Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

2020-09-12

1. India’s GDP for FY21 to decline by 8.0-8.2%

  • As par CARE Ratings, India’s GDP for FY21 may decline by 8.0-8.2%.
  • Earlier, CARE Ratings has projected a decline of 6.4%.
  • CARE Ratings has also said that the decline in GDP growth will be linked with a decline in the gross fixed capital formation and consumption growth due to the decline in the income of consumers.
  • CARE Ratings has also said that Q1 (April-June), economic growth was in negative. It was near to -24%.
  • As per the report of the agency, growth in the public administration, defence and other services were also negative (-10.3%).
  • Good monsoon and efforts made by the government and RBI to increase the flow of credit have led to positive results for the agriculture sector, financial sector and whole economy.
  • The report says that the third and fourth quarters may show positive results.
  • Credit Analysis & Research (CARE) Rating:

2. Physical signatures not mandatory for health and general insurance policy forms

  • IRDAI has exempted forms for health and general policy from the mandatory requirement of physical signatures.
  • IRDAI has exempted the following policies from the mandatory requirement of physical signatures.
    • All health policies
    • All motor insurance policies
    • Fire insurance (covering dwellings and/or contents issued to individuals)
    • All package insurance policies (issued to individuals)
    • All miscellaneous policies issued to individuals where sum insured is less than Rs 5 crore
  • IRDAI has granted exemptions till 31st March 2020. Exemptions are subject to certain conditions, such as insurers should inform customers through text messages about the issue of the policy document.
  • In August 2020, IRDAI has granted exemptions from wet signatures to all life insurers till 31st December 2020.

3. RBI issues Compliance Functions in Banks and Role of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) guidelines

  • RBI has issued Compliance Functions in Banks and the Role of Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) guidelines for bringing uniformity in diverse practices followed by banks.
  • The guidelines say that banks should have a compliance policy approved by the board and reviewed at least once in a year.
  • As per the guidelines, banks should appoint Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for a minimum fixed tenure that should not be less than three years.
  • Guidelines allow the transfer or removal of CCO only in exceptional circumstances and after the approval from the board.
  • Guidelines also provide eligibility criteria for the appointment of CCO. CCO should have experience of 15 years in banking or financial services.
  • Out of a total 15 years of experience, 5 years of experience should be in any of the functions provided in guidelines. The experience should be in Audit / Finance / Compliance / Legal / Risk Management functions.
  • The guidelines unclearly mention the age of CCO as not more than 55 years.
  • The banks already having CCO should follow the guidelines in six months and they can reappoint the current CCO if the current CCO meets all requirements.
  • As per the guidelines, banks should report appointment, transfer, and removal of CCO to the Department of Supervision in RBI’s Central Office in Mumbai.
  • RBI guidelines disallow dual hatting or giving of any responsibility bringing an element of conflict of interest such as role related to business. CCA can be given a role such as an anti-money laundering officer in certain cases.

4. India’s refined palm oil imports decline to zero

  • As per Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), India’s refined palm oil imports decline to zero for the second continuous month in August 2020.
  • In August 2019, India imported 2.57 lakh tonnes of refined palm oil.
  • The government’s restrictions on import of RBD Palmolein (RBD - refined, bleached and deodorized) have increased domestic processing.
  • In August 2020, imports of crude palm oil (CPO) have increased by 23% from August 2019.
  • In January 2020, import duty on refined palm oil was decreased from 50% to 45%.
  • As per SEA, Malaysia exported excessive RBD Palmolein (RBD - refined, bleached and deodorized) to India by taking advantage of lower duty.
  • Demand for soft oils such as sunflower and soybean oils is increasing during November 2019-August 2020. During the oil year (November, 2019 –October 2020), overall oil import may fall.
  • Indonesia and Malaysia occupy 1st and 2nd place in the list of the world’s largest producers of palm oil. India is the largest edible oil importer of the world.

5. India’s first 5G Use Cases Lab launched at IDRBT

  • India’s first 5G Use Cases Lab has been launched at the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), which is an autonomous center established by RBI in 1996 and located in Hyderabad.
  • The lab is a test bed for the banking and financial sector. It will bridge last-mile connectivity gaps in the banking and financial sector and enable doorstep banking.
  • In partnership with Microsoft India, IDRBT has also released a white paper titled as AI in Banking: A Primer.
  • The white paper also talks about new AI maturity assessment model developed by Microsoft.
  • INdian FInancial NETwork (INFINET) is also owned by the Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT). RBI had set up INFINET in 1999.

6. Declaration of Results of 2nd edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems.

  • The results of the 2nd edition of Ranking of States on Support to Startup Ecosystems have been declared.
  • The results were announced by the Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
  • Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has carried out States’ Startup Ranking Exercise in which 22 states and 3 UTs participated.
  • The States’ Startup Ranking Framework 2019 consists of 7 broad reform areas with 30 action points, including Institutional Support, Easing Compliances, Relaxation in Public Procurement norms, Incubation support, etc.
  • During the ranking process, States and UTs have been divided into two groups. Category ‘Y’ has UTs except for Delhi, and all States in North East India, except Assam. Category ‘X’ has all other states and UT of Delhi.
  • States Startup Ranking Results 2019 are as follows:
    • Category X:
      • Best Performer: Gujarat
      • Top Performers: Karnataka and Kerala
      • Leaders: Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan
      • Aspiring Leaders: Haryana, Jharkhand, Punjab Telangana, Uttarakhand
      • Emerging Startup Ecosystems: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh
    • Category Y:
      • Best Performer: Andaman and Nicobar Islands
      • Leader: Chandigarh
      • Aspiring Leader: Nagaland
      • Emerging Startup Ecosystems: Mizoram and Sikkim
    • Leaders across 7 Reform Areas:
      • Institutional Leaders: Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha
      • Regulatory Change Champions: Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Uttarakhand
      • Procurement Leaders: Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana
      • Incubation Hubs: Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala
      • Seeding Innovation Leaders: Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra
      • Scaling Innovations Leaders: Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan
      • Awareness and Outreach Champions: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan

7. India’s rank in the global economic freedom index declines

  • India’s rank in the global economic freedom index has declined from 79th place to 105th place among 162 countries and territories.
  • Fraser Institute in Canada has released the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 report and the global economic freedom index is a part of this report.
  • Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society has jointly published the report in India. The report measures the economic freedom of individuals. The report uses data from 2018.
  • India’s rank is better than China, which is ranked 124th.  
  • India’s rank improved with regard to parameters such as legal system and property rights and sound money. India’s performance on other parameters is given below.

Parameter of the report

India’s rank in current report

India’s rank in previous report

Size of government

54

11

Regulation by government

122

108

Freedom to trade internationally

137

131

 

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