Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

Topic: RBI

1. RBI restricts American Express Banking Corp and Diners Club International Limited from adding new customers.

  • Reserve Bank of India has imposed a ban on American Express Banking Corp and Diners Club International Limited from adding new customers to their card networks from 1 May.
  • The restriction has been imposed for not complying with data storage rules. Both companies have been found guilty of not following the directions regarding mandatory storage of customer data within systems in India.
  • According to the RBI direction, all data related to transactions, payments, and customer information should be stored within India.
  • RBI has taken this decision under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).
  • American Express Banking Corp provides financial services in India. It offers credit cards, charge cards, and expense management solutions.
  • Diners Club International Ltd offers charge cards to consumers, corporations, and enterprises in India. It is owned by Discover Financial Services.

Topic: World Economy

2. Russia’s central bank increases its key interest rate from 4.5% to 5%.

  • Russia’s central bank has increased its key interest rate from 4.5% to 5%.   
  • This increase is bigger than expected increase given weak rouble, high inflation and geopolitical risks.
  • This increase in the key interest rate is the second increase of this year as inflation reached to 5.8% in March. This rise in inflation was the highest since 2016.
  • Rouble is the currency of Russia and other countries in Eastern Europe.

Topic: Taxation

3. Finance ministry extends timelines in light of hardships caused by second wave of Covid-19.

  • Finance ministry has extended timelines in light of hardships caused by second wave of Covid-19.
  • Time limit for payments under Vivad se Vishwas without additional tax of 10% has been extended till June 30.
  • Earlier, applicants under the Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act were required to pay the settled tax amount by April 30.
  • The time limit for sending intimation of processing of Equalisation Levy has also been extended to June 30.
  • Vivad se Vishwas Scheme was proposed in Union Budget 2020-21. The deadline for scheme has been extended several times in the past.
  • Equalisation Levy is a direct tax. It was brought in in India in 2016. In Budget 2021-22, government clarified that transaction taxable under income-tax is not liable for equalisation levy.

Topic: Banking/Financial schemes

4. PM Modi launched distribution of e-property cards under SVAMITVA scheme.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the distribution of e-property cards under the SVAMITVA scheme.
  • On this occasion, e-property cards have been distributed to about 4.09 lakh property owners. With this distribution, the implementation of the SVAMITVA scheme has started across the country.
  • SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) scheme:
    • It was launched as a Central Sector Scheme on 24 April 2020.
    • Its main objective is to create a socio-economically empowered and self-reliant rural India
    • It will cover 6.62 Lakh villages of the country from 2021-2025.
    • It will enable people of rural India to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.
    • It will create accurate land records for rural planning. The demarcation of rural areas will be done through modern technology and GIS maps.
    • It was launched on a pilot basis in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab.
    • The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is implementing this scheme.

Topic: Miscellaneous

5. Pulses not to be distributed as part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PM-GKAY).

  • Pulses will not be distributed as part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PM-GKAY).
  • PM-GKAY will only comprise of cereals such as wheat and rice.
  • Government will distribute 80 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to 80 crore belonging to Antyodaya Ann Yojana and Priority Households during May and June.
  • During April to November last year, government distributed 298.89 lakh tonnes of foodgrains under PM-GKAY.
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) is a scheme as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and poor. It was launched in March 2020.
  • During the period April - November 2020, more than 80 crore people will be provided 5 kg free wheat/rice per person/month along with 1 kg free whole chana to each family per month.
  • Wheat has been allocated to 6 States/UTs, - Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi and Gujarat and rice has been provided to the remaining States/UTs.

Topic: Appointments

6. Rekha Menon becomes first woman chairperson of NASSCOM.

  • Rekha Menon has been appointed as the first woman chairperson of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
  • Earlier, she was working as the chairperson and senior managing director at Accenture.
  • She will take the place of U.B. Pravin Rao, who was the chairman of NASSCOM for 2020-21.
  • Krishnan Ramanujam will be the vice-chairperson of NASSCOM.
  • National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM):
    • It was established in 1988.
    • It is a non-governmental trade association of the Indian software industry.
    • It is a not-for-profit industry association.

Topic: Appointments

7. PESB selects Vartika Shukla for the post of next chairperson and managing director of Engineers India Ltd.

  • Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) has selected Vartika Shukla for the post of next chairperson and managing director of Engineers India Ltd.
  • Engineers India Ltd (EIL) is a navratna public sector enterprise. Its current chairman & MD is J C Nakra.
  • Earlier this month, government has for the first time appointed PESB chairperson from the private sector. Her name is Mallika Srinivasan.
  • Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB):
    • It was formed in 1987. It comes under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).
    • It has a part-time or full-time Chairperson. In addition to a part-time or full-time Chairperson, PESB has three full-time members.

 

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