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Economy Current Affairs May 4th Week 2019

 1. RBI extends RTGS timings

To facilitate high-value fund transfers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced an extension of timings for customer transactions through Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) by one and half hours from 4:30 PM to 06 PM. 
In a notification, issued from Mumbai, RBI said that new timing will be effective from 1st June. 
The RTGS is an online fund transfer system, supported by the RBI, which enables money transaction on a real-time basis. 
The minimum amount for the transaction under this system is Rs 2 lakh. There is no upper limit on the value of funds that can be transferred via the RTGS system.
2. Minimum Support Price (MSP)
Haryana government is planning to discourage planting of the water-guzzling rice (paddy) crop, which threatens to deplete the State’s groundwater. Meanwhile,  farmers have asked the government to first come out with a mechanism to procure alternative crops at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) so that farmers are not at the receiving end.
Water depletion in Haryana over the years has led to 60 dark zones in the State, which include 21 critical ones in 10 districts.
The government wants to save water but it seems to be unaware of the ground realities.
If the government wants farmers to give up rice and cultivate some other crop then there needs to be a mechanism to purchase the alternative crop at MSP.
The State government should enact a law, which guarantees that the produce of farmer is purchased at MSP .
Farmers will only leave rice cultivation if they are sure of reaping more profit with the alternative crop (maize and tuar), which the government is suggesting.
In theory, an MSP is the minimum price set by the Government at which farmers can expect to sell their produce for the season. When market prices fall below the announced MSPs, procurement agencies step in to procure the crop and ‘support’ the prices.
3. Elephant Bonds
A high level government-appointed committee on trade and industry has suggested it to issue ‘Elephant Bonds’ to people for declaring undisclosed income to mandatorily invest 50%.
Elephant Bonds are the 25-year sovereign bonds in which people declaring undisclosed income will be bound to invest 50 per cent.
The fund, made from these bonds, will be utilized only for infrastructure projects.
A high-level advisory group constituted by the government in September 2018 for suggestions to improve India’s trade performance, has come up with a significant recommendation to tackle the menace of black money in the country.
Chaired by the renowned economist, Dr Surjit S Bhalla, the group has asked the government to allow people to declare their ‘undisclosed income’ with a mandatory condition to invest 50% in a government bond, termed as Elephant Bond, which should be utilised only for infrastructure projects.
Comprising of 22 experts, including former foreign secretary S. Jaishankar, former commerce secretary Rajeev Kher, well-known economist Sanjeev Sanyal, India`s former ambassador to the WTO Jayant Dasgupta, the group sought and examined intensive inputs before framing its recommendations.
These were presented by it to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on May 22, just a day before the results of the Lok Sabha elections were declared.