HCS Exam Current Affairs 2020 Topic Wise: Finance And Economy
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HCS Exam Current Affairs 2020 Topic Wise: Finance And Economy

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HCS Last One Year Topic Wise Current Affairs: Finance and Economy

Haryana Civil Services Exam

CURRENT AFFAIRS YEARLY 2020

Last one-year Current Affairs For HCS Exam: Finance and Economy

1. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has recently signed an agreement with the World Bank. 

  • Under the agreement, the World Bank is to provide advisory services to DIPAM for asset monetization.
  • DIPAM is mandated with facilitating monetization of non-core assets of government CPSEs under strategic disinvestment or closure and enemy property of the value of INR 100 crores and above. 
  • DIPAM has a framework for monetizing non-core assets.

2. The Union government has extended the tenure of ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra by a year after modifying his appointment order that was issued in 2018.

  • His tenure was to end next week as the ED director's post comes with a fixed term of two years.
  • As per an order issued by the Department of Revenue under the Union finance ministry the 2018 order for appointment of Mishra has been modified.

3. “Bank of Ghana” has won the Central bank of the year award 2020. 

  • Apart from this, Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) has won the Governor of the year 2020. 
  • Central Banking Awards are held annually to recognize excellence in the central banking community. 
  • This was the 7th edition of the award and the ceremony was held virtually on.

4. New Development Bank, also known as BRICS Bank has approved infrastructure projects worth 741 million dollars in India.

  • The Board of Directors approved a loan of USD 500 million for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) Project and a loan of USD 241 million for Mumbai Metro Rail II (Line 6) Project.
  • The loan for the Delhi NCR region would be used by the Government of India for on-lending to the National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC) for construction of a rapid rail corridor connecting the National Capital Territory of Delhi with the cities of Ghaziabad and Meerut located in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The RRTS will have a total length of 82.15 km (68.03 km elevated and 14.12 km underground) with 25 stations.

5. The Government of India (GoI) has appointed M. Rajeshwar Rao as the new Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on October 7, 2020. 

  • The post of deputy governor was vacant since March 2020 after the former Deputy Governor N R Vishwanathan resigned due to health issues.
  • The deputy governor is tasked with the duty of managing the internal debts, financial market operations, international departments, and secretarial departments at the apex bank. 
  • He is a major part of the RBI Board.
  • The RBI Board is set as per the RBI Act, 1934 by the Government of India. 
  • The board comprises four deputy governors. 
  • The deputy governor acts as the ex-officio chairman of the board. 

6. India's GDP has been shrunk by 23.9% in the First Quarter of FY'21 as per the data released by the National Statistical Office

  • India’s economy posted its steepest contraction on record in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal year as the strict lockdowns imposed to ward off the spread of the deadly coronavirus infection stalled economic activity, shut out consumption and investment and led to job and income losses.
  • Asia’s third largest economy was already faltering when the pandemic struck. 
  • In April-June, it suffered a contraction for the first time since India began maintaining quarterly records in 1996.
  • Data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed GDP in the April-June quarter of 2020-21 slumped 23.9% compared with growth of 3.1% in the previous (January-March) quarter. 
  • Among major economies, India’s contraction was the sharpest. 
  • China, after posting a contraction in the January-March quarter has recovered with 3.2% growth in the April-June quarter. Globally, India is close to the UK's contraction of 20.4% in the second quarter.

7. Indian economy saw the steepest contraction in the June quarter among G20 countries.

  • IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath confirmed that the Indian economy saw the steepest contraction in the June quarter among G20 countries.
  • India's GDP declined 23.9 percent in the Q1FY21, as the economy reeled under the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and a stringent lockdown. This was the worst contraction recorded by the Indian economy in decades.
  • Among the countries listed on the graph, China was the only one that recorded economic growth, after contracting in Q1.
  • Countries such as the UK, Japan and Australia have already slipped into recession, which is defined as two successive quarters of GDP contraction.

8. The Union Ministry of Finance announced on August 24, 2020, that now businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh will be GST exempt.   

