India poised to achieve Services Export target of $1 Trillion by 2030

Ministry of Commerce & Industry Press Release dated 09th Nov 2021

India poised to achieve Services Export target of $1 Trillion by 2030- Shri Piyush Goyal


India has the potential to become the top services exporter in the world- Shri Piyush Goyal

$89 bn Services Trade surplus in FY 2020-21

Rs. 56,027 crore released under various Export Promotion schemes

“Services” boosting India’s transition from an Assembly economy to a Knowledge based economy- Shri Piyush Goyal

India has transformed from being the ‘Back office’ to the ‘Brain office’ of the world- Shri Goyal

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Goyal today said that India is poised to achieve services export target of $1 trn by 2030.

He was addressing the gathering at the ‘Services Export Promotion Council- Global Services Conclave 2021” in New Delhi today.

The Minister said that Services are a key driver of India’s economic growth.

He added that services sector provides employment to nearly 2.6 crore people and contributes approximately 40% to India’s total global exports. He added that Services trade surplus was $89 bn in FY 2020-21 and it has been the largest FDI recipient (53% of FDI inflows 2000-2021).

The theme of the Global Services Conclave 2021 was ‘India Serves: Exploring Potential Growth Sectors Beyond IT/ITes’.

Emphasizing that Service sector is our competitive advantage, powered by Skills, Startups and IT Solutions, the Minister said that today, Indian services have the twin power of universal acceptance & universal attraction.

Lauding India’s commitment to enable ‘work from Home’ during the pandemic, Shri Goyal said that, while services trade remained depressed in other countries, India’s services sector showed immense resilience.

“Sectors like tourism, hospitality, etc. which suffered due to COVID-19 is showing revival signs” he added.

Appreciating the spirit that led to rise through the tough times faced by the sector, Shri Goyal said that tough times don’t last, but tough people do. He expressed his admiration for the selfless service of all frontline workers during the COVID 19 pandemic.

The Minister said that in 2020, India became the 7th largest services exporter in the world, moving up the ladder by two positions. Services PMI rose to a decade high of 58.4 in Oct’21, he said.

Emphasizing that India had the potential to become the top services exporter in the world, Shri Goyal said that Services is boosting India’s transition from an assembly economy to a knowledge based economy.

Global sentiments are changing from ‘why India’ to ‘why not India’, he said.

Observing that India has transformed from being the ‘Back office’ to the ‘Brain office’ of the world, Shri Goyal said that today, India’s Services export largely comprise of IT/ITes and stressed that we need to focus on other potential growth sectors.

The Minister listed certain crucial sectors which can catapult India’s services sector on a high growth trajectory such as higher Education. He observed that students from US, Canada etc. prefer India for heritage, art and culture studies.

The Minister assured that the Government was actively pursuing market access opportunities (FTAs) and working on a scheme alternative to SEIS.

He said that the Government supported service sector through Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package, collateral-free Automatic Loans for Businesses, including MSMEs. Rs. 56,027 Crore was released under various Export Promotion schemes.

He spoke of India’s initiatives in Skill development, especially in emerging areas like AI, Big Data, Robotics, etc.

The Minister also highlighted the need for assisting States in formulating a comprehensive export strategy with districts as Export Hubs.

Shri Piyush Goyal said that the Government as a facilitator and enabler, helped Indian Services to grow & touch lives across the globe. He emphasized that Zero Government interference has enabled IT sector to excel. He appreciated the sector for not pursuing incentives but standing on its competitive strength.

Charting the way forward, the Minister said that we must introduce more standards & improve quality. We must move up the value chain in services and pick areas where our strength lies and expand on that, he said. He also said there is a need to expand markets for Legal/Accounting professionals.

Quoting Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Shri Goyal said that “Our aim may be as high as the endless sky, but we should have a resolve in our minds to walk ahead, hand-in-hand for victory will be ours”.

