Topic: Reports and Indices
1. Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal released 3rd edition of LEADS report.
- Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has released 3rd edition of the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) report, 2021.
- As per the report, Gujarat is the Best Performer State amongst 21 States while Uttar Pradesh is the top improver state. Gujarat has been the top performer since 2018.
- As per the report, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab occupy first, second and third positions, respectively.
- Uttar Pradesh’s ranking in the report has moved ahead seven places since 2019. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand have shown a remarkable improvement in their ranks compared to 2019 LEADS ranking.
- Within the North Eastern States and Himalayan Region, Jammu and Kashmir is the top ranker followed by Sikkim and Meghalaya. Delhi stands at the top rank among Other UTs.
- The LEADS survey 2021 was conducted over the period from May to August 2021. LEADS 2021 report has been prepared by a team of Transport & Logistics professionals at EY LLP with inputs from Department of Logistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that inputs given by LEADS report 2021 can lead the way to bring down logistics costs by 5% over the next 5 years.
Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS):
Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) had launched a study “Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS)” in 2018.
LEADS was launched with the main objective of ranking States and UTs on the efficiency of their logistics ecosystem.
Topic: Regulatory Bodies/Financial Institutions
2. FSSAI notifies new regulatory framework for foreign facilities bringing food items to India.
- FSSAI has notified a new regulatory framework for foreign facilities bringing food items to India.
- Food Safety and Standards (Import) First Amendment Regulations, 2021, will be effective from June 1.
- Under the new regulatory framework, foreign food manufacturing facilities that make products in certain categories for export to India must register with FSSAI. The registration will be given for two years.
- The foreign food manufacturing facilities may also be subjected to inspection by Indian food safety officials.
- FSSAI will specify the categories of food products from time-to-time based on its risk assessment.
- If foreign food manufacturing facilities will not comply with food safety regulations, their registrations can be cancelled or suspended.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI):
It was established in August 2011 under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
It is a statutory body. It is headquartered in New Delhi.
Rita Teotia is its current chairperson. It consists of a chairperson and 22 members.
It has six regional offices. They are located in Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, and Chennai.
3. Government may levy income tax and GST on cryptocurrencies.
- Government may levy income tax and GST on cryptocurrencies and a comprehensive Bill on cryptocurrencies is expected to be introduced in the coming Winter Session of Parliament.
- Cryptocurrencies will not be given currency status but may be allowed only as an investment vehicle.
- Government’s list of bills released just before the Budget session earlier this year included one bill titled ‘The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021’.
- The bill aimed to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by RBI.
- It also aimed to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India. The bill appeared to be based on the recommendations of the SC Garg Committee formed by the Centre.
- SC Garg Committee recommended banning cryptocurrencies but instead creating an official digital currency.
- Subhash Chandra Garg headed Inter-Ministerial Committee on Virtual Currencies. It was set up in November 2017. It submitted its report in July 2019.
Topic: Banking System
4. RBI examining issues around technical malfunction or fault at IndusInd Bank’s subsidiary.
- RBI is examining issues around technical malfunction or fault at IndusInd Bank’s subsidiary.
- IndusInd Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Sumant Kathpalia said that allegations of evergreening of loans are not true.
- He also said that strong risk management and a control framework are in place within the bank and its microfinance subsidiary Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd (BFIL).
- Anonymous whistleblowers had written to the bank management and the RBI about BFIL and alleged evergreening of loans. Following the allegations, IndusInd Bank’s shares slipped 11%.
- However, the bank said that technical malfunction or fault at IndusInd Bank’s subsidiary led to 84,000 loans being disbursed without the customers’ consent in May 2021.
- In evergreening of loans, the bank tries to revive a loan that is on the verge of default by giving further loans to the same borrower.
It is a Pune-based bank. It was started in 1994.
Sumant Kathpalia is its CEO. Its tagline is we make you feel richer.
5. A client innovation centre launched by IBM in Mysuru.
- A client innovation centre (CIC) has been launched by IBM in Mysuru, Karnataka.
- The aim of CIC initiative is to support rapid, high-tech driven economic growth in tier 2 and 3 regions by delivering comprehensive hybrid cloud and AI technology consulting services.
- Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDEM) had facilitated launch as part of its ‘spoke-shore strategy’ to attract companies to set up operations in cities ‘Beyond Bengaluru’.
- Client innovation centre (CIC) specializes in design, software engineering and analytics.
- International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation.
Topic: Banking System
6. ESAF Small Finance Bank partners with NABARD for local economic development.
- ESAF Small Finance Bank has partnered with NABARD for local economic development.
- Bank has organized state-level Local Sustainable Economic Development Training Program.
- Kerala’s Revenue Minister, K. Rajan, inaugurated the program and said that it is a step towards building financial literacy at grass root levels.
- The program is aimed at bringing financial empowerment and economic independence at the local level. Initially, it will benefit 300 panchayats across Kerala.
ESAF Small Finance Bank is a Kerala based Small Finance Bank (SFB). SFBs offer basic banking services (deposits and lending) only with the aim of financial inclusion. They are governed by RBI.
Topic: Banking System
7. Junio launches smart multipurpose card for pre-teens and teenagers on the RuPay platform.
- Junio has launched a smart multipurpose card for pre-teens and teenagers on the RuPay platform.
- Junio RuPay Card is designed for kids. It can function as a debit card for both their online and offline purchases.
- Virtual Junio smart cards can be used with zero annual charges. Children can get up to seven percent cashback.
- RuPay platform is an Indian multinational financial service and payment service system. It was launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in 2012.
Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
8. Centre issues draft mediation bill for public consultation.
- Centre has issued a draft mediation bill for public consultation.
- The bill takes into consideration the international practice of using the terms ‘conciliation’ and ‘mediation’ interchangeably.
- Since India is a signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation, it is desirable to enact a law in mediation on issues of domestic and international mediation.
- The draft bill aims to promote, encourage and facilitate mediation especially institutional mediation.
- It proposes for pre-litigation mediation and safeguards the interest of the litigants to approach the competent adjudicatory forums/courts in case an urgent relief is sought.
- It makes the successful outcome of mediation in the form of Mediation Settlement Agreement (MSA) enforceable by law.
- The draft bill protects the confidentiality of the mediation undertaken. It provides for immunity in certain cases against its disclosure.
- The draft bill provides for registration of Mediation Settlement Agreement with State/District/Taluk Legal Authorities within 90 days to ensure maintenance of authenticated records of the settlement so arrived.
- The draft bill also provides for community mediation and establishment of the Mediation Council of India.
Singapore Convention on Mediation:
United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements resulting from Mediation is also known as Singapore Convention on Mediation.
It was adopted in December 2018. It came into force in September 2020.
9. RBI issued notification revising norms for commercial banks to be placed under PCA framework.
- On 02 November, RBI issued notification revising norms for commercial banks to be placed under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework.
- Revised PCA framework will be effective from January 1, 2022. The objective of the PCA framework is to enable supervisory intervention at appropriate time.
- It is also intended to act as a tool for effective market discipline. During the previous decade, PCA was first notified in December 2002.
- In 2021, UCO Bank, IDBI Bank and Indian Overseas Bank came out of PCA framework. Only Central Bank of India remains under it now.
- The Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework was last revised in April 2017.
- In the latest notification, return on assets has been removed as an indicator to qualify for PCA.
- The 2017 notification was applicable to scheduled commercial banks. It excluded Regional Rural Banks from purview. The latest (2021) version excludes Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks too.