Economy Current Affairs
Economy Current Affairs August 4th Week 2016
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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1) Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to sign agreement with bankers for External Commercial Borrowing.

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Navi Mumbai, has signed an agreement with State Bank of India and Development Bank of Singapore for External Commercial Borrowing to the tune of USD 400 Million at a very competitive" interest rate to improve the infrastructure required for doubling. 
  • The funding by JNPT is the first of its kind for major port and it opens up one more avenue for major and government ports to raise funds by accessing international markets for their requirements.
  • The ECB of USD 400 Million (USD300 Million from the SBI & USD100 from DBS) will be primarily utilised by the JNPT, which has US Dollar denominated foreign currency earnings which can be leveraged for a low cost foreign currency borrowing, for expansion of its existing roads network connecting to its port project as the existing road network for evacuation of traffic is currently operated at a capacity utilisation of 100%. 
2) Cash Transactions over Rs. 3 lakh may face ban as government turns heat on cash stashers. 
  • Government is set to ban cash transactions over Rs. 3 lakh as it seeks to clamp down on black money in the economy following recommendations from the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team. 
  • Rs. 3 lakh-limit is aimed to ensure that transactions are made using credit or debit cards, cheques or drafts which can be easily tracked. Despite the crackdown on unaccounted money, authorities continue to unearth several transactions involving purchase of jewellery or even cars in all cash deals. 
3) Gail India to partner US firm for new gas power generation technology.
  • Gail India to sign an agreement with Bloom Energy to introduce fuel cell technology, which will be cost-effective for power generation in the long term.
  • Bloom Energy claims its technology converts fuel into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process, which can use a variety of fuels, including biogas.
4) Bajaj Finance ties up with India Post to facilitate two-wheeler purchase.
  • Bajaj Finance Limited, a motorcycle finance company, has partnered with India Post to facilitate purchase of vehicles in Karnataka.
  • To get information on various 2-wheeler loan schemes as well as special loan offers to the people including the instalment collection set-up at the Post Office itself, on behalf of Bajaj Auto Finance. This arrangement shall initially be rolled out across 208 E-Payment Post Offices across Karnataka.
5) Mahindra AMC launches new scheme.
  • Mahindra Asset Management launched an open ended scheme, which will generate long-term capital appreciation through a diversified portfolio of equity and equity related securities.
  • Mahindra Mutual Fund Kar Bachat Yojana - an open ended ELSS Scheme - with a three year lock-in period. The New Fund Offer would close on October 7, this year and will reopen for continuous sale and repurchase from October 19, 2016.
  • Mahindra AMC, wholly-owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services, received markets regulator Sebi’s approval in February to set up mutual fund business.
6) Mobikwik launches partial payment for bus tickets booking.
  • MobiKwik announced its industry first initiatives to capture the lead position in the bus tickets booking industry by end of 2016.
  • The company has announced partial payment for ticket reservation and cash pick up for bus tickets booking, further simplifying the user`s journey.
7) Reliance Cement becomes subsidiary of Birla Corp.
  • Reliance Cement Company Private Ltd. (RCCPL) has become a subsidiary of the Birla Corporation Ltd.,.
  • BCL had agreed to buy Reliance Infrastructure’s cement business for Rs. 4,800 crore.


8) Microsoft buys artificial intelligence startup Genee. 

  • Microsoft has bought a smart scheduling app Genee, as part of its effort to embed artificial intelligence (AI).
  • The start-up, which was founded in 2014, will shut down its service on September 1.
  • Genee specializes in using machine smarts to handle the time-sucking task of scheduling meetings.
9) Airtel, Vodafone Introduce e-KYC for Instant SIM Activation With Aadhar Verification.
  • Bharti Airtel and Vodafone has started rolling out Aadhaar based e-KYC solution following the notification by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.
  • e-KYC facility would shortly also be extended to those stores which are not directly operated by the company.
  • Mobile customers opting for electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) verification just need to know their Aadhaar number, which along with their fingerprint, will be good enough for confirmation for both new pre-paid and post-paid connections.
10) Pfizer to buy cancer drug firm Medivation for $14 billion.
  • The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has confirmed that it will buy a US cancer drug firm, Medivation, for about $14 billion.
  • The merger will give a boost to Pfizer’s consolidation effort through a series of acquisitions, especially after its bid to take over Allergan Plc in a $150 billion deal late last year fell apart when the Obama administration prevented the proposed combination with new rules.
11) Railway passengers to get Rs. 10 lakh insurance cover from 31 August.
  • Raliway passengers will be able to opt for travel insurance cover on a premium of 92 paise while booking online tickets.
  • The new facility will be available to all passengers excluding those travelling on suburban trains while booking online irrespective of the class. It will be started on a trial basis.
  • Cover will not be applicable for children upto 5 years of age and foreign citizens. It will be for passengers holding tickets such as confirmed, RAC and wait-listed ones.
  • The scheme offers travellers/ nominees/ legal heirs a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh in the event of death or total disability, Rs. 7.5 lakh for partial disability, upto Rs. 2 lakh for hospitalisation expenses and Rs. 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains from the place of a train accident or where an untoward incident, including terrorist attack, dacoity, rioting, shootout or arson, occurs.
12) Cabinet clears India-Cyprus DTAA.
  • Cabinet approved the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Cyprus, a move that gives India the right to tax capital gains on investments routed through Cyprus prospectively from April 1, 2017.
  • Cyprus used to have a DTAA with India but was blacklisted on November 1, 2013, by the Indian government for non-cooperation.
13) TCS settles California lawsuit for $26 million.
  • Tata Consultancy Services and its U.S. affiliate have paid Orange County, Calfornia, $26 million to settle a lawsuit over what the latter termed as a ``failed replacement`` to the county’s automated property tax system.
  • TCS and Orange County have agreed to settle an ongoing dispute regarding the joint development of a Property Tax Management System.
14) India’s GDP to expand by 7.9% this fiscal: Goldman.
  • GDP is expected to improve gradually and for the Apri-June quarter it may slow a tad to 7.8 per cent, in part due to unfavorable base.
  • Indian economy is expected to clock 7.9 per cent growth in the current fiscal driven by better monsoon, government pay hike, key reforms and FDI inflows.
15) Mahindra launches technology platform DiGi Sense.
  • Mahindra and Mahindra Limited has launched DiGiSENSE, an integrated technology platform that connects cars, trucks, tractors and construction equipment’s for cloud computing.
  • Company’s new platform has been conceived, developed and manufactured in India in collaboration with Tech Mahindra, Bosch and Vodafone.

