Benetton applies for FDI in single-brand retail

index.jpgSource : Livemint 25 May 2017

New Delhi: Two companies, including fashion chain Benetton Group, have sought approval of the government to enter India through the “FDI in single-brand retail” route.

The Benetton Group sells apparel under the brand name of United Colors of Benetton.

Benetton India Pvt. Ltd has sought approval to undertake e-commerce and retail trading of imported goods, according to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).

Karnataka-based Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd wants to undertake single-brand retail trading and e-commerce of Zivame branded lingerie products. Two foreign individuals—Katarzyna Dmoch and Rami Shinnawie—have also sought nod from the government to set up a 100% foreign-owned Indian retail arm of Caracole Interior Designs, Qatar.

Currently, foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 49% is permitted under the automatic route but beyond that limit, government’s nod is required. Foreign investment is allowed subject to certain conditions, which require products to be of a “single brand” only and to be sold under the same brand globally.

New Delhi: Two companies, including fashion chain Benetton Group, have sought approval of the government to enter India through the “FDI in single-brand retail” route.

‘Export target of $900 billion by 2020 not feasible’

Source : Hindu Business Line  25 May 2017

New Delhi, May 25:  Exporters say meeting the export target of $900 billion by 2020 seems tough, given the current global economic scenario; a more realistic goal would be $700-750 billion.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has also expressed apprehensions that paying input taxes first and then claiming refunds under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime could lead to losses worth 2 per cent of export value, and has asked the government to bear that burden.

“Reaching the target of $900 billion set in the Foreign Trade Policy would require exports to grow at a compound rate of 27 per cent (from the current fiscal to 2019-20). Given the current global scenario, the possible rate of growth might be 15 per cent, which would translate into exports of $700-750 billion by 2019-20,” said FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai.

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Govt to ease FDI in print media, construction, retail

indexSource: Business Standard, May 17, 2017

New Delhi: The government is moving ahead with further opening of print media, construction and retail sectors to foreign investments, and detailed deliberations in this regard were held in the finance ministry on Wednesday.

The commerce and industry ministry may soon approach the Union Cabinet to get the final approval on the proposals, sources said.

According to them, the government is considering to relax foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in certain areas of print media.Currently, government allows foreign investment in areas such as printing of newspapers and publishing of scientific magazines with certain conditions and FDI caps.

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Israel to supply advanced defence systems to Navy

indexSource: Financial Express, May 22, 2017

Jerusalem: Israel will supply advanced long-range air and missile defence systems to four Indian Navy ships under a USD 630 million deal to be jointly executed with Bharat Electronics Limited, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries said. The announcement of the deal came ahead of a possible visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel in July. Israel last month bagged a USD 2 billion deal – its largest ever – to supply the Indian Army and Navy with missile defence systems, with the IAI taking the lion’s share of it worth USD 1.6 billion.

The IAI yesterday said the latest contract was for supplying Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM) systems. The LRSAM is a joint development by the IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It comprises several state-of-the-art elements, advanced phased- array radar, command-and-control system, launchers and missiles with advanced radio-frequency (RF) seekers.

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Africa eyes $ 100 bn bilateral trade with India

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 20, 2017

Ahmedabad: Driven by infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, the bilateral trade between India and Africa is expected to touch US $ 100 billion (approx Rs. 6,50,000 crore) in the next two years, as the continent advances towards industrialization, informed a top official of the African Development Bank (AfDB) here on Saturday.

“In 2005-06 the total bilateral trade between India and Africa stood at US $ 11.7 billion, which has reached to US $ 56.9 billion by 2015-16. Now we expect the bilateral trade to exceed US $ 100 billion in the next two years, helped by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push for India-Africa partnership,” said Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank ahead of the 5-day annual meeting of the AfDB Group at Mahatma Mandir.

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Highway projects worth Rs 5 lakh crore planned in 2 years

index.jpgSource: The Economics Times, May 19, 2017

NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government has set an ambitious target of awarding Rs 5 lakh crore worth of highway contracts, totalling about 50,000 km, in the last two years of its tenure, surpassing the cumulative road length awarded for paying in the last five years.

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Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari told ET that the contracts will be for 44 economic corridors and 10 expressways, and would include the ‘chardham’ connectivity programme, northeast connectivity programme and the borders-linking projects. Over the last five years, the government could award only 40,000 km of fresh highway length for construction.

“We have planned several projects that would be very crucial for overall development of the country. These new highways would decongest the existing roads, bringing down logistics cost by 5-6%,” Gadkari told ET. “My ministry’s vision is that a freight vehicle should move on highways without restrictions and should be able to do at least 400 km per day. It will have very positive impact on the logistics industry.”

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Govt allows states to seek direct external borrowings

Source: Business Standard, May 18, 2017

New Delhi: State government entities can now directly seek loans from bilateral overseas lending agencies for infrastructure projects of over Rs 5,000 crore, the Union Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

Earlier, the rules did not permit direct borrowings by the state government entities from external agencies. Only, the central government could have raised external funds on behalf of state governments.

“It has been decided to allow direct borrowing by financially sound state government entities from bilateral ODA (Official Development Assistance) partners, based on State Government Guarantee and Government of India counter guarantee” subject to certain conditions.

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