Issuing licence is totally compliant with multilateral agreements: Sharma

India, on Wednesday, conveyed to the U.S. that it had not violated any multilateral trade agreement by issuing compulsory licence for Bayer’s patented anti-cancer drug Nexavar to a local firm so as to make it affordable. It also asserted that such a move should not be seen as routine by the U.S. The message was conveyed by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to U.S. Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment Rober Hormats, who raised concerns over the matter during a meeting here, according to an official.

Agra: The government on Monday said it will review South Korean steel firm Posco's R 52,000-crore project, which has been stuck for long over land acquisition and other regulatory issues.

The assurance was given by commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma to a visiting South Korean delegation at the ongoing partnership summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry. "We are committed to the smooth offtake of the Posco project and will look into the recent developments to expedite the project in consultation with the state agencies. The first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Investment is day after tomorrow (January 30)," Sharma added.

A day after the Supreme Court sought the government’s response on the safeguards in place to protect small traders from the arrival of FDI in multi-brand retail, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Wednesday said that “all institutions should respect the constitutional demarcation between the executive, legislation and judiciary”.

The Indian economy is passing through “a difficult phase” currently and it is important to “retain the trust and confidence of foreign investors in the country’s investment regime”, Sharma, who is in Davos to attend the annual World Economic Forum, said in a statement issued by his ministry in New Delhi.

The Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill is an attempt to circumvent the hurdles before acquisition, such as rehabilitation of land losers, without much increasing the cost of lan

With the Finance Ministry cold-shouldering the proposals for giving incentives to special economic zones (SEZs) to revive investor interest in them, the Commerce Ministry is likely to approach the Cabinet on the issue in a last-ditch effort to revive the sagging fortunes of these SEZs.

The Finance Ministry and the Commerce Ministry officials have met a number of times on the issue but without any concrete solution emerging. “There has been no word from the Finance Ministry on the issue despite repeated reminders. Keeping in mind the importance of the issue, we are now contemplating going to the Cabinet directly. It is the Cabinet that will take a final call on the issue,” a senior Commerce Ministry official said.

Lower minimum area of land required for multi-product SEZs to 250 hectares from 1,000

Many key changes are in the works to change the contours of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy and boost growth across these units. Following a discussion paper last November, the commerce ministry has prepared a draft SEZ policy, detailing revision in the minimum land requirement for these zones, easier contiguity norms, clarity in land sale and transfer, relocation of the zones, development of infrastructure, extending focus market schemes to these units and exit policy for developers and units, among others.

The government has cancelled its earlier permission for the Adani Group's Special Economic Zone (SEZ) over 1,840 hectares (ha) in Mundra (Gujarat), for violation of three rules.

Adani has a larger SEZ project in the same region and this is not affected by the government decision. Sources in the Union ministry of commerce and industry said Adani Ports and SEZ's project in question did not conform to the contiguity norms. And, breached a rule requiring the SEZ site to be vacant before approval was sought for the tax-free zone. Besides, the site was land-locked.

The exports have increased substantially in the last 2-3 years

Trade body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) has urged the Union ministry of commerce and industry to ban bauxite exports fearing closure of alumina refineries for shortage of the key raw material required to produce alumina. “India has a large and developed aluminum industry. But the industry is today at cross roads primarily owing to severe shortage of raw materials, forcing plant closure and jeopardizing employment,” Arnab Kumar Hazra, Director, Ficci wrote to SR Rao, Union Commerce Secretary.

The Union commerce ministry has set up a directorate exclusively to look after the welfare of small tea growers. The directorate, approved by the Planning Commission, will soon start functioning under the aegis of the Tea Board.

“This is a very important imperative for the welfare of small tea growers. It is important to look after the interests of small growers, in our approach to inclusive growth,” said Jyotiraditya Scindia, minister of state for commerce, here on Friday. The Planning Commission has sanctioned 50 posts for the directorate. It will have a central office and many regional offices in states, he told reporters on the sidelines of the 119th annual conference of the United Planters’ Association of South India (Upasi).

The first meeting of the Group of Ministers on a proposed land acquisition law succeeded in narrowing down some of the differences of various ministries though a few contentious issues remain resol