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Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das inagurates Indian pavilion at Interphex 2017 in New York

By Deepak Arora

NEW YORK, March 21: Indian Consul General Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das inaugurated the India Pavilion at the three-day INTERPHEX 2017 at Jacobs Javits Center here on Tuesday.

Welcoming the large participation of Indian companies, Ambassador Riva Ganguly Das said there was huge potential of expanding India-US bilateral trade, including in the pharmaceutical machinery sector.

As many as 52 Indian companies are participating in the world's leading exhibition dedicated to pharmaceutical, biotechnology innovation, technology and knowledge.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with India's Ministry of Commerce & Industry organized the second edition of India Pavilion at INTERPHEX 2017.

The main objective of the Indian Pavilion was to increase market access for Indian Pharmaceutical companies in the US market on the Pharma Engineering side as well and show case its strength on the pharmaceutical machinery sector.

Thanking the Consul General, FICCI Assistant Secretary General Manish Singhal said Indian participation at the Interphex was streadily growing. This would help in adding to the growing bilateral trade between the two countries.

On Monday, the Consul General hosted a reception for the participating members of the Indian companies at the Consulate General of India in New York.

Fifty two (52) Indian companies are participating in the world's leading exhibition dedicate to pharmaceutical, biotechnology innovation, technology and knowledge.

G20 financial leaders acquiesce to US, drop free trade pledge

BADEN BADEN, March 18: Financial leaders of the world's biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist United States after a two-day meeting failed to yield a compromise.

Breaking a decade-long tradition of endorsing open trade, G20 finance ministers and central bankers made only a token reference to trade in their communique on Saturday, a clear defeat for host nation Germany, which fought the new U.S. government's attempts to water down past commitments.

In the new U.S. administration's biggest clash yet with the international community, G20 finance chiefs also removed from their statement a pledge to finance the fight against climate change, an anticipated outcome after U.S. President Donald Trump called global warming a "hoax".

In a meeting that some said was at times 19 against one, the U.S. did not yield on key issues, essentially torpedoing earlier agreements as the G20 requires a consensus. Still, the dialogue was friendly and non-confrontational, leaving the door open to a future deal, officials who attended the meeting said.

"This is my first G20, so what was in the past communiqué is not necessarily relevant from my standpoint," U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the German resort town of Baden Baden.

"I understand what the president's desire is and his policies, and I negotiated them from here," Mnuchin said. "I couldn't be happier with the outcome."

Seeking to put "America first", Trump has already pulled out of a key trade agreement and proposed a new tax on imports, arguing that certain trade relationships need to be reworked to make them fairer for U.S. workers.

"We believe in free trade, we are in one of the largest markets in the world, we are one of the largest trading partners in the world, trade has been good for us, it has been good for other people," Mnuchin said. "Having said that, we want to re-examine certain agreements.

International trade makes up almost half of global economic output and officials said the issue could be revisited at a meeting of G20 leaders in July.

While some expressed frustration, like French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, others played down the dispute.

"It is not that we were not united," German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said. "It was totally undisputed that we are against protectionism. But it is not very clear what (protectionism) means to each (minister).

He added that some ministers did not have a full mandate to negotiate since they were not fully in charge of trade issues.

Others suggested that the G20 leaders' meeting in Hamburg this July could be the real opportunity to bring the U.S. on board.

"It is not the best meeting we had, but we avoided backtracking," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. "I hope in Hamburg the wording will be different. We need it. It is the raison d'etre for the G20," Moscovici said.

CLIMATE PLEDGE DROPPED

The communique also dropped a reference, used by the G20 last year, on the readiness to finance measures against climate change as agreed in Paris in 2015, because of opposition from the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Trump has suggested global warming was a "hoax" concocted by China to hurt U.S. industry and vowed to scrap the Paris climate accord aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Trump's administration on Thursday proposed a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency's budget as the White House seeks to eliminate climate change programmes and trim initiatives to protect air and water quality.

Asked about climate change funding, Mick Mulvaney, Trump's budget director, said on Thursday: "We consider that to be a waste of money."

The G20 did, however, show continuity in its foreign exchange policies, using past phrases on currency markets.

"We reaffirm our previous exchange rate commitments, including that we will refrain from competitive devaluations and we will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes," the G20 said.

