1. RBI forms new department to supervise and regulate fintech in India.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a new department to supervise and regulate fintech in India. The new department has been operational since 4 January.
- It has been created by subsuming the fintech division of the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems (DPSS).
- It will promote innovation in the fintech sector and address the challenges and opportunities associated with it.
- It will also provide a framework for further research which will aid in creating policy for fintech.
- The fintech department will be administratively attached to the centralised administrative division (CAD) of the central office.
- The fintech department will deal with all the matters related to the facilitation of constructive innovations and incubations in the fintech sector.
- It will also look into the matter related to inter-regulatory coordination and international coordination on fintech.
- FinTech is an emerging industry that uses technology for the delivery of financial services.
- At present, the total valuation of the FinTech industry in India is about $50-$60 billion.
2. IMF appoints Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas as its next chief economist.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF) has appointed Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas as its next chief economist.
- He is an economist at the University of California-Berkeley. He has replaced Indian origin Gita Gopinath.
- Gopinath has been appointed as the IMF's first deputy managing director.
- Gourinchas will begin working as part-time IMF Chief Economist from January 24. He will start his full-time tenure on April 1, 2022.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF):
- IMF is an international organization. It is designed to promote global monetary cooperation.
- Its headquarters is located in Washington DC. It was established in 1945.
- The Managing Director of IMF is Kristalina Georgieva.
Topic: Banking System
3. Board of directors of Kotak Bank allows promoters to increase voting rights to 26%.
- Board of directors of Kotak Mahindra Bank has allowed promoters to increase voting rights to 26%.
- In November 2021, RBI has allowed promoters’ stake in private sector banks in 15 years to be raised from 15% to 26% of paid-up voting equity share capital of the bank.
- Bank’s MD & CEO, Uday Kotak is currently the single largest shareholder with 25.76% stake in the bank.
- Kotak Mahindra Bank is an Indian private sector bank headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
4. Benny P Thomas appointed as Non-Executive Director of South Indian Bank.
- Benny P Thomas has been appointed as Non-Executive Director of South Indian Bank.
- Thomas is an experienced law practitioner (advocate) based out of Kochi.
- South Indian Bank is a private sector bank. It is headquartered in Kerala.
5. Deendayal Port becomes the first government-run major port to handle 100 million tonnes (MT) cargo.
- Deendayal Port has become the first government-run major port to handle 100 million tonnes (MT) cargo.
- Deendayal Port’s cargo growth in the third quarter of the current fiscal was the highest among all government major ports.
- It is expected that the port’s cargo handling will cross 127 MT by end of the current fiscal.
- Kandla, officially Deendayal Port, is a seaport in Kutch district, Gujarat.
6. Government puts privatization of CEL on hold.
- Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has confirmed that the government has put on hold the privatization of Central Electronics Ltd (CEL).
- Trade unions have complained of bid-rigging and under valuation in the sale of CEL to Nandal Finance and Leasing Pvt Ltd.
- In November 2021, the sale of CEL was approved to Nandal Finance for ₹210 crore.
- CEL comes under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR).
Topic: Reports and Indices
7. RBI releases annual report of the Ombudsman Schemes for the year 2020-21.
- RBI has released the annual report of the Ombudsman Schemes for the year 2020-21.
- The report covers Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006, the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018 and the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions, 2019.
- The report has been prepared for the nine-month period, i.e., July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
- According to the report, the volume of complaints that were received under all the three Ombudsman Schemes has increased by 22.27% on an annualized basis. It stood at 3,03,107 complaints during the reported period.
- As per the report, the disposal rate improved significantly from 92.36 per cent during July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 to 96.67 per cent during July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
- There were three Ombudsman Schemes till 11 November 2021. Reserve Bank-Integrated Ombudsman Scheme 2021 (RB-IOS) was launched with effect from November 12, 2021.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
8. Industrial growth, based on the IIP declines to 1.4 % in November.
- Industrial growth, based on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) declined to 1.4 % in November 2021.
- Retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased to a five- month high of 5.59% in December 2021.
- Reasons for the increase in retail inflation are an increase in the prices of food items along with textiles and footwear.
- Inflation for food and beverages increased to 4.5% in December from 2.6% in November.
- IIP growth declined to 1.4% in November against 4% in October. Mining and manufacturing sectors in November showed a growth of 5% and 0.9% respectively.
- Electricity sector has shown a growth of 2.1 % in November.
- Index of Industrial Production (IIP):
- It is a measure of changes in industrial output over a period of time.
- In IIP, Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors carry weightage of 75.5%, 14.2% and 10.3% respectively.
- Central Statistical Organization (CSO) compiles and publishes it on a monthly basis.
9. Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) decide to offer equity stake against their dues.
- Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) have decided to offer an equity stake against their spectrum auction instalments and adjusted gross revenue (AGR) payment dues.
- While Vodafone Idea has offered 35.8% stake to the government, Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) has offered 9.5% stake.
- After this, the government is set to own 35.8% in Vodafone Idea and 9.5% in Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra).
- Vodafone Plc’s shareholding in Vodafone Idea (Vi) will come down from 44.4% to 28.5% and Aditya Birla Group’s stake in Vodafone Idea (Vi) will decline to 17.8% from 27.7% at present.
- Department of Telecom (DoT) had announced a relief package in October 2021. Under the relief package, operators were given a four-year moratorium on payment of spectrum and AGR dues.
- They were also given the option of converting the interest payable for the four years into equity.