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Economic News: India & World

  • In the World Bank Report, India top beneficiary with foreign remittances worth 71 billion dollars followed by China with 60 billion dollars and the Philippines which got 26 billion dollars
  • World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, have assured a financial assistance of USD 313 million to Odisha government for restoration and rehabilitation activities in cyclone Phailin hit areas.
  • Vancouver Gets World's First Bitcoin ATM: The world’s first Bitcoin ATM machine which can exchange digital currency - Bitcoins -for any official currency has launched in Vancouver, Canada on 29 October 2013. The ATM machine, named Robocoin, About BitcoinsBitcoin is a virtual currency that is unregulated by any central bank or government, but still works for purchasing goods and services from retailers willing to accept it.
  • Max Bupa Health Insurance has entered into a bancassurance tie-up with Deutsche Bank.
  • Six major central banks in the world made currency swap arrangements permanent on 31 October 2013 as a prudent liquidity backstop in case of future global financial strains.

Names of Six major central banks

  1. The Bank of Japan
  2. U.S. Federal Reserve
  3. European Central Bank   
  4. Bank of England   
  5. Central bank of Canada        
  6. Central bank of Switzerland

About Central bank liquidity swap:

  1. Central bank liquidity swap/Currency is a type of currency swap used by a country's central bank to provide liquidity of its currency to another country's central bank.
  2. Central Bank of India opens liaison office in Hong Kong. Rajeev Rishi is CMD of CBI. 
  3. Canara Bank, Pune Circle has launched a CASA Carnival in all its branches in Pune and in 14 districts of Maharashtra, to mobilise Savings and Current Accounts through door-to-door and shop-to-shop campaign
  4. Canara Bank has agreed take over the Amanath Cooperative Bank.
  5. Canara Bank signed a MoU with industry body CII to facilitate cheaper credit access to micro, small and medium enterprises. Under the MoU, Canara Bank shall extend a concessional credit of 50 basis points on the applicable card rate of interest to MSME units which are members of CII.
  6. India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) expects India's GDP growth to remain sluggish at 4.9 per cent in the current financial year, due to a mix of domestic and external factors.
  7. Market regulator Sebi has disqualified Cals Refineries from issuing equity shares and any other security for a further eight years, as the company was found guilty in a case involving irregularities in issuance of Global Depository Receipts (GDRs).
  8. In a new initiative, Axis Bank entered into a tie up with the UIDAI that will enable the bank to open accounts by using the 12-digit Aadhaar number of the customer.
  9. India Signed Pact with World Bank for Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project for credit of 360 million US Dollar.
  10. World Bank approves $250-m aid for Uttarakhand which was hit hard by rains and landslides in June that killed 580 people, to help the State undertake rehabilitation work and strengthen its capacity for disaster management.
  11. Corporation Bank tops in loans to small units: The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has assigned Corporation Bank No. 1 rank under the ‘National Awards for Excellence in MSE (micro and small enterprises) Lending’ for 2012-13.
  12. Himachal Pradesh on 26 October 2013 became the second state after Haryana to introduce Union National Vocational Qualitative Framework (NVQF) Scheme. The scheme has been implemented by the All India Technical Education Council and the National Skill Development Council.
  13. Switzerland became the world’s 58th nation to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters.
  14. World Bank funds project to help 300,000 families in North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) would be executed in four northeastern states - Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura, to uplift the economic condition of the rural people.
  15. Leaders of BRICS announced to set up 100 Billion US Dollars Fund to steady currency markets (to guard against financial stocks) destabilized by an expected pullback of US monetary stimulus.
  16. Note: Brazil, India and Russia committed 18 billion dollars each while China announced 41 billion US dollars. South Africa announced 5 billion US dollars.
  17. Romania gets 2 bn euro IMF standby aid. The IMF loan is a two-year standby arrangement for 1.98 billion euros, to give the government space to continue reforms.
Note: Romania President: Traian Băsescu.        Capital: Bucharest.         Currency: Leu
  1.  Nabard ( National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development ) has sanctioned Rs 40 cr for rural water supply scheme in the Union Territory of Puducherry under Nabard’s Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
  2.  Nabard opens lending window for pvt sector:  The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has opened a lending window for private sector for the creation of warehouse space and also to set up cold storages and cold chains in Karnataka.
  3. SEBI board approves new Foreign Portfolio Investor norms: The new class of investors, FPIs, would encompass all FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors), their sub-accounts and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs), and would be divided in three categories as per their risk profile.
Under the new FPI regime:
  1. All existing FIIs, Sub Accounts and QFIs will be eventually merged into this new investor class to be known as FPIs.
  2. The Category I FPIs, which would be the lowest risk entities, would include foreign governments and government related foreign investors,
  3. “Category II’ FPIs would include “appropriately regulated broad based funds, appropriately regulated entities, broad-based funds whose investment manager is appropriately regulated, university funds, university related endowments, pension funds etc“.
  4. The Category III FPIs would include all others not eligible under the first two categories.
  5. SEBI said that all existing FIIs and Sub Accounts may continue to buy, sell or otherwise deal in securities under the FPI regime.
  1. GAAR to come into effect from April 1, 2016: The controversial GAAR provision, which seeks to check tax avoidance by investors routing their funds through tax havens, will come into effect from April 1, 2016.
  • The provision of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) will apply to entities availing tax benefit of at least Rs 3 crore, according to the notification.
  • It will apply to foreign institutional investors (FIIs) that have claimed benefits under any Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).


