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Economy Current Affairs
Economy Current Affairs August 1st Week 2016
Author : priya
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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Economy Current Affairs August 1st Week 2016

1) GlaxoSmithKline and Google team up to create new bioelectronics health company.

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Google parent Alphabet`s life sciences (Verily Life Sciences) unit are joining hands to create a new company focused on fighting diseases by targeting electrical signals in the body, jump-starting a novel field of medicine called bioelectronics.
  • GSK will own 55% of Galvani Bioelectronics, and Verily will hold 45%.
  • The companies will combine their existing intellectual property rights and invest up to £540m pounds ($715 m) over seven years if the collaboration meets certain goals.
  • Galvani will develop miniaturized, implantable devices that can modify electrical nerve signals. The aim is to modulate irregular or altered impulses that occur in many illnesses.

2) MobiKwik to power e-cash payments on IRCTC’s Food on Track app.

  • Mobile payments company MobiKwik and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have announced an exclusive partnership, wherein MobiKwik will power e-cash payments on IRCTC`s e-catering app, Food on Track.
  • MobiKwik will power e-cash payments on the Food on Track app, which allows passengers to book food from restaurants, have it delivered to their coaches.
  • Passengers can pre-order food at over 300 stations from food chains such as Dominos, Punjab Grill, KFC and IRCTC Food Plaza.

3) IRB Infra bags Rs. 2,100 crore project from NHAI.

  • IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd (IRB), one of the largest BOT road developers in India, announced that it has emerged as a preferred bidder for the project of Six Laning from Udaipur to Rajasthan, Gujarat Border from NHAI on section of NH-8 in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • The estimated project cost of the company is approximately Rs. 2,100 crores with the concession period for the same is 21 years including construction period of 910 days.

4) Tata unit launches home loan scheme at interest rates starting at 4%.

  • Tata Capital Housing Finance Ltd (TCHFL) announced a new home loan scheme ‘Prapti’ targeted at low income group (Rs. 6 lakh per annum) under the affordable housing plan.
  • The scheme specifically caters to segments like the lower income group (LIG), economically weaker section (EWS) of society, Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and women residing in the peripheries of metros, tier I, II and III cities.
  • Prapti’ is a step towards government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana envisaging to provide affordable houses to the urban poor by 2022.

5) ICICI Bank ties up with Apollo India to form ARC.

  • ICICI Bank has inked a MoU with Apollo India Credit Opportunity Management LLC and AION Capital Management to set up an asset reconstruction company.
  • The MoU is subject to regulatory approvals, acquisition of debt exposures from lenders and equity stakes in companies.
  • The collaboration seeks to streamline the operations of borrowers, facilitate deleveraging and arrange additional funding on a case-by-case basis.

6) Wipro Infra to buy Israeli H.R. Givon in all cash deal.

  • Wipro Wipro Infrastructure Engineering (WIN), is set to acquire an Israel-based aero component manufacturing company H.R. Givon.
  • The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, which are expected to be completed in September.
  • Givon manufactures structural parts and assemblies that form part of the fuselage, wings and empennage of an aircraft.

7) Novopay aims to disrupt payments in rural India with its assisted wallet.

  • Novopay, payment firm is slowly disrupting the mobile wallet space by focusing to serve unbanked and rural customers.
  • Many of these customers, like in rural Midnapore, use their nearby Kirana store with the Novopay Solutions board as their local banking channel.
  • Money transferred from their family members working in Delhi or Mumbai to their bank account is reflected into their Novopay wallet with the store keeper assisting them in doing transactions on a smartphone.
  • Novopay is a bank-backed account wallet with the money stored in the wallet linked to the bank account.

8) NHPC to raise Rs. 4,500 crore after Subansiri project clearance.

  • NHPC plans to raise Rs. 4,500 crore through private placement, but is waiting National Green Tribunal (NGT) clearance for the 2,000-Mw Lower Subansiri hydroelectric project at Gerukamukh along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
  • The project has completely been stalled since December 2011.
  • As part of its Rs. 3,000 crore diversification plan to venture into solar and wind power projects, NHPC Limited is looking at feasible options in various states in the sector.

9) Freecharge inks partnership with PayUbiz.

