1. RBI has placed a fine on four co-operative banks for deficiencies in regulatory compliance.
- One co-operative bank is from Bihar and three are from Maharashtra.
- The names of banks are apindu Urban Co-operative Bank, Islampur Urban Co-operative Bank, Mahabaleshwar Urban Co-operative Bank, and Mangal Co-operative Bank.
- A monetary penalty of ₹1,00,000 has been imposed on The Tapindu Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, Patna.
- This penalty is for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI on ‘Exposure Norms and Statutory / Other Restrictions – UCBs’.
- A penalty of ₹2.00 lakh has been imposed on Islampur Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, Maharashtra.
- The banks had not transferred the eligible amount to Depositor Education and Awareness Fund (DEAF).
- A penalty of ₹2.00 lakh has been imposed on the Mahabaleshwar Urban Co-operative Bank Limited for non-compliance for contravention of certain provisions Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and RBI’s directions.
- RBI imposed a monetary penalty of ₹1.00 lakh on Mangal Co-operative Bank Limited, Mumbai for non-compliance with RBI’s directions on ‘Maintenance of Deposit Accounts’ and ‘Know Your Customer (KYC)’.
Topic: Banking System
2. India’s first eco-friendly debit card has been launched by Airtel Payments Bank.
- The debit card will be made of recycled polyvinyl chloride (r-PVC).
- Each batch of 50,000 cards manufactured would save carbon emissions by 350 KGs.
- 6.6 million litres of water will be saved for every batch of r-PVC cards produced.
- Airtel Payments Bank is working on a customised Classic card and an Insta Classic card.
- Customised Classic card is available for purchase via the Airtel Thanks app.
- Insta Classic card will be available at some neighbourhood banking locations by the end of this quarter.
- Airtel Payments Bank:
- It was founded in January 2017.
- Its headquarters is located in New Delhi.
- Its CEO is Anubrata Biswas.
Topic: Banking System
3. More than ₹35,000 crore have been collected by public sector banks and five major private sector banks since 2018.
- These banks have collected this amount in charges of additional ATM transactions and SMS Services and for not maintaining minimum balance in accounts.
- Five major private sector banks were Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank.
- More than ₹21,000 crore was collected on account of non-maintenance of minimum balance.
- More than ₹8,000 crore was collected for excessive transactions through ATM. Over ₹6,000 crore was collected for SMS charges.
- Bank customers are given five free transactions every month from their own bank ATMs. This includes both financial and non-financial transactions.
- They get three free transactions in metro centres and five free transactions in non-metro centres from other bank ATMs.
- Both financial and non-financial transactions are included in these numbers.
- After the free transactions, the banks levies charges for each ATM transaction. The ceiling on charges is ₹21 per transaction, with effect from January 01, 2022.
- Minimum balance need not to be maintained in the accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna and for Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account.
- For these accounts, no limit is fixed on number and value of deposits that can be made in a month.
- However, there is a limit of four on withdrawal, including ATM ones, in a month.
4. RBI has withdrawn requirement of a sponsor for setting up an infrastructure debt fund (IDF).
- RBI has done so to enable IDFs to play a greater role in financing the infrastructure sector.
- RBI has also done so to harmonise regulations applicable to various categories of NBFCs.
- RBI has permitted IDFs to finance Toll Operate Transfer (ToT) projects as direct lenders.
- It has also permitted them to access ECBs (external commercial borrowings) to raise funds.
- RBI has also made tri-partite agreements optional for PPP projects.
5. Protean eGov Technologies Limited (Protean) and PayNearby have entered into partnership.
- They have partnered for providing credit services on the ONDC network for last-mile borrowers and MSMEs.
- Under the partnership, Protean (earlier NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure) will be an ONDC technology service provider.
- The provider would facilitate credit availability for last-mile borrowers across India through Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) network of PayNearby.
- The aim of the partnership is to broad-base credit access for both India and Bharat by making this service available through more than 12 lakh active PayNearby outlets.
- PayNearby is a branchless banking and digital network.
- Protean eGov Technologies Limited is a leading Public Limited Indian Non-Government Company. It was incorporated in India on 27 December 1995.
- NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited is now Protean eGov Technologies Ltd.
6. Vaibhav Taneja has been appointed by Tesla as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
- Indian-origin Vaibhav Taneja will take the CFO position in addition to his present duties as the Chief Accounting Officer.
- Tesla plans to make India its next key source of a new supplier ecosystem.
- Tesla’s previous finance chief Zachary Kirkhorn declared his decision to step down.
- Tesla is an American multinational automotive and clean energy company. It is headquartered in Austin, Texas, US. Elon Musk is its CEO.
Topic: Banking System
7. Per transaction limit for UPI Lite has been increased by RBI to 500 rupees.
- The existing limit for UPI Lite was 200 rupees. The limit has been increased to promote digital transactions.
- RBI has also proposed to launch a Conversational Payments mode on UPI.
- It is an innovative payment mode that will enable users to engage in a conversation with an Artificial Intelligence-powered system to launch and complete transactions.
- According to the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, this will be available in both smartphones and feature phones-based UPI channels.
- Initially, this will be available in Hindi and English. Later it will be made available in more Indian languages.
- RBI has also proposed that Near Field Communication (NFC) technology will be used in UPI transactions.
- NFC technology allows communication between two electronic devices over a distance of 4cm or less.
- RBI has also raised the offline transaction limit from 200 rupees to 500 rupees.
- However, the overall limit of small-value digital transactions is kept unchanged at 2,000 rupees.
- UPI-Lite is an on-device wallet introduced in September 2022 to increase the speed of small-value transactions on UPI.
8. RBI has decided to keep the repo rate unchanged for the third time in a row.
- RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das announced that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has unanimously decided to keep the repo rate unchanged at 6.5%.
- The repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends money to commercial banks.
- The Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate remains unchanged at 6.25% and the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75%.
- RBI has revised the CPI inflation target to 5.4% for the current financial year.
- The RBI governor projected the real GDP growth for the financial year 2023-24 to be 6.5%.
- Real GDP growth for 2023-24 is projected at 6.5% with Q1:2023-24 at 8.0%; Q2 at 6.5%; Q3 at 6.0%; and Q4 at 5.7%.
- The real GDP growth for Q1FY25 has been projected at 6.6%.
- RBI will come out with a framework that will allow borrowers to switch from floating interest rates to fixed interest rates.
- This move will provide relief to home, auto, and other loan borrowers.
- RBI has maintained that it would focus on withdrawal of accommodative policy stance.
- RBI has said banks will maintain an incremental Cash Reserve Ratio (ICRR) of 10% on the increase in their deposits between May 19 and July 28.
- This will absorb surplus liquidity generated by various factors, including return of ₹2000 notes to the banking system.
- RBI Governor announced that the cash reserve ratio (CRR) remains unchanged at 4.5%.
- The next meeting of the RBI MPC will be held October 4-6.
- With effect from the fortnight beginning August 12, scheduled commercial banks will maintain ICRR of 10% on the increase in their net demand and time liabilities (NDTL) between May 19 and July 28.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
9. NPG under the PM’s Gati Shakti Mission has recommended three projects each proposed by the Ministries of Railways and Road Transport & Highways.
- 53rd National Planning Group Meeting under PM GatiShakti recommended 6 infrastructure projects.
- The project recommended by National Planning Group (NPG) has a total project cost of over ₹28,000 crore.
- One railway project, Barbil-Nayagarh-Barsuan and Bhadrasahi- Kiriburu, has a total project cost of ₹12,532.87 crore.
- The NPG also evaluated the proposed Malkangiri to Bhadrachalam railway line. This railway line has an estimated project cost of ₹3591.76 crore.
- NPG also recommended a proposed line connecting Vaibhavwadi- Kolhapur worth Rs 3411.17 Cr in Maharashtra.
- The NPG evaluated Hassan–Raichur Economic Corridor 20 (EC20) road project, the Six Laning from Gonde to Pimpri-Sado section of NH-848 and Four Laning of near Satai ghat to Kaimaha near MP/UP border.
- The EC20 corridor passes through two States and 5 districts.