Samsara Newsletter

Week 50, 2018 (Dec 8 - Dec 14)

Policy & Economy News

Boosting exports key to make India $5-tn economy by 2025: Amitabh Kant

India to see USD 300-bn investment in energy in coming decade: Pradhan

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's coal imports rose 10% to 156 MT during Apr-Nov period

India's merchandise exports seen growing at 13-14% in 2018-19: PHD Chamber

India-Romania bilateral trade could touch US$1 billion in FY19

Shipping News

SCI launches coastal service linking West Bengal & Andaman ports

CMA CGM reshuffles CIMEX 2K2 service

Logistics News

Bonded cargo from Bangladesh flies out to the world from Kolkata airport

Logistics moving towards a new horizon, says Commerce Ministry

Indian Port News

Major Port traffic up 5 pc in first eight months

IPA launches 'PCS 1x' to increase ease of doing business

Nitin Gadkari flags off first container mainline vessel at VOC Port terminal

Policy & Economy News

Boosting exports key to make India $5-tn economy by 2025: Amitabh Kant
Press Trust of India - December 14 Top
NITI Aayog chief executive Amitabh Kant said that India's exports need to increase significantly if the country has to become a $5-trillion economy by 2025.

Kant also noted that the private sector will play a major role in pushing the country's economy towards the ambitious $5-trillion target.

"In the last four years, we (Centre) have taken a series of measures to improve our rankings in ease of doing business, along with many structural reforms like Rera, GST and IBC. These measures will make India extremely efficient in the long run," Kant said at the India Economic Conclave organised by the Times Network.

He, however, noted that to address the real challenge of growing the GDP at 9-10 percent over the next three decades, India will have to increase its exports.

"No country has grown without exports. Take the example of Japan, Korea and China, which have grown on the back of exports. So, India needs to push for exports, which would require size and scale of manufacturing and penetrating global markets," he said.

Kant further noted that to achieve this, it is necessary to create 100 champion companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), with proper support from the government.

Speaking at the event, LIC chairman VK Sharma said a robust insurance sector can add 1 percent to the GDP over the next five years if it Collectively, the general and life insurance penetration has grown beyond 2 percent, he said. It can be noted this is still below the global average where the penetration is at 3 percent or more.

Sharma further said that it was necessary to take the insurance industry global to achieve the target.

TCS chief executive officer and managing director Rajesh Gopinathan said that along with the challenges, there are several opportunities as well.

"We should not be afraid of having big aspirations and achieving large targets, like becoming a $100 billion company," he said.

India to see USD 300-bn investment in energy in coming decade: Pradhan
Press Trust of India - New Delhi, December 12 Top
India will see an investment of about USD 300 billion over the next decade in setting up of refineries, oil and gas pipelines and expansion of city gas distribution network as it builds infrastructure to cope with the massive demand surge, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Tuesday.

Speaking at KPMG's ENRich 2018 energy conference here, he said India is the third largest energy consumer in the world after the US and China and its energy demand will grow three-fold by 2040.

According to BP Energy Outlook, India will be the key driver of global energy demand in the next 25 years.

To meet the massive demand, it is building world's largest oil refinery in Maharashtra at a cost of USD 40 billion, he said adding about USD 3 billion is being spent on laying gas pipelines to connect the eastern part of the country to the gas grid.

Also, liquefied natural gas (LNG) receipt terminals at Ennore in Tamil Nadu and Dhamra in Odisha are being set up at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore (Rs.100 billion) for supplying imported gas to eastern and southern states, he said.

City gas distribution network to supply CNG to automobiles and piped natural gas to households is being expanded to cover 70 per cent of the population in the next 2-3 years. "Up to 2014, only 66 districts in the country were covered under city gas distribution. Work on 174 districts has begun which will further expand to cover over 400 districts in the next 2-3 years covering 70 per cent of the population and 52 per cent of geography," he said.

To promote clean energy, the government has launched a scheme to produce bio-CNG from agri waste by setting up 5,000 plants in the next five years. "These plants will not only help tackle the problem of agricultural waste burning but also bring monetary benefits to farmers," he said.

