Weekly Current Affairs 15th To 21st July 2019

Weekly Current Affairs 15th To 21st July 2019

International News

IFFI Mark Golden Jubilee Edition This Year

  • The announced was made during the First Steering Committee Meeting that took place in Goa.
  • To mark the 150thAnniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Business Exhibitions to display relevant technologies for films and Exhibition will be organized with this year’s Festival.
  • Prakash Javadekar also announced that the festival will pay tribute to Ex-Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar.

China GDP Growth Slows Down to 27 Year Low

  • This is said to be the weakest growth rate of the 2nd largest economy.
  • The reasons said to be are a trade war with the U.S. and weakening of global demand.
  • The GDP growth rate slips down to 6.2% from 6.4% of the first quarter.

India-Italy Initiate Fast –Track Mechanism

  • The Italian side is represented by Ministry of Economic Development, Italy, with the Italian Trade Agency.
  • The decision has been taken in a meeting held in New Delhi between the Ambassador of Italy to India, Lorenzo Angeloni and Secretary, DPIIT, Ramesh Abhishek, to deliberate upon issues of five Italian companies.

WTO to Set Up Dispute Panel Against India

  • Brazil has alleged that India has increased its domestic support regime for sugar and sugarcane farmers.
  • The domestic support mandates domestic sugar mills to pay the fair and remunerative price to sugarcane farmers.
  • Brazil has claimed that the fair and remunerative price for sugarcane has almost doubled from Rs 1,391.2 per tonne in 2010-11 to Rs 2,750 per tonne in 2018-19.

Kerala to Get Support from World Bank

  • Kerala received its first tranche of $250 million from World Bank under ‘Resilient Kerala Initiative’.
  • Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asked for support from the World Bank last year for bringing changes to reduce the risk of future disasters in Kerala.
  • The partnership of the World Bank and Kerala government is called as ‘Resilient Kerala Initiative’.
  • The initiative is an instrument to provide long term investment of $500 million to Kerala.

National News

Amendments for the SARFAESI Act has Denied

  • It is administered by the central government which allow banks/financial institutions to recover dues of borrower/guarantor exceeding Rs 1 Lakh by proceeding against their secured assets without the intervention of the court/tribunals.
  • The Act makes provisions to the Authorised officer of the Bank/ financial institution to obtain a valuation and fixes the price of the property before the sale.
  • Amendments were made on 14.08.2016 in the SARFAESI Act through the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 2016.

Decline in Import and Exports

  • Indian exports and Import saw a decline of 9.71% to $25 billion and 9% to $40.29 billion respectively in June 2019.
  • The exports are also affected by certain global trends as the World Bank also projected weakening of global trade in its Global Economic Prospects (June 2019).
  • Temporary shutdown of ONGC Mangalore Petrochemical Ltd. Is also sought to impact the export of petroleum products by the Ministry.

Union Cabinet’s Key Decisions on 17th July

  • Amendment in the Companies Act, 2013 was approved by the Cabinet. The proposed amendments are done for de-clogging of National Company Law Tribunal and Special Courts and further promotion of ease of doing business.
  • Amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) was approved. This includes 330 days deadline for corporate resolution process and 7 other amendments. Currently, IBC allows a maximum of 270 days for clearing a resolution plan (180 days and extended 90 days if a majority of the creditors agree).

Govt. extends 15th Finance Commission's Term

  • The 15th Finance Commission is extended to address “Serious Concerns” related to the allocation of adequate and non-lapsable funds for internal security and defence of India.
  • The changes in the Terms of Reference (ToR) is proposed for making the assured allocation of resources for internal security and defence imperatives.
  • The cabinet approved the extension up to 30th November 2019.

Digitalisation of AYUSH Grid Project

  • AYUSH Grid Project has been conceptualized by the Ministry of AYUSH for digitising healthcare delivery at all levels.
  • The main components of the Grid project are Education, Health Services, Training, Drug Licensing Portal, Central sector and sponsored schemes, Media outreach, Citizen centric services and Training.
  • AYUSH has also launched AYUSH Health Management Information System (A-HMIS) in 2018, which is an IT course for capacity building of AYUSH Doctors by use of Digital Technologies in Healthcare.

MoHFW Banned Distribution of Colistin

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has prohibited the manufacture, sale and distribution of Colistin in the animal food industry.
  • The ban is imposed under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.
  • Colistin is used as last-resort anti-biotic to save lives. Medical Professionals have alarmed the increasing resistance to the drug Colistin in recent years.

