Banking, Financial and Economic Awareness

Half Yearly (Jan - June 2021)
2021 Book

Banking Awareness

Topic: RBI

1. RBI gives in-principle approval to PhonePe Account Aggregator Pvt Ltd.

  • RBI gives in-principle approval to PhonePe Account Aggregator Pvt Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the PhonePe Group to operate as an account aggregator (AA).
  • The licence allows PhonePe to launch its account aggregator platform. This will make free and instant exchange of financial data between the financial information users (FIUs) and financial information providers (FIPs) possible.
  • As a result, Indian consumers will avail financial services in a more convenient manner.
  • PhonePe is a Bangalore-based Indian digital payments and financial services company. It was founded by Sameer Nigam, Rahul Chari and Burzin Engineer in 2015.

Topic: RBI

2. RBI appoints Ajay Kumar as new Executive Director.

  • The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Ajay Kumar as Executive Director. His appointment will become effective from August 20, 2021.
  • He will look after the Department of Currency Management, Foreign Exchange Department, and Premises Department as Executive Director.
  • Earlier, he was working as Regional Director at the New Delhi Regional Office of RBI. RBI now has 13 Executive Directors.
  • He has vast experience in foreign exchange, banking supervision, financial inclusion, and currency management.

Reserve Bank of India:

It was established on April 1, 1935 on the recommendations of the Hilton Young Commission.

The RBI Central Board consists of 21 members, including the Governor and four deputy governors.

It is the central bank of India and regulates the banking system in India.

Shaktikanta Das is the current RBI governor.

Topic: RBI

3. Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) issued by RBI.

  • Master Directions on Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) have been issued by RBI.
  • Master Directions have been issued afresh keeping in view the recent updates to PPI guidelines.
  • The master directions classify PPIs into two categories of small PPIs and full KYC PPIs.
  • Earlier, they were classified as closed systems, semi-closed systems and open system PPIs. Key features of small PPIs and full KYC PPIs are given in the next table.

Small PPIs

Full KYC PPIs

Will be issued by banks and non-banks after obtaining minimum details of the PPI holder

Will be issued by banks and non-banks after completing Know Your Customer (KYC) of the PPI holder

Will be used only for the purchase of goods and services, Funds transfer or cash withdrawal from such PPIs not permitted

Will be used for the purchase of goods and services, funds transfer or cash withdrawal

Can have cash upto ₹10,000 loaded per month, not exceeding ₹1.2 lakh in a year.

The amount outstanding shall not exceed ₹2 lakh at any point of time

  • PPI issuer should have a board-approved policy for PPI interoperability. In case of PPIs issued in the form of wallets, interoperability across PPIs should be enabled through UPI.
  • PPIs are issued in the form of cards (physical or virtual), the cards should be affiliated with the authorised card networks
  • RBI has exempted PPI for mass transit systems from interoperability. Gift PPI issuers (both banks and non-banks) have been given the option to offer interoperability.

Topic: Appointments

4. The extension of terms of MD and CEOs of three public sector banks approved by ACC.

  • The extension of terms of MD and CEOs of three public sector banks has been approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).
  • SS Mallikarjuna Rao of Punjab National Bank, Atul Kumar Goel of UCO Bank and AS Rajeev of Bank of Maharashtra are three MD and CEOs who got tenure extensions.
  • Atul Kumar Goel’s term has been extended for two years till November 1, 2023. The term of Mallikarjuna Rao has been extended till January 31 next year.
  • A S Rajeev's tenure has been extended by two years till December 1, 2023.
  • Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has also approved the extension of the term of ten Executive Directors in various public sector banks.

Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes

5. RBI expands PIDF scheme to street vendors identified as part of PM SVANidhi Scheme in tier-1 and tier-2 centres.

  • RBI has decided to expand Payments Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) Scheme to street vendors identified as part of the PM SVANidhi Scheme in tier-1 and tier-2 centres.
  • Street vendors in tier-3 to tier-6 centres will continue to be covered under PIDF scheme.
  • PIDF scheme was launched by RBI on January 5, 2021 for subsidising deployment of payment acceptance infrastructure in tier-3 to tier-6 centres.
  • Payment acceptance infrastructure here includes Point of Sale /PoS infrastructure -- both physical and digital modes.
  • PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi Scheme) was launched in June 2020. The vendors availing loan under the scheme get an interest subsidy of 7%.