  • Freecharge has partnered with the leading payment gateway solution provider, PayUbiz, to further strengthen its merchant base and help consumers move from cash to digital payments.
  • Integration allows Freecharge to tap PayUbiz`s more than 10,000 online merchants.
  • The partnership draws Freecharge closer its vision of creating an ecosystem where organized and unorganized merchant networks can accept electronic payments through one secure platform.

10) NPPA cuts drug prices of cancer, HIV, cardiac by 25%.

  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed/ revised ceiling prices of 24 scheduled formulations of schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order (DPCO), 2016.
  • Prices of 24 essential drugs used for treatment of cancer, HIV, bacterial infections, anxiety and cardiac conditions have been capped by the government, reducing the cost by an average of around 25 per cent.
  • The government fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1 per cent.

11) AXA, Alibaba, Ant Financial have tied up in global strategic partnership.

  • AXA, Alibaba and Ant Financial Services have agreed to engage in a global strategic partnership to explore opportunities to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services through Alibaba’s global e-commerce ecosystem.
  • Companies will seek to work together to co-innovate and to develop value-added products and services to customers around the world as well as to mutually support each other in developing and exploring new markets and segments.
  • Alibaba Group is the largest retail commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume and AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management.

12) NLC planning to acquire DVC`s 1200 mw thermal power project.

  • Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) is planning to acquire Damodar Valley Corporation’s (DVC) 1200 mw Raghunathpur Thermal Power Project (RTPP).
  • RTPP consists of two units of 600 MW each and both the units have been commissioned during March 2016.
  • Equity shareholding of 74:26 by NLC and DVC.

13) TVS-BMW venture to roll out two super bikes.

  • BMW Motorrad-TVS Motor Company alliance has started production of super bikes at TVS Motor’s facility in Hosur and will launch two super bikes.
  • Alliance has started production of super bikes on a new common platform.
  • BMW is expected to formally launch G310 R in October, the first motorcycle produced out of the alliance and showcased in global auto shows.


14) Amazon launches fulfilment centre for prime deliveries in Chennai.

  • Amazon.in has launched an urban fulfilment centre in Chennai to support prime deliveries and enable faster order fulfilment in the upcoming festive season.
  • The center has a storage capacity of over 100,000 cubic ft.
  • With this launch, Amazon.in has 23 operational FCs in ten states with a combined storage space of more than 6 million cubic ft.

15) Cabinet approves 3% spectrum usage charge, paves way for Sept auction.

  • Union Cabinet approved a spectrum usage charge (SUC) of 3 per cent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR), excluding revenues from wire-line services.
  • Telecom Commission had recommended a 3 per cent annual usage charge for the spectrum to be sold in the upcoming auction while fixing the same as the minimum rate even for existing airwaves with all operators.

16) Infosys invests $4 million in Israeli start-up Cloudyn.

  • Infosys has invested $4 million in Cloudyn, as it seeks to strengthen its cloud computing service offering.
  • Israeli-based Cloudyn is a start-up that enables corporates to monitor their cloud computing usage and optimise its usage. of these services.
  • Infosys investment will give them for a minority stake, Cloudyn supports multiple infrastructure services including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and OpenStack, and has 80 per cent of its customers in the US.

17) Rajya Sabha passes GST Bill.

  • Goods & Services Tax (GST) finally passed in Rajya Sabha to amend the Constitution, paving the way for what is popularly referred to as the concept of ``one nation, one tax``.
  • Union Government has set the ambitious target to roll out of the Goods and Services Tax, (GST) from 1st April 2017.
  • There will be two components of GST – Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) in order to comply with federal structure of India.

18) Goa To Implement Seventh Pay Commission Recommendations From November 1.

  • Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar stated that the 7th Pay Commission recommendations would be implemented in the state from November 1.
  • Pending arrears from January to October 2016 would be deposited in the employee provident fund (PF) and National Pension System (NPS).
  • Goa government will have to spend an additional Rs. 72 crore monthly towards salaries and pensions of government employees for implementation of recommendations of the new commission.

19) CBDT signs advance pricing agreement with Japanese firm.

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has entered into an advance pricing agreement (APA) with an Indian subsidiary of a Japanese trading company to foster a non-adversarial tax regime.
  • This is the first Bilateral Advance Pricing agreement with a Japanese company having a ``Rollback`` provision in it.
  • APA is an important step towards ascertaining certainty in transfer pricing matters of multinational company cases and dispute resolution.
  • The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance.
  • The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the ``Rollback`` provisions were introduced in 2014.

