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Last Updated: January 29, 2020 13 hours ago

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  • Today Current Affairs: Central Banks approve reduced fees for UPI RuPay Payment

    13 hours ago
    Central Banks in India approve that they will not charge a part of the fees on Unified Payments Interface UPI and RuPay card transactions as long as the merchant discount rate MDR remains zero following the government announcement. The move was discussed and approved in the NPCI steering committee meeting. NPCI to remove multiple charges like interchange fees, payments service provider (PSP) fee, and switching fees.A bank, which used to get MDR from merchants for facilitating the payments, would pay interchange fees to the issuer bank and then pay a switching fee to the network NPCI along with a price to PSPs like PhonePe or Google-Pay. Most banks have stopped ATM expansion and might also allocate less money towards POS (point-of-sale) expansion. The MDR becoming zero, it was inevitable that the interchange fee also becomes zero, industry experts. Unified Payments Interface It is an instant real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India facilitating inter-bank transactions.  Formed: 11 April 2016

    SEBI to use AI to curb market manipulations

    5 days ago
    The market regulator, Securities, and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) have announced that it is to monitor and analyze social media posts to keep a tab on possible market manipulations. The announcement was made by SEBI Chairman Ajay Tyagi on 23 January 2020. AI & ML: ♦ SEBI will acquire capabilities that involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics and natural language processing tools to spot market manipulation.  ♦ It will create a data lake project to augment analytical capabilities. ♦ It has also floated a tender to acquire the technology. ♦ It is also expected that AI and ML to bring a potential paradigm shift in the securities market landscape. ♦ AI & ML tools are being increasingly deployed in fund management, trading, supervision and surveillance functions in the capital markets.

    RBI increased VEE limit for FPI to Rs.1,50,000 crore

    5 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reopened the allotment of the investment limit under the revised Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) for debt investments by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from 24 January. RBI has increased the investment limit under VRR to Rs.1,50,000 crore from the Rs.75,000 crore, with a minimum retention period of three years. The move aims to attract more foreign funds into the country. History: In March 2019, the RBI introduced a separate channel named 'Voluntary Retention Route'. The channel was aimed to enable FPIs to invest in debt markets in India. Under the move, investments through VRR are free of the macro-prudential, if the FPIs voluntarily commit to retain a required minimum percentage of their investments in India for a specified period. The RBI has already invested Rs.54,300 crore under the previous scheme.  Reserve Bank of India (RBI): Established on: 1 April 1935 Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra Governor: Shaktikanta Das Policy Repo Rate: 5.15% Reverse Repo Rate: 4.90% Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 5.40% Bank Rate: 5.40% Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR): 4% Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR): 18.25%

    Challa Sreenivasulu Setty as the MD of SBI

    6 days ago
    The government appointed Challa Sreenivasulu Setty as the Managing Director (MD) of the State Bank of India (SBI) on 20 January 2020. He is appointed for a period of three years. The proposal of the Department of the Financial Services for the appointment of Setty was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). His appointment will be with effect from the date of his taking over the charge of the post or until further orders. Challa Sreenivasulu Setty: Challa Sreenivasulu Setty is currently serving as the deputy managing director (DMD) of the SBI. He was responsible for resolving the stressed assets portfolio across India in different sectors such as Power, Oil, Infra, Auto, and Telecom. In 1988, he joined as Probationary Officer in SBI's Ahmedabad Circle. He was specialized in the area of Credit and Stressed Asset Management. He has around 3 decades of experience in various functional areas of Banking. He held various positions at SBI such as VP & Head (syndications) in SBI, New York Branch, DGM in Commercial Branch, Indore, GM & RH, Corporate Account Group (CAG), Mumbai Branch, CGM, CAG and last assignment as DMD (SARG).

