The Council was earlier supposed to meet on September 19, to take up rate rationalisation and also the more burning issue of compensation cess to states. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council next meeting has been postponed to October 5, said two sources directly familiar with the matter. The Council was earlier supposed to meet on September 19, to take up rate rationalisation and also the more burning issue of compensation cess to states. "The 42nd GST Council Meeting is rescheduled and now will be held on 5th October," said one of the sources. The issue of compensation to states may be taken up in Parliament that is due to begin September 14, following which another round of discussions between the Centre and the states is likely, another source said. The Council has earlier met on August 27 to solely discuss the issue of compensation shortfall to states and ways to meet the deficit. The Centre had proposed that states borrow, and put forth two options for the states to consider which included borrowing from market or through a special Reserve Bank of India window, to meet the decit. In the rst option, states will have to borrow Rs 97,000 crore from a special central bank facility to make up the shortfall due to the transition to the GST regime, with repayment of the principal and interest to be serviced by the compensation cess. In this option, additional 0.5 percentage point relaxation in the state's Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) limit beyond the existing allowance, will be permitted. In the second option, states will have to borrow Rs 2.35 lakh crore, the estimated shortfall on account of the GST transition and the Covid-19 induced slowdown, from the market, facilitated by the Centre and RBI. However, the states would bear the interest burden while the principal would be serviced by the compensation cess, which is levied on sin and luxury products such as cigarettes and specified categories of automobiles. The FRBM limit relaxation is not available in this option. Many states have written to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention. Several Opposition led states have rejected the proposals while some BJP led states have chosen the rst of the two options, paving way for a split in the GST Council which has taken decisions basis consensus from all states. The exception, that is voting, has only happened once since the Council was formed in 2017, when the rate for lotteries was decided in December 2019.
Sources: Economic Times
Worry over major exporters filing separate export benefit applications through subsidiaries to work around the cap Anticipating a move by some companies to divide their claims for benefits under the Merchandise Exports of India Scheme (MEIS) to work around the new Rs 2-crore cap, the commerce department has decided to keep a close watch on filings. Earlier this month, the department capped MEIS claims at Rs 2 crore for every exporter on transactions made between September 1 to December 31. It also announced the scheme will finally be stopped on January 1, 2021. According to industry analysts, this will impact large exporters such as two-wheeler makers Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor apart from major ..........
Source: Business Standard
The Government is working with states & local bodies to deregulate and make it easier to start a business. Addressing the students of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade through virtual interaction today,Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri PiyushGoyalsaid that India's own ease of doing business ranking has improved significantly in the five years. Talking about India’s mammoth potential, Shri Goyal said that the real unique selling point of India should be around High Quality, Good Service and Good Pricing. “India should get recognised the world over for its quality & competitiveness. Quality will have to be integral for the planning of our future. We believe in Transparent pricing, Transparent trade, Free Market, No price controls, and No hidden subsidies”, he said Explaining the concept of AatmaNirbharBharat, Shri Goyal said that it is not about closing India's doors to international trade &engagement.“In fact, it is about opening it wider looking for greater engagement in global trade. Now India has to engage with global economies from a position of strength with highly cost-competitive products of high quality”, he said On India being a huge and much-sought after market, the Minister said “It's a market that businesses around the world want to engage with. The businesses will not only get a large Indian market but can also leverage this market to get economies of scale. Trading relations between 2 countries rest on the pedestal of high reciprocity & equilibrium. More & more countries are moving towards balanced trade. India also will have to engage with other countries to expand our trading relationships but on the strength of our own competitiveness.” He said that if other countries want access to the market of 130 crore Indians then they will have to give us equal access to their market. India is not going to be a patient receiver of unfair trade practices. Stating that India had not been a gainer from the past FTA’s, the Minister said that historical wrong will have to be corrected by our generation.Lauding the strong and decisive leadership of the Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi, Shri Goyal said that RCEP deal was not signed as it was not properly addressing India’s concern. He said that India, Japan and Australia, all three true democracies, trusted partners and believers in rulebased trading, have recently agreed to have a supply chain initiative. Quoting His Holiness Dalai Lama who said, "Open your arms to change but don't let go of your values", he said that this is the spirit in which India wishes to engage with the rest of the world. Shri Goyalsaid that India wants to do FTAs with developed countries like the US, the UK and EU. He said that India is ready to sign a limited trade deal with the US at the earliest. He assured that deal will entail substantive gains for the country. All the forthcoming trade deals will be undertaken after discussions with all the stakeholders, and the interests of dairy, agriculture, MSMEs and indigenous manufacturers will be properly safeguarded, he said. The Minister said that the trade with the US is increasing rapidly, and the withdrawal of GSP by the US has not made much impact. Calling upon active partnership between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and IIFT, Shri Goyal called upon the students of IIFT to help in identification of new products and areas of export. He asked them to do research, analysis and mine data so that policymakers can learn from the world’s best practices, and work in the spirit of providing better future for India and its citizens. He said, “Our trade policies are up for debate, discussion, review, relook & consideration by students’ hope all of you will deliberate on the future of Indian trade policy and how we can sail through the COVID pandemic & come out resilient: On the question of promoting indigenous production of toys, Shri Goyal said “We have introduced quality control order on toys, and BIS has come up with standards. As we improve local toys' quality & increase scale of production, automatically people will prefer local toys, suited to the country.” He said that the Government is helping the industry with enablers, to make them competitive, which include setting up clusters, anchor investors. With digital technologies &startups bringing newer ways of entertainment & creating new toys, India will be able to compete with any country. Talking about India’s resilience, Shri Goyal said that Indian exports have started showing upward trajectory recently. “In the first week of September, our exports were 13% more than the corresponding period of last year, despite lockdowns and covid related issues.” He said that our services exports have done well, but now we have to ensure that merchandise exports also flourish. The Minister said that for promoting domestic production and exports of goods, the government has identified sectors, and working with the industry to help them overcome the bottlenecks. Lauding the Indian industry’s hardwork and tenacity, Shri Goyal said that from nowhere, in just 5 months, India has evolved in terms of becoming self-reliant in the production of PPE kits & masks. He said that India has not only become self-sufficient in these items, but is exporting them in large numbers.