20) States issue bonds worth Rs. 1.66 lakh crore under UDAY scheme.

  • States have already issued bonds worth Rs. 1.66 lakh crore under the UDAY scheme for revival of their debt-ridden discoms.
  • So far, 14 states Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Goa, Karnataka, Manipur and Andhra Pradesh.

21) NatcoPharma gets final approval for Tamiflu capsules in the US.

  • Natco Pharma Ltd has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) containing a Para IV certification for generic versions of Tamiflu oral capsules.
  • Hyderabad-based Natco and its marketing partner Alvogen were the first generic players to receive this approval.
  • Used in treatment of influenza type A and B (bird and swine flu), Tamiflu (Oseltamivir phosphate) drug is owned by US-based Gilead Sciences along with its patent partner Roch Holding.

22) INDO-US Clean Energy Fund.

  • India and the United States of America (USA) will be jointly working for the creation of US $20 million for US-India Energy Finance Initiatives, equally supported by the USA and India.
  • USA and India are expected to mobilize up to US $400 million to provide finances for clean and renewable electricity by 2020.
  • India and the USA are exploring the possibilities to establish the US-India Clean Energy Hub, as a coordinating mechanism in partnership with leading Indian financial institutions, with a view to increase renewable energy investment in India.

23) Govt extends minimum import price on 66 iron, steel products for 2 months.

  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade has extended the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products till October 4. The MIP ranges between $341-752 per tonne.
  • The 66 products include semi-finished products of iron or non-alloyed steel, flat-rolled products of different widths, bars and rods.
  • To guard domestic steel producers against cheap in-bound shipments, the government had imposed MIP.

24) Union Government fixes an inflation target of 4 per cent for five years.

  • Union Government has set an inflation target of four per cent for the next five years till March 31, 2021.
  • Target was fixed after the Union Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had reached an agreement on a monetary policy framework.
  • Inflation targeting is a monetary policy in which a central bank estimates and makes public a projected or ``target`` inflation rate.

25) IBM, Apple open first global development hub in India.

  • IBM has unveiled a facility in Bengaluru to build mobile applications for the enterprises over Apple`s mobile operating system iOS.
  • The facility, called MobileFirst for iOS Garage, is located in a software technology park in North Bengaluru. It is part of a network of centres in Atlanta, Cupertino, Toronto and Chicago built by IBM in partnership with Apple.
  • Garage would enable clients to complete digital mobility projects in a much shorter time. It will also serve a global development hub for iOS apps and work with existing design locations.
  • The Garage in Bengaluru is the first centre which specializes in handling end-to-end client engagements to design, develop and implement multiple iOS apps.

26) SEBI proposes new norm for algo trading.

  • Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has proposed a new norm for super-fast algorithmic trading and co-location facility, including by suggesting `speed bumps` and separate queues for algo and non-algo trades, in order to stop inequitable trading access to the exchanges.
  • Algorithmic trading or `algo` refers to orders generated at a speed by use of advanced mathematical models that include automated execution of trade, whereas co-location involves setting up servers on the exchange premises.
  • SEBI has decided to introduce resting time for order, delays and speed bumps, separate queues for co-location and non-co-location orders for consolidating regulatory framework for algo trading and Co-location facility.

27) Forex reserves hit all time high at $365.49 billion.

  • Foreign exchange reserves rose by $2.81 billion to reach a all time high of $365.49 billion.
  • Gold reserves remained unchanged at $20.58 billion.
  • The country’s special drawing rights with International Monetary Fund increased by USD 8.5 million to USD 1.48 billion while the reserve position rose by $13.6 million to USD 2.39 billion.

28) TRAI for strict quality norms.

  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India issued a consultation paper seeking to tighten the benchmarks for measuring the quality of service offered by telecos.
  • Regulator has sought stakeholders’ view on an appropriate way to calculate call drop rates.
  • Suggested that instead of measuring it for an entire service, the call drop rate be measured for smaller locations to identify problem areas.

29) Apple Buys a Machine-Learning Startup.

