INDUSTRIAL SCENE
Exports of leather and leather products during 1997-98 and 1998-99 
Value in Million (Rs.) 
Category                                  1997-98                         1998-99

Finished leather                   10994.44                    11316.42 

Leather Footwear                10476.76                    12383.83 

Footwear Components            8937.27                   10400.37 

Leather Garments                15802.77                   15728.23 

Leather Goods                    14394.70                   18304.94 

Saddlery & Harness                 964.67                    1423.97 

Total                                 61570.61                   69557.76 

Steel Exports rise 60 per cent in April 1999-January 2000

India has exported 22.50 lakh tonnes of finished steel during April 1999 - January 2000 which was nearly 60 per cent more as compared to the export during the same period last year. Main and secondary producers have contributed to this quantum jump in export. In addition there was 2.50 lakh tonnes of export of semis during this period in place of 1.17 lakh tonnes during April 1998 - January 1999. 

Infrastructure grows by over 8 per cent 

Infrastructure industries grew by 8.3 per cent during the 11 months of 1999-2000 compared to 2.8 per cent growth in the same period last year aided by a rise in steel and cement production and a buoyant petroleum refinery sector. 

Six infrastructure industries, including electricity, coal, steel, crude, refinery and cement, grew by 10.3 per cent in February over the same period last year, according to industry ministry. 

Petroleum refinery products led the bandwagon with an impressive 25.2 per cent growth during April-February 1999-2000 against 3.9 percent growth in the corresponding period of previous year. Showing a rise in output since November 1999, the sector recorded a growth rate of 40.5 per cent during February against 38 per cent of last month. 

Cement sector grew by 14.7 per cent during April-February against 5.1 per cent last year. During February, the sector recorded a growth of 8.9 per cent over same period a year ago. 

Steel output was higher at 11.8 per cent during first 11 months of the current year against 1.6 per cent during the corresponding period of previous year. During the month, steel recorded a growth of 9.7 per cent. Electricity generation recorded growth rate of 7.2 per cent during April-February against 6.7 per cent growth during the corresponding period of the previous year. Thermal generation recorded a growth rate of 9.5 per cent against 5.4 per cent in corresponding period last year. 

Indo-Swiss agreement on promotion and protection of investment

India and Switzerland on January 6 excanged the Instruments of Ratification for Promotion and Protection of Investment between the two countries which was signed on April 4, 1997 at New Delhi. 

The agreement provides elaborate dispute resolution mechanisms to guide disputes between an investor and the host Government, as well as between the two Governments and that all investments, subject to the Agreement will be governed by the laws in force in the country where the investment is made. The two countries also signed a Protocol amending the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between them. The Protocol seeks to stimulate mutual flow of investment, technology, trade and services between the two countries by providing lower withholding tax rates.