CAD hit government plans to roll-out new trade policy on Apr 18

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Hit by sluggish exports and record high Current Account Deficit (CAD), the government on Wednesday said it will roll-out a forward looking Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) on April 18 which will help improve shipments. “A forward looking pragmatic foreign trade policy will be announced on April 18,” Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said while addr

India-Eurasia economic commission agrees upon initiating talks on CECA

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India and Eurasian economic commission have agreed to initiate negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Customs Union (CU). The union includes countries like Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. During the bilateral meeting with Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Viktor Khristenko

India's swollen CAD coming closer to Panama & Turkey than BRICS

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Widening trade gap and frugal growth in the merchandise exports in India has altogether led the country’s current account deficit (CAD) shot up to a record high of 6.7 per cent of GDP in the October-December quarter. Moreover, the imports shooting up to 9.4 per cent owing to oil and gas importations is also a culprit giving rise to a high CAD. T

Business mood is unduly pessimistic today: PM

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Addressing the CII annual general meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that the business mood is ‘unduly pessimistic’ today as it was ‘unduly optimistic’ in 2007 and needs correction. Singh expressed disappointment over 5 per cent growth currently but at the same time also exuded confidence over achieving 8

Union cabinet defers on regulator bill for real estate sector

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The Union Cabinet has deferred considering a draft law to set up a regulator for the real estate sector. The regulator will be offering provisions for jail term for the developer for putting out misleading advertisements about projects. The proposed regulator also seeks to make it compulsory for developers to launch projects only after obtaining all t

March services PMI slips to 17-month low

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India’s services sector grew at a slowest pace in 17 months during the month of March due to deceleration in new business flows, intensifying the problems for the economy which is struggling to revive growth from decade-low level and rein in its twin deficits. The HSBC’s services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which surveys around

NABARD sanctions Rs 116 cr for two projects in Punjab

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National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development's (NABARD) has sanctioned funding of two projects worth Rs 116 crore for rehabilitation of water-logged and degraded areas and irrigation in various districts of Punjab. With the approval of these projects, the cumulative sanction to Punjab under NABARD Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF

There is still room for cutting interest rates by RBI: P Chidambaram

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Hoping for further interest rate cuts from RBI, P Chidambaram contended that headline inflation has softened and there is a need to push growth to the potential level of 8 per cent. “Well, I think so. We see the beginning of green-shoots, more enquires for loans and there are more project proposals, stalled projects people are beginning to enqui

Further hike in import duty on gold will encourage smuggling: P Chidambaram

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Eliminating the possibility of any further increase in gold’s import duty, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said any further hike in duty would encourage smuggling of the precious metal. According to the media reports, Chidambaram said, “We have raised the tariff in January but if you raise the tariff to a prohibited level it will increase s

Govt will continue to argue for lowering of rates by RBI: Chidambaram

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The Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said the government will continue to argue for lowering of interest rates by Reserve Bank as softening headline inflation demands spur in economic growth. Speaking with media, Chidambaram said, "The RBI has to weigh the fact that headline inflation has come down even though consumer price inflation i

RBI makes KYC norms for SHGs simpler

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The Reserve Bank of India recently made the know your customer or KYC norms for Self Help Groups or SHGs simpler. The simplified norms deal with new account opening and borrowing procedures from banks. The banking regulator has said in a notification issued to banks that KYC verification of all the office bearers of the SHG would suffice and that KYC

Corporate India’s credit quality to improve in 2013-14: CRISIL

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Global rating agency CRISIL said corporate India’s credit quality is likely to show marginal improvement in 2013-14 amid easing demand pressures, cooling-off commodity prices and declining interest rates during the year. However, the agency maintained that rating downgrades may remain on higher side corresponding to upgrades in the medium term b

Consumer confidence improves in March

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Consumer confidence levels improved in the month of March helped by improved income and spending behavior coupled with stable employment situation in the country, showed a survey by financial services provider BluFin. The BluFin's Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rose to 41.8 points in March from 40.7 points during the preceding month, signaling ri