  1. ADB (Asian Development Bank) to lend $500m for Rajasthan clean energy projects:
  2. Japan to promote 'womenomics', pledges over $3 billion ODA: Japan will promote "womenomics" -- a theory which asserts that the advancement of women in society is directly correlated with its growth rate.
  3. China holds the world’s largest Foreign Exchange Reserve with $3.31 trillion tops the list.
  4. Internet giants Yahoo closed its news and community services in China.
  5. Air India & SBI Cards launch co-branded credit card: that seeks to add value to the travel experience of Indian customers. SBI Cards is a joint venture between SBI and GE Capital.Rohit Nandan, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India.
  6. Import duty on Gold hike to 10% and in Gold jewellery hiked to 15%.
  7. SBI Life launches Smart Power Insurance plan which is designed to care for investor’s twin needs of insurance and investment. SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between State Bank of India and BNP Paribas Cardif, the insurance arm of BNP Paribas.
  8. ICICI Prudential Life launches new unit-linked pension plan: ICICI Pru Easy Retirement
  9. ICICI Bank launches new Facebook app Pockets that will enable customers of the bank to transfer money, recharge mobile phones and book movie tickets from their Facebook pages.
  10. ICICI Bank opened skill training academy in Jaipur (Rajasthan) to provide vocational training to youth from economically weaker section of the society
  11. IndiaFirst Life offers policies in demat form: Private life insurer IndiaFirst Life has announced the availability of all its policies in dematerialized format (insurance policies in electronic form).
  12. ADB (Asian Development Bank) funds Rs 130 cr to flow into Agartala water pipelines,  would overhaul the entire 53-year-old water supply system.
  13. Government of India has shifted the administrative control of Forward Markets Commission (FMC), the chief regulator of Forwards and Futures Commodity Markets in India to the Ministry of Finance. Earlier it was under the control of the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Food.
  14. The foundation stone of Mainline Electrical Multiple Unit (MEMU) Coach Factory was laid at Rupaheli Station, Bhilwara District,
  15. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved continuation of the scheme for Integrated Textile Parks in the 12th five year plan.
  16. Muthoot Fincorp, which is actually a part of Muthoot Pappachan Group, announced launching 100 crore Rupees non-convertible debenture (NCB) issue in order to fund the expansion of microfinance as well as small and medium enterprise (SME) business
  17. Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to announce an interest rate of 8.5 % from 8% on provident fund deposits for 2013-14.
  18. The Central Government raised customs duty on gold, silver and platinum to 10 percent in a bid to curb the surging imports and burgeoning Current Account Deficit (previously gold 8% and silver 6%).
  19. India has signed a loan agreement of 100 million US dollar with the World Bank for its Low Income Housing Finance Project. The objective of the project is to provide access to sustainable housing finance for low income households to purchase, build or upgrade their dwellings.
  20. India tops BRICS in super-rich membership: World Ultra Wealth report 2013.
  21. India, Japan to enhance currency swap arrangement to USD 50 billion a development that is likely to bring stability in financial markets in the country.
  22. NABARD has sanctioned Rs 113.70 crore to Karnataka under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).
  23. Maharatna status for BHEL and GAIL.
  24. The government signed a $60 million loan agreement with the World Bank to improve watershed operations in seven districts of Karnataka.
  25. Centre to set up country's 1st geothermal power project in Ladakh.
  26. LIC Housing Finance has launched a new home loan product called “Bhagyalakshmi” for women home seekers.
  27. ADB gave 100 Million US Dollar Loan to Uttarakhand for the urban infrastructure programme.
  28. The ADB has offered $150 million loan for the expansion of railway tracks and to improve overall service in the country.
  29. ADB announced to provide $74.8 million loan to improve road connectivity in the North East states.
  30. ADB to provide $300 million loan to Chhattisgarh for overhauling roads
  31. India is 4th largest energy consumer in the world: According to a Report by US Energy Information Administration (EIA), India has emerged the fourth largest energy consumer of the world after the US, China and Russia, but its per capita energy consumption remains lower than that of developed countries.
  32. SIDBI signs tripartite MoU with Egyptian body, World Bank: Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Social Fund for Development (SFD) Egypt and the World Bank.
  33. Minimum net-owned funds for money transfer business: Rs 50 lakh.
  34. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide about 6 billion dollars loan to India to maintain its lending level to India.
  35. The Union Cabinet approved Women Self Help Groups to Get Low Interest Loans at 7% with the objective of removing poverty in rural areas.


