Topic: Indian Economy
1. States suggest merger of cess and surcharges with basic tax rate.
- During the pre-budget consultations, the states suggested to Finance Minister that cess and surcharges should be merged with basic tax rate.
- If cess and surcharges are merged with the basic rate of tax, states will receive their share from additional revenue.
- Textile sector wants the government to bring a uniform GST structure for apparels and textiles to deal with the problem of higher duties on inputs in the next Budget.
- Additionally, the textile sector wants the abolition of anti-dumping duties on viscose staple fibre (VSF) in the next budget.
- Anti-dumping duties on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) were removed in the last budget. Ant-dumping duty on acrylic fibre was removed in November 2020.
- Indian textiles and apparel industry contributes 2.3& to GDP and 12% to export earnings.
2. India is the fifth largest source of traffic for Wikipedia.
- India is the fifth-largest source of traffic for Wikipedia and Wikipedia gets 750 million page views a month from the Indian audience.
- Malayalam and Odia language users were more active on Wikipedia. Hindi speaking users were relatively less active.
- Wikipedia has completed 20 years on 15 January. It is available in over 24 Indian languages.
- It was founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. It is run by Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization.
Topic: Taxation System
3. Excise duty collection during current fiscal shows 48% increase on account of increase in taxes on petrol and diesel.
- Excise duty collection during current fiscal has shown 48% increase on account of increase in taxes on petrol and diesel.
- During April-November 2020, excise duty collection stood at Rs 1,96,342 crore. During April-November 2019, excise duty collection stood at Rs 1,32,899 crore as per data provided by Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
- Excise duty collection has shown an increase despite a decline in the sale of diesel and petrol. Goods and Services Tax (GST) does not apply to oil products and natural gas.
- Excise duty and VAT are levied on the sale of oil products and natural gas. While excise duty goes to centre, Value-Added Tax (VAT) goes to the state government.
- As per the CGA data, over tax revenue has shown a 45.5% decrease during April-November. It stood at Rs 688,430 crore.
- As per the CGA data, corporate tax collection has shown 35% decrease during April-November. It stood at Rs 185,699 crore.
- As per the CGA data, income tax collection has shown 12% decrease. It stood at Rs 235,038 crore.
- For fiscal year 2020-21 (April 2020 to March 2021), government has targeted Rs 16.35 lakh crore of tax revenue and Rs 3.85 lakh crore of non-tax revenues.
Topic: Indian Economy
4. Imports to India increase by 7.6% to $42.6 billion in December.
- Imports to India have increased by 7.6% to $42.6 billion in December.
- However, India’s exports have shown a marginal increase to $27.2 billion in December.
- Trade deficit for December 2020 stood at $15.44 billion. In December 2019, it stood at $12.49 billion.
- Trade deficit for December 2020 has shown an increase of 23.66% in comparison to trade deficit for December 2019.
- In December 2019, merchandise exports were valued at $27.1 billion in December 2019.
- In April-December 2020-21, India’s overall exports (merchandise and services) have shown a negative growth of 12.7%.
5. RBI governor cites IMF’s calculations on total fiscal support in response to COVID-19.
- During his lecture on Towards a Stable Financial System, the RBI governor cited IMF’s calculations on total fiscal support in response to COVID-19.
- The governor said that as per IMF, total fiscal support in response to COVID-19 was equal to 12% of global GDP by mid-September 2020.
- He said that it is said that global public debt reached 100% of GDP in 2020. In its Fiscal Monitor report, IMF has forecasted that global public debt may reach 100% of GDP in 2020.
- Fiscal Monitor report was launched in 2009. International Monetary Fund prepares it twice a year.
6. BharatPe gets debts of Rs 139 crore from Alteria capital and ICICI Bank.
- BharatPe has got debts of Rs 90 crore from Alteria capital and Rs 49 crore from ICICI Bank.
- In addition to Rs 139 crore debt from Alteria capital and ICICI Bank, BharatPe received Rs 60 crore in debt from Innoven Capital last week.
- BharatPe is a private company providing merchants a single interface for all UPI apps.
- BharatPe was started by Ashneer Grover and Shashvat Nakrani in 2018.
- Salman Khan is the brand ambassador of BharatPe.
- Alteria capital is an Indian venture debt firm started by Vinod Murali and Ajay Hattangadi in 2018.
7. Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare introduced Electronic “Pension Payment Order” (e-PPO).
- Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare introduced Electronic “Pension Payment Order” (e-PPO).
- Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh said that e-PPO would ensure ease of living for senior citizens.
- Electronic PPO generated through Public Financial Management System application of Controller General of Accounts has also been integrated with Digi-locker. Controller General of Accounts comes under Ministry of Finance.
- With this, pensioner will be able to get an instant print - out of the latest copy of his PPO from the Digi-locker account.
- Digi-locker was introduced by PM Modi in July 2015. It is a digital document wallet. It has storage space of 1 GB and maximum allowed file size of 10 MB.
8. Jammu-based NGO Border World Foundation files application seeking GI tag for India’s costliest mushroom.
- Jammu-based NGO Border World Foundation has filed an application seeking GI tag for India’s costliest mushroom.
- This mushroom is grown in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is locally called Gucchi. It is also found in Kupwara, Pahalgam, Shopian, Kishtwar and Poonch.
- It is found in temperate forests of Doda district and has medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It is a rare heirloom crop. Heirloom crop or heritage fruit is the one maintained by tribal populations.
- Kashmir saffron was granted GI tag last year. The application was filed at Geographical Indication Registry.
Topic: Banking System
9. Financial Software and Systems (FSS) and India Post Payments Bank partnered to promote financial inclusion.
- Financial Software and Systems (FSS) partnered with India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) to promote financial inclusion among underserved and unbanked segments.
- Under the collaboration, IPPB will use FSS’ Aadhaar Enabled Payment System to provide banking service to people across the country.
- It will help in bringing the unbanked customers into the financial mainstream. It will resolve the issue of accessibility of banking branches in rural areas.
- IPPB, with its vast network, will provide the most affordable and trusted banking service at the customer’s doorstep.
- This collaboration will help IPPB in providing a wide range of digital products to their customers and will also help in the vision of a cashless economy.
- IPPB has become the largest bank of the country to provide interoperable banking services to customers of any bank.
- FSS’ Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS):
- It enables banks to improve the supply of financial services and bring quality banking services to the customer’s doorstep.
- It is based on agents performing transactions on behalf of enrolled customers using a portable terminal - tablet, micro-ATM or a mobile device.
- This banking service can be made available at local shops, markets and even post offices.
- In this system, a customer can initiate transactions with the Aadhaar number or with their biometric.