Weekly Current Affairs 22nd To 31st July 2019

Weekly Current Affairs 22nd To 31st July 2019

International News

FinMin clarifies on IGST on Jewellery

  • The Finance Ministry has exempted jewellery and gems taken out from India for exhibition from IGST.
  • To correct the anomaly, several representations were made by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council and the industry.

IMF Growth Forecast for India

  • The IMF has updated the growth forecast of 7% with a cut of 0.3% from April forecast of 7.3 %.
  • The IMF’s World Economic Outlook July update has also cut India’s growth forecast in 2020-21 to 7.2% from its previous estimate of 7.5%.
  • The IMF has cut its forecast for world GDP growth by 0.1 % point each in 2019 and 2020 to 3.2% and 3.5%, respectively.

Sri Lanka gave Free Visa-on-Arrival to India

  • Sri Lanka has facilitated 39 countries for the visa-on-arrival and visa-free programme with effect from 1st August 2019.
  • The SL government extended the number of countries to 49 adding 10 more countries including India on 24th July 2019.

Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs

  • India was represented by Gen (Retd) VK Singh who at the meeting who is the Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways.
  • A common understanding was made to further deepen BRICS three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of security, peace, economy and people-to-people exchanges.

Overseas Sovereign Bond in Foreign Country

  • In her budget speech, Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the government would raise a part of its gross borrowing in external markets in external currencies.
  • The then finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has said that the overseas borrowing would amount to more than $10 billion, about 10% of total borrowing for the year.

National News

All lanes at Toll Fee Plazas to be ‘FASTag lanes’

  • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has planned to convert the lane into FASTag-only lane in a time-bound manner.
  • The idea behind the conversion is to ensure seamless traffic, encourage digital payment and prevent congestion at toll plazas.

Inter-Ministerial Committee banned Cryptocurrency

  • The committee was headed by finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, MEITY secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney, SEBI chairman Ajay Tyagi and RBI deputy governor B.P. Kanungo as its members.
  • The committee proposed a draft bill “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019".

Cloud Seeding in Karnataka

  • The trial operation has begun in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts and it will continue for about 90 days.
  • Cloud seeding is a technique of weather modification or artificial rainfall in which chemicals like silver-iodide are sprayed over the sky to increase the precipitation in the region.

Government slashed GST to 5% from 12% for EVs

  • The slashing of GST rates on EVs is welcomed by the Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles (SMEV) and will be effective from 1st August 2019.
  • Finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed an income tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakhs on interest paid on loans taken for EVs in her maiden budget speech.

Odisha ‘Rasagola’ bagged GI Tag

  • It has got the GI tag under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.
  • Odisha has been embroiled in a battle with West Bengal since 2015, which had secured the GI tag for ‘Banglar Rasogolla’ in 2017.

Parliament cleared Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • The legislation was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 30th July 2019 with a voice note and was already passed in Lok Sabha on 26th July.
  • As per the Act, companies are required to shell out at least 2% of their 3-year annual average net profit towards CSR activities, if the earning profit of the company is over Rs 5 crores, net worth is more than Rs 500 crore or turnover is of Rs 100 crores.

Rajya Sabha passed Triple Talaq Bill

  • The provisions of the bill make the practice of instant oral talaq or talaq-e-biddat by Muslim men illegal and punishable with a jail term of up to 3 years.
  • The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 25th July 2019.

Banking

ADB’s Inflation Forecast for India

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered the inflation forecast for India to 4.1% in FY 2020.
  • The inflation forecast for South Asia for 2019 was lowered from 4.7% to 4.5%, mainly due to a lowered forecast for India.
  • RBI has raised the retail inflation forecast marginally to 3-3.1% for the 1st half of fiscal in its last monetary policy review in June.

RBI Launched UTKARSH 2022

  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das launched UTKARSH 2022, a medium-term strategy framework in line with the evolving macro-economic environment in the country.
  • In April 2015, a formal strategic management framework was launched to re-articulate the core purpose, values and vision statement of the RBI.

Viral Acharya Exit from RBI

  • Acharya’s three-year term at the RBI was to end on 23rd January 2020.
  • According to him, the government must adopt the recommendation of the 14th Finance Commission and the FRBM Review Committee (2016-17) to establish an independent “fiscal council” and fiscal deficit should be contained at 3 per cent of the GDP.

IBBI New Norms for Resolution Professionals

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) tighten norms for resolution professionals with a cap on their age and relative’s involvement.
  • Now, Resolution professionals cannot take up insolvency assignments once they attain the age of 70.
  • From January 1 2020, insolvency professionals are eligible to take up assignments only if they have obtained an ‘Authorisation for Assignment’ from an Insolvency Professional Agency (IPA).

NCLT gave 2 months to Leelaventure

  • The NCLT has asked the company to make additional disclosures to shareholders for proceeding with its sale to Brookfield for Rs 3,950 crore.
  • The NCLT also warned JM Financial ARC (creditor with 26% shares) of adjudication proceedings against it for failing to comply with takeover norms.

SBI’s Warehouse Agreement with SLCM

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has made an agreement with the New Delhi-based Agri services solutions firm Sohan Lal Commodity Management Pvt. Ltd. (SLCM).
  • The agreement is made for upkeeping mortgaged commodities as SLCM provides modern and scientific collateral management, warehousing and commodity testing services.

IBBI norms for Insolvency Resolution and Liquidation

  • The CoC may recommend the sale of the corporate debtor or sale of the business of the corporate debtor in the process of liquidation.
  • The IBBI has also specified the maximum time of 90 days from the order of liquidation for completion of compromise/arrangement.

SEBI expert Panel proposes Framework for Proxy Advisory Firms

  • A proxy advisory firm provides voting recommendations on resolutions of listed companies to their minority shareholders.
  • The panel has suggested that SEBI should be the platform to handle disputes between proxy advisory firms and listed companies.

RBI relaxed ECB norms for corporates and NBFCs

  • ECBs having a minimum 7 years average maturity period can now be availed for repayment of rupee loans availed domestically for capital expenditure and for on-lending NBFCs for the same.
  • As per RBI, ECBs with minimum 10 years average maturity period can be used for general corporate purposes, working capital purposes and borrowing by NBFCs.
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