Commerce Minister meets EPCs to address export concerns

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Commerce Minister meets EPCs to address export concerns
Commerce & Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman held a meeting today with the Chairpersons of Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) to review the current trend of exports from India and to take stock of issues faced by the exporters. This was the second such meeting with the Councils – first meeting was held on 02.02.2016.

Fourteen (14) Export Promotion Councils participated in the meeting. It was general consensus that in terms of volumes, most of the commodities have shown resilience and have maintained the levels achieved in the previous fiscal 2014-15. However, keeping in view the various initiatives taken by the Government recently and global factors, there was feeling that exports would increase.

The export organisations were appreciative of the initiatives taken by the Government, like Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES), MEIS, etc for supporting exports. Some of the issues on which EPCs have sought Government support are as follows:

(i) Interest subvention for Gem & Jewellery sector;

(ii) Increase in MEIS incentives;

(iii) Inclusion of merchant exporters under IES;

(iv) Promotion of Brand India on consistent basis;

(v) More incentives for project exports;

(vi) Indian missions to be mobilised to provide necessary support to exporters.

Each of the participating organizations conveyed their specific issues relating to the sector and support required from the Government for improving manufacturing related to exports.

The Minister appreciated the various concerns expressed by the EPCs and urged them to be more pro-active on behalf of exporters and approach the Ministry on day-to-day basis highlighting the issues. The progressive steps taken by DGFT were highlighted. She also assured that the issues relating to Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Revenue would be taken up by the Department of Commerce.

The EPCs were advised to interact with their members constantly and cooperate with the Department to take the policy interventions introduced from time to time to the grass root level, to achieve the policy objectives. However, it was also noted that the Department of Commerce has to work under certain limitations of funds and policy, but at the same time, it was assured that full cooperation would be provided to the EPCs. 


Commerce Ministry-CII-SEPC to Host Global Exhibition on Services

            The Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) will be jointly organizing the 2nd edition of the Global Exhibition on Services from 21-23 April 2016 at the IEC&M, Greater Noida.

            GES 2016 will be inaugurated by Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, on April 20, 2016.

            In the global context, the importance of the services sector cannot be emphasized more. It contributes more to global output and employs more people than any other sectorGlobally, services contribute almost one-third of world gross value added, half of world employment, one-fifth of global trade and more than half of the world foreign direct investment flows. The services sector has thus emerged as the most dynamic sector of the world economy,

            It remains the key driver of India’s economic growth, contributing almost 66.1 per cent of its gross value added growth in 2015-16. The services sector is an important net foreign exchange earner and the most attractive sector for foreign direct investment inflows.In 2014-15, while total FDI equity inflows grew by 27.3 per cent to US$30.9 billion, FDI equity inflows to the services sector grew by a whopping 70.4 % to US$16.4 billion. The share of India’s services exports in global services exports, at 3.2 per cent in 2014, is nearly double that of its merchandise exports in global merchandise exports at 1.7 per cent. The sector is central to financing our merchandise trade deficit.

            The service sector is going through revolutionary change, which dramatically affects the way in which we live and work. New services are continually being launched to satisfy existing needs and to meet newer needs.

            Against this backdrop of a rapidly growing ecosystem, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Services Export Promotion Council, launched the first edition of the Global Exhibition on Services in 2015 as a prestigious and grand event, inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister NarendraModi on April 23, 2015. It delivered what it promised. It brought together a large number of participants both from India and abroad over B2B meetings, exhibitions and knowledge sessions. Several global leaders participated in the knowledge sessions and addressed GES.

            The focus sectors in GES-2016 are – Banking & Financial Services ; Education ; Environmental Services; Green Building / Architectural Services ; Healthcare;   IT & Telecom;Logistics; Media & Entertainment; Next Gen Cities;  Professional Services / Legal; Quality / TPM Services; R & D;  Retail;  Skills Expo; SMEs in Services; Space;  Tourism & Hospitality.

            GES is fast emerging as a definitive platform for the Services Sector worldwide.   The valedictory session on April 23, 2016 will be addressed by MrArunJaitley, Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs and Information & Broadcasting.

            In 2016, we look forward to a robust and meaningful participation, both nationally and internationally. Ministerial delegations are expected from several countries – already almost 40 countries, 80 buyers from service sectors, 200 exhibitors and 15 Indian states, 20 PSUs, over 50 international companies have confirmed their presence and many more are expected over the next few weeks. Pre-fixed meetings between businesses, governments and stakeholders will make their time in GES especially fruitful.

            Some main highlights this year would be a media and entertainment content market for the first time ever in the capital, a healthcare and a tourism mart to bring stakeholders together over MoUs and B2Bs, a food festival to represent cuisines of the world and spectacular cultural shows organized by ICCR and the I & B Ministry.

