1. Standing Committee on Statistics (SCES) formed
- Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has formed single SCES having 28 members and former Chief Statistician Pronab Sen as chairman.
- Four standing committees on labour force statistics, industrial statistics, services sector and unincorporated sector enterprises will be combined in single SCES.
- SCES will study and develop methodologies for surveys on industry, services and employment.
- The first meeting of the committee will be held on January 6, 2020.
- Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI):
- D. V. Sadananda Gowda is the current Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
- MOSPI comprises of Statistics Wing and Programme Implementation Wing.
- Statistics Wing is known as National Statistical Office (NSO) and NSO consists of the Central Statistical Office (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO).
2. Pledged shares of Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd (RGICL) not to be sold
- IRDAI has decided that Credit Suisse and Nippon India Mutual Fund will not sell pledged shares of RGICL.
- After this ruling of IRDAI, Reliance Capital Ltd (RCap) will again have 100 % shareholding in RGCIL. The decision of IRDAI will benefit all lenders of RCap.
- Reliance Capital Ltd (RCap):
- It is a financial services company.
- It is promoted by Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
- Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
- IRDAI is an autonomous, statutory body.
- It was formed under the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999.
- It regulates and promotes both insurances as well as reinsurance industries in India.
- It has 10 members, including the chairman, 5 full-time and four part-time members.
- Government of India appoints part-time members of IRDAI.
- Chairman: Subhash Chandra Khuntia
3. Finance Minister's review meeting with PSBs
- At the review meeting, it was decided that workshops will be held between CBI and general manager level bank officials and the Committee of general managers will be formed. The FM also reviewed current steps for enhancing digital transactions and launched ebikre portal.
- The decision for workshops between the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) general manager level bank officials will help in improving credit decision making.
- In order to improve credit decision making, the government may later hold discussions between the enforcement directorate, income tax department, customs, DRI officials and officers of PSBs.
- At the meeting, it was decided that the Committee of general managers will be formed.
- The committee will decide to continue or stop unattended vigilance cases against bank officials and help in clearing pending vigilance cases against them.
- After January 1, digital transactions through home-grown RuPay and UPI platforms will be exempted from Merchant Discount Rate (MDR).
- MDR is the amount charged by banks from a merchant to accept digital payments from their customers. MDR is also known as Transaction Discount Rate or TDR.
- After January 1, it will be mandatory for business organizations having an annual turnover of more than Rs 50 crore to have the facility of payment through RuPay debit card and UPI QR code.
- Ebikre portal was launched for online auctioning of assets attached by banks. The portal is mandatory for PSBs.
4. SBI introduces OTP-based ATM withdrawals
- From January 1, 2020, all SBI ATMs will provide OTP-based cash withdrawals of above Rs 10,000 between 8 am and 8 pm.
- The cash withdrawals of above Rs 10,000 will require Debit Card PIN and OTP.
- Non-SBI ATMs will not have an OTP-based ATM withdrawal facility because this functionality is not present in the National Financial Switch (NFS).
- National Financial Switch (NFS):
- Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), Hyderabad has designed and developed NFS in 2004.
- In 2009, the National Payments Corporation of India took over NFS from IDRBT. So, NPCI currently owns NFS.
- NFS is a network that connects over 2.41 Lac ATMs.