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Trade deficit with China at $8 bn in April-May: Sitharaman

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Nirmala Sitharaman Spokesperson 11, Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110001. New Delhi: India’s trade deficit with China touched $8 billion during April-May of this fiscal, while  the figure for 2014-15 has grown to $48.47 billion from $36.2 billion in 2013-14, parliament was told  on Friday.

“Increasing trade deficit with China can primarily be attributed to the fact that Chinese exports to  India rely strongly on manufactured items meeting the demand of fast expanding sectors like  telecom and power while India’s exports to China are characterised by primary products, raw  material and intermediates,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha in a  written reply.

She said the government has taken various measures to identify specific products having export  potential in order to boost exports and maintain balance of trade with India’s trade partners,  including China.

In view of continuous decline in exports over a half-year period, the government last month set up the Council for Trade Development and Promotion to be chaired by the union commerce minister and comprising state trade and commerce ministers and officials including 14 union secretaries including those of commerce, revenue, shipping, civil aviation, agriculture, food processing and economic affairs as members.

India’s merchandise exports declined further for the seventh straight month in June to $22.29 billion, 15.82 percent lower than the $26.48 billion worth shipped in the same month of last year.

Exports remained almost static compared to May’s figure of $22.34 billion, continuing the declining trend for the sixth straight month, caused by the global economic slowdown, fall in crude oil prices and rupee’s appreciation.

Replying to a separate question, Sitharaman said India has entered into 11 free trade agreements and five preferential trade agreements with other countries.

“India is negotiating FTAs and PTAs with some countries, including Israel and the EU (European Union),” she said.

(IANS)

 

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India Says Pakistan’s Links with Pulwama Attack Clear For All to See

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits

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"The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.", says Jaitley. Pixabay

India has rejected Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua’s claims denying her country’s links to the Pulwama terror attack, saying that JeM, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday, is based in Pakistan, and the “links are clear and evident and for all to see”.

The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson on Friday termed as “preposterous” the demand for an investigation, saying there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The spokesperson said India has not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on bilateral relations and it has been sheltering terrorists and terror organisations such as JeM. He said Islamabad has not taken any action against such groups despite international demands.

India also demanded that Pakistan take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region free of terror.

The spokesperson’s response came over Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s briefing rejecting Pakistan’s involvement in the terror attack on a paramilitary convoy in Jammu and Kashmir that killed at least 45 troopers. Janjua met envoys of P-5 countries late on Friday.

The spokesperson said JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the attack was a matter of “grave concern” and it had been condemning “heightened acts of violence in the (Kashmir) Valley”. Pixabay

“The organisation and its leadership are located in Pakistan. LeT and other terror groups have welcomed the news of the attack. These groups are also based in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot claim that it is unaware of their presence and their activities.

“They have not taken any action against these groups despite international demands, especially against groups and individuals proscribed by the UN and other countries. The links to Pakistan are clear and evident for all to see. Its own Ministers have shared the same podium with UN proscribed terrorists,” the spokesperson said.

He said there was audio-visual material linking JeM to the terror attack.

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“The demand for an investigation is preposterous when there is a video of the suicide bomber declaring himself a member of the JeM. There are also other audio-visual and print material linking JeM to the terrorist attack. We have therefore no doubt that the claim is firmly established,” the spokesperson said.

He said while there are claims to offer dialogue from Pakistan, it continues to shelter terror outfits.

“We have not seen any constructive approach from Pakistan on relations with India. What we have noticed however, are claims to offer dialogue on the one hand, while sponsoring and sheltering terrorists and terrorist organisations such as JeM on the other,” the spokesperson added. (IANS)