Economic growth & reforms fails to wash-off India-US trade barriers

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Despite a substantial growth in India-US bilateral trade and several recent economic reforms, firms in the USA are still facing a series of trade and tariff barriers, an excerpt from an official report stated. The US Trade Representative (USTR), in its latest report named, '2013 National Trade Estimate: Foreign Trade Barriers’ listed out a w

Gold smuggling will increase if import duty raised further: FM

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Gold smugglers have now become a major concern for the Indian government which is struggling hard to curb the import of the yellow metal that is giving rise to the Current Account Deficit (CAD). Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said that government will not raise import duty further to avoid smuggling and would instead introduce the inflatio

BRICS Bank would complement existing multilateral lenders: P Chidambaram

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Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said that the proposed BRICS Bank to finance development projects in emerging economies will not compete but complement the operations of the existing multilateral lending agencies. Addressing a conference at the Japan National Press Club, Chidambaram said though the existing lending agencies have provided funds to d

Will the ECB don the robe of Europe’s firefighter?

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The unprecedented events in Cyprus in the past two weeks have washed away hopes that Europe is closer to claiming victory over its four-year old debt nemesis, adding pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB) to undertake fresh measures to calm jittery investors. However, experts reckon that despite the threat of a fresh escalation in financ

Core sectors output contracts 2.5% in Feb

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The output of the eight core sectors, which account for 38 per cent of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), fell 2.5 per cent in the month of February, versus a growth of 3.1 per cent in the previous month. The month saw the five out of eight core sectors registering a contraction year-on-year including natural gas, coal, crude oil output, fertil

FIIs invest Rs 1.4 lakh cr in Indian equities in FY’13; highest in two decades

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Foreign Institutional Investors’ (FIIs) investment in Indian equities during 2012-13 touched a record high of Rs 1.4 lakh crore—the highest since India opened its doors to foreign investors in 1992-93. FIIs made net investment of Rs 139,408 crore during 2012-13, the highest since their entry into Indian capital market in 1992-93 when they

March manufacturing PMI growth slips to 16-month low

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Hit by the persistent power-cuts, India’s manufacturing sector grew at a slowest pace in 16 months during March 2013, showed a data released by HSBC on Monday. The HSBC India manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) posted 52.0 in March—slowest since November 2011. Index above 50 separates growth from contraction. Moreover, the

FSLRC calls for review of financial sector laws after every 3 years

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The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), headed by retired judge B N Srikrishna, has proposed that financial sector laws be reviewed after every three years and all regulations under proposed Indian Financial Code be reviewed by a super-regulator within three years of such regulations being issued. The commission also suggested tha

Limit loan write-offs: Finance Ministry to PSU Banks

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ith an aim to improve the finances of Public sector banks (PSU), Finance Ministry has asked them to limit the amount of loan write-offs and has sought details of recoveries made by them in the six years ending 2011-12. Ministry has also the banks to make sure that the amount written off by banks as bad loans does not exceed the cash recovery made dur

Service tax realisations jumps 44 per cent in February

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The Government of India had warned tax evaders of penal action in January and the caution seems to have paid rich dividends with the realisation rising to Rs 10,453 crore in February from Rs 7,255 crore in January, up 44 per cent. "Repeated warnings from the revenue department is showing results. Service tax collection has shown a significant 44

DIPP to release sixth edition of consolidated FDI policy by this week

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The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will be releasing the sixth edition of the consolidated , foreign direct investment (FDI) policy by this week which wll incorporate the changes made in the regulations over the past one year. The DIPP is the nodal agency on FDI related matters. With a view to make India's FDI regime simple

CCI likely to clear several projects in three-week time: Montek Singh

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Planning Commission, Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said that the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) is likely to give green signal for a number of pending projects within the next three weeks. Set up in January this year for clearing major infrastructure projects, CCI had already met 2-3 times in this regard, he said. “My hope