Time to reduce logistics cost by 5% (Ministry of Commerce & Industry Press Release dated 08/11/2021)

Time to reduce logistics cost by 5% – Shri Piyush Goyal


LEADS report to push healthy competition for improvement in logistics development among States – Shri Piyush Goyal

Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab emerge as top performers in LEADS 2021

Inputs of the report to act as significant stimulants to PM GatiShakti National Master Plan- Shri Piyush Goyal

Efficient Logistics is pivotal to bring ease and empowerment to businesses as well as citizens- Shri Piyush Goyal

Ministry of Commerce and Industry releases report on Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) 2021

Jammu and Kashmir bags the top rank among North Eastern States and the Himalayan Region

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal today said that the inputs given by Logistics Ease Across Different States Report 2021 can lead the way to bring down logistics cost by 5% over the next 5 years.

He was addressing the gathering after the release of the LEADS Report in New Delhi today.

Shri Piyush Goyal said that India is committed to build modern infrastructure for the 21st century, at a pace never seen before.

Referring to the recently launched PM GatiShakti Master Plan ,he said that it would revolutionise the next generation of multimodal infrastructure development in the country.

Lauding Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s consistent focus on infrastructure, the Minister said that the initiatives taken by him in Gujarat for 13 years had laid the foundation for Gujarat to consistently stay at the top of the chart in LEADS report

He said that the speed of highway construction has increased three fold from ~12 km/day in 2013-14 to 37 km/day in 2020-21 and that there was a four fold increase in Railways Capex from Rs. 54,000 Crore in 2013-14 to Rs. 2.15 Lakh Crore in 2021-22.

He observed that in the 5 years before 2014, only 60 panchayats could be connected with optical fibre and that in last 7 years, more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats connected with optical fibre.

Shri Goyal emphasized that efficient logistics was pivotal to bring ease and empowerment to businesses as well as citizens. He observed that logistics contributed immensely in our fight against COVID-19 by taking essential supplies including liquid Medical Oxygen throughout the country during the 2nd wave

Observing that logistics is an enabler of multiple visions- From Make in India for the World to Last Mile Delivery, the Minister said that to achieve ambitious targets we cannot afford to walk but we need expressways of Land, Air & Water.

He named Infrastructure, Quality Services & Conducive Regulatory Framework as the three pillars of Resilient logistics. He added that with Competitive & Cooperative federalism, LEADS is creating an Ecosystem for Excellence by bringing in a healthy competitive spirit where everyone is persuaded to improve.

“Rather than just absolute improvement in one State, improvement of logistics across all States, will be a force multiplier for the entire logistics ecosystem”, he said.

He lauded Gujarat, Haryana & Punjab for having acquired the top 3 positions respectively.

He applauded the actions taken by Gujarat Govt against LEADS 2019 recommendations such as the widening of roads, implementation of faceless services in license renewals, expansion of warehousing etc.

He also congratulated the State of Uttar Pradesh for leapfrogging 7 ranks since 2019, highest among all states, driven by policy initiatives, higher infra

spending in logistics.

Shri Goyal said that since its inception in 2018, each year LEADS report has

followed a progressive methodology to provide a granular insight on the logistics performance at State/UTs level. “LEADS 2021 has gone 2-step ahead in analysis of domestic and EXIM logistics ecosystem of the state” he added.

The Minister said that states have Indispensable role in improving the logistics ecosystem of India. He outlined a number of suggestions for States including framing of State Logistics policy & Logistics Master Plan, use single-window clearance system for logistics establishment of grievance redressal mechanism and enabling if skilling in logistics through State skilling infrastructure

He opined that LEADS report would be a handy & practical guide to identify strengths, opportunities & improve the logistics performance of States.

The report ranks the states on the basis of their logistics ecosystem, highlights the key logistics related challenges faced by the stakeholders and includes suggestive recommendations.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) had launched a study, “Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS)” in 2018 with the main objective of ranking States and UTs on the efficiency of their logistics ecosystem.

The first version of the report, LEADS 2018, focused on export-import trade and assessed the efficiency of the logistics ecosystem in each State and UT.

The second edition of the study – LEADS 2019, covered both international and domestic trade.

The LEADS 2021 exercise has gone one-step ahead in analysing domestic and EXIM logistics ecosystem of the state. Specifically, two improvements have been done in the overall assessment framework. Firstly, objective parameters have been used along with the perception-based indicators for index formulation.

