Economy Current Affairs
December 2011 Economy
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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 December 2011

 The government waived about Rs 3521 crore loan of handloom weavers in India to help revive the sector. Minister of State for Textiles Panabaka Lakshmi declared that the loan waiver is one of the components of the scheme of Revival, Reform and Restructuring Package for Handloom Sector. The government’s initiative is likely to benefit 15000-handloom weaver`s cooperative societies and approximately 3 lakh individual handloom weavers across India. Kerala topped the list with Rs 557.16 crore loan waiver, followed by Tamil Nadu with Rs 548.35 crore, Andhra Pradesh Rs 506.64 crore and West Bengal Rs 420.66 crore.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has inaugurated a three-day global conference on ‘Tax and Inequality`, in Chennai. Over 250 foreign delegates from over 100 countries participated in the conference being hosted by India as the 4th International Tax Dialogue (ITD). “The ITD conference will provide a unique and timely opportunity to address an important question facing each country, that is, to what extent taxation can be seen as part of the solution to growing inequalities in income and wealth,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Container Corporation of India has started second biggest domestic railway container terminal at Nagulapally near Pathancheru in Hyderabad. The biggest container was in Ahmadabad. 
The Reserve Bank of India`s intervention put a hold to the all time low of rupee at 54.3 against the US dollar in the foreign exchange market. 

 According to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) report, India emerged as the third largest purchaser of US arms with contracts worth $4.5 billion in the year ended 30 September 2011 as US weapons sales rose to $34.8 billion in fiscal 2011. American arms sales to India include Naval Reconnaissance planes, giant transporters, sea-skimming missiles and other weapon systems. Afghanistan, Taiwan, India, Australia and Saudi Arabia emerged the top buyers of US arms.

The first state-of-the-art ATDC-SMART (Skill for Manufacturing Apparels through Research and Training) was inaugurated in Egmore, Chennai and the Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDC) for the textile and apparel sector was launched by the Ministry of Textiles. The Ministry launched the project in association with the Apparel Training & Design Centre (ATDC), which was selected as a nodal agency for the project. The project aims to impart training to a workforce of about 256000 in the next two years. The ATDC-SMART project worth Rs 23 billion focuses on the core workforce requirements of the garment industry located across India. The importance of the Scheme can be judged from the fact that the apparel industry is the second largest employment provider in the country after agriculture. 
State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) announced two significant oil discoveries. ONGC discovered oil in North Kadi area of Gujarat’s Mehsana district, which is the company’s major production centre. ONGC also made another strike in the Panna area, 40 km from its Mumbai offshore field. 

 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the creation of a separate category of non-banking financial companies for the microfinance institution (MFI) sector. The central bank also specified that such institutions need to have a minimum net owned fund of Rs 5 crore. An RBI-appointed panel headed by YH Malegam had earlier recommended setting up of a special category of NBFCs operating in the micro finance sector. The panel had suggested a minimum net worth of 15 crore for an entity to qualify as an NBFC-MFI. The RBI highlighted that the NBFC-MFIs should have a minimum net worth of Rs 5 crore. However, for those operating in the Northeastern states, the slab was kept at Rs 2 crore.