How India’s Bullion Exchange program will work?

How India’s Bullion Exchange program will work?

On July 29, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s first bullion trade at Gujarat’s GIFT City. In the beginning, what products will be available for trading on the IIBX? How does having an Indian bullion trade benefit the country?

In Gujarat’s GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) located between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India’s first bullion exchange – the India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX).

In addition to enrolling jewelers in the bullion trade, which was announced in the 2020 Union Budget, the bullion trade has also positioned place to store gold and silver.

Jewelers must have a minimum net worth of Rs 25 crore and 90% of their average annual turnover in the last three years based on deals with precious metals.

Since the liberalization of gold imports through nominated banks and agencies in the 1990s, qualified jewelers in India, as notified by the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), have been allowed to import gold directly through IIBX. According to an official, this reform allows qualified jewelers to participate directly in IIBX for the purpose of importing gold.

After registering with the IFSCA, non-resident Indian jewelers and institutions will also be able to participate in the exchange.

Medium-term, institutions such as Funds for Gold ETF are expected to participate.

The IIBX will also give the authority to jewelers to conduct as trading members and clients of trading members. To become a trading member, qualified jewelers must establish a branch or subsidiary in an IFSC (international financial services center) and apply to the IFSCA.

It is possible for qualified jewelers based in India who do not have a physical presence in the IFSC to apply for a limited-purpose trading membership. This membership allows the entity to trade on its own account but not onboard clients.

On a monthly basis, IIBX will report to IFSCA details of bullion transactions by qualified jewelers, including details of products traded, quantity, value, and quantities of gold imported.

There are 56 jewelers registered with the IIBX at the moment. The companies include Malabar Gold Pvt Ltd, Titan Company Ltd, Bangalore Refinery Pvt Ltd, RBZ Jewellers Pvt Ltd, Zaveri and Company Pvt Ltd, and Sanghi Jewellers Pvt Ltd. The IIBX is currently processing some trials regarding imports.

There will be a cumulative storage capacity of approximately 125 metric tons of gold and 1,000 metric tons of silver at GIFT City.

Thus, the vault facilities at India’s key bullion centers will provide bullion to jewelry manufacturers and exporters across the country, while the IIBX at GIFT-IFSC will act as a trading hub.

Initially, gold 1 kg 995 purity and gold 100 gm 999 purity with a T+0 settlement (100% upfront margin) will be traded at IIBX. In order to avoid speculation in the market and reduce risks, upfront payments are made. Eventually, the products will be extended for T+2 (contracts with margin payments), in which funds are settled two business days after an order is placed.

On the IIBX, there may be a separate segment for UAE gold or gold with large bars (12.5 kg). Sources said silver products would also be available in the future.

The IIBX will be a gateway for bullion imports into India, where all bullion imports for domestic consumption will be channeled through it. A bullion trade has also offered the advantages of price discovery, transparency in disclosures, centralized clearing, and quality assurance along with a trading avenue. Apart from providing standardization and transparency, a bullion exchange will also have its hand in the financialization of bullion-based products.

Moreover, the IFSCA has ensured the integrity of the bullion delivered through IIBX by mandating compliance with OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

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As a result, quality assurance and sourcing integrity will be ensured. “With the regulatory foundations in place, IFSCA intends to nurture a bullion ecosystem to position India in international markets, initially as a price influencer and ultimately as a price setter,” an IFSCA official said.

During her Budget speech in 2020, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the establishment of IIBX at IFSC in Gujarat. As a result of the MoU signed between Central Depository Services (India) Limited, India INX International Exchange (IFSC) Limited, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd, National Securities Depository Limited, and National Stock Exchange of India Ltd, India International Bullion Holding IFSC Ltd (IIBH) was formed. IIBX, Bullion Clearing Corporation, and Bullion Depository were later operationalized by this holding company.

Regulations for the Trading of Precious Metals, including Gold and Silver, were notified by the International Financial Services Centres Authority in December 2020. A bullion exchange, a clearing corporation, a depository, and a vault are also subject to these regulations.

The first pilot run of the exchange took place in August 2021, and it was scheduled to go live in October 2021 under the leadership of PM Modi. Nevertheless, the launch was postponed and rescheduled for the Vibrant Gujarat summit in January 2022. A second postponement was required due to Covid’s inability to hold the summit.

What is the significance of the Ramsar site listing?

Four new Ramsar sites recognized in India | Mint

With the addition of these five wetlands, India now has 54 Ramsar Sites, the most in South Asia.

Five more Indian wetlands have been recognized by Ramsar as “wetlands of international importance” by the Union Environment Minister, Bhupendra Yadav, on Tuesday.

Founded in 1971, the Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

Wetlands are defined by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as “areas of marsh, fen, peat land, or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with fresh, brackish, or salt water, including areas of marine water with a depth at low tide of six meters or less.”

According to the sources, wetlands “are lands that are transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems, where the water table is usually at or near the surface or where shallow water covers the land.”. Accordingly, wetlands must meet at least one of three criteria: 1) the land supports hydrophytes predominantly; 2) the substrate is predominantly hydric soil, and 3) the substrate is non-soil and saturated with water during the growing season.

