ADVERTISEMENT

Business & Economy

PM's Economic Advisory Council identifies growth, jobs among priority areas

ADVERTISEMENT
The newly set up Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), chaired by NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy, held its first meeting here today and identified major priorities for accelerating growth and employment over the next six months, with greater last-mile connectivity.
 
An official press release said the council identified ten themes around which its report would be structured in the coming months and developed by Theme Groups, led by its members, through  consultative processes involving sectoral Ministries, States, experts, institutions, private sector and other key stakeholders. 
 
The ten themes identified are Economic Growth; Employment and job creation; informal sector and integration; fiscal framework; monetary policy; public expenditure; institutions of Economic Governance; Agriculture & Animal Husbandry; Patterns of Consumption & Production and Social Sector.
 
Another key issue recognized was the need for effective tracking of key economic parameters, through possible mechanisms for instituting an Economy Track Monitor, using lead indicators and triggers for action, based on informed assessment and analysis. It was also agreed that specific issue papers will also be brought out by members to address key concerns and linkages will be established with key national institutions.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Apart from Dr. Debroy, the meeting was attended by members and leading economists Surjit Bhalla, Rathin Roy and Ashima Goyal and Member Secretary Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog and former Finance Secretary.
 
"The deliberations of the council took stock of the current economic, fiscal and monetary policy environment and identified key issues that it would focus on," the release said.
 
In his presentation, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian focused attention on accelerating economic growth, including investments and exports, using a combination of different policy levers.
 
"The deliberations of the new Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister also reflect its value addition as an independent institutional mechanism, to provide informed advice to the Prime Minister on addressing issues of macroeconomic importance and related aspects. It is clear that this Council is focused on critical interventions related to accelerating economic growth and employment over the next few months, with greater social and financial inclusion, based on rigorous economic analysis. The Council views its role as also being a catalyst for action, by both developing and enabling action recommendations through different stakeholders," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

CCEA approves SANKALP and STRIVE schemes to boost Skill India Mission

ADVERTISEMENT
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved two new World Bank-supported schemes with a total outlay of Rs. 6,655 crore -- Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Skill Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE). 
 
An official press release saidSANKALP is Rs 4,455 crore Centrally-sponsored scheme including Rs. 3,300 crore loan support from World Bank whereas STRIVE is a Rs. 2,200 crore Central sector scheme, with half of the scheme outlay as World bank loan assistance. 
 
"SANKALP and STRIVE are outcome focused schemes marking shift in government's implementation strategy in vocational education and training from inputs to results," it said.
 
The release said there has been a long-felt need for a national architecture for promoting convergence, ensuring effective governance and regulation of skill training and catalysing industry efforts in vocational training space. 
 
"The two schemes shall address this need by setting up national bodies for accreditation and certification which shall regulate accreditation and certification in both long- and short-term Vocational Education and Training (VET). The architecture shall help, for the first time in the history of vocational education in India, to converge the efforts of various central, state and private sector institutions thereby avoiding duplication of activities and bringing about uniformity in vocational training thus, creating better impact," it said.
 
The release said both the schemes are aimed at institutional reforms and improving quality and market relevance of skill development training programmes in long-and short-term VET. 
 
"In past many government schemes such as Vocational Training Improvement Project (VTIP) have focussed on strengthening ITIs and over 1600 ITIs have already been modernized under the schemes. STRIVE scheme shall incentivize ITIs to improve overall performance including apprenticeship by involving SMEs, business association and industry clusters. The schemes aim to develop a robust mechanism for delivering quality skill development training by strengthening institutions such as State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), ITIs and National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) etc. The schemes shall support universalization of National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) including National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) across the skill development schemes of central and state governments thus ensuring standardization in skill delivery, content and training output. 
 
"The schemes shall provide the required impetus to the National Skill Development Mission, 2015 and its various sub missions. The schemes are aligned to flagship Government of India programs such as Make in India and Swachhta Abhiyan and aim at developing globally competitive workforce for domestic and overseas requirements. To this end, over 700 industry led institutions are being set up for providing job oriented skill training to lakhs of aspirants. An innovative challenge fund model has been employed to select and support proposals to set up such institutions in identified sectors and geographies. 66+ India International stalling institutions are being promoted to focus upon skill training as per global standards for overseas placements. Over 30,000 aspirants shall be trained in IISCs and get certificates from International Awarding Bodies (lABs). Upgrading 500 ITIs, as model ITIs across India and improving their industry connect, is also envisaged by ushering in reforms such as on-line examination, centralised admission, improving efficiency and transparency in the system. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"National Policy of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 highlighted the need of quality assurance measures such as building a pool quality trainers and assessors. SANKALP envisages setting up of Trainers and Assessors academies with self-sustainable models. Over 50 such academies are to be set up in priority sectors. DOT, MSDE has already made significant progress in this direction by setting up a number of Institutes for Training of Trainers (IToT) in public and private sector, offering training in over 35 trades. The schemes shall leverage such institutions for training the trainers in both long & short term VET thereby bringing about convergence. Additional trainer academies shall be set up on the basis of identified sectoral and geographical gaps. 
 
"Greater decentralization in skill planning will be ensured by institutional strengthening at the State level which includes setting up of State Skill Development Missions (SSDMs) and allowing states to come up with District and State level Skill Development Plans (DSDP/SSDP) and design skill training interventions to suit the local needs. SANKALP aims at enhancement of inclusion of marginalized communities including women. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Schedule Tribes (STs) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to provide skill training opportunities to the underprivileged and marginalised section of the society. 
 
"The schemes will develop a skilling ecosystem that will support the country's rise in the Ease of Doing Business index by steady supply of skilled workforce to the industry. The schemes will also work towards increasing the aspirational value of skill development programs by increasing the marketability of skills, through better industry connect and quality assurance," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Direct tax collections up to September in 2017-18 up 15.8%: Govt.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Government today said the provisional figures of direct tax collections up to September, 2017 showed that net collections are up 15.8 percent at Rs. 3.86 lakh crore as compared to the  net collections for the corresponding period of last year.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Finance said net direct tax collections represented 39.4% of the total Budget Estimates of direct taxes for FY 2017-18 (Rs. 9.8 lakh crore).
 
Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 10.3% to Rs. 4.66 lakh crore during April-September, 2017. Refunds amounting to Rs. 79,660 crore have been issued during April-September, 2017. 
 
The release said an amount of Rs. 1.77 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to 30th September, 2017 reflecting a growth of 11.5% over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year. 
 
The growth in Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Advance Tax is 8.1% and that in Personal Income Tax (PIT) Advance Tax is 30.1%, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

GST rate structure for petroleum and oil sector

ADVERTISEMENT
Offshore works contract services and associated services relating to oil and gas exploration and production in the offshore areas beyond 12 nautical miles shall attract Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 12%, an official press release said here today.
 
The release said this was among the recommendations for GST rate structure for Specified Goods and Services made by the GST Council at its 22nd meeting here on October 6.
 
The recommendations were made to reduce the cascading of taxes arising on account of non-inclusion of petrol, diesel, aviation turbine fuel (ATF), natural gas and crude oil in GST and to incentivise investments in the exploration and production (E&P) sector and downstream sector.
 
Accordingly, transportation of natural gas through pipeline will attract GST of 5% without input tax credits (ITC) or 12% with full ITC.
 
Import of rigs and ancillary goods imported under lease will be exempted from IGST, subject to payment of appropriate IGST on the supply/import of such lease service and fulfilment of other specified conditions.
 
Further, GST rate on bunker fuel is being reduced to 5%, both for foreign going vessels and coastal vessels.
 
Notifications to give effect to the above proposals will be issued shortly, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Global crude oil price of Indian basket rises to $ 54.79/bbl

ADVERTISEMENT
The international crude oil price of the Indian basket, as computed and published today by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, rose to $ 54.79 per barrel (bbl) yesterday from $ 54.24 per bbl on the previous day.
 
In rupee terms, the price of the Indian basket increased to Rs. 3576.02 per bbl on 10.10.2017 as compared to Rs. 3542.48 per bbl on 9.10.2017, an official press release said.
 
The rupee closed stronger at Rs. 65.27 per US$ on 10.10.2017 as compared to 65.31 per US$ on 9.10.2017, it added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering wins Rs. 1150 crore contract from ONGC

ADVERTISEMENT
L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited (LTHE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro, has bagged an offshore contract valued at approximately Rs. 1150 crore (about $ 177 million) for the Daman Development Project from the public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
 
The contract, won against international competitive bidding, encompasses total Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation and Commissioning (EPCIC) for the project, a press release from the company said.
 
The project, part of ONGC’s strategy to extract gas from Daman Field, is situated in the south western part of Tapti - Daman block in Mumbai Offshore, located at about 160-200 km north-west of Mumbai and 160 km west of Daman.
 
The release said L&T has been serving the upstream hydrocarbon sector since the early 1990s. "This contract reiterates the long term association of ONGC with L&T in the development of offshore fields in India," it said.
 
The company’s offshore track record includes successful completion of several challenging projects for domestic and international clients. LTHE provides complete EPCIC solutions for the offshore oil & gas industry combining customized engineering, procurement, fast-track project management and world-class fabrication and sea installation capabilities meeting stringent timelines, conforming to international safety standards, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister (EAC-PM) to hold its first meeting tomorrow

ADVERTISEMENT
The first meeting of the newly constituted Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) will be held at NITI Aayog here tomorrow.
 
The council, headed by NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy, includes Mr. Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser NITI Aayog as Member-Secretary and Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Dr. Rathin Roy and Dr. Ashima Goyal as part time Members.
 
"With the constitution of the council, the Government has set up a unique independent institutional mechanism. This is mandated to analyze all critical issues, economic or otherwise referred to it by the Prime Minister and advising him thereon. It is also required to address issues of macro-economic importance and presenting views thereon," an official press release said.
 
In accordance with this mandate, the council held a brainstorming session with stakeholders at NITI Aayog yesterday in the run-up to its first meeting.
 
"The council will address all issues of emergent importance, will engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and formulate advice accordingly," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Global crude oil price of Indian basket falls to $ 55.24/bbl

ADVERTISEMENT
The international crude oil price of the Indian basket, as computed and published today by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, fell to $ 54.24 per barrel (bbl) yesterday from $ 55.27 per bbl on the previous publishing day of October 6.
 
In rupee terms, the price of the Indian basket decreased to Rs. 3542.48 per bbl on 9.10.2017 as compared to Rs. 3605.01 per bbl on 6.10.2017, an official press release said.
 
The rupee closed weaker at Rs. 65.31 per US$ on 9.10.2017 as compared to 65.23 per US$ on 6.10.2017, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

L&T emerges as lowest bidder for EESL's tender for smart metres

ADVERTISEMENT
Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has emerged as the lowest bidder of the tender issued by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to procure 50 Lakh smart metres with a price of Rs. 2722 per single phase smart metre.
 
The company has been selected through an international competitive bidding. The price quoted by it is 40-50% lower than the current market rates, an official press release said.
 
The metres will be installed over a period of three years in a phased manner in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Haryana.
 
The tender floated by EESL, a company under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power, Government of India (GoI), is the world’s largest single smart metre procurement. As many as 14 leading manufacturers from around the world participated in the tender.
 
The release said 40 lakh smart metres would be deployed in UP and 10 lakh in Haryana. 
 
Smart metres are a part of the overall Advanced Metering Infrastructure Solutions (AMI) aimed at better demand response designed to reduce energy consumption during peak hours. The overall AMI solution will also have a system integrator who will be responsible for meter installation, data storage on cloud, preparing dashboards, and so on. The bids for the system integrator will open on October 31, 2017, it said.
 