Leaders also upheld their commitments to financial sector regulation, supporting the finalisation of bank rules known as Basel III, provided they do not significantly raise overall capital requirements.

Haryana sets March 15 deadline to migrate to GST portal

By Deepak Arora

Dilbag SinghGURGAON, March 4: Haryana Government has set a final deadline of March 15 for all VAT dealers to migrate onto GST portal. “The tax payers who don’t enroll at GST (Goods and Service Tax) portal will not get GSTIN, in absence of which they will not be able to issue invoices after implementation of GST,” according to Ch. Dilbag Singh, Joint Excise & Taxation Commissioner, Gurgaon.

It may be mentioned that the Central Government plans to introduce GST in the country from July 1.

In view of this, Dilbag Singh, said that it would be advisable for all the VAT dealers of Gurgaon to enroll at GST portal immediately in order to carry on their business hassle-free under GST regime.

He informed that help desks have been established at common places of each industrial/ trading areas of Gurgaon where the dealers can contact for redressal of GST enrolment related issues.

Besides the help desk, he said the department is ready to facilitate the dealers in its permanent computer lab.

Dilbag Singh informed that the dealers can contact the DETCs – SPS Chauhan and Samir Yadav – for any further queries.

He said the industry has been seeking ease of business but when the department has come forward the industry does not cooperate in migrating to GST portal. He said this is a simple process. However, it is at the discretion of the dealers.

It may be mentioned that the enrollment sensitization programme by the Central and Haryana Governments was launched way back in December last year.

In spite of our best efforts, Dalbag Singh said, “the situation is very dismal as only 20 per cent of VAT dealers of Haryana have enrolled onto GST portal under March 2.”

He said in Gurgaon (East) out of 16,136 dealers only 3,632 have migrated and Gurgaon (West) out of 25,364 only 5,230 have migrated onto GST portal. In the State of Haryana, there are 2,49,110 dealers and only 63,311 have migrated onto GST portal.

The Central Government is keen to roll out the new regime from July 1 but for that, it will have to get two laws - the Central GST (CGST) Act and Integrated GST (IGST) Act -- approved by Parliament and each of the state legislatives have to pass the State GST (SGST) Act.

The model GST law provides a common draft of CGST Act, SGST Act. Besides, there is an IGST law and Compensation law.

Thai Furniture Ideal for Indian Market : PHD Chamber

By Deepak Arora

NEW DELHI, March 2: PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Royal Thai Embassy got together in a collaborative and partnership spirit to promote the furniture produced in Thailand by members of Thai Hevea Wood Association in India, given its quality and cost effectiveness for Indian market in its various landscapes.

The three organizations got together here today to explore immense possibilities for enhancing furniture exports of Thailand towards India in which the consumption of furniture is likely to gallop manifold with slogan of “Housing for All” in India becoming a stark reality in next few years.

The current market size of furniture in India is estimated close to $20 billion of which wooden furniture size is estimated around $6 billion. Out of this $6 billion estimated wooden business size, a substantial chunk is imported from countries like Italy, Malaysia, Phillipines, Japan and China among others.

It is in this backdrop that the furniture produced in Thailand for its quality and cost effectiveness needed to be promoted in India as it is a huge market which can absorb furniture imports quite conveniently given its market size and multiplicities of income groups and that to when the Thailand is the second largest leader in the world’s furniture segment, pointed out by Sr. Vice President, PHD Chamber, Mr. Anil Khaitan.

Present among others who emphasized the supremacy of Thai furniture on the occasion and the need to promote it in market like India comprised Minister Counsellor (Commercial), Royal Thai Embassy, Mr. Tharadol Thongewang; Honorary President, Thai Hevea Wood Association, Mr. Sutin Ponchaisuree; Deputy General Secretary of Thai Hevea Wood Association, Mr. Akrain Vargapirat; Managing Director, Choosak Southern Parawood, Mr. Nikorn Likhitwangphanit and Director, PHD Chamber, Mr. Yogesh Srivastav.

The Indian companies who are engaged in the wood business showed their interest to partnering with the Thai counterparts to promote business relations with each other consisted of Alban Roux, Richwood, Try Square, Colonial Hard Woods (P) Ltd., Fabwood and the like.

 

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