Topic: Banking System
1. The Ministry of Defence has approved HDFC Bank Ltd., ICICI Bank and Axis Bank to provide financial services in overseas procurement.
- Till now, only authorized public sector banks were used to provide financial services in overseas procurement to the Ministry of Defence.
- Now for the first time, three private sector banks have also been allowed by the Defense Ministry to provide financial services for overseas procurement.
- In this regard, the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Defense recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with these three banks (HDFC Bank Ltd., ICICI Bank and Axis Bank).
- Selected banks may be permitted to issue letters of credit worth Rs 2000 crore on the capital and revenue side for a period of one year on a concurrent basis.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
2. The share of Chinese imports in India’s total imports has declined from 16.5% in 2020-21 to 15.4% in 2021-22.
- India’s exports to China grew marginally to $21.25 billion in 2021-22 from $21.18 billion in 2020-21.
- In 2021-22, India's exports to China stood at $21.2 billion. They were third highest after US and UAE.
- As per the sources, imports of mobile phones from China declined by 55% from $1.4 billion in 2020-21 to $626 million in 2021-22.
- Chinese imports into India are used for meeting demands of telecom and power sectors.
- Imports of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and drug formulations from China meet demands of Indian pharma industry.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
3. Unemployment rate in India in June 2022 increased due to increase in rural joblessness.
- It increased from 7.12% in May 2022 to 7.8% in June 2022 as per data by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).
- Rural unemployment rate increased from 6.62% in May 2022 to 8.03% in June 2022.
- Urban unemployment rate declined from 8.21% in May 2022 to 7.30% in June 2022.
- Highest unemployment rate in June 2022 was recorded in Haryana at 30.6%. It was followed by Rajasthan at 29.8%.
- Low unemployment rates were recorded in Madhya Pradesh at 0.5%, Chhattisgarh and Odisha at 1.2% each and Tamil Nadu at 2.1%.
Topic: Reports and Indices
4. Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal released 1st edition of the State Ranking Index for NFSA has been released.
- Odisha (1st rank), Uttar Pradesh (2nd rank) and Andhra Pradesh (3rd rank) have achieved the top three ranks amongst the General Category States in the ‘State Ranking Index for National Food Security Act (NFSA)’.
- Tripura (1st rank), Himachal Pradesh (2nd rank) and Sikkim (3rd rank) are ranked in the top three positions in the Special Category States/UTs.
- Dadra and Nagar Haveli & Daman and Diu is the top ranked UT among the 3 UTs where Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) - Cash is operational.
- The index was released during the conference on ‘Food Nutrition and Security in India’.
- The National Food Security Act (NFSA) was enacted on July 5, 2013 and in order to celebrate the day, the conference on ‘Food Nutrition and Security in India’ was organized.
- About First edition of “State ranking Index for NFSA”:
- It is largely focused on NFSA Distribution and will include procurement and PMGKAY Distribution in the future.
- It is built on three key pillars. These pillars are NFSA— Coverage, targeting and provisions of the Act, Delivery platform and Nutrition initiatives.
5. RBI eased FPI and NRI deposit norms to boost inflows of foreign exchange.
- The RBI has taken several steps to prevent the rupee falling against the US dollar.
- It has increased the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) limit under the automatic route from $750 million per financial year to $1.5 billion.
- From July 30, 2022, incremental FCNR (B) and NRE deposits with the base date of 1 July 2022 will be exempted from maintaining the cash reserve ratio and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR). This relaxation will be available only till 4 November 2022.
- It has allowed Category one banks to utilize overseas foreign currency borrowing (OFCBs) for lending in foreign currency to entities.
- RBI has temporarily permitted banks to raise fresh Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Bank)/FCNR (B) and Non-Resident (External)/NRE deposits without reference to the extant regulations on interest rates. This relaxation will be available till October 31, 2022.
- RBI has allowed FPIs to invest in all-new issuances of government securities (G-Secs) of 7-year and 14-year tenors. Currently, they can invest in G-Secs with 5-year, 10-year and 30-year tenors.
- In the current fiscal year till July 5, the rupee has depreciated 4.1 percent to 79.30 against the US dollar.
- India’s foreign exchange reserves stood at $593.3 billion as on June 24, 2022.
Topic: Banking System
6. South Indian Bank and Kerala’s Forest and Wildlife Department have signed an agreement.
- The agreement will enable digital collection of payments at Vanasree shops, eco-tourism centres and mobile Vanasree units across the State.
- With this partnership, South Indian Bank’s digital collection system will be found at all 124 tourist spots under the Forest Department.
- The partnership will begin with establishment of 124 Point of Sale (POS) machines at Vanasree shops, eco-tourism centres and mobile Vanasree units.
- South Indian Bank is a private sector bank. It is headquartered in Thrissur, Kerala.
7. R Dinesh has been elected as President Designate of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2022-23.
- He is executive Vice-Chairman of TVS Supply Chain Solutions.
- He was elected President Designate of CII for 2022-23 at its recent National Council meeting.
- At the meeting, Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director of ITC, was elected as Vice-President of CII.
- Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv Ltd, continues to be the President of CII for the year 2022-23.
- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII):
- It was established in 1895 as a non-governmental trade association.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi. Its Director General is Chandrajit Banerjee.
8. RBI has selected Mumbai-based Hansa Research Group to carry out July 2022 round of CCS and IESH.
- On behalf of RBI, Hansa Research Group will conduct field work for July 2022 round of the consumer confidence survey (CCS) and inflation expectation survey of households (IESH).
- IESH aims to capture subjective assessments of households on inflation, based on their individual consumption baskets, across 19 cities.
- CCS seeks qualitative responses from households, regarding their sentiments on general economic situation, price level, employment scenario, households’ income and spending. It is conducted regularly in 19 cities.
- The results of IESH and CCS provide useful inputs for monetary policy.
9. Gita Gopinath has become the first woman to feature on IMF’s ‘wall of former chief economists’.
- She has become the 2nd Indian to feature on IMF’s ‘wall of former chief economists’.
- Raghuram Rajan was the first Indian to achieve this honour.
- Gita Gopinath became IMF Chief Economist in October 2018. She served as the first female chief economist of IMF for three years.
- She was appointed International Monetary Fund’s First Deputy Managing Director in December 2021.
- Gita Gopinath is an Indian-American economist. She has earlier worked as an honorary economic adviser to the Chief Minister of Kerala.