PLI Scheme To 10 Key Sectors


The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme in the 10 key sectors for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and exports.

The PLI scheme across these 10 key specific sectors will make Indian manufacturers globally competitive, attract investment in the areas of core competency and cutting-edge technology; ensure efficiencies; create economies of scale; enhance exports and make India an integral part of the global supply chain.

  • Advance Chemistry Cell (ACC) Battery: ACC battery manufacturing represents one of the largest economic opportunities of the twenty-first century for several global growth sectors, such as consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and renewable energy. The PLI scheme for ACC battery will incentivize large domestic and international players in establishing a competitive ACC battery set-up in the country.
  • Electronic/Technology Products: India is expected to have a USD 1 trillion digital economy by 2025. Additionally, the Government's push for data localization, Internet of Things market in India, projects such as Smart City and Digital India are expected to increase the demand for electronic products. The PLI scheme will boost the production of electronic products in India.
  • Automobiles & Auto Components: The automotive industry is a major economic contributor in India. The PLI scheme will make the Indian automotive Industry more competitive and will enhance globalization of the Indian automotive sector.
  • Pharmaceuticals Drugs: The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world by volume and 14th largest in terms of value. It contributes 3.5% of the total drugs and medicines exported globally. India possesses the complete ecosystem for development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and a robust ecosystem of allied industries. The PLI scheme will incentivize the global and domestic players to engage in high value production.
  • Telecom & Networking Products: Telecom equipment forms a critical and strategic element of building a secured telecom infrastructure and India aspires to become a major original equipment manufacturer of telecom and networking products. The PLI scheme is expected to attract large investments from global players and help domestic companies seize the emerging opportunities and become big players in the export market.
  • Textile Products: MMF Segment and Technical Textiles: The Indian textile industry is one of the largest in the world and has a share of ~5% of global exports in textiles and apparel. But India's share in the manmade fibre (MMF) segment is low in contrast to the global consumptionpattern, which is majorly in this segment. The PLI scheme will attract large investment in the sector to further boost domestic manufacturing, especially in the MMF segment and technical textiles.
  • Food Products: The growth of the processed food industry leads to better price for farmers and reduces high levels of wastage. Specific product lines having high growth potential and capabilities to generate medium- to large-scale employment have been identified for providing support through PLI scheme.
  • High Efficiency Solar PV Modules: Large imports of solar PV panels pose risks in supply-chain resilience and have strategic security challenges considering the electronic (hackable) nature of the value chain. A focused PLI scheme for solar PV modules will incentivize domestic and global players to build large-scale solar PV capacity in India and help India leapfrog in capturing the global value chains for solar PV manufacturing.
  • White Goods (ACs & LED): White goods (air conditioners and LEDs) have very high potential of domestic value addition and making these products globally competitive. A PLI scheme for the sector will lead to more domestic manufacturing, generation of jobs and increased exports.
  • Speciality Steel: Steel is a strategically important industry and India is the world's second largest steel producer in the world. It is a net exporter of finished steel and has the potential to become a champion in certain grades of steel. A PLI scheme in Specialty Steel will help in enhancing manufacturing capabilities for value added steel leading to increase in total exports.

The above will be in addition to the already notified PLI schemes in the following sectors:

  • Mobile Manufacturing and Specified Electronic Components
  • Critical Key Starting materials/Drug Intermediaries and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients
  • Manufacturing of Medical Devices.

Developmental And Regulatory Policy Measures By RBI


On 6th August 2020, the Reserve Bank of India has announced a set of additional developmental and regulatory policy measures to improve flow of money and provide further support to the financial system, in the wake of rising COVID-19 infections in India and the world.

The Governor Shri Shaktikanta Das stated that the measures will ease the financial stress caused by disruptions due to “the worst peacetime health and economic crisis of the last 100 years”.