  • Apple has bought a machine-learning startup called Turi in a deal reported to be worth around $200 million.
  • Turi, the tagline for which is ``Create intelligence``, provides a machine-learning platform with tools to help other developers embed its capabilities into their own applications.
  • Machine learning is the red hot field where computers are trained to be able to learn new things from data and make predictions-it’s integral to everything from spam filtering to helping autonomous vehicles recognize the world around them.

30) IRDA cap CEO salary at Rs. 1.5 crore from policyholders fund.

  • IRDAI put a cap of Rs. 1.5 crore on the annual salary of Chief Executive, which could be paid from the policyholders` fund.
  • In case the annual remuneration of the MD/ CEO/ Whole Time Directors exceeds Rs. 1.50 crore (excluding perquisites plus bonuses etc, by whatsoever names) such excess shall be borne by shareholders` account.
  • No revision in remuneration shall be permitted till the expiry of one year from the date of earlier approval.

31) 7th Pay Commission: Minimum Pension Of Retired Central Government Staff Up 157%.

  • Retired central government employees will now get a minimum pension of Rs. 9,000, up 157.14 per cent from the current Rs. 3,500, following implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission`s recommendations.
  • Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has notified acceptance of the 7th pay panel`s recommendations for the pensioners.
  • The ceiling of gratuity has also been enhanced from the existing Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. The Commission had also recommended the ceiling on gratuity to be raised by 25 per cent whenever Dearness Allowance rises by 50 per cent, a proposal which has been accepted by the government.
  • There are about 58 lakh central government pensioners.

32) CBI nodal agency for banks to report high value frauds.

  • CBI has been made the nodal authority for banks to report high value frauds worth over Rs. 50 crore in public sector banks.
  • Move comes after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) noticed that banks do not have a focal point for filing complaints with the CBI. As a result, the investigative agency has to deal with dispersed levels of authorities in banks.
  • A Joint Director level officer has now been authorized in the CBI to receive complaints of frauds of over Rs 50 crore from the banks. After receiving such reports, the officer can recommend investigation by any of the agency`s wings (Anti Corruption, Economic Offences or Bank Security and Fraud Cell).

33) Lok Sabha passes GST bill.

  • Lok Sabha, unanimously passed the 122nd Constitutional Amendment Bill as amended by the Rajya Sabha with all 443 members voting in favour.
  • Bill was passed by Lok Sabha and transmitted to Rajya Sabha for concurrence.
  • Rajya Sabha passed the Bill with amendments at its sitting held and returned it to Lok Sabha.
  • Union Government has set the ambitious target to roll out of the Goods and Services Tax, (GST) from 1st April 2017.

34) Japan records biggest current account surplus since 2007.

  • Japan recorded the largest current account surplus in the first half of 2016 since 2007 with reduced imports amid lower crude oil prices and rising revenue from tourism.
  • The current account balance which quantifies the international trade of goods, services and investments in and out of the country, marked a surplus of 10.63 trillion yen ($104 billion) in the period of January to June, up 31.3% from a year earlier.

35) Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen to set up technology centre in Hyderabad.

  • German car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG is setting up its first technology centre in India in Hyderabad, which will be dedicated to software and mechanical engineering.
  • The centre will support ZF’s global development teams while enabling the company to accelerate local product development.
  • Fully operational by 1 January 2017 and is expected to have a workforce of 2,500 engineers by 2020.

36) Zydus acquires derma brand Melgain from Issar Pharma.

  • Ahmedabad-headquartered Zydus Group has acquired Melgain brand from Hyderabad based Issar Pharma for an undisclosed sum that would marketed in India by Liva Healthcare.
  • Zydus is currently the leader in the skin de-pigmentation segment and the acquisition of Melgain marks its foray into the re-pigmentation.
  • Zydus is a fully integrated, global healthcare provider, with strengths all along the pharmaceutical value chain.

37) FDI in petroleum sector permitted across the Hydrocarbon value chain.

  • Government of India permits Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) across the hydrocarbon value chain covering the upstream, downstream and midstream sectors.
  • Present FDI policy for petroleum & natural gas sector allows 100% automatic route for exploration and production, refining by the private companies (for public sector companies 49% on automatic route without any divestment or dilution of domestic equity in the existing PSUs), marketing of petroleum products, pipelines, storage and LNG regasification infrastructure and all related services, subject to existing sectoral policy and regulatory framework in the oil and gas sector.



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