Banking

RBI revised instructions for BSBD accounts

  • As per the revised circular, Banks are advised to offer basic minimum facilities free of charge without any minimum balance requirement.
  • There will be no limit on the number and value of deposits made in a month.
  • 4 minimum withdrawals in a month along with ATM withdrawals are allowed.
  • No minimum balance would be required to avail such additional services.

RBI Imposed a penalty on SBI and UBI

  • RBI imposed a penalty of Rs 7 crore on SBI and Rs 10 lakh on Union Bank of India for violating norms issued by RBI.
  • SBI was found to violate the code of conduct for opening and operating current accounts (CRILC), income recognition and asset classification (IRAC) norms, fraud risk management and its reporting.
  • The Union Bank of India was fined for non-compliance on cybersecurity framework direction issued by RBI.

HDFC Bank, CSC Launches Credit Card for VLEs

  • The credit card has been launched for small traders, village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) and VLE- sourced customers.
  • HDFC Bank and CSC have signed a pact in July 2018 in which the bank offered to provide products and services in remote locations to VLEs that are enrolled with CSCs.
  • CSCs acts as delivery points of various government and public utility services across the country.
  • There are about 3.6 lakh CSCs in the country with transacting the business of about Rs 70,000 crore.

Bimal Jalan Committee Report on RBI Surplus Funds

  • The Bimal Jalan Committee on Economic Capital Framework met on 17th July 2019 for the final time to decide on transferring of surplus reserves to the government.
  • It’s a 6 member committee headed by Bimal Jalan (former RBI governor) and other members include Finance Secretary Subhash C Garg, RBI deputy governor Rakesh Mohan (vice-chairman of the panel), RBI deputy governor NS Vishwanathan, and RBI central board members Sudhir Mankad and Bharat Doshi.
  • RBI had the total surplus cash reserve of Rs 9.43 lakh crore on 30th June 2018.
  • According to the finance ministry, the buffer of 28 % of gross assets maintained by the RBI is well above the global norm of around 14 %.

SEBI opposed Transferring Surplus Money to CFI

  • The Finance Minister proposed an amendment to the SEBI Act in the budget 2019-20 which will transfer 75% of SEBI’s surplus funds to the central government.
  • SEBI chairman Ajay Tyagi has asked to review the proposal of transfer of surplus funds as it will compromise the autonomy of SEBI and its functioning.
  • Two provisions as presented in the finance bill were opposed by SEBI- the First one is related to the transfer of surplus funds and second one seeking prior approval from finance ministry for raising expenses.

StanChart to be 1st Foreign Bank to Launch Operation at GIFT City

  • The bank has received in-principle regulatory approvals to set up its IFSC Banking Unit in GIFT city, Gujarat.
  • The Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) is envisaged as a hub to bring offshore financial transactions.
  • The banking business at GIFT IFSC has already seen a 167% jump in just 2 years.

SEBI New Disclosure Framework for all Listed Banks

  • As per SEBI’s new norm, if the additional provisioning of NPAs identified by RBI exceeds 10% of the reported profit before provisions and contingencies, then all the listed banks have to disclose to the stock exchanges divergences in the asset provisioning and classification.
  • Earlier, the threshold for the NPAs provisioning was 15% of the reported profit.
  • It also added that if the additional gross NPAs accessed by the RBI exceed 15% of the published incremental gross NPAs, then the disclosure will be mandatory.

Centre rejected SEBI’s Proposal of Review

  • The finance Bill, 2019 which will amend the SEBI Act has been passed by the Lok Sabha on 18th July 2019.
  • The finance bill is a money bill, it means once passed by the Lok Sabha, it would become law unchanged even if the Rajya Sabha wants to amend it.
  • SEBI chairman Ajay Tyagi has said it a premature step, as the issue is under discussion in the Financial Stability and Development Council.
  • With the amendment, SEBI has to take the government’s approval for expanding its organisational capacity, IT infrastructure and other soft and physical infrastructure.

World Bank Decides not to Fund Amravati Project

  • The World Bank along with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was to provide a share of $715 million of critical funding for infrastructure development of the City.
  • The construction of Amravati city is the brainchild of former CM, N. Chandrababu Naidu and PM Modi laid the foundation for the project in 2015.
  • The World Bank was considering the project under Amravati sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project and Amravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project.
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