Topic: Banking/Financial/Govt Schemes
1. The budgetary allocation for Remission of Duty and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) may get a 10% increase in 2024-25.
- This increase will be over the ₹15,070 crore allocated last fiscal.
- This increase may enable the Commerce Department to the scheme for the iron & steel, pharmaceuticals and chemicals sectors.
- In contrast to the majority of other industries that receive permanent coverage under RoDTEP, the scheme only partially covers chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and iron and steel products, contingent on funding availability.
- Benefits under the scheme are presently accessible to the three designated sectors till June 30, 2024. If it isn't further extended, it will expire after that.
- The RoDTEP scheme was introduced in January 2021. It was introduced to replace the MEIS programme, which was incompatible with the WTO.
- It pays exporters the imbedded tariffs and taxes on inputs.
- VAT on gasoline used for transportation, mandi tax, charge on electricity used for manufacturing, and other input taxes not covered by other schemes are examples of these duties.
- When the scheme first started, it covered 8,731 products from the majority of export industries, except iron and steel, medicines, and organic and inorganic chemicals.
- Subsequently, the Commerce Department expanded the programme, albeit temporarily, to the other three industries as well.
- Government increased allocation for the RoDTEP scheme in FY 2023 by 10% from ₹13,699 crore in 2022-23 to ₹15,069 crore.
2. Delhi High Court has upheld anti-profiteering provisions of GST law.
- As a result, the directives issued by the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) will remain in effect.
- This is a setback to companies including Hindustan Unilever, Nestle and Reckitt Benckiser and others.
- Section 171 of the CGST Act deals with anti-profiteering measures.
- It stipulates that any decrease in the input tax credit or the rate of tax on the supply of goods or services must be transferred to the recipient in the form of a corresponding drop in price.
- In the past, complaints were supposed to be sent to the NAA. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is now handling the work.
- A total of 107 petitions were filed to contest the constitutionality of the aforementioned section, the rules that relate to it, and the legality of the notices that the NAA issued proposing the application of penalties or orders imposing them.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
3. Foreign Portfolio Investors sold equities worth Rs 24,734 crore in January 2024.
- This was also the reason for the fall in Sensex and Nifty in January 2024.
- Foreign investors have been selling stocks this month (till January 25) in response to their substantial purchase in November and December of last year.
- In November and December of last year, they spent a combined Rs 9,001 crore and Rs 66,135 crore on stocks.
- FPI outflow was recorded at Rs 24,548 in October 2023, based on data from the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL).
- FPIs sold cars and auto accessories, media and entertainment, and a small amount of IT.
- They made targeted purchases of financial services, power, and oil and gas.
- Concerns over the US Federal Reserve's delayed interest rate reductions and the high price of domestic equities led to FPIs becoming net sellers in January.
4. India’s largest green hydrogen pilot project has been inaugurated by THDC India Limited (THDCIL).
- This project has been inaugurated on the occasion of 75th Republic Day.
- This project has been developed at the office complex located in Rishikesh.
- This project will produce 50kg of Green Hydrogen daily using input energy from 1MW rooftop solar plant.
- The produced Green Hydrogen will be stored in two storage tanks.
- This will be used in night hours for illumination of THDC office Complex though a 70 KW PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Fuel Cell.
- This project is India’s largest electrolyser end fuel cell based pilot project.
- THDC India Limited (formerly Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited) is a leading Power Sector PSU.
- It is under the ownership of National Thermal Power Corporation Limited, Ministry of Power, Government of India.
Topic: Reports and Indices
5. India's economy is forecast to grow 7 per cent in FY 2024-25: Economic Review
- The ‘Indian Economy -- A Review’ has been prepared by the Economic Affairs Department.
- Chief Economic Advisor, V Anantha Nageswaran, wrote in the preface of the report that the Indian economy will achieve a growth rate of or above 7 per cent in FY24.
- This report is being considered as a mini Economic Survey.
- As per the report, skilling, learning outcomes, health, energy security, reduction in compliance burden for MSMEs, and gender balancing in the labour force will be the main areas for future reforms.
- The supply side has also strengthened due to investments in infrastructure – physical and digital.
- In the last three years, the domestic demand improvement has driven the economy to a 7 per cent plus growth rate.
- The report said India is likely to become a $7-trillion economy by 2030.
- According to the government's first advance estimates, India's economy is growing at 7.3 per cent in the current fiscal year.
6. RBI’s working group made recommendations to resolve issues related to guarantees extended by State governments.
- A working group was constituted by the Reserve Bank of India in July 2022 to make recommendations on issues related to guarantees extended by State governments.
- The Working Group recommended a uniform reporting framework for the guarantees given by State governments and a uniform guarantee ceiling. It also recommended to expand the definition of ‘guarantee.’
- A ‘guarantee’ is a legal obligation for a State to make payments and protect an investor/lender from the risk of default by a borrower.
- The entity to whom the guarantee is given is the ‘creditor’, the defaulting entity on whose behalf the guarantee is given is called the ‘principal debtor’ and the entity giving the guarantee (State governments in this context) is called the ‘surety’.
- At the State level, guarantees are given in three scenarios, which are as follows:
- Where a sovereign guarantee is a precondition for concessional loans from bilateral or multilateral agencies.
- To improve the viability of projects or activities with the potential to provide significant social and economic benefits.
- To enable public sector enterprises to raise resources at lower interest charges or on more favourable terms.
7. India's first private helicopter assembly line will be set up by Airbus, and Tata together.
- Airbus Helicopters has announced that it is partnering with Tata Group to set up a Final Assembly Line (FAL) for civil helicopters in the country, making it India's first helicopter assembly facility in the private sector.
- The announcement came during French President Emmanuel Macron's two-day visit to India as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
- Under this partnership, FAL will produce Airbus's best-selling H125 single-engine civil helicopter for India and export to some neighboring countries.
- Under this partnership, Tata Group subsidiary Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will set up the facility with Airbus Helicopters.
- Airbus and Tata are already setting up an FAL in Vadodara for the C-295 military transport aircraft under a contract to supply 56 aircraft to the Indian Air Force.
- The FAL will take 24 months to install and deliveries of the first 'Made in India' H125 are expected to begin in 2026.
- The H125 is the world's best-selling single-engine helicopter, outperforming other helicopters in its category.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
8. 2024 Padma Vibhushan awarded to M Venkaiah Naidu, Chiranjeevi, Vyjayantimala Bali, Padma Subrahmanyam, and Bindeshwar Pathak.
- The central government announced on the eve of Republic Day that former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, actors Chiranjeevi and Vyjayanthimala Bali, and Bharatnatyam dancer Padma Subramaniam will be honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian award.
- With this award, Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, will also be honoured posthumously.
- As per the list, 132 Padma awards, including 2 dual awards (in case of a dual award the award is counted as one) have been approved.
- The list includes 5 Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan, and 110 Padma Shri awards.
- Among the awardees, 30 are women and the list also includes 8 individuals from the Foreigner/NRI/PIO/OCI category and 9 posthumous awardees.
- Padma awards are among the highest civilian awards of the country.
- These awards are given in three categories, namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri.
- Padma awards are given in various subjects/fields of activities, such as arts, social work, public events, science and engineering, business and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil services, etc.
- 'The Padma Vibhushan Award is given for rendering exceptional and distinguished service. 'Padma Bhushan' is given for distinguished service of high order.
- 'Padma Shri' is awarded for distinguished service in any field.
- These awards are announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day.
- These awards are presented by the President at a formal ceremony, usually held at Rashtrapati Bhavan around March/April every year.