1. UP Authority for Advance Ruling (UPAAR) has ruled that sugarcane juice will attract GST at 12%.
- It ruled that sugarcane juice is not an agricultural produce.
- Sugarcane juice is produced by crushing sugarcane. It is not produced by the farmer. It is neither a fruit nor a vegetable.
- UPAAR said that sugarcane juice is taxable at 6% CGST (Central Goods & Services Tax) and 6% SGST (State Goods & Services Tax) or 12% Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST).
- UPAAR said agriculture produce should contain three elements. These elements are given below.
- Produced from the cultivation of plants and rearing of all life forms of animals.
- Should not require any further processing, or processing is done by the cultivators or producers, which does not alter its essential characteristics.
- Processing should only help it attain marketability in the primary market.
- The processing of sugarcane changes its form and constitution and processed form can be marketed in the secondary market.
Topic: Reports and Indices
2. India requires $540 billion of investment to achieve its targets for electricity generation from renewable energy sources.
- S&P Global Ratings said this recently. This investment is required between 2020 and 2029.
- S&P Global Ratings released its report ‘Asia-Pacific’s Different Pathways To Energy Transition’.
- S&P Global Ratings said renewables capacity addition in India is outpacing coal.
- It said India requires over 40 GW of new capacity additions annually to meet its renewables target of 500GW by 2030.
- It said private sector will lead investments in generation and public sector utilities are likely to lead grid investments.
- India is fourth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world. It comes after China, the US and the EU.
- However, India’s per capita emissions are lower than other major world economies.
- India per capita CO2 emissions stood at 1.9 tonnes in 2019 against 15.5 tonnes for US and 12.5 tonnes for Russia.
- As per S&P, renewables face increasing intermittency issues.
3. Employees contributing over ₹2.50 lakh to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) will be liable to pay tax on interest even in case of death.
- Higher Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) rate will be applicable in case of employees who have yet not linked their EPF account with PAN.
- Higher TDS will also be applicable in case of employees having invalid PAN.
- The new rules will come into effect from 01 April 2023.
- If EPF account is not linked with a valid PAN, the rate of TDS will be 20%.
- In cases of EPF accounts linked with a valid PAN, the TDS rate will be 10%.
- Exempted establishments and exempted trusts and international workers will be subject to TDS.
- The rules will also apply to General Provident Fund (GPF). However, the threshold will be ₹5 lakh because there is no contribution from employer.
4. Second G20 Sherpas Meeting begins in Kumarakom, Kerala.
- The Second G20 Sherpas meeting under India’s G20 Presidency is scheduled to take place from March 30 to April 2, 2023, in Kumarakom, Kerala.
- The four-day meeting will be chaired by India’s G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant.
- 120 delegates from G20 member countries, 9 invitee countries, and various international and regional organizations are taking part in this meeting.
- The Meeting started with two high-level side-events on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) and Green Development.
- A panel discussion will also be held on global challenges and opportunities to build a growth-oriented and inclusive DPI.
- The Digital Public Infrastructure side-event has been organized in partnership with NASSCOM, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).
- The Green Development event will be organized in partnership with the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in India (UNRC) and Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
- It will give perspectives on global efforts needed for a new vision of green development.
- India’s G20 Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant will also lead discussions with the G20 Troika comprising India, Indonesia and Brazil.
- The second Sherpa meeting will work on many important issues of global concern and will cover the work being done under the 13 working groups within the Sherpa Track.
- In addition, 11 Engagement Groups and 4 Initiatives will provide policy recommendations from the perspectives of civil society, private sector, academia, women, youth, scientific advancement and research.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/ Financial Institutions
5. SBI will stop to be a fund manager for Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) by March-end.
- Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said this recently. Under RBI norms, a bank cannot function as an asset management company.
- Currently, fund managers of EPFO are SBI, ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, Reliance Capital, HSBC AMC and UTI AMC.
- SBI Capital and UTI Mutual Funds have been separately engaged by EPFO as exchange-traded fund (ETF) managers.