Remunerative price for ethanol extracted from sugarcane has led to availability for blending in petrol increasing from 38 crore (380 million) litres in 2013-14 to 150 crore (1.5 billion) litres in 2017-18, he said. "Work is also underway to establish 12 modern bio-refineries at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore (Rs.100 billion) to produce 2nd generation ethanol," he said.

While India leaps to Bharat Stage-VI or Euro-VI grade fuel from current Euro-IV fuel by 2020, it is investing in countries such as Russia to secure its oil needs, he said.

India is 83 per cent dependant on imports to meet its oil needs and investing in oil and gas fields abroad gives it security of supplies.

"Our dwindling domestic oil and gas production is a concern," Pradhan said adding the government has sought to address these through several policy and regulatory changes including moving to a revenue-sharing regime for oil and gas production, open acreage licensing policy and incentivising investments in techniques for raising output from old and stagnant fields.

Marketing and pricing freedom has been allowed for acreage being auctioned under the new policy and as a next step, a gas trading hub would be set up soon to evolve an indigenous pricing.

"The global investor industry is today keenly looking at Indian energy sector as an attractive investment destination," he said. "About USD 300 billion would be invested in the coming decade."

Pradhan said although the global economy has got a lot of traction on the path of recovery, the momentum in the recent past has been affected by the headwinds of trade war, geopolitical risks, political fractures, debt-related risks and vulnerabilities in the financial markets.

"Given this context, it is encouraging to see a strong spurt in India's growth supported by a slew of policy measures and structural reforms undertaken to address the critical problems of stimulating and stabilizing the economy," he said.

"We strongly believe that the Indian growth story remains credible riding on the back of political stability, a commitment to fiscal consolidation and key structural reforms that have made India a bright spot in the global landscape."

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's coal imports rose 10% to 156 MT during Apr-Nov period
Daily Shipping Times -Mumbai, December 11 Top
India's coal imports rose 9.7 per cent to 156.08 million tonne (MT) in the April-November period of the ongoing fiscal, as against 142.25 MT in the year-ago period, according to a report by mjunction services.

Coal imports in November increased 10.1 per cent to 19.47 MT, over 17.68 MT in the same period a year ago.

mjunction -- a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL -- is a B2B e-commerce company and also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.

"Imports during November 2018 stood at 19.47 MT (provisional)... Earlier, coal and coke imports in November 2017 stood at 17.68 MT," it said.

Of the total imports last month, import of non-coking coal was at 14.24 MT, against 15.23 MT imported in October 2018.

"The significant correction in thermal coal prices in November prompted buyers to take a wait and watch approach. There, however, was a stable trend in met coal market and this was reflected in the buying pattern," mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma said.

The import of coking coal was at 3.93 MT in November 2018, almost flat against 3.94 MT imported a month ago.

India's merchandise exports seen growing at 13-14% in 2018-19: PHD Chamber
Daily Shipping Times - New Delhi, December 14 Top
While appreciating the trade facilitation measures undertaken by the Government during the last many quarters, Mr Rajeev Talwar, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a press statement issued here that India's exports trajectory is getting momentum once again and exports are seen growing at around 13-14% in the current financial year.

Improved global demand and internal factors such as decreased input costs, simpler customs procedures, improvement in the quality infrastructure are the factors facilitating exports, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar.

The major export sectors such as drugs and pharmaceuticals, engineering goods, organic and inorganic chemicals along with the petroleum products are growing significantly, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar. India's merchandise exports increased to USD 191 billion during April to October 2018 as compared to USD 168 billion in April to October 2017 registering a growth rate of about 14%, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar. Infact, India's trade openness has remained intact during the post lehman period, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar.

Merchandise trade to GDP ratio has increased during the post-lehman period (2008 to 2017) to 36% from 25% in 2001 to 2007 period, said Mr Rajeev Talwar.

The merchandise exports to GDP ratio has increased to 14% during the post-lehman period (2008 to 2017) from 11% in 2001 to 2007 period, said Mr Rajeev Talwar.

The merchandise imports to GDP ratio has increased to 22% during the post-lehman period (2008 to 2017) from 14% in 2001 to 2007 period, said Mr Talwar.