The metres are being procured for implementation of smart grid projects in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh since these states grapple with huge AT&C losses, with the latest figures for both states being 28.42% and 34.36%, respectively. The smart metres will help these states in not only significantly reducing their AT&C losses by way of increased billing efficiency, but will completely change the way in which electrical energy is presently being consumed and paid for by the consumers, the release said. 
 
"Installation of these smart metres along with its associated communication and IT infrastructure will enable the discoms to obtain real time energy consumption data of each consumer for subsequent analysis," it said.
 
According to the release, the smart metres procured by EESL use GPRS technology to allow two-way communication between the discom and consumers. Once installed, an energy supplier can read a metre via the mobile phone network. Householders can also receive a digital display which helps them to access how much power they are consuming – and its cost – in real time. 
 
"Smart metres enable one to see the consumption pattern and the cost. This means one can adapt the energy use and cut down on waste to provide financial savings to consumers. They further provide an accurate and real-time information about the energy use, enabling one to take informed decisions about their energy behaviour," it said.
 
EESL is procuring the smart meters and services of the system integrator with 100% investment and the utilities will make zero-investment. The repayment to EESL will be through savings resulting from enhanced billing efficiency, avoided metre reading costs, and so on. It is said that the average cost of meter reading is Rs. 40 per metre, which will be completely avoided, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Modi meets oil and gas CEOs, underlines need for comprehensive energy policy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with global oil and gas CEOs and experts from across the world in New Delhi on Monday and agreed with them on the need for a comprehensive energy policy, saying that the status of the sector in India is highly uneven.

 
Modi interacts with global oil, gas CEOs, experts
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with global oil and gas CEOs and experts from across the world here today and agreed with them on the need for a comprehensive energy policy, saying that the status of the sector in India is highly uneven.
 
He also stressed the need to develop energy infrastructure and access to energy in Eastern India. He flagged the potential of biomass energy and also invited participation and joint ventures in coal gasification. He welcomed all possibilities for innovation and research in the oil and gas sector. 
 
Mr. Modi indicated that as India moves towards a cleaner and more fuel-efficient economy he also wants its benefits to expand horizontally to all sections of the society, and in particular to the poorest. 
 
The meeting was attended by, among others, CEOs and top officials from Rosneft, BP, Reliance, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Vedanta, Wood MacKenzie, IHS Markit, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Xcoal, ONGC, IndianOil, GAIL, Petronet LNG, Oil India, HPCL, Delonex Energy, NIPFP, International Gas Union, World Bank, and International Energy Agency.
 
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and R.K. Singh, and senior officials from NITI Aayog, Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Petroleum Ministry and Finance Ministry were also present. 
 
The meeting was coordinated by the NITI Aayog. In their brief opening remarks, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, and Mr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman NITI Aayog gave an overview of the work done in this sector. They also emphasized the expected growth in energy demand in India, and the significant progress made in electrification and LPG expansion. 
 
In a presentation NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant outlined the recent developments and challenges in the oil and gas sector in India. 
 
An official press release said various participants appreciated the progress and reforms made in India in the last three years. 
 
"Participants appreciated the pace and drive with which Prime Minister Modi has brought about reform in the energy sector. Subjects such as the need for a unified energy policy, contract frameworks and arrangements, requirement of seismic data sets, encouragement for biofuels, improving gas supply, setting up of a gas hub, and regulatory issues came up for discussion. Many participants strongly recommended the inclusion of gas and electricity in the GST framework," it said.
 
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia highlighted the recent decisions of the GST Council regarding the oil and gas sector. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Thanking the participants for sharing their views, the Prime Minister said that many suggestions received in the last meeting in 2016 had helped policy making. He also said that scope for reform in many areas still exists. The Prime Minister appreciated the suggestions made by the participants. 
 
The Prime Minister thanked all participants for sharing holistic suggestions, keeping in mind India's unique potential and requirements in the oil and gas sector, instead of merely confining themselves to the concerns of their respective organisations. 
 
He observed that the suggestions made today covered policy, administrative as well as regulatory issues. 
 
Mr. Modi thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russian oil giant Rosneft for their commitments and support to the energy sector in India. He appreciated the 2030 vision document of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Warmly recalling his visit to Saudi Arabia, he said many progressive decisions are being taken there in the energy sector. He looked forward to various opportunities for cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia in the near future. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Global crude oil price of Indian basket rises to $ 55.27/bbl

ADVERTISEMENT
The international crude oil price of the Indian basket, as computed and published today by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, rose to $ 55.27 per barrel (bbl) on October 6 from $ 55.23 per bbl on the previous day.
 
In rupee terms, the price of the Indian basket increased to Rs. 3605.01 per bbl on 6.10.2017 as compared to Rs. 3599.47 per bbl on 5.10.2017, an official press release said.
 
The rupee closed weaker at Rs. 65.23 per US$ on 6.10.2017 as compared to 65.18 per US$ on 5.10.2017, it added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Oil giant Saudi Aramco opens office in Delhi

ADVERTISEMENT
Oil giant Saudi Aramco opened Aramco Asia India's new office in Delhi yesterday, marking a significant milestone in its international portfolio expansion.
 
The office was inaugurated jointly by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Saudi Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser. Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to India Saud Alsati, senior Indian government officials and oil industry executives were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
“For Saudi Aramco of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India represents much more than a valued customer or even a major supplier of services and materials. Today, India is an investment priority,” said Mr. Nasser.
 
“We are here to meet India’s future energy demands by offering a strong relationship involving secure and reliable supply of energy feedstock to fuel India’s dynamic growth. And India has the necessary human capital and expertise that can help us grow from strength to strength," he said.
 
Mr. Pradhan said: “Today is a historic day for us with Aramco’s growing presence marking a new chapter in the relationship between Saudi Arabia and India. Aramco is a key partner for Indian refiners and there’s great potential to take our partnership to a higher level beyond the supply of crude oil, refined products and LPG to new areas of R&D, engineering and technology. In return, India can offer (competitive) cost and capacity advantages.”
 
