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Economy Current Affairs March 3rd Week 2019

 1. Inflation rises to 2.93 %

Inflation, based on wholesale prices, rose to 2.93 per cent in February. 
According to government data released, inflation of primary articles, which includes kitchen essentials like potato, onion, fruits, and milk increased to 4.84 per cent during the month, as against 3.54 in January. 
The inflation for `fuel and power` segment increased to 2.23 per cent as against 1.85 per cent.
The WPI-based inflation stood at 2.76 per cent in January, while it was 2.74 per cent in February last year.
Inflation is a sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.
2. United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention
The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention), is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to facilitate the seamless movement of goods within and amongst the Parties to the Convention.
The 1975 convention replaced the TIR Convention of 1959, which itself replaced the 1949 TIR Agreement between a number of European countries.
The TIR system not only covers customs transit by road but a combination is possible with other modes of transport (e.g., rail, inland waterway, and even maritime transport), as long as at least one part of the total transport is made by road.
The TIR Convention will also facilitate India’s current national and multilateral connectivity-related initiatives to improve cross border road transport, facilitating overland trade integration with both eastern and western neighbours.
It will also help India in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which entered into force this year.
The Convention will help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties.
3. SBI launches cardless cash withdrawal at ATMs
State Bank of India has launched cardless withdrawal of cash at over 16,500 of its ATMs through the Yono mobile app platform for the first time in the country.
The ATMs enabled for this service will also be termed as Yono Cash Point.
Customers can initiate the cash withdrawal process on the Yono app and set a six-digit Yono Cash pin for the transaction.
They will also get a six-digit reference number for the transaction on their registered mobile number via SMS.
The cash withdrawal has to be completed within the next 30 minutes at the nearest Yono Cashpoint.

Economy Current Affairs March 2nd Week 2019

 1. India offers world’s cheapest mobile data

India has the cheapest mobile data in the world as per the research by price comparison site The global average was USD 8.53 for 1GB.
Compared to global average of about Rs. 600, 1GB is costing just Rs. 18.5(USD 0.26) in India. In the same case countries like UK has USD 12.37 for the same amount of data.
India is the second largest smartphone market in the world after China with over 4.30 million smartphone users. The study was based on 6313 mobile data plans in 230 countries.
India is followed by Kyrgyzstan with $0.27, Kazakhstan with $0.49, Ukraine with $0.51 and Rwanda with $0.56. For Indian market, researchers studied 57 plans which are available in the country from as low as Rs.1.41 to a maximum of Rs.98.83.
2. National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP)
World Bank to provide $250 Million dollar for the National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) to boost Rural Incomes across 13 States in India.
The Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Acting Country Director, World Bank India, in New Delhi.
The loan will help women in rural households develop viable enterprises for farm and non-farm products.
The $250 million loan has a 5-year grace period, and a final maturity of 20 years.
3. India signs loan agreement with World Bank for Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project
India signed a loan agreement with the World Bank for 96 Million US dollars for additional financing of Uttarakhand Disaster Recovery Project.
World Bank has been supporting the State Government since 2014 to restore housing and rural connectivity.
The Project has completed more than two thousand permanent houses and 23 public buildings and restored over one thousand 300 kilometers of roads and 16 bridges so far.
The additional financing of 96 million US dollars will further help in the reconstruction of bridges, road and river bank protection works in the state.
4. India positioned at rank 11 in gold holding: WGC Report
According to the latest report by the World Gold Council (WGC), India, the world’s largest consumer of gold, has the 11th largest gold reserve, with the current holding secured at 607 tonnes.
The number one slot is occupied by the U.S., which has gold reserves of 8,133.5 tonnes, followed by Germany with 3,369.7 tonnes.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) is positioned at third rank on the list with total gold reserves of 2,814 tonnes followed by Italy and France with reserves of 2,451 tonnes and 2,436 tonnes respectively.
Among Asian countries, China (1,864.3 tonnes) and Japan (765.2 tonnes) have more gold reserves as compared to India.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which added 6.5 tonnes of gold to its reserves in January 2019, taking its total holding forming part of its foreign exchange reserves to 607 tonnes, is set to become the 10th largest holder of gold worldwide, displacing the Netherlands.

Economy Current Affairs March 1st Week 2019

 1. Nepal Government officials join INGAF training course in New Delhi

The Third group of 22 officials of Nepal`s Ministry of Finance joined their training course on ‘Global Perspectives on Public Financial Management’ at the Institute of Government Accounts and Finance (INGAF) in New Delhi. 
The training is being held under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme of the Ministry of External Affairs. 
This is a special tailor-made training course on Public Finance Management designed at the request and requirement of Nepal`s Ministry of Finance for a total of 62 officials. 
The training will enhance capabilities of these officials in global practices dealing with e-payment system, accounting & cash management, public burrowing system, accounting of foreign loans/grants and repayments, pension payment system, internal audit, fiscal responsibility and budget management. 
Earlier, 40 Nepali officials had successfully completed their 10-days long training at the INGAF. The INGAF is a premier training institute of Government of India in the field of Public Finance Management with state-of-the-art learning facilities. 
It is one of the Partner Institutes for imparting professional trainings to officials from friendly developing countries across the world under the ITEC programme.
2. OECD cuts global growth forecast over trade
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD, has again cut its 2019 forecast for global economic growth due to ongoing trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty. 
In an interim version of its Economic Outlook, the OECD lowered its forecast to 3.3 per cent for this year, down from the 3.5 per cent it predicted in November, which was itself a downgrade from a previous 3.7 per cent. 
It warned that trade tensions and political uncertainty including Brexit are weighing on the world`s economy.   
The OECD, which groups the world`s top developed economies, revised growth estimates lower in almost all of the countries in the G20 group of industrialised and emerging nations. 
The 19-nation eurozone was particularly hard hit, with predicted growth dropping from 1.8 per cent to one per cent.
The growth forecast for European powerhouse Germany sank to 0.7 per cent from 1.4, while Italy`s fell from 0.9 per cent growth into a recession at minus 0.2 per cent. 
Britain`s growth forecast was chopped from 1.4 to 0.8 per cent, which would mark the first time it had fallen below one percent since 2009 following the global economic crisis.