Economy Current Affairs - 2019

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India to receive total remittance of $80 billion in 2018: World Bank

According to World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, India will retain its position as world’s top recipient of remittances in 2018, receiving a total remittance of $80 billion from its diaspora. India is followed by China ($67 billion), Mexico and hilippines ($34 billion each) and Egypt ($26 billion).

Remittance: It is transfer of money by foreign worker to individual or family in their home country. It competes with international aid as one of the largest financial inflows to developing countries. It has direct impact on alleviating poverty for many households especially in developing and low- and middle-income countries.

Key Highlights Migration and Development Brief

Global remittances: Including flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 10.3% to $689 billion. However it is projected to moderate. They are expected to grow 3.7% to $715 billion in 2019.

Developing countries: Remittances to developing countries will increase by 10.8% to reach $528 billion in 2018, against a 7.8% growth in 2017.

Low- and middle-income countries: Future remittances to these countries are expected to grow moderately by 4% to $549 billion in 2019.

India: Over the last three years, India registered asignificant flow of remittances, from $62.7 billion in 2016 to $65.3 billion 2017. In 2017, remittances constituted 2.7% of India’s GDP.

South Asia: Remittances are projected to increase by 13.5% to $132 billion in 2018, a stronger pace than 5.7% growth seen in 2017. The upsurge is driven by stronger economic conditions in advanced economies, particularly US and increase in oil prices having positive impact on outflows from some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries such as UAE, which reported a 13% growth in outflows for first half of 2018.

Bangladesh and Pakistan have experienced strong upticks of 17.9% and 6.2% in 2018, respectively. For 2019, it is projected that remittances growth for region will slow to 4.3% due to moderation of growth in advanced economies, lower migration to GCC and the benefits from the oil price spurt dissipating. GCC is regional inter-governmental political and economic bloc of six oil rich middle-east countries viz. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Union Cabinet approves Agriculture Export Policy, 2018

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved Agriculture Export Policy, 2018 with aim to double farmer’s income by 2022. Cabinet has also approved proposal for establishment of Monitoring Framework at Centre with Ministry of Commerce as nodal Department to oversee implementation of Agriculture Export Policy. It will also have representation from various ministries and departments and agencies and representatives of concerned State Governments

Agriculture Export Policy

It is aimed at doubling agricultural exports and integrating Indian farmers and agricultural products with the global value chains. Its vision is to harness export potential of Indian agriculture, through suitable policy instruments and to make India global power in agriculture and raise farmers’ income.

Objectives

  • Double agricultural exports from present US$ 30+ Billion to US$ 60+ Billion by 2022 and reach US$ 100 Billion in next few years thereafter with stable trade policy regime.
  • Diversify India’s export basket, destinations and also boost high value and value added agricultural exports including perishables.
  • Provide institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.
  • Strive to double India’s share in world agri-exports by integrating with global value chain at earliest.
  • Promote indigenous, organic, ethnic, traditional and non-traditional agri products exports.
  • Enable farmers to benefit from export opportunities in overseas market.

Elements of Agriculture Export Policy:

Strategic

  • Policy measures
  • Holistic approach to boost exports
  • Infrastructure and logistics support
  • Focus on Clusters
  • Promoting value-added exports
  • Marketing and promotion of Brand India
  • Greater involvement of State Governments in agri exports

Operational

  • Attract private investments into production and processing
  • Research & Development
  • Establishment of strong quality regimen
  • Miscellaneous