Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

2020-03-25

1. Government announces relief measures as a result of coronavirus spread

  • As a result of coronavirus spread, the government has announced relief measures related to ITR and debit card holders.
  • Government has extended the last date for filing Income Tax Return (ITR) for Financial Year (FY) 2018-19 till June 30.
  • Along with extension of deadline for filing of ITR for FY 2018-19, the government has announced that 9% interest will be applied to delayed payment of income tax. Earlier, the interest rate for such payments was 12%.
  • Deadline for linking of PAN and Aadhar and Vivad Se Vishwas scheme has also been extended from 31 March to 30 June. Vivad Se Vishwas scheme aims at resolution of pending income tax disputes. It was announced in Budget 2020.
  • Additional payment of 10% by people interested in availing Vivad Se Vishwas scheme has also been removed.
  • Deadline for Sabka Sath, Sabka Vishwas scheme has been increased till June. The scheme aims at settlement of indirect tax related disputes.
  • Government has removed charges on withdrawal of money from ATM of any bank. Now, debit card holders will be able to take money from ATM of any bank without charges for coming three months.
  • The limit for minimum balance requirement has also been removed.

2. Exports of all ventilators and sanitizers banned

  • The government has banned exports of all ventilators and sanitizers as part of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Along with ventilators, banned items include artificial respiratory apparatus, oxygen therapy apparatus, or any other kind of breathing device.
  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade has issued notification for including all ventilators and sanitizers in the prohibited category.
  • Directorate General of Foreign Trade:
    • It is an attached office under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
    • It came into existence in 1991. Before 1991, it was called the Chief Controller of Imports & Exports (CCI&E). 
    • It regulates and promotes India’s foreign trade. It formulates and implements India’s foreign trade or Exim policy.
    • It is headquartered in New Delhi. It has 38 regional offices. It has an extension counter at Indore.

3. WGC finds that average gold return over last 10 years better than bonds and commodities

  • World Gold Council (WGC) report says that the average return on gold during the previous 10 years stood at 8.87% and was better than bonds and commodities.
  • On 24 March 2020, World Gold Council (WGC) has released its report. The report is titled “The relevance of gold as a strategic asset: Indian edition”.
  • As per the report, global investment demand for gold is growing at an average rate of 14% per year since 2001. The report also says that gold prices have grown by eight times since 2001. 
  • As per the WGC report, gold is the mainstream investment. The report says that central banks and investors hold Rs 266 lakh crore worth gold.
  • The report says that stable supply of gold is an important factor for steady return on gold.
  • World Gold Council (WGC) is an organisation that works for market development for gold industry.
  • Its areas of work include gold mining, gold investment and increasing demand for gold. Its headquarters are in London. It was founded in 1987.  

4. Jana SFB starts loan installment payment facility based on UPI QR codes

  • Jana Small Financial Bank (SFB) has started a loan installment payment facility based on UPI QR codes.
  • The facility has been launched in partnership with National Payment Corporation of India.
  • The facility is currently available to customers of Jana SFB and provides cost-efficient and easy to use way for loan repayment.
  • With the help of the facility, Jana SFB customers will be able to generate UPI QR code for their loan account and instantly pay installments through any UPI application.
  • Jana Small Financial Bank:
    • It was founded in 2006 as a microfinance institution with the name Janalakshmi Financial Services.
    • Janalakshmi Financial Services started functioning as SFB in March 2018. It is headquartered at Bengaluru.
    • Under section 22(1) of the Banking Regulation Act of 1949, RBI had given licence to Jana SFB.

5. Threshold for starting insolvency proceedings increased

  • Government has increased threshold for starting insolvency proceedings from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
  • Earlier financial creditors or operational creditors were allowed to start insolvency proceedings under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in case of default of over Rs 1 lakh.
  • Now, the government has raised the threshold to Rs 1 crore. New threshold will be applicable till April 30.
  • Now, financial creditors or operational creditors will be allowed to start insolvency proceedings under IBC in case of default of over Rs 1 crore.
  • The step will prevent insolvency of small businesses due to negative economic impacts of corona virus outbreak.
  • Government has said that it may suspend Section 7, 9 and 10 of IBC for six months after April 30.
  • Section 7 and 9 of IBC cover starting of insolvency proceedings by financial creditor and operational creditor, respectively.
  • Section 10 allows a defaulting corporate debtor to file an application with National Company Law Tribunal for starting its own insolvency proceeding.
  • Corporate debtors have themselves started insolvency proceedings in 243 out of total 3,312 cases admitted by NCLT.  
  • The limit of over Rs 1 lakh is provided in Section 4 of IBC. But, Central government can change this limit through its notification.

 

Multiple Choice Questions

1. As part of its relief measures for coronavirus spread, the government has decided to extend the last date for filing Income Tax Return (ITR) for Financial Year (FY) 2018-19 till

  1. April 30
  2. May 30
  3. June 30
  4. July 30
  5. August 30

2. Recently, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has issued notification for including all ventilators and sanitizers in prohibited category. What is the number of regional offices of DGFT?

  1. 30
  2. 33
  3. 35
  4. 38
  5. 40

3. As per World Gold Council (WGC)’s latest report, the average return on gold during previous 10 years stood at

  1. 8.87%
  2. 11.10%
  3. 12.45%
  4. 15. 39%
  5. 29.42%

4. Jana Small Financial Bank (SFB) has recently started loan installment payment facility based on UPI QR codes. Jana SFB is headquartered in

  1. Madras
  2. Bengaluru
  3. Chennai
  4. Chandigarh
  5. Delhi

5. Which of the following sections of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code covers the starting of insolvency proceedings by financial creditor?

  1. Section 4
  2. Section 5
  3. Section 7
  4. Section 9
  5. Section 10

Solution:

1. C

2. D

3. A

4. B

5. C

 

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