Topic: Indian Economy/Financial Market
1. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) limit for investing in debt issues has been increased by SEBI.
- Investment limit for retail investors applying in public issues of debt securities via UPI mechanism has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.
- The limit has been increased to bring uniformity in requirements and for ease of investment for investors.
- The new investment limit will be applicable to public issues of debt securities that open on or after May 1, 2022.
- As per the current SEBI rules, investors have an option to apply in public issues of debt securities with the choice of blocking funds via UPI mechanism for application value of up to Rs 2 lakh.
- Investors will be able to block funds through UPI for application value of up to Rs 5 lakh per application.
- In December 2021, the per transaction limit in UPI was increased by NPCI from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for UPI-based Application Supported by Blocked Amount (ASBA) Initial Public Offer (IPO).
- UPI is an instant payment system. It has been developed by NPCI. It makes the possible instant transfer of money between any two individuals' bank accounts.
2. RBI has launched UPI for feature phones (UPI123Pay) and 24x7 Helpline for Digital Payments (DigiSaathi).
- UPI123Pay provides feature phone users an option to make Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments.
- UPI123Pay will improve access of UPI to more than 40 crore (400 million) feature phone mobile subscribers in the country.
- UPI123Pay includes four distinct options. They are app-based functionality, missed call, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and proximity sound-based payments.
- At present, UPI can be accessed through NUUP (National Unified USSD Platform) using the short code of *99#.
- RBI has also launched DigiSaathi, a 24x7 Helpline to address the queries of digital payment users.
- As of now, DigiSaathi is available in English and Hindi. It is a 24–hour information hotline for digital payment products.
- RBI has also released a booklet, “BE(A)WARE” on the common modus operandi used by fraudsters.
- It also provides precautions to be taken while doing various financial transactions.
Topic: Banking System
3. ToneTag has launched its VoiceSe UPI digital payments for feature phone users.
- The launching has been done in association with NSDL Payments Bank and NPCI.
- Users do not require internet connectivity or a smart phone for making payments through VoiceSe.
- They can call a number and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) will guide users through the desired financial transactions.
- ToneTag uses encrypted sound waves to make offline, proximity-based contactless payments.
4. Flipkart and Google Cloud have entered into a multi-year strategic partnership.
- The partnership aims to fast-track innovation and cloud strategy of Flipkart.
- The partnership will help Flipkart advance its vision of onboarding India’s 200 million shoppers and lakhs of sellers.
- Google Cloud is a cloud computing service offered by Google.
- Flipkart is Bangalore-based Indian e-commerce company. Its parent organization is Walmart. Myntra and PhonePe are its subsidiaries.
Topic: Banking/Financial Schemes
5. Interest Equalization Scheme for Pre and Post Shipment Rupee Export Credit has been extended up to March 31, 2024 or till further review, whichever is earlier.
- The extension has come into effect from October 1, 2021. The extension ends on March 31, 2024.
- MSME manufacturer exporters are to be provided 3% interest subsidy.
- Non-MSME manufacturer exporters and merchant exporters of identified categories are to be provided subsidy 2% interest.
- The scheme was last extended in July 2021 till September 2021. It has now been extended from October 2021 till March 2024.
- The extended Scheme will not be available to beneficiaries availing benefit under government’s any Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.
6. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka permit free trade of agriculture produce outside mandis without charging any fees.
- Most big states regulate agri trade. Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh issue licences and charge mandi fees even for direct buying from farmers.
- Direct buying from farmers is not allowed in Union Territory of Chandigarh.
- In Gujarat and Maharashtra, local Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) are allowed to decide rates. These rates vary from crop to crop between 0.5 and 6%.
- Traders and businesses are permitted to buy outside mandis for de-regulated commodities, primarily fruits and vegetables, without paying any fees.
- However, if fruits and vegetables are sold inside mandis, most states charge a 1% user fee, which is collected from the buyer.
7. The establishment of National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) has been approved by Union Cabinet.
- On March 9, the Union Cabinet has approved the formation of the NLMC to handle surplus land monetization.
- It would be a 100% government-owned corporation with an initial authorized capital of Rs 5,000 crore and a paid-up capital of Rs 150 crore.
- Surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other government agencies will be monetized by the NLMC.
- The government will be able to generate revenue by monetizing unused and under-used assets.
- Presently, CPSEs have substantial surplus, unused and under-used non-core assets in the nature of land and buildings.
- The NLMC will also own, manage, and monetize surplus land and building assets of CPSEs that are closing down, as well as surplus non-core land assets of government-owned CPSEs.
8. Karnataka Bank has signed MoU with SELCO Solar Light Pvt Ltd.
- As part of MoU, Karnataka Bank will provide financial support to purchase the solar energy products of SELCO Solar Light Pvt Ltd.
- Customers can take loans from bank for installing SELCO Solar energy products for both household and commercial use.
- Karnataka Bank is a Scheduled Commercial Bank based in Mangaluru, Karnataka. It is a private sector bank.
9. L&T Construction has got order from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for underground metro in South Delhi.
- The major scope of order includes design and construction of a 5-km twin tunnel and four underground stations namely Chhatarpur, Chhatarpur Mandir, IGNOU and Neb Sarai.
- The project is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
- L&T Construction has also got order for railway electrification from IRCON International, the government-owned company under the Ministry of Railways.
- IRCON is one of the implementing agencies for railway electrification work.