Summary of the Announcements

  • You can now borrow more against Gold and Jewellery: To mitigate impact of COVID-19 on ordinary citizens, RBI has decided to allow loans for non-agricultural purposes, against gold and jewellery, to be granted up to 90 per cent of the pledged value of gold ornaments and jewellery. This relaxation of the limit, up from current limit of 75%, shall be available till March 31, 2021.

 

  • Sharper Focus on Inclusive Development, through greater Priority Sector Lending: Banks will now be incentivized to address regional disparities in flow of priority sector lending. The weightage given for fresh credit given to priority sectors will be adjusted based on current credit flow of districts. Start-ups too will now get this type of credit support; green energy sectors will now get higher lending under the framework.

 

  • Additional credit support for housing and rural sectors: A special liquidity facility of ₹ 5,000 crore is being provided to National Housing Bank, to improve fund flow to the housing sector. A ₹ 5,000 crore fund has been earmarked for NABARD too, to improve fund availability for Non-Banking Finance Companies and Micro Finance Institutions.

 

  • Relieving stress of borrowers: To address the heightened debt burdens being faced by borrowing firms, RBI has decided to enable lenders to implement a debt resolution plan for eligible corporate debts as well as personal loans. This shall be done without any change in ownership, while classifying such exposures as standard assets, subject to specified conditions. An Expert Committee chaired by K. V. Kamath is being constituted to make recommendations on the parameters for such debt resolution plans.

 

  • Further support for MSME sector:In addition to the debt restructuring framework in place for MSMEs, RBI has announced that stressed MSME borrowers will be made eligible for restructuring their debt under existing framework, provided their accounts with the concerned lender were classified as standard as on March 1, 2020. This restructuring will have to be implemented by March 31, 2021.
  • Reduced Capital Charge for Market Risk: The capital charge on banks for holding Mutual Fund /Exchange Traded Fund will be brought in harmony with the charge for directly holding a debt instrument. The Governor has said that this will result in substantial capital savings for banks and boost the corporate bond market.
  • Banks get more flexibility in managing liquidity and cash reserves: RBI is introducing an automated mechanism in e-Kuber system, its core banking solution, to provide banks more flexibility/discretion in managing their liquidity and maintenance of cash reserve requirements.
  • Safeguards to bring in better credit discipline:RBI is bringing in safeguards for opening of current accounts and cash credit (CC)/overdraft (OD) accounts, for borrowers availing credit facilities from multiple banks. This has been done in view of the concerns emanating from use of multiple operating accounts by borrowers.
  • Powering Responsible Financial Innovation: RBI will set up an Innovation Hub in India, to further promote and facilitate an environment that can accelerate innovation across the financial sector.
  • Cheque Payments to be Safer: To improve safety of cheque payments, a mechanism of Positive Pay is going to be introduced, for all cheques of value ₹ 50,000 and above. This will cover approximately 20 per cent of total cheques, and 80 per cent of total cheques by value.
  • Soon, make Retail Payments using Your Card or Mobile Phone: A system will soon be introduced enabling retail payments to be made in offline mode using cards and mobile devices. Citizens will also be able to resolve disputes arising from digital payments, through an online dispute resolution mechanism.
  • Key Rates Untouched: The RBI Governor announced that the policy repo rate stands unchanged at 4.0%. Other key rates such as Marginal Standing Facility, reverse repo rate and bank rate too have been kept untouched. The supportive stance of monetary policy will continue as long as necessary to revive growth and mitigate impact, while keeping inflation within target.

India 3rd-Largest Economy On PPP Basis For 2017


  • India has retained its position as the third-largest economy after China and the US in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) for 2017, according to a government release that quoted the World Bank data.
  • India is also third-largest economy in terms of its PPP-based share in global actual individual consumption and global gross capital formation.
  • The World Bank has released new PPPs for the reference year 2017, under the International Comparison Program (ICP) that adjust for differences in the cost of living across economies of the world.
  • The ICP is the largest worldwide data collection initiative, under the guidance of UN Statistical Commission (UNSC), with the goal of producing PPPs, which are vital for converting measures of economic activities to be comparable across economies.

