Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
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