  • The Ministry added that those with a turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the Composition Scheme and pay only 1 percent tax.
  • Earlier, only businesses with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh were exempted from GST tax. 
  • The Finance Ministry made the announcement on the occasion of the first death anniversary of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. 

9. The board of executives of the World Bank has approved a loan of $ 500 million (about Rs 3,700 crore) under the ‘Strengthening Teaching-Learning and Results for States Program (STARS)’ project.

  • The project will improve the quality and governance of school education across six states (Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan) in India.
  • The new project will be executed through the flagship central scheme, Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.

10. The Reserve Bank of India has announced to set up a Payment Infrastructure Development Fund (PIFD) of Rs. 500 Crore.

  • The fund will improve and support the development of the digital payments ecosystem in the northeast and rural districts in India.
  • The initial contribution of Rs. 250 crore to the PIFD has been made by the central bank while the other half of the fund is expected to be contributed by all card-issuing banks and the network operators.
  • The fund set up by the central bank will be governed through an advisory council and it will be administered and managed by the Reserve Bank of India.

11. UNCTAD (UN Conference on Trade and Development) releases the World Investment Report 2020

  • US was the world’s largest recipient of FDI (foreign direct investment) in 2019 with $251 billion
  • According to the latest ‘World Investment Report’ by UNCTAD, India jumped from 12th position in 2018 to 9th in 2019 on the list of the world’s top FDI recipients.
  • India received $51 billion (approximately Rs 38.79 crore) in overseas investments last year
  • India was among the five top nations for FDI in the Asia region.
  • The report noted that global foreign investment flows are predicted to plunge by up to 40% in 2020, “from their 2019 value of $1.54 trillion”.

UNCTAD HQs-Geneva, Switzerland

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi 

12. India has become the 12th largest holder of US government securities at the end of April, with holding worth $157.4 billion.

  • At the end of April, Japan remained the country with the maximum exposure at USD 1.266 trillion, followed by China ($1.073 trillion) and the UK ($368.5 billion) at the second and third positions, respectively.
  • So far this year, there has been no specific trend in terms of such securities bought and sold by India amid global economic uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • While the holding touched a record high of $177.5 billion in February, the same was drastically reduced in March. The exposure stood at $164.3 billion in January.

13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Rs 20-lakh-crore stimulus package, equivalent to about 10% of India’s GDP, to tide over the Covid-19 crisis 

  • The plan dubbed the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan(Self-reliant India)  will be unveiled by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman
  • It will aim at making the country self-reliant and reviving the stalled economy.
  • The special economic package will focus on empowering the poor, labourers and migrants both from organised and unorganised sectors. 
  • The programme encompasses earlier packages announced by the government and the Reserve Bank of India
  • The package will focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws, and will cater to various sectors including the cottage industries, micro, small & medium enterprises (MSMEs), the working class, middle class and industry, among others
  • PM also stated that  a self reliant India will stand on five pillars — the economy, infrastructure, system, demography and demand.

14. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced 15 measures for various sectors, including MSMEs in an economic package under ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ that was outlined by PM Modi on May 12.

