Current Affairs January 2017 - Finance


News 1 - Twelve PSU banks to raise Rs. 3,000 crores from the market


The Union Government gave approval to 12 proposals of PSBs to raise a sum of Rs. 2,914.038 crores through preferential allotment including that of United Bank of India to raise Rs 200 crore through Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) mode.

The move is aimed to strengthen capital base of public sector banks (PSBs). The government had already infused a sum of Rs. 25,000 crores in 19 PSBs during FY 2015-16.

News 2 - PM launched BHIM Mobile App for Aadhaar-based digital payments


Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a rebranded mobile application for the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), called Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM). It is a Aadhaarbased mobile payment application.

BHIM is a digital payments solution app based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The app would eliminate the fee payments for service providers like card companies such as MasterCard or Visa.

News 3 - State Bank of India ties up with

State Bank of India

State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank and, part of the times group a leading classified real estate portal, have signed a MOU to conduct joint marketing activities.

To kick start the MOU, SBI and Magicbricks are launching the “Seal the Deal” campaign. Under Seal the Deal, SBI and Magicbricks will be hosting a mega online property show for SBI Approved Projects. It will showcase SBI Approved Projects on the Magicbricks platform

News 4 - Mother Dairy launched Aadhar-enabled payment system at booths

Mother Dairy

Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd introduced Aadhar Enabled Payment System in its Milk & Safal Booths to provide added convenience and to promote cashless transactions amongst its consumers.

It was implemented in more than 1000 Booths in record 3 days. The service was commissioned in association with CSC eGovernance Service India Ltd. under the aegis of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity), Government of India.

News 5 - Twenty-six crore accounts opened under the Jan Dhan Yojana across the country

Jan Dhan Yojana

Over 26 crore accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana across the country. The Scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August, 2014 with the objective of covering all households with at least one bank account.

Nearly 16 crore accounts are in rural areas and more than 10 crores in urban areas. Over 71,500 crore rupees have been deposited in these accounts and zero balance accounts has come down to nearly 24 per cent. Around 20 crore RuPay Debit cards have also been issued under the scheme.

News 6 - RBI extended the period of enhanced Prepaid Payment Instruments limit

Prepaid Payment

The Reserve Bank has extended the period of enhanced Prepaid Payment Instruments limit of Rs. 20,000 as part of efforts to promote digital payments.

To meet the transactional needs of the public through digital means, RBI had introduced additional measures by way of special dispensation for small merchants. While balance in such PPIs cannot exceed Rs. 20,000 at any point of time, the merchants can transfer funds from such PPIs to their own linked bank accounts up to Rs. 50,000 per month, without any limit per transaction.

News 7 - Digi-Dhan Mela began in Mumbai

Digi-Dhan Mela Mumbai

The Maharashtra state government organised a day-long Digi-Dhan Mela at Fort Campus of Mumbai University where it aided and trained people to use online platforms to conduct transactions.

The Digi-Dhan Mela aimed to generate awareness among citizens and merchants about various digital payment systems available. The initiative plans to enable citizens and merchants to undertake real time digital transactions through the Digi Dhan Mela.

News 8 - Digi Dhan Mela organized at Meerut in UP

Digi Dhan Mela

Digi Dhan Mela was organized at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh to create awareness among masses for the benefits of Digital Payment. Telcos placed their stalls to help public to download and run various E- Wallet Apps which are helpful in making online payments easy and safe.

The most attractive part of the Digi Dhan was Mela was the Lucky Grahak Puruskar Yojna and Digi Vyapar Yojna draws in which 15000 lucky customers were chosen for one thousand Rupee reward.

News 9 - EPFO launched 'Enrolment and Establishment coverage campaign 2017’


To enrol EPFO workers who were not registered earlier, EPFO launched 3-month campaign called as 'Enrolment and Establishment coverage campaign 2017'. Employers will get amnesty and pay just Rs. 1 as damages for not registering their employees earlier.

The campaign presented the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojana. Under the scheme, a three-month window will be provided from January 1 to March 31, 2017. The scheme will increase the enrolment and reduce litigation.

News 10 - Paytm gets final nod for payments bank


The RBI gave its final nod to PayTm to open its payments bank to bring financial inclusion to the un-served or unreached Indians. Paytm and 11 other companies applied for a payments bank licence in 2015.

