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Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. signs MoU with Government of India

Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) Ltd. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the financial year 2016-17. The MoU was signed by Shri Rajive Kumar, Secretary, Shipping and Shri Rajesh Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, in New Delhi. 

•    The MoU broadly consists of the performance evaluation parameters and targets for Dredging Corporation of India Ltd. for the ensuing year. The MoU will be reviewed by the Ministry on a regular basis and the performance of the PSU would be evaluated and ratings awarded at the end of the financial year. The targets agreed in the MoU are in line with the aggressive growth plans of DCI for making foray’s internationally in line with the Ministry of Shipping’s ambitious plans. 
•    DCI has posted “Very Good” performance during the last financial year (2015-16) as against “Good” for the year \2014-15, despite very difficult market conditions. In the year ended 31st March 2016, DCI posted a turnover of Rs.676 crores. The Profit Before Tax (PBT) and Profit After Tax (PAT) figures are Rs.83 crores. and Rs.80 crores respectively, representing an increase of 28% and 29 % respectively over the previous year. 
•    As per the targets set in the MoU for 2016-17 that was signed today, DCI is to achieve a turnover of Rs.770 crores. The target for operating profit is Rs.65 crores for 2016-17 as against the actual of Rs.45 crores for 2015-16. Further in the current year 2016-17, finalization of a contract is in the final stages for deployment of a dredger outside India and this will enable the company to earn income in foreign exchange for the first time in many years.

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Import of 30,000 MT pulses approved

The Government has decided to import further 30,000 MT pulses, consisting of 20,000 MT tur and 10,000 MT Urad, for the buffer stock. 
•    The decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of Price Stabilization Fund chaired by Union Consumer Affairs Secretary, Shri Hem Pande. 
•    The meeting reviewed the procurement and distribution of pulses from buffer stock.
•    So far, the Government agencies have procured about 1, 19, 572 MT pulses from the domestic market and farmers and 56,000 MT pulses have been contracted for import. 
•    Thus 1, 75, 572 MT pulses are available with the buffer stock.
•    The Department of Consumer Affairs has requested State Governments repeatedly to lift the pulses Tur and Urad from the buffer stock for distribution not more than Rs. 120/kg. 
•    These pulses are provided to the States– Tur at the rate of Rs. 67/kg and Urad at the rate of Rs. 82/kg. 
•    On the request of the State Governments, over 29,000 MT pulses have been allocated to the states as on 01.08.2016 but only 3 states have lifted some quantities against their allotments.

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Exim Bank raises USD 1 bn from overseas bonds

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) today announced raising of USD 1 billion (about Rs 6,700 crore) by selling bonds to overseas investors.
•    Initially announced for USD 500 million, the issue was upsized to USD 1 billion based on strong demand from the investors.
•    The issue attracted a total order book in excess of USD 2.50 billion from over 157 investors. 
•    The funds thus raised will be used by the bank to support Indian project exports, overseas investment by way of long term credit and its lines of credit portfolio, Exim Bank Chairman and Managing Director Yaduvendra Mathur said.
•    Yield achieved on the bonds is the lowest on a USD 500 million deal by an Indian entity since 2000, he claimed.
•    Exim Bank aims to promote India’s international trade and investment.
•    The bank supports Indian exporting companies, especially medium-sized enterprises, in their globalisation efforts through a variety of lending programmes.

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Flipkart acquires Jabong through fashion portal Myntra

Flipkart Ltd on 26 July 2016 acquired online fashion portal Jabong through its unit Myntra in a move to maintain its position as the market leader. However, the financial details of the deal were not revealed.
•    This acquisition will strengthen Flipkart Group's position in Fashion and Lifestyle segment to compete with Amazon Fashion in India.
•    Jabong was founded in 2012 . 
•    In September 2014, its investor Rocket Internet merged Jabong with four online fashion retailers in Latin America, Russia, the Middle East, South-east Asia to create Global Fashion Group (GFG). 
•    It offers more than 1500 international high-street brands, sports labels, Indian ethnic and designer labels and over 150000 styles from over a thousand sellers.
•    Global Fashion Group has been on the lookout for a buyer of Jabong for the last few months. The company was in touch with Snapdeal as well as Future Group and Amazon, but a deal failed to pass through. 
•    In 2014, Amazon reportedly wanted to acquire Jabong but it couldn't due to the price tag that was a steep 1.2 billion US dollars.

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CBDT inks 7 Advance Pricing Agreements to cut tax litigation

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on 18 July 2016 signed seven Unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with Indian taxpayers. Some of the agreements also have a Rollback provision as well.

The 7 APAs pertain to various sectors of economy like banking, Information Technology and Automotives. The international transactions covered in these agreements include software development Services, IT enabled Services, Engineering Design Services & Business Support Services. 
•    The APA Scheme was introduced in the Income-tax Act in 2012 and the Rollback provisions were introduced in 2014. 
•    The scheme endeavours to provide certainty to taxpayers in the domain of transfer pricing by specifying the methods of pricing and setting the prices of international transactions in advance. 
•    Since its inception, the APA scheme has attracted tremendous interest and that has resulted in more than 700 applications (both unilateral and bilateral) having been filed in just four years. 