Regional Position of India

  • As per the release, in 2017, India retained its regional position, as the second-largest economy, accounted for 20.83 per cent of the regional gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of PPPwhereas China was at 50.76 per cent (first) and Indonesia at 7.49 per cent (third).
  • India is also the second-largest economy in terms of its PPP-based share in regional actual individual consumption and regional gross capital formation.

15th Finance Commission Grant To Local Bodies


  • The Fifteenth Finance Commissionhas submitted its interim report for the period FY 2020-21 and the Government of India has accepted its recommendations in respect of the Local Bodies.
  • The Commission has worked out the total size of the grant to be Rs.60,750 crore for the period FY 2020-21 which is the highest ever allocation made by the Finance Commission in any single year.
  • The Commission has recommended Grants-in-aid to all tiers of the Panchayati Raj including the Traditional Bodies of Fifth and Sixth Schedule areas, in 28 States, in two parts, namely, (i) a Basic Grant and (ii) a Tied Grant.
  • 50 % of the grant will be Basic Grant and 50 % will be the Tied Grant. The basic grants are untied and can be used by RLBs for location-specific felt needs, except for salary or other establishment expenditure.
  • The Tied Grants are to be used for the basic services of (a) sanitation and maintenance of open-defecation free (ODF) status and (b) supply of drinking water, rain water harvesting and water recycling. The RLBs shall, as far as possible, earmark one half of these Tied Grants each to these two critical services. However, if any RLB has fully saturated the needs of one category it can utilize the funds for the other category.

Border Adjustment Tax


  • Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat recently favoured imposing a border adjustment tax (BAT) on imports to provide a level-playing field to domestic industries.
  • BAT is a duty that is proposed to be imposed on imported goods in addition to the customs levy that gets charged at the port of entry.
  • The Indian industry has been complaining to the government about domestic taxes like electricity duty, duties on fuel, clean energy cess, mandi tax, royalties, biodiversity fees that get charged on domestically produced goods as these duties get embedded into the product. But many imported goods do not get loaded with such levies in their respective country of origin and this gives such products price advantage in the Indian market.

Will a Border Adjustment Tax be WTO Compatible?

  • Countries that are members of World Trade Organisation have locked the upper limits of customs levies for product lines that they trade in. Any additional duty that gets imposed by WTO members are scoffed upon and in many instances, extra customs duties led to countries being dragged to international arbitration under WTO.
  • India’s Commerce Ministry believes that the proposed extra customs duty through the BAT is compatible with global trade norms as article II: 2(a) of GATT allows for import charge that is equal to the internal tax of the country with respect to a “Like Product” or an item from which the imported product is made.

Import Duty On Bamboo Sticks Increased From 10% To 25%


  • The Central Government has increased import duty on bamboo sticks from 10% to 25%.
  • The decision assumes great significance as heavy import of bamboo sticks from China and Vietnam caused huge employment loss in India. This decision will pave the way for setting up of new agarbatti stick manufacturing units to meet the ever-growing demand of Agarbatti in India.
  • While 136 varieties of bamboo are found in India; the BambusaTulda variety, which is used for making agarbatti sticks, is found in abundance in the North eastern region.
  • The KVIC has also launched a bamboo plantation drive to make India self-sufficient to meet the growing demand of bamboo in the next 3-4 years.

Waterfall Mechanism For Liquidation


  • The waterfall mechanism under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code gives priority to secured financial creditors over unsecured financial creditors.
  • The mechanism says that if a company is being liquidated, these secured financial creditors must be first paid the full extent of their admitted claim, before any sale proceedings are distributed to any other unsecured creditor.
  • Under Section 53 of the IBC, which deals with waterfall mechanism, the top most priority, however, is given to costs related to the liquidation process and dues of workmen of the corporate debtor. The dues of the workmen include all their salaries, provident, pension, retirement and gratuity fund, as well as any other funds maintained for the welfare of the workmen.

