1. Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme likely to start with three sectors
- Remission of Duties or Taxes on Export Products (RoDTEP) scheme is likely to start with readymade garments, iron and steel and automobiles & components.
- In July 2020, Finance Ministry has set up a committee under chairmanship of G.K. Pillai to determine ceiling rates for reimbursement of input taxes and levies for exporters under RoDTEP scheme.
- Now, Ministry has asked committee to focus on just three sectors. Last year, RoDTEP scheme was announced to replace Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS).
- MEIS scheme will be withdrawn from December 31, 2020 and RoDTEP will be introduced from January 1, 2021.
- Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS):
- It was launched along with SEIS (Service Exports from India Scheme) under the Foreign Trade Policy of India (FTP 2015-20).
- It is being implemented since 1 April 2015 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- MEIS aims to promote exports and increases the competitiveness of India’s exports.
2. FSSAI to launch its cloud-based and upgraded food safety compliance online platform all over India
- FSSAI will launch its cloud-based and upgraded food safety compliance online platform all over India from November 1.
- FSSAI’s cloud-based and upgraded food safety compliance online platform, Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS) is already functional in nine states and UTs since June.
- The names of states and UTs are Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Gujarat, Odisha, Chandigarh, Goa, Manipur, Puducherry and Ladakh.
- FSSAI’s current online licensing platform, Food Licensing and Registration System will be replaced by FoSCoS.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
- It was established in August 2011 under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- It is a statutory body. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- Rita Teotia is its current chairperson. It consists of a chairperson and 22 members.
- Along with state food authorities, FSSAI is responsible for the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
- It has six regional offices. They are located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai.
3. BDR Pharmaceuticals launches generic version of Nintedanib under the brand name Nintenib
- BDR Pharmaceuticals has launched generic version of Nintedanib under the brand name Nintenib.
- Nintedanib is used for treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a lung disease.
- Clinical trials of Nintedanib are being done to study its safety and efficacy for treatment of Covid-19 patients suffering from IPF.
4. Ayushman Sahakar scheme launched by Union Agriculture Minister
- Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has launched the Ayushman Sahakar scheme, which has been formulated (prepared) by National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC).
- Ayushman Sahakar scheme is a way to help cooperatives play an important role in the creation of healthcare infrastructure in India.
- Under the scheme, prospective cooperatives will get term loans equal to 10 thousand crore rupees in the future.
- NCDC’s Ayushman Sahakar scheme aims to transform health services primarily in rural areas.
- Under the scheme, working capital would be provided to meet the operational needs of health facilities.
- Women majority cooperatives will get interest subvention of 1% under the scheme.
- NCDC has also launched a scheme to fund three month old cooperative startups. The scheme was named as Yuva Sahakar.
- National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) is a statutory corporation. It was established in 1963. It is located in New Delhi.
5. Global rubber prices likely to improve in last few months of 2020
- As per Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), global rubber prices likely to improve in last few months of 2020.
- The improvement is likely to be due to growth in manufacturing sector in China, automobile sales in India and anticipated stimulus package in US.
- ANRPC has released NR Trends and Statistics. The report shows that China will import 1.6% more quantity during 2020 compared with imports during last year.
- The report also says that pandemic will affect supply of rubber from Thailand and other producing countries. So, prices will improve.
- During January-August, global rubber production declined by 8.7 % and consumption also declined by 11.7%.
- Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC):
- It is an intergovernmental organization.
- It was formed in 1970.
- It has 13 member countries. They accounted for 91% of global natural rubber production in 2017.
- India is a member of ANRPC.
6. Finance minister says that capital expenditure by CPSEs needs to be increased
- Finance minister has said that capital expenditure by CPSEs needs to be increased for the financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22.
- FM also reviewed capital expenditure (CAPEX) of CPSEs in current financial year. CAPEX target for 2020-21 is Rs. 1, 15,934 crore.
- Department of Economic Affairs and Department of Public Enterprises jointly review CPSEs CAPEX.
- FM has also said that secretaries should closely monitor performance of CPSEs to ensure 75% capital expenditure by third quarter of financial year 2020-21.
7. First-ever SCO startup Forum to be launched on 27th October
- First-ever SCO startup Forum will be launched on 27th October before the meeting of SCO trade ministers on 28th October.
- The forum will help multilateral cooperation among SCO member states to develop their startup ecosystems.
- India will host meeting of SCO Heads of Government on 30 November 2020 and key focus areas of meeting will be Innovation and Startups.
- India is presently world’s third-largest startup ecosystem with more than 35,000 startups. Nearly 25% of these startups are core technology startups.
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
- Its creation was announced in 2001 by leaders of six nations.
- Currently, it has eight members as Indian and Pakistan joined it in June, 2017.
- Other six members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
8. PLFS shows decline in unemployment rate in urban areas
- Quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data has shown that unemployment rate in urban areas declined to 8.4% in July-September 2019.
- In April-June 2019, unemployment rate in urban areas was 8.9% and in July-September 2018, unemployment rate stood at 9.7%.
- Urban unemployment rate was higher than the national average in eight states. They are Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Other important findings of quarterly PLFS are given in the following table.
Quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) for July-September 2019 released
Urban unemployment in 15-29 years age group
Female unemployment rate in urban areas
Male unemployment rate in urban areas
Labour force participation rate in urban areas
Quarterly PLFS data shows decline in urban unemployment in 15-29 years age group, female unemployment rate and male unemployment rate in urban areas. Labour force participation rate has increased.
- The released data is based on survey of 1.76 lakh people and 44,471 households in July-September 2019. Previous survey covered 1.79 lakh people and 45,288 households in April-June 2019. So, sample size for this survey was lower.
- Quarterly PLFS shows unemployment data for urban areas only. Annual Report of Periodic Labour Force Survey includes both rural and urban areas.
- Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) releases quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). PLFS was launched by then National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 2017. NSSO is now National Statistical Office (NSO).
- Labour force includes both employed and unemployed persons. Percentage of unemployed persons in labour force is called unemployment rate.
9. Working group constituted by IRDAI to evolve standard Cyber Liability Insurance product
- In order to evolve a basic Standard Cyber Liability Insurance product, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) have constituted a working group.
- This Working group is a nine-member group that will be headed by P. Umesh.
- The working group will study various statutory provisions on information and cyber security, evaluate legal aspects of transactions in cyberspace and examine incidents that occurred in the recent past related to cyber security and possible insurance coverage strategies for such incidents.
- The group has to submit the report within 2 months.
- The term of reference of the group includes:
- Examine the cyber liability insurance covers available in the country and abroad.
- Recommend the scope of such covers for the short term and the medium term.
- There has been a rise in incidents such as cyber-attacks and high-profile data breaches amid COVID-19.
- General Liability policies do not cover cyber risks and the current cyber insurance policies are highly customized. Therefore, a basic standard product structure is needed to cover individuals and establishments.