- 75% of ETF investment of the EPFO are managed by the SBI Capital. Remaining 25% are managed by UTI Mutual Funds.
- Labour Minister chaired meeting of EPFO’s apex decision-making body, Central Board of Trustees (CBT).
- The CBT meeting approved the constitution of the FAIC, Pension & EDLI (insurance scheme) Implementation Committee and Exempted Establishments Committee (for PF trusts).
- The proposal for appointment of CRISIL Ltd as Consultant was ratified by CBT.
- As per the proposal, CRISIL Ltd will assist EPFO in review and selection of portfolio managers.
6. State Bank of India will donate ₹48 lakh for the plantation of 32,000 tree saplings at Garden City University, Bengaluru.
- The tree saplings will be planted in association with an NGO, That’s Eco Foundation.
- SBI has announced the donation as part of its corporate social responsibility.
- SBI, Garden City University, and the Eco Foundation have signed the MoU for the project.
- The implementation of project is being done under Miyawaki technique.
- A Japanese botanist, Akira Miyawaki, pioneered Miyawaki technique. This technique helps build dense, native forests quickly.
7. RBI has for the first time in seven years rejected all the bids for 91-day Treasury bill (T-bill).
- RBI has done so for the first time since February 2016.
- On 29 March 2023, RBI auctioned ₹9,000 crore of the 91-day T-bill, ₹16,000 crore of the 182-day T-bill, and ₹14,000 crore of the 364-day T-bill.
- Bids for the 91-day T-bill were more than five times the notified amount. Higher bids show strong demand for a security.
- The cut-off yield on the 91-day T-bill is estimated to be more than the expected level (7.15-7.20%).
- If RBI would have accepted the bids at a higher level, this may have led to an inversion in the yield curve.
- RBI accepted all the bids for 182-day and 364-day T-bills.
- Treasury bills (T-bills):
- They are short-term, zero coupon debt instruments issued by government.
- They are money market instruments. Only central government issues them.
- They are issued when government requires money for short period.
- They are issued for maturity period of 91 day, 182 day, and 364 day.
Topic: Banking System
8. Aditya Birla Health Insurance and UCO Bank has entered into bancassurance partnership.
- Aditya Birla Health Insurance has entered into the partnership for the distribution of health insurance product through branches of the bank.
- Through this partnership, Aditya Birla Health Insurance will be able to expand its footprint with the help of UCO Bank’s network of branches.
- Aditya Birla Health Insurance will be able to reach out to more than 40 million customers of the bank.
- Customers and employees of the bank will get access to health-first insurance solutions of the Aditya Birla Health Insurance.
- Bancassurance is an insurance distribution model in which an insurance company partners with bank to sell policies.
9. SBI has signed an MoU with Godrej Capital to provide various financial products and offerings.
- SBI and Godrej Capital will come together to make financial solutions more accessible and affordable.
- As per Dinesh Khara, Chairman of SBI, the focus will be on delivering financial solutions to the Godrej group.
- The MoU leverages the strengths of both groups by facilitating financial services offered by the bank.
10. Former SEBI chairman UK Sinha appointed as non-executive chairman of NDTV.
- The appointment of former SEBI chairman UK Sinha as non-executive chairman and additional director till March 26, 2025, has been approved by the board of New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV).
- In addition, NDTV has appointed Dipali Goenka, MD & CEO, Welspun India, as Additional Director in the rank of Non-Executive Independent Women Director.
- The appointments came in the wake of a significant change in the leadership of NDTV following the acquisition of the company from its former promoters, Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy, by the Gautam Adani-led group.
- The Gautam Adani Group now controls about 65% stake in NDTV.
- On December 30, 2022, Roys sold 27.26% stake in NDTV to Adani-owned entity AMG Media Network.
- About former SEBI chairman UK Sinha:
- Upendra Kumar Sinha served as SEBI Chairman for six years from February 2011.
- He is an IAS officer of Bihar cadre. His autobiography is titled Going Public.