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December 2nd week 2015 current affairs
Author : uppy
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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December 2nd week 2015 current affairs

1) Aerospace sector in Telangana

  • Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao, top executives of Boeing India and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) have announced setting up of a facility on the outskirts of the city to make the fuselage for Apache helicopters. 
  • The announcement came from Boeing India president Pratyush Kumar and managing director of TASL, Sukaran Singh in the presence of Mr. Rama Rao and Secretaries Arvind Kumar (Industries) and Jayesh Ranjan (IT). The finer details of the extent of land to be made available, the exact location and the timelines are yet to be firmed up. 
  • This will also have an effect on the 1,000-odd small and medium enterprises already working in the sector, for whom this will be an ideal opportunity to scale up their number and progress from being Tier III, to Tier II and eventually Tier I positions.
2) Govt to start electronic transfer of MGNREGA wages from 2016
  • To prevent leakages in the MGNREGA programme, the govt will introduce the system for electronic transfer of wages to the beneficiaries from 1st January next year in Kerala, Lok Sabha was informed. An additional Rs 2,000 crore would be sought from the Finance Ministry towards ensuring that MNREGA wages are at par with the agriculture wages fixed by some states, Rural Development Minister Birender Singh said on 3rd December. 
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) provides 100 days of employment to registered workers on their demand. For smooth fund flow, the electronic Fund Management System (e-FMS) has been made mandatory from 1st April this year, the Minister said. 
  • Centre releases half of the funds to States under PMGSY in current fiscal
  • The Centre has released half of the funds to the States allocated under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, PMGSY in the current fiscal. The total budgetary allocation of 15,291 crore rupees about 7,850 crore rupees have already been released. 
  • Tthe projects for providing road connectivity to nearly 1.45 lakh unconnected habitations have been cleared. As per States report, around 1.12 lakh habitations have been provided connectivity till October this year. The PMGSY had been launched in the year 2000 as hundred per cent Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
3) Dena Bank Gets Board Approval to Dilute Government Stake
  • Public sector lender Dena Bank has got board approval for dilution of government holding to up to 52 per cent and raise capital up to Rs 2,500 crore from various bonds. Government shareholding in the bank was 65 per cent at the end of September 30. Last year, the government allowed public sector banks to to bring down its stake to 52 per cent so as to meet capital requirement.
  • As per law, government holding at any moment must not come below 51 per cent to maintain the public sector character of the state-owned banks. The bank said it has got board approval to raise Additional Tier-1 (AT1) capital up to an amount of Rs 1,500 crore in one or more tranche, in one or more instruments. It further added that the bank has got board approval to raise Tier 2 capital up to an amount of Rs 1,000 crore in one or more tranche, in one or more instruments.

4) ADB, S&P scale down growth projections for economy

  • Three days after the government had reduced its growth projections for the current fiscal year, two international agencies — ADB and S&P — have also scaled down their expectations on India’s economic performance. 
  • The Asian Development Bank has revised its forecast downwards and projected India’s growth at 7.4 per cent in 2015, while S&P has maintained it at 7.4 per cent for the current fiscal year on concerns over the global slowdown, a weak monsoon, and stalled structural reforms. 
  • The forecasts are largely in line with government data released last week as well as the projection made by the Reserve Bank of India. According to the Central Statistics Office, the economy grew at 7.2 per cent in the first half. 
  • The Finance Ministry expects GDP growth at about 7.5 per cent this year, against the Budget target of 8 to 8.5 per cent. These projections, however, do not restrain Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from presenting a growth oriented Budget for 2016-17. 
  • For 2016, the ADB has estimated growth of 7.8 per cent. It had earlier estimated economic growth at 7.8 per cent this year and 8.2 per cent next year. 
  • Global ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, while giving its growth projections, has said that the government’s lack of a majority in the upper house of Parliament has impeded its ability to implement key reforms such as the goods and services tax. It, however, has said that economy will pick up to 8 per cent in 2016-17.
5) Telangana Government to waive Rs423-cr power, water bill arrears in city
  • A big monetary relief is in the offing for the denizens in the limits of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. The Government has, in principle, agreed to extend a relief of Rs 423 crore by waiving off water and electricity charge arrears. An order to this effect would be issued after the code of conduct in place for the MLC elections is lifted.
6) GST logjam: Panel for 17%-18% standard rate
  • The panel led by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has recommended a range of 15 to 15.5 per cent as the revenue neutral rate of the Goods and Services Tax, setting the stage for consensus building for this important reform to get through Parliament in the winter session. 
  • In line with the Centre’s conciliatory stance, the report also suggested eliminating taxes on inter-State trade, including the proposed 1 per cent additional tax under GST to help promote “Make in India by making India one”. 
  • But the Centre may be taking an unpopular decision if accepts the panel’s recommendation of the standard rate in the 16.9-17.9 per cent range that will make services costlier. Eating out, and telecom and banking services will become expensive. At present, these services are taxed at 14.5 per cent while the central excise duty is levied at 12 per cent. 
  • The range for standard rates is in line with the Congress’ demand that the GST rate should be capped at 18 per cent. 
  • The panel also recommended other rates, with the lowest rate for goods at 12 per cent and the highest rate at 40 per cent. The highest rate is for demerit goods such as alcohol. 
  • The CEA was categorical that tax rates should not be “constitutionalised” or included in the Constitution Amendment Bill, and this is what the report also proposes. 
  • Subramanian said that the committee was “conservative” in its calculations and did not factor in any improvement to the GDP rate.
Definations:
 
