Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

Topic: Miscellaneous

1. CSE report finds sugar syrup adulteration in most honey brands

  • Centre for Science and Environment report has found sugar syrup adulteration in honey from 10 out of 13 brands in the Indian market.
  • In 2018, Consumer Voice has carried out a study on the top 10 honey brands and found the same.
  • Modified sugar syrup is imported from China. The adulteration has become known due to Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) tests.
  • FSSAI uses NMR tests for honey exported from India and not for honey consumed domestically.
  • Top brands passed tests to detect C4 sugar, which shows basic adulteration through cane sugar. But smaller brands failed them. However, both top and small brands failed NMR tests, which are used globally.
  • Food adulteration is the process of changing the quality or nature of food. It involves adding adulterants as well as removing important substances from food. Common food adulterants are given below.

Food/Food Product

Common Adulterants

Milk

Water, Detergent, Synthetic milk, urea

Milk products

Starch in khoya, chenna, paneer & mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and other starches in ghee/butter

Honey

Sugar, Sugar syrup, Glucose

Sugar/jaggery

Chalk powder

Pulses

Artificial Colours, khesari dal in dal whole and split, chakunda beans

Rice

Pebble, damaged grains, polish

Food grains

Dust, pebble, stone, straw, weed seeds, damaged grains, ergot (a fungus), Dhathura seeds

Ragi

Rhodamine B

Spices

soap, stone, Papaya seeds in black pepper

Brick powder and Artificial colours in Red chilli powder

Cassia bark in Cinnamon

Grass seeds colored with charcoal in cumin seeds

Argemone seeds in mustard

Chalk powder, metanil yellow and lead chromate in Turmeric

colored dried tendrils of maize cob in saffron

Vegetables and fruits

Wax Coating on Apple

Malachite green in green chilli and green vegetables

Artificial colour on green peas

Salt

Chalk powder

Coconut oil

Other oils (Palm oil, argemone oil, paraffin, engine oils)

Coffee and tea

Chicory powder in coffee powder; iron filings in tea leaves, clay in coffee powder

 

Topic: Taxation System

2. CBIC makes eight-digit HSN classification for 49 chemical-based products mandatory  

  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has made eight-digit HSN classification for 49 chemical-based products mandatory.
  • It would now be mandatory to mention HSN classification for these products when issuing GST invoices. 
  • Cyanogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide, phosphorous trichloride, trimethyl phosphate, sulfur dichloride and triethanolamine are names of some of the chemical products.
  • Industry will have to move from the current two/four-digit levels and change Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
  • Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HSN) is a multipurpose international product nomenclature. World Customs Organisation has developed it. It became effective in 1988. It is generally called the Harmonized System (HS).
  • World Customs Organisation is an intergovernmental organization. It was formed in 1952. Its headquarters are located in Belgium, Brussels. It was earlier called Customs Co-operation Council.

Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

3. IFSCA becomes member of International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)

  • International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has become member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).
  • IFSCA will now have access to IAIS’s global network and interact with global regulators.
  • IFSCA regulates Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City, which comprises of 17 leading insurance entities.
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) of India is also a member of IAIS.
  • International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS):
    • It was formed in 1994. Its headquarters are located in Switzerland.
    • It is a voluntary organization and international standard-setting organization of the insurance sector.
    • Insurance supervisors or regulators of over 200 jurisdictions are its members.

Topic: Miscellaneous

4. High-level inter-ministerial Apex Committee for Implementation of Paris Agreement (AIPA) formed

  • High-level inter-ministerial Apex Committee for Implementation of the Paris Agreement (AIPA) has been formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • Secretary, MoEFCC is the chairman of AIPA and its purpose is coordinated response on climate change to ensure that India remains on track to meet its obligations under Paris Agreement.
  • Its members will be senior officials from fourteen ministries. It will also be a National Authority to regulate carbon markets in India under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
  • It will form guidelines for thinking about projects or activities under Article 6 and issue guidelines on carbon pricing and market mechanisms.
  • Paris Climate Agreement is an initiative of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2016, along with 188 countries.
  • The objective of the Paris Agreement is to limit the rise in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

