*Piyush Goyal to attend India-US Trade Policy Forum on January 11*
Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal will be on a three-day visit to the US, where he will meet the heads of top multinational companies. The minister will also attend the 13th Trade Policy Forum (TPF) that aims to expand economic ties between the two nations. “He (Goyal) will attend the 13th Trade Policy Forum in Washington DC on January 11. Before delegation-level talks, he will also hold a one-to-one meeting with USTR (US Trade Representative) Ambassador Katherine Tai,” an official statement said on Sunday. The TPF aims to iron out key trade and investment-related issues between India and its largest trade partner — the US. Bilateral merchandise trade during April-October stood at $77.25 billion. The US is also the biggest destination for India’s exports.
*Financial inclusion, remittance cost focus areas in G20 meeting*
As the first G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) meeting is set to kick off in Kolkata from Monday, a litany of issues are likely to be discussed. These include unlocking digital financial infrastructure for advancing financial inclusion, reducing cost of remittances, assessing progress made in implementation of G20 high-level principles and availability of finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Chanchal Sarkar, economic advisor, department of economic affairs, said the main purpose of the meeting is to ensure access and usage to the unbanked and left out. It would provide opportunities for higher income and growth, which would help in the next stage of economic development. The first of the GPFI working group meetings is being held in Kolkata from January 9-11. There are indications that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee may attend on Monday, said Sarkar.
*DPIIT working on policy for auction of salt land to private players*
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is working on formulating a policy for auction of salt land to private players, sources said. The department had received requests from different ministries, departments, state governments, central and public sector enterprises for transfer of land owned by the Government of India through the Office of the Salt Commissioner, at places other than Mumbai and its suburbs, for public purposes. Sources said that the department is finalising a draft policy on auction of salt land to private players. A drone survey of salt land is also being undertaken. In May last year, the DPIIT had sought applications for the empanelment of valuers in Salt Commissioner's Organization (SCO) for a period of five years.
Gold – Rs 55293/10g, Silver – Rs 67586/kg, Brcrude – Rs 5959/barrel, Degumsyoil – Rs 1296/10kg, Copper – Rs 725/kg.
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Sector in focus – Banks, IT, Infrastructure & Chemicals.