As Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the longest container terminal in the country at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP) on February 18, India is all set to take a giant step forward in terms of enhancing its containers handling capacity.
The first phase of terminal four is complete and this will add a capacity of 24 lakh containers per year, the most for any government-run Indian port.
Modi's inauguration of the first phase of container terminal four comes almost two and half years after he laid its foundation stone in October 2015. The one km long terminal will be able to dock mother vessels and handle the biggest container ships. It can handle three container ships at one go.
Source:- India Today
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today hailed India’s youth for taking the country forward among the global leaders. Speaking at the Foundation Day ceremony at MJP Rohilkhand University in Bareilly, the senior BJP Minister said that India has majority of its population in the under-35 age category which possesses the power of taking it forward in the world. “Bharat ek aisa desh hai jo yuva shakti mein dhani bhi hai aur bhaagyashaali bhi. Humaare desh ko aage leke jaane ki urja jo hai woh humaari 2/3rd janta mein hai (India is a nation thatg is very rich in the power of youth and is also very lucky to possess it. Two-thirds of the population of the country has the energy to take the country ahead),” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in Bareilly.
He added that India is touted as the fastest growing economy by every leading agency in its ratings. “Bharat ki tasveer poori duniya mein fastest growing economy ki tarah dekhi jaa rahi hai. Lekin kuch taakatein aisi hain jo isse kharaab kar rahi hain. Duniya ki saari agencies maanti hain ki India is the fastest growing economy of the world (India nis being seen as a fastest growing economy in the world. But, some powers are trying to tarnish India’s image. All the major agencies believe that India is the fastest growing economy of the world),” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at the Foundation Day event of the university. The Home Minister lauded the efforts of the people who have reached greater scales in the arena of science and technology. He said that none of the countries have been able to reach that level.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh graced the 44th Raising Day function of Rohilkhand University in a grand manner today. He reached the University at 11.30 in the morning and inaugurated the 147-ft Tricolor flag. In addition to this, he also launched three projects. He was also joined by Union Minister Santosh Gangwar, Bareilly Mayor Dr Umesh Gautam. Rohilkhand University was turned into a fort for security arrangements of Rajnath Singh’s visit for the Foundation Day celebrations. In the program, more than 2000 thousand people, including NCC, NSS volunteer, students of the University, teachers were present.
For most part of human history, change was glacial in pace. It was quite safe to assume that the world at the time of your death would look pretty much similar to the one at the time of your birth. That is no longer the case, and the pace of change seems to be growing exponentially. Futurist Ray Kurzweil put it succinctly when he wrote in 2001: "We wont experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century - it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at todays rate)." Since the time of his writing a lot has changed, especially with the advent of the internet.
India has done well to stay ahead of the curve in the technological revolution. The country's hyper-competitive telecom sector has led the revolution from the front. In fact, according to Reserve Bank of India data, the sectoral change in productivity has been the highest in the telecommunications sector since the reforms of 1991, growing by over 10 percent. On the other hand, no other sector has had a productivity growth of above five percent during the same period. It is no wonder that it has also been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Indian economy, growing at over seven percent in the last decade itself.
Such an unprecedented pace of growth has been brought about the precise levels of change that Kurzweil was so enthusiastic about. Today's smartphones have the power of computers that took an entire room in the 1990s, and the telecom sector has had to keep up with provision of commensurate internet speeds and services. Meanwhile, India has managed to provide the cheapest telephony services around the world, which has hit rock bottom after the entry of Reliance Jio. This has ensured access to those even at the bottom of the pyramid.
Even though consumers have come to be accustomed to fast-paced changes within the telecom sector, the entry of Jio altered the face of the industry like never before by changing the very basis of competition. Data became the focal point of competition for an industry that derived over 75 percent of its revenue from voice. It was quite obvious that there would be immediate economic effects due to it. Now that we're nearing a year of Jio's paid operations, during which time it has even become profitable, we saw it fit to quantify its socio-economic impact on the country.Three broad takeaways need to be highlighted.
First, the most evident effect has been the rise in affordability of calling and data services. Voice services have become practically costless while data prices have dropped from an average of Rs 152 per GB to lower than Rs 10 per GB. Such a drastic reduction in data prices has not only brought the internet within the reach of larger proportion of the Indian population but has also allowed newer segments of society to use and experience it for the first time. Since the monthly saving of an average internet user came out to be Rs 142 per month (taking a conservative estimate that the consumer is still using 1 GB of data each month) and there are about 350 million mobile internet users in the country (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data), the yearly financial savings for the entire country comes out to be Rs 60,000 crore.
To put things in perspective, this amount is more than four times the entire GDP of Bhutan. Therefore, mere savings by the consumer on data has been at astonishing proportions. Now, this data has been used for services that have brought to life a thriving app economy within the country. So, the second level of impact has been in the redressal of a variety of consumer needs -- ranging from education, health and entertainment to banking. For instance, students in remote areas can now access online courseware and small businesses can access newer markets. Information asymmetry has been considerably reduced.
Third, a rise in internet penetration has distinct positive effects on economic growth of a country. These effects arise not merely from the creation of an internet economy, but also due to the synergy effects it generates. Information becomes more accessible and communication a lot easier. Businesses find it easier to operate and access consumers. Labour working in cities has to make less frequent trips home and becomes more productive as a result. Education and health services become available in inaccessible locations. Multiple avenues open up for knowledge and skill enhancement.
