Banking Awareness of 21 and 22 June 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 22 Jun 2024 17:21 PM IST
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Topic: Taxation

1. Group of Ministers to recommend GST rate rationalisation has been reconstituted.

  • Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Samrat Chaudhary is its new convenor.
  • He will replace Finance Minister of Uttar Pradesh Suresh Khanna.
  • The GoM was initially established in September 2021 under Basavaraj Bommai, the chief minister of Karnataka at the time.
  • In June 2022, the panel, led by him, presented an interim report to the GST Council.
  • The final report will now be submitted by the rate rationalisation panel.
  • The GST Council's agenda will then be discussed and finalised by the Fitment Committee.
  • The Centre and States (including three Union Territories with assemblies) will notify rates based on the Council's recommendations.
  • Four NDA members and three representatives from opposition-ruled states make up the seven-member GoM.
  • The terms of reference remain unchanged. The committee's original task was to submit a report in two months.
  • Additionally, recommendations for immediate action items and a short- and medium-term reform plan were asked.
  • One of the main proposals was to reduce the number of primary rates from four to three.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

2. In April 2024, 18.92 lakh net members were added by Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

  • This is the highest addition since the first payroll data was published in April 2018.
  • In April 2024, almost 8.87 lakh new members have enrolled.
  • Employees in the age range of 18 to 25 make up the majority of this addition.
  • They make up little more than 55% of all the new members that were added in April 2024.
  • Out of the 8.87 lakh new members, 2.49 lakh were women. This represents the share of women among new members.
  • In comparison to March 2024, there was a 31.29 percent rise in net member addition in April.
  • Net member additions have increased by 10% year over year in comparison to the same month previous year.
  • The top 5 states in terms of net addition of employees are Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.
  • With the addition of 11.03 lakh net members in April 2024, these states account for more than 58% of the net member addition.
  • Maharashtra held the number one position. In April 2024, it contributed 20.42% of net member additions.
  • The sectors with the biggest increases in the number of new employee were education, real estate, engineering service providers, trading and commercial enterprises, and expert services.
  • Expert services account for about 41.41 percent of the net membership addition overall.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

3. Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank has received national award for implementation of Atal Pension Yojana (APY).

  • KVGB has been honoured for exceptional enrollment in APY. It surpassed targets with highest average accounts.
  • Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has honoured KVGB.
  • KVGB has enrolled 4,27,736 cumulative accounts under APY.
  • During 2023-24, it enrolled 86,350 accounts. The target for enrollment was 67,932.
  • PFRDA had fixed a target of average 100 accounts per branch. KVGB surpassed this target with an average of 137 accounts.
  • This achievement was highest among all banks in South India. 
  • Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVGB) is a regional rural bank sponsored by Canara Bank.
  • Atal Pension Yojana (APY) provides a safety net for workers in the informal sector. It ensures a pre-defined pension after 60 years.

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Topic: Banking System

4. India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has partnered with Ria Money Transfer.

  • IPPB has entered into this partnership to offer unique remittance services across Rural India.
  • With this partnership, the Internationals Inward Money Transfer service will become available at over 25,000 Post Office locations immediately.
  • IPPB & Ria are leveraging technology to offer customers secure and convenient international inward money transfer service.
  • The partnership between IPPB and Ria will enhance access to banking services at customers’ doorsteps.
  • It will allow them to withdraw only the amounts they need immediately.
  • Ria Money Transfer (Ria) is global leader in the cross-border money transfer industry. It is a business segment of Euronet Worldwide, Inc.

Topic: Appointments

5. Atul Kumar Chaudhary has been appointed as the Secretary of TRAI.

  • Atul Kumar Chaudhary has taken the place of V Raghunandan as the Secretary of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
  • Atul Kumar Chaudhary was working as Deputy Director General (DDG) in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
  • This position was vacant after the superannuation of V Raghunandan on May 31.
  • Manoj Jain assumed charge as chairman and managing director (CMD) of the Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
  • His appointment has become effective from 20th June.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes

6. Global Central Banking Award 2024 has been awarded to IRIS Business Services for Technology Services in London.

  • IRIS Business Services Limited is a Global RegTech company.
  • The company was awarded by 'Central Banking', which is a renowned industry publication based in London.
  • In the past two years, the magazine has given three awards to Indian nationals or Indian entities.
  • At the same event, Reserve Bank of India received the "Risk Manager of the Year" award as well.
  • Previously, Governor of the RBI Shaktikanta Das has won 'Governor of the Year' award in 2023.