Mr. Nasser said the company's presence in Delhi demonstrated its readiness to play a role in India's economic growth and development, which is expected to be the fastest in the next decade, on top of the company’s existing role as a leading oil supplier to India for many years.
 
“As reliable suppliers of oil and LPG for decades we are committed to providing those additional supplies that India will need,” he said.
 
A press release from the company said the Delhi office will play a major role in  attracting more Indian manufacturers and investors to participate in the company’s In-Kingdom Total Value Addition, or IKTVA program. It will also strive towards qualifying more vendors in commodities which Saudi Aramco requires for its projects and operations as well as strengthening R&D collaboration with Indian expertise and continuing the momentum of supply for the country’s oil and related products demand. India imports 81% of its oil need from abroad.
 
Saudi Arabia is the second largest supplier of crude to India after Iraq and it accounts for about 19% of the country's crude oil imports and also 29% of LPG imports. During 2016-17, India imported about 39.5 MMT of crude from Saudi Arabia. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

GST Council decides on relief package for exporters

ADVERTISEMENT
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley approved a major relief package for exporters at its 22nd meeting held here today.
 
The Council had last month set up a high power Committee on Exports under Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia to recommend suitable strategies for helping this sector in view of the difficulties faced by exporters, leading to a decline in export performance and competitiveness.
 
The committee had five senior Government functionaries from the Centre and an equal number from the States as members.
 
After wide-ranging discussions with major Export Promotion Councils including FIEO, AEPC, GJEPC, EEPC, CLE, CHEMEXIL, PARMAEXCIL and Handicrafts EPC, and so on, and interacting with all stakeholders the committee presented its recommendations to the Council today.
 
The Council identified that the major difficulties constraining the export sector are on account of delays in refunds of IGST and input taxes on exports and working capital blockage as exporters have to upfront pay GST on inputs and capital goods for export production or for procuring goods for export. 
 
Another difficulty was that the duty credit scrips such as MEIS were losing value due to its reduced usability as it could no longer be used to pay IGST / GST.
 
The Council was unanimous that it is in the national interest to take all possible measures to support the exporting community, which earns valuable foreign exchange and provides significant employment especially in the small and medium sector. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
An official press release said that, accordingly, the Council approved the following package of relief and incentives for exporters with immediate effect:
 
a.       Within the next 4 days i.e. by 10.10.2017 the held-up refund of IGST paid on goods exported outside India in July would begin to be paid. The August backlog would get cleared from 18.10.2017 and refunds for subsequent months would be handled expeditiously. Other refunds of IGST paid on supplies to SEZs and of inputs taxes on exports under Bond/LUT, shall be processed from 18.10.2017 onwards. For this, the Council agreed to suitably empower Central and State GST officers so that exporters get refunds from one authority only. Related matters of settlement of funds are being resolved.        
 
b.       To prevent cash blockage of exporters due to upfront payment of GST on inputs etc. the Council approved two proposals, one for immediate relief and the other for providing long term support to exporters. Immediate relief is being given by extending the Advance Authorization (AA) / Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) / 100% EOU schemes to sourcing inputs etc. from abroad as well as domestic suppliers. Holders of AA / EPCG and EOUs would not have to pay IGST, Cess etc. on imports. Also, domestic supplies to holders of AA / EPCG and EOUs would be treated as deemed exports under Section 147 of CGST/SGST Act and refund of tax paid on such supplies given to the supplier.
 
c.       Merchant exporters will now have to pay nominal GST of 0.1% for procuring goods from domestic suppliers for export. The details would be released soon.
 
d.      The permanent solution to cash blockage is that of "e-Wallet" which would be credited with a notional amount as if it is an advance refund. This credit would be used to pay IGST, GST etc. The details of this facility would be worked out soon. The Council desired that the “e-Wallet” solution should be made operational w.e.f. 1st April 2018.
 
e.       Exporters have been exempted from furnishing Bond and Bank Guarantee when they clear goods for export.
 
f.       Specified banks and Public Sector Units (PSUs) are being allowed to import Gold without payment of IGST. This can then be supplied to exporters as per a scheme similar to Advance Authorization.
 
g.       To restore the lost incentive on sale of duty credit scrips, the GST on sale-purchase of these scrips is being reduced from 5% to 0%.
 
h.       GST on bunker fuel is being reduced to 5% for both coastal vessels and foreign going vessels. This will boost coastal shipping. It will also improve India's competitiveness. 
 
"The Council is confident that these measures would provide immediate relief to the export sector and enhance export competitiveness of India. The Council also decided to continue to monitor the situation closely so that going forward all required support continues to be extended to this important sector," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Govt. rescinds notification relating to gems and jewellery sector

ADVERTISEMENT
The Government today said it had decided to rescind the Notification No. 4/2017 dated 23rd August, 2017 relating to Gems and Jewellery sector and that another notification would be issued separately in due course.
 
A press release from the Ministry of Finance said the Government had received representations from various associations in the Gems and Jewellery sector with respect to certain incongruities in the notification, wherein dealers in precious metals, precious stones and other high value goods were notified as person carrying on designated business and professions under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002.
 
Under the provisions of the notification, various compliances under the PMLA were required to be undertaken by the Gems and Jewellery sector, which was to be overseen by the Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI). These included the requirement under Rule 9 of the PMLA Rules, whereby a reporting entity must verify the identity of its clients, via a KYC process, for every transaction of Rs. 50,000 or more (whether conducted as a single transaction or several transactions that appear to be connected).
 
"After considering various aspects of the issue, the Government has decided to rescind the said notification. 
 
"A separate notification after due consideration of points raised and wider stakeholder consultation in this regard, shall be issued in due course," the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

GST Council provides relief for SMEs, exporters; tweaks tax rates

The GST Council on Friday raised the threshold for taxpayers to avail of the composition scheme to Rs. 1 crore in annual aggregate turnover as against the current limit of Rs. 75 lakh as part of a series of decisions aimed at easing the burden of compliance for small and medium enterprises.

