PIB NEWS 11th March 2020

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1) Modernisation of Armed Forces:– Government is taking measures for modernisation of the Armed Forces, through procurement of new equipment and upgrading of existing equipment so as to ensure that the Armed Forces are equipped to meet the entire spectrum of security challenges.

Shekatkar Committee:- A Committee of Experts (CoE) was constituted by Ministry of Defence under the Chairmanship of Lt. Gen. (Retd) DB Shekatkar to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.

Some Recommendations taken up for implementation include:

  • Optimization of Signals Establishments to include Radio Monitoring Companies, Corps Air Support Signal Regiments, Air Formation Signal Regiments, Composite Signal Regiments and merger of Corps Operating and Engineering Signal Regiments.
  • Restructuring of repair echelons in the Army to include Base Workshops, Advance Base Workshops and Static / Station Workshops in the field Army.
  • Redeployment of Ordnance echelons to include Vehicle Depots, Ordnance Depots and Central Ordnance Depots apart from streamlining inventory control mechanisms.
  • Better utilization of Supply and Transportation echelons and Animal Transport Units.
  • Closure of Military Farms and Army Postal Establishments in peace locations.
  • Enhancement in standards for recruitment of clerical staff and drivers in the Army.
  • Improving the efficiency of the National Cadet Corps.

2)Steps Taken to Boost Export:-

In order to boost India’s exports, Government has taken several steps, including:

  1. A new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 was launched on 1st April 2015. The policy, inter alia, rationalised the earlier export promotion schemes and introduced two new schemes, namely Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) for improving export of goods   and ‘Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS)’ for increasing exports of services. Duty credit scrips issued under these schemes were made fully transferable.
  2. Based on Mid-term Review of the FTP 2015-20 undertaken on 5th December, 2017, incentives for labour intensive / MSME sectors were increased by 2%.
  1.  A new Logistics Division was created in the Department of Commerce for integrated development of the logistics sector.  India’s rank in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index moved up from 54 in 2014 to 44 in 2018.
  2.  Interest Equalization Scheme on pre and post shipment rupee export credit was introduced from 1.4.2015 providing interest equalisation at 3% for labour intensive / MSME sectors. The rate was increased to 5% for MSME sectors with effect from 2.11.2018 and merchant exporters were covered under the scheme with effect from 2.1.2019.
  1. For improving ease of doing business, online issuance of Importer Exporter Codes (IEC), has been started. India’s rank in World Bank ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking improved from 142 in 2014 to 63 in 2019 with the rank in ‘trading across borders’ moving up from 122 to 80.
  1.  A new scheme called “Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES)” was launched with effect from 1st April 2017 to address the export infrastructure gaps in the country.

7.  A comprehensive “Agriculture Export Policy” was launched on 6th December, 2018 with an aim to double       farmers’ income by 2022 and provide an impetus to agricultural exports.

8. A new scheme called “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) has been launched for mitigating disadvantage of higher cost of transportation for export of specified agriculture products.


3)UNCTAD: FDI inflows are to drop by 15% due to Corona Virus:- The United Nations Conference on Trade, Investment and Development has warned that the Foreign Direct Investment flows all over the world will reduce by 15% due to Corona Virus. According to the organization, the outbreak could cost 2 trillion USD to the global economy.

UNCTAD Publishes a report :- World Investment Report.

4)Corona Virus hits Diamond Industry of Surat greatly:- Workers in Diamond Industry of India, especially in the parts of Surat have been facing job losses and pay cuts as Corona Virus has hit exports to China. China is the biggest market of precious stones and since February China is terribly affected with Corona Virus.

India is the largest exporter of Gems in the world. The Gems industry plays a vital role in Indian Economy. The industry contributes 7% of GDP of the country.


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