Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

Half Yearly (Jan - June 2021)
2021 Book

Banking Awareness

Topic: Appointments

1. Justice M Venugopal appointed as acting Chairperson of NCLAT.

  • Justice M Venugopal has been appointed as acting Chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).
  • He is the third acting chairperson of NCLAT in a row. He was a judicial member at the Chennai Bench of the NCLAT from January 16, 2021 to September 10, 2021.
  • Before Justice M Venugopal, Justice AI S Cheema worked as acting Chairperson of NCLAT from April 19 to September 10.
  • Before Justice AI S Cheema, Justice Bansi Lal Bhat was the acting Chairperson of NCLAT from March 15, 2020.
  • Justice Mukhopadhaya had retired as Chairperson of NCLAT on March 14, 2020.

National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT):

It was formed in 2016 under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013.

It hears appeals against National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) orders passed under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

It also hears appeals against orders of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India and the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Topic: Taxation System

2. Government reduces import duty on palm, soyabean and sunflower oils.

  • Government has reduced import duty on palm, soyabean and sunflower oils for the second time within a month.
  • The reduced duty became effective from 11 September. It will remain effective till September 30.
  • Customs duty and additional infrastructure and development Cess will be the same at 24.75% for all crude edible oils.
  • The duty will be 35.75% for refined oils. The duty has been cut to control increasing cooking oil prices and inflation.
  • Lower area under oilseeds in Kharif season is also the reason for duty cut. Palm oil production has been affected in Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Soyabean and sunflower oil prices increased on supply worries from Brazil and US.

Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions

3. The validity of Covid-19 specific policies extended by IRDAI till March 31, 2022.

  • The validity of Covid-19 specific policies, Corona Kavach and Corona Rakshak, has been extended by IRDAI till March 31, 2022.
  • The validity of these policies will expire on Sept 30, 2021 as per the current guidelines.  
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has now allowed general, health and life insurers to offer and renew the policies for six more months.
  • Corona Kavach is a standard indemnity based health policy being offered by general and health insurers.
  • Corona Rakshak is being offered as a Covid standard benefit based health policy.

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):

IRDAI is an autonomous, statutory body. It was formed in 1999. Its headquarters are in Hyderabad, Telangana.

It regulates and promotes both insurances as well as reinsurance industries in India.

It has 10 members, including the Chairman, 5 full-time and four part-time members.

Government of India appoints part-time members of IRDAI.

Chairman: Subhash Chandra Khuntia

Topic: Miscellaneous

4. India’s first FASTag-based metro parking facility launched by Paytm Payments Bank.

  • India’s first FASTag-based metro parking facility has been launched by Paytm Payments Bank.
  • Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) has launched the facility in partnership with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
  • As an acquiring bank for the parking facility at the Kashmere Gate metro station, PPBL will facilitate the processing of all FASTag based transactions for cars having a valid FASTag sticker.
  • Parking fee is deducted directly from the wallet or account linked with the FASTag of the respective vehicles.
  • Two-wheeler owners are also able to pay their parking fees digitally at the metro station.
  • Kashmere Gate metro station is the first one to be powered by Paytm Payments Bank’s digital payment solution.
  • Paytm Payments Bank is already India’s largest issuer of FASTags.

Topic: Banking System

5. Large urban co-operative banks (UCBs) may consider turning into universal bank.

  • Large urban co-operative banks (UCBs) may consider turning into the universal bank as RBI’s priority sector lending (PSL) target is steep.
  • As per PSL target prescribed by RBI, UCBs have to increase their PSL portfolio so that it accounts for 75 % of their advances by March 2024.
  • Large UCBs may cut or stop growing their wholesale lending portfolio or buy priority sector lending certificates (PSLCs) or do both to align their overall loan composition with the revised PSL norms.
  • As per RBI, the number of UCBs with deposits greater than or equal to ₹1,000 crore was 88 at March-end 2020.
  • The number of UCBs with advances greater than or equal to ₹1,000 crore was 50 at March-end 2020.
  • Currently, RBI permits UCBs to convert into small finance banks (SFBs) under the Scheme of Voluntary Transition.
  • PSL target and minimum capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for SFBs are both high at 75% of advances and 15% of their risk weighted assets (RWA), respectively.
  • PSL target for UCBs will get aligned with that for SFBs by March 2024.
  • UCBs are required to reach the PSL target in phases — 45% by March 2021 (from 40% as at March-end 2020), 50% by March 2022, 60% by March 2023 and 75% by March 2024.
  • UCBs are required to maintain a lower minimum CAR of 9% (under Basel I norms) of their RWA.

