Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness
1. CII recommends decriminalization of certain laws
- CII has recommended twelve different ways to decriminalize certain business laws to remove fears of company directors and senior management personnel.
- CII has said that decriminalization of business laws within the jurisdiction of civil courts will improve the confidence of businesses in India and ease the process of doing business.
- CII has included different laws related to IBC, environmental protection, consumer protection and labor interests in the list of laws requiring amendment.
- In Budget 2020-21, the government has proposed that it will amend the Companies Act and examine other laws to end criminal liability for acts that are civil in nature.
- Earlier, the government has formed the Company Law Committee to re-categorize certain offences within the Companies Act as civil offences.
- In November 2019, Company Law Committee gave its interim report and the recommendation to amend 46 provisions.
- Earlier, the government has said that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) norm violations will not be considered as a criminal offence. They will be considered as civil liability.
2. Coronavirus impacts solar companies in India
- The spread of coronavirus in China has led to shut down of China's manufacturing units and this is impacting solar companies in India.
- After shut down of China's manufacturing units, makers of photovoltaic panels in India are suffering due to delayed shipments and rising prices of solar equipment.
- Currently, India has planned to increase its renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by 2022. Out of the planned renewable energy capacity of 175 GW, nearly 57% is planned through solar energy.
- India imports 90% of solar equipment from China, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
3. HDFC Bank appoints new CDO
- HDFC Bank has appointed Anjani Rathor as its new Chief Digital Officer (CDO).
- She will work as Group Head - Digital Banking of HDFC Bank.
- She has earlier worked as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Bharti Airtel's Consumer Business.
- HDFC Bank is the largest private sector bank in India.
4. SBI to install 6000 more ATMs
- SBI has planned to install 6000 new ATMs with an adjustable cassette feature.
- Adjustable cassettes in new ATMs will help the bank in avoiding additional expenditure in a situation like demonetization as new ATMs having adjustable cassette will be able to provide currency notes of different sizes.
- New ATMs will also recognize the year in which currency was printed and enable card-based, cardless, bio-metric and also near-field communication-based transactions.
- Another new capability of ATMS will be their ability to join barcode and quick response (QR) code scanner as well as their ability to provide other services like loan account enquiry, bill payment, etc.
- New ATMs will also have a camera, which will click images and videos of cash withdrawal by customers.
5. PNB, OBC and UBI to rationalize overlapping branches
- PNB, OBC, and UBI will rationalize their branches located at a distance of 500 metres of each other before June 30.
- The government has announced the merger of Punjab National Bank (PNB), Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and United Bank of India (UBI).
- The merger may come into effect from April 1, and the merged bank will be India's second-largest public sector bank.
- As part of the merger process, banks have formed 34 different committees in September 2019. The committees gave recommendations in December 2019.
6. PhonePe launches its ATM service
- PhonePe has launched its ATM service on 5 lakh offline shops in 300 cities all over India.
- PhonePe has also planned to launch its ATM service on 2 million shops by the end of 2020.
- PhonePe is using geo-tagging to help customers easily find the stores providing ATM service.
- The ATM services will be free for customers and shopkeepers. Under this service, customers will press the withdraw button and transfer money to the shopkeeper through PhonePe app. Then, the shopkeeper will give the cash to the customer, who has already transferred money.
- PhonePe has also planned to increase maximum money that can be withdrawn from ₹1,000 per day to ₹2,000 per day.
7. India's duties on import of mobile phone parts may be challenged at WTO
- Indian government's proposal to increase duties on the import of mobile phone parts may be challenged at WTO.
- In budget 2020-21, the government has proposed to increase duties on import of printed circuit board assemblies (PCBA) from 10 % to 20% and customs duty on mobile phone parts like vibrators/ringers and display panels from 0% to 10%.
- WTO members like the EU, Japan and Taiwan have earlier challenged India's duties on the import of mobile phones and some communication equipment.
- India and other WTO members signed IT Agreement (ITA) in 1996. Participants of the IT Agreement keep customs duties at zero for the products included in the agreement. Mobile phones and parts are also included in the IT agreement.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Who has headed the Company Law Committee that was formed to re-categorize certain offences within the Companies Act as civil offences?
- Injeti Srinivas
- Atanu Chakraborty
- Nima Dawa Bhutia
- Vipul Bansal
- Subhash Chandra Garg
2. India has planned to increase its renewable energy capacity to 175 GW by
3. Which of the following banks has recently appointed Anjani Rathor as its new Chief Digital Officer (CDO)?
4. Which of the following banks has planned to install 6000 new ATMs with adjustable cassette feature in order to avoid extra expenditure if demonetization like situation arises in future?
- Canara Bank
- Central Bank of India
- Corporation Bank
- Syndicate Bank
- State Bank of India
5. Which of the following will become India's second-largest public sector bank after the proposed merger of banks will come into effect?
- Indian Bank
- Union Bank of India
- Canara Bank
- Punjab National Bank
- Bank of Baroda
6. Which of the following digital payments company has recently launched its ATM service on 5 lakh offline shops in 300 cities all over India?
- Google Pay
7. When was the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) of WTO signed?