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In a significant development on Friday, the Chinese government announced that it has removed import duties on 28 medicines, including critical cancer and cancer alkaloid-based drugs from May 1.


According to a Press Trust of India report, this decision will aid the Indian pharmaceutical industry, which is known around the world for manufacturing low-cost generic drugs, to bump up the export of these pharmaceuticals to China.


“China has exempted import tariffs (duties) for 28 drugs, including all cancer drugs, from May 1st. Good news for India’s pharmaceutical industry and medicine export to China. I believe this will help reduce trade imbalance between China and India in the future,” Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said in a tweet.


However, the potential benefit of this move is yet to be ascertained.


India’s trade deficit with China currently stands at a whopping $62.8 billion in 2017-18, as compared to $51 billion a year before.


Source:-The Better India

Ranchi: The capital city will host a global agriculture and food summit in November.


Chief minister Raghubar Das made the announcement on Friday while directing officials to start the groundwork for the event at a meeting with the industry and agriculture department officials.


Final dates of the event are yet to be finalised.


"It will be held either at the mega sports complex or Dhurwa stadium," an official of state agriculture department said, adding that the event will project Jharkhand as an ideal destination for agricultural and food-related investments.


"The event is aimed at promoting agriculture and food processing sector in the state, exploring tie-ups for business cooperation and exports to double farmers' income. The focus will be on giving impetus to organic farming, which has a great potential but remains untapped due to the paucity of resources, know-how and other shortcomings. Farmers from different states and countries will be invited for the event," an official said.


Das also held a meeting with representatives of London's DM Capital and International Traceability System where he discussed the possibilities of setting up of vegetable-based industry clusters in the state.


The London-based firms are keen to invest around $100 million for the purpose.


"According to the preliminary plan, state-of-the-art vegetable clusters will be developed by roping in local farmers with the know-how and resources for better production," an agri department official said, adding that such clusters will initially come up in Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Ranchi and Lohardaga on five lakh hectares each.


According to an IPRD release, "It should be fully organic farming so that women and tribal farmers can contribute more in production and get easy market linkage. The company will directly buy produce from them and profits made by selling the items in open markets will be shared among farmers as equity."


Source:- The Telegraph

NEW DELHI: India's global trade increased by 16.32 per cent to USD 767.9 billion in 2017-18, according to the Commerce Department data.


In 2016-17, the trade stood at USD 660.2 billion.


"While India's global trade grew by 16.32 per cent between 2016-17 and 2017-18, India's total trade with LAC (Latin American countries) grew by 19.63 per cent," the department said in a series of tweets.


It said that bilateral trade with LAC including Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Brazil has recorded healthy growth in 2017-18 as per the provisional numbers.


"Bolivia has emerged as a major trade partner of India in LAC region with bilateral trade registering a growth of 205 per cent from USD 253 million in 2016-17 to USD 772.44 million in 2017-18," it said.


Similarly, two-way commerce with Brazil has increased to USD 8.56 billion in the last fiscal from USD 6.51 billion in 2016-17.


Bilateral trade with Chile grew to USD 2.85 billion in 2017-18 from USD 1.90 billion in the previous fiscal.


"India's trade with LAC increased from USD 24.52 billion in 2016-17 to USD 29.33 billion in 2017-18," it added. RR MR MR


Source:- Economic Times

The increasing global demand for traditional health care practices has been a key driver of growth in India’s tourism sector, according to Manas Pattanaik, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, India. The value of medical tourism in India is expected to hit $9 billion by 2020, with the country already ranking among the top 5 wellness destinations in the world.


“With a greater emphasis being laid on preventive health care methods such as Ayurveda and yoga, India has become a medical hub for visitors. The combination of traditional and modern health care against the backdrop of rich cultural heritage make it a growing tourist attraction”, said Pattanaik. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, India jumped up 12 places in an index measuring competitive performance recording a growth rate of about 4.02 per cent in the travel and tourism sector. Figures for the Foreign Tourist Arrivals in India were at a 11.3 per cent in 2016 higher than the global average.


The modern health care sector in India has also contributed its share to inbound tourism, he said. Advancements in technology, state of the art facilities, well trained professionals combined with the relatively lower cost of treatment attracts those seeking medical aid to the country. Healthcare in India reportedly saves patients between 65 per cent to 90 per cent of money compared to similar services in the US and other countries.




With a larger number of hospitals receiving accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NBAH), health care packages are being provided to foreign patients. Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and NCR top the list for the most favourite medical tourism destinations.


“Tourists come from all over the world to India with the Middle East recording significant inflows. We’ve seen a 1.31 per cent increase in travellers from the UAE over the past year,” Pattanaik said, who added that E-visas to India is believed to make travelling to the country much easier.


The wellness industry in the country also attracts significant amounts of domestic and international investments with foreign investors capitalising on the product and service diversification. Multiple retreat centres have been set up across states that bring in large number of visitors every year. The sector also provides for a 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment and high expectations on returns have boosted investor confidence. he said.


Source:-Gulf News

More than three million workers joined India’s state-run social security fund in six months through February, giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi some ammunition to defend his record on creating jobs ahead of a general election due next year.


A new data series on payrolls released by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the first time on Wednesday, however, gives an incomplete picture of how many new jobs are being created in the non-farm sector. The provisional data showed 472,075 employees were added to the state-run social security fund in February, and 604,557 joined in January, bringing the six-month total to 3.11 million.


“The data shows there was a good increase in jobs every month in the last six months, which will now help fill the missing link for policy-making,” said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, chief economist at the country’s largest lender, the State Bank of India.


As nearly 15 million join the workforce every year, India still has a long way to go before the world’s fastest-growing major economy can cope with the country’s demographic bulge.


“Unemployment is a serious issue in India, and we must be worried over the implications,” N.R. Bhanumurthy, an economist at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, a Delhi-based think-tank, said.


Modi won the 2014 election promising to revitalise the economy and create strong jobs growth, but some critics have accused his government of making exaggerated claims over just how well the economy is doing.


India’s growth stuttered after the government’s decision to take high denomination bank notes out of circulation overnight in late 2016 in a bid to make the country less reliant on cash transactions and flush out money that was being kept out the taxman’s sight.


The implementation of the introduction of a national goods and services tax last year also knocked growth, and caused some companies to shed jobs.


Since then an upturn in global and domestic demand, along with some deregulation, has helped the economy regather momentum, and it is expected to grow 7 percent in the fiscal year to March next year.


OVERESTIMATESTo bring more of the vast workforce into the organised sector, Modi this year announced the state would partially cover employers’ contributions to the EPF for three years. The government says it will cover an amount up to 12 percent of employees’ salaries.


As a result of those incentives, critics say the new data series overestimates job creation in the organised sector as many workers who were previously working on contract have been taken on as staff by the same employers and added to the fund.


The unemployment rate in India nearly doubled in the nine months through March, to hit 6.23 percent, and is like to rise to 6.75 percent, according to estimates from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), a private consultancy.


CMIE reckoned the number of jobs actually fell to 406 million in fiscal year just ended, down from 406.7 million in the previous year.


In a bid to boost employment, the government has relaxed labour laws to let companies hire workers on a fixed term basis, while raising social security benefits for them.


Earlier it was mandatory for employers and employees of companies with 20 or more workers to contribute to the EPF, but the government plans to amend the rules so that companies with 10 or more employees have to open an account with the fund for their workers.