Trend in export, import and total trade to GDP ratio

Year Export to GDP (%) Import to GDP (%) Total trade to GDP (%)
2001-2007 11 14 25
2008-2017 14 22 36

Indian economy is resilient enough to withstand the external shocks on the back of strong macroeconomic fundamentals and well supported dynamic policy environment, added Mr Rajeev Talwar.

Going ahead, there is a need to focus more on logistics infrastructure to make our exports more competitive in the international market, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar.

Focus on logistics at the states level would go a long way to increase the states' competitiveness and employment opportunities for growing young population in the respective states, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar.

There is a need to focus more on apparels and textiles, handicrafts, food processing, gems and jewellery, leather and leather products to enhance our export trajectory to the next level, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar. We look forward to continuous pace of reforms in the trade facilitation measure to revitalize and double the country's exports by 2025 as envisaged by the Government, said Mr. Rajeev Talwar.

India-Romania bilateral trade could touch US$1 billion in FY19
Press Trust of India - Kolkata, December 11 Top
Bilateral trade between India and Romania could touch USD 1 billion in the fiscal 2018-19, a top diplomat of that country said on Monday.

The total bilateral trade currently stands at USD 810 million.

"Trade in the first 10 months has grown in the high double digits. I think in the current fiscal, it will grow to touch USD 1 billion," Ambassador of Romania to India, Radu Octavian Dobre said at an interactive session with the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

He said the European country was looking to boost ties with India on all fronts, including trade and culture.

In November, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu was in India on a four-day visit to bolster relationship between the two countries.

Dobre sought investment in agriculture, tourism and other sectors, and said Romania offers a conducive environment and low taxation without any capital repatriation restrictions. "There is a lot of scope in the hospitality sector for Indian investors... hotels are running at 95 per cent occupancy," he added.

Shipping News

SCI launches coastal service linking West Bengal & Andaman ports
Exim News Service - Kolkata, December 12 Top
The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has introduced a regular cargo shipping service linking Kolkata and Port Blair with the deployment of MV MCP Salzburg, which will be able to carry containers as well as break-bulk cargo.

SCI has already been extending its yeoman service to the people of Andamans by carrying passengers and cargo, in association with the Directorate of Shipping Service, Port Blair. But with the changing business scenario of the sector and with the mounting demand of the trade, SCI has introduced this exclusive Kolkata-Port Blair cargo service which is expected to commence from December 17, 2018.

The service will be fortnightly, with duration of 10-12 days for a round trip. It is envisaged that the service will boost the economy of the islands and provide business connectivity to the mainland, said a release.

CMA CGM reshuffles CIMEX 2K2 service
Daily Shipping Times - Mumbai, December 13 Top
CMA CGM has announced the revamping of dedicated CIMEX 2K2 service linking ASIA INDIA with especially a call at Nhava Sheva BMCT instead of GTI.

Through CIMEX 2K2, CMA CGM is able to provide:

Weekly sailings covering China, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Pakistan

Access to India hinterland thanks to its intermodal connectivity via Nhava Sheva.


Rotation: Shanghai / Ningbo / Shekou / Nansha / Singapore / Port Kelang / Nhava Sheva (BMCT)/ Karachi (SAPT) / Singapore / Shanghai

Service Commencement: 14th November (ETA Shanghai) - Vessel KOTA PEMIMPIN 0VN01W1MA

Transit Time References: Shanghai Nhava Sheva: 18 days

With this service linking ASIA & INDIA, CMA CGM is providing an enhanced coverage in the Region, highlighted a 11th December statement from CMA CGM Agencies India.

Logistics News

Bonded cargo from Bangladesh flies out to the world from Kolkata airport
Exim News Service - Kolkata, December 11 Top
Bonded cargo from Bangladesh was flown out of Kolkata airport after LSP EFL created a tailor-made logistics solution to handle the very first bonded, cross-border, land-air transhipment between the two countries.

The EFL offices in Bangladesh and India collaborated in handling the cargo of apparel at the point of origin. The transfer of cargo weighing 4.1 tonnes from Bangladeshi trucks to Indian trucks took place at the Benapole (Bangladesh)-Petrapole (India) border. It moved in GPS-enabled trucks to Kolkata airport and was airfreighted to reach the final destination in Europe within the stipulated time-frame, reports said.

