1. AEPC requests for removal of ban on PPE exports
- Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) has requested government for removal of ban on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) exports.
- AEPC wants the removal of ban as the production of PPE kits in India has increased to 8 lakh kits per day.
- The export of PPEs offers opportunities for export as global market for PPEs will grow in next five years.
- Other countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan have already removed the ban.
- Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC):
- It was formed in 1978.
- Its head office is located in Gurgaon.
- Its aim is to support export of readymade garments of all types.
2. Draft Pension Fund (Foreign Investment) Rules, 2020 released
- Department of Financial Services (DFS) has released Draft Pension Fund (Foreign Investment) Rules, 2020 to limit foreign investments in pension funds at 49%.
- As per the draft rules, total foreign investment (direct and indirect) in an Indian pension fund will have 49% limit.
- Currently, PFRDA Act, 2013 limits FDI in pension funds at higher of 26% limit or the limit given under Insurance act (now 49%).
- PFRDA Act does not provide the way for calculations of direct and indirect investment. The draft rules provide that PFRDA will frame regulations for calculation of direct and indirect investment.
- Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) governs foreign investment in pension funds.
- The increased limit will not be available for investments from neighbouring countries, which include China.
- The draft rules allow only resident Indian entities to have ownership and control of all pension funds in India.
3. ESAF SFB's MD and CEO becomes Sa-Dhan's Chairman
- K Paul Thomas, who is the MD and CEO of ESAF Small Finance Bank, has become Sa-Dhan's Chairman.
- His name was announced at Sa-Dhan's 22nd annual general meeting.
- Sa-Dhan is a self-regulatory association for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs).
- It is recognized by RBI. It received self-regulatory organization status by RBI in 2015.
4. Favipiravir to be sold for COVID-19
- Glenmark's Favipiravir, which Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved for restricted emergency use will be available at chemists and hospitals.
- Glenmark, an Indian pharmaceutical company markets Favipiravir as FabiFlu.
- Favipiravir or FabiFlu is an antiviral drug, which has shown successful results in treatment of COVID-19 patients.
- It is being tried in 150 patients at 11 sites in India. The result of trial has not been published till now.
- Glenmark will also try two anti-viral drugs in combination. They are Favipiravir and Umifenovir.
- Drug Controller General of India (DCGI):
- It is a part of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization.
- It is under Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
- It approves licenses of different classes of drugs.
- DCGI is also head of the CDSCO. VG Somani is current DCGI.
5. COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme signed between India and AIIB
- COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support Programme signed between central government and AIIB.
- The programme involves 750 million US dollars and is aimed at helping India in strengthening response to negative impacts of COVID-19.
- This is the first budgetary support programme that AIIB has signed with Indian government.
- Earlier, 500 million dollar loan was approved by AIIB under COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project.
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):
- It was started in January 2016.
- It has 102 members.
- It is headquartered in Beijing, China.
6. SIDBI to be implementation agency for PM SVANidhi
- As per the MoU signed between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and SIDBI, SIDBI will be implementation agency for PM SVANidhi.
- PM SVANidhi or PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi was by launched by MoHUA on 1st June, 2020.
- PM SVANidhi aims to provide working capital loan of maximum 10,000 rupees to more than 50 lakh street vendors.
- The loan should be repaid in monthly instalments in one year.
- Credit guarantee to lending institutions will be managed by SIDBI through Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises.
- Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises:
- It was formed by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and SIDBI.
- It was formed to implement Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises.
7. Chhattisgarh asks government to not auction certain coal blocks
- Chhattisgarh has asked government that it should not auction coal blocks located in area of Hasdeo and Mand rivers and a proposed elephant reserve due to environmental reasons.
- The regions include four coal blocks. They are Mogra South, Mogra II, Sayang and Madanpur North.
- The name of elephant reserve mentioned by Chhattisgarh is Lemru Elephant Reserve.
- The areas mentioned by Chhattisgarh have dense forests and settlement of tribes displaced by Bango dam on Hasdeo River.
- The areas also fall in the no go zone for coal mining as per the 2009 classification by environment ministry.
- Jharkhand also do not want auction of it’s certain reserves and has gone to Supreme Court due to the need for social and environmental impact assessment of mining.
- India imported 235.24 million tonnes of coal in FY19.