Topic: Miscellaneous

7. A loan of USD 170 million approved by ADB to strengthen the health system in India.

  • On June 19, a USD 170 million (over Rs 1,418 crore) policy-based loan approved by multilateral development lender Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve India's health system preparedness and capacity to respond to future pandemics.
  • This funding will help implement the government’s National Health Policy 2017 under Strong and Scalable Action for Resilient and Transformative Health Systems.
  • The aim of the policy is to ensure universal access to high-quality healthcare services across the country.
  • This policy-based loan will address gaps in policy, legislative and institutional governance and structures.
  • It will contribute to India's goal of providing universal access to quality and affordable healthcare, thereby strengthening pandemic preparedness and response.
  • The Indian government and ADB have been collaborating to strengthen its health system and adopt transformative solutions.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

8. UK surpassed China as India's fourth-largest export market in May 2024, as per commerce department data.

  • In May last year, the UK was India’s sixth-largest export destination.
  • Exports to the UK increased to $1.37 billion in May 2024.
  • Exports to China grew by 3% to $1.33 billion in May 2024.
  • Items like machinery, food items, pharmaceutical products, textiles, jewellery, iron, and steel dominated exports to the UK.
  • As per commerce department data, India’s top 10 key export markets saw positive growth in May 2024.
  • These 10 markets make up 52% of India’s total value of goods exported in May 2024.
  • India’s merchandise exports grew by 9.13% in May 2024 to $38 billion.
  • US, UAE, the Netherlands, UK and China were India’s top five export destinations in May 2024.
  • In May 2024, imports from Saudi Arabia and Switzerland contracted 4.11% and 32.33%, respectively.
  • The remaining eight of India’s top 10 import markets saw the growth in May 2024.
  • Overall merchandise imports increased 7.7% to $61.91 billion.
  • Russia continued to remain India’s second-largest import destination, after China.

Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market

9. India recorded all-time high seafood exports in FY24.

  • During the financial year 2023-24, India’s seafood exports reached an all-time high in volume.
  • India shipped 17,81,602 MT of seafood worth ₹60,523.89 crore (US$7.38 billion) during 2023-24.
  • Frozen shrimp remains the major export item in quantity and value.
  • The USA and China became the major importers of India’s seafood.
  • During FY 2023-24, the export improved in quantity terms by 2.67%.
  • Shrimp exports during the period increased by 0.69% in quantity terms.
  • Frozen fish remained the second largest export item. This year, exports of frozen fish increased by 3.54% and 0.12% in terms of quantity and value, respectively.

Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes

10. Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme approved by the cabinet for implementation of Offshore Wind Energy Projects.

  • On June 19, the Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for offshore wind energy projects at a total outlay of Rs 7453 crore approved by the Union Cabinet.
  • This includes an outlay of Rs 6,853 crore for setting up and commissioning of 1 GW of offshore wind power projects (500 MW each off the coast of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu).
  • Additionally, Rs 600 crore was approved for upgradation of two ports to meet the logistics requirements for offshore wind power projects.
  • This VGF Scheme is a major step towards implementation of the National Offshore Wind Energy Policy notified in 2015.
  • It aims to harness the vast offshore wind energy potential that exists within the Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
  • The Government's VGF support will reduce the cost of power from offshore wind projects and make them viable for procurement by Discoms.
  • These projects will be set up by private developers selected through a transparent bidding process.
  • The power generation infrastructure including offshore substations will be constructed by Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).
  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, as the nodal ministry, will coordinate with various Ministries/Departments to ensure successful implementation of the scheme.
  • Successful commissioning of one GW capacity offshore wind projects will generate approximately 3.72 billion units of renewable electricity annually.
  • This will result in annual reduction of 2.98 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over a period of 25 years.


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