As much as four million tonnes rice have been exported till date from the old (anchorage) port here after the lifting of ban on non-basmati rice exports, in spite of the poor condition of roads and other infrastructure, and it could have been much more, with better facilities, according to local rice exporters and traders.

They expressed the opinion at a one-day seminar on strategic export management, organised by the Cocanada Chamber of Commerce in association with the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) here.

D. Surya Rao, President of the chamber, said the approach roads to the old port were in a very poor shape and there was also acute paucity of jetties at the wharf to expedite rice exports. As a result, the trade was paying huge demurrages.

He said the issue should be addressed immediately, as it would worsen in the monsoon season. Road works at least should be completed before that.

S.B.S. Reddy, Joint Director-General of Foreign Trade, said the economic recession in the West had adversely affected our exports and the current year’s target of $345 billion may not be achieved and in fact the country may not even touch last year’s export level of $303 billion.

“Therefore, the export performance of Kakinada is very laudable in these recessionary times. The State Government, in charge of the port, would have to address the infrastructural problems.

But we will do everything possible to make it easy for the exporters procedurally,” he promised.

When asked about the service tax on rice exports, he said the exporters could claim refund from the department.

East Godavari Collector Neetu Prasad said earlier a proposal had been sent to the State Government seeking Rs 5 crore for improvement of approach roads to the port, but it had not been sanctioned.

She asked the port officials to prepare a fresh proposal for Rs 30 crore for the purpose and she would try to secure the funds from the State or Union Government under various schemes.

K.R Nath of Indus Business Academy (Bangalore), K. Unnikrishnan, Director FIEO, and several exporters addressed the open house organised on the occasion.

Kolkata Port Trust gets 3 bids for cargo handling at 2 key Haldia berths

Kolkata, Jan. 12:

Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has received bids from three logistics companies (two Indian, and one Singapore-based) for mechanised dry bulk cargo operations at berths 2 and 8 at the Haldia port.

The berths were previously operated by the ABG-LDA run Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT). KoPT invited fresh bids to operate the berths following the exit of HBT in October 2012. January 11 was the last date for submission of bids.

“We have received applications from three companies against the fresh tender. The companies are TM International Logistics Ltd (TMILL), Boxtrans Logistics (India) Services Pvt Ltd, and a consortium of Singapore-based Ocean Connection Pte Ltd and Seapol Group of India,” a senior official of the port trust told Business Line.

Of the three bidders, TMILL – a joint venture of Tata Steel Ltd, NYK Holding (Europe) BV and IQ Martrade, Germany – currently handles cargo at berth No 12 at Haldia port.

Tata Steel holds majority stake in the joint venture.

As per the tender document, the successful bidder will have to supply, install, operate and maintain different cargo handling equipment as well as undertake all required onboard and onshore cargo handling operations for seven years.

The proposed contractor should install multi-harbour cranes and offer end-to-end dry bulk cargo handling solutions to the port users.

According to the official, KoPT is currently evaluating the applications submitted by the companies.

Previous contractor

HBT sent a letter to KoPT seeking termination of the 10 years’ contract mid-way (in the third year) citing law and order issues. The company had also demanded higher cargo offering to berths 2 and 8.

Both KoPT and HBT are fighting legal battles at the Calcutta High Court over compensation for the termination of contract.

Monday Market Monitor - China - WEEK 08 - Premature Demise

After crackling opening, in a premature demise Chinese steel market plummeted further on the weekend defying all opinion. Even though the debacle was imputed to some immediate ironies viz

In a premature demise Chinese steel market plummeted further on the weekend defying all opinion. Even though the debacle was imputed to some immediate ironies viz

1. Government pursuing a policy of austerity to stabilize a turbulent market lest the inflationary fire douses social commitments

2. Overstocking in the supply chain

3. Luke warm economic turnaround in USA and Europe

The reality was still mystifying. However for the time being ambivalence is advocated as it might be preparatory for final onslaught as economic growth picks up.