The Central Board of Direct Taes (CBDT) has deployed two-third of its workforce to deal with the faceless assessment scheme. "Now, the National e-Assessment Centre (NeAC) which is headed by Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax is having a team of 32 Commissioners, 96 Principal Commissioner, 261 Assistant and Deputy Commissioners and 1274 Income Tax Oicers," senior Income Tax oicers told ANI. Faceless Assessment Scheme was inaugurated as Phase 1 on October 7, 2019, with 58,320 assigned cases. On August 13 this year, Prime Minister NarendraModi launched the platform for transparent taxation. All cases other than those assigned to the Central charges (Serious frauds, Major Tax Evasion, Sensitive and Search matters, Black Money and Benami cases) and International Tax charges to be done through faceless assessment. According to oicials, Regional e-Assessment Centre (ReAC) has also been increased to 34 from 8 earlier. Last year, NeAC has 8 ReACs at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bengaluru. Now, Mumbai has 5 ReAC, Kolkata has 4 ReAC, Delhi has 3 and Chennai has ReAC. New ReAC centre has been set up after the Prime Minister launched the faceless assessment, taxpayers charter on August 13. New, ReACs have been set up in Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Ranchi, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bengaluru, Panaji, Indore, Panchkula, Shimla, Nashik, Thane, Jodhpur, Trichi, Bareily and Dehradoon after the approval of Finance Minister NirmalaSitharaman on August 13. Last year in September when CBDT has appointed Krishna Mohan Prasad, a 1984 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) oicer, as the rst Principal Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (PrCCIT) of NeAC then it has only 619 oicers, including four Chief Commissioners, 25 Principal Commissioners, one Commissioner, 144 Additional Commissioners, 163 Deputy Commissioners and 281 Income Tax Oicers. After three months of setup, NeAC disposed of the rst faceless assessment order on midnight at 12:15 am of 20th January 2020. NeAC created history by disposing of 1st faceless assessment order of a Bengaluru-based assessee after review unit of Delhi ReAC reviewed the draft assessment order and assessment unit of Mumbai ReAC assessed the draft order which was sent to CPC Bangaluru unit for tax calculation followed by dispatched order given by NeAC. This was a breakthrough by the newly setup team of NeAC and ReAC for faceless assessment. More than 7,000 cases have been disposed of through faceless assessment by July-end.
Source: Economic Times
Around 700 exporters of engineering items, automobiles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and textiles are likely to get impacted by the government’s move to cap incentives under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) at Rs 2 crore per exporter for four months till December 31. Besides these industries, marine products, dairy and processed foods and fruit, vegetables, spices and cereals are the largest beneficiaries of the scheme. The top 50 exporters from these sectors account for around 20% of the benefits under the scheme, the outgo under which was `45,000 crore in scale2020. “There are around 700-750 exporters who will get impacted by the ceiling on incentives,” said an official. More than 35,000 exporters claim benefit under the MEIS. The cap was introduced as the government found MEIS to have failed to deliver the desired result of boosting exports, which have hovered around $300 billion in the last ve years despite its liberal application across sectors. The government has said that 98% of the exporters who claim MEIS would be unaffected by the changes as per an analysis of claims in the same period of 2018-19. “Unaffected exporters who have already factored in MEIS in the pricing of their products do Junot face any change or uncertainty since neither coverage of products nor rates of MEIS will be changed,” said another official. However, industry said though the allocation might cover 98% of beneficiary exporters in numbers, in terms of value of “The large exporters which have high-value exports would get adversely impacted. We also fear that this might act as a disincentive for exporters to become large,” the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said in a letter to the ministries of finance, and commerce and industry.
Source : Economic Times
The Centre late last month gave two options to the states to borrow either Rs 97,000 crore from a special window facilitated by the RBI or Rs 2.35 lakh crore from market and has also proposed extending the compensation cess levied on luxury, demerit and sin goods beyond 2022 to repay the borrowing.As many as 13 states ruled by the BJP and parties that have supported it on various issues have submitted their borrowing options to the Centre to meet the GST revenue shortfall. These 13 states include Bihar, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Meghalaya. Six more states – Goa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh – will be giving their option in a day or two, finance ministry sources said. in the current fiscal, the states are staring at a staggering Rs 2.35 lakh crore Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenue shortfall. Of this, as per the Centre’s calculation, about Rs 97,000 crore is on account of GST implementation and rest Rs 1.38 lakh crore is the impact of COVID on states’ revenues. The Centre late last month gave two options to the states to borrow either Rs 97,000 crore from a special window facilitated by the RBI or Rs 2.35 lakh crore from market and has also proposed extending the compensation cess levied on luxury, demerit and sin goods beyond 2022 to repay the borrowing. Of the 13 states, 12 have preferred to opt for borrowing from the special window facilitated by the RBI. These states are AP, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim,Tripura, UP, Uttarakhand and Odisha. Only Manipur has so far opted for borrowing from the market. However, the non-BJP ruled states are at loggerheads with the Centre over the issue of funding the shortfall. Chief ministers of six non-BJP ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala, Delhi, Telangana, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu have written to the Centre opposing the options which require states to borrow to meet shortfall. Sources said a few states instead of expressing their option preference have submitted their views to the Chairperson of the GST Council and are yet to decide on the options. The GST Council in its 41st meeting on August 27, 2020, had given two borrowing options to its member states to enable them to meet their compensation shortfall at ‘single rate’ of interest at the RBI’s single window facilitated by the Finance Ministry. Sources said the Council also discussed that in the current economic scenario it may not be possible to increase tax rates or do rate rationalisation to meet up the compensation shortfall. However, borrowing could be an option to address this challenge. The central government is committed to helping the states to the utmost to meet the compensation shortfall through borrowing, they mentioned.
