Economy Current Affairs

Union Government announces enhanced support under MEIS of Foreign Trade Policy

The Union Government has extended support to certain new products and the rate of incentives for certain other specified products under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS).

Decision in this regard was taken by Department of Commerce (DoC) under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry in backdrop of the continued decline in growth of Indian goods exports.

Key Facts

  • DoC has added 2901 additional products falling under different product categories under the MEIS.
  • With this the total number of items (products) covered under the scheme has been increased from 5,012 to 7,103.
  • The major products added include several items of traditional medicines, dried onion, processed cereal products, marine products and value added items of plastics, leather articles and suitcases.
  • The total government support extended under the scheme has been enhanced to Rs. 23,500 crore per annum from the present Rs. 22,000 crore.
  • Besides, products that will get incentives include engineering goods, garments, fabrics, chemicals, glass products, ceramics, leather goods, periodicals, newspapers, silk items, wool products, made ups, tubes and pipes.

What is Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS)?

  • MEIS was launched under Foreign Trade Policy of India (FTP) 2015-20.
  • It is one of the two schemes introduced in FP 2015-20, as a part of Exports from India Scheme. The other scheme is Service Exports from India Scheme (SEIS).
  • Objective of MEIS is to offset infrastructural inefficiencies and associated costs involved in export of goods and products, which are produced and manufactured in India.
  • It seeks to enhance India’s export competitiveness of these goods and products having high export intensity, employment potential.

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IWAI signs contract with DST, Germany for designing special vessels for NW-1

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed a contract with German company DST to design vessels suited to navigate the 1620 km stretch of National Waterway (NW-1).

Under the contract, DST will has been initially tasked to develop low draft vessels for transportation of cars that can carry upto 150-200 vehicles.

Key Facts

  • The contract has been awarded to DST in par with the objective of providing safe, environment friendly and economical mode of transportation through the waterway.
  • The specially designed vessels will navigate on low drafts. They will be having high carrying capacity and most importantly, will be environment friendly.
  • DST will develop draft vessels keeping in view the difficult hydro-morphological characteristics of the river in the upper stretches of NW1 between Patna and Varanasi.

Background

  • The Union Government is developing NW-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly) under the Jal Marg Vikas Project, with assistance from the World Bank.
  • This project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1500-2,000 tons. The Phase-I of the project covers the Haldia-Varanasi stretch.
  • The project includes development of fairway, multi-modal terminals at Haldia, Varanasi and Sahibganj, strengthening of river navigation system.
  • It also includes modern River Information System (RIS), Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS), modern methods of channel marking, night navigation facilities, construction of a new state of the art navigational lock at Farakka.

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Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit-2016 begins in New Delhi

The Incredible India Tourism Investors Summit (IITIS) 2016 has begun in New Delhi after it was inaugurated by Union Finance Minster Arun Jaitley.

The three day summit has been organized by the Union Ministry of Tourism in association with Tourism Finance Corporation of India (TFCI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Key Facts

  • IITIS will provide a common platform for domestic and international investors to meet project owners from across Indian states and the private sector.
  • It will host presentations of investible properties, session on why invest in India, Micro of Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) in tourism sector.
  • Besides, it will also host panel discussions on core infrastructure for tourism, session on start-ups, digital India, Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD and niche tourism products, B2B meetings.
  • The summit will also have dedicated space for seminars, business to business (B2B) meetings and roundtables around focus themes.
  • There will be participation from major stakeholders including states/UTs with their ready investible projects, banks and financial Institutions, business developers.
  • It will also see domestic investors, entertainment companies, global investors, helicopter services, infrastructure-developers, hoteliers, international associations, restaurateurs, tour and travel operators, venture capitalists, urban developers and civic amenity providers.

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