Standard Rate: This is the rate at which most goods and services will taxed under the new indirect tax regime.
 
Revenue Neutral Rate: It is the rate at which the tax revenue remains same despite allowing input tax credit and other factors.

7) Parliamentary panel on PSUs presses for more clarity on CSR

  • The Committee on Public Undertakings (CoPU) headed by former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and veteran BJP MP Shanta Kumar has urged the government to amend the Companies Act to define corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  •  
  • According to Kumar, the Corporate Affairs Ministry should draft the guiding principles for CSR funding to include poorer sections of the society in the growth process. The spirit of CSR should be in line with the Antyodaya philosophy. 
  • After examining the pattern of expenditure, Kumar said the panel found that it had not always targeted the poorest of the poor, or the most backward of the country’s areas. The committee, therefore, recommended that CSR should be clearly defined in the Act itself. The definition should cover the broader principles of CSR spending so as to ensure that allocations are spent for the specified activities targeting poor and backward areas 
  • The report said the panel was concerned to note that the Corporate Affairs Ministry and the Department of Public Enterprises had not bothered to maintain data on the amount spent on CSR so far by Central Public Sector Undertakings as well as private companies. 
  • The report said that although the word ‘shall’ has been used in Sub-section 5 of Section 135 for making CSR expenditure mandatory, the second proviso to this sub-section dilutes this position. “Committee strongly feels that the whole purpose of making the CSR spending mandatory is defeated by the second proviso as a company can get away easily by simply stating the reasons for not spending prescribed CSR allocations,” the report said.
8) Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone for 3 projects in capital region AP
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari on 5th December laid the foundation stone for three projects worth almost 2,500 crore rupees in the capital region of Andhra Pradesh. Later he announced 50,000 crores rupees new road projects for Andhra Pradesh. 
  • The four-lanning road project between Vijayawada-Machilipatnam also includes Benz Circle flyover being taken up by the National Highways Authority of India at a total capital cost of Rs. 1462.32 crores under National Highways Development Programme. Among the new projects for which he laid foundation stone also include Vijayawada-Bhaadrachalam-Jagadalpur national highway. 
  • Once the project is materialised a four-lane connectivity between Vijayawada-Machilipatnam would be established paving the way for development of industrial growth around Machilipatnam saving time and fuel besides ensuring safety and comfort for the commuters. The four-lane highway will pass through 36 villages in 8 mandals in Krishna district.
9) Telangana to develop 500-acre Chinese Industrial Park
  • Telangana government will allocate 500 acres of land to develop separate Chinese industrial park with all facilities. The Chinese delegation comprised of 25 members, both from government and industry from the Hunan Province, China. The objective of the meeting was to explore various business opportunities between the Hunan Province, China and the State of Telangana. 
  • One of the interesting dynamics of the bilateral relationship in recent years is the increasing emphasis in both India and China on expanding interactions between Indian States and Chinese provinces, cities and local governments.

 


 

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