Assocham, a lobby of Indian industry, has urged the government to impress upon US President Donald Trump the extent of business activities carried on by American firms in India.
Assocham’s comments come in the wake of moves by Trump to cut down on what he calls the ‘misuse of H1b visa’ program. According to the American federal administration, Indian companies — by far the biggest recipients of visas meant for ‘specialized talent’ have been gaming the system by flooding the lottery system with applications.
The move could hurt the business model of Indian companies, who typically ship lower paid engineers from their home base to work in the offices of their American client corporations.
“If Indian IT firms have got a good foothold in the US, American top notch firms like Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple, Coke and Pepsi are getting quite a liberal market access in India without any restrictions,” Assocham said.
“In a technology driven and free market global economy, governed by rule-based multilateral World Trade Organisation, major trading partners should abstain from unilateral restrictions on flow of trade in goods and services. After all, the global economy is inter-dependent,” the chamber said, expressing concern over a host of restrictions on visa for Indian IT professionals in the US.
“It is a matter of concern that in the name of America First, restrictions are sought to be slapped on Indian IT firms, which are creating jobs in the US as well. Moreover, the software solutions the Indian firms develop for the world market are built around the platforms and tools of the American technology majors. Such a thing should be conveyed to the American President when our Prime Minister meets him during his impending visit to the US”, the ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.
The ASSOCHAM said even in the IT services , it is not only the Indian firms like TCS and Infosys which are outsourcing to the American clients but scores of American companies which have set up huge centres in cities like Pune, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Chennai and Hyderabad for their global clients. “Yes, they do create jobs for Indians, but also repatriate billions of dollars as profits and India is fine with it. Thus, it is absolutely unfair to target Indian firms which are facing increasing pressure in the US through different non-trade measures like visa fee and other unrelated levies”.
India runs its overall trade gap of over USD 105 billion in goods alone with rest of the world, being liberal with its imports which aggregated USD 380 billion in 2016-17 while exports were about USD 275 billion. “We give much more market access to the world than we enjoy elsewhere,” the chamber said, adding the US corporates are immensely benefiting by doing business with India and Indian companies and that must be conveyed to the US administration”.
Agriculture in india is describes as the backbone of Indian economy mainly because it constitute the largest share of our country's national income and growth of other sectors depend on agriculture sector to a large extent. Vast majority of the population depend on agriculture for their livelihood especially the poor and vulnerable sections of the society. Accordingly it is important to set a proper policies for a sustainable progress in this sector.
Since independence india has been facing food shortage and major aim has been to increase food production and improvement of the agriculture sector by policies such as land reforms, green revolution and adopting better technology since the 1970s. However in recent years the policy makers seems rather pessimistic in the outcome of their policies since they seem to be totally unprepared with situation like bumper productivity of agriculture in 2017.
In contrast to less production in the previous year leading to high prices,which has led farmers to increase their productivity with the expectations of earning more but with no regulatory prices in agriculture products the drop of prices not covering even their input cost lead to heavy debt and loss. As a result agitation started from Madhya pradesh which spread to other states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan with farmers being killed during mass protest in Madhya Pradesh and suicide ever increasing.
Demands ranging from loan waivers,minimum support prices,implementation of swaminathan commission report. The problem face by farmers today is not due to low productivity but rather due to high production which led to downfall of prices lower than their inputs prices which needs radical solution moving away from old policies which were meant for increasing and developing agriculture sector.
There is a need for permanent solution to farmers problem rather than short term solution such as loan waivers which amount to 1.34 crores in Maharashtra alone and minimum support price (MSP) demands of 50% made from different states will take a heavy toil on the economy both at the centre and state. So there is a need to adapt our policies to changing scenarios with the intervention of the government and policies makers.
DECREASE IN CONSUMERS CAPACITY
The policies makers should not neglect the fact that more than 58% of the polulation depend on agriculture for their livelihood. To ignore farmers crisis would eventually effect the economy since the consumption level of 58% of the population will be affected and without consumer the economy cannot grow. As a result crisis in agrculture sector would have adverse effect on other sector as well.
PRICE REGULATING MECHANISM
The major problem face by farmer arise from downfall of prices due to bumper harvest,forcing them to sell their products below their input cost which leads them to heavy debt. Inputs prices increase due to market oriented input sector and acute price rise of fertilizers such as urea and DAP (diammonium phosphate).
Hence there needs to be strict price regulating mechanism to avoid heavy decrease or heavy increase of prices in agriculture products irrespective of high production or low production to balance consumer and farmer needs at the same time. Also certain uniform price system should be set up to remove factors that could lead to exploitation of farmers or selling of their products below reasonable prices to wholesalers or market agents.
INCREASE IN FOOD BASE INDUSTRIES
India being second largest population in the world it is needless to say that consumption capacity is huge.So the second solution can be setting up more food base industries where agriculture products can be put to good use and avoid wastage of resources.
