“Keeping in view the facts, the interests of the farmers, interest of the industry, trade, a balanced view has been considered by the Group of Ministers to roll back the ban,” commerce minister Anand Sharma said, adding, "a formal order to lift the ban will be issued on Monday”
New Delhi: Buckling under pressure from its allies, the Indian government Sunday decided to lift the ban on cotton exports in the ‘interests’ of farmers, industry and trade, reports PTI.
“Keeping in view the facts, the interests of the farmers, interest of the industry, trade, a balanced view has been considered by the Group of Ministers (GoM) to roll back the ban,” commerce minister Anand Sharma said, adding, "a formal order to lift the ban will be issued on Monday”.
The decision was taken by the GoM, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, last Friday, after a directive from prime minister Manmohan Singh to ‘urgently’ review the decision, amid stiff opposition from agriculture minister and Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
Western Indian states Gujarat and Maharashtra, two main cotton producing states, had also demanded immediate lifting of the ban imposed last week.
On 5th March, the commerce ministry had imposed the ban on cotton exports on the grounds that the country had already shipped 10 lakh bales more than the exportable surplus and it had reduced the domestic availability.
However, Mr Pawar, who heads Nationalist Congress Party—a coalition partner in the United Progressive Alliance government—had termed the ban “highly objectionable”.
“They (commerce and textiles ministries) kept me in the dark. I came to know about this only after a notification was issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT),” he had said.
Early last week, the textile ministry had said the ban was imposed after taking into account “the trend of domestic consumption and depletion of domestic availability”.
“Almost 94 lakh bales (170 kg each) have already shipped out, against an estimated export surplus of 84 lakh bales,” the ministry had said. It feared the exports could reach 100 lakh bales by mid-March with registration of export contracts touching 120 lakh bales so far.
India is the second largest cotton exporter and 340 lakh bales of cotton production is estimated during this season.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Gujarat cotton farmers also met Sharma on Sunday, demanding lifting of the ban.
“Good customer service is the heart of banking service delivery. Banking is predominately a customer oriented business and good customer service is the key to banks growth and stability,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said
Gurgaon: Terming human capital deficit as a major challenge to public sector banks, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday day asked them to improve customer service to stay relevant in the competitive financial market, reports PTI.
“With enhanced competition amongst banks, customer service becomes the soul differentiating factor to be leveraged to stay relevant and to forge ahead in the business,” Mr Mukherjee said at the golden jubilee celebration of State Bank Staff College.
“Good customer service is the heart of banking service delivery. Banking is predominately a customer oriented business and good customer service is the key to banks growth and stability,” he said.
As customer awareness grows, the finance minister said banks would be required to gear up for providing more efficient and cost effective services leveraging the technological capabilities.
Indicating that the human capital deficit is one of the major challenges for the public sector banks, Mr Mukherjee said, “manpower policy planning and human resource development are among the measure key areas for our PSBs today.”
A substantial part of the current work force in public sector banks (PSBs) had joined in the 1970s and is in the process of superannuating, he said.
“It is estimated that in the next few years 80% of the general managers, 65% of the deputy general managers, 58% of assistant general managers and 44% of chief managers would be retiring,” he said.
“To replace the existing workforce, which was basically trained in traditional banking, with personnel with specialised financial service delivery skills is both a challenge as well as an opportunity,” he added.
Mr Mukherjee said the government has recently requested the chiefs of the PSBs to prepare their respective human resource management plans, keeping in view the decisions taken on the recommendations of the Khandelwal Committee report on the HR issues.
“I would urge all the CMDs and their colleagues on the boards of the PSBs, to provide their undivided attention on human resource development matters as the subject has not received the focus it deserves at the board level,” he said.
This would enable the PSBs to emerge as strong and viable financial institutions, he said.
“I would like all PSBs including SBI to attach the highest priority to human resource development and feel confident that with a new approach to HRD, they would be able to live up to the expectations of the needs of our economy and be an important catalyst of the country’s progress and development,” he said.
The finance minister said a bank is only as good as its people, and therefore, the quality of its human capital would be the single most important defining factor in shaping its future.
“I would urge the management, executives and staff to be alive to these challenges of the future and successfully carry forward the wonderful legacy they have inherited,” he said.
Mr Mukherjee also stressed on the fact that the customer retention is going to be the key factor for the banks, going ahead.
The food ministry has issued export release orders for 86,039 tonne as on 9th March. Sugar mills have been given 45 days from the notified day to apply for export release orders, which will be valid for 60 days
New Delhi: The food ministry has issued export order for more than 86,000 tonne sugar, out of the second tranche of 10 lakh tonne that the government allowed for overseas shipments in the 2011-12 marketing year, reports PTI.
Sugar mills cannot export the sweetener without the release order from the food ministry. The sugar marketing year runs from October to September.
On 7th February, the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, had allowed exports of additional one million tonne of sugar.
The decision was notified on 24th February and 10 lakh tonne (LT) was allocated to the mills based on their average output over the last three years.
According to the latest data, the ministry has issued export release orders for 86,039 tonne as on 9th March.
Sugar mills have been given 45 days from the notified day to apply for export release orders, which will be valid for 60 days.
The EGoM had decided to allow the second tranche of sugar exports as the country’s output is estimated to outstrip demand in 2011-12.
In the 2010-11 marketing year, the government had allowed 26 LT of exports, out of which 15 LT was through OGL in three tranches.
Sugar production in India—the world’s second-largest producer and the biggest consumer—is estimated at 25-26 million tonne in this marketing year. The country's annual demand is pegged at 22 million tonne.
In the 2008-09 and 2009-10, sugar production was below domestic consumption at 14.53 million tonne and nearly 19 million tonne, respectively. The country had to import about 6 million tonne of sugar to meet the shortfall.