Logistics moving towards a new horizon, says Commerce Ministry

Daily Shipping Times - New Delhi, December 13 Top
The Ministry of Commerce & Industry feels that Logistics sector will play a lead role in transforming the Indian economy by 2025 into USD 5 trillion. Here are some of the major initiatives taken in the past to bolster the Logistics sector - Multi-Modal Logistics Parks

The Multi-Modal Logistics Parks (MMLPs) are a key policy initiatives of Government of India to improve the Country's logistics sector by lowering over freight costs, reducing vehicular pollution and congestion and cutting warehouse costs with a view to promoting moments of goods for domestic and global trade. At present there is no specific definition, specification and standardisation of Multi-Modal Logistics Parks.

Developing Logistics Portal:

India has improved its global rankings on trading across borders from 146th rank in 2017 to 80th rank in 2018. Department of Commerce is working on reducing the logistics cost from the current 14% of GDP to 10% by 2022 through an integrated approach. A National Logistics Portal is being developed which will serve as a trans-actional e-marketplace by connecting buyers, logistics service providers and relevant Government agencies. The portal will be a single window market place to link all stakeholders.

Logistics Data Bank:

A technology innovation project of India-Japan bilateral cooperation, Logistics Data Bank Project has already been commissioned to track containers on a 'near-real-time' basis. This is one of the initiatives of Government of India as part of its Ease of Doing Business initiative wherein RFID tags are placed on every container coming out of the ports to track its movement. The project has already expanded to various ports (JNPT, Mundra, Hazira, Chennai, Paradip, Kattupalli, Ennore, Krishnapatnam, Mumbai, Murmogao, Visakhapatnam, New Mangalore and Kolkata) in India and has covered around 90% of total container volumes in India.

Industrial Corridors :

Industrial corridor programme envisages creation of world class infrastructure, connectivity and new greenfield smart cities as global manufacturing hubs which will create large employment opportunities. The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project has made substantial progress with trunk infrastructure development activities nearing completion at four locations in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Allotment of developed land to industries has begun in these places and 56 plots constituting 335.51 acres have already been allotted. This is expected to bring an investment of about Rs. 8354 crore (Rs.83.5 billion) over a period of 3-5 years.

Indian Port News

Major Port traffic up 5 pc in first eight months
Exim News Service - New Delhi, December 11 Top
The Major Ports recorded a growth of 4.83 per cent and together handled 461.21 million tonnes of cargo during the period April to November 2018 as against 439.96 million tonnes handled during the corresponding period of the previous year.

For the said period, nine ports-Kolkata (incl. Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Kamarajar, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, JNPT and Deendayal-registered positive growth in traffic.

Cargo traffic handled at the Major Ports

The highest growth was registered by Kamarajar Port (20.15 per cent), followed by Cochin (11.73 per cent), Paradip (9.73 per cent), Kolkata [inc. Haldia] (8.52 per cent) and Deendayal (7.37 per cent). Kamarajar Port's growth was mainly due to increase in traffic of containers (19.8 per cent), other liquids (16.42 per cent), thermal and steam coal (10.71 per cent) and POL (9.24 per cent).

During April to November 2018, Deendayal Port handled the highest volume of traffic, i.e. 77.33 million tonnes (16.77 per cent share), followed by Paradip with 71.30 million tonnes (15.46 per cent share), JNPT with 46.40 million tonnes (10.06 per cent share), Visakhapatnam with 43.03 million tonnes (9.33 per cent share) and Mumbai with 40.32 million tonnes (8.74 per cent). Together, these ports handled around 60.36 per cent of Major Port traffic.

The commodity-wise percentage share of POL was maximum, i.e. 33.40 per cent, followed by container (20.71 per cent), thermal and steam coal (15.09 per cent), other misc. cargo (10.64 per cent), coking and other coal (8.13 per cent), iron ore and pellets (5.65 per cent), other liquid (4.25 per cent), finished fertiliser (1.18 per cent) and fertiliser raw materials (FRM) (0.95 per cent), said a release.

IPA launches 'PCS 1x' to increase ease of doing business
Exim News Service - New Delhi, December 12 Top
Indian Ports Association (IPA), under the guidance of the Ministry of Shipping, has launched the Port Community System 'PCS 1x'. The url was launched by Mr Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, IPA, in the presence of various stakeholders in Mumbai on Tuesday. It was attended by all Major Port Chairmen through video conference. Mr Bhatia, while launching the portal, lauded the effort of all involved in the completion of the project in a record time of 6 months.