    ICICI Bank launch of a Cardless Cash Withdrawal Facility

    8 days ago
    ICICI Bank announced the launch of a 'Cardless Cash Withdrawal' facility from its ATMs on 21 January 2020.  Cardless Cash Withdrawal: ♦ ICICI Bank's Cardless Cash Withdrawal service will allow customers to withdraw cash from over 15,000 ATMs of the bank by raising a request on its mobile banking app, iMobile.  ♦ ICICI customers can now withdraw cash without using a debit card at ATMs.  ♦ Cardless Cash Withdrawal service can be used for self-withdrawal. ♦ It has a daily transaction limit of Rs.20,000.  ♦ The service from iMobile enables customers to withdraw cash securely and conveniently for everyday usage and purchases.  ICICI Bank Limited: Founded on: 5 January 1994 Headquarters: Mumbai, India Chairman: Girish Chandra Chaturvedi MD & CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi In terms of market capitalization (m-cap) is the second-largest bank in India. 

    ITI to launch its FPO to raise around Rs.1,600 crore

    8 days ago
    State-owned Indian Telephone Industries (ITI), the telecom equipment maker, has announced that it is to launch its follow-on public offering (FPO) on 24 January 2020. It will raise around Rs.1,600 crore follow-on public offer (FPO).  FPO Issue: ♦ The FPO announced by ITI comprises of fresh issue of up to 180 million equity shares. An additional issue constituting up to 1.8 million shares will be reserved for employees. ♦ ITI's FPO issue will close on 28 January 2020.  ♦ The FPO issue aims to utilize the net proceeds for funding its working capital requirements for FY2020 and Rs.607.30 crore to repay loans, in full or partially, taken by the company. ♦ The net issue will have more than 75% allocation to qualified institutional buyers, around 15% to non-institutional bidders and around 10% to retail individual bidders. Note: FPO: An FPO is a process by which a company already listed in exchange issues or new shares to investors/existing shareholders. Companies use FPO to diversify their equity base.

    Mastercard to invest $1 bn in India over 5 years towards tech development

    11 days ago
    Global payments company Mastercard planned to invest nearly $1 billion in India over the next five years. The proposed investment will be made over five years in our India operations includes an R&D facility at Pune and another center at Vadodara. The facilities catered to the company's global operations, of which Vadodara provided the backend multiple payment support. Khanna noted that Mastercard, as a technology-driven global entity, was keen to evolve by offering more customer-centric and value-added services using the digital platform. The company is also working closely with technology and financial startups in the country by focusing on the innovation and digital payments matrices under its flagship Start Path program,  Mastercard  Mastercard launched its Team Cashless India program to engage with merchants and consumers across the country to create awareness about the benefits of digital payments. The company targetting at equipping 10 million merchants in India with digital payment acceptance capabilities in the near future. Apart from roping in top cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni to augment its reach. The awareness among the general public and also merchants with regards to the digital payments space, including their consumer and merchant rights. Nearly 92 percent of the merchants in India fell under the micro category, which offers a vast potential for the growth of the digital payments universe. The category grew 6-7 percent in 2018-19 over the previous financial year 2017-18. Mastercard's global payments processing network comprises consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.

    RBI directs issuers to provide a facility to switch on, off cards

    12 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks and other card-issuing companies to provide a facility to customers to switch on and off their debit or credit cards.  The move by RBI aims to enhance the security of digital transactions. It assumes significance amid rising instances of cyber fraud. New instructions: ♦ RBI observed the volume and value of transactions made through cards have increased manifold. ♦ It stated that all cards at the time of issue or re-issue, physical and virtual, should be enabled for use only at contact-based points of usage, ATMs, and Point-of-Sale (PoS) devices, within India. ♦ It also suggested the card issuers to enable set or modify transaction limits, within the overall card limit, if any, set by the issuer, for all types of transactions including domestic and international at PoS/ATMs/online transactions/contactless transactions. It should be provided on a 24x7 basis through multiple channels. ♦ The channels must include mobile applications, ATMs, internet banking, and interactive voice response. ♦ RBI instructed the issuers to decide, based on their risk perception, whether to disable the card not present, domestic and international, transactions, card-present in international transactions, and contactless transaction rights. ♦ The existing cards that were never used for online, international or contactless transactions will be mandatorily disabled for this purpose. ♦ The new instructions by RBI are not mandatory for prepaid gift cards, and those used at mass transit systems.