Recently, Airtel launched with its payments bank in a few States. As per the RBI guidelines, it will allow payments banks to accept deposits of up to Rs. 1 lakh and transfer amounts more than Rs. 1 lakh into an account opened for the customer with the scheduled bank.

News 11 - Munich Re to set up its reinsurance branch office in Mumbai

Munich Re

Because of the 2015 amendment of the Insurance Bill for foreign reinsurers to open branch in India, Munich Re is all set to open its first branch in Mumbai. Munich Re branch will combine its solution-based global expertise with local underwriting experts of the market. Munich Re deals in life and property casualty reinsurance business.

Munich Re is in tie up with HDFC Ergo for general insurance segment and with Apollo Munich Health for health insurance.

News 12 - SIDBI ties up with LIC for capital support to enterprises


The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has tied up with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) for extending capital support to enterprises in the country to give a boost to the venture capital ecosystem for MSMEs.

SIDBI and LIC had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2016 where LIC had earmarked an amount of Rs 200 crore for investment. LIC and SIDBI signed Contribution Agreements with 7 Venture Capital Funds (VCFs), with an aggregate commitment of Rs 99.50 crore from LIC.

News 13 - Karnataka Bank launched a group Personal Accident Insurance Scheme named KBL Suraksha

Karnataka Bank

Karnataka Bank has launched Group Personal Accident Insurance Scheme under the scheme name “KBL Suraksha” which provides insurance cover for accidental death.

All the Bank’s SB account customers between the age group of 18 to 70 years can subscribe to this scheme by paying a nominal annual premium of Rs.100 for Rs.10 lakh & Rs. 50 for Rs. 5 lakh coverage and the policy can be renewed up to the age limit of 75 years. Provision is also available for auto renewal of the policy with appropriate mandate facility.

News 14 - Droom, Axis bank tie-up to provide quick loans on new and used cars


Indian online automobile transactional marketplace Droom has collaborated with the India's third largest private sector bank, Axis Bank, to provide quick sanction of loans on both new as well as used cars.

Loans will be provided for up to 85 percent of the value of the car with a tenure of 1-5 years. Customers can avail loans for used cars on vehicles up to the age of ten years at the end of the loan tenure.

News 15 - CSO estimates Per capita income of Indians to cross Rs. 1 lakh in FY17


As per the ‘First Advance Estimates of National Income, 2016-17’ released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s per capita income is estimated to be Rs. 103,007” at current prices in 2016-17, up from Rs. 93,293 in the previous fiscal.

This is higher by 10.4% during 2015-16. At constant prices, the growth rate in per capita income is estimated at 5.6% during 2016-17, as against 6.2% in the previous year.

News 16 - India's Forex reserves up by USD 625.5 million to USD 360.296 billion

India's Forex

India's foreign exchange reserves have recorded a rise of USD 625.5 million to reach USD 360.296 billion in the week ended 30th December 2016.

Foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves, increased by USD 612.4 million to USD 336.582 billion. Gold reserves remained steady at USD 19.982 billion. India's special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund also rose by USD 4.9 million to USD 1.432 billion, while the country's reserve position too increased by USD 8.2 million to USD 2.299 billion.

News 17 - RBI to provide rupees 1 billion in Rs. 100 notes to Nepal Rashtra Bank

Nepal Rashtra Bank

The Reserve Bank of India, RBI, has agreed to provide rupees one billion in Rs. 100 denomination notes to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to ease the acute shortage of 100 rupee notes faced by the Himalayan nation.

The NRB's plan to import INR 100 denomination notes was delayed due to the Indian Government's move to demonetize INR 500 and INR 1,000 notes on November 8. NRB is preparing to bring the amount within January.

News 18 - General Anti-Avoidance Tax Rule to kick in from April 2017

General Anti-Avoidance Tax Rule

As per the Central Board for Direct Taxes, the General Anti-Avoidance Rule, GAAR, will kick in from April 1, 2017. GAAR was part of the 2012-13 Budget speech of the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to check tax evasion and avoidance.

Its implementation was repeatedly postponed because of the apprehensions expressed by foreign investors as GAAR contains provision allowing the government to retrospectively tax overseas deals involving local assets.

