Sending out a dual message to Pakistan, the government
said that it would continue to engage with it to ensure it makes progress on
the Pathankot investigation, but also made it clear that the Sharif
government would have to show “sincerity” as it is from their territory that
most attacks come from.
Most of the terror attacks emanate from Pakistan. It has
to show some sincerity and take action against terrorists operating from its
soil,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at a counter-terror conference.
“Our government will stand by Pakistan if it takes
decisive action against terrorists and their organisations,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said
that despite the attacks, India would continue to engage Pakistan at both
the Foreign Secretary and National Security Adviser levels.
The statements by the Foreign Secretary and the Home
Minister, as well as those made by President Pranab Mukherjee and NSA Ajit
Doval indicate the government’s next steps with Pakistan are still under
discussion, with no clear signs on whether India will go ahead with Foreign
Secretary-level talks that were called of last month.
Faced with the challenges of both home-grown extremism
and the global Islamic State (IS) threat, Maharashtra has rolled out a
deradicalisation programme for the minority community.
The programme includes opening vyayam shalas in minority
areas, making National Cadet Corps (NCC), Bharat Scouts and Guides (BS&G)
compulsory in minority schools, and setting up an independent media outlet
to deliver ‘mainstream thoughts and values’ to the minority youth in the
The Union Home Ministry had asked three States to draw up
a comprehensive counter- strategy in the wake of at- tempts by international
terrorist outfits to propagate jihadi ideologies.
The State Home Department has rolled out a 50-point
socio-economic strategy with the aim of ‘bringing youth of the minority
community into the main- stream’ and making coordinated efforts and policies
in 13 sectors, including education, sports, urban planning, law and order,
skill development, women and child, social justice, and health.
A person in Texas has been infected with the Zika virus
after having sex with an ill person who had returned from South America.
It’s the first case of the virus being transmitted in the
U.S. during the current outbreak of Zika, which has been linked to birth
defects in the Americas.
There was report of a Colorado researcher who picked up
the virus in Africa and apparently spread it to his wife back home in 2008,
and it was found in one man’s semen in Tahiti.
The CDC has already recommended that pregnant women
postpone trips to more than two dozen countries with Zika outbreaks, mostly
in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean, the
main villain identified so far is called Aedes aegypti a species of mosquito
that spreads other tropical diseases, including chikungunya and dengue
It is found in the southern United States, though no
mosquito-borne transmission has been reported in the continental United
States to date.
India’s exports, since December, 2014, have been in
negative territory. While the primary reason has been the slowdown in the
global economy, declining crude oil prices coupled with low commodity prices
have added to the woes of the exports sector.
However, domestic challenges like slowdown in
manufacturing, high logistics cost, increasing transaction cost and product
profile of our exports have also contributed in no less measure.
Our competitors like Vietnam and Bangladesh have shown
positive exports growth in the last 6 months or so asking us to do some
The recent incentives by the government in the form of
revision of MEIS benefits and its expansion, announcement of Interest
Equalisation Scheme on Export Credit along with the benefits on all Industry
Rates of Duty Drawback did give some cushion in such difficult times.
However, Chinese slowdown and devaluation of Yuan has
come as yet another jolt for the sector.
In the upcoming Union Budget, we expect that the inverted
duty structure in respect of various items may be addressed as it not only
affects exports but also the manufacturing sector and adversely impacts Make
in India and the import substitution strategy.
The exemption from service tax on ex- port may see the
light of the day.The biggest challenge affecting MSME exports is on the
The total marketing support extended by Department of
Commerce under MAI and MDA is insufficient and therefore a Export
Development Fund (EDF) should be created with a corpus of 0.5 per cent to 1
per cent of total export value so that sizeable money is available to pro-
mote MSME exports.
In view of current global trend, we expect country’s
exports to reach $260-$270 billion in 2015-16.
All exporters may also be given Interest Equalisation
Benefit (IES) as cost of credit is the same across sectors.
With all these happening, we expect the exports sector to
see some green shoots coming out only from the second quarter of the FY
2016-17 expecting to end the financial year with an export figure of $310-15
Coal linkages to non-regulated sectors such as
steel/sponge iron, cement and aluminium will be provided only through
This was decided by the Cabinet Committee on Economic
Affairs (CCEA) which met under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The auction of coal linkages will be transparent and
creates a level-playing field, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The auction ensures all market participants have a fair
chance to secure the coal linkage, irrespective of their size. It attempts
to ensure an optimal allocation of coal across user industries and
As per the CCEA decision, all allocations of linkages/
Letter of Assurance (LoAs) for non-regulated sector (but excluding
fertilizer (urea) sector), including their cap- tive power plants, shall
from now on be auction-based.
State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Singareni Collieries
(SCCL) will put up 25 per cent of their incremental production during
2015-16 over 2014-15 for auction. The
Supreme Court in August and September 2014 had declared
204 coal mines/blocks allocated since 1993 as illegal on the grounds that
the proce- dure followed was arbitrary.
Pursuant to this judgment, e- auction of Schedule II and
Schedule III Coal Mines wasconducted. The same philosophy of
non-discretionary al- location is being extended for the coal linkages as
well. This would require CIL to allocate linkages through a market- based
The union cabinet allowed the railways ministry to form
joint venture (JV) companies with the state governments to mobilize
resources for under- taking various rail infrastructure projects in states.
The JV can also form project-specific SPVs with equity
holding by other shareholders like banks, ports, public sector undertakings,
mining companies etc.
The JV exercise would ensure greater participation of
states in implementation of railway projects in terms of financial
participation and decision-making process.
This will facilitate in faster statutory approvals and
land acquisition. Besides transporting people, various cement, steel and
power plants would get the necessary rail link for transportation of their
raw material and finished products.