    SBI cuts FD rates by 15 bps

    13 days ago
    State Bank of India (SBI) has reduced the fixed deposit rates. It reduced the FD rates by 15 basis points (bps) on long-term deposits maturing in 1 year to 10 years. The deposit rate reduction will help the bank to retain its net interest margins since SBI had reduced lending rates in December. Fixed Deposit rate cut: ♦ For deposits below Rs.2 crore, SBI will now offer 6.10% as compared to 6.25% for all maturities of 1 year to 10 years.  ♦ Senior citizens will continue to get 50 bps higher than the card rate. ♦ Whereas, the deposits maturing in 7 days to 1 year, the bank has kept the rates unchanged.  ♦ The new rates came into effect from 10 January 2020. ♦ SBI's move is to cut the fixed deposit rates at a time when consumer price index-based inflation shot up to 5 years high of 7.35%. The FD rates of SBI are: ♦ For 7 days to 45 days 4.50% ♦ For 46 days to 179 days 5.50% ♦ For 180 days to 210 days 5.80% ♦ For 211 days to less than 1 year 5.80% ♦ For 1 year to less than 2 years 6.10% ♦ For 2 years to less than 3 years 6.10% ♦ For 3 years to less than 5 years 6.10% ♦ For 5 years and up to 10 years 6.10%

    RBI to impose fines on banks with poor progress

    15 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is to impose heavy penalties on banks, and stipulate higher provisioning for stressed loans. RBI announced it earlier on 7 June 2019. For the first time, RBI has said that the chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior management of banks can also be held liable for lack of progress. The fresh set of guidelines will be in the public domain by the end of March. New guidelines: ♦ The new guidelines are expected to usher in a stricter compliance regime. ♦ The RBI indicated that banks can start the resolution of stressed loans less than Rs.1,500 crore without waiting for a formal notification.  ♦ It also mentioned that the 7 June 2019 circular was only applicable for stressed accounts in excess Rs.2,000 crore.  ♦ RBI review of 7 June circular notes Inter-creditor Agreement (ICA) (of 13 banks) yet to be signed for exposures amounting to Rs.3,610 crore ♦ Embedded frauds will be monitored as it might hold up stressed loan resolution ♦ It highlighted the number of frauds of Rs.50 crore and above in H1 FY20 rose to 398 involving Rs.1.056 trillion up from 322 cases and Rs.61,759 crore in FY19 Note: Outlier frauds are defined as those in excess of Rs.1,000 crore. Such fraud cases have increased up to 21 cases and Rs.44,951 crore up from 4 cases and Rs.6,505 crore in FY19

    RBI launched the Aadhaar-based Video Customer Identification Process

    19 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched the Aadhaar-based Video Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) on 9 January 2020. The aim of the move is to allow banks and other lenders to remotely complete Know Your Customer (KYC) of customers on videos.  V-CIP: ♦ RBI has allowed consent-based video-based KYC as an option to establish a customer's identity.  ♦ It is expected that it will make the process easier for banks and other regulated entities to adhere to the RBI's KYC norms. ♦ It moves with a view to leveraging the digital channels for the Customer Identification Process (CIP) by Regulated Entities (REs). ♦ RES has been encouraged to take the assistance of the latest available technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and face matching technologies, to ensure the integrity of the process and the information furnished by the customer. ♦ This consent-based method will be an alternate method of establishing the customer's identity, for customer onboarding. ♦ This approval by RBI was a long-standing industry demand for several years as many banks, especially digital NBFCs and fin-tech startups, as it will reduce the costs of physically reaching out to customers in remote locations where they did not otherwise have branches.

    HDFC Bank unveiled myApps application to boost digital payments

    19 days ago
    In a first, HDFC Bank launched myApps application on 9 January 2020. The app aims to boost digital payments in India.  myApps: ♦ myApps is a customized suite of banking products. ♦ The app will benefit urban local bodies, housing societies, local clubs and gymkhanas, and religious institutions.  ♦ It will allow institutions to customize their branding and content.  ♦ Using the app one can publish their application on the Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore in the name of the institution.  ♦ myApps is free to all members of each institution without any monthly subscription charges.  ♦ Members can pay monthly bills or fees and make an online booking for different facilities via myApps. ♦ The organization will get easy access to reports on payments, facilities booked by members, requests and complaints registered by users.  ♦ The app can be customized in over 20 languages starting with Hindi and English. ♦ The move by HDFC bank aims to help organizations to entirely digitize their ecosystem through myApps.  ♦ Currently, HDFC Bank is offering four types of applications namely, mySociety, myClub, myPrayer, and myCity.

