The Indian Government looks to free up supply chain in farm produce

The problem in the supply chain is due to a number of reasons and is one of the main reasons behind spiraling prices of fresh farm produce and kitchen staples like onion and potato. Therefore, the government has fast-tracked the plan to ensure smooth supply of such items through alternative chains. The plan should ensure smooth supply of fresh farm produce and kitchen staples upon implementation

Sources said that a series of meetings are being held, and a few more have been planned with representatives of state cooperatives and farmers' organizations. At later stage, even the private big retail chain players would be called to attend such meeting so that some mechanism can be established in the next six months to one year. The idea is to enlist the marketing network of these cooperatives and large retailers to remove supply side bottlenecks in reining-in prices.

Government officials said that state cooperatives can be asked to set up temporary outlets for selling vegetables, rice, pulses, onions, potatoes and oils at affordable prices for which a proper institutional mechanism has to be in the place.

Sources said that one round of such meeting was held at Krishi Bhawan where representatives from cooperatives were present. "The focus is to ensure that there is enough supply of fresh produce in cities from regions where the production is abundant. One can quickly find how there is a huge difference in prices between one place to the other. That can be managed when we can get items in the market than just agricultural produce market committees (APMCs) having control," said one of the participants.

The Narendra Modi committee report on checking food prices in 2011 had categorically recommended, In a few cases such as vegetable and fruits, efficiency of distribution channel can be increased by providing direct access of markets to the farmers. Farmers' market can be promoted for the direct marketing of products like perishables from farmers directly to the towns and semi-urban areas."

Sources said though the plan of having alternate supply chain is critical and the need of the hours, many issues including financials have to be addressed quickly.

Source: Times of India/Economic Times

Why is India important to Nordic Businesses?

India home to 1.560.000 millionaires. India has been ranked as number 16th in the list of countries with the highest number of high net worth individuals (HNWI) population, with 3,000 more joining the elite club in 2013, making the country 16th most populous in terms of population of super-rich people worldwide.

According to the World Wealth Report 2014, there were 156,000 high net worth individuals in India in 2013, while, in 2012, the figure stood at 153,000.

India has been ranked 16th in the list of countries with highest number of HNWI population, the US topped the chart with 4.006,000 millionaires, followed by Japan (23,27,000), Germany (1.130,000) and China (758,000) in the second, third and fourth position, respectively.

The top four countries account for more than half (59.9 percent) of the total worldwide HNWI population. The world is home to 1.76 million millionaires with collective net worth of $52.62 trillion, registering a 15 per cent increase in HNWI population over last year.

Overall, 2013 was another strong year for the High Net Worth market, with surging equity markets and improving economies contributing to double-digit growth in both population and wealth levels. Looking at longer-term growth trends, nearly 40 percent of the current level of high net worth wealth has been created in the past five years alone.

Going forward, capital growth expected to accelerate with an additional $12 trillion generated by 2016. "Global HNWI wealth is forecast to reach a new high of $64.3 trillion by 2016, representing 22 percent growth from 2013 levels and around $12 trillion in new wealth.

The report further added that robust growth is expected in most regions, with Asia-Pacific at the forefront with an anticipated 9.8 percent annual growth rate, positioning the region to be the largest HNWI market by population in 2014 and by wealth by 2015.

North America and Asia-Pacific remained in a close race for the world's largest HNWI market by population in 2013. North America's HNWI population expanded by 16 percent to 4.33 million, while Asia-Pacific's grew by 17 per cent to reach 4.32 million.

North America maintained its position as the wealthiest region, as its HNWI wealth reached $14.88 trillion, while Asia-Pacific, HNWI wealth reached $14.20 trillion.

Source: Capgemini/ RBC Wealth Management

Tata Advanced Systems Ltd to announce a tie-up with RUAG Aviation

Tata Advanced Systems Ltd would announce a partnership with RUAG Aviation to manufacture the Dornier 228 Fuselage and Wing at an event here tomorrow.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao would be the chief guest at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Tata's new aerospace project for manufacture of Dornier 228 with RUAG (Germany), an official release said here today.

Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister K T Rama Rao, S Ramadorai, Chairman of Tata Advanced Systems Ltd, and senior officials of RUAG Aviation would be present on the occasion, it said.

Source: Tata Advances Systems

If the minister for education, Smriti Irani has her way, many more foreign universities will be in India

Smriti Irani has decided to focus on a legal framework for allowing foreign universities to set up campuses in India and curb unfair practices by education institutions as part of the human resources ministry's legislative agenda, a government official said.

In doing so, the minister hopes to address the questions of increasing access and improving quality of higher education institutions in the country. The Foreign Education Providers Bill and the Prohibition of Unfair Practices Bill are on the priority list of the representative. We will have to go through the entire process - circulating a Cabinet note, discussions with the legislative department, then Cabinet approval, then vetting by the standing committee, before the Bill can be taken up for discussion and passage by Parliament.

All of this can be completed in the course of the Budget session, but these bills are on the priority. Both legislative measures were initiated by the previous Congress led government but fell off the government's legislative priority agenda in the face of political opposition, some of it from within the ruling combine.

There is at present no legal and regulatory framework to allow foreign universities to set up campus in India, despite efforts by the previous government.

Faced with delays in enacting a law allowing foreign universities to set up base in the country, the human resource development ministry decided in September 2013 to take the executive order route to open the doors for the top 400 institutions to set up campuses in the country and award degrees, giving Indian students the opportunity to study in global institutions without leaving home or spending a fortune in dollars.

A legal framework making this possible has been pending for more than a decade now. The proposed UGC (Establishment & Operation of Campuses of Foreign Educational Institutions) Rules required that foreign education providers set up the India campuses as not-for-profit companies, that is organizations established under Section 25 of the old Companies Act (Section 8 of the new one). The proposal had the support of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and the department of economic affairs.

However, the regulations were never issued with the government's legislative department failing to notify them. With newer players operating in the field of higher education, there is a need to improve the protection available to students against fly-by-night operators and other malpractices. The intent of the legislation is to give a legal basis to curtail profiteering in higher education institutions as well as ensure accountability of institutions by making it mandatory for them to disclose information related to the admission process.

Source: Times of India/Economic Times

CK Birla group up Rs 270 crore investments in healthcare

The CK Birla Group has formed Rs 270 crore in investments for modernising and setting up new hospitals in the country. They will open a new 250-bed hospital in Jaipur at a cost of around Rs 190 crore. It will be called Rukmani Birla Hospital & Research Institute and is expected to be inaugurated early next year.

It would be scaled up gradually to a 500-bed hospital along with a medical college over the next five years. The group would also soon begin significant modernisation of its two existing hospitals in Kolkata at an estimated cost of Rs 60-80 crore.

The hospitals are not for profit institutions and are run by trusts. The group manages The Calcutta Medical Research Institute and B M Birla Heart Research in the metropolis.

With the proposed modernisation, the combined capacity of both hospitals would increase to 700-750 beds from 600 beds at present.

Once the projects were completed then the group would set up another hospital in West Bengal, but the location was yet to be finalised.

Probably in Siliguri, but the group has not decided the location of the third hospital in the state.

CMRI CEO Suyash Borar said if the West Bengal government brought an enabling environment for a health city, the group would be keen in committing investment.

Source: The Birla Group

upcoming events