Solar tariff wars heat up in India

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 28, 2017

New Delhi: At a time when addition of coal-fuelled power generation capacity has come to a standstill globally, India is seeing a race to the bottom in solar power prices.

The latest was the record low tariff of Rs3.15 per kilowatt hour (kWh), quoted by France’s Solairedirect SA on 12 April to win the rights to set up 250 megawatt (MW) of solar plants at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh and sell power to state-run NTPC Ltd. The tariff is expected to fall below Rs3 a unit during auctions for the Bhadla solar parks in Rajasthan.

The previous low was Rs3.30 per unit for a 750MW project at Rewa in Madhya Pradesh. These bids translate to below 5 cents per kWh and rank India at the sixth position globally in terms of the lowest tariff bid awarded. The world’s lowest solar tariff is in Chile (2.91 cents), followed by Dubai (2.99 cents) and Mexico (3.30 cents). The US (3.40 cents) and Saudi Arabia (4.80 cents) rank at the fourth and fifth places, respectively.

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India export subsidies may have to be phased out soon

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 28, 2017

New Delhi: India may soon have to phase out its export subsidy regime in the current form as World Trade Organization (WTO) rules bar it from offering export incentives to any sector, including textiles, when it reaches certain thresholds that it is nearing. The deadline for ending direct subsidies to textile companies is December 2018.

Under the special and differential provisions in the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, least developed countries and developing countries whose gross national income (GNI) per capita is below $1,000 per annum at the 1990 exchange rate, are allowed to provide export incentives to any sector that has a share of below 3.25% in global exports.

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Pharmexcil working to boost exports to Africa

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 27, 2017

Hyderabad: The Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) is working jointly with the Centre for harmonisation of export norms with African countries.

This was disclosed by its Chairman M Madan Mohan Reddy at a press conference, after the inauguration of the 5th edition of pharma expo, IPHEX 2017, here on Thursday.

Harmonisation of regulations will help pharma exporters by way of providing automatic approvals, among others.

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GST to push Indian growth to over eight per cent: IMF

indexSource: Financial Express, Apr 28, 2017

Washington: The ambitious Goods and Services Tax to be implemented from July 1 would help raise India’s medium-term growth to above eight per cent, the International Monetary Fund has said adding that the reforms being done is expected to pay off in terms of higher growth in the future. “The government has made significant progress on important economic reforms that will support strong and sustainable growth going forward,” Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, told PTI in an exclusive interview.

“We expect that the goods and services tax (GST), which is targeted to be applied starting in July, will help raise India’s medium-term growth to above 8 per cent, as it will enhance production and the movement of goods and services across Indian states,” the IMF official said.

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Rs 50,000 cr plan to revive shut fertiliser plants, build new gas pipelines

Source: Business Standard, Apr 28, 2017

New Delhi: The Central government and cash-rich coal, power and oil PSUs will jointly invest over Rs 50,000 crore to revive closed fertiliser plants and set up new gas pipelines, in a move aimed at making India self-sufficient in urea by 2020-21 and negating the need for imports.

Briefing reporters after a mid-course assessment on revival of closed plants in India, fertiliser minister Ananth Kumar said as and when all the five closed fertiliser units start full-fledged operations, India’s annual domestic urea production would rise to about 7.3 million tonnes, and help meet the demand of 31-32 million tonnes.

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Govt targets a record 273 million tonnes foodgrain output for 2017-18

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 26, 2017

New Delhi: Buoyed by forecasts of a normal monsoon, the Centre has targeted a record foodgrain production during the 2017-18 crop year beginning July.

The agriculture ministry has set a production target of 273 million tonnes (mt) of grains and pulses during the year, marginally higher than the 272 million tonnes estimated for 2016-17, also a record harvest following a normal monsoon last year.

In 2015-16, India’s foodgrain production stood at 252 mt.

“In just one year, farmers managed to grow 5 million tonnes of additional pulses (in 2016-17) and within two to three years India will be self-sufficient in pulses,” agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Tuesday, addressing state officials at a national conference on the upcoming kharif crop season at which targets were announced.

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US moves to bridge $24-billion trade deficit with India

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 25, 2017

New Delhi: After the IT industry, it is now the turn of the manufacturing sector to brace itself for a possible jolt from the Donald Trump regime in the US. Washington DC has officially sounded out to New Delhi that it would soon take steps to bridge the $24-billion bilateral trade gap, which is in India’s favour.

Assistant US Trade Representative Mark Linscott, who met senior officials from the Commerce Ministry last week, said his government would identify the barriers to trade impeding American exports through trade policy dialogue so that steps could be taken to redress the problem, a government official told BusinessLine.

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