 
GST Council meet: e-wallets to be introduced for exporters
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council today raised the threshold for taxpayers to avail of the composition scheme to Rs. 1 crore in annual aggregate turnover as against the current limit of Rs. 75 lakh as part of a series of decisions aimed at easing the burden of compliance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
 
At its 22nd meeting here, the GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, decided that the threshold of turnover for special category States, except Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand, shall be increased to Rs. 75 lakh from Rs. 50 lakh. The turnover threshold for Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand shall be Rs. 1 crore. 
 
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Mr. Jaitley said the facility of availing composition under the increased threshold shall be available to both migrated and new taxpayers up to 31.03.2018. The option once exercised shall become operational from the first day of the month immediately succeeding the month in which the option to avail the composition scheme is exercised. 
 
New entrants to this scheme shall have to file the return in FORM GSTR-4 only for that portion of the quarter from when the scheme becomes operational and shall file returns as a normal taxpayer for the preceding tax period. 
 
"The increase in the turnover threshold will make it possible for greater number of taxpayers to avail the benefit of easier compliance under the composition scheme and is expected to greatly benefit the MSME sector," he said.
 
Mr. Jaitley said that persons who are otherwise eligible for composition scheme but are providing any exempt service (such as extending deposits to banks for which interest is being received) were being considered ineligible for the scheme. The meeting decided that such persons who are otherwise eligible for availing the composition scheme and are providing any exempt service, shall be eligible for the composition scheme, he said.
 
He said a Group of Ministers (GoM) shall be constituted to examine measures to make the composition scheme more attractive.
 
In relief for SMEs, the meeting decided to exempt those service providers, whose annual aggregate turnover is less than Rs. 20 lakh (Rs. 10 lakh in special category states except J&K) from obtaining registration under GST even if they are making inter-state taxable supplies of services.
 
Presently, anyone making inter-state taxable supplies, except inter-State job worker, is compulsorily required to register, irrespective of turnover.  
 
Mr. Jaitley said this measure is expected to significantly reduce the compliance cost of small service providers.
 
To facilitate the ease of payment and return filing for small and medium businesses with annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore, it has been decided that such taxpayers shall be required to file quarterly returns in FORM GSTR-1, 2 & 3 and pay taxes only on a quarterly basis, starting from the third quarter of this financial year, that is October-December, 2017. 
 
The registered buyers from such small taxpayers would be eligible to avail input tax credit (ITC) on a monthly basis. The due dates for filing the quarterly returns for such taxpayers shall be announced in due course. Meanwhile, all taxpayers will be required to file FORM GSTR-3B on a monthly basis till December, 2017. All taxpayers are also required to file FORM GSTR-1, 2 & 3 for the months of July, August and September, 2017. Due dates for filing the returns for the month of July, 2017 have already been announced. The due dates for the months of August and September, 2017 will be announced in due course.
 
The reverse charge mechanism under sub-section (4) of section 9 of the CGST Act, 2017 and under sub-section (4) of section 5 of the IGST Act, 2017 shall be suspended till 31.03.2018 and will be reviewed by a committee of experts. This will benefit small businesses and substantially reduce compliance costs, Mr. Jaitley said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
He said the requirement to pay GST on advances received was also proving to be burdensome for small dealers and manufacturers. In order to mitigate their inconvenience on this account, it has been decided that taxpayers having annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore shall not be required to pay GST at the time of receipt of advances on account of supply of goods. The GST on such supplies shall be payable only when the supply of goods is made.
 
The meeting noted that it had come to light that Goods Transport Agencies (GTAs) are not willing to provide services to unregistered persons. In order to remove the hardship being faced by small unregistered businesses on this account, the services provided by a GTA to an unregistered person shall be exempted from GST, Mr. Jaitley said.
 
He also said that, after assessing the readiness of the trade, industry and Government departments, it has been decided that registration and operationalization of TDS/TCS provisions shall be postponed till 31.03.2018.
 
He said the e-way bill system shall be introduced in a staggered manner with effect from 01.01.2018 and shall be rolled out nationwide with effect from 01.04.2018. This is in order to give trade and industry more time to acclimatize itself with the GST regime. 
 
The last date for filing the return in Form GSTR-4 by a taxpayer under composition scheme for the quarter July-September, 2017 shall be extended to 15.11.2017. Also, the last date for filing the return in Form GSTR-6 by an input service distributor for the months of July, August and September, 2017 shall be extended to 15.11.2017.
 
Invoice rules are being modified to provide relief to certain classes of registered persons.
 
The decisions have come at a time when there was considerable happiness among people, especially those running small and medium enterprises, about difficulties being faced by them in complying with the various requirements under the GST regime, which was rolled out with effect from July 1 this year.
 
The GST Council also brought down the tax rate on several products and services. The details can be seen here.
 
NNN
 

Related Stories

ADVERTISEMENT
 

GST Council rationalises rates on job work services

ADVERTISEMENT
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council, at its meeting here today, has decided on various measures aimed at providing relief to small and medium enterprises, including rationalisation of rates on job work services.
 