Rather than just focusing on only services and industrial sector,removing the distinction between growing industrial sector and agriculture sector, a combination of both sectors can be establish which can also lead to increase in service sector. This steps will also lower the imports and act as a feul to increase export of goods.
AT THE MERCY OF MONSOON
Unpredictability is the story of farmers of India.Too much reliance on the mercies of climate and weather change of nature has brought farmers to conditions like flood,drought or this present situation of bumper productivity.
There is growing need to advance our irrigation system to make water availability consistent and increase dams,draining system to preserve water to avoid flood and sustain water during drought. This will facilitate certain range of predictability in our agriculture sector. In short better coping system to tackle climatic changes.
EFFICIENT TRADING SYSTEM WITHIN INDIAN STATES
When we think of trade it is likely we neglect the domestic trade that exist within india.But there is growing disparity in the domestic trade in India.To cite an example while fruits prices are low in Northern India, in North East states prices begin from Rs. 100 onwards. So agricultural products can be channel within India with more efficiency and uniformity to avoid resource disaprity and increase consumption level.
RECENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES
The recent government policies such as demonestisation and prevention of cruelty to animals 2017 have impacted negatively to agriculture sector. The expenditure capacity of traders and consumers alike was depleted to a large extent by demonestisation. On top of that animals such as cattle, bull, buffaloes are assests of farmers recent strict rules headed by police and cow vigilatante against trading of these animals will add to the already distress farmers.
Although there is a need of policies changes there is equal need to revisit the socialist economic approach that was once implemented during 1950s. As the invisible hand of the market or capitalist system has failed to take into account the debt crisis of farmers, price fluctuations and more than 3,00,000 farmers suicides in two decade that has been encounter by the Indian farmers.
The welfare system government needs to pay attention to this crisis and provide innovative policies and ideas to have permanent solution to farmers distress. Changes should be brought to remove factors that cause heavy debts to farmers and provide certain securities to times of crisis or natural calamities.
Also setting up uniform price system to create stability and protecting farmers from market agents acquiring goods from farmers below uniform price level.
Lastly, the government should step up to end this trend of making farming a game of risks, gambling even their lives at the end.Since 'Agrarian crisis' is a trendmark of colonisation it is expected that after 70 years of independence farmers would have better conditions than it does at present. Now is the right time to re-quote Jawarharlal Nehru's statement 'most things except agriculture can wait'.
India’s digital economy has the potential to grow up to US$ 4 trillion in four years, according to India’s tech firms. This outshines the government's expectations to make India a US$ 1 trillion digital economy by 2022.
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who chaired a meeting with industry captains to chalk out a growth plan, said the government will formulate a new set of strategies to support growth including a new electronics policy, software product policy and a framework for data security and protection.
"There was unanimity among all the participants that US $ 1 trillion digital economy is an understatement. India has the immense potential to go to US $ 2 to 3 to 4 trillion digital economy potential," Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The meeting was attended by top experts such as Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar, Google India's Rajan Anandan, Wipro's Rishad Premji, Indian Cellular Association National President Pankaj Mohindroo, NIIT Chairman Rajendra Pawar and Hike Messenger CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal, among others.
The government has projected that Indian digital economy will become US $ 1 trillion by 2022 from around US $ 450 billion digital economy at present.
As of now, the Indian electronics market is estimated to be around US $ 100 billion, IT sector US $ 150 billion, telecom US $ 150 billion, e-commerce US $ 30-40 billion and rest is estimated to be size of shared economy such as taxi hailing services, startups.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT has projected IT and ITeS sector to grow to US $ 350 billion by 2025 from US $ 160 billion, while electronics sector is poised to touch US $ 300 billion by the same time (from US $ 100 billion currently).
Telecom and e-commerce are projected to grow to US $ 150 billion each, while sharing economy and digital skilling each presents a US $ 30 billion opportunity.
Digital payments, cyber security and Internet of Things -- all of which are expanding rapidly -- are expected to touch US $ 50 billion, US $ 35 billion and US $ 20 billion, respectively.
It was also projected that the digital economy will generate 30 million employment opportunities by 2024-25, which is double than the current scenario. The ministry has identified digital payments, Make In India, Start-Up India, Skill India among the key drivers of the digital economy.
One of the global pioneers in imaging and optical sensing, Tokyo-based Nikon corp. India business unit has opened their Instruments business technical centre in Bangalore. This is the DSLR major’s second business unit after Gurugram in India.
Both the centres will cater to the automotive market in India wherein they claim they already work with most of the major auto players in India. “This facility has equipments which will allow organizations to acquire data to do 3d printing. For the last 3 years we served our B2b customers from our Gurugram centre but with the growing demand of customers, we felt the need to increase our assistance,” says Manu Sharma, GM, Nikon Metrology.
He says that most of their systems are into inspection and product development which will help support design initiatives of different automotive segments and enhance their quality control methods, “Each of these machines has significance for each level of the manufacturing process. Some allow you to take information which is surface based and even acquire the data from below the surface.”
