistan – Africa Trade Development Expo in Lagos as part of measures to further cement the bilateral relations between the Asian country and Africa. Over 100 companies are expected at the three-day event which will hold from Tuesday, November 23 to November 25, 2021, at the Eko Hotel, Lagos. Announcing this in an emailed statement on Saturday, the Director of Peel Aston Global, Mr Khomeini Bukhari, said delegates from all ECOWAS countries have indicated an interest in the expo which would also feature an economic conference and exhibition of products and services. According to Bukhari, the expo would focus on various sectors of the economy, including pharmaceuticals, textiles, engineering, chemicals, automobile, leather, surgical products, cosmetics, agriculture, sports goods and other products. He said, “This landmark business event will have in attendance Pakistani ministers and other top government officials as well as business moguls who will be flying over from Pakistan to participate in the expo. “We would also be launching the Pakistan – Nigeria Chamber of Commerce to further cement and build on the true friendship with Nigeria.” Bukhari further added, “Ahead of the expo, a high-powered delegation will also meet with Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State to request his presence as the chief host of the event and to also inform him formally about the inauguration of the Pakistan-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce. “The Pakistani Government looks forward to welcoming participants from Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries to the expo,” he added.

Source: Daily Trust

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The high cost of fast fashion

 As old clothes pile up at landfills, a Thai company seeks consumers' help in converting the waste into fuel When Natthapat Wangvanichaphan, one of the founders of The Green, a waste management company, was disposing unused items in her house, she noticed that her old underwear was made from non-biodegradable plastic such as nylon or polyester. Natthapat realised if she threw her underwear in a rubbish bin, they would end up in a landfill. Nylon takes 40 years to decompose while polyester takes more than 200 years. As an environmentalist, Natthapat did not want to increase the amount of garbage dumped into a landfill. She decided to post a message on facebook.com/thegeenthailand that encourages people to send their old underwear to the waste management company, N15 Technology. This waste management company collects and converts industrial and office waste into refuse-derived fuel for cement kilns, cutting down the amount of nonrecyclable waste dumped into landfills. Her post has been shared more than 34,000 times so far. "When people throw away their underwear, some feel embarrassed and double pack them, which causes more waste. Large amounts of waste cause many negative effects in landfills. Landfill fires can occur and cause pollution. During rain, waste from landfills can be swept away and clog drainage systems. Waste in landfills situated near the coast can leak into the sea. I created the post to offer an option to people. Sending used underwear to N15 Technology will benefit everyone. We should avoid increasing waste in landfills. Waste sent to landfills must be decomposable," said Natthapat. Feedback from the post indicated a high interest in waste sorting among Thais. However, some people do not want to shoulder the cost of sending underwear to N15 Technology and suggested that N15 Technology should provide convenient drop-off points. "The post became a discussion about who should be responsible for waste like underwear and what is refuse-derived fuel. It is the state agency's responsibility to provide different types of bins at various locations, so people can separate and drop their waste in the appropriate bins. Developed countries such as Japan have guidelines that specify where and how people can drop different types of waste materials and the state will handle each type of waste differently. For example, non-recyclable waste will be used as refuse-derived fuel," said Natthapat. Undergarments and other textile waste that is improperly disposed of have negative effects on the environment. Last year, the BBC reported that while shoppers around the world purchased 56 million tonnes of clothing each year, only 12% of the materials used for making clothes were recycled. As a result, many clothing items are dumped in landfills. Prem Pruktayanon, chief executive officer of Waste Management, Green2Get, and founder of facebook.com/3WheelsUncle, explained that textile waste is difficult to recycle because recyclable items must contain mono-material. "Clothes are made from various materials such as plastic material like polyester or traditional material like cotton. A recycling process for textile can turn polyester clothing into polyester yarn but yarn from the recycling process has a shorter length and loses its original bright colour. Recycling textiles are difficult and may be not worth recycling," said Prem. "Besides creating non-recyclable items, the textile industry also has other negative effects on the environment. For example, producing cotton items requires a lot of water and dyeing fabric pollutes water resources," Prem added. Most people are unaware of the damage textile waste does to the environment. Prem explained that unlike plastic, clothes are not produced for single use. Consumers keep them for a long time. However, today's fast fashion trends have changed consumer behaviour. "Fast fashion marketing strategy has accelerated consumers to change their wardrobe more often. People today purchase new clothes every week even though one attire can be worn for several years. Fast fashion brands often release their new collections, triggering people to purchase new items that in turn causes more waste," said Prem. Second-hand clothing is another trend among Thai consumers. Both Somboon Kittianong, general manager at N15 Technology, and Prem noticed that many secondhand items of clothing from overseas such as Japan, Hong Kong and the US are imported to Thailand for sale. "Consumers like second-hand clothes because the prices are low. People also feel that there is nothing wrong with buying more clothes because they can donate their used clothes to others, so the items are not waste. Some people even think buying second-hand clothes extends the garment life cycle," said Prem. "These second-hand clothes show that our country is a trash bin that collects trash from other countries. Most people consider clothing as fabric, but most clothing is polyester or plastic and this plastic will eventually become waste," said Somboon. There are options to handle waste material -- reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, recover and landfill. Converting waste into refuse-derived fuel at N15 Technology is a solution that can help reduce the amount of waste dumped into a landfill. Somboon said after the post about sending undergarments to N15 Technology went viral, many people contacted him. "Some people questioned whether we were psycho because they wanted to ensure that their underwear would be used as refuse-derived fuel. Some people asked if we looked through the underwear before using them. We do not do that; we just throw them into a milling machine," said Somboon. According to Somboon, any kind of waste -- snack packages, milk boxes, chemical bags, non-recyclable plastics, rags and socks -- that can be cut, torn and burned with fire can be turned into renewable fuel to replace fossil fuels. Containers do not need to be washed but must be empty and dry. Ineligible materials include PVC, artificial leather, tiles, zinc, and light bulbs. Any eligible waste for refuse-derived fuel will go to milling machines. Shredded waste will be burned in standard burners at cement plants. "During the process, waste is burned at a high temperature between 1,200 and 1,800 degrees Celsius. After burning, leftover materials such as calcium, iron, aluminium and silica can be mixed with cement. N15 Technology can produce 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes of renewable fuels each year," said Somboon. Somboon noted that people can drop their recyclable waste with saleng or tricycle waste pickers. He also suggested separating wet and dry waste. "Wet waste causes a stench. If people separate wet and dry waste, waste workers can go to piles of the dry waste directly," said Somboon. To solve textile waste problems, we must start at the root. Prem said textile waste problems must be solved by consumers and not by a state agency. "Textile waste is not an obvious problem like plastic waste, which is excessive due to its amount, so no state agency is going to get involved. Consumers must solve this problem. Fast fashion, like fast food, is of poor quality. Consumers should not keep up with fashion trends but should reduce purchases of new clothes and make use of the clothes they have for a long time," said Prem.

Source: Bangkok Post

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