1. RBI will launch ‘PRAVAAH’ (Platform for Regulatory Application, Validation And AutHorisation) portal.
- PRAVAAH will be a secured web-based centralised portal.
- It will simplify and streamline application processes.
- The portal will provide time limits for making decisions on the applications/approvals requested.
- It will gradually be expanded to all types of applications made to RBI across all functions.
- This step has been taken to comply with the Union Budget 2023-24 announcement regarding the need for financial sector authorities to simplify, streamline, and minimise the cost of compliance.
- Currently, the application and approval processes are carried out in both online and offline ways.
2. Finance Ministry has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Finance Secretary.
- The committee has four members. Its chairman is Finance Secretary TV Somanathan.
- It will suggest steps to improve the pensionary benefits of government employees that are covered under the National Pension System (NPS).
- The committee has been constituted by the Department of Expenditure in the Finance Ministry.
- Other members of the committee are given below.
- Secretary, Department of Personnel & Training, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances &Pensions
- Special Secretary (Pers), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance
- Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA)
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
3. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity declined to a seven-year low level in January-March 2023 at $10.8 billion as per latest data from Refinitiv.
- M&A activity declined 68.3% from a year ago. Number of announced M&A deals declined by 3.3% year-on-year.
- Target India M&A activity reached $ 8.5 billion. It declined 70.4% from a year ago.
- Domestic M&A activity reached $4.9 billion. It declined 67.3% from the same period in 2022.
- Inbound M&A activity dropped 73.9% from a year ago. Outbound M&A activity declined 58.8% year-on-year.
- United States was the most targeted nation with 39.2% market share.
- Private equity-backed M&A activity in India stood at $2.6 billion. It declined 76.6% from a year ago.
- India recorded its third consecutive quarterly decline in M&A activity during January-March 2023.
- The majority of the deal-making activity involving India targeted the Industrials sector.
- During the January-March quarter of 2023, India equity capital markets raised $5.3 billion.
- Initial public offerings (IPO) from Indian issuers raised $ 142.8 million during the January-March quarter of 2023.
- Jefferies LLC leads the ranking for India’s equity capital markets (ECM) underwriting.
- Refinitiv is an American-British provider of financial market data and infrastructure.
Topic: Banking System
4. Digiportfolio has been launched by DBS Bank India.
- It is an investment solution that is based on the risk appetite of the investor.
- It has been curated by Morningstar. It uses human expertise and technology to create investment options that match the risk preferences of investors.
- It is a one-stop solution for investors to invest with ready-made baskets of mutual funds.
- DBS Bank is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services corporation.
- RBI has permitted bank IFSC units to offer non-deliverable rupee contracts to resident users in the onshore market.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
5. SEBI has banned four entities from securities markets for six months.
- SEBI has banned entities for providing unauthorized investment advisory services.
- SEBI directed banned entities to refund investors’ money collected through the services within a period of three months.
- SEBI has banned Course Work Focus of Shashank Hirwani, Capital Research, its proprietor Gopal Gupta, and Rahul Patel (proprietor of Capres).
- These entities were providing investment advice to clients without obtaining SEBI’s registration.
- The entities violated the provisions of investment adviser norms.
6. Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has formed a committee to examine issues related to stalled real estate projects.
- The committee has fourteen members. It is headed by former NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
- The committee will also recommend ways for the completion of stalled real estate projects.
- The committee will submit its report within 6 months from the date of its 1st meeting.
- The committee includes top Central and State government officials.
- It includes the Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Union Ministry of Finance, and the Principal Secretary of the Housing and Urban Planning Department of Uttar Pradesh.
- It also includes the chairperson of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.
- In April 2022, the Central Advisory Council decided to form a Committee to examine all the issues related to stalled projects.
7. Monetary Policy Committee has kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.50%.
- Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has unanimously decided to keep the repo rate unchanged.
- The RBI governor said real GDP growth is expected to have been 7% in FY23.
- It is expected that GDP will be 6.5% in the current financial year.
- It is expected that retail inflation will moderate to 5.2% in FY2023-24.
- Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) would remain unchanged at 6.25%.
- The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and bank rate would remain at 6.75%.
- In the last 11 months, MPC has raised the repo rate by 250 bps from May 2022.
8. India elected a member of UN Statistical Commission, the Narcotic Drugs Commission, and UN HIV/AIDS Program Coordinating Board.
- The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has elected India as member to the UN Statistical Commission, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the UN HIV/AIDS Program Coordinating Board (UNAIDS).
- All three are important subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
- The Drug Prevention Commission monitors the implementation of international drug control treaties.
- The United Nations AIDS Program Coordinating Board provides strategic guidelines for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
- The Statistics Commission is the apex body overseeing international statistical activities and is responsible for setting standards in this field.
- India has been elected to the highest statistical body of the United Nations for a term of 4 years, which will start from 1 January 2024.
- India was last elected a member of this commission in 2004.
- India won a landslide victory in the concluded United Nations Statistical Commission election by securing 46 out of 53 votes, leaving behind rivals South Korea (23), China (19) and the UAE (15).
- United Nations Statistical Commission:
- It is the apex body of the global statistical system which brings together the chief statisticians of the member states around the world.
- It was established in 1947.
- It is the highest decision-making body for international statistical activities, responsible for the creation of concepts and methodologies, as well as their national and international implementation.
- The commission consists of 24 member countries of the United Nations elected on the basis of equal geographic distribution by the United Nations Economic and Social Council.