    RBI allows select banks in India to offer forex rates 24X7 to Indian Clients

    22 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has permitted the select banks in India can offer forex rates to Indian clients round the clock, which is 24X7. Now the select banks can work beyond the inter-bank market hours, which now run from 9 am to 5 pm.  Benefits: ♦ The move will allow the Indians to hedge their foreign exchange risks at any time of the day.  ♦ It will make the offshore currency markets in Dubai and Singapore less attractive for Indian investors.  ♦ RBI has also decided to accept the recommendation of the task force on the offshore rupee market. Hence it permits the authorized dealers Category-I banks to offer foreign exchange prices to users at all times either by a domestic sales team or through their overseas branches. ♦ This allows transactions with person resident outside India, through their foreign branches and subsidiaries can be undertaken beyond onshore market hours. ♦ It benefits the bank's clients to manage overnight currency risk as they can now hedge beyond local market hours.

    NPCI launched the Vajra Platform for a fast and secure platform

    22 days ago
    The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched the Vajra Platform to make payments fast and secure. The platform is based on blockchain technology. Aim: The main objective of the Vajra Platform is to provide automated clearing and settlement of payments and drastically reduce the need for manual reconciliation.  Features: ♦ Vajra Platform uses distributed ledger technology (DLT) ♦ The platform uses a permissions model in order to ensure that only approved parties are a part of the network ♦ Payment companies can apply and register to be a part of the network ♦ After getting the approval, the companies can deploy the platform using an application programming interface (API) that will be provided by NPCI. Benefits: The benefits of the Vajra Platform: ♦ Near real-time clearing and settlement of transactions ♦ Minimal reconciliation of transactions ♦ Improved security and reduced operational and financial risks ♦ Legitimate audit trail as DLT is incorruptible ♦ Vajra Platform will  be used for Aadhaar authentication by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)

    RBI revised its framework for UCBs

    22 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revised its Supervisory Action Framework (SAF) for urban co-operative banks (UCBs). The move is to expedite the resolution of UCBs experiencing financial stress. The revised framework released by the RBI on 6 January 2020. It stipulates the thresholds for various parameters that could trigger corrective action by the UCBs or a supervisory action by RBI.  Reason: The move comes after the scam in Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank that caused distress to over 9 lakh depositors. Revised SAF: ♦ As per the revised SAF, a UCB may be placed under SAF when its Net nonperforming assets (NPA) exceed 6% of its net advances, its Capital to Risk (Weighted) Assets Ratio (CRAR) falls below 9%.  ♦ When a UCB incurs losses for two consecutive financial years or has accumulated losses on its balance sheet, it will be placed under SAF.  ♦ The type of action would depend on the severity of stress.  ♦ RBI will undertake different actions like the imposition of all-inclusive directions under section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, as applicable to co-operative societies. ♦ Cancellation of banking license may be considered by RBI will be continued normal functioning of the UCB is no longer considered to be in the interest of its depositors. ♦ Supervisory action already taken by RBI under the earlier SAF will be reviewed and revised instructions, if any, will be issued to the UCBs concerned.

    Piyush Goyal inaugurated NSE Knowledge Hub in New Delhi

    22 days ago
    Commerce and Industry & Railways Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Knowledge Hub in New Delhi on 6 January 2020. The hub will provide an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered learning ecosystem which will assist the Banking, Financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sector.   NSE Knowledge Hub: ♦ The new AI hub created by NSE is expected to fill in the gaps of the fintech hub and help the financial sector to move into the future. ♦ It will enhance skills and help academic institutions to prepare future-ready talent for the financial service industry.  ♦ It is also available on mobile and attempts to bring together world-class content and learners through this platform. ♦ It will help India in building next-generation skills and capabilities in the BFSI sector.  ♦ It is expected that the use of AI will ensure that the skill upgradation is affordable and accessible and helps in the creation of a workforce that is adequate for the requirements of the sector.  ♦ It will strengthen and empower those who work in the BFSI sector and will benefit investors and the financial services to give world-class services through knowledge, innovation and value- addition. Note: AI and Machine Learning will contribute around $1 trillion by 2035. NSE can tap the potential of AI and use it as a tool to create a workforce in the BFSI sector in India.

