Topic: Banking System
1. HDFC Bank launched its retail banking programme for customers in semi-urban and rural areas.
- This retail banking programme of HDFC Bank is named as Vishesh.
- HDFC Bank plans to onboard around 1 lakh new customers in semi-urban and rural areas.
- Under the programme, the bank plans to add more branches and launch customised products and financial solutions for this market segment.
- Features of the programme are: a dedicated personal banker, up to 50% discount on processing fee in gold loan and up to 50% off on processing fees on construction equipment, tractors, personal, business, and auto and two-wheeler loans.
- It also offers daily Hospicash benefits (up to 5 days), annual preventive health check-up up to Rs 3,000.
- HDFC Bank:
- HDFC Bank is India's largest private sector bank. It is India’s second largest lender after the State Bank of India.
- It is headquartered in Mumbai. It was founded in 1994. The CEO of HDFC Bank is Sashidhar Jagdishan.
2. Small traders and MSMEs will get instant working capital loans from the banks using their Goods and Services Tax (GST) profile.
- Small traders and MSMEs will be able to do so with an app developed by a start-up based in Ahmedabad.
- Digital credit platform provider Online PSB Loans (OPL) has developed the GST Sahay app.
- This app will make it possible for small store-owners, kirana/grocers and other micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to get instant bank loan between ₹10,000 to ₹2 lakh.
- OPL’s infrastructure has also been deployed for the roll out of RBI Innovation Hub’s pilot on GST Sahay.
- The traders or store owners can seek loans from their bank by updating their details such as GST profiles with invoices generated etc, on the GST Sahay app.
- The bank can instantly approve the loan based on GST profile and the KYC.
- SIDBI is currently testing this app, which is expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of this fiscal.
- OPL platform was launched in 2018. It has majority stake owned by 10 financial institutions including public sector and private banks.
- PSBLoansin59minutes.com is a platform of OPL designed for automation of credit for borrowers.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
3. REC has listed its $750 million green bonds on GIFT IFSC stock exchanges.
- These green bonds were raised under REC’s $7-billion global medium-term programme.
- This is the largest senior USD tranche by an Indian non-banking financial company (NBFC).
- This is also the largest senior green bond tranche by a South and South-East Asian issuer.
- REC (a power sector NBFC) said this is the first green bond issuance by an Indian company post India’s G20 presidency.
- The issue saw over-subscription of 3.5 times from 161 investors.
- REC Limited:
- REC Limited (formerly Rural Electrification Corporation Limited) is a Navratna company.
- It comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Power.
- Vivek Kumar Dewagan is its CMD. It was founded in 1969.
Topic: Banking System
4. Pine Labs has entered into partnership with ICICI Bank to accept digital rupee on its Point of Sale (PoS) terminals.
- The partnership will enable e₹ (Digital Rupee) acceptance at Pine Labs’ point-of-sale terminals across key retail outlets in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
- B Amrish Rau, CEO, Pine Labs, said, Pine Labs is happy in launching CBDC as a payment option.
- The Digital Rupee is a tokenised digital version of the Indian Rupee.
- RBI’s CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) pilot for both P2P (person-to-person) and P2M (person-to-merchant) digital rupee transactions is currently live.
- Pine Labs is a merchant commerce omnichannel platform. B Amrish Rau is its CEO.
- ICICI Bank (ICICI Bank Limited) is a private sector bank. Girish Chandra Chaturvedi is chairman of its board of directors. Its MD & CEO is Sandeep Bakhshi. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
5. Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Section 140 (5).
- In its order in the IL&FS Financial Services Limited (IFIN) auditors’ matter, SC also ruled that Section 140 (5) is neither discriminatory, arbitrary nor violate Article 14, 19(1)(g) of Indian Constitution.
- SC has ruled that legal proceedings under the company law against any fraudulent auditors cannot get terminated on the grounds of their resignation after the initiation of enquiry.
- The Supreme Court (SC) has also set aside the Bombay HC order.
- Under Section 140 (5) of the Companies Act 2013, NCLT can suo motu or on application filed by the Centre initiate action against fraudulent auditors.
- Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides for equality before law and equal protection of laws.
