Land pact rollout in next 11 months
- Bangladesh and India will implement the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974 and Protocol of 2011, in a phased manner over the next 11 months. Between July 31, 2015 and June 30, 2016, the entire process, including physical exchange of enclaves and land parcels in adverse possession along with boundary demarcation, will be completed, according to the letters exchanged between the two Foreign Secretaries during the Prime Minister’s visit here last week.
- Perhaps the most significant date is July 31, 2015 — the “Appointed Day.” The enclaves on both sides of the border “shall stand transferred to the other” by the midnight of the Appointed Day. The countries will exchange strip maps showing the narrow stretch of territory on the Appointed Day (July 31, 2015) completing the transfer of territorial jurisdiction, while the ground demarcation of the boundary will be completed by the respective Survey Departments by June 30, 2016. Meanwhile, “India and Bangladesh will print, sign at plenipotentiary level and exchange” the strip maps of the un-demarcated sectors “by the Appointed Day.”
- Both governments will facilitate “orderly, safe and secure passage” to the enclave dwellers along with their “personal belongings and moveable property” to Bangladesh or India through proper “travel documents.” The passage “will be arranged by the respective governments…(and) take place by November 30, 2015.”
- “Entry/exit points will be Haldibari (on Indian side) Burimari and Banglabandha” on the international border, the exchanged letters said.
- Both sides have agreed “to conduct a joint visit to the enclaves” to survey all the complex and controversial issues.
Musicians, film-maker chosen for Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships
- Musicologist S.R. Janakiraman, film-maker M.S. Sathyu, classical singer Vijay Kichlu and musician Tulsidas Borkar have been chosen for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships for the year 2014.
- Akademi ratnas, or fellowships, and awards for 2014 were decided by the General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, also known as the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, at its meeting on June 10.
- The fellowship of the Akademi is considered a rare honour and restricted to a small group at a given time. At present, there are 40 fellows.
- The General Council also selected 36 artists from the fields of music, dance, theatre and puppetry for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2014.
- Nine eminent artists in the field of music — Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan and Nath Narelkar for Hindustani vocal; Pandit Nayan Ghosh (tabla) and Ronu Majumdar (flute) for Hindustani instrumental music; Neyveli Santhanagopalan for Carnatic vocal; T.A. Kaliyamurthy (Thavil), Sukanya Ramgopal (Ghatam) and Dwaram Durga Prasad Rao (violin) for Carnatic instrumental music — have bagged awards.
- In the field of dance, Adayar Janardanan (Bharatanatyam), Uma Dogra (Kathak), Amusana Devi (Manipuri), Vedantam Radhesyam (Kuchipudi), Sudhakar Sahoo (Odissi), Anita Sharma (Sattriya), Jagru Mahto (Chhau), Navtej Singh Johar (contemporary dance) and Varanasi Vishnu Namboothiri (music for Kathakali) have been selected.
- The eight theatre persons chosen for awards were: Asgar Wajahat, Surya Mohan Kulshreshtha, Chidambar Rao Jambe, Debshankar Haldar, Ramdas Kamath, Amod Bhatt, Manjunath Bhagwat Hostota and Amardas Manikpuri.
- For their contribution to traditional/folk/tribal music/ dance/theatre and puppetry, eight artistes have been selected. They are: Puran Shah Koti, K. Kesavasamy, Kalamandalam Ram Mohan, Reba Kanta Mohanta, Abdul Rashid Hafiz, K. Shanathoiba Sharma, Ramdayal Sharma and Thanga Darlong.
- Director, playwright and writer Akshara K.V. and musician Indudhar Nirody will receive awards for Overall Contribution/Scholarship to Performing Arts. The honour of Akademi fellow carries a purse of Rs. 3,00,000, and Akademi awards Rs.1,00,000.
NCDEX launches gold delivery centre
- NCDEX, a commodity exchange, on June 12, announced the launch of a new national market for gold, with Chennai as delivery centre.