News 19 - FPIs net outflow at $ 3bn in 2016; worst in 8 years


Foreign funds pulled out more than 3 billion dollars, from the Indian capital markets in 2016, making it the worst period in last eight years in terms of foreign investments.

Foreign Portfolio Investors have purchased stocks worth about 20,566 crore rupees, in 2016, but sold bonds to the tune of more than 43,646 crore rupees, resulting in net outflows of 23,080 crore rupees, as per the depositories data. Foreign Portfolio Investors had pulled out a massive 41,215 crore rupees in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis.

News 20 - HDFC Bank helped TN temples go digital


Five temples in Kanyakumari district in southern Tamil Nadu have introduced digital wallets and PoS to enable their devotees pay donations. These temples have been assisted by HDFC Bank.

These temples include Arulmighu Thanumalaya Swamy Temple, Suchindrum; Arulmighu Bhagavathi Amman Temple, Kanyakumari; Arulmighu Nagaraja Temple,Nagercoil; Arulmighu Bhagavathi Amman Temple, Mondaikadu; and Arulmighu Kumaraswamy Temple, Velimalai. These temples come under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.

News 21 - Automobile exports from India decline by 5%


Domestic auto sales across categories raised 9.2 percent to nearly 2.2 crore units in 2016. But country's automobile exports across categories fell 5 percent in 2016.

As per the latest data by Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures, overall exports during the year 2016 stood at 34.34 lakh units.

Major markets in Latin America and Africa continued to reel under high inflation and currency devaluation thereby impacting demand for vehicles exported from India.

News 22 - Future Group’s & SBI Card launch premium co-branded card

Future Group

Future Group's fashion and lifestyle departmental store Central and SBI Card launched a co-branded credit card, to offer benefits to consumers in the premium lifestyle and fashion space.

The Central SBI SELECT and SELECT+ Cards offer an accelerated reward points structure, where cardholders earn 20 reward points for every Rs 100 spent in Central stores. The Card is the second by SBI Card and Future Group, after FBB SBI StyleUp Card introduced earlier in partnership with Big Bazaar.

News 23 - Thirty more countries apply for joining the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank

There are thirty more countries who have applied for joining the China-sponsored Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in which India is the second largest shareholder.

China is the largest shareholder with 26.6 percent voting shares. India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 percent followed by Russia 5.93 percent and Germany with 4.5 percent.

The US and Japan, however, stayed away from joining the bank.

News 24 - A growth of 13.6% in foreign tourist arrivals in December 2016

foreign tourist

Foreign tourist arrivals in India surged by 13.6 percent to 10.37 lakh in December on yearon-year basis earning foreign exchange of over 16,800 crore rupees.

As per an official statement, the Foreign Tourist Arrivals was 9.13 lakh during the month of December 2015. United States accounted for the highest share of tourist’s arrivals, followed by Bangladesh and the United Kingdom the last month. Foreign Exchange Earnings during 2016 were 1,55,650 crore rupees with a growth of 15.1 percent as compared to 1,35,193 crore rupees in 2015.

News 25 - Yes Bank in Association With T-Hub & Anthill Launched “YES FINTECH”


The YES BANK has launched YES FINTECH – a unique business accelerator program in collaboration with T-Hub - India’s fastest growing start-up engine. Anthill, LetsTalkPayments, a global platform for financial technology (Fintech) insights is the Knowledge partner.

YES FINTECH will select start-ups from around the world to −

  • Support and nurture disruptive solutions in Financial services delivery.

  • Create scalable business and deploy innovative technologies within a collaborative framework.

News 26 - Yes Bank launched the country’s first customizable Savings Account

Yes Bank

The YES BANK has launched a unique Customizable Savings Account that gives the customers, the power to choose various features of a Savings Account. Thus, YES BANK has become the first Indian Bank to introduce the customizable version of the traditional Savings Account.

It is a unique feature that gives customers, “Power to choose” usage based features including Debit card variants, ATM access and online banking packages. The Customizable Savings Account will continue to offer the high interest rate of 6% p.a.

News 27 - CCEA gave approval for listing of five General Insurance Companies in stock exchanges


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given in-principle approval for listing of five government-owned General Insurance Companies in stock exchanges.

The listing would open way for the companies to raise resources from the capital market to meet their fund requirements. The government is planning to divest the shareholding of these companies from 100% to 75%. The companies are New India Assurance, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and General Insurance.

