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Economy Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2018
Author : Admin
Category : Economy Current Affairs
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Economy Current Affairs April 3rd Week 2018

 1. Punjab National Bank Launches Products To Mark Foundation Day.

New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) today launched new products such as pre-approved credit card and UPI solution to mark its 124th foundation day.

Besides, the bank announced its UPI partnership with the expense management app WALNUT that comes embedded with features such as bill reminders, bill-split and instant paperless loans, PNB said in a statement.

At the occasion, the bank organised blood donation camps across 200 blood donation centres in 76 circle offices covering over 6,500 branches across all states and union territories.

The camp was inaugurated at the lenders head office by Sunil Mehta, MD and CEO, of the bank. PTI DP MR MR


2. L&T, BEL Ink MoU For Defence Products.

In line with the efforts to indigenise the defence sector under the `Make in India` initiative, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), India`s multinational engineering conglomerate, and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), a leading public sector enterprise in defence electronics and tactical systems, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday to cater to the needs of evolving domestic and export markets for defence products and systems.
The MoU seeks to leverage the capabilities of both the firms for meeting the growing requirements of the Indian Armed Forces.
The MoU also intends to leverage the well-developed supply chain, vast experience and expertise of BEL and L&T to synergise and enhance exports in the defence sector.
"This MoU offers an opportunity for public-private sector partnership between two industry leaders in defence equipment and systems to synergise their strengths to deliver to the Indian Armed Forces and to the export market contemporary products with high indigenous content," said Jayant Patil, whole-time director (Defence) and member of L&T board.
The decision to formalise the partnership through this MoU, a key milestone for both L&T and BEL, was made after extensive evaluation and identifying the core competencies and strong synergies between the two of them.
L&T and BEL have collaborated and partnered on co-development and production of major sub-systems involving complex technologies and sophisticated weapon systems such as Akash Missile launchers and other radar platforms for Indian Ministry of Defence orders.
L&T has been delivering a range of launcher systems, fire control systems and airframes/sub-systems for various indigenous weapon programmes as development partners and production agency to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
By synergising L&T`s manufacturing, system design and integration capabilities and extensive global footprint with BEL`s core competencies in electronic equipment and systems, the companies look forward to enhancing their product range, jointly evolve new products and enhance business prospects. (ANI)
3. Union Government Raises NABARD`s Authorised Capital To Rs 300 Billion.
Union Government Raises NABARD`s Authorised Capital To Rs 300 Billion
As part of the drive to double income of farmers by 2022, the government has raised the authorised capital of Nabard by six times to Rs 300 billion to help it increase its lending to the rural economy.
"... the central government hereby increases the capital of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development from Rs 50 billion to Rs 30 billion," said a April 10 notification of the finance ministry.
A bill in this regard was approved by Parliament earlier this year.
The increase in authorised capital will enable Nabard to respond to commitments it has undertaken, particularly in respect of the Long Term Irrigation Fund and on-lending to cooperative banks.
Further, it will help Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) to augment its business and enhance its activities, thus facilitating promotion of integrated rural development and securing prosperity of rural areas, including generation of more employment.
Nabard was set up in 1982 to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity.
The development finance institution also aims to increase its long-term on-lending or refinance portfolio to about Rs 800 billion in the current fiscal as part of its effort to improve the rural economy. The institution`s on-lending in 2017-18 was Rs 650 billion.
The government in the Budget had enhanced the corpus of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIFD) to Rs 280 billion with an overall objective of doubling farmers income by 2022.
Nabard is the main agency for implementing RIFD scheme.