Source: Financial Express
Modigovt will offer production-linked incentives to automobile manufacturers, solar panel makers & specialty steel to consumer appliance companies. India is planning to offer incentives worth 1.68 trillion rupees ($23 billion) to attract companies to set up manufacturing in the South Asian nation, people with knowledge of the matter said. Prime Minister NarendraModi’s government will offer production-linked incentives to automobile manufacturers, solar panel makers, and specialty steel to consumer appliance companies, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. Textile units, food processing plants and specialized pharma product makers are also being considered for the plan. The incentive program, being spearheaded by the country’s policy planning body, uses the template of a scheme implemented earlier this year to draw businesses away from China. About two dozen companies including Samsung Electronics Co., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., known as Foxconn and Wistron Corp. pledged $1.5 billion of investments to set up mobile-phone factories in the country, according to the government, after authorities offered to pay them an amount equivalent to 4%-6% of their incremental sales over the next five years. New Delhi has been working on attracting investments to revive an economy that posted its worst slump among major economies last quarter, when it contracted 23.9%. Corporate taxes are already among the lowest in Asia, while insolvency rules were overhauled to improve the ease of doing business. But those have done little to make it the first choice for businesses looking to diversify supply chains away from China. Vietnam continues to be the most favored destination, followed by Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, according to a recent survey by Standard Chartered Plc. The government is also planning to introduce a phased manufacturing program to other sectors for allowing companies to gradually increase local value-addition. The program, currently in vogue for components and accessories used for mobile phones, is proposed to be extended for furniture, plastics, toys and low-value consumer durables. Most of these items are currently imported from China. The details of both the programs are being worked out and would be put up for the approval of the federal Cabinet soon, they said. A spokesperson for NitiAayog, the government’s policy think tank, did not answer a call made during business hours. India imported goods worth $65 billion from China in the year ended March 31, while it exports to the neighboring nation stood at $17 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $48 billion, according to latest government data.
Source: The Print
Slowing pace of recovery and sluggish manufacturing output has experts worrying over Q2 GDP growth Industrial production contracted for the fifth consecutive month in July, by 10.4 per cent, slower than June's 16.5 per cent. The rate of contraction, however, did not fall to a single digit, as was expected by many experts, raising the prospect of a delayed economic recovery. The gamut of fall in industrial output has continuously reduced since April, when it saw a historic 57.6 per cent contraction, as the whole month was under lockdown to arrest the spread of Covid-19. All the components of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) — mining, manufacturing, and electricity — saw contraction, albeit at a smaller magnitude compared to the previous month, the official data showed on Friday. Manufacturing, which accounts for 78 per cent of the IIP, saw output fall by 11 per cent in July, less than June's 15.9 per cent contraction. Inherent stress in the sector had become visible in March, but reached a peak during April, when output fell by a massive 67.1 per cent. With manufacturing output continuing to sag and few signs of a recovery, the July figures are expected to bolster fears that gross domestic product (GDP) growth will have a rough drop for the second quarter as well, experts said. The economy contracted by an unprecedented 24 per cent in the first quarter of FY21. “Today's IIP release is consistent with our assessment that a fragmented recovery is underway in Q2 FY2021, and underscores that it will be a slow grind before the economy reverts to relative normalcy over the next few quarters,” said AditiNayar, principal economist at ICRA. Devendra Pant, chief economist at India Ratings, said the sharp recovery witnessed in the months of May and June is now becoming somewhat flattish, partly because of local lockdowns. Mining activity also fell by 13 per cent, lower than June's 19.8 per cent. Meanwhile, electricity generation continued to see a lower decline at 2.5 per cent, down from the relatively modest 10 per cent fall in June, as domestic demand rose. All but two of the 23 sub-sectors within manufacturing posted a year-on-year contraction, same as the previous month. Buoyed by drug exports and orders for sanitizers and protective gear, pharmaceutical production posted 22 per cent growth, as against 34 per cent growth in the previous month. The only other growth puller, tobacco production, rose 6 per cent. The crucial capital goods segment, which denotes investment in industry, contracted 22.8 per cent in July. With this, production in the category saw its eighteenth consecutive monthly decline. While contraction had moderated to 37.4 per cent in June, the segment had seen production almost wiped out with a 90 per cent fall in April. Policymakers fear that as the government has exhausted its options of opening up even more sectors by easing foreign direct investment flows, capital goods production might take time to recover. Consumer demand struggles Consumer durables remained a major casualty of the pandemic among user-based industries, recording a 23.6 per cent fall, down from June's 35.5 per cent slide. Data from the beginning of the year showed that production of consumer durables was falling even before the Covid-19 crisis, with July being the twelfth month of contraction. Consumer non-durables, which include many essential items, lost its initial growth spurt, registering a 6 per cent rise after June's 14 per cent. “We will continue to see an improvement in segments like consumer non-druables, including the pharma segment. However, a sustained improvement in other components such as consumer durables and capital goods will require consumer and business sentiments to improve,'' said Rajani Sinha, chief economist at Knight Frank India. However, among user-based industries, the biggest pick-up was witnessed in infrastructure goods. The contraction in the segment almost halved for the third month in a row to 10.6 per cent in July, down from 18.8 per cent in June, driven by cement and steel. Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings, expects IIP growth to be negative, albeit to a lesser extent, in August, while September may come closer to zero, given the pick-up in human movement, which will boost pre-festival sales. Nayar said available indicators for August provided mixed cues, with a base effect-led improvement in sectors such as coal and rail freight, modest recovery in petrol consumption, port cargo traffic and GST e-way bills, juxtaposed with a worsening pace of contraction of electricity generation and diesel consumption.
