Issue No. 30/2015-16 of E-News Letter - GCCI Weekly E-News Letter


Weekly E-News Letter
Issue No. 30/2015-16                                                      21st January 2016, Thursday
Trade & Industry

Cabinet approves new power tariff policy
The Cabinet has allowed amendments to the national tariff policy that provide for differential power prices in a day, and allow power companies to pass on central taxes to consumers and expand existing generation capacity by 100%.
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Government raises customs duty on certain specified medical devices
The government has raised customs duty on certain specified medical devices to 7.5 % from 5%. Exemption from additional customs duty (SAD) on these medical devices has also been withdrawn. These will now attract 4% SAD.
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Reform move: Government aims to halve pending tax disputes
The government plans to halve pending tax disputes as it looks to make the tax administration citizen-friendly. Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia has said that the government was moving to first unclog disputes at the level of tax department's commissioner (appeals), the first port of call for taxpayers, by seeking clearance of low-value cases.

Exports contract for 13th consecutive month; dip 15% in December
India's exports contracted for the 13th month in a row, dipping about 15 per cent in December to $22.2 billion due to steep decline in engineering and petroleum shipments. The total exports in 2015-16 will thus be lower than the previous fiscal's figure of $310.5 billion.

Services export falls 4% at $12 billion in November
Services exports fell by 3.8 per cent year-on-year to $12.01 billion in November 2015, the RBI data showed. Import of services too fell by 7.6 per cent to $5.69 billion in the month last year compared to November 2014, according to the RBI data on International Trade in Services. In October 2015, services exports stood at $13.34 billion while imports were at $7.01 billion.

Gujarat government announces Ship Recycling Policy 2015
The Government of Gujarat has today announced ship recycling policy – 2015. The new policy shall be reviewed after three years period. The policy aims to revive the ship recycling industry at Alang ship breaking yard in Bhavnagar district which is at present witnessing slowdown.
Gujarat has 2nd highest share in proposed MSMEs
Gujarat has garnered second highest share (16%) in over 3.62 lakh entrepreneurs memorandum (part-II) filed by MSMEs across India, as of financial year 2013-14. In this, Gujarat ranks only after Tamil Nadu (32%), according to a recently published study by apex industry body Assocham. The study further states that Uttar Pradesh (12.5%), Karnataka (7.2%) and Maharashtra (5.5%) were among the top five states in terms of state-wise distribution of entrepreneur memorandums (part-II) filed by the MSME sector in India.
Economic & Financial

FDI flows to India doubles to $59 billion in 2015: Report
FDI flows to India nearly doubled to $59 billion in 2015, largely boosted by steps taken by the government to improve investment climate, according to UNCTAD's latest report on global investment flows. Globally, FDI flows surged 36% to an estimated $1.7 trillion, their highest level since the financial crisis of 2008-09. This sharp rise was on account of a higher cross-border M&A value and not because of rise in greenfield projects.
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Wholesale Price Index falls for 14th straight month, declines 1.99% in November
Wholesale prices in India fell for the 14th straight month in December, mainly on account of a global crash in crude oil, though the pace of decline eased substantially from a few months ago. WPI fell 0.73 per cent from a year ago, compared with 1.99 per cent decline in November and 0.5 per cent fall in the corresponding month of the previous year.
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Indian firms most optimistic about economic recovery in 2016: Grant Thornton report
Indian business leaders have emerged as the most optimistic lot globally about economic recovery in 2016, largely owing to a pro-reforms government, recent policy announcements and regulatory changes, a Grant Thornton report says.  According to the Report, a quarterly global survey of 2,580 business leaders across 36 economies, 89 per cent of the respondents in India expressed confidence in the stable government and expect economic recovery.
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Center notifies revised standards for CETPs to minimize water pollution
The Center has notified revised standards for CETPs, operating at various industrial clusters in the country, to minimize water pollution. The revised standards, notified by the Union Environment Ministry on January 1, will help in significantly improving the performance of CETPs through implementation of design inlet quality, addressing the problems of the coastal pollution due to industrial discharges and keeping a close watch on the impact of discharge of industrial effluent on soil and ground water quality.
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Government takes on mining mafia with new rules
Seeking to strike a balance between construction as well as ecological concerns, the Centre has notified a policy of granting environmental clearances for minor minerals, including sand, and has come out with guidelines to monitor present mining activities. Under the new policy, the environment ministry has for the first time delegated the power of granting environmental clearances (ECs) for leases up to 5 hectares to district level committees.

Government offers Rs 1,500 per tons assistance on city compost sale
Government has approved assistance of Rs 1,500 per tons on sale of compost made from municipal solid waste, which can be used as organic fertilizer by farmers. The market development assistance is expected to lower the retail price for farmers.

Ankleshwar industry players seek review by CPCB
A delegation of Ankleshwar Industries Association (AIA) has urged Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to review the status of the industrial zone, which currently falls under the ‘critically polluted’ zone. The industrial zone in Bharuch district, around 100 kms away from here, was earmarked under “critically polluted” category by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in 2010.

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