NITI Aayog, identifies a set of 9 marketing reforms for Agriuculture

Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) in consultation with NITI Aayog, identifies a set of 9 marketing reforms to be made in Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts – A national consultation to review the progress of adoption of reforms and other initiatives in the agri-marketing sector aimed at enhancing farmers’ income was held yesterday, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog. The meeting was also attended by Shri S.K. Pattanayak, Secretary DAC&FW, Dr. Ashok Dalwai, Additional Secretary, DAC&FW, senior officers from DAC&FW, Niti Aayog, Ministry of Environment, Forests & CC and Department of Agricultural Marketing, Forest and Revenue from the State Govts /UTs. DAC&FW has, in consultation with NITI Aayog, identified a set of 9 marketing reforms to be made in Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Acts of the States/UTs. These include 3 mandatory reforms enabling integration to e-NAM viz provision for e-trading, unified trading license and a single point levy of market fee, as well as setting up markets in the private sector, direct marketing, etc all aimed at reducing the intermediaries between producer and buyer so as to ensure remunerative prices to the farmer. The States were also advised to relax the felling and transit rules for trees being grown by farmers on their own lands so as to encourage agroforestry which has a huge potential for supplementing the income from agriculture.

ü Business Reform Action Plan 2017 – The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the World Bank Group, released the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) 2017 for implementation by States/UTs on 13.04.2017. The BRAP includes 405 recommendations for reforms on regulatory processes, policies, practices and procedures spread across 12 reform areas, that is, labour regulation enablers; contract enforcement; registering property; inspection reform enablers; single window system; land availability and allotment; construction permit enablers; environmental registration enablers; obtaining utility permits; paying taxes; access to information and transparency enablers and sector specific reforms spanning the lifecycle of a typical business. This year there are 103 new set of reforms (out of 405) focusing on central inspection system, online land allotment system, online single window system for granting construction permits, registration under Inter State Migrant Workmen (RE&CS) Act, 1979, approval for boiler manufacturer and boiler erector etc. BRAP 2017 also includes two new sectors i.e. Healthcare and Hospitality. The last date to implement the reform is 31.10.2017.

ü Hon’ble Commerce Minister emphasises the potential for synergies between India and Japan – The Indian delegation led by the Hon’ble Commerce and Industry Minister of State Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, participated in day-long India conference in Nagoya city, in Aichi Prefecture of Japan. Governor of Aichi Prefecture , Mr. Hideaki Ohmura thanked the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for establishing the Aichi Desk in 2016 within the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Governor Mr. Hideaki acknowledged that the India Conference will further encourage the companies in Aichi Prefecture to invest in India . Smt. Sitharaman commended the contribution of Aichi Prefecture towards manufacturing value addition despite high savings rate among the Prefectures in Japan . It was discussed that India could learn from Aichi Prefecture as to how manufacturing can grow along with savings. The Minister acknowledged the increase in FDI from Japan in recent years. Although Japan is the 3rd largest foreign investor in India (USD 25.2 Billion in cumulative FDI during the April 2000 – December 2016), behind Mauritius and Singapore (ranked 1 and 2) , it can be considered a top investor as the other two countries are used by companies from across the world to route investments.

ü Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry Minister highlights the investment opportunities available in India to increase the contribution of manufacturing sector to 25% of GDP – The Indian delegation led by the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman met Mr Hiroshige Seko, Minister for Trade Economy and Industry (METI), business leaders of Japan and addressed a gathering of about 250 participants at the India Investment Seminar organized by Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in Tokyo today. At the India Investment seminar, Mr Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman & CEO, JETRO spoke of the enormous interest of Japanese companies to diversify beyond automotive sector. Indian ambassador to Japan , Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, mentioned that Commerce and Industry Minister’s visit would further strengthen our existing strategic relationship with Japan . Smt. Sitharaman in her keynote address acknowledged the experience and contribution of Japanese companies in India . The Minister talked about investment opportunities available in India with the goal to increase contribution of manufacturing sector to 25% of GDP by 2025. She also spoke of the various reforms and initiatives like National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) for enhancing infrastructure financing, Digital India program to connect 250,000 villages with optical fiber and Jan Dhan Mission.

ü Over 60,000 persons, including 1300 high risk persons, identified for investigation into claims of excessive cash sales under Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT)’s Operation Clean Money (OCM) – Under the Operation Clean Money (OCM), more than 60,000 persons, including 1,300 high risk persons, have been identified for investigation into claims of excessive cash sales during the demonetisation period. More than 6,000 transactions of high value property purchase and 6,600 cases of outward remittances shall be subjected to detailed investigations under OCM. All the cases where no response is received shall also be subjected to detailed enquiries. Extensive enforcement action has been taken by the Government including search and seizure and surveys largely based on the information received during the demonetization period. More than 2,362 search, seizure and survey actions have been conducted by the Income Tax Department (ITD) during 9th November 2016 to 28th February 2017, leading to seizure of valuables worth more than Rs. 818 crore, which includes cash of Rs. 622 crore, and detection of un-disclosed income of more than Rs. 9,334 crore. More than 400 cases have been referred by ITD to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Surveys have been conducted in more than 3400 cases by Assessment Units.

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