Payment Infrastructure Development Fund


  • To encourage acquirers to deploy point of sale (PoS) infrastructure, both physical and digital, in tier-3 to tier-6 centres and north eastern states, the Reserve Bank of India is setting up a Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) of Rs 500 crore.
  • The RBI has made an initial contribution of Rs 250 crore covering half the fund. The remaining will come from the card issuing banks and card networks operating in the country.

Amendment To General Financial Rules


  • Government has notified amendments to General Financial Rules (GFR), 2017 to ensure that goods and services valued less than 200 crore rupees are being procured from domestic firms.
  • Henceforth global tenders will be disallowed in government procurement up to 200 crore rupees, as announced in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package. It is a big boost to domestic suppliers especially MSMEs.

FDI In Defence Manufacturing


  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in defence manufacturing under automatic route will be raised from 49 per cent to 74 per cent.
  • A list of weapons or their parts would no longer be imported and their indigenous production will be ensured within the country.
  • Government will notify year-wise timelines to ban such imports.

Borrowing Limit Of States Increased From 3% Of GSDP To 5%


  • The Central Government has increased the borrowing limit of states from 3% of gross state domestic product (GSDP) to 5%.
  • But part of this borrowing will be linked to specific reforms in four areas: 
  • Universalisation of ‘One Nation One Ration card’
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Power distribution, and 
  • Urban Local Body revenues. 

E-RMB


  • China has started testing its digital currency named e- RMB in four major Chinese cities.
  • e-RMB is set to be the first digital currency operated by a major economy.
  • People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the country’s central bank will be the sole issuer of the digital currency.
  • This is part of China’s Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) project which began in 2014.

The renminbi is the official currency of China, and one of the world's major reserve currencies. The yuan is the basic unit of the renminbi, but is also used to refer to the Chinese currency generally, especially in international contexts where "Chinese yuan" is widely used to refer to the Renminbi.

New GI Tagged Articles


  • Arumbavur Wood Carvings (Tamil Nadu): The unique aspect of the Arambavur wood carvings is that the descriptions and designs are inspired from the work of temple architecture indigenous to the region. The art form also draws inspiration from mythology and mythical deities. The artisans are predominantly the Boyar community.
  • Thanjavur Netti Works (Thanjavur Pith Work):It is made from pith. The pith is obtained from netti, a hydrophyte plant called as Aeschynomene aspera. The artisans are skilled in this particular craft and this art is traditionally transferred from their forefathers. The lakes around Pudukottai (Pudukullam & Kallaperumbur lake) are surrounded with marshy land which favours the growth of the hydrophytic plant. The soil found in Thanjavur is favourable for the growth of the plant that is used for the production of pith handicraft based in Thanjavur. The notable works from Thanjavur Netti Works include models of the Brihadeeshwara Temple, Hindu idols, garlands, door hangings and show pieces used for decoration. The pith stems are found in and around the Thanjavur region and Mannargudi.

SC Ruling On Sugarcane Pricing


  • Deciding on a plea filed by Western Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills Association, which questioned the power of the state government to fix a minimum price for sugarcane when the Centre had already set a price for the same, a Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court ruled that:
    1. The price which is fixed by the central government is the “minimum price" and the price which is fixed by the state government is the “advised price" which is always higher than the “minimum price" fixed by the central government and therefore, there is no conflict.
    2. It is only in a case where the “advised price" fixed by the state government is lower than the “minimum price" fixed by the central government, the provisions of the central enactments will prevail.
    3. So long as the “advised price" fixed by the state government is higher than the “minimum price" fixed by the central government, the same cannot be said to be void as per the provisions of the Constitution of India.