An official press release said that following were some of the decisions taken at the meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley:
 
Relief to small units:
 
1.      GST rates on job work services is being rationalised as follows:-
 
1.  Job work services in relation to all products falling in Chapter 71 (including imitation jewellery) -- 5%
2.  Job work services in relation to food and food products falling under Chapters 1 to 22 of the HS Code (except packing of processed milk into packets) -- 5%
3.  Job work services in relation to products falling under Chapters 23 of the HS Code except dog and cat food put up for retail sale (CTH 23091000) -- 5%
4.  Job work in relation to manufacture of umbrella -- 12%
5.  Job work in relation to manufacture of clay bricks falling under CTH 69010010 -- 5%
6.  Services by way of printing on job work basis or on goods belonging to others in relation to printing of all goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49, which attract GST @ 5% or Nil [Heading 9988] -- 5%
7.  Services by way of printing on job work basis or on goods belonging to others in relation to printing of all goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49, which attract GST @ 12% [Heading 9988] -- 12%
8.  Services by way of printing on job work basis or on goods belonging to others in relation to printing of goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49, other than those covered by (6) and (7) above, [Heading 9988] -- 18%
9. Services by way of printing in relation to printing of all goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49, which attract GST @ 5% or Nil, where only content is supplied by the publisher and the physical inputs including paper used for printing belong to the printer [(Heading 9989)] -- 12%
10. Services by way of printing of all goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49 which attract GST @12%, where only content is supplied by the publisher and the physical inputs including paper used for printing belong to the printer - 12%
11. Services by way of printing of all goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49 which attract GST @18% or above, where only content is supplied by the publisher and the physical inputs including paper used for printing belong to the printer -- 18%
12. To issue a clarification with regard to classification of printing products/ services.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
2.  If a dealer who makes supplies of goods and services referred to in clause (b) of paragraph 6 of Schedule II of CGST Act and /or also receives interest income or makes supply of any exempt service, (s)he will not be ineligible for the Composition Scheme under Section 10 provided all other conditions are met. Further, in computing his aggregate turnover in order to determine his eligibility for composition scheme, interest income and value of supply of any exempt services shall not be taken into account. Removal of Difficulty order under section 172 of CGST/SGST/UTGST Act will be issued.
 
3.  The services provided by a GTA to an unregistered person (under GST law) including unregistered casual taxable person other than the recipients liable to pay tax on GTA services under reverse charge shall be exempted from GST.
 
4.1  Leasing of vehicles purchased and leased prior to 1.7.2017, shall be taxed at 65% of the applicable GST + Cess rate. This reduced rate would be applicable for a period of 3 years with effect from 1st July 2017;
 
4.2  The vehicles covered by the above leases (i.e. leases of vehicles purchased and leased prior to 1.7.2017), when disposed off/ sold shall also be taxed at 65% of the applicable GST + Cess rate. This reduced rate would be applicable for a period of 3 years with effect from 1st July 2017;
 
4.3  Sale/supply of vehicles by a registered person, who had procured the vehicle prior to 1st July 2017 and has not availed input tax credit of central excise duty, VAT or any other taxes paid on such vehicles, would be taxed at 65% of the applicable GST + Cess rate. This reduced rate would be applicable for a period of 3 years with effect from 1st July 2017.
 
4.4       Sale by way of auction etc. of used vehicles, seized and confiscated goods, scrap etc by Central Government, State Government, Union Territory or a local authority, to any person, to be subjected to GST under reverse charge under section 9 (3) of the CGST Act.
 
5.    Transport of passengers by motor cab/ renting of motor cab:-
(i)     GST of 5% without ITC and 12% with full ITC available to transport of passengers by motor cab/ renting of motor cab shall be extended to any motor vehicle;
(ii) ITC of input services shall be allowed in the same line of business at GST rate of 5%
 
Other rate changes in services:
 
1.         Works contract services involving predominantly earth works (that is, constituting more than 75% of the value of the works contract) supplied to Central Government, State Governments, Local Authority, Governmental Authority or Government Entity shall be taxed at 5%.
 
2.         To expand the existing definition of Governmental Authority so as to include any authority set up to carry out any functions entrusted to a Panchayat under Article 243G of the Constitution.
 
3.         Supply of service or goods by a Government Entity to Central Government, State Government, Union Territory, Local Authority or any person specified by them against consideration received from them in the form of grants, shall be exempted.  “Government Entity” shall be defined as an authority or a board or any other body including a society, trust, corporation which is, -
(i)        set up by an Act of Parliament or State Legislature, or
(ii)      established by any government,
 with 90% or more participation by way of equity or control, to carry out a function entrusted by the Central Government, State Government or a local authority.
 
4.         The reduced rate of 12% on specified works contract services supplied to the Central Government, State Government, Union Territory, Local Authority and Governmental Authority shall be extended to a Government Entity, where such specified works contract services have been procured by the government entity in relation to the work entrusted to it by the Central Government, State Government, Union Territory or Local Authority.
 
5.         GST shall be levied @ 12% on works contract services in respect of offshore works contract relating to oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) in the offshore area beyond 12 nautical miles.
 
6.         GST shall be levied @ 12% with ITC or 5% without ITC for transportation of natural gas through pipeline.
 
7.         Exemption to annuity paid by NHAI (and State authorities or State owned development corporations for construction of roads) to concessionaires for construction of public roads.
 
8.            Upfront amount (called as premium, salami, cost, price, development charges or by any other name)  payable in respect of   service, by way of granting of long term lease  of thirty years, or more) of industrial plots or plots for development of infrastructure for financial business, provided by the State Government Industrial Development Corporations/ Undertakings or any other entity having 50% or more ownership  of Central Government, State Government, Union Territory to (a) industrial units or (b) developers in any industrial or financial business area, may be exempted from GST .
 
9.         The services provided by Overseeing Committee members to RBI shall be taxed under the reverse charge mechanism under section 9(3) of the CGST Act, 2017.
 
10.       Some other technical changes/amendments shall be made in notifications issued under CGST, IGST, UTGST and SGST Acts.
 
NNN
 

Related Stories

ADVERTISEMENT
 

India's forex reserves dip by $ 2.59 billion to $ 399.656 billion

ADVERTISEMENT
India's foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 2.59 billion to $ 399.656 billion during the week ended September 29, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had fallen by $ 262.3 million to $ 402.247 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had fallen by $ 2.565 billion to $ 375.186 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at  $ 20.692 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went down by $ 10 million to $ 1.502 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 15.2 million to $ 2.276 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Reliance sells its assets in Marcellus shale play of North-Eastern and Central Pennsylvania

ADVERTISEMENT
Reliance Marcellus II, LLC, a subsidiary of Reliance Holding USA, Inc. and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), today said it had signed agreements to divest all of its interest in certain upstream assets in north-eastern and central Pennsylvania.  
 