16) BEL to set up Rs. 300 crore plant in Andhra Pradesh.

  • BEL will set up a Rs. 300 crore plant to make Advanced Night Vision products in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Unit will be spread over a 50-acre plot at Nimmakuru Village near Machilipatnam in Krishna district.
  • Airtel launches one-stop-shop connectivity solution.
  • Bharti Airtel has announced its `India with Airtel` suite of services, a one-stop-shop for availing all telecom and connectivity solutions like mobile telephony and data centre and cloud solutions. 
  • Airtel had also announced an Aadhaar-based e-KYC solution.
17) Carborundum Universal inaugurates new R&D centre at Hosur.
  • Murugappa Group owned Carborundum Universal (CUMI) announced the inauguration of its Research and Development centre at its industrial ceramics division in Hosur Tamilnadu.
  • R&D Centre would further fortify company’s capability for sustainable growth & market leadership of wear-resistant & technical ceramic products in selected segments.
18) SEBI mulling relaxed norms for REITs, InvITs, startups listing.
  • SEBI has lined up wide-ranging relaxations to its norms for REITs and InvITs and an easier set of listing rules for startups.
  • The InvITs (Infrastructure Investment Trusts), REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations were under review for the framework for Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) for startups by the SEBI.
  • Board of SEBI is likely to devise an easier set of norms on REITs and InvITs which will allow them to have up to five sponsors, as against the current norm for maximum three.
19) FPIs invest , pour Rs. 8,000 crore in equities in Aug.
  • Net investment by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) stood at Rs. 8,127 crore in equities in August, as per depositors` data. 
  • Rs. 2,727 crore were withdrawn by the FPIs from the debt market, taking the total inflow to Rs. 5,400 crore.
20) Toyota is world`s most valuable automobile brand.
  • Japanese automaker Toyota is the most valuable automobile brand in the world, according to Forbes and has a brand value of $42.1 billion.
  • German luxury automobile manufacturer BMW comes second on the list, with a brand value of $28.8 billion.
21) Amazon India launches online Telugu book store with over 10,000 titles.
  • Amazon India has launched India’s first dedicate online Telugu book store with a wide selection of over 10,000 Telugu titles.
  • Readers can get Telugu translations of English bestsellers in the store.
  • Telugu will be the eighth dedicated language book store on Amazon India. Currently Amazon India caters to Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati and Bengali languages.
22) India to grow at 7.6% in FY`17: RBI.
  • RBI in its Annual Report has projected India`s growth rate at 7.6% in 2016-17.
  • A better than anticipated agricultural performance and the possibility of allowances under the 7th Pay Commission`s award being paid out in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 provide upsides to this projection.
23) Flipkart PhonePe ties up with Yes Bank to launch UPI-based app.
  • PhonePe Internet Pvt. Ltd, which is owned by Flipkart, in partnership with private lender Yes Bank launched unified payments interface (UPI) based payments app.
  • PhonePe allows users to link their bank accounts securely to their smartphone using National Payments Corporation of India’s encrypted libraries.
  • Once linked, users can authorize money transfers or merchant payments instantly by simply entering their 4-6 digits MPIN, a personal code.
24) Big Bazaar`s e-commerce platform to shut down.
  • Future Group-owned online platform to buy Big Bazaar products, `Big Bazaar Direct` is shutting down following losses.
25) Tata launches research alliance with global institutes.
  • Tata Group has launched a collaboration with leading academic universities including Ivy League Yale and Harvard, which will focus on research and application in fields like network science and healthcare. 
  • Tata Group will provide funds worth over $25 million. The financial support, exceeding $25 million, will be spread over time, in line with the tenure of the individual alliances with the institutions.