Counter-Cyclical Capital Buffer


  • Recently, to manage the economic situation, which is hampered by COVID-19, governments and central banks world over are deploying unusual weapons aside from reductions in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and repo rates.
  • The Bank of England mentioned one such unusual tool, announcing a cut in the counter-cyclical capital buffer (CCCB) to 0 per cent, from 1 per cent currently. On April 2, the financial regulatory authority of Germany also followed suit and cut the CCCB to 0 per cent from 0.25 per cent. The RBI, however, has decided that it is not necessary to activate the CCCB at this point in time.
  • Following Basel-III norms, central banks specify certain capital adequacy norms for banks in a country. The CCCB is a part of such norms and is calculated as a fixed percentage of a bank’s risk-weighted loan book.
  • However, one key respect in which the CCCB differs from other forms of capital adequacy is that it works to help a bank counteract the effect of a downturn or distressed economic conditions. With the CCCB, banks are required to set aside a higher portion of their capital during good times when loans are growing rapidly, so that the capital can be released and used during bad times, when there’s distress in the economy.
  • The CCCB is supposed to be in the form of equity capital, and if the minimum buffer requirements are breached, capital distribution constraints such as limits on dividends and share buybacks can be imposed on the bank.

 

1st Non-Bank Company To Receive RBI Nod To Enter Into Co-Branding


  • Leading forex and payment solutions provider Transcorp International Ltd (TIL) became the 1st non-bank company to receive Reserve Bank of India (RBI) nod to enter into co-branding arrangements for prepaid Instruments.
  • It has also launched its multi-wallet RuPay-powered prepaid cards which allow corporate houses to pay wages, incentives, reimbursements & recurring payments to their employees or beneficiaries

Banking Industry As Public Utility Service


  • Government has declared banking industry as a public utility service for six months till October 21 under the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act.
  • Bringing banking services under the provisions of this Act means that the banking sector would not see any strikes by employees or officers during the operation of the law starting from April 21.
  • The notification was issued by the Labour Ministry against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic which has significantly impacted economic activities.

Developing Country Status


  • The US President has accused China of taking advantage of the US through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) saying that if China is considered a ‘developing country’, the US should be called one too.
  • There are no WTO definitions of developed and developing countries. Members announce for themselves whether they are developed or developing countries. 
  • However, other members can challenge the decision of a member to make use of provisions available to developing countries.
  • The WTO Agreements contain Special and Differential Treatment (S&D) provisions which give developing countries special rights.

North East Venture Fund


  • North East Venture Fund(NEVF) has disbursed over Rs.18 crore to 12 start-ups till February,2020, as per the data provided in the Parliament.
  • NEVF was launched in 2017 by the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited(NEDFi) in association with the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region(M-DoNER).
  • Aim:To contribute to the entrepreneurship development of the NER and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns through long term capital appreciation by way of investments in privately negotiated equity related investments.
  • It focuses on startups in five sectors namely a) food processing b) healthcare c) tourism d) aggregation of services and e) IT and IT-enabled services.
  • It is a close ended fund with capital commitment of Rs 100 crore.Each investment will be limited to a minimum of Rs.25 lakh and a maximum of Rs.10 crores with long term investment horizon of 4-5 years.

MSME Sambandh And Udyam Sakhi Portal


  • Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises(MSME) has urged all the female entrepreneurs to take maximum benefits from various MSME portals like  Sambandh and Udyam Sakhi Portal.
  • MSME Sambandh: This portal aims to help in monitoring the implementation of public procurement policy for micro and small enterprises.
  • Udyam Sakhi: It aims to encourage women entrepreneurs by creating business models revolving around low-cost products and services to resolve social inequities.

Other Important Portals for MSME Sector

  • MSME Samadhan: It empowers micro and small entrepreneurs across the country to directly register their cases relating to delayed payments.
  • MSME Sampark: It is a digital platform wherein jobseekers (passed out trainees/students of MSME Technology Centres) and recruiters get connected.
  • Udyami Mitra Portal: It was launched by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to improve accessibility of credit and handholding services to MSMEs.