Source: Business Standard
Covid-19 has prompted Japanese companies to diversify their supply chain and the Indian textile sector has the potential to serve the sector-specific need, said Ambassador of India to Japan Sanjay Kumar Verma on Friday. He said this while inaugurating the 7th edition of India Tex Trend Fair (ITTF), a physicalcum-virtual fair, at Tokyo (Japan) on Thursday, Ambassador Verma said that China continues to be the main supplier of textiles to Japan along with Italy, Vietnam, South Korea and United States. “Covid-19 pandemic has brought up the necessity for diversifying the supply chains and therefore Japanese companies also plan to reduce their dependence on any particular geography. Although India’s share in Japanese market is negligible, in the textile sector there’s a good potential for increasing bilateral textile trade between the two,” said the Indian ambassador in Tokyo. The Ambassador said that India is recognized as one of the best sourcing destinations for garments, textiles, accessories and finished products. Manufacturers are ready to innovate, be flexible on quantities and have a hands-on approach to quality control. “India can provide a more resilient supply value chain to Japan as India has comparative advantage in the textile sector in terms of low cost production and traditional knowledge in the sector,” Verma said, adding that the Indian exporters will have to address some issues like productivity and prices. The Indian envoy also announced that India and Japan are inching closer to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Textile Committee in the Indian Ministry of Textiles and Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre, Japan, for improving quality and testing of Indian textiles and clothing for the Japanese market. Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman Dr A Sakthivel said the key strengths of India in respect to manufacturing apparel are availability of raw material (cotton fibre, yarn, fabric, etc) in abundance, vertically integrated plants, skilled man power at reasonable wages, and availability of fabrics with wide range of designs. “Japan is a thrust market for India and continuous efforts have been made by AEPC to participate in India Tex Trend Fair, Japan regularly. Globally there is a growing positive sentiment towards India including among Japanese companies,” Dr Sakthivel said.
Source: KNN India
Strengthening cooperation with India plays a crucial role in Vietnam’s garment and textile industry, aiming to enhance competitiveness and boost exports, especially as the COVID19 pandemic is rippling through the world economy and causing disruptions in global supply chains. The statement was made by delegates to the virtual seminar themed “Promoting VietnamIndia business relations in the areas of garments, textiles and health”, organised by the Vietnamese Embassy in India on September 10. The event drew the participation of about 250 enterprises, scholars and policymakers from the two countries in the three aforementioned fields. In his address, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau emphasised that the world’s geo-political picture is witnessing significance changes with rivalry and competition between major powers, and tensions and disputes in the area of security affecting economic issues. In addition, supply chains are facing multiple challenges due to the disease, thus hurting global trade. However, this is also a good opportunity for India and Vietnam to promote bilateral relations and complement each other, thereby contributing to the recovery and enhancement of supply chains in important fields, he said. Chau affirmed that the Vietnamese Embassy is ready to act as a bridge for the two countries’ businesses to connect and boost trade exchange. Delegates to the seminar lauded Vietnam’s economic achievements in recent years with an average annual growth rate of 6-7%. Especially in the context of COVID-19, Vietnam remains among the few economies in the world that will record positive growth this year. Vietnam is also a popular destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) with its signing of more than 10 free trade agreements (FTAs). In the health sector, Chairman of the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AIMED) RajavNath expressed his admiration of Vietnam’s response to the disease and the country’s strong public health system that has helped it effectively control the pandemic. According to Ashok Juneja, President of the Textile Association (India), garments and textiles are a key export sector of Vietnam with revenue of up to US$36 billion, nearly equalling India’s US$38 billion value. However, regarding the export structure, he noted that India exports US$16 billion of garment and US$22 billion of textile products, while Vietnam exports up to US$31 billion of garments and only US$5billion of textile items. Therefore, the two countries have ample space to boost cooperation in this area. Juneja added that India has a long-standing textile industry, with its strength based on production from natural fibers such as cotton, jute, silk and wool, to synthetic fibers such as polyster and nylon. This advantage will be a valuable complement to Vietnam, which heavily depends on imported raw materials for its garment and textile industry.
