Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

2020-01-02

1. India-Mauritius CECPA to be finalized soon

  • Ministry of Commerce and Industry has said that the India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) may be finalized soon.
  • CECPA will improve market access between India and Mauritius and benefit them in goods and services trade.
  • The main aspects of negotiations for CECPA were goods and services trade, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures.
  • Mauritius has been the second top source of FDI ($8 billion or about Rs 56,000 crore) into India in 2018-19.
  • In 2018-19, India's exports to Mauritius were more than imports from Mauritius. So, India recorded a trade surplus of nearly $1.09 billion with Mauritius.
  • India's exports to Mauritius:
    • Petroleum products, pharmaceuticals
    • Cereals, cotton and electrical machinery
    • Apparel and clothing accessories
  • India's imports from Mauritius:
    • Iron and steel
    • Pearls, precious/semi-precious stones
    • Optical, photographic and precision instruments

 

2. MANI app to help visually impaired people

  • RBI had introduced Mobile Aided Note Identifier (MANI) app for helping visually impaired persons in identifying Indian banknotes.
  • MANI app will help visually impaired persons in the identification of Mahatma Gandhi series and Mahatma Gandhi (new) series banknote and half-folded notes at different holding angles and under a large number of light conditions.
  • MANI will work by checking the front or reverse side/part of the notes.
  • Features that help visually impaired in identifying notes:
    • Intaglio printing and tactile mark
    • Variable banknote size
    • Large numerals
    • Variable colour
    • Monochromatic hues and patterns

 

3. Import duty on CPO and refined palmolein lowered

  • The government has lowered import duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) from 40% to 37.5% and on refined palmolein from 50 % to 45 %.
  • Import duty has been lowered under the ASEAN agreement and India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IMCECA).
  • Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) opposed the duty cut as it will have an impact on the domestic palm oil refining industry as well as oilseeds farmers.
  • Currently, India imports nearly 70% of its edible oil consumption.

 

4. Prices of non-subsidized LPG cylinders and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) increased

  • The government has increased the prices of non-subsidized LPG cylinders and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) by Rs 19 and Rs. 1,637.25 per kl respectively.
  • Due to increasing international prices, the price of non-subsidized LPG cylinders has been increased from Rs 695 to Rs. 714 per 14.2-kg cylinder.
  • Since September 2019, the price of non-subsidized LPG cylinders has been increased for the fifth time.
  • After an increase of 1,637.25 per kl or 2.6%, the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) is now Rs 64,323.76 per kilolitre in Delhi.

 

5. Rs. 2.18-cr penalty on HIBIPL

  • For violation of Motor Insurance Service Provider (MISP) guidelines, IRDAI has imposed ₹2.18-cr penalty on Hero Insurance Broking India Pvt. Ltd. (HIBIPL).
  • IRDAI said that HIBIPL might appeal to the Securities Appellate Tribunal under Section 110 of the lnsurance Act, 1938.
  • Earlier, IRDAI had imposed Rs. 3 crore penalty on Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd. (MIBL) for breaking regulatory norms.

 

6. India’s CAD narrows and foreign exchange reserves grow

  • In September quarter, India's CAD narrows to 0.9 % of GDP from 2 % of GDP in the preceding quarter.
  • In the July-September quarter of 2018-19, the Current Account Deficit (CAD) was 2.9 % of GDP
  • RBI said that CAD contracted due to a lower trade deficit of $38.1 billion. Last year, the trade deficit was $ 50 billion.
  • In the first half (H1) of 2019-20, trade deficit reduced to $84.3 billion from $ 95.8 billion in the first half (H1) of 2018-19 and caused contraction of CAD from 2.6 % in H1 of 2018-19 to 1.5 % of GDP in H1 of 2019-20.
  • Foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis) recorded growth of $5.1 billion in Q2 of 2019-20. In Q2 of 2018-19, foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis) recorded a reduction of $1.9 billion.  
  • Due to an increase in net earnings from computer, travel and financial services, net services receipts recorded an increase of 0.9 % on a year-on-year basis.
  • In Q2 of 2019-20, private transfer receipts increased to $ 21.9 billion.
  • In Q2 of 2019-20, Net FDI ($7.4 billion) remained the same to the level of the second quarter of 2018-19.
  • During the April-September quarter of 2019-20, the net inflow of foreign portfolio investment was $2.5 billion.
  • In Q2 of 2019-20, net inflow due to external commercial borrowings to India was $ 3.2 billion. In Q2 of 2018-19, it was $ 2.0 billion.

 

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

1. Which of the following countries has been the second top source of FDI into India in 2018-19?

  1. Mauritius
  2. France
  3. Japan
  4. China
  5. Indonesia

 

2. Which of the following app has been recently introduced by RBI for helping visually impaired persons in identifying Indian banknotes?

  1. Mobile Aided Note Identifier
  2. Memory Aided Note Identifier
  3. Money and Note Identifier
  4. Mobile-Enabled Note Identifier
  5. Internet Aided Note Identifier

 

3. Under which of the following agreements, the government reduced import duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and refined palmolein?

  1. Association of South East Asian Nations agreement (ASEAN agreement)
  2. India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IMCECA)
  3. India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA)
  4. India - Japan Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IMCECA)
  5. Both A and B

4. Recently, the Government increased the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) by

  1. Rs 1,537.25 per kl or 2.5 %
  2. Rs 1,637.25 per kl or 2.6 %
  3. Rs 1,837.25 per kl or 2.8 %
  4. Rs 1,737.25 per kl or 2.7 %
  5. Rs 1,937.25 per kl or 2.9 %

 

5. Which of the following has recently imposed a ?2.18-cr penalty on HIBIPL?

  1. IRDAI
  2. SEBI
  3. SAT
  4. NCLT
  5. IBBI

 

6. In the September quarter, India's Current Account Deficit narrowed to

  1. 0.5 % of GDP
  2. 0.6 % of GDP
  3. 0.7 % of GDP
  4. 0.8 % of GDP
  5. 0.9 % of GDP

 

Solution:

  1. A
  2. A
  3. E
  4. B
  5. A
  6. E

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