Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

2020-09-26

1. S&P gives BBB- rating and stable outlook for India

  • S&P Global Ratings has given BBB- rating and stable outlook for India.
  • S&P Global Ratings has said that India’s fiscal situation will become further bad and limit its ability to help the economy.
  • As per S&P, India’s situation on the external front is good due to accumulating foreign exchange reserves.
  • S&P estimates a 13% decline in output compared with India’s record before the pandemic.
  • Earlier, S&P has projected that the Indian economy will show a 9% decrease in FY21. The economy will show fast recovery in FY22. 
  • BBB- rating is the lowest investment grade rating and a stable outlook shows that the rating will not be downgraded immediately.
  • Standard and Poor’s (S&P):
    • Along with Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, S&P forms the big three credit-rating agencies of the world.
    • It is an American company that rates borrowers on a scale from AAA to D.
    • While S&P’s long-term ratings from AAA to BBB are known as investment grades, ratings from BB to D are known as non-investment grades (speculative-grade).

2. Vodafone wins international arbitration case against Indian government

  • Vodafone Group plc, a British multinational telecommunications company, has won an international arbitration case against the Indian government.
  • In 2016, Vodafone went to the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • Now, the international arbitration tribunal has ruled that India’s retrospective tax violates the investment treaty between India and Netherlands.
  • Indian government wanted $3.79 billion as tax, interest and penalties from Vodafone.
  • The tribunal has asked India to compensate Vodafone for legal costs by paying $5.47 million.
  • India wanted to retrospectively tax Vodafone’s acquisition of 67% stake in mobile phone business of Hutchison Whampoa in 2007.
  • In September 2007, Vodafone International Holdings BV (VIHBV) was given notice by Indian tax authorities. The company challenged notice in Supreme Court in January 2012. SC set aside the notice and ruled in favour of Vodafone.

3. LIC, GIC and New India Assurance identified as domestic systematically important insurers

  • LIC, GIC and New India Assurance have been identified as domestic systematically important insurers by IRDAI.
  • LIC, GIC and New India Assurance will be subjected to increased regulatory supervision.
  • IRDAI has asked them to increase corporate governance, identify relevant risks and promote sound risk management culture.
  • The size, market importance and domestic and global interconnectedness of domestic systematically important insurers are such that their failure may lead to stress in the domestic financial system.
  • Domestic Systemically Important Insurers (D-SIIs) are perceived as insurers that are ‘too big or too important to fail’ (TBTF).
  • LIC was formed on 1 September 1956. It is headquartered in Mumbai, India. Its chairperson is M R Kumar. Its slogan is yogakshemam vahamyaham (Your welfare is our responsibility).
  • General Insurance Corporation (GIC) was formed in 1972. It is headquartered in Mumbai. 
  • New India Assurance was formed in 1919. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI):
    • The IRDAI is an autonomous, statutory body of India.
    • It aims to regulate and promote the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.
    • It was established in 1999.
    • It is headquartered in Hyderabad.
    • Chairman: Subhash Chandra Khuntia

 

 

4. Warehouse Commodity Finance App launched by HDFC Bank

  • Warehouse Commodity Finance App has been launched by HDFC Bank, which is India’s largest private sector bank by assets.
  • Warehouse Commodity Finance App will enhance efficiencies and save time for agri value chain by helping customers withdraw money from loan facilities against the pledge of commodities online.
  • The customers will be able to withdraw money from the loan facility without physical intervention or multiple visits to a bank branch.
  • HDFC Bank is India’s largest private sector bank by assets and India’s largest bank by market capitalization. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Its CEO is Aditya Puri, till 26 October 2020.

5. Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) partners with AeroMobile

  • Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) has partnered with AeroMobile, an in-flight mobile connectivity provider.
  • RJio has partnered to provide India’s first in-flight services for its post-paid users when they travel abroad.
  • In-flight roaming services will be available to JioPostpaid Plus customers.
  • Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). AeroMobile is a subsidiary of Panasonic Avionics Corporation.

6. Faceless Income tax appeals launched by Income Tax Department

  • On 25 September, Faceless Income tax appeals have been launched by Income Tax Department, which functions under the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance.
  • Under Faceless Income tax appeals, all income tax appeals will be finalized in a faceless manner. Faceless Income tax appeals will not apply to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive and search matters, International tax and Black Money Act.
  • Earlier, PM Modi has launched Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers’ Charter on 13 August and announced that faceless appeals will be launched on birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay.
  • Under the Faceless Appeal system, cases will be allocated through Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence under the dynamic jurisdiction. Notices will be centrally issued and have a Document Identification Number.
  • Under the dynamic jurisdiction, a draft appellate order will be prepared in one city and will be reviewed in some other city.
  • Almost four lakh 60 thousand appeals are pending at the level of the Commissioner in the Income Tax Department.

7. RBI launches Technology Vision for Cyber Security for Urban Cooperative Banks 2020-2023.

  • RBI has launched Technology Vision for Cyber Security for Urban Cooperative Banks 2020-2023 and suggested a five-pillared strategic approach ‘GUARD’.
  • GUARD is aimed at dealing with cybersecurity threats of Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs). GUARD approach stands for
    • Governance Oversight
    • Utile Technology Investment
    • Appropriate Regulation and Supervision
    • Robust Collaboration
    • Developing necessary IT, cybersecurity skills set
  • The vision document says that ultimate responsibility for the information security of the UCB lies with the Board of Directors.
  • The vision document provides for a forum to share best practices and discuss practical issues and challenges for UCBs.
  • It also provides for setting up offsite supervision of UCB to monitor their compliance with cybersecurity guidelines and issuing of uniform ‘Cyber Security Hygiene’ document for all the cooperative banks.
  • The vision document says that Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) may form separate Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) forum for UCBs.
  • Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs):
    • They are primary cooperative banks that may be located in an urban or semiurban area.
    • They are governed by RBI and state governments.

 

 

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