Source: NhanDhan Online
Honorable Prime Minister ShriNarendraModishares his written address to the nation’s trainers for their remarkable efforts in building the skilling ecosystem during the second edition of KaushalacharyaSamadar 2020 (Kaushalacharya Awards) 92 skill trainers awarded under the five categories- Long term training, short term training, Jan ShikshaSansthan, apprenticeship and entrepreneurship training The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) today organized a digital conclave for the second edition of KaushalacharyaSamadar 2020 (Awards). The trainers across different sectors were felicitated for their exceptional contribution in building country’s skilling ecosystem and preparing a future-ready workforce. The occasion had a written address shared by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi’s message for the country’s trainers, appreciating their persistent hard work and the tenacity in ensuring that the aspirations of today’s youth are kept alive, with apt skill training for their bright tomorrow. In his written address, Honorable Prime Minister congratulated all the awardees. He stated that it is the government’s skill agenda to create a workforce that matches the global demands and with this vision, several efforts have been undertaken to enable a strong skill development ecosystem. The whole nation has come together under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission and it is also the need of the hour to be self- reliant for every Indian, as we live in the changing times. There are many sectors witnessing the growing demand for skilled youth. This is an opportunity for our young workforce to convert the present challenges into opportunities and become the strong pillars of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. It is integral that we lay enough emphasis on skilling, reskillingandupskilling. In this endeavor, the role of trainers and experts is most essential and crucial. Hon’ble Prime Minister said that it is my belief that the trainers who are awarded today will inspire many others and will continue to contribute immensely in the lives of our youth and the country’s development. A total of 92 trainers from diverse backgrounds across geographies from different categories such as Entrepreneurship training, National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS), Jan ShikshanSansthan (JSS), Short Term Training under Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojana (PMKVY), Long Term Training under Directorate General of Training (DGT) and Industrial Training Centres (ITI) were felicitated at the digital conclave held today. Under Entrepreneurship Training Category, 3 trainers were awarded, 15 trainers under Jan SikshanSansthan. Further, 14 trainers were awarded under the Short Term Training and 44 were awarded under Long Term Training along with 15 corporates who were recognized and awarded for their contribution towards National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS). Dr.MahendraNath Pandey, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said “We thank our honorable Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi for sharing a note of appreciation for our excellent trainers and building their morale. The importance given to a ‘guru’ or a teacher in our culture showcases the integral role they play in shaping the lives of the students. Similarly, the skill trainers are playing an important part in accelerating the skilling ecosystem and in molding the future of our youth in the right direction. As the times are transforming, the role of trainers and assessors is becoming more crucial as they pave the roadmap for our young generating in meeting the industry demands of near future. I would like to congratulate all the awardees and we are extremely proud of our trainers for their devotion towards creating a globally competitive skilled workforce, helped us accomplish several milestones in the last five years. I am confident that we will continue our pursuit of excellence and with skilling, upskilling, and reskilling get closer to fulling the vision of Aatmnirbhar Bharat.” The Skill Ministry’s ‘KaushalacharyaSamadar’ (Awards), an annual event, embraces and recognizes the contribution made by skill trainers in the vocational training ecosystem. By 2022 it is estimated India will need about 2.5 lakh trainers across the skilling ecosystem. Under its flagship program Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojana (PMKVY), MSDE has been working relentlessly to ensure high standards of skilling for trainers and on their capacity building, so they are able to meet the demands of near future. Emphasizing on the relevance of skill trainers, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “Today’s event marks a special day where we celebrate all those who have been the guiding light for our youth. In my opinion, today’s event is an inspiration for many technically equipped and experienced people to become a part of the Skill India Mission. I would like to applaud the efforts of all the trainers for their perseverance and consistent efforts in harnessing the innate capabilities of Indian youth. My heartiest congratulations to all of you for your incredible commitment towards building a skilled nation and ensuring that we successfully sail through these testing times. The role of trainers is fundamental in nation-building and we will ensure that our trainers continue to receive adequate support and quality training for creating best-in-class talent to make India the Skill Capital of the world.” During the current pandemic, it is with the help of these trainers that ITIs and JSS institutions played a vital role in our fight against COVID-19 through their research and innovation. ITI, Berhampur developed UVC Sanitizer and ITI Cuttack an Automatic sanitizer Dispensing Machine. Also, JSS and other institutions have developed a special type of robot, automatic sanitizer machine PPE kits, etc, to make significant contribution towards the society. Besides Training of Craft Instructors, DGT has collaborated with various industry partnerslike IBM, SAP, Cisco, Accenture and Quest Alliance to further empowering the trainers across ITIs and NSTIs. With support from NASSCOM, Capacity Building through Instructor Training (ToT) is also being driven at the ITIs while close to 7000 instructors have been trained under Adobe spark. Under the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) -13462 ITI Instructors were trained across the country in Short Term Training on NSQF Compliance in Level I, II and III. The National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) is actively engaged in providing Entrepreneurship Skills for the Trainers. Corporates and universities along with international organizations like Temasek Foundation and Singapore Polytechnic have helped in bolstering capacity-building programs for trainers and assessors. Under the new framework of National Education Policy 2020 also, the teacher is at the center of the fundamental reforms in the education system. In order to successfully engage training providers in the skilling agenda, Skill India has further collaborated with various corporates to strengthen the trainers and assessors in skill development to continue the momentum.
“A review is on of all the acts that fall within the ambit of the department. Our aim is to decriminalise those provisions that have harsh punishments,” a senior government ofcial told ET. The DPIIT has asked industry for inputs on regulations that have provisions for imprisonment for minor offences. India could introduce hefty monetary penalties instead of imprisonment for many violations under 11 laws including the Patents Act, Copyright Act and Explosives Act to improve business sentiment and ease the burden on the legal system……
Source: Economic Times
