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Economy Current Affairs July 2nd Week 2018

1. RBI Cancels Licence Of Alwar Urban Co-Operative Bank. 

The RBI today said the licence of Alwar Urban Co-operative Bank in Alwar, Rajasthan has been cancelled as it is not in a position to pay its depositors in full as and when their claims accrue, among other reasons.

The present financial position of the bank leaves no scope for its revival, the RBI said, adding that the cancellation of the licence is effective from the close of business on July 5.

"The Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Rajasthan has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank," the RBI said in a statement.

With the cancellation of licence and commencement of liquidation proceedings, the process of paying the depositors of Alwar Urban Co-operative Bank as per the DICGC Act will be set in motion.

"On liquidation, every depositor is entitled to repayment of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 1,00,000 from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) as per usual terms and conditions," the central bank said.

As the licence stands cancelled, the bank has been prohibited from conducting the business of banking, which includes acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits with immediate effect, the RBI added.

 

2. Asian Development Bank Approves 503 Million USD Project For Bihar.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved 503-million US Dollar lining project of the Son canal in Shahabad-Bhojpur region of Bihar which would benefit the agriculture sector immensely in the region. 

Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh held a meeting yesterday with the officials from the ADB and the finance ministry to review the progress of lining project of the Son canal. 

Mr Singh asked the ADB and the finance ministry officials to fix a timeframe for the completion of the project. The ministry statement said the estimated cost of the project is 503 million dollars out of which 352 million dollars is being provided by ADB. 

 

3. Telecom Department Clears Vodafone-Idea Merger With Riders.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) on Monday gave its nod to the Vodafone India-Idea Cellular deal to form the biggest telecom entity in India, but with some riders. "DoT has cleared the Vodafone-Idea merger today. They will have to meet conditions for final approval," an official told PTI.

Earlier, it was reported the DoT was looking to raise a fresh demand of around Rs 4,700 crore ahead of the merger deal between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular over one-time spectrum charges on Vodafone. An ET report also claimed the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) had sought the details of the proposed deal between the two companies. Both the companies had earlier hoped to seal the deal before June 30, but the demand of Rs 4,700 crore as spectrum charges pushed the date further.

The DoT nod, however, is significant as reports suggest the process of the proposed deal is being closely watched by the PMO. Being one of the biggest merger deals in telecom -- and the involvement of Vodafone, whose parent company Vodafone UK had been caught up in a tax dispute with the Indian government -- makes it even more interesting for foreign investment companies looking for future deals in India. The clearance process also conveys a positive message of the ease of doing business in India, a prime goal of the Narendra Modi government to attract investments.

 

4. YouTube Announces $25 Million Investment To Fight Fake News.

You can’t always trust the veracity of stuff posted online — and obviously YouTube is no exception.

On Monday, Google’s YouTube announced that it is committing $25 million to help support legitimate news organizations, and also detailed new features intended to flag misinformation and highlight authoritative news sources.

YouTube’s role in promoting conspiracy theories has flared up in recent months. In February, for example, a YouTube video suggesting that one of the high-school students who survived the mass killing in Parkland, Fla., David Hogg, was an actor hired by gun-control advocates briefly became YouTube’s No. 1 trending video. YouTube removed the clip within a few hours, citing violation of its policy on harassment and bullying.

In the wake of such incidents, Google and YouTube have since seen the need to take more proactive steps to support news on YouTube as well as educate users about spotting fake news. YouTube executives Neal Mohan, chief product officer and Robert Kyncl, chief business officer, outlined the new measures in a blog post Monday.

 

5. Andhra Pradesh Tops Ease Of Doing Business Rankings.

Andhra Pradesh continues to be the best state to do business in the country while neighbouring Telegana has been ranked second with Haryana at the third spot, in the ease of doing business list prepared by the World Bank and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Gujarat has slipped further to the fifth rank in the ease of doing business.

In last year`s ranking, Andhra Pradesh had jointly topped the chart with Telangana while Gujarat was relegated to the third position from the top slot in 2015. At the other extreme, Meghalaya, Lakshadweep and Arunachal Pradesh have been ranked at the bottom for not doing anything to improve business climate, according to the latest Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) index released on Tuesday.

"This time we have taken feedback from industry to see whether the reforms have percolated to the ground level," DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said.

Next year 100 per cent evaluation would be done based on feedback from industry, he added.

He said implementation of reforms help attract both domestic and foreign investors. "Due to this exercise, states are competing with each other in improving business climate. The Indian economy would touch USD 10 trillion in the coming years and for that it is fundamental to make business more competitive," Abhishek added.

Other states in the top ten are Jharkhand (4), Chhattisgarh (6), Madhya Pradesh (7), Karnataka (8), Rajasthan (9) and West Bengal (10).

