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Economy Current Affairs
Economy Current Affairs August 3rd Week 2016
Author : priya
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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Economy Current Affairs August 3rd Week 2016

1) Govt approves Rs. 1,911 crore highway projects in six states.

  • The standing finance committee (SFC) has approved six road projects in Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh to be built at a cost of an estimated Rs. 1,910.87 crore.
  • NH 61 stretch in Nagaland for an estimated Rs. 343 crore, besides upgradation of Rayachoti-Kadapa stretch on NH 18 for an estimated Rs. 350 crore in Andhra Pradesh. 
  • In Maharashtra, it gave nod to two-laning of Nagpur-Umred-Bramhapur-Armori stretch for Rs. 269 crore and reconstruction and widening of a highway stretch on NH-94 in Uttarakhand for Rs. 209 crore.
2) National Pension System: PFRDA lowers minimum annual contribution.
  • To encourage more people to join the National Pension System, regulator PFRDA has substantially lowered the minimum annual contribution to Rs. 1,000 to keep the account active.
  • Earlier, a subscriber had to contribute at least Rs. 6,000 in a financial year (April-March) to keep the Tier-1 account running.
  • NPS is structured into two tiers. Tier-I account is the non-withdrawable permanent retirement account into which the accumulations are deposited and invested as per the option of the subscriber. Tier-II is a voluntary withdrawable account.
3) Minda forms JV with Chinese firm for auto components.
  • Auto component maker Spark Minda group flagship firm, Minda Corporation Ltd has formed a joint venture (JV) with China`s Shandong Beiqi Hai Hua Automobile Parts Co (SBHAP).
  • The 50:50 joint venture, to be known as Minda China Plastic Solutions Ltd, is being formed between Minda KTSN, a 100% subsidiary of Minda Corp and the Chinese partner.
  • The total investment of the JV will be $1.25 million (around Rs. 8.35 crore).
4) Microsoft acquires gaming startup Beam.
  • Microsoft has acquired Beam, an interactive livestreaming startup that lets viewers watch and play along with game streamers in real time and did not disclose financial terms of the deal. 
  • The move will support Microsoft`s growth strategy around Xbox Live, one of the world`s most popular social gaming platforms.
5) Aditya Birla health insurance business gets IRDAI nod.
  • Health insurance arm of Aditya Birla Financial Services Group (ABFSG) has received the final regulatory approval from IRDAI and it is likely to begin operations in the last quarter of 2016. 
  • Aditya Birla Health Insurance Co. Ltd is a joint venture between the Aditya Birla Group and South Africa-based financial services group MMI Holdings (MMI).
  • Mayank Bathwal, who has been with the Aditya Birla Group for over two decades, has been appointed chief executive of the health insurance firm.
6) Centre may get Rs. 23,944 crore from clean environment cess in FY17.
  • Estimated amount of clean environment cess to be collected by CIL and deposited with the government of India for the year 2016-17 based on the budgeted estimated production of CIL is Rs. 23,944.4 crore.
  • Environment Cess is collected from the customers and then deposited with the government, hence, levying of the will have no impact either on the revenue or the cost of production of coal by CIL.
7) ONGC launches Rs. 100 crore start-up fund.
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) recently set up a Rs. 100 crore startup fund to nurture new ideas related to the sector in New Delhi.
  • ONGC will provide the entire support chain for startups including seed capital, hand-holding, mentoring market linkage, and follow-ups.
  • ONGC also awarded its three young officers Rajendra Bhambhu, Deepak Naik and Prajesh Chopra for their innovative ideas.
8) Life Insurers` New Business Premiums Up 4% At Rs. 13,854 crore. 
  • New business premiums of life insurance companies saw a 4 per cent rise to Rs. 13,854.44 crore in July 2016 as against Rs. 13,319.97 crore premium collected in the same month last year. 
  • Life Insurance Corporation`s (LIC) new business premium was the highest at Rs. 10,737.92 crore, up 3 per cent from Rs. 10,421 crore in July 2015, according to the data collected by sector regulator IRDAI. 
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) data comprises a total of 24 firms including LIC - country`s largest life insurance company.


9) BHEL bags Rs. 169 crore order for solar photovoltaic power plant.