It has also been for implementing several key funds such as Long Term Irrigation Fund (LITF), Minor Irrigation Fund (MIF), Agriculture Marketing Fund, Fund for rural housing (PMAY-G), and Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF), for supporting rural sector.
4. Yes Bank Launches GST Backed Over Draft Facility For MSMEs.
YES Bank has launched ‘YES GST’, an overdraft facility for the MSME sector. Using the facility, MSMEs can avail overdraft of up to Rs 1 crore, based on their annual turnover, backed by GST returns. Any additional assessment of balance sheet or bank statements will not be required. This OD facility can be availed by an MSME against mortgage of residential or commercial property. The sanctioned amount can be utilized either fully or in tranches. The bank is targeting a disbursement of Rs 1000 crore through this facility during 2018-19. The bank’s total exposure to MSMEs has crossed Rs 32,500 crore as on 31 March 2018. Rajan Pental, group president and group head, Branch and Retail Banking at the bank, said through this facility, the bank wishes to address MSMEs’ need for faster and hassle-free access to working capital finance, thereby supporting them in their endeavor to be sustainable and competitive.
5. Kotak Mahindra Bank Pips SBI To Become Indias 2nd Most Valuable Bank.
Kotak Mahindra Bank also, for the first, time has become the second-most valued bank in the country after HDFC Bank, which commands a market capitalisation of Rs 5.03 trnPrivate sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank on Monday surpassed state-run State Bank of India (SBI) in terms of market capitalisation.
At the start of the year, SBI’s market value was 44 per cent more than that of Kotak Mahindra Bank. Since then, shares of SBI have corrected 19 per cent, while that of Kotak Mahindra Bank have risen 16 per cent.
On Monday, Kotak Mahindra Bank was valued at Rs2.23 trillion, while SBI’s market value was Rs 2.22 trillion. Kotak Mahindra Bank also, for the first, time has become the second-most valued bank in the country after HDFC Bank, which commands a market capitalisation of Rs 5.03 trillion.
6. India signed Loan Agreement With World Bank For USD 48 Million For Meghalaya.
India has signed an agreement with the World Bank for a USD 48 million loan to strengthen community-led landscapes management in selected area in Meghalaya, the finance ministry said today.
Closing date for `Meghalaya Community - Led Landscapes Management Project (MCLLMP)` is June 30, 2023.
As per the ministry`s statement, the project has three components -- strengthening knowledge and capacity for natural resource management; community-led landscape planning and implementation and project management and governance.
"The project will help manage these depleting resources, by strengthening the communities and traditional institutions," it said.
Meghalaya`s natural resource such as land, water sources and forests is a source of livelihood for a majority of the population in the state.
Restoration of degraded and highly degraded landscapes under the Project will increase water for local communities and improve the soil productivity which will in "turn increase incomes and reduce poverty", the ministry said.
7. Google to provide `confidential mode` soon on its mailing service.
Tech giant Google is set to launch a new security layer for its mailing service Gmail that will help users to purge a mail or text after a period of time.
The `confidential mode` will enable users to set a passcode to open emails, which will be generated through text message. In addition, one can set expiration date for sent emails. The new Gmail mode will available after its revamp.
A company spokesperson said that Google will offer Gmail users the ability to try the redesign through an early access program in the coming weeks.
"We`re working on some major updates to Gmail (they`re still in draft phase). We need a bit more time to compose ourselves, so can`t share anything yet -- archive this for now, and we`ll let you know when it`s time to hit send.”
Many of Gmail`s new features were found in Google`s Inbox email project. Smart replies were previously available through the Gmail app on iOS and Android.
Notably, Google previously beefed up Gmail`s privacy features in 2017 when it stopped scanning Gmail content to better serve you with advertisements.
9. India To Grow At 7.4% In 2018: IMF.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday joined World Bank to declare India had truly and finally recovered from the after-effects of demonetisation and introduction of goods and services tax (GST) over which it had scaled down its growth projections for the country last year.
“India’s economy is projected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019, up from 6.7% in 2017,” the fund’s World Economic Outlook (WEO) report for the quarter ending April said.
The forecast is unchanged from the October WEO, it said, “with the short-term firming of growth driven by a recovery from the transitory effects of the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national goods and services tax, and supported by strong private consumption growth.”