The objective parameters in the LEADS 2021 Index have been introduced by way of an objective survey instrument administered to the States/UTs and by the inclusion of secondary datasets on logistics across the State/UT level. Secondly, the statistical methodologies to build the index has been updated to get more robust results, given change in the overall framework.

Alternatively, a total of 21 perception and objective variables have been statistically analysed to prepare a composite index basis upon which the states have been ranked.

The perception survey was administered to the four different categories of logistics stakeholders, viz. traders/ shippers, transport service providers, terminal operators, and logistics service providers.

The States’ objective survey collected binary responses in the context of the areas related to policy, institutional framework, current enforcement mechanism, warehousing approvals and processes, smart enforcement, city logistics, drivers’ empowerment, etc. to understand the initiatives taken by the different state governments towards improving the logistics environment in their respective States.

The secondary dataset was compiled with the assistance of the central government ministries, department and associated agencies.

The LEADS survey 2021 was conducted over the period from May to August 2021 in a challenging environment when the COVID crisis was being fought across multiple fronts.

The whole exercise garnered 3771 responses from 1,405 respondents across the country. For representation purposes, states have been ranked in three separate classes including ‘North Eastern States & Himalayan UTs’ and ‘Other UTs’ group.

Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab have emerged as the top performers in the LEADS 2021 index respectively.

Proactive policies, well-developed infrastructure and services driven by a responsive Government have helped Gujarat to maintain its rank. Haryana has secured the second position, followed by Punjab.

Within the North Eastern States and Himalayan Region, Jammu and Kashmir is the top ranker followed by Sikkim and Meghalaya. Delhi stands at the top rank among Other UTs. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have witnessed a remarkable improvement in their ranks compared to 2019 LEADS ranking and have emerged as the top improvers.

The report consists of specific section on States and UTs giving detailed analysis of their performance in the LEADS, including issues and challenges being faced by stakeholders as well as suggestions to mitigate the issues.

States/UTs are encouraged to examine and evaluate the findings of the report and to formulate a suitable strategy and a prioritized action plan for improving logistics performance.

LEADS is a continuous exercise, and the MoCI is enthused to provide a pivotal role in initiating, creating, and connecting all the stakeholders to bring in the required improvements in the logistics space collaboratively.

With the efforts in the right direction, it is hoped that the vision of logistics cost will be reduced by 5% in the next five years. This will ensure that the Logistics sector serves as an engine of growth and a key driver for transforming India into a five trillion-dollar economy.

Department of Commerce through LEADS will continuously engage with all States and UTs to support, facilitate and promote improvements in the overall logistics ecosystem. Synergies flowing from such a coordinated approach will reduce logistics costs and which, in turn, will act as significant stimulants to PM Gati Shakti National Master plan.

Access Weblink- https://commerce.gov.in/whats-new/

Model Tender Documents (MTDs) for Procurement of Goods and non-Consultancy Services (वस्‍तुओं और गैर-परामर्श सेवाओं की खरीद के लिए मॉडल निविदा दस्तावेज (एमटीडी) (MoF Press Release dated 29th Oct 2021)

Finance Secretary Dr T.V. Somanathan releases Model Tender Documents (MTDs) for Procurement of Goods and non-Consultancy Services


MTDs specifically cater to needs of e-procurement, easing digitization process of Public Procurement & help in achieving goal of Digital IndiaPosted Date

वित्त सचिव डॉ. टी वी सोमनाथन ने वस्‍तुओं और गैर-परामर्श सेवाओं की खरीद के लिए मॉडल निविदा दस्तावेज (एमटीडी) जारी किए


एमटीडी से विशेषकर ई-खरीद की जरूरतें पूरी होती हैं,  सार्वजनिक खरीद की डिजिटलीकरण प्रक्रिया आसान हो जाती है और डिजिटल इंडिया के लक्ष्य को प्राप्त करने में मदद मिलती है

Finance Secretary & Secretary Expenditure, Dr T.V. Somanathan here today released Model Tender Documents (MTDs) for Procurement of Goods and non-Consultancy Services as part of continuous process of review of existing rules & procedures as emphasised by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in his Independence Day speech this year.

