Com­merce & In­dus­try Min­is­ter Smt. Nir­mala Sithara­man

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Com­merce & In­dus­try Min­is­ter says Gem & Jew­ellery sec­tor has di­rect im­pact on job cre­ation and pro­vides max­i­mum jobs to peo­ple who come from ru­ral ar­eas Com­merce & In­dus­try Min­is­ter Smt. Nir­mala Sithara­man has said that un­like other sec­tors, Gem & Jew­ellery sec­tor has di­rect im­pact on job cre­ation. Speak­ing at the foun­da­tion stone lay­ing cer­e­mony of In­dian In­sti­tute of Gem & Jew­ellery (IIGJ )Varanasi Ex­ten­sion Cam­pus in Varanasi she said this is one sec­tor which has dif­fer­ent sub sec­tors by which gem & jew­ellery in­dus­try pro­vides max­i­mum jobs to peo­ple who come from ru­ral ar­eas and also with non gem & jew­ellery back­ground through proper train­ing. Smt. Sithara­man added that this holy city has long­est his­tory of hu­man civ­i­liza­tion. A city of this stature has shown ages ago that it has crafts­man­ship. She said GJEPC has come here to see that the tal­ent which has been cul­ti­vated here for years is

not lost and it is our re­spon­si­bil­ity to not only iden­tify and sup­port but en­sure that the process is handed over to the next gen­er­a­tion. The Gem & Jew­ellery Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil (GJEPC) is tak­ing a big step to­wards re­al­iz­ing Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi’s one of the dream project, ‘Skill In­dia’ by set­ting up the first-of-its-kind In­dian In­sti­tute of Gem & Jew­ellery (IIGJ) in Varanasi, Ut­tar Pradesh. Varanasi is the fifth cen­tre in the coun­try af­ter Mum­bai, New Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata to have an IIGJ cam­pus. Mr. Praveen­shankar Pandya, Chair­man, GJEPC, said that GJEPC, the apex gem & jew­ellery body in In­dia has al­ways strived to sup­port Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi’s vi­sion for putting In­dia on the tra­jec­tory of growth through nu­mer­ous ini­tia­tives, one such be­ing ‘Skill In­dia’ . In­dia’s Gem & Jew­ellery In­dus­try over the years has grown from a mere US$ 28 Mil­lion in 1966-67 to US$38 Bil­lion in 2015-16. It is note­wor­thy that this in­dus­try pro­vides em­ploy­ment to around 3 mil­lion peo­ple across In­dia.

11th In­dia-UK Joint Eco­nomic Trade Com­mit­tee Meet­ing (JETCO)

In­dia Trade Pro­mo­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion(ITPO) has taken var­i­ous mea­sures to fa­cil­i­tate cash­less trans­ac­tions for the par­tic­i­pants (in­clud­ing ar­ti­sans from MSME, CAPART, EPCH, NMFDC) and ex­hibitors at the on­go­ing In­dia In­ter­na­tional Trade Fair (Novem­ber 14-27, 2016) at Pra­gati Maidan, New Delhi. A set of ser­vice providers has been given ac­cess to ex­hibitors at IITF to of­fer ser­vices for cash­less trans­ac­tions to ex­hibitors/vis­i­tors. These mea­sures in­clude:

• In­crease in num­ber of ATM ma­chines from 2 num­bers to 14 num­bers (in­clud­ing Mo­bile ATM)

• Tie-up with State Bank of In­dia and AXIS Bank to pro­vide suf­fi­cient num­ber of swipe ma­chines (POS) to ex­hibitors to fa­cil­i­tate the pay­ment trans­ac­tions by vis­i­tors through debit/credit cards.

• For small ar­ti­sans and ex­hibitors, SBI has been tied up to open bank ac­counts, if needed, on site, to en­able them to re­ceive the cash­less trans­ac­tions through swipe ma­chines.

• Ar­range­ments of swipe ma­chines at Ticket Coun­ters i.e., at Gate 1 & 2 to fa­cil­i­tate sale of en­try tick­ets.

• Paytm and Freecharge are also mak­ing ar­range­ments to fa­cil­i­tate cash­less trans­ac­tions at IITF, Pra­gati Maidan through Dig­i­tal Wal­lets.