Nikon has always been synonymous with DSLR cameras but Kazuo Ninomiya, MD, Nikon India wants to change the image. He says that they are going to increase their instruments business footprints in India. “We have established our presence in Imaging but now we want to support manufacturing automotive equipment parts and healthcare. We want to contribute to Make in India and Skill in India.”
He says that although their B2B business in India has a smaller foothold with their centres in India, they want to cater to governments demand under Make in India and even help build skilled workforce in collaboration with educations institutions across the country in their technology domain. “We get started at industrial clusters in various parts of India. We have had some success in automotive clusters in western and Eastern India. There are many more on the horizon,” says Ninomiya.
Ninomiya points out that their products and services will also help automotive companies building vehicles for foreign markets. “Automobile companies are making products for markets outside OF India that’s where they need to further optimize non-contact measurements with high speed and quality data.”
He also mentioned that in 2017-18, they plan to continue their momentum with the marketing spends of around Rs. 90 cr along with hopes of managing a 55% market share in D-SLR market along with a 50% share in CDSC market.
Source: Economic Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the roll-out of the Goods and Services (GST) tax from July 1 will be "historic" and the world will witness how political parties of different ideological hues came together to usher in this major reform.
He also strongly favoured making the country self-reliant in defence and technology sectors.
Addressing a gathering at the APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU) in Lucknow after inaugurating its new building, Modi said, "The roll out of the GST from July 1 will be historic. It will set an example for the world." The prime minister said he was grateful to all those who had contributed towards the formation of a consensus over the tax reform.
I am grateful to all the vidhan sabhas, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha and political parties, Modi said.
"The world will witness a transformation (in India) and how all the political parties subscribing to different ideologies united for the implementation of the GST," he said. The biggest tax reform since Independence, GST will re-shape India's business landscape by making the country an easier place to do business in and would bring down barriers between states.
It is all set to be launched at a grand function in the Central Hall of Parliament on the midnight of June 30. GST over the medium to long term is expected to lead to higher revenues for the Centre and the states while also increasing the size of the economy and having a positive impact on the GDP.
ALSO READ: Lockheed Martin Signs Pact With Tata to Make F-16 Fighter Jets in India
It would unify the USD 2 trillion Indian economy and 1.3 billion people into a single market.
In his speech in Lucknow, Modi also strongly favoured making the country self-reliant in defence sector.
"We are moving forward with the dream of how to make India self-dependent in the field of defence and security," he said.
Presently India imports upto 65 percent of its defence requirements, it is estimated.
Can we not make India self-reliant in defence sector?, the prime minister asked in Lucknow.
"We are marching ahead with this dream and for this we have made policy changes and allowed 100 per cent FDI in defence sector," Modi said.
His impassioned plea to make the country self-reliant in defence sector came against the backdrop of the government recently finalising a policy under which private sector companies will be roped-in to manufacture hi-tech defence equipment like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign entities.
ALSO READ | Modi-Shah's Signature Style: You Speculate and We Eliminate
Modi also lauded the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) saying that "the world took notice when India launched 104 satellites. We have such potential and have to take it forward."
He said that India "reached Mars in a budget less than that of a Bollywood movie due to the technological advancement. Our expense to reach Mars was Rs 7 per kilometer."
Lauding scientists, Modi called them "modern rishis". "Scientists are facing a challenge to produce cheap but effective drugs for the poor and needy. They are devoted to the objective of ridding the humanity of pain. Science is universal, but technology is local. We have to defeat diseases with science," he said.
Speaking here, Modi also appreciated the efforts of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in taking the state forward.
"Everyone is watching the developments in UP. They are curious about what is happening here. The Yogi government has intitiated steps to check the diseases and various hindrances prevalent in UP for years. I congratulate Yogi and his team for this," he said.
Earlier Modi also visited the premier CSIR-Central Drugs Research Institute (CDRI) here and evinced a keen interest in the research work conducted by the state-run institute. Soon after arriving here on a two-day visit, the prime minister flew in a chopper from the Amausi airport to the CDRI complex.
During his 40-minute stay at the institute, he took a round of the two laboratories.
The prime minister even used a microscope to follow the experiments and also had a brief interaction with senior scientists.
CDRI officials briefed him about certain new drugs being developed by the institute for treatment of diseases like osteoporosis and malaria.
ALSO READ: Modi Inaugurates Kochi Metro, Joined by CM and 'Metro Man' on Maiden Ride
Modi as prime minister is the president of CSIR and this was his first visit to one of its labs.
He also planted a sapling of a medicinal plant in the CDRI premises, flanked by Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
On the first day of his visit to Lucknow, Modi also distributed sanction letters for houses under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana and inaugurated a 400 KV power line
Hours before he landed in the state capital, UP police detained 22 persons were detained over apprehensions that there may be an attempt to block his convoy or create some other kind of disturbance.
"We have detained 22 persons apprehending that they might breach security during today's VVIP visit," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Deepak Kumar said. Those detained included some youth leaders belonging to the Samajwadi Party.