    India extends LOC to Cuba for financing solar parks

    23 days ago
    India has extended a line of credit (LOC) of $75 million to Cuba for financing solar parks. The announced was made by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The move comes following the agreement signed between Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) and Banco Exterior De Cuba on 16 July 2019 that came into effect from 12 December 2019.  Banco Exterior De Cuba is a nominated agency of the Cuban government. The agreement was signed for the purpose of financing the installation of 75 MW Photovoltaic Solar Parks in the Republic of Cuba.  Agreement: ♦ Under the LOC, the terminal utilization period is 5 years after the scheduled completion date of the project.  ♦ According to the agreement, financing of export of eligible goods and services from India would be allowed subject to their being eligible for export under the Foreign Trade Policy. ♦ Out of the total credit by Exim Bank under the agreement, goods, works, and services of the value of at least 75% of the contract price can be supplied by the seller from India. The remaining 25% of goods and services may be procured by the seller from outside India.

    Income tax department issues new 2020 calendar for taxpayers with all deadlines

    25 days ago
    The income tax department issued a new calendar for the year 2020, a list of all the important tax-related deadlines. The File-it-yourself calendar to help taxpayers file their income tax returns. The e-calendar informs taxpayers of the various services offered by the taxman. The due dates for TCS and TDS deposits for the quarter ending December 31, 2019. The march 15 is the due date for payment of the fourth and last installment of advance tax for the year 2020-21. IT assessment March 31 is the last date for filing belated or revised return of income for the assessment year 2019-20, where assessment is not completed. May 15 is the last date to submit the TCS statement for Q4 of FY 2019-20. May 31 is the deadline for the quarterly report of TDS deposited for the previous quarter. June 15 is the deadline to pay the first installment of advance tax for the assessment year 2021-22. July 31 is the last date for filing of income tax returns (ITR) for most individuals. September 15 is the final reminder for paying off the second installment of advance tax.

    SBI asks customers to update mobile numbers for ATM cash withdrawals

    25 days ago
    State Bank of India (SBI) introduced OTP-based ATM withdrawals with effect from 1st January 2020. SBI OTP-based ATM cash withdrawals are applicable for above ₹10,000 cash withdrawals. This service is functional at all SBI ATMs between 8 pm to 8 am. They need to carry their mobile to the ATMs. The ATM cash withdrawals now made even safer, with the OTP-based authentication process from SBI, in effect from 1st January 2020. Register your mobile number at the nearest SBI branch or ATM to benefit from this service. The SBI ATMs, along with debit card PIN to put OTP generated on their mobile numbers registered with the bank. SBI OTP-based ATM cash withdrawal facility is applicable for withdrawing cash above ₹10,000. This factor of authentication for ATM cash withdrawals. This facility will not be suitable for cash withdrawals at non-SBI ATMs. SBI has a deposit base of over ₹30 lakh crore. The bank has the largest network of nearly 22,000 branches in India, with an ATM network of over 58,500. The number of customers using internet banking facility is 66 million.

    UPI hits 1.3 billion transactions in December Month

    25 days ago
    Unified Payments Interface (UPI) raised 1.3 billion transactions in December at National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI). These transactions were 7% higher than in October and 111% higher on a year-on-year basis, the data showed.The transactions were worth ₹2.02 trillion in December compared to ₹1.89 trillion a month ago. Currently, 143 banks are live on UPI UPI UPI allows users to transfer money any time across multiple bank accounts without revealing details of one’s bank account to the other party. The simple, hassle-free three-year-old payment system is popular among the masses. The businesses with more than ₹50 crore sales will have to compulsorily offer electronic payment modes such as debit cards powered by RuPay and low-cost digital payment options such as UPI from 1 January 2020. The Department of Revenue (DoR) will notify RuPay and UPI as the mode of payment for undertaking digital transactions without any MDR.