Bi­lat­eral Trade Agree­ment be­tween In­dia and Bhutan

Com­merce and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Smt. Nir­mala Sithara­man and H.E. Tengye Ly­onpo Lekey Dorji, Min­is­ter for Eco­nomic Af­fairs, Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan signed the Agree­ment on Trade, Com­merce and Tran­sit be­tween In­dia and the Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan in the pres­ence of H.E. Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, Prime Min­is­ter of Bhutan at the Gya­ly­ong Tshokhang in Thim­phu

on 12 Novem­ber, 2016. The first Agree­ment on Trade and Com­merce be­tween Bhutan and In­dia was signed in 1972. Since then, the Agree­ment has been re­newed four times. The last Agree­ment was re­newed on July 28, 2006 and was valid till July 29, 2016. The va­lid­ity of the Agree­ment was ex­tended for a pe­riod of one year or till the date of com­ing into force of the new Agree­ment, which­ever is ear­lier, by ex­change of diplo­matic notes be­tween the two coun­tries. The new bi­lat­eral Trade Agree­ment aims to en­hance trade be­tween the two coun­tries through trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion by im­prov­ing pro­ce­dures, cut­ting down on doc­u­men­ta­tion and adding ad­di­tional exit/en­try points for Bhutan’s trade with other coun­tries.It is also ex­pected to fur­ther strengthen the ex­cel­lent re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries. Dur­ing the visit, the Com­merce and In­dus­try Min­is­ter also had an au­di­ence with His Majesty Jigme Kh­e­sar Nam­gyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan and called on Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, Hon’ble Prime Min­is­ter of Bhutan. She also had a bi­lat­eral meet­ing with a high level Bhutanese del­e­ga­tion led by Ly­onpo Lekey Dorji, Min­is­ter for Eco­nomic Af­fairs of Bhutan where both the lead­ers dis­cussed var­i­ous is­sues re­lated to bi­lat­eral trade, tran­sit and in­vest­ment.

Com­merce and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Says Ecgc’s Role Is Very Cru­cial in the Try­ing Times in Sus­tain­ing the Flow of Ex­ports

Com­merce and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Smt. Nir­mala Sithara­man has said that ECGC’s role is very cru­cial in the try­ing times in sus­tain­ing the flow of ex­ports. Ad­dress­ing the di­a­mond ju­bilee cel­e­bra­tions of ECGC in New Delhi to­day she said Com­mence­ment of di­a­mond ju­bilee year of ECGC is in­deed a mem­o­rable oc­ca­sion in the devel­op­ment of ex­ports from In­dia. The Min­is­ter said It is of in­ter­est to note that around 90% of world mer­chan­dise trade and ser­vices in­volve credit, guar­an­tee or in­sur­ance. She said more than 90% of In­dia’s mer­chan­dise ex­ports are made on short term credit i.e. less than 360 days. En­gi­neer­ing goods, Chem­i­cals, Drugs and Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Tex­tiles, Gar­ments, Gem, Jew­ellery, Di­a­monds, leather prod­ucts, car­pets, sea foods and elec­tronic goods ac­count for a sub­stan­tial share of ex­ports.

Smt. Sithara­man said that SMEs con­trib­ute a ma­jor chunk of our ex­porters who re­ceive the sup­port from ECGC. She said there are some im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions and is­sues to which all of us will have to ap­ply our mind to .She said the de­vel­oped coun­tries ac­count for a lion’s share of our ex­port mar­ket. As in the past, ECGC’s role is very cru­cial in the try­ing times in sus­tain­ing the flow of ex­port to our tra­di­tional mar­kets like USA, UK and EU. She said more than five decades of ex­pe­ri­ence of ECGC in in­sur­ing and main­tain­ing credit lines on lakhs of buy­ers in de­vel­oped mar­kets will be very vi­tal in sus­tain­ing the flow of In­dia’s ex­ports. The Min­is­ter said ECGC’s role is very vi­tal in hand­hold­ing ex­porters in these try­ing times be­cause ex­ports have seen a con­tin­u­ous de­cline over sev­eral months. The Min­is­ter said that we have to look for newer mar­kets which maybe in Africa or in Latin Amer­ica and it are for ECGC to stand by the ex­porters to as­sure them that they are not go­ing to face any risk. She said es­ti­mates by ADB (Asian Devel­op­ment Bank) In­sti­tute in­di­cate that ex­ports from In­dia suf­fered due to un­met trade fi­nance needs to the or­der of USD 300 bn ap­prox­i­mately. IMF es­ti­mates sug­gest that glob­ally bank in­ter­me­di­ated trade fi­nance sup­port around 40% of mer­chan­dise trade. While trade fi­nance sup­ported mer­chan­dise trade is 56% in South Korea and 47% in China while in In­dia it re­mains at 41%. She said In­dia’s ex­ports in­creased in the years sub­se­quent to the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis due to the sta­bi­liz­ing role played by ECGC in tak­ing out the lend­ing risks to ex­porters both at pre ship­ment and post ship­ment stage.

Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay, Hon’ble Prime Min­is­ter of Bhutan

Com­merce & In­dus­try Min­is­ter Smt. Nir­mala Sithara­man

Praveen­shankar Pandya, Chair­man, GJEPC

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