MTDs specifically cater to needs relating to e-procurement thereby easing the process for adoption of e-procurement and furthering the ambition of convenient and efficient e-governance of the Government. Such initiatives shall help in achieving the goal of Digital India by easing and standardising the digitization process of Public Procurement.

Tender documents are the critical touch point for the Government with industry and are, therefore, a critical vehicle for implementing policy initiatives on the ground. Uniform sets of tender documents permit Government to express its policies effectively, consistently and uniformly. Uniformity in interpretation and application of public procurement policies and initiatives reflect clarity of application, thereby, increasing compliance and enhancing public confidence in procurement process. Further, apart from sharing best procurement practices, uniform tender documents amplify the positive impact of policy initiatives, bringing economies of scale and increasing competition. They create more efficient market conditions for realising value for tax payers money. Bidders also get broader market access for their products.

Accordingly, Model Tender Documents (MTDs) have now been developed for the procurement of Goods and non-Consultancy Services. These MTDs rationalise and simplify the structure of tender documents. Besides aligning provisions with various procurement policies of the Government, like policies related to Micro and Small Enterprises, preference to Make in India and benefits to Start-ups, MTDs incorporate national and international best practices. The MTDs have been developed after a two stage, extensive consultation with Ministries/ Departments/ Central Public Sector Undertakings, other organisations and individual experts.

MTDs issued by the Department of Expenditure , Ministry of Finance  will be guiding templates . In keeping with the Government’s Digital India thrust, the MTDs are being issued in soft template for enabling easy customisation by user departments. Ministries/ Departments shall be competent to suitably customise this document to suit their local/ specialised needs. A separate detailed Guidance Note, as a guide to use of each MTD has also been prepared to help the procuring officials in utilising each MTD. Model Tender Documents, issued by Department of Expenditure (DoE), Ministry of Finance, will be guiding templates.

Government organisations procure various goods and non-consulting services in order to comply with their duties and responsibilities. To improve good governance, transparency, fairness, competition, and value for money in public procurement, the Government of India has taken a number of significant policy initiatives in public procurement in the recent past. The General Financial Rules were issued after comprehensive review in March, 2017. Additionally three procurement Manuals, the Manual for Procurement of Goods, 2017, Manual for Procurement of Consultancy and Other Services, 2017 and Manual for Procurement of Works, 2019, have also been developed.

The formulation and release of these Model Tender Documents are a part of continuous process of review of existing rules and procedures and being monitored by Cabinet Secretary as a special campaign during 2nd October, 2021 to 31st October, 2021.

Documents Links:

https://doe.gov.in/sites/default/files/Model%20Tender%20Document%20for%20Procurement%20of%20Goods_0.pdf

https://doe.gov.in/sites/default/files/Model%20Tender%20Document%20for%20Procurement%20of%20Non%20Consultancy%20Services.pdf

Guidelines for reforms in Public Procurement and Project Management (Ministry of Finance Press Release dated 29th Oct 2021)

Finance Secretary Dr T.V. Somanathan releases guidelines for reforms in Public Procurement and Project Management


Guidelines attempt to incorporate into the realm of Public Procurement, innovative rules for faster, efficient and transparent execution of projectsPosted Date:- Oct 29, 2021

Finance Secretary & Secretary Expenditure, Dr T.V. Somanathan released guidelines to usher in reforms in Public Procurement and Project Management here today. The formulation and release of these guidelines is a part of continuous process of review of existing rules and procedures as emphasised by the Hon’ble Prime Minister during his Independence Day address this year. This is being monitored by Cabinet Secretary as a special campaign during 2nd October, 2021 to 31st October, 2021.

The draft of the guidelines was prepared under the aegis of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) after a detailed consultative process involving experts from various fields of public procurement and project management. The Department of Expenditure (DoE), Ministry of Finance, was nominated to issue the guidelines after soliciting and detailed consideration of the comments of Ministries/ Departments.

