Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness
1. Letter issued by NPR can be used as document for KYC
- RBI has allowed a letter issued by National Population Register (NPR) containing name and address as the document for Know Your Customer (KYC) verification.
- The letter issued by NPR containing name and address can be used for bank accounts and credit cards.
- RBI has also permitted the Video-based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) for identifying customers.
- Other documents, which can be used for KYC, are given below.
- Driving licence
- Aadhaar card/number
- Election Commission of India's voter identity card
- NREGA job card duly signed by State Government officer
- National Population Register:
- It is a register of persons who are residents in a local area during the last six months or more.
- It also includes a person who wants to reside in a local area during the next six months or more.
- Every usual resident of India must mandatorily register in NPR.
2. India's current food grain stock is more than three times of required stock
- As per FCI's latest data, India's current food grain stock of 75.51 million tonnes (mts) is more than three times of minimum required stock of 21.4 million tons.
- As per the latest food grain stocking norms (Buffer Norms) of July 2017, minimum food grain stock should be 21.04 mts on April 1, 41.12 mts on July 1, 30.7 mts on October 1 and 21.41 mts on January 1.
- As per the report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, wheat has been sown 330.20 lakh hectares of land.
- This is 33.23 lakh ha more than the area sown under wheat in 2018. 330.20 lakh hectares of land under wheat is highest since 1950-51.
- The report shows that pulses in the current Rabi season have been shown on 157.33 lakh ha. This is more than 149.53 lakh ha area under pulses in the last Rabi season.
- Area under coarse cereals and oilseeds have also been larger than in previous year.
- Food Corporation of India (FCI):
- FCI works under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- Established: 1965
- Chairman & Managing Director: D. V. Prasad
3. The meeting of Group of Ministers (GoM) on gold and precious stones and GoM on IGST held
- The first meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on gold and precious stones was held on 18 January 2020.
- GoM on the movement of gold and precious stones decided to take suggestions of representatives of various organizations in its meetings.
- GoM on the movement of gold and precious stones comprises of finance ministers of six states. It was formed in November 2019.
- Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac is head of GoM on the movement of gold and precious stones. It was formed to study if Electronic Way (e-way) bill requirement can be practically applied for the movement of gold and precious stones.
- Group of Ministers on Integrated GST (IGST) settlement issues also held its meeting on 18 January 2020. It is headed by Sushil Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.
4. Commerce Ministry in favour of reducing non-essential imports
- Commerce Ministry has suggested to Finance Ministry that custom duties on non-essential imports like footwear, furniture, TV parts, chemicals and toys should be increased.
- The Commerce Ministry also suggested that cigarettes should not be sold at duty-free outlets at airports as cigarettes, along with liquor at duty-free shops add to non-essential imports.
- Currently, if a customer purchases more than 100 cigarettes/25 cigars or 125 gms of tobacco products, he/she is charged with Basic Customs Duty (BCD) of 100%.
- Similarly, if a customer buys more than two litres of alcohol, he/she is charged with BCD of 100-150 %.
5. Increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in insurance sector
- Insurance industry wants the government to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit from 49% to 74% in the Budget for 2020-2021.
- Earlier in last year's budget, the government has allowed 100% FDI in insurance intermediaries.
- The insurance sector was liberalised in 2000 by allowing 26% FDI.
- Last week, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) had asked the views of various stakeholders on this issue.
- FDI investors may invest only if they are given more management control. Currently, Indian promoters or investors control companies in the insurance sector.
- Currently, foreign investors can only appoint a key management person. But, the appointment should be approved by the board of directors nominated by Indian promoters or investors.
6. Agreement between Bharti Airtel and Bharti AXA Life Insurance
- Bharti Airtel and Bharti AXA Life Insurance have signed an agreement to provide a prepaid plan at Rs 179 with a life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh.
- The insurance cover will be provided to all 18-54-year-old customers across India without any medical tests or paperwork.
- In November 2018, Bharti Airtel and Bharti AXA Life Insurance have also entered into a partnership to provide Rs 4 lakh cover. This was available with a recharge of Rs 599 to users in Delhi-NCR only.
- Bharti AXA Life Insurance is a joint venture company between Bharti Enterprises Limited and French insurance firm, Axa.
7. Co-lending programmes of banks and NBFCs digitized
- iQuippo, a digital marketplace for buying and selling infrastructure equipment has digitised co-lending programmes of banks and NBFCs.
- The portal for co-lending programmes of banks and NBFCs was developed in partnership with IBM.
- The portal will allow tracking of loan applications online and single window access to many financiers.
- The loan givers will have the facility to check credit scores (the ability of individuals to pay back loans).
- The platform will provide customers loans for buying infrastructure equipment.
- Customers will be able to take loans from banks and NBFCs that are listed on the portal.
- Co-lending of loans was started by Reserve Bank of India in August 2018.
8. Tax exemption on Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS)
- SBI report Ecowrap says that SCSS should be fully exempted from tax.
- The report estimates the number of Senior Citizens Fixed Deposits (FDs) accounts is 4.1 crore in India. The average size of deposits per account is nearly ₹3.3 lakh.
- The report says that in FY 19, interest income from SCSS was 5.5% of Private Final Consumption Expenditure.
- The report says that after the exemption, the government's revenue foregone will be only ₹3,092 crore.
- Under Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS), a maximum of ₹15 lakh can be deposited by senior citizens. The current interest rate for SCSS is 8.6%. Indian residents above 60 years are eligible for this scheme.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Which of the following cannot be used as Know Your Customer (KYC) document?
- Passport and Driving licence
- Aadhaar card/number
- NREGA job card duly signed by State Government officer
- National Population Register letter
- National Register of Citizens letter
2. How much minimum foodgrain stock should be maintained by the government on January 1?
- 21.04 million tonnes
- 41.12 million tonnes
- 30.7 million tonnes
- 21.41 million tonnes
- 25.60 million tonnes
3. When was Group of Ministers (GoM) on the movement of gold and precious stones established?
- January 2019
- March 2019
- April 2019
- November 2019
- December 2019
4. How much Basic Customs Duty (BCD) is currently charged by the government on the purchase of more than 100 cigarettes?
5. What is the current limit for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector?
6. Which of the following has recently signed an agreement to provide prepaid plan at Rs 179 with a life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh?
- Bharti Airtel
- Vodafone Idea
- Reliance Jio
7. Co-lending programmes of banks and NBFCs were recently digitized by
8. Currently, the interest rate for the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (SCSS) is fixed at