Topic: Indian Economy

6. SIDBI provides first approval under SIDBI Cluster Development Fund (SCDF) to Government of Tamil Nadu.

  • SIDBI has provided first approval under the SIDBI Cluster Development Fund (SCDF) to Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • SIDBI said that project specific moderately priced loan assistance under SCDF will be provided to Tamil Nadu government to upgrade various existing MSME clusters and to develop new industrial infrastructural facilities in the State.
  • SCDF was set up with the support of RBI to support hard infrastructure facilities in clusters across the country.
  • The expert committee on MSMEs headed by UK Sinha has recommended a more focussed engagement of SIDBI with State governments for MSME development.

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI):

It was formed in 1990. Its headquarters lie in Lucknow. Its chairman and MD is Sivasubramanian Ramann.  

It functions under the jurisdiction of Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance. RBI regulates and supervises SIDBI.

SBI holds 16.73 % shares (largest) of SIDBI. Government of India and LIC also hold shares in SIDBI.

Topic: Indian Economy

7. Union Minister for Labour and Employment launched e-Shram portal.

  • Union Minister for Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav has launched e-Shram portal.
  • The portal will serve as a national database of about 38 crore workers in the unorganised sector.
  • The portal will help build a comprehensive National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW) in the country.
  • It will prove to be a boost to last-mile delivery of the welfare schemes for unorganized workers.
  • The registration on e-Shram portal is totally free. It can be done using Aadhaar Card. Phone and bank account number of the worker will also be added to the portal.
  • Upon registration, the workers shall be issued an e-Shram card with a unique Universal Account Number.
  • Workers will be able to access the benefits of the various social security schemes through this card anywhere, anytime.
  • If a worker is registered on the e-Shram portal and meets with an accident, he will be eligible for Rs 2.0 Lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1.0 lakh on partial disability.

Union Minister for Labour and Employment launched e-Shram portal

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Appointments  

8. Neeraj Bansal leaves IRS to join Adani Ports-owned Dighi Port as CEO.

  • Neeraj Bansal has left Indian Revenue Service (IRS) to join Adani Ports-owned Dighi Port as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • He was deputy chairman and chairman in-charge of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).  He completed a five-year tenure at JNPT on deputation from IRS.
  • Dighi Port Ltd is a unit of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ).
  • In February, APSEZ said it plans to invest ₹10,000 crore to develop Dighi port into a multi-cargo port and position it as an alternate gateway to JNPT.

Topic: Miscellaneous

9. Centre approves a proposal to increase family pensions of public sector employees and employer contributions to the National Pension System (NPS).

  • Centre has approved a proposal to increase family pensions of public sector employees and employer contributions to the National Pension System (NPS).
  • The proposal to increase the family pension of PSB employees to 30% of last drawn salary was made by Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
  • The increase in employer banks' contribution to the pension fund of employees under the NPS (National Pension System) from the existing 10 % to 14 % has also been approved.
  • Both the employer and employee earlier contributed 10 % each of basic salary. Now, the employer (bank) will contribute 14 %. Employee contribution to NPS will remain the same at 10%.
  • Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) was formed in September 1946. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Its CEO is Sunil Mehta.

Topic: Indian Economy

10. DGTR recommends anti-dumping duty on polyester spun yarn from China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

  • Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has recommended anti-dumping duty on polyester spun yarn from China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • Finance Ministry will now issue a notification with regard to the imposition of anti-dumping duty.
  • Dumping is said to occur when imports are at prices lower than normal value or the price at which an item is sold in the domestic market of exporting country.
  • DGTR carried out anti-dumping investigations against polyester spun yarn after an application filed by eight domestic producers.
  • DGTR found that the product was being exported at a price below the normal value, thus resulting in dumping.
  • DGTR then recommended anti-dumping duties ranging from $4 per tonne to $281 per tonne for a period of five years.
  • Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) comes under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

 

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