    RBI launches mobile app for visually challenged to identify denomination of currency notes

    28 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das launched a mobile app to help visually-impaired people to identify the denomination of currency notes. The visually challenged people can identify the denomination of a currency note by using the mobile app. The application works offline once installed. The users can freely download the app, called 'MANI' (Mobile Aided Note Identifier), from Android Playstore or iOS App Store. The application can scan the currency notes using the camera of the mobile phone. It also gives audio output in Hindi and English. The central bank introduced several currency notes under Mahatma Gandhi Series with significant changes in the sizes and designs after the demonetization in November 2016. Under the new series, banknotes of ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹200, ₹500 and ₹2,000 released in the past couple of years. The app does not authenticate a note as either genuine or counterfeit.

    RBI buys Rs 10,000 cr worth long-term govt securities in 2nd special OMO

    29 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India bought 10,000 crore rupees of long-term government securities and sold 8,501 crore rupees of three short-term bonds. RBI announced to purchase and sell government securities simultaneously under Open Market Operations (OMO) for 10,000 crore rupees each. The RBI offered to sell four securities in the auction. Open Market Operations (OMO) An open market operation (OMO) activity by the central bank to give liquidity in its currency to a bank or a group of banks.

    SBI to Introduce OTP-based ATM Transactions For Withdrawal of Amounts Above Rs 10,000

    30 days ago
    SBI customers will able to make ATM withdrawal above Rs 10,000 only after an OTP verification. The OTP-validated ATM transaction introduced to minimize the number of unauthorized transactions. The introduction of its OTP-based cash withdrawal facility, State Bank ATM added another layer of security for cash withdrawals. The OTP will be received on the customer's mobile number registered with the bank. The facility will not be applicable for transactions, where a State Bank cardholder withdraws cash from another bank's ATM, because this functionality not developed in National Financial Switch (NFS). The holder enters the amount they wish to withdraw; the ATM screen displays the OTP window. The customer to enter the OTP received on the registered mobile number to complete the transaction. NFS is the largest interoperable ATM network in the country, and it manages more than 95 percent of the domestic interbank ATM transactions.   

    Reserve Bank of India large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore

    32 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India directed large cooperative banks to report all exposures of Rs 5 crore and more to the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) at early recognition of financial distress. Reserve Bank of India created a CRILC of commercial banks all India financial institutions, and individual non-banking financial companies with multiple objectives, which, among others, include strengthening offsite supervision and early recognition of financial distress. RBI announced that to bring UCBs with assets of Rs 500 crore and above under the CRILC reporting framework. The Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) having total assets of Rs 500 crore and above on all borrowers having aggregate exposures of Rs 5 crore and above with them to CRILC maintained by the Reserve Bank. The total exposure will include all fund-based and non-fund based exposure (like partial credit enhancement), including investment exposure on the borrower. The UCBs will be required to submit the CRILC report on a quarterly basis with effect from December 31, 2019.

    Karnataka Bank launches tab banking service

    33 days ago
    Karnataka Bank digital initiative launched KBL Xpress SB Accounts a digitized version for opening Savings Bank account through TAB Banking on the spot. The TAB banking account opening process, the Bank can on-board the prospective customer and open the Savings Bank Account. The Bank official visit the customer's place and open the account using the TAB and issue the pre-activated Debit Card and Mobile and Internet Banking will be activated instantly. KBL Xpress SB Accounts  The Bank already rolled out digital sanctions of its retail loan to meet the expectations of the millennial clients. Karnataka Bank to introduce KBL Xpress SB Accounts TAB banking facility, a digitized version of account opening. The introduction of TAB banking for SB account opening, the customers can be boarded by the Bank within a short span of 10 minutes and instantaneously debit card issued extending Mobile Banking and Internet Banking facilities. Initially, this will be launched in Bangalore on a pilot basis and will be expanded to Pan India. The strong presence of Karnataka Bank across India, this unique feature will give us an opportunity to expand our base and to connect to our prospective customers. It is headquartered at Mangalore.