  • Rs 3 lakh crore Emergency Working Capital Facility for Businesses, including MSMEs (This will come in the form of a term loan at a concessional rate of interest where the Government of India will stand guarantee)
  • A Collateral free automatic loan for MSMEs will give facility upto Rs 3 lakh crore which will have 100% credit guarantee and no fresh collateral required which will benefit 45 lakh units. Borrowers with up to Rs 25 crore outstanding and Rs 100 crore turnover eligible for loans, the tenor will be 4 years and a moratorium of 12 months on principal repayment.
  • The scheme can be availed till 31st October 2020 with no guarantee fee and no fixed collateral.Rs 20,000 crore will be provided to stressed MSME
  • Rs 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds
  • No Global tenders for Government tenders of upto Rs 200 crore
  • Rs. 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFC
  • Rs. 45,000 crore Partial credit guarantee Scheme 2.0 for Liabilities of NBFCs/MFIs
  • Rs 90,000 crore Liquidity Injection for DISCOMs
  • Relief to Contractors given by extension of up to six months for completion of contractual obligations
  • Relief to Real Estate Projects: Registration and completion date for all registered projects will be extended up to six months.
  • EPF Contribution to be reduced for Employers and Employees for 3 months to 10% from 12% for all establishments covered by EPFO for next 3 months
  • The second tranche focussed on migrant workers, small farmers, street vendors, small traders, and self-employed people.
  • She has announced a  Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit boost for farmers under the Kisan Credit Card scheme.
  • This is aimed at providing farmers access to institutional credit at concessional rates. Around 2.5 crore farmers are expected to benefit from this move
  • The fishermen and animal husbandry farmers will also be included under this scheme.
  • A Rs 30,000 crore additional emergency working capital funding will also be provided to farmers via the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).This will be over and above the Rs 90,000 crore support to farmers provided by NABARD through the normal refinance route during a year.
  • The third tranche includes a Rs 1.63 lakh crore package for agriculture and allied sectors aimed at strengthening infrastructure, logistics and capacity building at farm gate.
  • Rs 1 lakh-crore for aggregators, FPOs, primary agriculture cooperative societies or for strengthening farm gate infrastructure.
  • The National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis will look at 100 percent vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, and pigs against Foot and Mouth Disease at an outlay of 13,343 crore rupees.
  • A 15,000 crore rupees Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund was announced to support private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.
  • The government has launched a 4,000 crore rupees fund to promote herbal cultivation in about 10 lakh hectares of area.
  • Another 500 crore rupees has been earmarked for beekeeping initiatives, helping 2 lakh beekeepers.
  • The government extended Operation Greens from tomato, onion and potato to all fruits and vegetables by providing an additional fund of 500 crore rupees. 
  • Rs 10,000 crore for food enterprises to be executed on cluster-based approach. Health and well-being, nutritional, wellness-related, herbal products, forest-based produce will be included.

15. Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has announced much-needed relief measures for small and medium-sized financial organizations that have been struggling to operate in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • A special refinance facility for an amount of Rs 50,000 crores will be provided to premier financing institutions that will further help in refinancing small and medium finance institutions to lend money smoothly to businesses. The funding divided as follows:
  • Rs 25,000 cr for National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
  • Rs 15,000 cr for Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
  • Rs 10,000 cr for National Housing Bank (NHB)
  • These are a part of a stimulus package announced by the central government to support such smaller businesses, which often borrow from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).
  • RBI allows NBFCs to extend the date for commencement of commercial operations for loans given to commercial real estate by an additional one year without considering it as restructuring.

16. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech on 1 February 2020 allocates funds and proposes new schemes for every sector under these three themes- Aspirational India, Economic development (for all), and building a caring society

  • FM Sitharaman presented her second budget under the Modi 2.0 government.
  • She further elaborated that under the Aspirational India theme, the budget will cover rural, water and sanitation, and education.

Key Points under these themes: 

  • The budget is aimed at doubling farmer income by 2022. Budget fixes the target of Agricultural Credit at Rs 15 lakh crore. 
  • The horticulture sector has exceeded the production of foodgrains by around 311 million metric tons of production. The government will help those states that work for ‘one product, one district’.
  • Indian Railways to set up “Kisan Rail” so that farm goods can be quickly transported. It will also be used for cold storage of goods through the PPP model. 
  • The Ministry of Civil Aviation will launch Krishi UDAN on international and national routes.
  • The budget allocates Rs 12,300 crore for Swachh Bharat Mission 
  • The budget allocates Rs 69,000 crore for the Health sector
  • Union Budget 2020 proposes foreign direct investment, FDI, and External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) in education.
  • Union Budget 2020 proposes to set up an “Investment Clearance Cell” to offer services such as to be set free investment advisory, land banks, and others. An online portal will be launched in this regard.
  • The new scheme “NIRVIK” announced fewer duties and taxes on exported products. The scheme will be launched in 2020-21.
  • The budget allocates Rs 22,000 crore for the Power and Renewable Energy Sector.
  • The national gas grid will be expanded from 16200 km to 27000 km.