Banking Awareness of 14, 15 and 16 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 18:06 PM IST
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Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

1. In January, wholesale inflation decreased to a three-month low of 0.27%.

  • October 2023 marked the previous WPI inflation low point. As of October 2023, the WPI inflation percentage was (-) 0.26.
  • From April to October, the WPI inflation was negative. In November, it had reached at a positive 0.39 percent.
  • January's WPI inflation decreased mostly as a result of moderate food costs, especially those of vegetables.
  • In January 2023, the percentage stood at 4.8%. It was 0.73% as of December 2023.
  • For the month of January, 2024 (over January, 2023), the All India Wholesale Price Index (WPI) data indicates an annual rate of inflation of 0.27 percent (provisional).
  • Food inflation decreased from 9.38 percent in December 2023 to 6.85 percent in January 2024.
  • Vegetable inflation in food articles decreased to 19.71 percent in December from 26.3% in December.
  • Fruits, eggs, milk, seafood, and milk have all seen price reductions.
  • In January, the fuel and power segment had (-) 0.51 percent inflation. In December 2023, the inflation percentage was (-) 2.41% in this segment.
  • Inflation in manufactured products was (-) 1.13 percent in January. In the preceding month, it was (-) 0.71%.
  • In January 2024, the WPI index changed by (-) 0.33 percent from December 2023 to January 2024.
  • In January 2024, the index for primary particles dropped from 182.9 in December to 181.
  • Prices of minerals increased in January 2024 over December 2023.
  • On the other side, prices of crude petroleum and natural gas, non-food articles and food articles declined in January 2024 over December 2023.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

2. In January 2024, India's exports increased by 3.12%.

  • Despite the global slowdown and the Red Sea situation, exports have increased.
  • India's goods exports have increased to $36.92 billion, a 3.12% year-over-year increase.
  • Several industries, including electronics, medicines, and engineering items, have supported the export of goods.
  • In January 2024, imports increased by 2.99 percent to $54.41 billion.
  • Shipments of gold, coal, electronics, and crude oil all made a substantial contribution to the increase.
  • The January 2024 trade deficit of $17.49 billion was greater than the January 2023 deficit of $17.03 billion.
  • Despite the recession in the Western economy, the Red Sea situation, and declining commodity prices, exports have grown significantly and not marginally.
  • Exports fell 4.89 percent to $353.92 billion between April and January of 2023–2024.
  • During the same period, imports declined by 6.71 per cent at $561.12 billion.
  • Trade deficit in April-January 2023-24 declined to $207.20 billion compared to $229.37 billion in April-January period of 2022-23.

Topic: Committees/Commissions/Taskforces

3. IBBI expert panel has suggested specialized insolvency mediation in IBC.

  • It recommended introducing voluntary mediation gradually under the IBC as an additional method of resolving disputes.
  • As of right now, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) does not contain any legal mandates regarding mediation.
  • The head of the expert committee formed by the IBBI was TK Viswanathan, a former Law Secretary.
  • At the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) office in Delhi on January 31, Viswanathan gave the report to IBBI Chairman Ravi Mital.
  • Using a third party who is impartial to mediate disputes and settle disagreements between two or more parties is known as mediation.
  • The Committee has suggested that the Code include a "voluntary" mediation mechanism in accordance with the Mediation Act, 2023.
  • This expert group was formed to investigate the application of the Code to mediation and provide recommendations for a workable implementation structure.

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Topic: RBI

4. RBI has said only one card network has unauthorized Business Payment Solution Providers (BPSP) operations.

  • RBI has not named the card network. According to the RBI, one card network has arrangements in place to permit unauthorised payments using business cards via intermediaries.
  • This card network has an arrangement that allows businesses to pay with cards to entities that don't take credit cards by using specific intermediaries.
  • There are five card networks in India at now. These networks include Diner's Club, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and RuPay.
  • In the arrangement, known as BPSP, an intermediary receives payments from corporates using commercial cards.
  • It then transfers the money to receivers who do not accept cards using IMPS, RTGS, or NEFT.
  • Such a payment system must have authorization under Section 4 of the Payment and Settlement Systems (PSS) Act, 2007. However, this authorization has not been obtained.
  • Due to doubts about the accuracy and sufficiency of merchant KYC as well as worries about the ultimate use of money, RBI has requested that certain card networks suspend BPSP payments.
  • Fintechs such as Enkash, Kodo, and Happay Card function as intermediaries and offer or have offered BPSP services.

