Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

2020-10-15

1. SEBI extends last date to apply for SMARTs

  • SEBI has extended the last date to apply for becoming Securities Market Trainers (SMARTs).
  • New date for submitting applications to become SMARTs is 6 November. Earlier, the last date for submitting applications was 16 October.
  • Both organizations and individuals can submit the SMARTs application. SMARTs will be added to SEBI’s investor education initiative to increase its outreach.
  • They will conduct Investor Awareness Programs (IAPs) in districts on behalf of SEBI. The scheme for SMARTs is being implemented since 9 September 2020.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
    • SEBI was set up in 1988 and given statutory status in 1992. Its headquarters is located in Mumbai.
    • In addition to a chairman, SEBI currently has four whole-time members and three part-time members.
    • It is a regulator of the securities market in India and aims to protect the interests of investors in securities.
    • Ajay Tyagi is the current chairman of SEBI. He was appointed in March 2017.  He will be chairman of SEBI till 28th February 2022.

2. GUVNL gives Tata Power LoA to develop 100 MW solar power project

  • Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) has given Letter of Award (LOA) to Tata Power for the development of 100 MW solar power project in Dholera Solar Park, Gujarat.
  • Under a Power Purchase Agreement, GUVNL will be supplied energy for 25 years after park will become operational.
  • The park will become operational after 15 months from the PPA. It will generate 246 Million Units (MUs) of energy per year.
  • Earlier, Gujarat has extended its Solar Power Policy -2015 by nine months till December 2020.

3. DDT should not be more than rate given in DTAA

  • Delhi Bench of ITAT has ruled that Dividend Distribution Tax (DDT) should not be more than the rate given in the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).
  • ITAT was hearing the appeal of Gurugram-based Giesecke & Devrient [India] Private Limited against IT Department’s order for FY 2013-14.
  • ITAT has ruled over the question whether DDT under section 115-O of IT Act can be more than the rate of tax on dividends given in applicable DTAA (India Germany DTAA in this case).
  • Section 115-O of IT Act provided for extra 15% tax on dividend of domestic companies. However, Finance Act 2020 abolished DDT.
  • India Germany DTAA provided for 10% tax on dividends. ITAT has ruled that DDT cannot be more than 10% provided in India Germany DTAA.  
  • During the ruling, ITAT followed Bombay High Court’s order in Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited.
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT):
    • It is a quasi-judicial body. It was formed on 25 January, 1941.
    • Its orders are final. It is the second appellate authority under direct taxes.
    • However, appeal can be filed in High Courts if a substantial question of law arises.
    • It is functioning under the Ministry of Law and Justice.
    • Currently, it has 63 benches.

4. CCEA approves demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved demerger of Nagarnar Steel Plant from National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).
  • CCEA has also approved the strategic sale of NMDC Iron & Steel Plant (NISP) Nagarnar, Chhattisgarh.
  • The plants will be operational by March 2021 and Government will complete its strategic sale by September 2021.
  • The proposal for demerger was approved in principle by NMDC Board in August 2020.
  • NMDC:
    • It was formed in 1958.
    • It is headquartered in Hyderabad.
    • It comes under the Ministry of Steel.
    • In February 2020, the Government of India owned 69.65 % equity in NMDC.
    • It is the largest iron ore producer in India.
    • It is also the largest iron ore exporter of India.

5. JPMorgan Chase Bank signs agreement with Infibeam Avenues

  • JPMorgan Chase Bank NA India has signed an agreement with Infibeam Avenues to use Infibeam’s enterprise payment platform — CCAvenue.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank NA India will use CCAvenue for its enterprise clients to process the payments.
  • HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank also use Infibeam’s platform for their enterprise clients to process the payments.
  • Recently, Infibeam had signed a deal with Jio Platforms and its affiliates. It also partnered with the second-largest bank in Oman.
  • Infibeam Avenues Limited is an Ahmedabad headquartered Indian company. It provides digital payments, e-commerce software and internet services. Its founder and CEO is Vishal Mehta.

6. EarlySalary launches Salary Card

  • EarlySalary has launched Salary Card, a zero-touch digital card powered by RuPay.
  • With the help of the card, salaried professionals will be able to set up a dynamic card limit to suit their shopping, medical, travel, entertainment and other needs.
  • The card will help salaried professionals in making instant purchases across thousands of merchants all over India.
  • The activation of Salary card requires EarlySalary mobile app.
  • EarlySalary is a Pune-based consumer lending platform.
  • RuPay is a domestic card payment service. It was launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2012. 

7. Axis Bank partners with Google Pay and Visa to launch its ACE Credit Card    

  • Axis Bank has partnered with Google Pay and Visa to launch its ACE Credit Card.
  • The application for credit card can be submitted digitally. The credit cards will be issued digitally.
  • The users will get 5% cashback on mobile recharges and bill payments via Google Pay.
  • Axis Bank is the third-largest private bank in India that is headquartered in Mumbai. Its MD & CEO is Amitabh Chaudhry.

8. Indian economy to contract by 10.3% in 2020

  • In its World Economic Outlook report, IMF has estimated that the Indian economy will contract by 10.3% in 2020.
  • The report says that the economy will grow at 8.8% in 2021 and again become the fastest growing emerging economy.
  • The report has been released before annual meetings of Boards of Governors of IMF and World Bank between 12 to 18 October.
  • As per the report, global growth is likely to contract by 4.4% in 2020 and increase to 5.2% in 2021.
  • The report says that only a major economy will show positive growth rate of 1.9% in 2020.
  • India’s growth rate stood at 4.2% in 2019. As per IMF, India can gain up to 60-80% of GDP by climate change mitigation.
  • In its South Asia Economic Focus report, World Bank has last week said that India’s GDP in current fiscal may contract by 9.6% in March.
  • World Economic Outlook report is released by International Monetary Fund (IMF) twice in a year.

 

 

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