Wetland areas are excluded from the Indian government’s definition of wetland by river channels, paddy fields, and other commercial areas. A wetland is an area defined by the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change as “an area of marsh, fen, peatland, or water, be it natural or artificial, with fresh, brackish, or salt water, including seawater not deeper than six meters at low tide.”. It does not include river channels, paddy fields, human-made water bodies and tanks constructed for drinking water, and structures specifically constructed for aquaculture and salt.

Approximately 6 percent of the world’s land is covered by wetlands. In India, wetlands cover 1,52,600 square kilometers (sq km), or 4.63 percent of the country’s total area, according to the National Wetland Inventory and Assessment compiled by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). There are 1,52,600 square kilometers of inland-natural wetlands and 24,300 square kilometers of coastal-natural wetlands.

There are 52,600 km2 of rivers and streams, 24,800 km2 of reservoirs and barrages, 24,100 km2 of intertidal mudflats, and 13,100 km2 of tanks and ponds, and 7300 km2 of lakes and ponds.

In India, there are 19 different types of wetlands. Gujarat has the most wetlands in the country, with 34,700 sq km (17.56% of the state’s total geographical area), or 22.7% of all wetlands in the country. There are also 14,500 square kilometers in Andhra Pradesh, 12,400 square kilometers in Uttar Pradesh, and 11,100 square kilometers in West Bengal.

The five new wetlands are Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest, Pichavaram Mangrove in Tamil Nadu, Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, and Pala Wetland in Mizoram.

There are 54 Ramsar Sites in India, making it the largest network in South Asia.

Among the 54 sites, ten are in UP, 6 in Punjab, four each in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir, three each in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, and two each in Haryana, Maharashtra, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Ladakh, Manipur, Tripura, Uttarakhand.

According to the Ramsar List, the United Kingdom has 175 Ramsar sites, and Mexico has 142. With 148,000 square kilometers under Convention protection. Bolivia is the country with the largest area. Additionally, Canada, Chad, Congo, and the Russian Federation have each designated over 100,000 square kilometers.

The harsh winters in Central Asia and Siberia force dozens of bird species to migrate to warmer tropical regions, including India and the equatorial regions. CAF, which includes 30 countries, protects at least 279 populations of 182 migratory waterbird species, including 29 globally threatened and near-threatened species, which breed, migrate, and winter in the region. These migratory birds use Indian marshlands as the place for foraging and resting grounds during the winter.

MoEF&CC on Twitter: "#Ramsar declares 10 more sites from India as sites of  International importance for the conservation of global biological  diversity. This brings the total of Ramsar sites to 37 and

However, from the point of view of management, it is like accreditation. An ISO certification is similar to this. You can also be removed from the list if you fail to meet their standards consistently. The certification is a feather in the cap, but it has a cost, and that cost can only be paid if there is brand value. However, from the management’s perspective, the certification is like accreditation.

The Ramsar tag, according to Uday Vora, a retired IFS officer and joint secretary of the Gujarat Bird Conservation Society, even indirectly contributes to conservation.

As not all Ramsar Sites are notified of protected areas under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, systematic protection and conservation regimes might not be in place there. Ramsar tags, however, make it incumbent on authorities to strengthen protection regimes there and to create defenses against encroachment, etc., on wetlands.

Over 1,000 flights were canceled by Lufthansa

German carrier Lufthansa pays off $1.7 billion in bailout cash | Daily Sabah

Over 1,30,000 passengers were affected by the cancellation of more than 1,000 Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt and Munich on Wednesday. Can you tell me why this is happening? Is there a problem with flights to and from India?

In response to a strike by its ground workers at Frankfurt and Munich airports, Lufthansa announced Tuesday it would cancel almost all of its flights from these hubs on Wednesday. Over 1,000 flights from these hubs have been canceled, affecting more than 1,30,000 passengers.

As a result of a strike by the airline’s staff union Verdi, the airline is canceling its flights. In several rounds of negotiations with the airline, the union has sought better pay structures from its employer. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the airline canceled 678 flights from Frankfurt, along with 345 flights from Munich.

In India, Lufthansa operates flights from Frankfurt and Munich to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai, and five of these flights have been canceled. As a result, the return leg flights from these airports to Frankfurt or Munich for Wednesday have also been canceled and will operate on Thursday after the strike ends.

With the summer travel season approaching, some of the destinations in Europe are bracing for an unpredicted surge in traffic. Airlines and airport operators are battling to manage it. Ports and airports are alerting passengers to possible delays in their travel plans, but airlines are beginning to cancel flights at key locations.

Airlines and airports handed pink slips to workers during the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago to reduce costs as flights endured for a long time. Since the pandemic is slowly receding, people have started traveling, and airlines are mounting flights. But the airport staff wasn’t hired in line with the growing traffic.

In addition, several unions at European airports have gone on strike for better pay, causing a severe labor shortage causing flight disruptions.

Several top European airport hubs are experiencing these issues, including London’s Heathrow, Amsterdam’s Schiphol, Brussels airport, Frankfurt airport, and others. There is a problem with delayed baggage that is the most visible. Due to a labor shortage, passenger luggage is not being loaded onto aircraft on time, and several flights are departing without it. Furthermore, airports are experiencing long queues that are causing passengers to miss flights.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma 

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