Topic: Banking System
1. A strategic partnership has been announced between Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank.
- The partnership has been announced for offering financial and digital services to Airtel’s more than 34 crore customers.
- The partnership began on 07 March 2022 with the launch of Airtel Axis Bank Credit Card.
- Airtel Axis Bank Credit Card will offer cashbacks, special discounts, digital vouchers and complimentary services to Airtel customers.
- It will be available for eligible Airtel customers via the Airtel Thanks app.
- Axis Bank is the third-largest private sector bank in India that is headquartered in Mumbai. Its MD & CEO is Amitabh Chaudhry.
2. Sunil Agrawal has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of LIC for three years.
- Shubangi Sanjay Soman, Executive Director at LIC, was earlier holding charge as CFO.
- Agrawal was the CFO at Reliance Nippon Life Insurance. This is the first time LIC has hired a CFO from outside.
- Life Insurance Corporation (LIC):
- It was formed in September 1956. Government of India completely (100%) owns LIC. It is headquartered in Mumbai.
- Its slogan is yogakshemam vahamyaham (Your welfare is our responsibility).
3. A business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform has been launched by Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
- The platform is named as SuFin. It registers and verifies sellers before onboarding them.
- It is aimed at both large businesses as well as MSMEs to source their industrial supplies as well as get unsecured financing.
- Larsen & Toubro is an Indian multinational conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai.
Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes
4. Application window for the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for white goods has been re-opened by government.
- Investors who failed to apply earlier can apply from March 10 to April 25, 2022.
- The incentive will be available only for the remaining tenure of the scheme.
- The scheme is to be implemented over seven years, from 2021-22 to 2028-29, with a budget of Rs. 6,238 crore for the production of Air Conditioners and LED lights.
- The term white goods means large electrical goods that are used domestically.
- White goods industry includes air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, and LED Lights.
Topic: World Economy
5. Brent crude oil futures increased to a 14-year high level of $139 a barrel.
- WTI crude oil futures increased by 13% to $130 a barrel.
- Brent crude has reached $139 per barrel for the first time since 2008.
- Brent oil prices reached highest level since 2008 because of delays in return of Iranian crude to global markets and western nations considering ban on imports of Russian oil.
- Russia is second-largest crude exporter in the world after Saudi Arabia. It exports 4-5 million barrels of crude oil daily.
- Brent is oil produced from Brent oil fields as well as other places located in North Sea.
- The price of Brent crude serves as benchmark for African, European, and Middle Eastern crude oil.
- West Texas Intermediate (WTI) is a US light sweet crude oil blend.
6. GST Council is likely to consider raising lowest tax slab from 5% to 8% in its next meeting.
- It may also reduce the number of exemptions in the Goods and Services Tax regime in order to increase revenues and reduce states' reliance on the Centre for compensation.
- Currently, GST is a four-tiered structure with tax rates of 5, 12, 18, and 28%.
- Essential items are either exempted or taxed at the lowest rate, whereas luxury and demerit items are taxed at the highest rate.
- Luxury and sin goods are subject to a cess in addition to the highest 28% slab.
- This cess is collected to compensate states for revenue losses caused by the implementation of the GST.
- GST compensation regime will end in June. It was put into effect from July 1, 2017, and will end on June 30, 2022.
- Centre had agreed to compensate states for 5 years till June 2022.
- Centre had agreed to protect state’s revenue at 14% per annum over the base year revenue of 2015-16.
- Last year, GST Council has formed a panel of state ministers to recommend ways to increase revenue by rationalising tax rates and resolving tax irregularities.
- The panel is headed by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
7. Nitin Chugh has been appointed by SBI as Deputy Managing Director (DMD) and Head of Digital Banking.
- Chugh was the MD and CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank before joining SBI.
- Chugh had earlier served at HDFC Bank.
- State Bank of India (SBI):
- It is a nationalized public sector bank and the largest lender in India.
- It is headquartered in Mumbai.
- Current Chairman of SBI is Dinesh Kumar Khara.
8. India Global Forum’s (IGF) annual summit has been hosted in Bangalore.
- The summit was a two day long event. It started on 7 March and ended on 8 March.
- The theme of summit is ‘The New India Inc.’. The summit brought together leaders of new unicorns and Union ministers, policymakers and global business leaders.
- As of January 14, 2022, India had 83 unicorns valued at $277.77 billion, according to the Economic Survey 2021-22.
- In 2021, India added a record 44 unicorns. It surpassed United Kingdom and became world's third-largest unicorn country, behind the United States and China.
- India Global Forum (IGF) is an agenda-setting forum for international business and global leaders.
9. National Highway for Electric Vehicle (NHEV) is building a green charging hub along Jaipur-Delhi-Agra E-highway.
- The charging station will have facilities like a restaurant, coffee lounge, a bank, an ATM and a showroom.
- Two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have been opened in Gurgaon in the previous two months.
- Gurgaon now has two of the largest electric vehicle charging stations in the country.
- NHEV is an organization for promoting electrification of the India's transportation systems.
10. FATF has placed UAE on “grey list”.
- FATF has said that UAE hasn’t taken enough steps to stop criminals and militants from hiding wealth there.
- UAE government had formed an Executive Office to combat illicit flows in the country.
- Financial Action Task Force has retained Pakistan on its "grey list".
- The FATF’s “grey list” is not as severe as its “black list”. India is a member of the FATF consultations and its Asia Pacific Group.
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
- It is an intergovernmental organization.
- It was established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terror financing, and other related threats for the integrity of the international financial system.
- Currently, it has 39 members including two regional organizations - the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.
- North Korea and Iran are currently on the FATF’s black list.
11. Chief Justice DN Patel appointed as chairperson of TDSAT.
- He has been appointed for four years or till attainment of the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
- His appointment has been approved by the Appointment Committee of the cabinet.
- Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT):
- TDSAT was established in 2000. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
- It was established to protect the interests of service providers and consumers of the telecom sector.
- It consists of a Chairperson and two Members appointed by the Central Government.