Daily Economic News 8 Dec 2016

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09 Dec, 2016

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Indian Economy News

December 8, 2016

ND has initiated a new section of daily news, where our news desk compiles the latest news on the Indian economy, to keep our readers abreast and updated on daily economic state of affairs.

The economy news compilations bring business news reports that are relevant today and tomorrow, based on the new pattern of current affairs, and for English awareness. This gives vital inputs on the various sectors of the Indian Industry and trade.economic-news-9

PMFBY has provided coverage to 366.64 lakh farmers (26.50%) and at this rate it is likely to exceed the target of 30% coverage for both Kharif and Rabi seasons in 2016-17

Press Information Bureau:  December 08, 2016

The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) launched in the country from Kharif 2016 has made impressive progress in the first season itself. As on date the scheme has provided coverage to 366.64 lakh farmers (26.50%) and at this rate it is likely to exceeding the target of 30% coverage for both Kharif and Rabi seasons in 2016-17.

In terms of total area covered the achievement has been significant amounting to a total area of 388.62 lakh ha. and sum insured of Rs. 141339 crore. The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was recast as a new scheme by the Government as the earlier existing insurance schemes were not meeting the full requirements of the farmers for insurance coverage.

The performance this season has improved by 18.50% in terms of farmers coverage, 15% in terms of area coverage and 104% in terms of sum insured in comparison to Kharif 2015, which happened to be one of the worst drought affected seasons when the number of farmers covered was 309 lakh (22.33%), total area coverage was 339 lakh ha. and sum insured was Rs. 69307 crore. The performance in Kharif 2016 is better despite the fact that there were teething issues to begin with. For instance, many States did the bidding process for selection of the insurance companies for concerned clusters for the first time and consequently, the notification of the scheme was delayed in a number of States.

The achievements in Kharif 2016 as compared to Kharif 2015 are notable specially as in Kharif 2015 in most of the States the cut-off date for availing insurance for loanee farmers was 30th September, 2016 and the enrolment under crop insurance shot up after prolonged spell of drought, whereas this year has been one of normal monsoons and window for availing insurance was much smaller with the cut-off date for availing insurance being 31st July, 2016, which was later extended to 10th of August, 2016.

Furthermore there has been a quantum jump of more than 6 times in the coverage of non-loanee farmers from 14.88 lakh in Kharif 2015 to 102.6 lakh in Kharif 2016, which shows that the scheme has been well received by the non-loanee segment. Another significant achievement in this season has been 104% enhancement in sum insured. This was made possible as PMFBY mandates that the sum insured must be equal to the Scale of Finance and therefore, reflects better risk coverage of farmers in comparison to earlier schemes.

PSLV-C36 Successfully Launches RESOURCESAT-2A Remote Sensing Satellite

Press Information Bureau:  December 08, 2016

New Delhi: In its thirty eighth flight (PSLV-C36), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 1,235 kg RESOURCESAT-2A Satellite today morning (December 07, 2016) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty seventh consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

After PSLV-C36 lift-off at 10:25 am IST from the First Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events, namely, strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, payload fairing separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and cut-off, took place as planned. After a flight of 17 minutes 05 seconds, the vehicle achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 824 km height inclined at an angle of 98.725 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and 47 seconds later, RESOURCESAT-2A was separated from the PSLV fourth stage.

After separation, the two solar arrays of RESOURCESAT-2A deployed automatically and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide imagery from its three cameras. The data sent by RESOURCESAT-2A will be useful for agricultural applications like crop area and crop production estimation, drought monitoring, soil mapping, cropping system analysis and farm advisories generation.

Like its predecessors RESOURCESAT-1 and 2, RESOURCESAT-2A has a unique 3-Tier imaging system with Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS), Linear Imaging Self Scanner-3 (LISS-3) and Linear Imaging Self Scanner-4 (LISS-4) cameras. The AWiFS provides images with a sampling of 56 metres, a swath of 740 km and a revisit of 5 days whereas the LISS-3 provides 23.5 metre sampled images with 141 km swath and a repitivity of 24 days. LISS-4 provides 5.8 metre sampled images with 70 km swath and a revisit of 5 days.

With today’s launch, the PSLV has yet again demonstrated its reliability. The total number of satellites launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV including today’s RESOURCESAT-2A has now reached 122, of which 43 are Indian and the remaining 79 are from abroad.