The Resilient Supply Chain Initiative is an example of how regional supply chains might be repositioning in line with the emerging geopolitics post-Covid-19 The Resilient Supply Chain Initiative (RSCI) proposed by India, Japan and Australia for building resilient supply chains in the Indo-Pacific has implications for regional trade agreements, including the upcoming Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). India’s decision to walk out of RCEP hasn’t stalled its progress. The ten-member ASEAN group of economies from Southeast Asia, along with Australia, Japan, China, New Zealand and Korea, are working on its adoption in the 4th RCEP Summit scheduled for November 2020. The latest RCEP ministerial meeting, held virtually on August 27, reaffirmed the implementation. It also ‘reiterated that the RCEP remains open for India’ and noted India’s potential to contribute to regional prosperity (bit.ly/3k3ovcZ). India is unlikely to revisit the prospects of re-joining RCEP. Apart from the heavily circumspect view, it has on entering FTAs, premised by the focus on import-substitution arising from the drive on self-reliance, its relations with China are inconducive for joining a trade pact where China is the largest economy. In the meantime, however, it has decided to work with other prominent Indo-Pacific members of RCEP—Japan and Australia, who are also distinctly wary of China—on the RSCI. The RSCI would build resilient supply chains that are either independent or barely dependent on China. The effort follows a fundamental lesson imparted by Covid-19. Supply chains relying excessively on a particular country—China, in this instance—are likely to be severely disrupted during pandemics like Covid-19. The collapse of production within China in the early months of the outbreak of the pandemic caused cracks in several supply chains. For countries like India, Japan and Australia, whose trade relations with China are deep and exhaustive, and whose producers and consumers are reliant on sourcing from China, the impact was catastrophic. The economic imperative for pushing supply chains out of China has been compounded by worsening of political relations of RSCI countries with it. India’s current relations with China are at their lowest ebb in several decades. Australia and Japan are also experiencing various difficulties and discomfort in managing ties with China. Bad blood with China is a common trait across much of the Indo-Pacific. With China’s relations with the US worsening rapidly, the Indo-Pacific has become a common ground for rallying against China. Promulgation of the RSCI by major Indo-Pacific countries, therefore, is hardly surprising. But, what does this mean for RCEP? The RSCI is looking to expand by including more countries from Southeast Asia. All members from Southeast Asia are in the RCEP. Getting some of them to figure in the RSCI, for delinking substantive parts of regional supply chains out of China, would mean, on part of these countries, signalling to China their intention to be part of an anti-China.RCEP’s complications would increase if Southeast Asia, individually, or in small groups, tends to take positions on the basis of strategic loyalties to China, or the Indo-Pacific. ASEAN as a bloc would find it tough to handle increasing rivalries between China and the non-ASEAN members. Given Japan and Australia’s difficult ties with China, RCEP might well be in a situation where it finds it difficult to progress. Ideally, most Southeast Asian countries would prefer staying neutral. They would wish to benefit from the prospects of RCEP, which is an ASEAN-centric FTA, and at the same time, by working with the RSCI. Indeed, relocations have begun taking place out of China to Southeast Asia, primarily among Japanese businesses. Japan’s decision to offer subsidies to its industries on relocating out of China has resulted in several of the businesses moving out to Indonesia, Laos and Vietnam. More are expected to follow as the initiative gathers momentum. The investment prospects for Southeast from RSCI are considerably attractive. RSCI is an example of how regional supply chains might be repositioning in line with the emerging geopolitics post-Covid-19. As the US-China hostilities increase, the possibility of countries joining broader alignments on either side of the US-China divide, and the global economic order getting split accordingly, is substantial. RCEP is an agreement that begun negotiations nearly a decade ago when the geopolitical character of the region and the world was much different. In this respect, it might encounter unexpected problems from RSCI. It is imminent that a serious push by RSCI would lead to its members agreeing on common rules for cross-border trade, investment and standards. Such rules, coming on top of multiple FTAs in the region, might burden the regional trade landscape even more. But, the core dilemma following such rules and the implementation of RCEP is, where do countries, common to both, invest more energy and resources in. Would they stay committed to RCEP? Or would they increasingly tilt to being part of an economic understanding pursuing organisation of cross-border production and supply chains into a ‘trustworthy’ grouping bound by common anxieties on China? Out of RCEP, India clearly would be hoping for the latter!
Source: Financial Express
This is one of the biggest seizure in the recent past The Customs has seized textiles worth over ₹3 crore being smuggled to Bangladesh through the riverine route of West Bengal. Six people have also been arrested in this connection. This is one of the biggest seizure in the recent past, a release by the Union Finance Ministry said. Based on specific intelligence, a fishing trawler was intercepted by the officers of the Commissionerate of Customs (Preventive) West Bengal, in the intervening night of September 6 and September 7. The trawler was coming from Diamond Harbour towards Sagar Island. On being spotted it changed course and was finally intercepted near Geonkhali, some 70 km from Kolkata. Upon search of the trawler, various “incriminating documents along with identity cards of Bangladeshi and Indian nationals were found”. Mobile phones with Bangladeshi SIM cards were also recovered. “The persons on board the trawler were engaging in smuggling of sarees and garments concealed in about 400 gunny bags having a value of ₹3.3 crore. Interrogation of arrested persons confirmed that the vessel was heading to cross over to Bangladesh with an intention to smuggle Indian goods to Bangladesh. Further investigation in the matter is under process,” the release mentioned.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
He was being treated for the disease at the hospital for the past 10 days. Suffering from comorbidities, including diabetes and hypertension, his heart had been hit due to the infection Ludhiana DarshanLal Sharma,72, managing director of Vardhman Yarns and Threads Limited succumbed to covid-19 at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC&H) on Thursday evening. He was being treated for the disease at the hospital for the past 10 days. Suffering from comorbidities, including diabetes and hypertension, his heart had been hit due to the infection. Experts of a special task force that the state government has formed to check the spread of covid-19 were monitoring his condition. Cardiologist Dr Bishav Mohan, a member of the task force, said his condition suddenly deteriorated during the evening, and he suffered a massive heart attack. An engineer, and also an alumnus of Harvard Business School, Sharma had been associated with the Vardhman Group for 47 years. He served the textile industry for five decades and held several prominent positions, including chairman of Punjab State Council of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), deputy chairman of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) and president of Ludhiana Management Association (LMA). He served on the boards of Vardhman Nisshinbo Garments Limited, Guetermann India Private Limited and Ralson (India) Limited. He was also a member of Guru Nanak Bhawan Management Committee. Chairman and managing director of the group SP Oswal expressed profound grief on his untimely death. “It is a great personal loss for me as I have not only lost a valuable companion, but also a talented professional. He contributed immensely to the evolution of Vardhman Group from a stand-alone manufacturing unit to a multi-product and multiunit entity. “ KamalWadhera chief executive officer, TCY; past president, LMA and ex-director, Ludhiana Smart City, said, “DL Sharma was a great senior and friend. It is an irreparable loss to the textile industry, his organisation, the city and all of us who he touched with warmth and love.” AjitLakra, head of textile division, FICO while expressing shock over the demise, said this was not the time to go for such a visionary man. Sharma is survived by a son, two daughter and wife.