The assets, which are currently operated by Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc., were sold to BKV Chelsea, LLC, an affiliate of Kalnin Ventures LLC, for consideration of $126 million, subject to customary closing terms and conditions, a press release from the company said.
 
Additionally, Reliance could receive contingent payments of up to $11.25 million in aggregate based on natural gas prices exceeding certain thresholds over the next three years.
 
The assets produce mainly gas and are located in Susquehanna, Wyoming and Clearfield Counties of Pennsylvania.
 
Mr. Walter Van de Vijver, President and CEO of Reliance Holding USA, Inc., said: "This transaction represents an opportunistic sale of developed upstream Marcellus assets and ends a successful partnership of 7 years with Carrizo in a joint sale.  We will continue to actively manage the remainder of our US shale resources."  
 
The Carrizo operated acreage was one of the three upstream assets in the United States, owned by Reliance. Reliance remains invested in the Marcellus shale play via its non-operated position with Chevron in southwestern Pennsylvania and in the Eagle Ford play via its non-operated position with Pioneer in Texas, the release said.
 
"The sale of the assets will be consummated in accordance with the terms of a purchase and sale agreement, dated October 5, 2017, by and between Reliance and the buyer. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the third quarter of FY2018, with an April 1, 2017 effective date.
 
"Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. acted as financial advisor to Reliance, Haynes and Boone served as its legal counsel," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Global crude oil price of Indian basket rises to $ 55.23/bbl

ADVERTISEMENT
The international crude oil price of the Indian basket, as computed and published today by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, rose to $ 55.23 per barrel (bbl) yesterday from $ 54.60 per bbl on the previous day.
 
In rupee terms, the price of the Indian basket increased to Rs. 3599.47 per bbl on 5.10.2017 as compared to Rs. 3564.88 per bbl on 4.10.2017, an official press release said.
 
The rupee closed stronger at Rs. 65.18 per US$ on 5.10.2017 as compared to 65.29 per US$ on 4.10.2017, it added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Ginger Hotels launches its first hotel in Lucknow

ADVERTISEMENT
Ginger Hotels, the budget hotel chain from the Tata Group, has opened Ginger Hotel Lucknow, its first hotel in the capital of Uttar Pradesh.
 
A press release from Roots Corporation (RCL), which operates the Ginger chain of hotels, said the hotel is located in Gomti Nagar, the commercial hub of the city, a a short drive from the airport and the railway station.
 
The release said the hotel offers easy access to the business districts of Vibhuti Khand and Virat Khand and is located in close proximity to important government offices.
 
The hotel offers 72 rooms, free wi-fi, a multi-cuisine restaurant and a fitness centre, among other facilities.
 
Mr. Rahul Pandit, MD & CEO, Ginger Hotels, said, “We are proud to expand our presence in the cultural capital of north India. Ginger is the pioneer and the largest chain of branded budget hotels in India, with a resilient promise of safety, cleanliness, relaxing sleep experience, refreshing shower experience, a hearty breakfast and seamless wi-fi. We assure travellers of a consistently pleasant experience with us.”
 
Roots Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Indian Hotels Corporation (IHCL), was established in 2003.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Rajnath, Gadkari, on two-day visit to Andaman & Nicobar Islands

ADVERTISEMENT
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation for several national highways and shipping projects worth about Rs 1321 crore during their two-day visit to Andaman & Nicobar islands today and tomorrow.
 
They will lay the foundation stone for four National Highways projects worth Rs 1121 crore and several shipping projects worth Rs 200 crore at Port Blair, Diglipur and Baratang today and tomorrow, an official press release said.
 
The highways projects for which foundation stone will be laid include construction of 26 km of NH between Beodnabad- Ferrargunj at a cost of Rs 170 crore and 56 km of NH between Austin Creek and Kalra Junction at a cost of Rs 410 crore.
 
In addition, foundation stone will be laid for construction of Middle Strait Creek Bridge and Humphrey Strait Creek Bridge at an estimated cost of Rs 262.97 crore and Rs 277.17 crore, respectively.
 
Work is also in various stages of progress for other highway projects. National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is handling highways work amounting to Rs 6330 crore in A&N Islands. Much of these works pertain to rehabilitation and up-gradation of NH-4.
 
On the shipping side, an alternate sea route to Baratang Island will be launched. The project has been completed at a cost of Rs 45.16 crore and aims to improve connectivity of the island from Port Blair, reduce traffic on the route which passes through the Jarawa Tribal Reserve, thus promoting tourism without disturbing the tribal areas. 
 
The Ministers will also lay the foundation stone for extension of wharf in Hope Town, Port Blair by 200 meters at an expenditure of Rs 17.49 crore. The wharf is used by Indian Oil Corporation for discharging LPG and other petroleum products.
 
The extension of jetty would allow berthing of bigger vessels of upto 160 meter length and higher capacity. This will help in increasing availability of LPG cylinders in the area while reducing logistic costs. In addition to this, foundation stone will also be laid for construction of Additional Approach Jetty, an extension of Berthing Jetty  and dredging in front of jetty, Neil Island at a cost of Rs. 38.19 crore and extension of existing New Dry Dock – II in Port Blair at a cost of Rs 96.24 crore.
 
Shipping facilities in the inter-island sector are being augmented. New vessels are being constructed across various categories at a total cost of about Rs 1350 crore. In all, 25 ships are proposed for acquisition by the A&N Administration, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 

India gets lowest wind tariff of Rs. 2.64 per kWh in second wind auction of 1000 MW

ADVERTISEMENT
The wind tariff in India touched the lowest level of Rs.2.64 per kWh in the second wind auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on behalf of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India yesterday. 
 