Three new Institutes of AYUSH to become operational soon: Shri Shripad Naik

Press Information Bureau:  December 08, 2016

New Delhi: Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission(NAM), the Central Government is providing financial assistance to State/UT Governments for co-location of AYUSH facilities at Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs) and District Hospitals (DHs), setting up of 50 bedded integrated AYUSH hospitals and upgradation of AYUSH hospitals/dispensaries. In addition, Central Government is also providing assistance for supply of AYUSH medicines for the treatment of common diseases.

The All India Institute of Ayurveda established at New Delhi is to be operational during the current year 2016-17. The Institute has been conceived as an Apex Institute of Ayurveda with 200 bedded referral hospital for imparting education in the field of Ayurveda at M.D. and Ph.D level.

The construction work of the following two new Institutes is complete and these Institutes are to be operational during the current year 2016-17:

(i) North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Homoeopathy (NEIAH), Shillong: A state of the art Institute, consisting of Ayurveda College and Homoeopathy College, alongwith attached hospital, of Ayurveda and Homoeopathy of 100 beds and 50 beds respectively. The objective of the institute is to provide better medical/clinical facilities to the people of North East region and Sikkim.

(ii) North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM), Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh: It is a Centre of Excellence and Apex Research Centre for all aspects of Folk Medicine knowledge. The objective of the Institute is to provide better medical/clinical facilities in the region.

The Govt. has also planned to establish an All India Institute of Homoeopathy at Narela, Delhi and All India Institute of Unani Medicine at Ghaziabad.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri ShripadYesso Naik in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India

Press Information Bureau:  December 08, 2016

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and United Kingdom (UK) to support Ease of Doing Business in India. The MoU was signed earlier this month.

The MoU shall enable exchange of officials from both the Governments to facilitate sharing of best practises, offering technical assistance and enhanced implementation of reforms. The collaboration shall also cover State Governments in its ambit. The UK government has shown interest to offer expertise in the following areas:

  1. a)   Support to small businesses and start ups
  2. b) Starting business and registration
  3. c) Paying taxes and tax administration
  4. d) Insolvency
  5. e) Construction permits
  6. f)  Getting electricity
  7. g) Risk based framework for inspection and regulatory regimes
  8. h) Trading across the borders
  9. i) Competition economics
  10. j)  Getting credit
  11. k)  Drafting of laws and regulations
  12. I)   Reducing stock and flow of regulation
  13. m) Impact assessment of regulations

Currently, India is ranked 130th out of 190 economies (as per Doing Business Report, 2017). The UK Government has achieved phenomenal improvement in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings in recent years. The beneficiaries include the officials from Central Government Ministries / Departments and State Governments through sharing of best practises, capacity building etc. Each side shall bear the cost of travel and logistics for its officials as well as for co-hosting trainings/ seminar/conferences.

The MoU shall facilitate various agencies of the UK government to offer professional courses on better regulation drafting for officials, capacity-building of frontline inspectors, sharing of best practises, etc. The collaboration is expected to expedite adoption of innovative practises by the Government of India, State Governments and their agencies leading to easing of regulatory environment in the country and fostering of conducive business climate in India.

DineEquity, Kwal’s ink pact for 20 IHOP restaurants in India

Economic Times:  December 08, 2016

New Delhi: Global multi-brand restaurant company DineEquity Inc has signed a franchisee partnership deal with food services firm Kwal’s Group, to bring in breakfast chain IHOP in the country, as it looks to leverage its equity in the intensely competitive eating out sector.

India is the nineteenth country the NYSE-listed DineEquity, franchisor of Applebee’s Grill and Bar and IHOP restaurants, is setting up presence in, with the objective of expanding its footprint across different markets.

The first of the stores is expected to come up in early 2017, Beatrice Carvalho, DineEquity director, international marketing, said. The firm and its local partner expect to infuse Rs 100 crore worth of investments and set up 20 stores across Indian cities over the next decade.

“This is a growing economy and consumers are being exposed to different tastes and cultures. We are creating a new category here and not necessarily competing with anyone,” Carvalho said.

The California-based DineEquity has been largely focused on three regions for international expansion — Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. A company statement said its existing store strength includes over 3,700 restaurants across 18 countries in partnership with 400 franchisees.

However, over the last seven quarters at least, growth in the eating out sector in the country has stalled to low single digits, with consumers cutting back discretionary spends, further fuelled by last month’s currency ban.


Alvarez & Marsal to increase headcount, presence in India

Livemint:  December 08, 2016

Mumbai: Turnaround specialist Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) is looking to increase the number of employees in India, the consulting firm’s biggest market outside the US and Europe, said top executives.