5. NABARD’s Karnataka Regional Office signs MoU with LHO-Bengaluru Branch of SBI

  • NABARD’s Karnataka Regional Office has signed MoU with the LHO-Bengaluru Branch of State Bank of India.
  • MoU will benefit farmers and other beneficiaries through EShakti (digitisation) / artisans / agri-preneurs / agri-start-ups.
  • Under the MoU, NABARD will act as the implementing agency for onboarding their SHGs on NABARD’s EShakti portal across Karnataka.
  • NABARD had launched EShakti as a pilot project for digitisation of SHGs in two districts in 2015.
  • NABARD has plans to extend support to financial literacy programmes in the rural/semi-urban branches and through SBI’s Financial Literacy Centres (FLCs).
  • NABARD:
    • It is an apex development finance institution that provides credit for agriculture and other economic activities in rural areas.
    • It is fully owned by the Government of India. It was formed on 12 July 1982. It has 28 regional offices.
    • Chairman: Shri Govinda Rajulu Chinthala
    • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Topic: Banking System

6. SIDBI launches asset restructuring web module and Indian Bank signs agreement to use the module

  • SIDBI has launched an asset restructuring web module and Indian Bank has signed an agreement with SIDBI to use the module for MSME borrowers.
  • The Module aims to help MSME borrowers benefit from RBI’s MSME restructuring guidelines.
  • The module is named as Asset Restructuring Module for MSMEs – Do it Yourself (ARM-MSME DIY) and being offered free of cost.
  • The module will help MSMEs in preparing restructuring proposals on their own. 
  • Indian Bank has also launched MSME Prerna, an online programme to train MSMEs in basic accounting and government/bank schemes.
  • Indian Bank was founded in 1907. Its headquarters are in Chennai. Ms. Padmaja Chunduru is its MD & CEO. From 1 April 2020, Allahabad bank has been merged with Indian Bank.
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):
    • It was formed in 1990. Its headquarters lie in Lucknow. Its chairman and MD is Mohammad Mustafa.
    • It functions under jurisdiction of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance. RBI regulates and supervises SIDBI.
    • SBI holds 16.73 % shares (largest) of SIDBI. Government of India and LIC also hold shares in SIDBI.
    • Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd. (MUDRA) is a subsidiary of SIDBI.

Topic: Indian Economy

7. Exports in November and during April-November decline

  • Exports have declined by 9.07% to $23.43 billion in November 2020 and by 17.84% to $173.49 billion during April-November 2020. 
  • The trade deficit in November declined to $ 9.96 billion and imports declined by 13.33% to $33.33 billion.
  • Exports have declined due to a decline in the shipping of petroleum products and chemicals.
  • Exports stood at $211.17 billion in April-November 2020. Merchandise imports in eight months of FY21 declined by 33.56% to $215.6 7 billion.  
  • The meeting of the Board of Trade was held on Wednesday. In the meeting, exporters suggested steps to boost local manufacturing and exports.
  • The members of the Board of Trade are from the private and public sectors. It advises the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on measures related to Foreign Trade Policy.

Topic: Indian Economy

8. Rs 62,782 crore came to India as FPI inflows.

  • As of 28 November 2020, Rs 62,782 crore came to India as FPI inflows. This comprised of Rs 60,358 crore as equity inflows and Rs2,424 crore as FPI net investment in debt and hybrid securities.
  • FPI inflow in equity in November 2020 is the highest since National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) makes FPI data available. Total FPI inflow was highest on 12 November. It stood at Rs 11,056 crore.
  • FDI inflows in the second quarter of FY 2020-21 (July 2020 -September 2020) stood at US$ 28,102 million. Out of this, FDI equity inflows were US$ 23,441 million.
  • Total FDI equity inflows till September of the current financial year reached US$30,004 million. This is 15% higher than the same period of last financial year (2019-20). In terms of Rupee, this is 23% higher than last year.
  • FDI equity inflows and total FDI inflows in 2019-2020 were the highest in the last six years.
  • Total corporate bond issuances of Rs 4.43 lakh crore in the first half of FY21 (H1 FY21) were 25% more than the issuances of Rs 3.54 lakh crore in the same period of the previous financial year (H1 FY20).
  • Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) is the route by which an investor holds the securities and financial assets in another country. Still, it does not provide direct control over the company’s assets.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) means investment by persons who are residents outside India through shares, bonds, etc., in an unlisted Indian company.
  • FDI also means investment by persons who are resident outside India in 10% or more of post-issue paid-up equity capital (paid-up share capital after issuance of shares) of a listed Indian company.

 

 

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