Pak agri lobby resisting MFN status to India

The delay in Pakistan granting most favoured nation (MFN) trade status to India is not because of any political reason, but due to strong resistance from the

country's agriculture sector, it is learnt.

Pakistan's agriculture lobby was apprehensive that subsidised products from India would impact the livelihood of its farmers, Mr Ishrat Husain, former Governor

of the State Bank of Pakistan, had said recently.

Pakistan did not keep the December 31, 2012 deadline set by the two countries for grant of MFN status by removing the export ban on most Indian products.

The relevant Pakistani authorities had again promised MFN status in February, but now it seems the process could get further delayed.

Meanwhile, India has made it clear that the trade liberalisation process would move ahead only after Pakistan fulfils its promises. Once MFN status is granted, all trade between the two countries would be possible through the much shorter land route.

Presently, though a large number of items are exported to Pakistan by road, many more goods have to be sent through the costly sea route linking Mumbai with Karachi.

India world’s 19th largest exporter

INDIA is the 19th largest exporter with a share of 1.7 per cent in the worldwide merchandise trade, Parliament was informed in a written reply.

Besides, the country is the 12th largest importer. It had a share of 2.5 per cent in 2011.

"As per WTO’s International Statistics, 2012, in merchandise trade, India is 19th largest exporter in the world with a share of 1.7 per cent and 12th largest importer h a share of 2.5 per cent in 2011," said Mr Namo Narain Meena, Minister of State for Finance, in the Lok Sabha.

INR sees biggest single-day gain in three weeks

The rupee saw its biggest single-day gain in three weeks on Friday, boosted by inflows delayed by the two-day strike that curtailed trading over the last couple of


The partially convertible rupee closed at 54.175 per dollar versus its previous close of 54.47. It rose 0.1 per cent in the week, snapping two weeks of losses.

Dealers cited foreign fund-related dollar inflows from banks, which were bunched up as trading was thin in the last two days due to the national strike which kept

most dealers at state-run banks away.

Investors are now focusing on this week’s Union Budget, which will be keenly watched to see how the Finance Minister balances the tightrope walk between fiscal

discipline and populist spending ahead of elections in 2014.

Global risk sentiment will also be important, as the dollar surged last week on doubts about just how long the US Federal Reserve will keep its quantitative easing

in place.

Ravi M. Parmar takes charge as Deputy Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust

Mr Ravi M. Parmar, IAS (1992 batch Bihar cadre), is the new Deputy Chairman of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). He took charge on February 18.

An MA in Public Administration from the US, Mr Parmar has held several key posts in the Bihar government, including Additional Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department; Project Director, State Aids Control Society; and Executive Director, Health Services.

Prior to joining MbPT, he was Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment Department, SC, ST and BC Welfare, government of Bihar, since July 4, 2010.

India may barter tea for Iranian crude

A delegation of the Iran Tea Association is expected to visit tea growing areas in India in August.

"In March, a tea delegation from India will visit Iran. In August, we will bring a high-powered delegation of Iran Tea Association to the Nilgiris, Assam and other parts of India," said Mr V. George Jenner, Director of Tea Promotion for West Asia and North Africa, Tea Board of India.

The Tea Board is currently working with the Iran Tea Association towards resolving problems relating to the opening of letters of credit (LCs).

Mr Jenner said the two sides were advancing towards a scenario where the Iranian body would directly import Indian teas and take care of domestic distribution. As India imports oil from Iran, the possibility of a barter-type arrangement with tea was also being considered, he disclosed.

"The need for Iran to get over the economic sanctions, the option of opening revolving LCs and the foreign exchange equations are to the advantage of Indian tea exports", he said.

In 2010-11, India's tea exports to Iran surged to 15.89 million kg (mkg), valued at Rs 284.98 crore, from 13.28 mkg worth Rs 209.61 crore in 2009-10.

"We are awaiting official data for 2011-12 but have targeted to raise the shipment to 25 mkg over the next three years. We see much scope for exporting Indian orthodox tea to Iran. Of late, we are focusing strongly on the Iran market as quality tea gets as high as $4.50 a kg," Mr Jenner said.

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