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India will be a net exporter of steel: Dharmendra Pradhan

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Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on September 23 said that in the next two-three years, India will be in a position to remain a net exporter of steel for years.

The minister was speaking at an event ‘Chintan Shivir’, organized by the steel ministry. The event had a theme of making the domestic steel sector “vibrant, efficient and globally competitive”.

Currently, India has a production capacity of about 140 million tonnes (MT) capacity and produces over 100 MT of steel annually, he said.

“We also produce saleable steel. We sometimes become importer, sometimes we are an exporter. At present, we are net importer, we are importing about 2-3 MT. The outcome of this Chintan Shivir will be that within the next two-three years, India will remain a net exporter of steel for years. There will be no import,” he said.

With an aim to increase exports, India has also started talking to countries from which it buys petroleum, said Pradhan, who is also the minister for petroleum and natural gas.

“To buy oil and gas, I visit various countries. I have started asking them: Will you buy our steel? I recently went to the Gulf countries. I gave them an estimate about the amount of oil and gas we buy from them, and (a figure of) their consumption of steel (and informed them that) we don’t have a share in it,” Pradhan said stressing that there should be an exchange of the trade.

There is a need to find new ways of trade protection and trade negotiation, he added.

Pradhan also said the domestic industry should also produce cost-effective and quality steel products to gain the most from free-trade agreements.

“Japan takes raw material from us, produces quality products and supplies to the world. Why can’t India do the same,” the minister said.

According to official data, In 2018-19, exports stood at 6.36 MT, a decline of 33.87 percent compared to the previous year. Imports stood at 7.83 MT, a growth of 4.7 percent compared to last year. Thus, India was a net importer of total finished steel.

However, in August 2019, exports of finished steel have observed an increasing trend since July 2019.

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No economic slowdown as 3 movies earned Rs .120 crore : Ravi Shankar Prasad

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Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday cited the earnings of three blockbuster movies to dismiss the economic slowdown. Addressing a press conference, Ravi Shankar Prasad said three movies collectively earned Rs 120 crore on October 2 and so, there’s no economic slowdown at all.

When Ravi Shankar Prasad was asked for his comments on the economic slowdown, he dismissed it with a laugh, referred to the movie’s data and said that the economy is sound that’s why the country earned Rs 120 crore from three movies.

“I was Information and Broadcasting Minister in former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government and I am fond of movies. Movies have been doing huge business. Three movies released on October 2 and film critic Komal Nahta told me that the national holiday [Oct 2] saw earning of Rs 120 crore by three movies. rs 120 crore comes in a country which has a sound economy,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

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Gold rate rose by Rs 126 taking it Rs 39160 per 10 gm

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Gold prices on Friday rose Rs 126 to Rs 39,160 per 10 gram in the national capital on a weaker rupee and festive demand, according to HDFC Securities.

The yellow metal had closed at Rs 39,034 per 10 gram on Thursday.
Silver prices also jumped Rs 380 to Rs 46,900 per kilogram from Rs 46,520 per kilogram in the previous trade, according to the data from HDFC Securities.

“Spot gold prices for 24 karat in Delhi was trading up by Rs 126 as festival demand kicks in and on weaker rupee which fell by around 17 paise against the dollar from the opening levels,” HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.

In the international market also, gold prices were trading higher at USD 1,502 an ounce and silver at USD 17.71 per ounce.
Gold prices traded higher on Friday with COMEX international spot gold prices recovering to USD 1,502 on weaker dollar index and geopolitical risks, he added.

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FinMin Nirmala Sitharaman assures to talk to RBI on PMC Bank crisis

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she will speak with the RBI Governor this evening on the Punjab Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank crisis. She met a group of angry customers of the cooperative bank in Mumbai this afternoon just addressing a press conference.

Several customers were protesting outside the BJP office where Ms. Sitharaman, the venue of her press conference.

“I will once again talk to the Governor of Reserve Bank this evening to convey the distress of PMC clients,” Ms Sitharaman. “I’ve asked the secretaries of the ministry to study in detail as to what is happening. Representatives of the RBI will also be there to understand shortcomings, what happened and also to therefore, if necessary, look at the ways in which the respective acts will have to be amended,” the Finance Minister added.

On Wednesday, PMC customers, who have argued that the revised Rs. 25,000 limit on withdrawals imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is still too little,protested outside a Mumbai court. Carrying placards that read “No Bail, Only Jail”, they accused the RBI of not taking strict action against the erring officials and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter.

Last week Rakesh and Sarang Wadhwan, the promoters of the crisis hit real estate firm HDIL were arrested  by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police after their firm set off a crisis at PMC Bank by defaulting on loans worth Rs. 6,500.

Enforcement Directorate filed a money-laundering case against the Wadhwan brothers and carried out raids at six places in Mumbai, including the HDIL office in Bandra (East) and the Wadhwan residence in Bandra (West).

The PMC case has sparked renewed concerns about the health of India’s troubled banking sector, which has been rocked by a multi-billion dollar fraud at a state-run lender, the collapse of a major infrastructure lender, bad loan issues at state-run banks and a liquidity squeeze that has hit shadow lenders.

The RBI has responded to allay fears over the crisis.

“There are rumours in some locations about certain banks including cooperative banks, resulting in anxiety among the depositors. RBI would like to assure the general public that Indian banking system is safe and stable and there is no need to panic on the basis of such rumours,” the RBI said in a tweet on October 1

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