These guidelines attempt to incorporate into the realm of Public Procurement in India, innovative rules for faster, efficient and transparent execution of projects and to empower executing agencies to take quicker and more efficient decision in public interest. Some of the improvements include prescribing strict timelines for payments when due. Timely release of ad hoc payments (70% or more of bills raised) is expected to improve liquidity with the contractors especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

As part of Government’s Digital thrust, Electronic Measurement Books have been prescribed as a means of recording progress of works. This system, along with other IT based solutions, proposed in the guidelines, will help in realising the dream of efficient Digital India, facilitate faster payments to contractors and reduce disputes.

Alternative methods for selection of contractors have been permitted, which can improve speed and efficiency in execution of projects. In appropriate cases, quality parameters can be given weightage during evaluation of the proposal in a transparent and fair manner, through a Quality cum Cost Based Selection (QCBS), as an alternative to traditional L1 system.

Executing public projects on time, within the approved cost and with good quality has always been a challenge. As the pace of economic development steps up careful examination of procedures and rules is essential to ensure unwarranted roadblocks are removed and new innovations utilized for increasing value for money of the taxpayer.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) and the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog had carried out detailed analysis of the procedures and rules for public procurement and project management and had suggested changes in strategies to meet challenges of present and future public procurement.

Order Link:

https://doe.gov.in/sites/default/files/General%20Instructions%20on%20Procurement%20and%20Project%20Management.pdf  

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RM/KMN

Open Network for Digital Commerce (Scaled up and deployed rapidly) Ministry of Commerce & Industry Press Release dated 26 Oct 2021

Ministry of Commerce & Industry

Shri Piyush Goyal reviews Open Network for Digital Commerce


A non-profit entity to be established by private sector participation

ONDC to be scaled up and deployed rapidly
Posted Date:- Oct 26, 2021

The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal reviewed the progress on Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative of DPIIT. The meeting was attended by Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT and members of Advisory Council of ONDC including Shri R.S. Sharma, CEO, NHA, Shri AdilZainulbhai, Chairman, QCI, Shri DilipAsbe, MD&CEO, NPCI, Shri Suresh Sethi, MD&CEO, NSDL-e Gov Shri Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, RAI, Shri Arvind Gupta, Founder, MyGov and MsAnjali Bansal ofAvaana Capital.

The Minister was apprised about the significant progress made for the project. QCI has established a team of experts for execution of the project in a mission mode. A number of small and medium enterprises have been on-boarded as volunteers to complement ONDC team. An ONDC gateway has also been established. About 20 entities covering all network components are at various stages of on-boarding. DPIIT has approved a budget of approximately Rs 10 crores for initial work on the project.

It has been suggested to establish a private sector led non-profit company. The entity is expected to provide a start-up mindset for a population scale implementation, enabled by a management with a futuristic vision, leadership with a deep understanding of commerce, comfort with cutting edge technology, and missionary outlook to drive change. A non-profit company structure removes any incentive for owners to drive for profit maximization, keep focus on ethical and responsible behaviour while providing for trust, rigorous norms of governance, accountabilityand transparency.

The role of the entity would be to develop the network by adopting and building enabling technology and encouraging wide-scale voluntary participation by eco-system players. It would ensure network discipline by establishing a code of conduct and rules of network based on principles of consumer protection, fair trade and regulatory conformity. The entity will also provide foundational services for managing the network like digital infrastructure for the network, common registry, certification of participants and certifying agencies, grievance redressal, etc. The entity will develop and operate reference applications for buyers, sellers and gateway for market activation and priming the network along with partner entities. It will also support SMEs in their digital transformation by developing readymade tools to help existing software applications quickly adapt to the network.

The meeting was also attended by a number of prospective promoters including senior representatives from State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, NABARD, SIDBI, National Payments Corporation of India, NSDL, CDSL, NSE and BSE.

Shri Goyal expressed satisfaction with the progress made and desired to compress timelines for making this network a reality soon. He directed that wide participation from ecosystem should be ensured and the institutional structure should be created in such a manner so as to ensure that the entity conducts itself in an ethical, cooperative, democratic and responsible manner.He directed that special efforts must be made to build trust in the ONDC network and elaborate mechanisms must be put in place for dispute resolution.