  • State-owned power equipment maker BHEL has secured an order to set up solar photovoltaic (SPV) plants, estimated to cost Rs. 169 crore.
  • The EPC order has been placed by West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Corporation Ltd (WBSEDCL).
  • Three SPV plants of 10 MW each are to be set up at Mejia (Bankura), Santaldih (Purulia) and Chharrah (Purulia) in West Bengal.
10) Maharashtra govt selects L&T to convert Nagpur into smart city. 
  • Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has received a letter of intent appointing it as the implementation partner to convert Nagpur, the Orange City, into the country’s first large-scale integrated smart city. 
  • This is in line with the government’s vision to use vanguard technology for creating smart solutions to improve quality of life of citizens. 
  • The scope of work in phase 1 for L&T’s smart world communications business vertical, which is a part of L&T Construction, will cover laying of 1200 km of optical fibre network backbone, creating 136 City Wi-Fi hotspots at key locations, establishing 100 digital interactive kiosks and developing city surveillance systems with 3800 IP based cameras.
11) Tata AutoComp to acquire global engine cooling firm TitanX.
  • Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd, the Tata Group-promoted auto component firm, is set to acquire TitanX, a global engine-cooling supplier.
  • TitanX, a manufacturer and supplier of engine and power-train cooling solutions to commercial vehicle industry makers, has a turnover of $200 million.
12) Asia Index launches index to track performance of CBLO rate.
  • A joint-venture between S&P Dow Jones Indices and BSE, Asia Index launched a new index to measure the performance of Collateralized Borrowing and Lending Obligation (CBLO) rate – one of most liquid rates in India.
  • This new index would be calculated using the CBLO rate for transactions maturing on the following business day and with settlement T+0.
  • The launch of S&P BSE Liquid Rate Index, It helps in expanding fixed income indices offering in the most actively traded instrument in the money market. The CBLO rate is considered one of most liquid rates in India, in the overnight segment.
  •  The index is designed to measure the returns from a daily rolling deposit at the CBLO rate.
13) Tata Steel, IIT-Madras ink MoU for research in green energy.
  • Tata Steel has signed a memorandum of understanding with IIT Madras to set up Tata Steel Advanced Materials Research Center, with initial focus on developing green energy and light weight technologies using carbon-based materials.
  • The centre will draw on expertise and knowledge within Tata Group for developing applications beyond steel.
14) Tata Power Solar commissions 100 MW project for NTPC.
  • Tata Power Solar, one of the country’s largest integrated solar companies, announced that it had successfully commissioned a 100 MW solar project for NTPC in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. 
  • This is the biggest solar project commissioned using domestically manufactured solar cells and modules, the company said in a release. 
  • The plant is expected to generate nearly 160 million kWh of energy per year and help offset approximately 110,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in its first year of operation.
15) RCom launches first app-to-app calling service.
  • Reliance Communications is betting big on it’s newly launched app-to-app calling service to become top MNP player over the next one month.
  • Latest plan will be available for customers in Gujarat, and soon will be rolled out nationally.
  • The existing RCom customers having installed data-based communication apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts, Imo and Viber, will be able to make voice and video calls to the same app easily and quickly through data without dialing the number.
16) Huawei to start mobile manufacturing in India.
  • Chinese smartphone-maker Huawei will start manufacturing handsets in India soon.
  • The company has a team of 3,000 people in R&D in India, which would be leveraged for local understanding of consumer needs.
  •  The company sells smartphones under two brand names - Huawei and Honor.
17) Centre unveils Internet portal for online tracking of mines.
  • The Ministry of Mines unveiled a web portal for the easy access to information regarding the mining sector in India, including a framework for rating mines.
  • Indian Bureau of Mines has developed a template for the star rating of mine.
  • The web portal will have all the ratings of the mines and will also have information of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) for the mining sector.
  • The star rating system, which rates mines out of five stars, is a two-layered system based on a self-evaluation by the mine operator, which is then validated by the Indian Bureau of Mines under the Ministry of Mines.
18) Wipro invests $1.5 million in Israeli cybersecurity company.
  • Wipro has invested $1.5 million to acquire minority stake in Tel Aviv based cyber security platform provides Insights Cyber Intelligence Limited.
  • IT major has acquired stake of less than 20 per cent in the Israeli start-up.
19) Centre imposes $380 million additional penalty on RIL.
  • Government has slapped an additional penalty of $380 million (around Rs. 2,500 crore) on Reliance Industries and its partners for producing less than targeted natural gas from eastern offshore KG-D6 fields.
  • With this, the total penalty, which is in form of disallowing recovery of cost incurred, for missing the target in five fiscal years beginning April 1, 2010, now stands at a cumulative $2.76 billion.


20) Alibaba Group on a `million books` donation drive.

  • Online and mobile commerce major the Alibaba Group, along with Crossword and Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, has launched `Mission Million Books`, a pan-India initiative inviting Indian citizens to donate textbooks and educational material for the underprivileged. 
  • The collected material will be distributed to more than 2,500 educational institutions across India.
  • The campaign’s other partners are The World Bank Family Network Book Project, Delhivery, Kotak Mahindra Bank, mGage India, Shoppers Stop, HyperCity and Rotary Club of Bombay Worli.
21) India inks deal to ferry oil through Bangladesh.
  • India has signed a short-term route agreement with Bangladesh to allow transport of petroleum goods from Assam to Tripura through Bangladesh after heavy monsoon damaged roads and made the transportation between the two states difficult.
  • Short-term deal and Bangladesh side agreed to the Indian proposal to grant validity of the MoU till September 30.
22) BSNL, Microsoft to offer end-to-end solutions for enterprise customers.
  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and technology giant Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding to provide complete suite of telecom and information technology solutions for enterprise business.
  • This will help audio and video needs of BSNL`s enterprise customers, including government organizations. Notably, BSNL has large shares in landline network, including leased line connectivity to various enterprises. 
23) Indian Railways partners with Google to showcase heritage assets.
  • Railways will collaborate with Google for digitising and showcasing its heritage on digital platforms.
  • Indian Railway has a huge list of heritage assets including bridges, steam locos, buildings, artifacts and museums which can be showcased for global audience.
  • An agreement in this regard will be signed soon between National Rail Museum and Google Cultural Institute (GCI).
  • GCI is a non-profit organization that partners with cultural organizations to bring world’s cultural heritage online. GCI builds online tools and offers them to institutions for showcasing and sharing cultural assets.
24) E-Commerce Site AskMe shuts down.
  • E-commerce Company AskMe has decided to shut shop, leaving 4,000 staffers jobless.
  • The reason behind closure of the Internet giant is as severe cash crunch. While the AskMe.com portal still active but accepting none of the orders placed.
  • Askme Groups was established in 2010 and it launched its online shopping site called AskMe Bazaar in 2012 with small and medium enterprises.



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