Topic: RBI

6. The opening of third cohort under Regulatory Sandbox announced by RBI.

  • The opening of the third cohort under Regulatory Sandbox has been announced by RBI.
  • The applications for third cohort are open from October 1 to November 14, 2021. MSME lending is the theme for third cohort.
  • RBI has announced that eight entities have been selected for the ‘test phase’ of the second cohort on cross border payments.
  • Second cohort was opened from December 21, 2020 to February 15, 2021. Six entities have completed the ‘test phase’ of the first cohort on retail payments.

Names of six entities have completed the ‘test phase’ of the first cohort

Names of eight entities that have been selected for the ‘test phase’ of the second cohort

Nucleus Software Exports (PaySe)

Book My Forex

Tap Smart Data Information Services (Citycash)

Cashfree Payments

Natural Support Consultancy Services (IND-e-Cash)

Fairex Solutions

Naffa Innovations (ToneTag)

Flyremit

Ubona Technologies (BHIM Voice)

Nearby Technologies

Eroute Technologies

Open Financial Technologies

 

SoCash India

 

Wall Street Finance

< p class="qz-name-lft">Topic: Appointments

 

7. Centre approves appointments of 18 new members to NCLT and of 13 members to ITAT.

  • Centre has approved the appointment of 18 new members (eight judicial members and ten Technical members) to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
  • The appointment of 13 new members (six judicial members and seven accountant members) to the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has also been approved by the centre.
  • 18 new members appointed to NCLT will each have a term of five years or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • 13 members appointed to ITAT will have a term of 4 years or till attaining age of 67 years, whichever is earlier.

Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT):

It is a quasi-judicial body. Shri G.S. Pannu is its officiating President.

It was formed in January 1941.

Its orders are final. It is the second appellate authority with respect to direct taxes.

National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT):

It was formed under section 408 of the Companies Act, 2013 with effect from 01st June 2016.

Bhaskara Pantula Mohan is currently its acting President. AT present, it is having 16 benches.

Topic: Taxation System

8. Supreme Court rules that inverted duty refund is allowed only with respect to inputs and not for input services.

  • Supreme Court has ruled that inverted duty refund is allowed only with respect to inputs and not for input services.
  • Earlier, the High Courts of Madras and Gujarat have given contradictory views on the matter.
  • A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah observed that we affirm the view of the Madras High Court and disapprove of the view of the Gujarat High Court.
  • Gujarat High Court had ruled that refund of input services was allowed while the Madras High Court had ruled against it.
  • Supreme Court upheld the amendments made to Rule 89 (5), restricting such refund only for inputs.

Topic: Banking System

9. NPCI and Fiserv launch ‘nFiNi’ programme.

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Fiserv Inc entered into an agreement to launch ‘nFiNi’ programme.
  • nFiNi’ programme is a ready stack of services that fintechs and banks can use to issue RuPay credit cards. NPCI and Fiserv will expand the market base by enabling banks and fintechs on credit cards.
  • This BaaS (banking-as-a-service) programme provides a ready stack of services required for fintechs and banks to issue RuPay credit cards.
  • It will reduce the onboarding time through hosted card management system covering transaction processing, open APIs, fraud, and risk management service.
  • nFiNi’ programme will empower RuPay Card by offering services through the NPCI network and FirstVisionTM.
  • At present, around 2% of the population in India use credit cards and this initiative has the potential to boost credit inclusion.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):

It was formed in 2008 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

It is a “Not for Profit” Company headquartered in Mumbai.

 

 

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