Business, Economy & Banking Current Affairs - 2019

Business, Economy and Banking in Current Affairs 2019 with latest news and current affairs in Agriculture, Industry, Banking, Capital Markets, Import and Export and Government schemes in commercial sector.

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India to conduct 1st National Time Release Study for faster movement of Cargo

Department of Revenue, under Union Ministry of Finance, is conducting India’s 1st National Time Release Study (TRS) for enabling faster movement of cargo across borders to benefit traders. TRS is an internationally recognized tool advocated by Brussels based World Customs Organization (WCO) to measure efficiency and effectiveness of international trade flows.

National Time Release Study

It is an initiative for accountable governance that will measure rule based and procedural bottlenecks including physical touchpoints in clearance of goods, from time of arrival until physical release of cargo.  It is part of India’s strategic commitment to improve global trade will be conducted between 1- 7 August 2019. However, from now onwards exercise will be institutionalized on an annual basis, during same period every year.

Objective: To identify and address bottlenecks in trade flow process. To take corresponding policy and operational measures required to improve effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures, without compromising efficient trade control.

Expected Beneficiaries: will be export oriented industries and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) who will enjoy greater standardization of Indian processes with comparable international standards.

Process Followed:

Earlier individual customs formations had been independently conducting TRS studies at port level. However National TRS have evolved a uniform, multi-dimensional methodology which measures regulatory and logistics aspects of cargo clearance process and establishes average release time for goods.

National TRS will have standardized operations and procedures across all ports and will also establish baseline performance measurement. Exercise will be conducted at same time across 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which together accounts for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India.

Based on results of TRS, government agencies associated with cross border trade will be able to diagnose existing and potential bottlenecks which act as barriers to free flow of trade and thus enabling them to take remedial actions for reducing cargo release time. The initiative is on ground lead by Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC).

Benefits:

This initiative will help India maintain upward trajectory on Ease of Doing Business (EDB), particularly on Trading Across Borders indicator which measures efficiency of cross border trade ecosystem (i.e. time and cost associated with logistical process of exporting and importing goods every year). In 2018 India’s ranking on indicator improved from 146 to 80.

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Samarth: Flipkart’s initiative to bring Indigenous Artisans on platform

Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart launched Samarth, an initiative to bring Indian artisans, weavers, and makers of handicrafts to its platform. It was launched by Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Finance and Corporate Affairs, along with Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

Walmart-owned Flipkart has partnered with 5 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help artisans use online marketplace to sell their products.

About Samarth Initiative

It will support artisans, weavers and handicraft maker by on-boarding them and helping them in process of selling on internet.

In 1st phase of programme, Flipkart will have access to 35,000 artisans through partnerships with NGOs.

Support Provided: includes product cataloguing, account management, seller support, and warehousing support.

Flipkart is in discussions with 5-10 Indian States, including Himachal Pradesh, with regard to Samarth initiative. Company also plans to eventually sell these products in international market.

Significance:

This initiative could give indigenous communities and their products access to Flipkart’s Indian customer base of over 150 million.

As per some estimates, Flipkart e-commerce will exceed $100 billion by 2022 can potentially create 1 million-plus jobs in coming years.

NOTE: Earlier, Amazon had partnered with Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) to sell products made by tribal communities which are now available on its global marketplace.

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