Point to Remember
  1. Assam became the first state to observe Child Protection Day
  2. Google Inc has partnered with Luxottica SpA, the makers of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses for for Google Glass.
  3. Workdays for tribals under MNREGA raised from 100 to 150
  4. Arjun Kapoor Named National Ambassador for Earth Hour 2014
  5. The Directorate of revenue Intelligence has seized a record over 2.4 lakh kg of ozone-depleting restricted refrigeration gas ‘R-22’, which was being smuggled into the country.
  6. India and the 11-country South-East Asia region received formal certificates to mark a health milestone – being polio-free by WHO.
  7. Vandana Foundation launched AQUATM in Mumbai. The AQUATM is a water vending machine from which water can be purchased. This water wending machine will release 1 liter water at a price of 1 rupee.
  8. India and Singapore won the 2014 edition of the UN-Water “Water for Life” Best Practices Award for their sustainable practices of water resources.
  9. Indian Writer Pankaj Mishra won Windham Campbell Literature Prize 2014 in non-fiction category.
  10. Bill Gates regains world's richest man title: Forbes . Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has regained the title of the world's richest man in the Forbes magazine's annual billionaire list that includes 56 India based billionaires led by RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani. 
  11. India nominated Rani-ki-Vav located in Patan, Gujarat and the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Himachal Pradesh for UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Status for 2014.
  12. India and Japan signed a currency swap agreement for up to 50 billion dollars to address short-term liquidity problems. The bilateral swap arrangement (BSA) has been inked between the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Japan.
  13. India signs $70 million loan pact with World Bank for Karkataka Health Systems Development, Reform Project.
  14. India and World Bank Signed 500 Million Dollar Deal for “Shiksha Abhyan”.
  15. India and Japan signed an Earths Pact that will enable the latter to import the rare Earth minerals from India.
  16. India and ASEAN signed the free trade agreement (FTA) in services and investments to boost trade to $100 billion by 2015.


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