1. Moody's lowers India's growth forecast for 2020
- Moody's has updated its Global Macro Outlook and lowered India's growth forecast for 2020 from 6.6% to 5.4%.
- Moody's has also revised its growth forecast for 2021 from 6.7% to 5.8%.
- In November 2019, Moody's has projected India's GDP growth for 2020 at 6.6% and for 2021 at 6.7%.
- Moody's has also said that lowering taxes announced by government may not lead to more spending by consumers and businesses as they are not ready to take risks.
- Moody's has also revised and lowered global GDP growth forecast. As per Moody's forecast, G-20 economies may grow at 2.4% in 2020.
2. JSW Steel not to be investigated for money laundering by former promoters of Bhushan Power
- NCLAT has ruled that JSW Steel will not be investigated for money laundering by former promoters of Bhushan Power.
- NCLAT has allowed Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its claims in the form of an operational creditor in the insolvency resolution process of Bhushan Power if it proves that assets of Bhushan Power were created from income gained by crime.
- Operational creditors are persons to whom Defaulter Company owes a debt because they provided inputs and services for operations of Defaulter Company.
3. India in favour of green box subsidies for fisheries
- At a recent WTO meeting on fishery subsidies, India was in favour of green box subsidies for the fisheries sector.
- India wants green box subsidies for supporting the livelihood of fishermen during the ban on fishing, vessel monitoring system and navigation and safety equipment on boats.
- The meeting was part of the work to finalize an agreement on banning harmful fishery subsidies at the next Ministerial Conference of WTO, which will be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020.
- In 2001, WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies were started at Doha Ministerial Conference.
- Green box, Red box, Amber box and Blue box are terms for domestic subsidies used at WTO. While WTO agreements permit subsidies placed in Green box, they prohibit subsidies placed in Red box.
- Subsidies in the Amber box are meant to be reduced by WTO member countries. If the subsidy in the Amber box requires farmers to limit their production, it is placed in the Blue box. There is no limit on spending by countries on subsidies placed in the Blue box.
4. CAG raises objections on execution of Yeramarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS)
- Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has raised objections on the execution of YTPS in its performance audit.
- YTPS is operated by Raichur Power Corporation Limited (RPCL).
- It is owned by Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL).
- Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG):
- It is a constitutional body under Article 148 of the Constitution.
- CAG is appointed by the President of India.
- Rajiv Mehrishi is currently serving as the 13th CAG of India.
5. India to produce 291.95 Million Tonnes (MT) food grains in 2019-2020
- As per 2nd Advance Estimates of production of major crops released by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, India's foodgrain production may stand at 291.95 MT in 2019-20.
- In 2018-19, food grain production stood at 285.21 MT.
- As per 2nd advance estimates for 2019-20, wheat and rice production may stand at 117.47 MT and 106.21 MT, respectively.
- 2nd Advance Estimates show that oilseeds production may also increase in 2019-20. Soybean, mustard and groundnut are examples of oil seeds.
- The production of Nutri / Coarse Cereals may also remain more as per 2nd advance estimates for 2019-20. Nutri / Coarse Cereals include Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and other millets.
- As per 2nd advance estimates, sugarcane production may decrease by 13% in 2019-20.
6. India may export more than 5 million tonne sugar by September 2020
- As per the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), India's sugar export may be more than 5 million tonnes by September 2020.
- The rise in exports is mainly due to higher demand from overseas markets and a deficit of 8 to 9 MT in the global market in the 2019-20 marketing year.
- Under Maximum Admissible Export Quota (MAEQ), the government has permitted export of 6 MT sugar in 2019-20 marketing year.
- In the 2018-19 marketing year, the government has permitted 5MT exports and India exported 3.8 MT during October-September of 2018-19 marketing year.
- Currently, the top five sugar-producing states in India are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Bihar.
- India has produced 16.98 MT sugar till 15 February of the current marketing year. But, 21.96 MT sugar was produced till February of the last marketing year.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
1. Recently, Moody's has lowered India's growth forecast for 2020 from 6.6% to
2. Recently, NCLAT has allowed Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file its claims in the insolvency resolution process of Bhushan Power in the form of a
- Financial creditor
- Secured creditor
- Unsecured creditor
- Decree holder
- Operational creditor
3. Next Ministerial Conference of WTO is scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan in
- June 2020
- July 2020
- August 2020
- September 2020
- October 2020
4. Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has raised objections on the execution of Yeramarus Thermal Power Station (YTPS). YTPS is located in
- Andhra Pradesh
5. As per 2nd Advance Estimates of production of major crops released by Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, India's foodgrain production may stand at
- 291.95 Million Tonnes
- 285.21 Million Tonnes
- 247.38 Million Tonnes
- 225.95 Million Tonnes
- 262.95 Million Tonnes
6. Under Maximum Admissible Export Quota (MAEQ) in current marketing year, government has permitted export of
- 4 Million Tonnes sugar
- 5 Million Tonnes sugar
- 6 Million Tonnes sugar
- 7 Million Tonnes sugar
- 8 Million Tonnes sugar