An IMF economist said on background that impact of demonetisation “waned some time ago and the second hiccup, implementing the GST, which, as economists we are very supportive of, but clearly these hiccups...and glitches have been resolved and we do see growth returning, firms doing better.”
The IMF report came just days after its sister organisation, the World Bank, set the ball rolling with a clear message that India had turned the corner on demonitisation and GST.
“India’s economy has recovered from the withdrawal of large denomination bank notes and the Goods and Services tax,” it had said in a report.
The Bank expected India’s growth to accelerate from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.3% in 2018 and to stabilise at 7.5% in 2019 and 2020, supported by a sustained recovery in private investment and private consumption.
India’s recovery, it said, would propel South Asia back to the top as the world’s fastest growing region, and even help it widen the gap over East Asia and the Pacific. “Much of progress, however, is driven by India’s growth rebound and is not consistent across countries.”
10. Bandhan Bank among Top 50 Most Valuable Brand In India.
Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank Ltd became one of the top 50 most valuable publicly traded firms in India. On Thursday, the market capitalization of Bandhan Bank was at Rs64,000 crore, claiming 50th rank, according to BSE data.
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd is the most valuable company in India, followed by Reliance Industries Ltd and HDFC Bank Ltd.
Bandhan Bank had raised Rs4,500 crore through a successful initial public offering (IPO) in March after setting the pricing at Rs375 per share. That was at the upper end of a price range of Rs370 to Rs375 per share. The IPO had attracted orders worth 14.63 times the number of available shares. Shares of Bandhan Bank were listed on 27 March.
In intraday, shares of the lender hit a new high of Rs540, up 1.5% from its previous close. It closed at Rs534.75 on BSE, up 0.43% from previous close.
Since 27 March, it gained 42.81%, outstripping CNX Bank Nifty which rose 3.8% in that period.
It’s one of the two entities to receive a universal banking licence in 2015 and the only microfinance institution to do so. It focuses on retail, medium and small enterprise loans, and has focused on underbanked areas. As of 31 December, Bandhan’s deposits and gross advances stood at Rs25,294 crore and Rs24,364 crore, respectively. For the nine months ended 31 December 2017 and 2016, it had net interest margin of 9.86% and 10.34%, return on equity (RoE) of 25.55% and 27.88%, and return on assets of 4.07% and 4.39%, respectively, each on an annualized basis.
11. Union Government launches first tranche of Sovereign gold bonds for FY19.
The government said on Friday it will launch the first tranche of sovereign gold bonds for the current fiscal on April 16, offering a 2.5% annual interest to investors. The latest issuance of bonds is part of the government’s efforts to garner as much as Rs 5,000 crore from all the three gold schemes this fiscal — the same as 2017-18 (revised estimate). Applications for the bond will be accepted from April 16 to April 20, the finance ministry said in a statement. Bonds will be issued to eligible applicants on May 4. Investors will get the interest payable semi-annually on the nominal value of investment. The sovereign gold bond, gold monetisation scheme and Indian gold coin were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late 2015, as the government wanted to discourage import of the precious metal and curb its damaging impact on trade balance. The gold schemes are, however, still far from a roaring success. The government had budgeted to mop up Rs 10,000 crore from the three schemes in 2016-17, but could raise only Rs 3,451 crore, which was equivalent of just around 2% of the country’s annual consumption.
Analysts, however, have said the schemes provide more choices to investors and could potentially be a massive success if designed better and once investors are made aware of their benefits. Of the two big schemes, gold bond has been more popular than the monetisation scheme (the government mopped up just around 15-20 tonne under the monetisation scheme since its launch in November 2015, according to industry estimates). So the government seems to be focussing more on the bond scheme. While the interest is taxable, investors have been exempted from any tax on capital gains from redemption of such gold bonds. The indexation benefits will be provided to long-term capital gains arising to any person on transfer of bond. Bonds will be tradable on the stock exchanges within a fortnight of the issuance, on a date to be notified by the Reserve Bank of India. Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India, designated post offices, the NSE and the BSE. The tenure of bonds will be for a period of eight years, with exit option from the fifth year, to be exercised on the interest payment dates. The issue price of gold bonds will be Rs 50-per-gram less than the nominal value, the finance ministry said.
