The European Union (EU) has given GSP-Plus status toPakistan, a move that is likely to encourage the textile and other industries as it grants exporters duty-free access to 28 member nations of the EU group. Pakistan was in talks with several EU member countries to get the status.
Under this, 75 Pakistani products would have duty-free access to European markets.
The status will facilitate Pakistan to export products worth over $ 1 billion tointernational markets and the textile industry alone is expected to earn profits of more than Rs 1 trillion a year.
Experts are of the view that the EU trade concessions will benefit Pakistan’s textile and clothing industry, mainly by enabling its products to compete with those of regional competitors like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which already have duty-free access to the bloc’s markets. Currently, of Pakistan’s total exports to the EU, textile and clothing makes over 50% which is worth $ 9.5 billion.
What is EU’s GSP system?
The EU’s “Generalised Scheme of Preferences” (GSP) allows developing country exporters to pay lower duties on their exports to the EU. This gives them vital access to EU markets and contributes to their economic growth. The “GSP+”enhanced preferences means full removal of tariffs on essentially the same product categories as those covered by the general arrangement. These are granted to countries which ratify and implement international conventions relating to human and labour rights, environment and good governance.
There are 3 key arrangements GSP scheme:
The standard GSP scheme, which offers generous tariff cuts to developing nations. Practically, this means partial or entire removal of tariffs on 2/3rd of all product categories.
The “GSP+” enhanced preferences means full removal of tariffs on essentially the same product categories as those covered by the general arrangement. These are granted to nations which ratify and implement international conventions relating to human and labour rights, environment and good governance.
“Everything but Arms” (EBA) scheme for Least Developed Nations (LDCs), which grants duty-free quota-free access to all products, except for arms and ammunitions.
Note: The EU has modified its GSP system which will come into effect from January 1, 2014.
With a view to tackle illegal activities of Chit Funds, the West Bengal Assembly adopted a fresh Bill ‘West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013′.
The bill has arrived close on the heels of Sardha Chit Fund Scam which swindled the investors of their money.
Under the provisions of the new Bill personal properties of a person, who has borrowed money from defaulting Chit Fund Company will be attached besides, the properties of the owner, partners, directors and employees of the Financial Institutions will also be impounded.
As per State Finance Minister, the Government has returned money to 2 lakhs 87 thousand people thus far, who have been cheated by the Sardha Group. The Government has spent 165 crore rupees for this purpose till now.
There are vociferous demands for CBI investigations into the case and recompense the duped investors by selling of the properties of those who were involved in the scam.
What happened in Sardha Chit Fund Scam?
The Saradha Chit Fund Scamis a financial scam that was caused by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Saradha Group, a syndicate of Indian firms that was thought to be operating a wide range of collective investment schemes in Eastern India. The group crumbled in April 2013, inflicting an estimated loss of Rs. 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion)to over 1.7 million depositors.The state government of West Bengal set up an inquiry commission to investigate the collapseand also set up a fund of Rs. 5 billion ($92 million) to ensure that low-income investors are not bankrupted. The Union Government through the Income Tax Department also launched a multi-agency investigation along with the CBI to probe the Saradha scam, as well as other similar Ponzi schemes.
UN lowered India’s growth forecast to 4.8% for 2013
December 21, 2013
United Nations lowered India’s economic growth forecast for 2013 to 4.8% and warned emerging market economies of the possible negative impact of a tapering of the US Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program.
The UN’s World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014 report lowered India’s economic growth forecast by 1.3 % for 2013, while it pegged India’s growth rate down 1.2 % at 5.3 per cent in 2014. It projects India’s economic growth at by 5.7 % in 2015.
As per the UN report:
China’s growth was expected to maintain a pace of about 7.5 % over the next few years, though India’s economy was forecast to grow by more than 5 %.
Global economy is expected to expand by 3.0 % in 2014 and by 3.3 % in 2015, compared with estimated growth of 2.1 per cent for 2013.
The predictions are based on an end to the euro’s protracted recession and somewhat stronger growth in the United States.