Delhi was ranked 23rd in the list while Punjab was at the 20th position, way behind neighbouring Haryana. An official statement said that a large number of states have made significant progress in reforms suggested in BRAP 2017.

The assessment is based on a combined score consisting of reform evidence score that is based on evidence uploaded by States/UTs and feedback score that is based on response gathered from actual users of services provided to businesses.

As many as 17 states achieved a reform evidence score of more than 90 per cent and 15 achieved a combined score of 90 per cent and more. The states which have achieved 80 per cent or more reforms evidence score represent 84 per cent of the country`s area, 90 per cent of the country`s population and 79 per cent of India`s GDP.

 

6. India Becomes 69th Shareholder Of European Bank For Reconstruction & Development.

India was today formally announced as the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), paving the way for more joint investment with Indian companies across the bank`s regions of operation.

The Indian government had applied for EBRD membership in December 2017. The EBRD board of governors, which represents all the existing shareholders, voted unanimously in favour of the country`s application in March 2018, with the entire membership process completed this week.

“We are very proud and happy to welcome India to our Bank. This day opens a new chapter in our relations, allowing us to build further on already very close ties,” said EBRD`s Indian-origin president Suma Chakrabarti.

India takes a shareholding in the EBRD but it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing.

In the lead up to the membership, the EBRD held its inaugural business forum in Mumbai last month. The conference, co-hosted with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and with the support of the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of India, was held under the banner of “Mobilising private sector finance in the EBRD region and how Indian companies can benefit”.

The EBRD has already cooperated with Indian enterprises on joint projects worth almost 1 billion euros, including investments with Tata, SREI, Jindal and Mahindra and Mahindra.

 

7. Industrial Production Growth Slips 3.2% In May, Retail Inflation Rises To 5% In June.

 India’s factory output growth slowed to a seven-month low in May while retail inflation quickened to a five-month high in June, signalling a worsening macro-economic environment. Data released by the statistics department showed the index of industrial production (IIP) grew at 3.2% in May compared with a revised 4.8% growth a month ago while Consumer Price Index (CPI) based inflation accelerated by 5% in June against 4.87% in the preceding month.

A surge in crude oil prices, weakening rupee and increase in minimum support price (MSP) of summer-sown crops by the government are further expected to put upward pressure on retail inflation. India Ratings and Research estimates the hike in MSP for the 2018-2019 season will push up retail inflation by 70 basis points. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

While the monsoon has gained pace earlier than expected, nationwide rainfall deficit in the season stands at 8% till Thursday. Although the India Meteorological Department has projected a normal monsoon, its distribution and intensity in July will be crucial for kharif output, which in turn will impact food inflation. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6 June raised the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%—the first rate hike in more than four years—and analysts do not rule out a further hike next month in its policy review on 1 August.

“RBI would be watching the CPI print closely and an adverse report on monsoon or a further spike in oil prices could hasten a rate hike in the coming policy. Otherwise it would be a pause followed by a rate hike towards the end of calendar 2017,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Care Ratings Ltd.

Slowing IIP growth was led by the manufacturing sector despite electricity and mining output growing faster than in April. Ten out of the 23 industry groups in the sector showed negative growth, indicating the broad-based nature of the slowdown.

 

8. RBI Made Purchaser’s Name On Face Of Payment Instrumentalities Compulsory.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it compulsory to incorporate purchaser’s name on the face of payment instrumentalities like demand draft, pay order, banker’s cheques and other instruments to prevent money laundering.

It has been done in order to address the concerns arising out of the anonymity and to prevent money laundering. The RBI issued a notification in Mumbai to this effect to the banks. This directive will come into effect from 15th of September 2018.

 

9. Haryana Top State In Per Capita Revenue Collection Under GST.

Haryana has topped the States in per capita revenue collection under GST and has become fourth highest generator of e-way bills in the country, said Finance Minister Abhimanyu on Wednesday.

The State’s per capita revenue collection under GST is the highest in the country at Rs 1,876 while Uttarakhand which is at second spot with Rs 1,436 per capital revenue, is far behind Haryana, said Capt Abhimanyu while talking to the mediapersons here, spelling out the achievements of his Department during the past three-and-a-half year tenure of the present government.

Haryana, he said, has widened the tax base by 82.22 per cent, logging 19 per cent hike in revenue collections.

“Post-GST, the compliance percentage in the state is 5-7 per cent higher than the national average. The revenue collection under commercial taxes has registered a double-digit growth,” the Minister said.

“GST being consumption-based tax, the state suffered a loss of about Rs 5,000 crore on this account. The state also lost the revenue of Rs 1100 crore on the foodgrains. Many of the consumer goods were taxable at the rate of 13.125 per cent under VAT. Most of these items have been placed in the tax slab of 18 per cent wherein the state`s share is nine per cent. Therefore, it accounts for some loss of revenue to the state,” he admitted.

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Economy Current Affairs July 2nd Week 2018

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