1. Exports of agriculture and processed food products have increased by 15.68% to $17.43 billion during April-November of this fiscal.
- The exports has increased to $17.43 billion from $15.07 billion year-ago.
- In FY22, APEDA products had reached to record level of $24.76 billion.
- This is higher than the target for current fiscal. The target for current fiscal has been fixed at $23.56 billion.
- 74% of target has been achieved in eight months of the current fiscal.
- Wheat exports have increased 29.29% to $1.50 billion during April-November this fiscal from $ 1.17 billion in the year-ago period.
- Basmati rice exports have increased by 39.26% to $ 2.87 billion. Non-basmati rice registered a modest growth of 5%.
- The export of pulses increased by 90.49% from $206 million to $392 million. The export of poultry products increased by 88.45%.
- Promotion of all agri products, except tea, coffee, spices and marine products comes under mandate of APEDA.
- APEDA had a share of over 50% in the entire export in agriculture and allied sector.
- The entire export in Agriculture and allied sector was valued at $50.21 billion during 2021-22.
- Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It was established under the APEDA Act of 1985. It replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).
2. RBI plans to promote internationalisation of rupee under Utkarsh 2.0 (2023-25).
- RBI plans to ensure that best-in-class and environment-friendly digital and physical infrastructure is created under Utkarsh 2.0 (2023-25).
- Utkarsh 2.0 (2023-25) is medium-term strategy framework of RBI.
- RBI said the mission of Utkarsh is to promote the economic and financial well-being of the people of India in terms of price and financial stability.
- RBI said it will undertake review of the regulatory architecture under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999.
- RBI will undertake review of regulatory architecture under FEMA, 1999 to simplify regulatory compliance and improve ease of doing business.
- RBI proposes to ensure its presence in all the states.
- RBI governor Shaktikanta Das launched RBI’s medium-term strategy framework for the period 2023-25 (Utkarsh 2.0) on 30 December 2022.
- The first strategy framework (Utkarsh 2022) was launched in July 2019. It covered the period 2019-2022.
3. A growth of 17.6% has been recorded in non-food credit in November 2022, according to RBI’s statement on Sectoral Deployment of Bank Credit.
- A growth of 21.3% has been recorded in credit to services sector.
- This is mainly due to the improved credit offtake to NBFCs, commercial real estate and trade sectors.
- Credit growth to industry increased to 13.1% y-o-y in November 2022.
- Credit to large industry increased by 10.5% as per RBI’s statement.
- Credit to medium industries increased by 29.7% in November 2022.
- Credit to micro and small industries increased by 19.6% in November 2022.
- Personal loans increased by 19.7% y-o-y in November 2022. They were mainly driven by housing and vehicle loans.
- Credit to agriculture and allied activities increased by 13.8% y-o-y in November 2022.
4. Shriram Finance Limited has secured $100 million ECB from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
- The $100 million external commercial borrowing (ECB) is a 5-year loan.
- It is under Social Finance framework of Shriram Finance Limited (SFL), a retail NBFC and part of the Shriram Group.
- With the help of funds, SFL will be able to provide credit for the purchase of new and used vehicles throughout India.
- The proceeds will be utilized to finance BS VI compliant vehicles, electric vehicles, women entrepreneurs, etc.
- SFL has raised $250 million from US Development Finance Corporation.
- It has raised $475 million through a 144A Bond from the international market during 2022.
Topic: Reports and Indices
5. Banks’ credit growth reached a decadal high level of 17.4% as on 16 December 2022 according to the Financial Stability Report (FSR).
- However, banks’ aggregate deposits grew at 9.4% as on 16 December 2022 according to FSR.
- Demand and time deposits recorded a de-growth of ₹57,332 crore and ₹1,14,137 crore, respectively.
- The growth level of 17.4% was last observed during 2011.
- RBI had published 26th edition of FSR on 29 December, 2022. FSR is released by RBI every two years.
- As per the report, the gross non-performing asset (GNPA) ratio of scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) declined to a seven-year low of 5.0%.
- As per the report, net non-performing assets (NNPA) have declined to ten-year low of 1.3% in September 2022.
- Under baseline, medium and severe stress scenarios, the system-level capital to risk weighted assets ratio (CRAR) in September 2023 is projected at 14.9%, 14.0% and 13.1%, respectively.
- The report said the consolidated solvency ratio of life and non-life insurance companies was above the prescribed minimum level.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
6. Fiscal deficit increased to 59% of Budget Estimate in April-November 2022 due to higher capital expenditure.
- In April-November 2022 period, a 63.4% increase has been recorded in centre’s capital expenditure.
- Capital expenditure in the April-November 2022 increased to over Rs 4.47-lakh crore as against over Rs 2.73-lakh crore in the year-ago period.
- Government has fixed a capital expenditure target of over Rs. 7.50-lakh crore for the current fiscal.
- In the nine months of the current fiscal, road ministry spent most (Rs 1.58-lakh crore) as against over Rs 80,000 crore in the year-ago period. Railways spent over Rs 1.42-lakh crore.
