Finance Ministry, Railways working on ways to cut logistics cost for exports

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 25, 2016

NEW DELHI: The finance and railways ministries are working on ways to cut logistics costs which make exports uncompetitive, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

The Minister said that she has discussed the increasing logistics costs with the Finance Minister. “I have very clearly stated that logistics costs are increasing and therefore, we are becoming less competitive… We have definitely asked different authorities at different levels. We have asked the Railways and the Finance Ministers to look into this. They are working on it,” she told PTI in an interview.

“We do not want this kind of a cost which is not due to the inefficiency of the manufacturer,” she added.

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Trade deficit at 3-month low, exports fall 20.2%

indexSource: The Economic Times, Jun 17, 2015

NEW DELHI: Persistent weakness in global demand and the lower value of oil products led India’s merchandise exports to fall for the sixth straight month in May, while a decline in gold imports helped the trade deficit narrow to a three-month low.

Imports recorded the fastest fall in 15 months, with non-oil and non-gold inbound shipments contracting for the first time in at least a year, indicating the fragility of domestic economic activity. Exports fell 20.2 per cent in May from a year earlier and imports declined 16.5 per cent, leaving a trade deficit of $10.4 billion, data released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry showed on Tuesday. Key export sectors such as gems and jewellery, engineering goods, leather and petroleum declined.

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India eyes 15% jump in medicine exports this fiscal

India eyes 15% jump in medicine exports this fiscalSource: The Economic Times, May 21, 2015

Hyderabad: Indian drug makers are hopeful of achieving double digit growth in exports this fiscal after being confined to single digit growth for two years, helped by factors such as several medicines going off patent, strengthening dollar and access to new markets in Asia.

“We hope to achieve 10-15 per cent growth in export of pharmaceutical products during the current fiscal,” said PV Appaji, director general at Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil). This optimism is driven mainly by anticipated increase in the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approvals as a large quantum of medicines are going off patent.

“Increased focus of Indian drug makers on complex and high value generics and growing acceptance to our generics in key new markets like Japan and appreciating dollar should also help us achieve the targeted exports,” Appaji told ET.

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India 19th in the list of top 30 merchandise exporters

Source: The Economic Times, Apr 14, 2015

GENEVA: India’s rank remained unchanged at 19th in 2014 among the top 30 merchandise exporters of the world, while China continues to hold the top slot, according to the WTO report.

Similarly, New Delhi’s rank as a leading importer too has not changed in 2014 at 12th position. In imports, the US topped the list. In 2014, India’s exports stood at $ 317 billion while imports were $ 460 billion. In 2013, the country’s outbound and inbound shipments aggregated at $ 312 billion and $ 466 billion respectively.

“India suffered a bit of a slowdown in 2013 but recovered in 2014. So its import demand has picked up and its exports are holding up,” Economic Affairs Officer Coleman Nee told PTI.

India’s exports by volume fell from 8.5 per cent in 2013 to 3.5 per cent in 2014 while 2013 had been a bad year for India in terms of imports by volume rebounded from – 0.3 per cent in 2013 to 2.9 per cent in 2014.

Further India has slipped to 8th and 10th rank last year amongst the top 30 leading exporters and importers of commercial services respectively. Its position was 6th and 7th in 2013. This list was topped by the US in both exports and imports.

In 2014, India’s commercial services exports aggregated at $ 154 billion while imports were $ 124 billion.

Indian government has recently announced incentives and new institutional mechanisms as part of the new Foreign Trade Policy to nearly double country’s goods and services exports to $ 900 billion by 2019-2020.

India figured fifth for exports and sixth for imports for commercial services excluding intra-EU trade for 2014.

The report said that China registered the highest merchandise trade by value in 2014 with $ 2,343 billion worth of exports but the US sustained the world imports at $ 2,409 billion.

The total world merchandise exports was $ 18,427 billion whereas imports were $ 18, 574 billion.

“South-South trade represented 52 per cent of developing countries’ exports in 2014 which mean developing countries today trade on average more with other developing countries than rich, industrialized countries…It shows a shift in the economic but also the political governance of the world economy,” said chief statistician of WTO, Hubert Escaith.

India’s gold imports set to rise as RBI eases curbs ahead of budget

Source: Financial Express, Feb 19, 2015

Mumbai: Gold imports to top consumer India are set to jump in coming months after the central bank eased gold import curbs, ahead of an expected cut in import duty in next week’s federal budget.

The Reserve Bank of India said on Wednesday banks would again be allowed to import gold on a “consignment basis”, under which they act as intermediaries and don’t pay for the stock until a buyer has been found, which is usually quickly.

Trading houses will be allowed to bring in gold with no conditions attached.

Gold flows into the country have slowed despite the removal in November of the so-called 80-20 rule that required importing agencies to re-export a fifth of total imports, as importers and customs officials waited for more clarity.

“These clarifications were pending for a long time and should boost sentiment. Gold imports may increase to 75-90 tonnes in coming months as against about 40 tonnes in recent months,” said Prithviraj Kothari, executive director of the India Bullion & Jewellers’ Association.Imports had dropped despite the reversal of the rule as the industry was taken aback by the sudden change in the central bank’s position and banks remained wary, fearing customs officials would hold up incoming shipments.“Some imports had been stuck at the airport, but not huge quantities, as customs officials were awaiting clarification from the RBI. They will be cleared now,” said Sudheesh Nambiath, an analyst at precious metals consultancy GFMS, owned by Thomson Reuters.

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Commerce Ministry puts in place an online system to generate import-export code

Source: The Economic Times, Feb 16, 2015

NEW DELHI: Seeking to streamline the procedure, the Commerce Ministry has put in place an online system for instant generation of import-export code on submission of documents.

The move would help companies or an individual wanting to enter the trade sector. Import-Export Code (IEC) is needed for shipments. “This is a major step towards improving ease of doing business in the country. If all the documents are in place, a trader would get the code in a few minutes. Otherwise, if there is a problem, an automatic email or an sms would be generated and it will be sent to the concerned person,” a senior official in the DGFT said.

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Govt plans to tap services sector with export potential

Source: Business Standard, Jan 28, 2015

New Delhi: The government is planning to tap the potential of services and export them, even as it work to turn India into a manufacturing hub.The commerce department has joined hands with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to organise an exhibition of services in April, where 40 countries are expected to participate.

Besides, the government is working on reforms in areas such as legal, healthcare, and education services and will soon finalise a Cabinet note on that.”A couple of years ago, we constituted an inter-ministerial entity for identifying and working on reforms which are required in various services areas in terms of legislation, practice, procedures, etc,” commerce secretary Rajeev Kher said.

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