The tariff discovered is much lower than the first wind auction concluded at Rs. 3.46 per kWh in February this year, an official press release said.
 
With improving technology and reducing tariffs, the Ministry is not only confident of achieving the target of 175 GW by 2022 but exceeding it, the release said.
 
Against the 1000 MW capacity, SECI received 12 bids totalling 2892 MW capacity of which 9 bids with a cumulative capacity of 2142 MW were shortlisted for e-reverse auction. The auction started at 3 pm on 4 October and continued for over 13 hours. Five winners selected for total 1000 MW capacity wind power projects include ReNew Power for 250 MW projects quoting Rs.2.64/kWh, Orange Sironj for 200 MW projects quoting Rs.2.64/kWh, Inox Wind for 250 MW projects quoting Rs.2.65/kWh, Green Infra for 250 MW projects quoting Rs.2.65/kWh and Adani Green for 50 MW projects quoting Rs.2.65/kWh.
 
These wind projects are to be commissioned within 18 months from the date of issue of Letter of Award by SECI to successful bidders, the release added.
 
As per provisions of the scheme, additional 100 MW capacity can be allotted to Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) willing to undertake development of inter-state transmission system (ISTS) connected wind power projects at the lowest bid tariff of Rs.2.64/kWh, for which they have to submit their proposal within 30 days from the declaration of results of e-reverse auction, it said.
 
The power from these projects will be supplied to obligated entities for fulfilment of their non-solar RPO obligation at pooled price of capacity selected, it said.
 
After success of first wind auction resulted in discovery of record low wind tariff of Rs. 3.46 per kWh in February 2017, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy sanctioned second wind auction scheme for setting up of 1000 MW ISTS connected Wind Power Projects on 4 May 2017. SECI issued bids on 30 May 2017 and bids were closed on 14 July 2017. Auction was earlier scheduled for 19 September 2017 and was postponed to 4 October 2017 as CERC order on the issue of grid connectivity that is being faced by the successful bidders in the first wind auction was awaited.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

India signs € 300 million finance contract with EIB for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II

ADVERTISEMENT
The Government of India and the European Investment Bank (EIB) today signed the Finance Contract for lending of € 300 million for Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II Line R6. 
 
The agreement was signed by Mr. S. Selvakumar, Joint Secretary (BC), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Andrew McDowell, Vice-President, EIB, on behalf of the EIB.
 
Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase II is to be jointly financed by the European Investment Bank (€500 million) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (€300 million). The first tranche of Euro 300 million was signed today. 
 
An official press release said the project envisages extension of East-West and North-South lines for Bangalore Metro Rail which includes a total length of 72.095 km (13.79 km underground) and 61 stations with 12 underground stations. The implementation period is five years from date of commencement of the project.
 
"The objective of the project is to bring in a quantum improvement in the transportation sector in the city in tandem with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and other modes of urban transport. The project aims to ensure modern transport facility for the commuters. The spinoffs of the project would include employment opportunities, benefits to the economy, reduction of number of vehicles on road, less fuel consumption, reduction in air pollution, reduction in passenger travel time and also improvement in the aesthetic value of the city," the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Global crude oil price of Indian basket falls to $ 54.60/bbl

ADVERTISEMENT
The international crude oil price of the Indian basket, as computed and published today by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, fell to $ 54.60 per barrel (bbl) yesterday from $ 55.02 per bbl on the previous day.
 
In rupee terms, the price of the Indian basket decreased to Rs. 3564.88 per bbl on 4.10.2017 as compared to Rs. 3606.86 per bbl on 3.10.2017, an official press release said.
 
The rupee closed stronger at Rs. 65.29 per US$ on 4.10.2017 as compared to 65.55 per US$ on 3.10.2017, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Modi defends Govt. on economic performance, says growth decline would be reversed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday strongly defended the performance of his Government on the economic front and acknowledged the slowdown in growth to 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, asserting that it was committed to reversing this trend.

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today strongly defended the performance of his Government on the economic front and acknowledged the slowdown in growth to 5.7 percent in the previous quarter, asserting that it was committed to reversing this trend.
 
Addressing the inaugural function of the Golden Jubilee Year of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) here, he said this was not the first time that economic growth had come down to such levels and said there were as many as eight instances during the ten-year rule of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government between 2004 and 2014.
 
He said the low growth rates on those occasions had been accompanied by higher Inflation, higher current account deficit and higher fiscal deficit.
 
In this context, Mr. Modi cautioned people against elements who only wish to spread a feeling of pessimism in the country.
 
At the outset, the Prime Minister said he was happy to be amongst Company  Secretaries, who are responsible for ensuring that companies follow the law, and maintain their accounts properly. He said their work helps establish the country's corporate culture. Their advice has a bearing on the country's corporate governance, he added.
 
He said there were a few people who attempt to weaken the honesty of the nation's social structures and lower the nation's dignity. He said that the Government is working towards cleansing the system of such elements.
 
Mr. Modi said that, as a result of the efforts of the Government, the economy is functioning with less cash. The cash to GDP ratio has come down to 9 per cent, from 12 per cent before demonetization, he said.
 
He said there was a time when India was considered to be part of the Fragile Five economies, which were dragging down global recovery. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
He said the Government had taken several reform-related decisions and the process would continue. He asserted that the country's financial stability would be maintained.
 
He said the steps taken by the Government would take the country to a new league of development in the years to come. He said that a premium would be placed on honesty, and the interests of the honest would be protected.
 
Mr. Modi gave details of the massive increase in investment and outlays in key sectors over the past three years. He said 87 reform measures had been carried out in 21 sectors in this period. 
 
The Prime Minister said that in the policy and planning of the Government, care is being taken to ensure that savings accrue to the poor and the middle class and their lives change for the better.
 
The Prime Minister asserted that as he works to empower the people and the nation, even though he faces criticism on some occasions, he cannot mortgage the country's future, for his own present.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.