1. RBI announces steps to ease pressure on liquidity
- To ease pressure on liquidity, RBI has announced steps such as term repo operations of Rs 1 lakh crore in mid-September.
- Term repo operations of Rs 1 lakh crore will be carried out at floating rates (i.e., at the prevailing repo rate).
- Term repo operations will be carried out to ease pressure on liquidity due to advance tax outflows.
- Advance tax payments cause liquidity pressures as money moves out of the banking system when companies withdraw funds to make advance tax payments.
- RBI has also announced special open market operations of Rs 20,000 crore in two parts of Rs 10,000 crore each on September 10 and September 17, 2020.
- During open market operation, RBI will simultaneously purchase and sale Government Securities.
- RBI has also given option to banks for getting funds at current repo rate of 4% by returning the funds received under long-term repo operations (LTROs) at repo rate of 5.15%. This will reduce interest liability of banks.
- RBI has also allowed banks fresh acquisitions of SLR securities acquired from 1 September 2020 under Held-To-Maturity (HTM) category up to an overall limit of 22% of their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) till 31 March, 2021.
2. Labour Bureau releases CPI-IW for July 2020
- Labour Bureau has released Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) for July 2020.
- There has been an increase of 4 points in All-India CPI-IW for July 2020. Currently, it stands at 336.
- Between June and July, 2020, All-India CPI-IW has increased by 1.20%. It has increased by 0.95% between June and July, 2019.
- Increase in CPI-IW is due to Housing and Food Group items. Housing group contributed maximum (2.28%) to increase in CPI-IW. Housing group was followed by food group, which caused an increase of 1.77%.
- At the level of industrial centres, Jamshedpur has shown maximum increase. It is followed by Haldia.
- Indices for 31 industrial centres are above all India CPI-IW. Indices for 45 centres are below all India CPI-IW.
- For July 2020, Year-on-year inflation based on all-items was at 5.33 and food inflation stood at 6.38%.
- It was started in October 1946. It is the oldest CPI available in India.
- It is compiled by Labour Bureau on monthly basis. Labour Bureau is an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment.
- CPI-IW is based on retail price of selected items from 289 markets across 78 industrially important centres in the country.
- It is released on the last working day of coming month. For example, CPI-IW for July 2020 has been released on 31 August 2020, last working day of August 2020.
3. Pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) in electricity launched
- Pan-India Green Term Ahead Market (GTAM) in electricity has been launched by the Minister of State-Independent Charge for Power and New & Renewable Energy.
- GTAM platform will increase the number of participants in renewable energy sector and lower the burden on the Renewable Energy-rich States.
- GTAM will benefit both sellers of renewable energy and buyers of renewable energy. The buyers will be benefitted through competitive prices and transparent and flexible procurement.
- The sellers of renewable energy will get access to pan-India market. GTAM will benefit renewable energy generators by providing more avenues for sale of energy.
- Currently, the government is targeting to install 175 gigawatt (GW) renewable energy capacity by 2022. Out of this 175 GW target, 100 GW will be solar energy and 60 GW will be wind energy. 10 GW will come from bio-power and 5 GW will come from small hydro-power.
- The names of eight renewable energy-rich states are Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.
4. GDP for April-June quarter declines by 23.9%
- As per the National Statistical Office (NSO) data, GDP for April-June quarter of 2020-21 has declined by 23.9%.
- In the January-March quarter of 2020-21, GDP has grown by 3.1%.
- In the January-March quarter, China’s GDP also declined. But, it recovered in April-June Quarter. India is nearer to UK, where GDP declined by 20.4% in the April-June quarter.
- In the April-June quarter, agricultural output has shown a growth of 3.4%. In the same quarter, the manufacturing sector and construction sector declined by 39.3% and 50.3%, respectively.
- Trade, hotels, transport and communications sector has shown the second highest decline of 47% in the April-June quarter.
- In the January-March quarter, the services sector grew by 4.4%. But, it declined by 20.6% in the April-June quarter.
- Private consumption declined by 24.5% and government consumption increased by 20.2% in the April-June quarter.
- As per Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian, India is experiencing V-shaped recovery.
- In V-shaped recovery, economic decline is sharp but it is only for brief period and strong recovery follows economic decline.
5. RO-RO train service started between Bengaluru and Solapur
- Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO-RO) train service has been started from Nelamagala station on the outskirts of Bengaluru to Solapur (Maharashtra).
- South Western Railway (SWR) has said that Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO-RO) train service will have open flat wagon. Trucks with goods are loaded on the wagon.
- Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO-RO) train service reduces transportation costs, reduces road accidents and saves fuels. It also ensures faster transport of goods.
- In Roll-On/Roll-Off (RO-RO) service, railway wagons directly transport loaded trucks with their drivers to their destination. Then, drivers drive the trucks to their final destination.
- Konkan Railway has started first ever RO-RO service in India.
6. India, Japan, Australia agree to take initiative to strengthen supply chains
- India, Japan and Australia have agreed to take the initiative to strengthen supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Three countries have asked their officials to work out details for the initiative to be launched this year.
- Three countries have agreed for an initiative at a video conference hosted by Japan. They have also said that other countries can also participate in the initiative.
- India, Japan, Australia and US are currently part of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad, which is an informal strategic forum established in 2007.
7. India to contribute four seeds in seed longevity experiment in Global Seed Vault
- India will contribute seeds of chickpea, groundnut, pearl millet and pigeon pea in seed longevity experiment in Global Seed Vault.
- Seed longevity experiment is 100-year long and seeks to test the resilience of seeds of 13 globally important crops.
- The experiment has been started by Gene banks of six global research institutions. ICRISAT India (International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics) is one of them.
- Global Seed Vault is located inside a mountain located on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago. Svalbard is located in the midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
- The seeds will be stored in a vault at -180C and tested for longevity once every decade for next 100 years.
- German gene bank IPK has already deposited seeds of barley, pea, wheat and lettuce. Institutions in Thailand and Portugal will contribute rice and maize, respectively. Brazil will contribute soybean.
8. K Padmakar was given additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director of BPCL
- K Padmakar has been given additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).
- He is serving as Director (HR) of BPCL. Earlier, D Rajkumar has resigned from the post of Chairman and Managing Director of BPCL on August 31.
- R Ramachandran has also resigned from the post of director refineries on August 31.
- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is a Maharatna oil refining and marketing company. Its headquarters are located in Mumbai.
- Currently, it is owned by the Government of India (52.98%). But, the government wants to privatize BPCL and has invited bids for selling its 52.98% stake in March 2020.
9. India's GDP contraction of 23.9% in Q1 of 2020-21
- On 31st August 2020, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of financial year 2020-2021 contacted by 23.9%.
- Due to the closure of business activities and nationwide lockdown, India’s GDP has observed a sharp contradiction as compared to the previous year.
- The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation tweeted, “GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 of 2020-21 has contracted 23.9% over the corresponding quarter of previous year.”
- In an official statement, The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation mentioned contradiction in GDP for year 2020-21 with respect to the year 2019-20.
- The Ministry said, “GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs. 26.9 lakh crore as against Rs. 35.35 lakh crore in Q1 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 23.9 percent as compared to 5.2 percent growth in Q1 2019-20.”
- About Gross Domestic Product:
- GDP or Gross Domestic Policy is the monetary or market value of the goods and services produced and sold in the country during a period of one year.
- The concept of GDP was invented at the end of 18th Century.
- In 1934, Simon Kuznets developed the modern concept of GDP.
- In 1944, It was adopted as the main measure to calculate country’s economic activity at the Bretton Woods Conference.