1. Rules for PPF and SSA deposits modified
- Rules for Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) deposits have been modified by the Finance Ministry.
- As per the modified rules, the Finance Ministry has permitted deposits in PPF and SSA until June 30.
- Finance Ministry has also removed the application of revival fee or penalty charges on Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts, Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) and Recurring Deposit (RD) accounts. But, this benefit will be available only if minimum deposits are made till June 30.
- Finance Ministry has also permitted extension of PPF accounts maturing on March 31, 2020 to June 30.
- The rules have been modified because of COVID-19 lockdown and to protect good results for people depositing money in small saving instruments.
- PPF and SSA are key tax saving instruments with maximum deposit limit of Rs 1.50 lakh.
- PPF was started in 1968. In 2019, the government replaced PPF, 1968 with Public Provident Fund Scheme, 2019. SSA was started in 2015.
2. SEZ units should be allowed to sell goods at reduced import duty rates
- Export Promotion Council for SEZs and EOUs (EPCES) has requested the Ministry of Commerce that SEZ units should be allowed to sell goods at reduced import duty rates.
- Covid-19 lockdown and possible effect of cancellation of orders on jobs are the reason for the request of EPCES.
- EPCES has requested selling of goods at reduced import duty (basic customs duty) rates. Currently SEZs and EOUs give employment to over 25 lakh people.
- Export Promotion Council for SEZs and EOUs (EPCES):
- It was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
- It is officially registered under the rules of Societies Registration Act XXI, 1860.
- Its objectives include the promotion of exports from India, facilitation of communication involving SEZs/EOUs and central as well as state governments.
- It also aims to give support of central government’s Market Access Initiative to Indian exporters.
3. China’s central bank owns 1.01 % stake in HDFC
- As on March-end 2020, China’s central bank owns 1.01 % stake in Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC).
- 1.01% stake of China’s central bank, called People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is equal to Rs 2,977 crore.
- China’s central bank is not only foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) owning more than 1 % stake in HDFC.
- Government of Singapore, Government Pension Fund Global and EuroPacific Growth Fund also own more than 1 % stake in HDFC.
- Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund, Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund, Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund and Stitching Depository APG Emerging Markets Equity Pool also own more than 1 % stake in HDFC.
- Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd:
- It is a financial service provider company in India.
- It is based in Mumbai. It was formed in 1977.
- Deepak Parekh is its Chairman.
- Keki Mistry is its Vice chairman and CEO.
4. AU Small Finance Bank (SFB) appoints its non-executive Chairman
- AU SFB has appointed RV verma as its non-executive Chairman.
- Earlier, RV verma was Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Housing Bank.
- His appointment is effective for one year from April 8. Since 2018, he was independent director with AU SFB.
- He is one of the nine members of advisory committee of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) on Individual Insolvency and Bankruptcy. Justice B. N. Srikrishna is chairperson of this committee.
- RBI has granted approval for the appointment of RV verma and re-appointment of Sanjay Agarwal as MD and CEO.
- Sanjay Agarwal will work as MD and CEO of AU Small Finance Bank for 3 years. His re-appointment will be effective from April 19.
- Uttam Tibrewal has been approved as Whole-time Director of AU SFB by RBI for 3 years.
- AU Small Finance Bank (SFB):
- It was founded in 1996 as AU Financiers (India) Ltd.
- In 2017, AU Financiers (India) Ltd became a small finance bank.
- It is headquartered in Jaipur.
- Its chairman is Mannil Venugopalan.
5. RBI keeps MFIs out of its moratorium on loans
- RBI has kept Microfinance Institution (MFIs) out of its three month long moratorium on loans.
- On March 27, the moratorium was granted by RBI on retail and corporate loans.
- RBI's moratorium legally authorizes debtors to postpone payment of loans. But, MFIs are being asked for instalments as they were not included in RBI's notification.
- MFIs or NBFC-MFI as called by RBI lend to poor people in rural areas after taking term loans from banks. This is termed as on-lending.
- As on September 2019, MFIs have given 31 % of Rs 2, 08,032 crore worth microcredit.
6. Procurement of Minor Forest Produce (MFP) at MSP to be started
- As per Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), State Nodal Departments and Implementing Agencies will start action to procure MFP at MSP.
- Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce through Minimum Support Price and development of Value chain for MFP scheme allows fixing of MSP for certain MFP commodities.
- Earlier, Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce through Minimum Support Price and development of Value chain for MFP scheme was applied in eight states included in 5th schedule of Constitution. The scheme is applied in all states since 2016.
- Ministry of Tribal Affairs is nodal ministry to implement and monitor the scheme and TRIFED is central nodal agency to implement the scheme. The scheme is implemented through implementing agencies at state level.
- In April 2018, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED has launched Van Dhan Scheme. Under the scheme, Van Dhan Vikas Kendras are established.
- Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) was started in 1987. It functions under Ministry of Tribal Affairs. It has 13 regional offices. Its head office is in Delhi.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Recently, Finance Ministry has permitted deposits in Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) until
- April 30
- May 30
- June 30
- July 30
- August 30
2. Export Promotion Council for SEZs and EOUs (EPCES) has requested the Ministry of Commerce that SEZ units should be allowed to sell goods at reduced import duty rates. When was EPCES established?
3. Which of the following does not own more than 1 % stake in Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd?
- Government of Singapore
- EuroPacific Growth Fund
- Government of Japan
- Government Pension Fund Global
- People’s Bank of China
4. Who has been recently appointed as non-executive chairman of AU Small Finance Bank (SFB)?
- Sanjay Agarwal
- Uttam Tibrewal
- Mannil Venugopalan
- RV Verma
- KS Thakur
5. RBI has kept Microfinance Institution (MFIs) out of its moratorium on loans. The moratorium was granted by RBI for
- 2 months
- 3 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 12 months
6. How many regional offices of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) exist currently?