'PCS 1x' is a cloud-based new generation technology with user-friendly interface. This system seamlessly integrates 8 new stakeholders, besides the 19 existing stakeholders from the maritime trade on a single platform.

The platform offers value-added services such as notification engine, workflow, mobile application, track and trace, better user interface, better security features, improved inclusion by offering dashboard for those with no IT capability. A unique feature of 'PCS 1x' is that it can latch on to third-party software which provides services to the maritime industry, thereby enabling the stakeholders to access a wide network of services. The system enables single sign-on facility to provide one-stop interface to all the functionalities across all stakeholders. Another major feature is the deployment of a world class state-of-art payment aggregator solution which removes dependency on bank-specific payment ecosystem.

This system will enable trade to have improved communication with Customs as it has also embarked on an Application Programming Interface (API)-based architecture, thereby enabling real-time interaction.

This system offers a database that acts as a single data point to all transactions. It captures and stores data on its first occurrence, thereby reducing manual intervention, the need to enter transaction data at various points and thereby reducing errors in the process. It is estimated that this feature alone will reduce 1.5 to 2 days in the life of a transaction. The application will have a cascading effect in reducing dwell time and overall cost of transaction. The platform has the potential to revolutionise maritime trade in India and bring it at par with global best practices and pave the way to improve the Ease of Doing Business world ranking and Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranks.

A major training and outreach programme is under way to educate the stakeholders about the uses and benefits of 'PCS 1x'.

This system also supports green initiatives by reducing dependency on paper. The web-based platform has been developed indigenously and is a part of the 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' initiative of the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Shipping is separately issuing an order to make usage of the PCS platform mandatory.

For more details on the stakeholder registration and integration process, one can log on to or call the helpline no.: 1800115055

Nitin Gadkari flags off first container mainline vessel at VOC Port terminal
Exim News Service - Tuticorin, December 13 Top
Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport and Highways and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, flagged off the inaugural call of the first mainline vessel at Dakshin Bharat Gateway Container Terminal at VOC Port, Tuticorin through video conference on December 12, 2018, along with Mr Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu. He said this will be a game-changer for container traffic of South India. Mr P. Radhakrishnan, Minister of State for Finance and Shipping, and Mr Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilizers, also joined in through a video link.

M.V. Wan Hai 510, a 4,333-TEU capacity mainline vessel operated by Wan Hai Lines, made the maiden voyage to the terminal. It called as part of the China India-2 (CI-2) service which connects the Malaysian ports of Penang and Port Klang as well as Chinese ports like Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo and Shekou. The service is operated with 6 vessels and calls VOC Port every Tuesday.

At present, containers from Tuticorin to Far East countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong are transited by feeder vessels to Colombo where they are further connected to the mother vessel. With mainline calls directly at Tuticorin, it is expected that there will be savings to the tune of approximately $50 per container in transhipment cost for the ex-im trade, as handling in Colombo will not be required. Mainline calls will also facilitate faster transit times, highlighted an official release.

With the port being strategically located close to the East West trade route and having a draught of 16 m, it is poised to attract more mainline vessels and has the potential to become a transhipment hub in South India, the release stressed.

In the last four years, VOC Port has made investments to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore (Rs.15 billion) towards improving infrastructure with focus on unlocking efficiencies at the facility and adding capacity in order to reduce logistics cost for the ex-im and domestic trade under Sagarmala.

"In order to make the Tuticorin port a mainline port, we have redesigned the development project of Rs 2,000 crore (Rs.20 billion) and now the deepening of the port would be done in less than Rs 500 crore (RS.5 billion), after which all vessels with draught of 16 metres can call at the port," said the Minister.

"Tuticorin has huge potential to become a major industrial hub. We are planning to develop a 1,000-acre industrial area similar to JNPT in this port. I would also like to reiterate that Tuticorin has been seen by customers as one of the most customer-friendly ports and trade in Tuticorin is very enterprising. Competitive port tariff, improved infrastructure and customer-friendly approach will make Tuticorin port more reliable and competitive," he added.