Committee To Review Fiscal Consolidation Roadmap Of The General Government


  • The Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission, has constituted a Committee to review the  fiscal consolidation roadmap of the general government
  • The Committee shall make recommendations on the definition of deficit and debt for the Central government, overall states, the General Government and public sector enterprises by considering all explicit and measurable liabilities of the sovereign and by bringing in consistency between the definition of debt (stock) and deficit (flow).
  • The Committee shall also lay down the principles for arriving at the debt of the general government debt and consolidated public sector with appropriate netting to avoid double-counting.
  • The Committee shall define contingent liabilities, provide quantifiable measures of such liabilities, wherever possible, and specify conditions under which “contingent” liabilities become “explicit” liabilities of the public sector.
  • Based on the above, the Committee shall recommend a debt and fiscal consolidation roadmap for FY21-FY25 for the Central Government, overall States and General Government and attempt building up scenarios for public sector enterprises.

Enhanced Access And Service Excellence (EASE) 3.0


On 26th February, 2020, Union Finance Ministry launched the Ease (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) 3.0, the new reform agenda for tech-enabled banking.

EASE 3.0 agenda aims at providing smart, tech-enabled public sector banking for aspiring India.

  • It seeks to enhance ease of banking in all customer experiences, using technology, fintech, alternate data and analytics.
  • It will include facilities like Palm Banking for end-to-end digital delivery of financial service, Banking on Go via EASE banking outlets, digitalised branch experience, tech-enabled agriculture lending among others.
  • It emphasizes on the use of digital, analytics & AI, FinTech partnerships across customer service, convenient banking, end-to-end digitalised processes for loan sourcing and processing, analytics-driven risk management.

US Now India’s Top Trading Partner


  • According to the 2018-19 data from the Commerce Ministry, the United States has become India’s top trading partner surpassing China.
  • China was India's top trading partner since 2013-14 till 2017-18.
  • The bilateral trade between the US and India amounted to USD 87.95 billion as compared to USD 87.07 billion with China.
  • America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. While dealing with the US, India had a surplus of 16.85 billion in the year 2018-19 alone.
  • Currently, the top five trading partners of India are - US, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.

India Now World’s 5th Largest Economy


  • India has emerged as the fifth-largest world economy in 2019  with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.94 trillion, overtaking the UK and France, as per a report by US-based think tank World Population Review.
  • The size of the UK economy is $2.83 trillion and that of France is $2.71 trillion.
  • In terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, India's GDP (PPP) is USD 10.51 trillion, exceeding that of Japan and Germany. Due to India's high population, India's GDP per capita is USD 2,170 (for comparison, the US is USD 62,794).

SPICe+ Web Form


  • As part of the Government of India’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) initiatives, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs notified a new Web Form christened ‘SPICe+’ (pronounced ‘SPICe Plus’) replacing the existing SPICe form.
  • SPICe+ would be an integrated Web Form and would have two parts viz.: Part A-for Name reservation for new companies and Part B offering a bouquet of services.
  • It would offer 10 services by 3 Central Government Ministries & Departments (Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance) and One State Government (Maharashtra).
  • It aims to save as many procedures, time and cost for starting a Business in India and would be applicable for all new company incorporations.
  • The new web form would facilitate onscreen filing and real-time data validation for the seamless incorporation of companies.

SEBI Panel For Social Stock Exchanges


  • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has constituted a working group to suggest norms on Social Stock Exchanges (SSE) under the chairmanship of Ishaat Hussain, Director, SBI Foundation with 14 members.
  • The so-called social stock exchanges in the country will allow companies operating in sectors such as health, environment and transportation to raise risk capital.
  • In the Budget, the Centre had asked SEBI to initiate steps towards creating a social stock exchange.

Digital Payment Abhiyan Launched


Nasscom’s Data Security Council of India(DSCI) has collaborated with Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Google India to launch ‘Digital Payment Abhiyan’.