Topic: Banking System
6. Kotak Mahindra Bank has issued the first-ever foreign portfolio investor (FPI) license to Alchemy’s Fund for relocation to GIFT City.
- The bank has re-domiciled Alchemy India Long Term Fund from Mauritius to India’s GIFT City.
- In June 2023, Alchemy India Long Term Fund will complete 15 years of operation.
- Alchemy Group is a Portfolio Management Services (PMS) provider.
- Kotak Mahindra Bank:
- It was India’s 3rd largest private sector bank in terms of assets and by market capitalisation as of November 2021.
- It was founded in 2003. It is headquartered in Mumbai. Uday Kotak is its MD & CEO.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
7. Clothing expenditure topped the list in terms of growth rate of various items in the Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) in FY22.
- Expenditure on clothing was followed by expenditure on alcohol and footwear as per a report by Statistics Ministry.
- At the constant price (with a base year of 2011-12), the expenditure on clothing increased over 26%, followed by a 14.3% increase in alcohol and 12.8% increase in footwear.
- Expenditure on food increased by just 7% at the constant price (with a base year of 2011-12).
- Expenditure on food recorded a rise of 11% at the current price.
- At the current price, the rise for textiles was over 35%, followed by 19.76% for footwear and 19.16% for alcohol in FY22.
- The final consumption expenditure of households and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH) such as temples and gurdwaras is included in PFCE.
8. World Bank’s executive board elected Former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to a five-year term as President.
- The executive board has 25 members.
- United States President Joe Biden nominated Banga for the post in late February.
- He was the only candidate to replace World Bank chief David Malpass.
- 24 members of the World Bank’s executive board voted in Banga’s election. Russia abstained from voting.
- He is selected as the 14th President of the World Bank for a five-year term beginning June 2, 2023.
- He was awarded the Padma Shri Award in 2016.
- The President of the World Bank Group is also the Chair of the Board of Executive Directors of the IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development).
- The President of the World Bank Group is also ex officio chair of the Board of Directors of the IDA (International Development Association), IFC (International Finance Corporation), and the MIGA (Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency).
- The President of the World Bank Group is also ex officio chair of the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
- Eugene Meyer was the first World Bank Group president.
Topic: Reports and Indices
9. India has fallen 11 positions in the World Press Freedom Index 2023.
- On May 3, the 21st edition of World Press Freedom Index was released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
- According to the latest report released by global media watchdog RSF, India’s rank has slipped to 161 out of 180 countries in the 2023 World Press Freedom Index.
- In this index, the rank of India was 150 in 2022 and 142 in 2021.
- In comparison, Pakistan has fared better in terms of media freedom as it improved from last year's 157th rank to 150th.
- In this index, Sri Lanka has also made a significant improvement, ranking 135 this year as compared to 146 in 2022.
- The Nordic trio of Norway, Ireland and Denmark continue to hold the top three positions in press freedom index.
- Vietnam, China and North Korea ranked in the bottom three.
- The World Press Freedom Index is based on five indicators including the Political indicator, Economic indicator, Legislative indicator, Social indicator and the Security indicator.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
10. TRAI has recommended that Cable Landing Stations in India should be classified as critical and essential services.
- TRAI has also recommended that infrastructure status should be granted to the broadcast and cable sector and submarine cable laying and repair in Indian Territorial Water and Exclusive Economic Zones of India.
- It has also recommended establishing of a user-friendly, transparent and responsive digital single-window system-based portal.
- This portal should be set up for end-to-end inter-departmental online processes.
- It said a standing Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Committee should be established by each Ministry.
- This committee should regularly review, simplify and update the existing processes. It should ensure ease of doing business as an ongoing activity.
- TRAI also recommended that the spectrum royalty fee for temporary uplinking of live events on a pro-rata basis for an actual number of days of the event should be charged by the Wireless and Planning Commission.
- As per TRAI’s recommendations, a mobile app for registration for local cable operators should be developed by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry.
- TRAI has recommended that the period for submission by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) of details regarding ISP nodes and the number of broadband/ leased/ dial-up subscribers should be revised to once every year.
- TRAI recommended that permissions for laying and operations of the submarine cables network should also be made online under the Saral Sanchar portal.