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RBI has set up an inter-regulatory Working Group to study the regulatory issues relating to Financial Technology (Fintech) and Digital Banking in India

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 14 July 2016 constituted an inter regulatory Working Group (WG) to study the entire gamut of regulatory issues relating to Fin Tech (financial technology) and Digital Banking in India.
•    It will view the growing significance of Fin Tech innovations and their interactions with the financial sector as well as the financial sector entities.
•    The 13-member working group will be headed by Sudarshan Sen, the executive director of RBI. It has been asked to submit its report within six months from the date of its first meeting.
•    The terms of reference of the Working Group
•    To assess the implications and challenges for the various financial sector functions such as intermediation, clearing, payments being taken up by non-financial entities.
•    To examine cross country practices in the matter, to study models of successful regulatory responses to disruption across the globe.
•    To chalk out appropriate regulatory response with a view to re-aligning / re-orienting regulatory guidelines and statutory provisions for enhancing Fin Tech / digital banking associated opportunities while simultaneously managing the evolving challenges and risk dimensions.
•    Any other matter relevant to the above issues.

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India, ADB sign 100 Million US dollar loan agreement for Cauvery Delta project in Tamil Nadu

The Union Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 14 July 2016 signed a 100 million US dollars loan agreement to strengthen key irrigation and drainage system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu.
•    The financing will be used to strengthen embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes. 
•    The project aims to improve existing infrastructure and will provide flood protection and renewed access to irrigation.
•    Flood forecasting and warning systems will be installed and a flood risks map drawn up to help communities respond more effectively to extreme events.
•    The Water Resources Department of the State of Tamil Nadu is responsible for implementing the project.
•    The loan from ADB’s ordinary capital resources has a 25-year term.
•    The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.

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Agreement Signed Between Indian Railway Stations And Bansal Group For The Redevelopment And Modernization Of Habibganj Railway Station

In the august presence of Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu in a programme held today at Rail Bhawan today i.e. 14th July, 2016 an agreement was signed between Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited and Bansal Group for the redevelopment and modernization of Habibganj Railway Station located in Bhopal, M.P. 
•    The Habibganj station would now be the first station to be redevelopment and this station is one of the eight such railway stations which have been allocated to IRSDC by the Ministry of Railways.  
•    Minister of State for Railways & Minister of State for Communication (Independent Charge) Shri Manoj Sinha was specially present to grace the occasion. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital, Member Engineer Shri A.K. Mittal and other Railway Board Members, several other dignitaries and senior officials were among those present on the occasion.
•    Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that this is a historic moment for the Indian Railways to witness this ceremony as it is a result of persistent hard work of the Railway Officers. Many more stations redevelopment are in pipeline such as Surat, Gandhinagar(Gujarat) and Bijwasan & Anand Vihar (Delhi) in collaboration with the State Governments. 
•    Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways & Minister of State for Communication (Independent Charge) Shri Manoj Sinha said that railway is an organization which first has to earn to provide facilities to its passengers. 
•    Railways has given directions to complete the station redevelopment work as soon as possible so that the passengers can avail world class facilities. 
•    A passenger’s travel experience right from the beginning of purchasing tickets and getting out of the railways station needs to be development. In a few months Railway is planning to have 20-30 such agreements.  

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The Union Government has recently constituted committee headed by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian

Union Government on 12 July 2016 constituted a high-level committee to review the minimum support price (MSP) and bonus for pulses.
•    The committee will be headed by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. It has been asked to submit its report within two weeks.
•    It will look into various options to frame a long-term policy on pulses to tackle shortage.
•    It will suggest an appropriate policy to promote cultivation of lentils in India.
•    It will find the measure to contain the rising prices of pulses in the country.
•    The decision if setting a panel for the purpose was taken at a meeting which was chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who reviewed the availability of pulses and their prices.
•    The production of pulses in India is expected to increase to 20 million tonnes in 2016-17 from 17 million tonnes in 2015-16. This increase has been caused by a sharp increase in MSP announced earlier, but it will still fall short of about 25 million tonnes needed annually.

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Mahindra Aerostructures have bagged a Tier 1 supplier

Mahindra Aerostructures, have bagged a Tier 1 supplier contract to supply airframe parts for Airbus’s AS565 MBe Panther helicopter. 
•    With this, Mahindra Aerostructures becomes the first Indian company to receive a direct manufacturing contract from Airbus (European aviation major) as a Tier 1 supplier. 
•    The helicopter parts will be produced at Mahindra’s facility in Bengaluru, Karnataka. 
•    They will be shipped directly to the Airbus Helicopter production line in Marignane, France. 
•    In this facility these parts will be integrated with the rest of the airframe assembly and will form a critical part of the Panther helicopters sold worldwide. 
•    Airbus Helicopters and Mahindra Defence are in the process of forming a joint venture (JV) to target India’s military helicopter programmes under the Make In India initiative. 
•    The JV will be formed for producing Naval Utility Helicopter, the Naval Multi-Role Helicopter and the Reconnaissance and Surveillance Helicopter for Indian Navy. 
•    It will play pivotal role in making blueprint that will put India on the world map for military helicopter manufacturing.

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