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?
2. Which of the following app has been recently introduced by RBI for helping visually impaired persons in identifying Indian banknotes?
- Mobile Aided Note Identifier
- Memory Aided Note Identifier
- Money and Note Identifier
- Mobile-Enabled Note Identifier
- Internet Aided Note Identifier
3. Under which of the following agreements, the government reduced import duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and refined palmolein?
- Association of South East Asian Nations agreement (ASEAN agreement)
- India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IMCECA)
- India-Mauritius Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA)
- India - Japan Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (IMCECA)
- Both A and B
4. Recently, the Government increased the price of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) by
- Rs 1,537.25 per kl or 2.5 %
- Rs 1,637.25 per kl or 2.6 %
- Rs 1,837.25 per kl or 2.8 %
- Rs 1,737.25 per kl or 2.7 %
- Rs 1,937.25 per kl or 2.9 %
5. Which of the following has recently imposed a Rs. 2.18-cr penalty on HIBIPL?
6. In the September quarter, India's Current Account Deficit narrowed to
- 0.5 % of GDP
- 0.6 % of GDP
- 0.7 % of GDP
- 0.8 % of GDP
- 0.9 % of GDP