“From a headcount perspective this (India) is the fastest growing region outside of the US for us. So it’s extremely important,” said Nick Alvarez, managing director and national practice leader of A&M’s private equity performance improvement group and transaction advisory group. “Our largest market is the US followed by the UK and Europe and I would say that India has become the third.”

A&M is looking to increase its India headcount to 125 from 95 currently, and is also looking to set up an office in Delhi, said Vikram Uttamsingh, co-head of A&M India. It currently operates from its Mumbai office.

“We are thinking of setting up a risk management vertical for banks. That’s an opportunity that we see here in India. We will look to do that sometime next year,” he said.

A&M is also in the process of setting up an office in Delhi.

“We have decided to set up a Delhi office, because we think that is a big market for us on the restructuring side, both with the banks and corporates. We are in the process of hiring a leader for the Delhi office, which will be a managing director level hire,” he said.

The consulting firm is targeting a growth of 50% in its top line by next year, he added.

The firm has seen a strong expansion in the last couple of years in terms of service lines as well as headcount.

“In the last two and half years, we have gone from 10 people to 95. We have built out our restructuring practice, we started our private equity (PE) performance improvement practice last year. We have started financial due diligence, commercial due diligence couple of years ago. We have built out corporate finance and forensics,” Uttamsingh said, adding that all of these services have been added in the last two and a half years.

Alvarez & Marsal, whose employees ran Lehman Brothers Inc. after the investment bank collapsed in 2008, was hired by Jet Airways (India) Ltd to turn around its business.

According to Alvarez, the firm’s restructuring business has acted as its beachhead when entering most new markets, including India.

“When we initially start in international offices we would start with more restructuring, turnaround type of work and resources alongside general performance improvement consulting. And then as the market, from our perspective, would develop and our brand would develop, we would then follow with expansion and diversity with different services. We are starting to see that now here in the Indian market,” said Alvarez, adding that it usually takes around five years for the brand to get established.

Besides, A&M’s focus on operational expertise differentiates it from the big four audit firms and the top consulting firms, he said.

A&M competes with the big four accounting firms EY, PwC, Deloitte and KPMG as well as management consulting firms such as Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co.

“The big four are still largely audit-based firms. On the other hand, you have the large bracket strategy firms Bain, McKinsey, BCG, but they are largely strategy. Our heritage is operations. All the senior people that we are looking to bring in are people who have line experience, so that when we are providing advice to our clients, it’s not a conceptual approach. We are also not like an investment bank. We don’t want to be in league tables,” said Alvarez.

In India, the firm is seeing strong traction in business from private equity funds, given the increasing trend of buyouts and more funds hiring operating partners, said Alvarez.

Over the last three years, control deals or buyouts have shown a significant increase in India with controlling stake deals increasing to 30% of the overall deal value in H12016 compared to about 8% three years ago, according to a survey of over 20 PE firms active in India, conducted by A&M’s Performance Improvement group.

To Know:

What is Unified Payment Interface?

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced on Thursday that bank applications for the Unified Payment Interface have officially become operational, which means that UPI apps of banks can now be downloaded and used for transactions:

What is UPI and what can a user do with the app?

UPI is a payment system that allows money transfer between any two bank accounts by using a smartphone.

UPI allows a customer to pay directly from a bank account to different merchants, both online and offline, without the hassle of typing credit card details, IFSC code, or net banking/wallet passwords.

How can one download the UPI app?

The UPI app of 19 banks — Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bhartiya Mahila Bank, Canara Bank, Catholic Syrian Bank, DCB Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, TJSB Sahakari Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Karnataka Bank, UCO Bank, Union Bank of India, United Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, South Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank and YES Bank — will be available on the Google Play Store of Android phones in the next few days for customers to download.

Steps to get started with UPI

  1. Download the app from Play Store and install in phone; 2. Set app login; 3. Create virtual address; 4. Add your bank account; 5. Set M-Pin; and 6. Start transacting using UPI

How safe is UPI?

It is safe as the customers only share a virtual address and provide no other sensitive information.

What kind transactions can be performed via UPI?

Merchant payments, remittances, bill payments among others.

Is there a per transaction limit?

The per transaction limit is Rs.1 lakh.

How exactly does one make a payment transaction?

A user can make an in-app payment for goods or services purchased online.

For instance a site allows purchase of a movie-on-demand.

User clicks buy, the site/app triggers the UPI payment link and is taken to the pay screen of the UPI app, where the transaction information is verified and a click followed by entry of a secure PIN completes the purchase.


The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.

Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.


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