    Government to infuse Rs 8,655 crore to Allahabad Bank, IOB and UCO Bank

    33 days ago
    The government of India approved the release of Rs 8,655 crore as fresh capital to three public sector banks. The bank includes Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) and UCO Bank. The infusion did for preferential allotment of shares. The Fresh capital amounting to Rs 2,153 crore allocated to Allahabad Bank, Rs 2,142 crore to UCO Bank and Rs 4,630 crore to Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) for preferential allotment of shares. Allahabad Bank It is a nationalised bank with its headquarters in Kolkata, India. It is the oldest joint stock bank in India. Indian Overseas Bank (IOB)  Indian Overseas Bank is a major public sector bank based in Chennai MD & CEO of Indian Overseas Bank: Karnam Sekar.  

    Airtel Payments Bank enables 24x7 NEFT transfers

    33 days ago
    Airtel Payments Bank announced its customers will now be able to use the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) any time of the day in-line with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines. The facility will be available to customers on a 24x7 basis even on holidays. Customers can enable them to receive or send funds to any bank from anywhere, anytime. Airtel Payments Bank It receives a payment bank license from the Reserve Bank of India and it became the first live payments bank in the country. Headquarters: New Delhi Founded: 2019 What is the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)? It is an electronic fund transfer system maintained by the Reserve Bank of India. It is started in November 2005. It is a nation-wide payment system facilitating one-to-one funds transfer. 

    ADB 490 million dollars loan to upgrade Indian state roads

    37 days ago
    Asian Development Bank and the Government of India signed a 490 million dollar loan for public-private partnerships. Around thousand six hundred kilometers of state highways and major district roads from single-lane to two-lane widths in Madhya Pradesh. The 286 million dollars investment mobilized through private sector participation under the PPP modality. The rural roads and national highways and up-gradation of these roads under the project will improve rural and peri-urban connectivity in the state and improve access to markets and better services. The project continues ADB’s engagement with the state’s road sector since 2002 open a new partnership by introducing PPP through the hybrid-annuity model, thereby leveraging government financing and improving the sustainability of capital investments. Hybrid-Annuity Model is a mix of engineering, procurement, construction, and build-operate-transfer. This passes the responsibility of design, implementation, and operation and maintenance obligations.The government release 60 percent of the total project cost during construction.  The concessionaire arranges the remaining 40 percent in the form of equity and commercial debt. The project will upgrade 750 kilometers of state highways and 850 kilometers of major district roads to two-lane and all-weather standards with road safety features. It will also develop an e-maintenance system that can record defects or required maintenance, along with a training program to develop capacity on contract implementation and project finance in the Madhya Pradesh Road Development Corporation.

    Bank Of Baroda Partners With Gujarat Govt To Provide MSME Loans

    37 days ago
    The flow of credit in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Bank of Baroda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gujarat government.  The credit will be provided to the MSME sector for greenfield projects, startups, women entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs from backward areas under the Gujarat Single Window Clearance Act 2017 & Ordinance Number 1 of 2019 dated October 24, 2019. The customers can register their request on the link available on the Gujarat government’s single window portal from where Bank of Baroda will initiate further action after receiving the details. The MoU with the Gujarat government is a step forward for MSME entrepreneurs. The state government is committed to supporting the MSME sector in the state for economic development, and this is a significant initiative taken by the government whereby exemption provided to the entrepreneurs from certain approvals and inspections before the establishment of units. This MoU would speed up the process of credit offtake as well as industrial development. Bank of Baroda It is the third-largest public sector bank in India with a business mix of close to US$225 billion. CEO: P. S. Jayakumar  Headquarters: Alkapuri, Vadodara  

    Google searches for Operation Twist surge in India

    38 days ago
    Google searches for Operation Twist surge in India. The announcement came after the central bank announced its version of the U.S. Federal Reserve unconventional monetary policy. The searches for the term came from Delhi, Maharashtra.  Central Bank of India The central bank buys long-term bonds while simultaneously selling short-term government securities to cheapen long-term borrowing and boost bank lending. The Reserve Bank of India buys longer-tenor bonds to sell for shorter debt. The Operation Twist in 2011-2012 to cheapen long-term financing and spur bank lending. It is India's central bank that controls the issue and supply of the Indian rupee. RBI is the regulator of entire Banking in India. It plays an important part in the Development Strategy of the Government of India.

