1. India’s rating lowered from Baa2 to Baa3
- India’s rating has been lowered from Baa2 to Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.
- The reasons for lowering of India’s rating are slower growth, increasing debt, weak debt affordability and financial stress.
- However, India’s outlook has not been changed by Moody’s. It continues to be negative.
- As per the estimate of Moody’s, India’s real GDP will become lower by 4% due to Covid-19 outbreak and Covid-19 lockdown.
- The rating agency has also estimated that India’s debt burden will rise from 72 % of GDP in FY 20 to 84% of GDP in FY 21. This includes debt burden of both central and state governments.
- Moody’s has also lowered India’s short-term local currency rating from P-2 to P-3. Moody’s provides four short term ratings. They are P-1, P-2, P-3 and not prime.
- Baa3 is an investment grade rating. The ratings that fall between Aaa to Baa3 are called investment grade.
- The ratings from Ba1 to C are called noninvestment grade. They are also called junk bonds.
2. Manufacturing PMI reaches 30.8 in May
- Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has reached from 27.4 in April to 30.8 in May.
- In May, the rate of decline of manufacturing sector has become lower. But, it is second fastest since 2005.
- Manufacturing contributes 15% to India’s GDP. It produces maximum employment. Higher manufacturing PMI show poor health of India’s manufacturing sector.
- IHS Markit compiles PMI. PMI was started in 2005. It is based on answers from purchasing managers in a panel. The panel comprises of nearly 400 manufacturers. PMI varies between 0 and 100.
3. NORDEN announces closure and relocation of its India office
- Danish shipping company, NORDEN has announced closure of its India office in Mumbai and relocation to Dubai.
- The aim of the company is to achieve sustainable growth base in entire Indian Ocean region.
- NORDEN is one among Denmark’s oldest shipping companies that are operational internationally.
- The NORDEN established its office in Mumbai in 2005. It is headquartered in Hellerup, Denmark.
4. Tata Group partners with SCTIMST
- Tata Group has partnered with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) for commercially producing RT-LAMP technology based Covid-19 testing kits.
- RT-LAMP technology refers to Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Amplification technology.
- RT-LAMP technology based Covid-19 testing kits can test Covid-19 in less time. The test is named as Chitra Gene LAMP-N test.
- In the test, copies of viral DNA are made by using an isothermal set up and magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction is used to purify RNA from the sample.
- Earlier, Tata Group has partnered with CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) for production of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) technology-based COVID test kits.
5. MSP for Kharif crops and MSME turnover limit increased
- Government has increased MSP for 14 Kharif crops and MSME turnover limit.
- Government has announced up to 83% increase in MSP for 14 different Kharif crops.
- The repayment date of short term loans taken for agriculture and allied activities have also been extended till 31st August 2020.
- The enterprises having investment limit of 50 crore rupees and turnover limit of 250 crore rupees will now get benefits of MSME sector. Government has also approved MSME fund of 20 thousand crore rupees.
- Kharif crops are sown during monsoon and cut in September- October. The examples of Kharif crops are paddy, maize, cotton, jute, groundnut etc.
6. 7.75% saving bonds discontinued
- As per RBI’s announcement, government has discontinued 7.75 % savings (taxable) bonds, 2018.
- The discontinuation of 7.75% savings (taxable) bonds had become effective on 28th May, 2020.
- The bonds were started on 10 January, 2018 and only resident citizens/HUFs were allowed to invest in these bonds.
- The value of one bond was Rs. 1,000 each and there was no maximum limit of investment. The lock-in period for bonds was 7 years.
- As the bonds have been discontinued, there will be no issuance. People who have already invested till 27 May will get 7.75% interest.