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Automotive Industry : Notification of Mass Emission Standards for E12 AND E15 fuels

Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

Notification of Mass Emission Standards for E12 AND E15 fuels

Posted Date:- Oct 13, 2021

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide GSR 728 (E) dated 11th October 2021 has notified mass emission standards for E 12 (12% Ethanol with Gasoline) and E15 (15% Ethanol 12 with gasoline) fuels. This will enable the Automotive Industry to manufacture E 12 and E 15 compliant motor vehicles.

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Click here to see Notification

MJPSRelease Id :-1763584

Leading India’s intervention, Shri Piyush Goyal calls for waiver of IPR and dismantling new trade barriersin the global fight against the pandemic

Ministry of Commerce & Industry Press Release dated 12th Oct 2021

Leading India’s intervention, Shri Piyush Goyal calls for waiver of IPR and dismantling new trade barriersin the global fight against the pandemic


“We need to actively resolve new trade barriers like vaccine differentiations or COVID passports, which impose mobility restrictions and impede the movement of personnel needed for delivering critical services:” Shri Goyal’ssays at G20 Trade Ministers

Shri Goyal asks countries engaged in distant water fishing to stop subsidizing their fishing in high seas and gradually reduce their fishing capacities, particularly, for overfished stocks

Shri Piyush Goyal urges Developed Countries to fulfil their commitments regarding Transfer OfTechnology and Climate Finance

“India among few countries on track to exceed SDG commitments as per the Paris Agreement,” says Shri Goyal

Shri Piyush Goyal meets Ministers of G 20 to advance India’s trade position and negotiated bilateral and multilateral agreements

The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal has called for waiver of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and dismantling new trade barriers in the global fight against the COVID19 pandemic.

“Our response to the pandemic needs to ensure equitable access to vaccines and other COVID-19 related health products by ensuring quick resolution of the supply side constraints. One of the ways to demonstrate this is by accepting the TRIPS waiver proposal,” Shri Goyal said, in his address to the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting in Naples, Italy today.

Shri Goyal called for actively resolving new trade barriers like vaccine differentiations or COVID passports, which impose mobility restrictions and impede the movement of personnel needed for delivering critical services.

“COVID-19 crisis is a powerful reminder of our inter-connectedness, and the need for a coordinated global strategy to overcome such an unprecedented public health situation,” he said.

Shri Goyal underlined the need for an early universal vaccination against Covid19.

“Apart from focusing on facilitating free flow of goods, I invite G20 countries to join in efforts to make health services accessible and more affordable by the citizens of the world by enabling free flow of health services,” he said, adding,“as a quick response to the pandemic, I am happy to inform that our telemedicine initiative “e Sanjeevani”, has been serving millions of Indians. I am happy to offer it to the entire world.”

Calling for an equitable and balanced outcome to the trade negotiations in the Fisheries sector, Shri Goyal advocated that countries engaged in distant water fishing should stop subsidizing their fishing in high seas and gradually reduce their fishing capacities, particularly, for overfished stocks.

“To achieve balanced outcomes in Fisheries Subsidies, policy space for future is a must, not only to protect the livelihoods of poor and marginal fishermen and address, the food security concerns but also to diversify, modernise and develop the fisheries sector, he said. Separately, Shri Goyal also discussed the Agreement on joint multilateral positions in Fisheries etc with his Australian counterpart during a one-to-one meeting yesterday.

In his G20 Ministerial Address, meanwhile, Shri Goyal also said India is committed towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

“India is among the few countries which is on track to exceed its commitments as per the Paris Agreement. We urge the Members to fulfil their commitments regarding Transfer Of Technology and Climate Finance, which are far from being fulfilled by the Developed Countries,” he said.

Shri Goyal said sustainability cannot be seen in isolation and has to be linked to making available grant based, long tenure, low cost and concessional & affordable technologies.

 “India has consistently maintained that environmental/sustainability measures need careful assessment to ensure that they do not become new trade barriers and the right forum for them is the dedicated Multilateral Environmental Agreements,” he said.

On Tuesday, it turned out to be a power packed day for Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on the sidelines of the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting at Sorrento, Italy. He met with nearly 15 Ministers to advance India’s trade position and negotiated bilateral and multilateral agreements. Among the countries and dignitaries met included DG WTO, US, UK, EU, Brazil, China, Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, Canada, South Korea and Mexico.