About Digital Payment Abhiyan

  • The campaign aims at increasing awareness about cashless payment, educate end-users on the benefits of making digital payments, online financial security and urge them to adopt security and safety best practices.
  • It will be a pan-India campaign which will be crafted in seven languages — Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali and Marathi.
  • It will engage with users and make them aware of the dos and don’ts for different payment channels including UPI, wallets cards as well as netbanking and mobile banking

RBI Expands Scope Of Bharat Bill Payment System


The Reserve Bank of India has expanded the scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) by adding other categories of recurring payments through the portal.

Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS)

  • BBPS is an interoperable platform that enables a customer to pay bills such as telephone, water, gas, direct-to-home (DTH) and electricity at a single location—electronic or physical.
  • With the expansion of the scope of the payment facility, other recurring payments such as school fees, municipal taxes, insurance premiums can also be paid via BBPS.
  • BBPS payments can be made using cash, cheques as well as through digital methods such as internet banking, debit, credit card, among others.
  • Bill aggregators and banks function as operating units and carry out these payment transactions for customers.

Kerala Bank


  • The Reserve bank of India (RBI) has approved merger of 13 District Co-operative Banks (DCBs) of Kerala with the Kerala State Co-operative Bank to form ‘Kerala Bank’.

Nifty Midcap150 Quality 50


  • NSE Indices has launched a quality-factor based smart-beta mid-cap index called Nifty Midcap150 Quality 50. The Nifty Midcap150 Quality 50 index includes the top 50 companies from its parent Nifty Midcap 150 index, selected based on their 'quality' scores.

Youth Co: Lab Launched


On 4 November, 2019, Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India launched Youth Co:Lab which aims at accelerating social entrepreneurship and innovation in young India by recognizing young people as drivers of sustainable development.

  • It is a youth lab programme through which young entrepreneurs and innovators will get a chance to connect with governments, mentors, incubators and investors, who will help equip them with entrepreneurial skills.
  • The initiative will convene social innovation challenges at the national and sub-national level, which will invite young people in the age group of 18-29 years and start-ups to showcase their proposed ideas and solutions to tackle some of the regions biggest social challenges.
  • It will also convene a series of youth dialogues across several cities such as New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai to promote entrepreneurship across India.
  • Aspiring entrepreneurs or nascent entrepreneurs (with less than three years of experience) can submit their ideas at Lab’s website. Selected applicants will be invited for a national innovation challenge, where each winning start-up will get an opportunity to incubate and strengthen their ideas at the Atal Incubation Centres.
  • The first phase of Youth Co:Lab will focus on six SDGs:
    • SDG 5 (Gender Equality)
    • SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation)
    • SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy)
    • SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth)
    • SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production)
    • SDG 13 (Climate Action)
  • It was co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation and is operational in 25 countries across the Asia Pacific region.

NIRVIK Scheme: To Ease Lending Process


  • The Ministry of Commerce & Industry through Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) has introduced a new Export Credit Insurance Scheme (ECIS) called NIRVIK to enhance loan availability and ease the lending process.
  • Enhanced cover will ensure that Foreign and Rupee export credit interest rates will be below 4% and 8% respectively for exporters.
  • Under ECIS, insurance cover percentage has also been enhanced to 90% from the present average of 60% for both Principal and Interest.

Company Law Committee


  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has constituted an 11-member company law committee to analyze and examine the decriminalization of certain offences under the Companies Act, 2013, improving corporate compliance and other steps to improve the ease of doing business for law-abiding citizens.
  • It is chaired by Corporate Affairs Secretary Injeti Srinivas

IMPS: Best Global Payments Innovation


  • India's real-time money transfer platform IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) has been rated the best global payments innovation by US-based research firm FIS (Fidelity National Information Services).
  • In its fifth annual Flavors of Fast report, FIS identified 40 active real-time payment programs around the world.