As low as 1 gram of gold can be invested, with the maximum limit that can be subscribed by an individual or Hindu undivided family fixed at 4 kg per fiscal. A self-declaration to this effect will be obtained. In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 4 kg will be applied to the first applicant only. However, for trusts and similar entities, the limit can be 20 kg per fiscal. Payment for bonds will be through cash (but only up to a maximum of Rs 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking. Bonds acquired by banks through the process of invoking lien/hypothecation/pledge shall be counted towards the statutory liquidity ratio. The issue price of bonds will be fixed in rupees on the basis of a simple average of closing price of gold (999 purity), published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association for three working days of the week preceding subscription. The redemption price, too, will be arrived at using the same formula. Gold bonds can also be used as collateral for loans. The loan-to-value ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
12. Commerce Ministry Launches Digital Platform For MSME Exporters.
The Minister of Commerce & Industry Shri Suresh Prabhu launchedthe FIEO GlobalLinker- a digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses and join a global community of growing businesses today in New Delhi.
The Minister congratulated Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) for coming out with the interesting idea. He said that this initiative will help in expanding India`s multi-focused export strategy and also aid in connecting art and artisans to the market. Minister also informed that at least 300 Geographical Indications will be registered very soon, which will give a major boost to exports.
FIEO GlobalLinker is setup with a view to make the business growth of SMEs simpler, more profitable and enjoyable. It is a growing global network currently comprising over 140,000 SME firms, who are seeking business collaboration and growth opportunities through the use of their electronic business card and digital profiles created on the platform. FIEO is available free of cost and it offers exporters a range of features and benefits like:
Business Opportunities: Exporters will be able to find clients, suppliers and advisors using the search and review facilities. Creating a free e-commerce store for direct sales and improved chain management.
Up-to-date Business Knowledge through business articles, industry news and common interest groups.
Improved Efficiencies: Platform provides services like company intranet, integrating email, a business calendar.
FIEO`s Services: Application for new RCMC/endorsement/renewal/participation in FIEO`s promotional programme and alerts.
13. SBI India`s Most Trusted Bank, ICICI Tops In Private Sector: Report.
India’s largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) has been termed as the most trusted bank in the country, says TRA Brand Trust Report 2018.
The report also termed ICICI Bank as the most favourite private sector lender.
“This year, State Bank of India tops the chart of BFSI (Banking and Financial Services Institutions) super-category despite seeing a dip in its overall brand trust index rankings from 13th in 2017 to 21st this year,” revealed the report.
The most favourite private lender ICICI Bank acquired the 38th position in the overall ranking in 2018, report the report.
The report was tabulated during November-January and did take the ongoing irregularities of the banking sector in account involving the ICICI Bank.
While 51 brands from BFSI sector registered themselves among the 1,000 most trusted brands in India this year, last year 23 brands were a part of the list.
The report suggests that the inclusion of 19 new brands into the list shows the general trust is BFSI sector is increasing.
14. Yes Bank Gets RBI Nod To Open Offices In London And Singapore.
Private sector lender Yes Bank today said has received Reserve Bank of India`s (RBI) approval to open two representative offices in London and Singapore.
"This is a significant development in the overall augmentation of Yes Bank`s business model and will help in further diversification and expansion of financial services to the NRI diaspora," Yes Bank MD and CEO Rana Kapoor said.
"Opening of representative offices in key financial and trade hubs...gives us an effective coverage for most key global geographies and demonstrates our commitment to grow our footprint in the international banking space," he added.
Yes Bank opened its first representative office in Abu Dhabi in April 2015 and also launched IFSC banking unit (IBU) at GIFT City, Gandhinagar, in the same year.



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