Source: Hindustan Times
Pakistan and Uzbekistan have signed a memorandum of understanding for establishment of 'Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Affairs' Pakistan and Uzbekistan will work together for trade enhancement, promotion of intergovernmental projects in different sectors and improvement of connectivity. This was agreed upon on Thursday when Pakistan and Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishment of ‘Joint Working Group on Trade and Economic Affairs’. Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Investments & Foreign Trade SardorUmurzakov had called on Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul RazzakDawood in Islamabad. Both sides agreed to start negotiations for a bilateral Early Harvest Plan, proceeding to Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to provide increased market access to each other’s products. It was also agreed to have Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for harmonization of standards and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. It was further agreed to arrange a business forum for the private sector of both countries. During the discussions, Pakistan and Uzbekistan resolved to optimally utilize trade and investment opportunities and work expeditiously to achieve the shared goal of strengthening political and commercial ties.
DELEGATES MEET TOP LEADERSHIP
Seperately, the nine-member Uzbek delegation, comprising the first deputy foreign affairs and deputy ministers of investment & foreign trade, transport, and senior officials of ministry of investments & foreign trade, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff Gen QamarJavedBajwa. The delegation also held meetings with the ministers for industries & production and maritime affairs to actualize existing investment opportunities in the fields of textile, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and tourism. Both sides endeavoured to work towards improved connectivity through land borders and shipping. Uzbekistan is particularly interested in using sea ports of Pakistan for shipment of imports and exports. Earlier, the delegation of Uzbekistan headed SardorUmurzakov arrived in Pakistan. The visiting delegation was received by Abdul RazzakDawood along with senior officials of commerce and foreign affairs divisions. Talking to the media on the occasion, RazakDawood said Pakistan desires to strengthen its relations with the Central Asian States in diverse fields. He expressed the confidence that the visit of the Uzbek deputy prime minister will help further promote trade between the two countries.
Source: Profit Pakistan
The United Kingdom has taken a major step in the process of joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). UK international trade secretary Liz Truss, along with CPTPP Commission chair Mexican economy minister Graciela Márquez, opened discussions between senior UK trade officials and chief negotiators from all 11 members of the partnership to discuss potential UK accession. This is the first time the United Kingdom has met with these chief negotiators and the first time CPTPP members have had such a discussion with a country seeking membership since the partnership was created in 2018. The United Kingdom held preparatory conversations with all CPTPP members. If the UK decides to apply, it will enter into a formal accession negotiation with all member states, a government press release said. This meeting follows major progress in negotiations between the United Kingdom and Japan, the beginning of negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, and the resumption of negotiations with Canada, as the United Kingdom looks to focus on trade with the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. CPTPP membership also provides an opportunity to expand trade links with key partners in the Americas. “Joining CPTPP would send a powerful signal to the rest of the world that Britain is prepared to work with countries who champion free and fair trade,” Truss said. The UK aims to join CPTPP because membership will help put the United Kingdom at the centre of a network of free trade deals with dynamic economies, making the country a hub for international businesses trading with the rest of the world; put it in a stronger position to reshape global rules and drive reform at the World Trade Organisation; boost its economic security; and make it more resilient to future crises by diversifying its trade and supply chains, the press release added. The free trade area removes tariffs on 95 per cent of goods traded between its members, which could reduce costs for businesses and create new economic opportunities for British exporters. Since 2009 trade between the UK and CPTPP countries has grown on average by 6 per cent every year and was worth over £112 billion in 2019.
BRITAIN is on course to agreeing multiple trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand, the New Zealand and Japan, Liz Truss has said. The International Trade Secretary confirmed the UK is seeking to become a member of a major free-trade area of Pacific nations. She met with all 11 members of CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) for the first time on Wednesday to pave the way for Britain’s formal accession. Ms Truss said: “Joining CPTPP would send a powerful signal to the rest of the world that Britain is prepared to work with countries who champion free and fair trade. “Membership would bring new opportunities for our go-getting businesses, more choice for our consumers, and provide us with greater economic security. "Strategically, it would help us forge closer ties with the wider Pacific region and put us in a stronger position to reshape global trading rules alongside countries who share our values.” The CPTPP also includes Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Once fully operational it will account for around 14 percent of global GDP. Since 2009 trade between the UK and CPTPP countries has grown on average by 6 percent every year and was worth over £112 billion in 2019. Wilson Del Socorro, Global Director of Government Affairs at Diageo, said: “We welcome the UK’s ambition to join the CPTPP as part of its broader strategy to unlock international trade and investment opportunities for British business. “We are excited by the growth opportunities that this trade deal will help unlock over the long-term where tackling import tariffs and improving the broader regulatory environment are key priorities for a number of markets.” Willian Santos, International Sales Manager at ABI Electronics, said: “We thoroughly support the UK government’s initiative to join CPTPP. “For nearly 40 years, ABI products have been supporting businesses across the region. “From the textile industry in Peru and Aerospace in Malaysia to the toy manufacturer LEGO in Mexico and automotive conglomerates and Japan. In fact, it was from Malaysia that ABI’s first international order came from in 1986. “Becoming part of CPTPP will certainly encourage other British manufacturers to follow ABI’s footsteps leading to a transformational export journey.” The partnership includes ambitious agreements on digital trade, data, financial, professional, and business services, all of which are areas where the UK is a global leader and stands to benefit from more trade.