Shri Goyal unequivocally put forth the position that India is working towards the success of the upcoming WTO 12thMinisterial Conference (WTO MC12) next month but the outcome must be just and equitable. “Historical wrongs against developing countries must be corrected rather than being carried over,” he said.

In his meetings with the Canadian Minister, Shri Goyal discussed steps to take forward the FTA negotiations with the newly elected Government while he called upon his South Korean and EU counterparts to accelerate review of the FTA. With the Mexican Minister, Shri Goyal discussed cooperation in healthcare. Shri Goyal also met with the DG, WTO to discuss the MC12 agenda.

Government Approves Air India DisinvestmentTatasons’ SPV – Talace Pvt Ltd – Wins Bid for Air India

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs  (CCEA) – empowered Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) comprising of Union Minister for Home Affairs and Cooperation Shri Amit Shah; Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman; Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal and Union Civil Aviation Minister Shri Jyotiraditya Scindia approved the highest price bid of M/s Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of M/s Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd for sale of 100% equity shareholding of Government of India in Air India along with equity shareholding of Air India in AIXL and AISATS. The winning bid is for Rs 18,000 crore as Enterprise Value (EV) consideration for AI (100% shares of AI along with AI’s shareholding in AIXL and AISATS).  The transaction does not include non-core assets including land and building, valued at Rs 14,718 crore, which are to be transferred to GoI’s Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL).

The process for disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries commenced in June 2017 with the ‘in-principle’ approval of CCEA. The first round did not elicit any Expression of Interest. The process re-commenced on 27 January 2020 with issue of Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) and request for Expressions of Interest (EOI). The original construct as per the January 2020 PIM envisaged (i) pre-determined, fixed amount of debt to be retained in AI (with balance to be transferred to Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL) and (ii) the sum of certain identified current and non-current liabilities (other than debt) to be retained in AI and AIXL would be equal to the sum of certain identified current and non-current assets of AI and AIXL (excess liabilities to be transferred to AIAHL).

The timelines had to be extended on account of the situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the excessive debt and other liabilities of Air India arising out of huge accumulated losses, the bidding construct was revised in October 2020 to Enterprise Value (EV) to allow prospective bidders an opportunity to resize the balance sheet and increase chances of receiving bids and competition. The EV construct allowed the bidders to bid on the total consideration for equity and debt instead of a pre-determined, fixed debt with minimum cash consideration of 15% for equity. As per both the original and revised construct, all non-core assets (land, buildings, etc.) are to be transferred to AIAHL and are therefore not a part of the transaction. It has been ensured that the interest of the employees and retired employees would be taken care of.

The transaction saw keen competition with seven EOIs being received in December, 2020. Five of the bidders, however, had to be disqualified as they could not meet the requirements set out in the PIM/EOI, even after allowing them an opportunity for clarification. The Request for Proposal (RFP) and draft Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) was issued on 30 March, 2021. Air India provided comprehensive information through the Virtual Data Room to the qualified bidders who were also provided access to inspect the assets and facilities being offered as a part of the transaction. A large number of queries from bidders were responded to. On request of bidders, the bid due date was extended to 15 September, 2021 so that they could complete their due diligence before submission of bid. The final SPA containing detailed terms and conditions and the respective responsibilities to meet the conditions precedent for closing the transaction including release of Government guarantees prior to closing was agreed upon prior to bid submission. Two sealed bids were received on the due date along with non-financial bid documents and bid security from the two qualified bidders.

In line with the approved procedure for strategic disinvestment, a reserve price was fixed after the receipt of sealed financial bids for the transaction, based on valuation using methodologies as per the established process. After the independent fixation of Reserve Price, the already received sealed financial bids were opened in the presence of the bidders, who were as follows:

  1. M/s Talace Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of M/s Tata Sons Pvt Ltd for an EV of Rs 18,000 crore
  2. Consortium led by Sh Ajay Singh for an EV of Rs 15,100 crore.

Both the bids were above the reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.