- Addressing presspersons here, Suresh Devnani, Head-Business, NCDEX, said the first exchange-traded deliverable gold forwards, called ‘Gold Now’, was an initiative towards encouraging domestic supply of gold by providing an impetus to the gold-recycling industry consisting of 17 refineries in India.
- “With the launch of Gold Now national marketplace, we are creating an ecosystem that is on par with international standards which will help the South Indian bullion and jewellery industry improve its efficiencies,” he said.
- Under Gold Now, forward contracts in bullion would be available in 1 kg and 100 gram with daily delivery facility through T+1 and T+2 settlement system.
- The platform would accept gold recycled in exchange-approved refineries as good delivery.
- Mr. Devnani said South India accounted for around 40 per cent of the country’s gold consumption with the share of Tamil Nadu at more than 70 per cent.
- This necessitated the need to offer an exchange-traded forward contract in gold with Chennai as delivery centre, he said.
National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX)
- National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) is an online commodity exchange based in India. It has an independent Board of Directors and professional management, who have interest in commodity markets. It provides a commodity exchange platform for market participants to trade in commodity derivatives. It is a public limited company, incorporated on 23 April 2003 under the Companies Act, 1956. It obtained its Certificate for Commencement of Business on 9 May 2003, and began operations on 15 December 2003. NCDEX is the only commodity exchange in the country promoted by national institutions. NCDEX is regulated by the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), and is subject to the Companies Act 2013, Stamp Act, Contracts Act, Forward Commission (Regulation) Act, and various other laws.
Industrial production up 4.1 % in April
- The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for April, released on June 12, registered a growth of 4.1 per cent, far faster than the 1.6-2 per cent expected by experts, and also much faster than the 2.1 per cent registered in March.
- The Consumer Price Index inflation for May, also released at the same time, rose to 5 per cent, in line with expectations. However, it was at 4.87 per cent in April.
- The April data shows that manufacturing sector output rose 5.1 per cent compared to what it was in April the previous year. This growth rate is more than double the 2.25 per cent registered in March 2015 over the same month in 2014.
- The IIP’s growth spurt in April confirms Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s assertion that the 84 per cent jump in excise duty collections pointed towards a recovery in manufacturing. Central excise duty collections increased from Rs.11,838 crore in May 2014 to Rs.21,809 crore in May 2015.
- “With the government, all accounts are on an actual basis. Only if they receive the amount will it be accounted for. Excise duty is levied on production at the warehouse. This would suggest an increase in manufacturing, as the Finance Minister has pointed out,” said Mr. Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist, CARE Ratings.
- The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) backs the view that there are signs of green shoots of recovery. “There is enough evidence that investment has started picking up, as capital goods production is showing an uptick. Delays in project clearance are no longer an issue. Going forward, we believe that manufacturing activity would further pick up as demand improves, said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.
- The Indices of Industrial Production for the Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors for the month of April 2015, registered growth rates of 0.6 per cent, 5.1 per cent and -0.5 per cent, respectively, as compared to April 2014.
- Earlier in the week, on JUne 10, Mr. Jaitley had pointed towards the 37.3 per cent growth in indirect tax collections — from Rs.36,408 crore in May 2014 to Rs.49,993 crore in May 2015 — as a sign of economic, and especially manufacturing, recovery. However, low factory capacity utilisation levels remain a point of concern. “Capacity utilisation levels have to show a significant improvement in some sectors. But corporates have started witnessing a rise in their order pipelines. A very significant new investment revival is awaiting improvements in capacity utilization,” said Mr. Banerjee. Even the Reserve Bank of India had recently pointed towards low capacity utilisation levels as a factor that needed to be rectified.
- In addition, the output of eight core industries contracted by 0.4 per cent in April, the second month in a row of contraction, on the poor performance of the electricity, cement, refinery products, fertiliser, crude oil, and natural gas sectors. Coal and steel were the only two core sectors that saw growth, of 7.9 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively.
- This data comes on top of Mr. Jaitley’s regular assertions that there are sure signs of an economic recovery, and the Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan’s warnings that the weakness in investments, corporate results, and demand means the economy is still below potential.