News 28 - PNB signed MOU with India Post Payments Bank

PNB signed MOU

The Punjab National Bank and India Post Payments Bank have entered an MOU, whereby PNB will make available technology platform for pilot launch of IPPB as and when it is given regulatory nod from the Reserve Bank of India.

The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) has been recently incorporated as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts with 100% GOI equity. IPPB will offer demand deposits such as savings and current accounts up to a balance of Rs. 1 Lac, digitally enabled payments and remittance services.

News 29 - IRDAI’s nod to Lloyd to open its first branch in India


Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority gave its permission to London’s grand insurance and reinsurance market Lloyd to inaugurate its 1st branch in India. Its first branch is going to be set up in Mumbai. Lloyd's will bring competition with its strong and variety in reinsurance market.

It has ability to bring new insurance offers as per the Indian market with a focus on agriculture, infrastructure and disaster management. Company would open its first branch office in India before April 2017.

News 30 - Kerala Gramin Bank launched a novel program FI@School

Kerala Gramin Bank

Kerala have advanced a lot in financial inclusion, but there is one section which is still largely outside the purview of FI, considering which, Kerala Gramin Bank has come up with a project ‘FI@School’ to bring financial literacy among school children.

The Bank has directed all its branches to identify one such school in its specific area and conduct programs related to financial literacy such as kids debit card introduction, power kids smart account, etc. The bank has appointed magician Gopinath Muthukad as the brand ambassador for the project.

News 31 - Kwality Ltd inked MoU with Bank of Baroda to finance farmers

Kwality Ltd

Dairy firm Kwality inked agreement with Bank of Baroda for providing Rs. 4,000 crore loans to the Kwality's one lakh farmers from whom the company procures milk. Since Kwality has a big network of farmers as its customers, it would cover the remaining farmers in subsequent phases over a period of time.

Loan disbursements made by the bank will be primarily used for purchase of milching animals, smartphone and two wheelers, in the wake of digitization and improve socio economic status of farmers.

News 32 - Cabinet approves Short term market borrowing by NABARD


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its postfacto approval to NABARD to make short term borrowings at prevailing market rate of interest for approximately Rs. 20,000 crores for on-lending to Cooperative Banks at 4.5% rate of interest.

Interest Subvention of about 1.8% and NABARD's administrative cost of 0.2% to be provided as per the scheme of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation. The approval will ensure increased availability of short term crop loans to farmers through Cooperative banks at reduced rate of interest.

News 33 - Rescheduled Education Loan not under NPA category


RBI announced that if borrower of education loan is unemployed, rescheduling of payment period will not be treated as restructured accounts for computing NPAs. In other words, banks may allow up to three skip of moratorium (not exceeding 6 months each) during life cycle of education loan, on account of unemployment. This decision was made to boost education loans in the country.

The facility of extended repayment period and increased number of moratorium for repayment may be extended to existing borrowers who make payments regularly.

News 34 - BCSBI to organize ‘Know Your Rights’ program


To teach the BCSBI codes awareness among public and increase the ‘Financial Literacy’ in the country, Banking Codes and Standards Board of India planned to conduct “know your rights” program in all the states. BCSBI will plan a three-fold approach on the basis of various locations such as Tier II cities, metros and other backward areas.

An educational program through an interactive session will be conducted and demonstration of digital banking, net banking etc. will be presented.

News 35 - RBI prohibited direct investment in an overseas entity

RBI prohibited

Reserve Bank prohibited Indian entities from making direct investments in any overseas entity located in non-co-operative countries and territories. As per instructions under FEMA with the objectives of the FATF, there are certain non-co-operative countries and territories identified.

FATF takes care of the implementation of legal, regulatory and operational ways for controlling money laundering and terrorist financing. In other words, direct investment in an overseas entity acquired abroad directly as joint venture or indirectly has been prohibited.

News 36 - Moneygram acquired by Alipay


China's biggest online payment platforms ‘Alipay’ entered an MOU and bought MoneyGram for USD 880 million, to increase its business in the US after India and Thailand have done so.

This step was also taken to provide financial services to Alipay’s users around the world. Alipay is China’s largest money market fund, Yu’ebao.

The decision to acquire MoneyGram is under consideration due to approval of MoneyGram’s stockholders and regulatory approvals.