Topic: Appointments

5. Pranam Wahi has been named an additional director by Axis Bank.

  • Pranam Wahi has been named by the Axis Bank Board of Directors as an additional independent director.
  • The appointment is effective from February 15 and is for a period of four years.
  • The shareholders are required to approve this appointment.
  • Axis Bank is the third-largest private sector bank in India that is headquartered in Mumbai. Its MD & CEO is Amitabh Chaudhry.
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Topic: Appointments

6. For the council year 2024-2025, Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal has assumed the position of ICAI President.

  • The largest accounting organization in the world, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), has elected him to serve as its 72nd President.
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) Vice-President is now Charanjot Singh Nanda, a member of the Central Council.
  • Agarwal was elected to the ICAI's 23rd, 24th, and 25th Central Councils three times in a succession.
  • At now, ICAI has more than eight lakh students and almost four lakh members.
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
    • It was established on 01 July 1949 as a statutory body by the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949.
    • It regulates the Chartered Accountancy profession in India. It is headquartered in New Delhi.

Topic: Summits/Conferences/Meetings

7. First meeting of the 16th Finance Commission was held under the chairmanship of Arvind Panagariya.

  • The 16th Finance Commission held its first meeting in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Arvind Panagariya.
  • In the first meeting, terms of reference (ToRs) and the need for wide-ranging consultations with various stakeholders were discussed.
  • As per the order by the President of India, the Ministry of Finance notified the 16th Finance Commission on December 31, 2023.
  • The commission will recommend a devolution formula for tax revenues between the Centre and states.
  • It will also suggest measures to augment resources for local bodies.
  • The 16th Finance Commission will also carry out detailed analytical work and rope in all the expertise from leading research organisations, think tanks, and other organisations.
  • The commission will submit its recommendations by October 31, 2025.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. On February 13, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) became the first Indian company to achieve a market capitalization of Rs 20 lakh crore.

  • Mukesh Ambani-promoted group's shares also touched their 52-week high during intra-day trade amid firm sentiment in the broader market.
  • During the intra-day session, the market valuation of the company increased to Rs 20,01,279.72 crore, and at the close, the market capitalization stood at Rs 19,81,635.72 crore.
  • Reliance Industries shares jumped 1.88% to hit a record high of Rs 2,957.80 before closing 0.90% higher at Rs 2,928.95 per share on the BSE.
  • On the NSE, Reliance Industries's shares rose nearly 1.89% to hit a record high of Rs 2,958 and its 52-week high.
  • The market value of the oil-to-telecom group's shares has increased by nearly Rs 1 lakh crore in the last two weeks.
  • Reliance Industries continued to rank top in the charts in the ranking of top 10 most valuable companies, followed by TCS, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Infosys, Life Insurance Corporation of India, State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, Hindustan Unilever and ITC.

Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes

9. The rooftop solar scheme for free electricity has been launched.

  • The scheme is named PM Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana.
  • It has been launched with an investment of over Rs. 75,000 crores.
  • The scheme aims to light up 1 crore households by providing up to 300 units of free electricity every month.
  • This scheme will provide subsidies directly into the bank accounts of the people.
  • In this scheme, the central government will make sure that there is no cost burden on the people.
  • Urban Local Bodies and Panchayats will be incentivized to promote rooftop solar systems in their jurisdictions to popularize this scheme at the grassroots.
  • The government has already kept ₹10,000 crore subsidy in the FY25 budget under the head of solar grid rooftop.
  • The scheme’s benefits listed by Finance Minister Sitharaman in this year’s budget speech include annual household savings of ₹15,000-18,000 from free solar electricity, with the option of selling the surplus to distribution companies.
  • The scheme was first announced by PM Modi on 22 January, the day of the consecration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

10. In the October-December quarter, India’s service trade surplus reached a record of $44.9 billion.

  • In the October-December quarter of 2023-24, India’s services trade surplus reached $44.9 billion, growing 16 per cent year-on-year.
  • As per the RBI data, during Q3, services exports grew by 5.2 per cent to $87.7 billion.
  • In Q3, services imports contracted 4.3 per cent to $42.8 billion.
  • In the first half (April-September) of FY24, India’s current account deficit reduced to 1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The current account deficit has decreased due to a lower merchandise trade deficit and higher net services receipts.
  • Fitch Ratings has projected that CAD will decrease to 1.4 per cent of GDP in FY24.
  • IDFC Bank has revised its CAD estimate to 1.2 percent of GDP from 1.5 per cent.
  • India exports a variety of services, including information technology and medical and nursing services, to other countries.


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