The entire disinvestment process has been carried out in a transparent manner, with due regard to confidentiality of the bidders, through multi-layered decision making involving Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment (CGD) and the empowered Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM) at the apex Ministerial level. Transaction Adviser, Legal Adviser, Asset Valuer, professionals in their respective fields, have supported the entire process.

The next step will be to issue the Letter of Intent (LoI) and then sign the Share Purchase Agreement following which, the conditions precedent would need to be satisfied by the successful bidder, the company and Government. It is expected that the transaction will be completed by December 2021.

Ministry of Finance Press Release dated 08 Oct 2021

At 87%, India has the highest FinTech adoption rate in the world against the global average of 64%

“At 87%, India has the highest FinTech adoption rate in the world against the global average of 64%”: Shri Piyush Goyal


India poised to become one of the largest digital markets in the world, says Commerce Minister

UPI banking interface recorded highest ever, over 3.6 Bn transactions, last month

More than 2 trillion transactions processed using Aadhar last year

Minister says India’s fintech industry came to rescue of people during the lockdown and 2nd wave of Covid, promoting contactless banking

Ministry of Commerce & Industry Press Release dated Sep 30, 2021

The Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Shri Piyush Goyal has said India is poised to become one of the largest digital markets in the world. Addressing the 2nd Global Fintech Fest-2021 through video conferencing today, he said, “At 87%, India has the highest FinTech adoption rate in the world against the global average of 64%.”

“As of May 2021, India’s United Payments Interface (UPI) has seen participation of 224 banks & recorded 2.6 billion transactions worth over $68 Bn and the highest ever, more than 3.6 Bn transactions, in Aug’21,” said Shri Goyal. “Over 2 trillion transactions were processed using the AePS (Aadhar-enabled payment system) last year,” he added.

The Minister said India’s FinTech industry came to the rescue of people at the time of pandemic, by enabling them to carry out critical activities from the safety of their homes, particularly during the lockdown & the 2nd wave of Covid.

“As Prime Minister Modi says, ‘every crisis can be converted into an opportunity’, now citizens do not have to go to the banks, the banks have come to their homes and on their mobile phones,” he said.

Shri Piyush Goyal said, under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi India underwent a digital transformation in Mission Mode since he announced the Jan Dhan Yojana in his first Independence Day speech on assuming office, on 15th August 2014. More than 2 crore accounts were opened under the scheme, which has been considered a world record, he said.

“JAM trinity, besides DBT, has brought in transparency, integrity and timely delivery of financial benefits and services to India’s vast population. “JAM trinity has enabled India to leverage its technical capabilities for developing Fintech sector.

The Minister said, under the National Broadband Mission soon every village in India will have high speed internet and this power can be leveraged to make India a Fintech Innovation Hub.

“I believe India is poised to become one of the largest digital markets with rapid expansion of mobile & internet networks. As India aims to become Aatmanirbhar, we want our industry & entrepreneurs to use local talent to produce globally marketable solutions, he said.

Shri Goyal said, FinTech today has the potential to bring investments for mobile apps, e-commerce stores & several other digital infrastructures.

“Investment inflow in the Fintech sector which has gone up to  $10Bn since it started in 2016 has the huge potential to “Up the Game”, it will simultaneously enhance customer experience. Your strength will be augmented by the world’s 3rd largest Startup ecosystem which is hungry for growth.”

An interesting development is the emergence of embedded finance

The non-financial services sectors are also proactive in  adopting FinTech solutions today.

Shri Goyal said that with the expansion of their value chains, we need to consume more and more fintech services will grow proportionally.

“Our MSMEs have also rapidly adopted FinTech solutions whether for credit, payments, accounting & tax filing. Government has recently launched the Open Credit Enablement Network (OCEN) & Account Aggregator (AA) framework. These enable formal credit flow to the most vulnerable segments, especially particularly small businesses, brings Ease for financial institutions to reach large segments, by lowering distribution costs and now institutions can give smaller loans, with short repayment cycles.

The Commerce Minister said, India is today one of the fastest growing Fintech markets with more than 2,100 FinTechs.

“A lot of Indian Fintech markets are unicorns and India’s market is currently valued at $31 Bn, and expected to grow to $84 Bn by 2025,” he said.

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