Source: Daily Express
The Fashion for Good initiated “Full Circle Textiles Project: Scaling Innovations in Cellulosic Recycling” – a first-of-its-kind consortium project, has launched. Focusing on cellulosic fibres, the project aims to validate and eventually scale promising technologies in chemical recycling from a select group of innovators to tackle landfill and other issues. In the project, leading global organisations—Laudes Foundation, Birla Cellulose, Kering, PVH Corp, and Target—join Fashion for Good to explore the disruptive solutions, with the goal of creating new fibres and garments from used clothing and ultimately drive industry-wide adoption. The project’s overall aim is to investigate economically viable and scalable solutions for cellulosic chemical recycling to enable a closed loop system converting textile waste – of cotton and cotton-blend materials, to produce new man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF). MMCF such as viscose/rayon, lyocell, modal and cupro are most commonly derived from wood and have the third largest share in global fibre production after polyester and cotton. These MMCF are of increasing importance, and their production has doubled in the last 30 years and is forecast for continued growth over the coming years. “A bold approach is needed to identify and scale innovations that drive sustainable change in the fashion industry. This multi-stakeholder consortium, a first-of-its-kind, addresses the most important barriers to scaling innovation, setting the precedent for all industry players with ambitions for disruptive innovation to follow,” said Fashion for Good managing director Katrin Ley. Over an 18-month period, project partners will collaborate with innovators, Evrnu, InfinitedFiber Company, Phoenxt, Renewcell and TytonBioSciences, to validate the potential of their technologies in this still nascent market. The recycled content produced by four of these innovators will be converted at Birla Cellulose’s state-of-the-art pilot plants to produce high quality cellulosic fibres. From there, fibres will move through the project partners' supply chains to be manufactured into garments. Given that InfinitedFiber Company produces industry-ready fibre through their process, their fibre will be delivered directly to the project partner’s supply chains for garment production. The project will provide an assessment of the innovator’s environmental impact, technologies, recycled output and subsequent garments. These results along with the project key learnings should determine how best to support and scale these promising solutions. “The need of the hour is to co-create sustainable solutions for the fashion industry that can be scaled rapidly and economically,” said Dilip Gaur, business director at Aditya Birla Group's Birla Cellulose. Textile recycling is a key focus for Fashion for Good as a crucial lever in driving the fashion industry towards closed loop production. A systemic change towards circularity will ultimately reduce the environmental impact of textile waste and potentially eliminate our dependence on virgin materials entirely. Furthermore, producing MMCF through chemical recycling can help preserve ancient and endangered forests. Scalable solutions in high quality textile recycling technologies are therefore urgently needed. “Next generation solutions are the path to meeting the climate and biodiversity targets that scientists are calling for by 2030. We’ve seen promising momentum in recent years as we’ve worked with brands, producers and innovators to build strong market demand and identified a great pipeline of game changing technologies. Now we need investment and broad industry adoption to make these next-gen solutions a commercially available reality,” Nicole Rycroft, founder & executive director, Canopy, said.
Stakeholders in the clothing, textile, footwear and leather (CTFL) industry have committed to working more closely together to identify opportunities to deepen localisation and bolster production in the sector. This was a key outcome of a meeting of the executive oversight committee (EOC) managing the implementation of the masterplan for the sector earlier this month. The virtual meeting, chaired and hosted by Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel and attended by other EOC members, including the CEOs of major apparel and textile retailers, manufacturers and organised labour, discussed plans to accelerate bringing back more local apparel and textile production to South Africa. Retail CEOs present included Foschini Group boss and National Clothing Retail Federation chairperson Anthony Thunström, Woolworths South Africa CEO Zyda Ryland, Pepkor CEO Leon Lourens, Mr Price CEO Mark Blair and Truworths CEO Michael Mark. Minister Patel was accompanied by South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter and International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa chief commissioner MelulekiNzimande. Proudly South Africa CEO Eustace Mashimbye was also in attendance. The CTFL sector has been negatively impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown. Sales in the first half of the year fell 20%, adjusted for inflation, compared with the equivalent period last year, while production volumes declined by 30%.Despite this, stakeholders expressed optimism for the remainder of the year, as they accelerate work to increase the levels of locally made clothing sold in South African retail stores. The CTFL masterplan, which was signed by stakeholders in November last year, provides a blueprint for investment and job creation through localisation in the industry. The plan includes a commitment to increase the proportion of locally produced fashion sold in retail stores from 44% currently, to 65% by 2030. The commitment is expected to increase employment in the sector by another 120 000 jobs across the value chain. During the meeting held this month, stakeholders reported on activity since the signing of the masterplan, and discussed the immediate steps that can be taken to increase the pace at which the industry achieves its localisation goals. “The Covid-19 pandemic has made the argument for localisation even more urgent and important,” said Patel. “The key issue for our economy now is the return of domestic demand. We need to stimulate the economy via deeper localisation efforts.” “We are now at the stage where we absolutely have to focus – for both the good of our industry and for the South African economy and our future,” added Thunström.
Source: Engineering News
The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is set to launch the British Textile Week from September 9-15, 2020, to provide a digital showcase of the craftsmanship, creativity, and technical skills of the UK textile industry. UKFT is co-ordinating the project, with the generous support of The Clothworkers’ Company and the Campaign for Wool. During the week, UKFT will tell the stories of some of the British textile companies that would normally be at international apparel fabric trade shows during the month of September, as well as putting the spotlight on some of the pioneers and leaders in the textile field. Each day will have a theme, and the week will feature a series of online articles, images, interviews, case studies, videos, seasonal trends, and more, according to a press release by UKFT. UK fabrics are highly sought after by the world’s most prestigious designers, tailors and fashion brands as the starting point for their collections, while our home-grown flair for printed, woven, knitted and embroidered textile design blends creativity with commerciality. Fabrics and yarns made in the UK are highly sought after by leading brands, designers, and retailers and the UK exports £3 billion of textiles to almost every country in the world. The UK has a strong textile heritage and a promising future, with more than 4,800 people studying textiles at university each year on courses including textile design, textile technology, and textile engineering.