An econometric analysis for the Indian economy showed that the 15 percent increase in internet penetration due to Jio and the spill-over effects it creates will raise the per capita levels of the country's GDP by 5.85 percent, provided all else remains constant.
Thus, India's telecom sector will continue to drive the economy forward, at least in the short run, and hopefully catapult India into 20,000 years of progress within this century, as Kurzweil postulated. The best approach for the state would be to ensure the environment of unfettered competition within the industry. Maybe other sectors of the economy ought to take a leaf out of the telecom growth story. The Indian banking sector comes to mind. However, that is a topic for another day.
Source:-The Economic Times
The State government has set a target to become a $1 trillion economy by 2025 from the current $400 million, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said at the ongoing Magnetic Maharashtra Convergence 2018 global investors summit on Monday.
The existing members of the sub-nation $1 trillion club include England; Greater Tokyo; California, Texas and New York in the U.S.A.; and Jaingsu, Guangdong, Shandong in China.
Reaching there quick
Unveiling his vision for the ambitious target, Mr. Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra can be a $1 trillion economy by 2025, growing at a rate of 15.4%. Even if we grow at the current rate of 9.4%, we can still be a $1 trillion economy by 2029, but we want to achieve it four years earlier by accelerating the growth of the services sector.”
He said the services sector currently constitutes 59% to the State’s economy, while agriculture and industry sectors constitute 11% and 30%, respectively. “But we have to change this. By 2025, the services sector must grow from 59% to 67%, while the contribution of industry must come down to 27% and agriculture to 6%.”
Mr. Fadnavis said underpaid jobs in the agriculture sector should be converted into well-paid jobs in the services sector by enhancing the skills of people.
“We have to shift to a service sector economy. We need to go for employment-led growth. The digital economy has more potential for growth and it will soon cross the material economy. There are more jobs and opportunities in the digital economy and it will help us leapfrog into a $1 trillion economy,” the Chief Minister said.
The government has created policies to promote a digital economy, he said. The focus is on creating human resources for artificial intelligence and machine learning. The State is also setting up IT- and ITES-integrated cities to promote startups and create a conducive ecosystem.
He said the State has focused on high growth sectors such as clean energy, electric vehicles, robotics, aerospace and defence technologies.
The ease of doing business in the State has been helping it attract more foreign direct investment (FDI), and Maharashtra accounted for 51% of the FDI that came to India last year, according to the Chief Minister.
The government is improving connectivity between the underdeveloped areas of the State and JNPT to boost exports and faster movement of cargo. The dedicated prosperity corridor between Mumbai and Nagpur will take the State 20 years ahead, Mr. Fadnavis said. Plans are under way to set up 25 multi-modal logistics parks in the State. The infrastructure projects outside Mumbai are geared towards removing regional disparities, Mr. Fadnavis said.
“All this will help us join the $1 trillion club. And with this, we can contribute $1 trillion to the Prime Minister’s vision to make India a $5 trillion economy,” he said.
The Chief Minister’s preference for the service sector over manufacturing attracted criticism from Mahindra & Mahindra managing director Pawan Goenka.
“I see no reason why manufacturing will not grow more than the services sector. We should outperform [the service sector],” he said. “We must re-skill in future to ensure manufacturing growth, because the skill set required in the future will be different.” He said Maharashtra has a natural advantage for manufacturing because of the large consumption base in the State.
Source:- The Hindu
NEW DELHI: India’s trade deficit touched a 56-month high in January, driven by a sharp rise in imports of petroleum, chemicals, silver, pearls and machine tools, even as exports expanded for the third consecutive month. A 9% rise in exports at $24.3 billion was outweighed by a 26% increase in imports at $40.6 billion, leaving a trade gap of $16.3 billion, the highest since May 2013.
Petroleum and crude oil imports continued to inflate India’s import bill, rising 42.64% from last year to $11.65 billion, Government data showed.
Imports of pearls and precious and semi-precious stones jumped 55.71% to $2.4 billion. However, gold imports declined 22% to $1.59 billion last month. “The trade deficit is alarming. At this rate, trade deficit will touch $150 billion this year,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director-General
Ajay Sahai said. In the April-January period, trade balance was $103.7 billion. “Imports of finished goods are being encouraged because the incidence of tax borne earlier is no longer there. This is a cause of worry,” Sahai added.
Five sectors — coal, chemicals, precious metals, petroleum and machinery — showed at least $500 million of increase in imports from a year earlier.
“With the merchandise trade deficit for January 2018 being sharply higher than expected, we have revised our forecast for the FY2018 current account deficit to $47-50 billion or nearly 2% of GDP, from the earlier expectation of $42-44 billion,” said Aditi Nayar, Principal Economist at ICRA.
On exports side, outward shipments increased in 20 out of 30 sectors, but declined in traditional sectors like yarn and readymade garments whose competitive edge could have been blunted by an appreciating rupee.
Exports of readymade garments fell 8.4% to $1.39 billion, while cotton yarn and fabric shipment declined 9.6% to $0.84 billion. “We are losing our competitiveness. There is a major skilling issue here,” Sahai said.
Major commodity groups which showed growth in exports were engineering goods (15.77%), petroleum products (39.5%), gems & jewellery (0.89%), organic & inorganic chemicals (33.6%) and drugs & pharmaceuticals (8.6%), according to data released by the Commerce Ministry.
Source:- Delhi Times