- The fiscal deficit reached over ₹9.78-lakh crore as against ₹6.95-lakh crore in April-November 2021.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
7. Retail inflation for industrial workers declined from 6.08% in October 2022 to 5.41% in November 2022.
- It declined mainly due to lower prices of certain food items. It stood at 4.84% in November 2021.
- In November 2022, food inflation stood at 4.30%. It stood at 6.52% in October 2022 and 3.40% in November 2021.
- All-India Consumer Price Index-Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) for November, 2022 remained stationary at 132.5 points compared to October 2022.
- The maximum upward pressure in current index came from miscellaneous group. It contributed 0.21 percentage points to the total change.
- At centre level, Korba recorded a maximum increase of 4.4 points followed by Chhindwara (3.0 points). Coonor and Solapur recorded a maximum decrease.
- The Labour Bureau is an attached office of the Ministry of Labour & Employment.
- It has been compiling Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers every month.
- It is compiled on the basis of retail prices collected from 317 markets spread over 88 industrially important centres.
- It is released on the last working day of succeeding month.
8. Corporate Affairs Ministry has allowed virtual Annual General Meetings (AGMs) till September 2023.
- Companies whose AGMs are due in the year 2023 can hold them through Video Conference mode till September 30, 2023.
- Ministry of Corporate Affairs has also permitted companies to hold their extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) via video conference till end September, 2023.
- The companies can also transact items through postal ballot till end September 2023.
- The relaxation would be available for companies whose financial year ends on December 31, 2022 and March 31, 2023.
- On 8 April 2020, MCA had for the first time allowed companies to hold EGMs through virtual mode till June 30, 2020. This was later extended several times.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
9. India's current account deficit grew to 4.4% of GDP in the second quarter.
- India's current account deficit increased from 2.2% of GDP in the April-June period to 4.4% of GDP in the quarter that ended in September.
- On 29 December, the Reserve Bank of India released the data.
- The deficit in India's current account balance increased from USD 18.2 billion (2.2%) in Q1:2022-23 to USD 36.4 billion (4.4%) in Q2:2022-23.
- A deficit in India's current account balance was US$ 9.7 billion (1.3 percent of GDP) a year ago ie, Q2: 2021-22.
- Services exports registered a growth of 30.2 percent on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, led by rising exports of software, trade and travel services.
- The net foreign portfolio investment inflows were recorded at $6.5 billion, up from $3.9 billion during the second quarter of 2021-22.
- In the first half of 2022-23, there was a shortfall of $25.8 billion from the foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis).
- The forex reserves decreased by $30.4 billion in the July-September quarter of 2022-23, as against $31.2 billion in the year-ago period.
Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes
10. The government has increased the interest rate of five year National Saving Certificate from 6.8% to 7%.
- The government has raised interest rates on various small savings schemes for the 4th quarter of the current financial year (starting from 1st January 2023).
- The interest rate on the senior citizen saving scheme has increased from 7.6% to 8%.
- The interest rate on Kisan Vikas Patra has increased from 7% to 7.2%. It will now mature in 120 months instead of the earlier 123 months.
- The interest rate on a small savings deposit of one year time period has been increased from 5.5% to 6.6%.
- The interest rate on the Public Provident Fund scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, and Saving Deposit have been kept unchanged.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
11. The growth rate in core sector output in November increased to 5.4%.
- The growth rate in the production of eight core sectors was 3.2% in the corresponding month last year (November 2021).
- In October 2022, the growth of core sector output stood at 0.9%.
- The production growth of eight infrastructure sectors stood at 8% during April-October this fiscal. It stood at 13.9% a year ago.
- The final growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) for August 2022 has been revised from provisional level of 3.3% to 4.2%.
- The cumulative growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries in April-November 2022 was 8% (provisional) as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
- As per the data, production of coal (increased by 12.3%), fertilisers (increased by 6.4%), steel (increased by 10.8%), cement (increased by 28.6%) and electricity (increased by 12.1%) increased in November.
- The output of crude oil (declined by 1.1%), natural gas (declined by 0.7%) and petroleum refinery products (declined by 9.3%) declined in November.
12. Praveen Kumar Srivastava has been appointed as acting CVC.
- On 28 December, Vigilance Commissioner Praveen Kumar Srivastava has been appointed as the acting Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).
- He succeeded Suresh N Patel, whose tenure completed on December 24.
- On January 31, 2022, Srivastava retired as Secretary (Coordination), Cabinet Secretariat.
- Arvind Kumar, the former head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), is the other Vigilance Commissioner.
- Central Vigilance Commission (CVC):
- It was established on the recommendation of the K. Santhanam Committee. It was granted statutory status in 2003.
- The central vigilance commissioner heads the CVC, which can have up to two Vigilance Commissioners.
- A CVC and vigilance commissioner is appointed for a four-year term, or until he/she attains the age of 65.
- Nittoor Srinivasa Rau was the first Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India.