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After Assam, Tripura promotes commercial cultivation of Agar

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Agra tree.

Agar tree.

After Assam, the Tripura government has taken all out initiatives to export products and to promote commercial cultivation of Agar, which is used in world class perfumeries and other industries, officials said on Saturday.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his intervention to facilitate export of Agar oil and Agar chips to abroad.

An official of Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that Deb requested Modi to take initiative suitably so that the aspirations of Tripura can be met as the state expects to export 75,000 kg of Agar chips and 1,500 kg of Agar oil in the current financial year (2021-22).

According to the CMO official, the chief minister informed the Prime Minister that the state of Tripura has an abundance of Agar trees and at present over 50 lakh trees are available in the state. “In order to exploit the potential of Agar for state economy, the state government has launched ‘Tripura Agar Wood Policy 2021’, wherein by 2025, the area under Agar wood plantation is proposed to be doubled. Under the policy, testing laboratories and trade centres would be set up and new technology for artificial inoculation would be introduced,” he said.

Deb, who also holds the Industries and Commerce Department, in a tweet said that Agar grows in Tripura in abundance and it has huge potential of creating another “Economic Revolution”.

According to a Tripura government document, the state has the potential to do Rs 2,000 crore business from the Agarwood industry within two to three years and around 50,000 families would be benefited from this sector.

An official of the Industries and Commerce Department said: “Transportation of various forest products like Agar and natural rubber outside the hilly north-eastern region is a big bottleneck. Ferrying of the natural rubber through Bangladesh or exporting it to the neighbouring country is not possible due to various restrictions imposed by the Bangladesh government.”

The Assam government has also taken all out initiatives to promote commercial cultivation of Agar.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while reviewing the schemes, projects and works of Industries and Commerce Department asked the department to create a demand driven industrial landscape for commercial plantation of Agarwood, Sandal Wood on a mission mode.

“Taking into consideration the vast stretch of cultivable land available in the districts like Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao, steps should be undertaken for massive plantation of commercially viable plants in the districts,” the official said quoting the CM.

The plantation of Agar tree is seen in Assam’s Sibsagar, Sadiya, Nagaon, Darrang, Goalpara and Cachar districts.

Apart from Assam and Tripura, the Agar tree is also grown in Khasi and Garo Hills districts of Meghalaya and also found in the forests of Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

In the northeastern region, the illegal Agar trade is estimated to be of the tune of Rs 10,000 crore. In the pharmaceutical, perfumery, agarbatti, aromatherapy and tea industry, the Agar is used in various forms.

“Aquilaria malaccensis”, which is locally known as Xasi or Agar, is used in world class perfumeries as a fixative and is highly prized by European perfumers for mixing their best grade scents. It acts as a stimulant, cardio tonic and carminative, aphrodisiac, alternative anodyne, anti-diarrheal, anti-asthmatic and astringent.

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Nepal’s economy not like Sri Lanka’s, but can go that way: Former central bank Guv

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Dipendra Bahadur Chhetri, the former Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), has said that the situation of Nepal’s economy is not like that of Sri Lanka.

However, if the political rights are given to the wrong persons like in Sri Lanka, there is a possibility of Nepal becoming the next Sri Lanka, he said, Republica reported.

Speaking at an interaction programme on the current economic situation in Nepal held in Kathmandu, Chhetri said the present situation in Sri Lanka is due to arbitrary tax rates imposed by the same family as the president, prime minister and finance minister.

He also mentioned that Nepal should not be associated with Sri Lanka as it has just held local elections and is now preparing to hold federal and provincial elections, Republica reported.

Similarly, the former central bank Governor said that Nepal’s foreign exchange reserves, SDRs and gold in foreign currency accounted for seven months of imports to meet the growing imports and consumption of petroleum products.

Likewise, he doubted that the forthcoming monetary policy to be introduced by the NRB would be as extensive as in the past. He said that the loans given by the banks to expand the capacity of the industry were used for import.

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Business

Turkey increases minimum wage amid soaring inflation, currency volatility

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the country’s minimum wage would be hiked up in the face of soaring inflation and volatile currency rates.

“The minimum wage will be 5,500 Turkish liras ($328) with an interim increase of 30 percent, effective immediately starting on July 1,” Erdogan said.

At the beginning of this year, the government increased the monthly minimum wage by 50 per cent to alleviate the financial burden on workers, reports Xinhua news agency.

Turkey has long been struggling against ever-increasing inflation.

In June, the total losses of the Turkish lira against the US dollar amounted to almost 100 per cent in one year.

Erdogan has long been focusing on a low-interest policy to increase exports and production for a stabilised lira, asking for patience from his voters.

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Business

SpiceJet aircraft makes emergency landing in Delhi

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A Jabalpur-bound SpiceJet aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Saturday after its crew noticed smoke in the cabin.

A senior SpiceJet official told IANS that the said Q400 aircraft SG-2962 was operating between Delhi and Jabalpur.

“While passing 5000ft, the crew noticed smoke in the cabin after which the pilots decided to return to Delhi,” the official said.

He further said that the aircraft landed safely in Delhi, following which passengers disembarked.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Fire Service was also alerted before the aircraft made the emergency landing.

“We received a call about emergency landing at 7.00 a.m. after which five fire tenders were immediately pressed into service as a precautionary measure,” a fire department official told IANS.

The official confirmed that the aircraft landed safely and the engines returned by 7.25 a.m.

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