            It is hoped that GES will catapult the services sector into the global radar and reinforce the role of the services to become the key growth driver of India’s economic trajectory.


UIDAI generates a billion (100 crore) Aadhaars A Historic Moment for India
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) generated the 100thcrore Aadhaar on April 4, 2016, touching the landmark in a span of five-and-a-half years since the first Aadhaar was issued in 2010. This comes just a few days after a historic legislation Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits, and Services) Act 2016 has been notified by the Government.

Aadhaar coverage now is at 93 percent among people above the age of 18 (as per projected population figures of 2015).

As on date, in thirteen states and union territories (UTs) Aadhaar saturation has crossed 90 percent, while in thirteen other statues and UTs it is between 75-90 percent.
Aadhaar crossing the 100-crore mark is indeed a momentous occasion. This along with the recently notified Aadhaar Act will give a boost to the Government’s initiative of bringing a systemic change in the way services, subsidies and benefits will be directly delivered to the deserving masses.
Aadhaar Achievements
·         More than 100 crore people  have Aadhaar
·         73.96 Crores (93%) of adults in India have Aadhaar
·         22.25 Crore (67%) Children of age 5-18 Years have Aadhaar
·         2.30 Crore (20%) Children of Age 0- <5 aadhaar="" have="" span="" years="">
·         Every day more than 5-7 lakhs people get enrolled for Aadhaar.
·         Aadhaar is now the largest online digital identity platform in the world.
Aadhaar Benefits
·         DBTL (Pahal) – estimated savings of Rs 14,672 cr.
·         PDS – estimated savings of Rs 2,346 cr. across 4 states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry and Delhi
·         Scholarship – estimated savings of Rs 276 cr. across 3 states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab
·         Pensions (NSAP) – estimated savings of Rs 66 cr. across 3 states of Jharkhand, Chandigarh and Puducherry
Aadhaar Usage
·         25.48 cr. Bank accounts linked with unique Aadhaars
·         Over 12.28 cr (71%)LPG connections linked with Aadhaar
·         Over 11.39 crore (45%) ration cards linked with Aadhaar
·         Over 5.90 cr. (60%) NREGA Cards linked with Aadhaar
Aadhaar Authentication
·         Over 150.6 cr. authentication transactions done by UIDAI
·         Over 8.4 cr. e-KYC transactions done at UIDAI
·         UIDAI authenticates over 40 lakh auth transactions per day
UIDAI today has a capacity of generating and dispatching over 15 lakh Aadhaars every day and has 37,304 enrolment stations spread across the country, manned by 3,76,543 certified operators.
Aadhaar applications and seeding too have seen impressive growth in the past two years. The number of transactions using Aadhaar Authentication has risen to 150.6 crore as on March 31, 2016, compared to 8.82 crore on May 31, 2014. The number of e-KYC transactions has gone up to 8.4 crore as on March 31, 2016 as against 2.7 lakh transaction on May 31, 2014.
Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) has been developed which enables disbursal of benefits /other payments directly to the beneficiary through his Aadhaar number without requiring his bank details. has shown considerable growth in the past two years.  Today more than 23 crore people have linked their bank accounts to their Aadhaars on the Aadhaar Payment Bridge. Total number of transactions on the APB was logged at 94.71 crore worth Rs. 28,363 crore, a handsome rise compared to the data on May 31, 2014:7.13 crore APB transactions worth Rs. 4,474 crore.
Another important achievement in the past two years is the growth seen in the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS). AEPS is a mechanism through which a beneficiary in a remote village, without having access to a bank branch is able to withdraw or deposit money at his doorstep by giving his Aadhaar and fingerprint on a micro-ATM.  Total number of AEPS transactions has gone up to 10.76 crore as on March 31, 2016, as against 46 lakh logged on May 31, 2014.
Government of India has provided fresh impetus to the UIDAI by linking Aadhaar to various schemes and initiatives, including the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), MGNREGS, Pensions, Scholarships, DBTL, UAN (EPFO), PDS, Passports, Attendance system in government offices, etc. A comparison of the status of Aadhaar seeding as on 31st May 2014 and March 31, 2016 in the following table clearly shows the direction and resolve of the Government to leverage Aadhaar for the benefit of people.
Status as on
May 31, 2014
Status as on
Mar 31, 2016
LPG connections
2.82 crore
12.28 crore
Food & Public Distribution
(No. of ration Cards)
1.20 crore
11.39 crore
MNREGA Job cards
Not Monitored
5.90 crore
NSAP (Pension Scheme)
Not Monitored
0.95 crore
Linkage with EPIC cards
31.00 crore
9.32 crore
0.24 crore
CBDT(Income TAX) Returns filed
0.45 crore
Jeevan Pramaan
0.14 crore


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