    RBI to buy and sell govt bonds worth Rs 10,000 crore

    39 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will simultaneously purchase and sell government securities worth 10,000 crore rupees under a special Open Market Operation (OMO). The exercises are done by the central bank when the proceeds from the sale of short-term securities are used to buy long-term government securities or bonds in a bid to bring down interest rates on long-term securities. The eligible participants should submit their bids/offers in electronic format on the RBI's Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system between 10.30 a.m. and 12.00 noon on 23rd of this month.  The current liquidity and market situation and an assessment of the evolving financial conditions to conduct simultaneous purchase and sale of government securities under OMO for Rs 10,000 crore each on December 23, 2019. The purchase will be for government securities worth Rs 10,000 crore for the instrument 6.45 percent GS 2029. The RBI will sell 6.65 per cent GS 2020'; '7.80 per cent GS 2020 2020' government securities. 8.27 percent GS 2020' and 8.12 percent GS.

    HDFC Bank becomes third Indian company to cross $100 billion-mark

    39 days ago
    HDFC Bank crossed the $100 billion market capitalization became the third firm in the country to achieve this milestone. HDFC Bank has a market cap of $140.74 billion, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) a market cap of $114.60 billion.HDFC Bank ranks 110th in the list of world’s most valued companies. There are 109 companies on the list with a market cap of over $100 billion. The world's most valued banks and financial companies which have a market cap of over $100 billion, HDFC Bank ranked at 26. Stock Values  The stock trading 0.4% higher at Rs 1,297.50 on the BSE while Sensex fell 0.09% to 41519.69 points. The stock gained 22%, while the S&P Bankex, the broader gauge of banking stocks, rose nearly 20%.TCS, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank each can notch Rs 20 lakh crore in market capitalisation over next few years. HDFC Bank growing 20-22 per cent consistently as it is very good money deployment machine with a strong size. The capital well above regulatory requirements, analysts expect HDFC Bank to deliver strong credit growth going forward. HDFC Bank's share comes after most analysts remain bullish on the stock considering the lender's strong focus on productivity and digitization along with cost rationalization which can result in better profitability and credit growth going forward. HDFC Bank It surpassed Rs 7 trillion in market capitalization for the first time. It became the third Indian company after TCS and Reliance Industries to reach this milestone. The private lender in November touched Rs 7,00,252.30 crore market capitalization, a metric used to evaluate the size of a company.

    Edelweiss launched first corporate bond ETF to raise Rs.15,000 cr

    41 days ago
    Edelweiss Asset Management Company has issued the first Bharat Bond ETF, the corporate bond exchange-traded fund in the country. The bond issue will close on 20 December 2019.   Bharat Bond ETF: ♦ The investors can subscribe to the exchange-traded fund (ETF) with a minimum unit size of Rs.1,000 ♦ Through the ETF, Edelweiss Mutual Fund proposed to raise an initial amount of Rs.3,000 crore.  ♦ It has a greenshoe option of Rs.2,000 crore in the 3-year maturity period (2023) and Rs.4,000 crore with a greenshoe option of Rs.6,000 crore in the 10-year maturity bucket (2030).  ♦ The ETF would invest only in AAA-rated bonds of public sector companies that have target maturity structures.

    India signed USD250 mn loan with ADB to expand energy efficiency investments

    41 days ago
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $250 million loan to Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The agreement aims to expand energy efficiency investments in India. Highlights: ♦ The agreement is expected to benefit residential, agricultural, and institutional consumers.  ♦ The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) will provide $46 million in financing. It will be administered by ADB.  ♦ In 2016, EESL was offered a $200 million by ADB for Demand-Side Energy Efficiency Sector Project. The project focused on efficient lighting and appliances. ♦ The project is expected to contribute to the government's mission to promote energy efficiency and meet the Government's commitments to reduce the energy intensity of the economy.  ♦ It also plans to introduce energy-efficient technologies in eligible states including smart meters, distributed solar photovoltaic systems and electric vehicles (EV). It aims to help reduce electricity network losses and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    RBI to waive off NEFT, RTGS transfer charges for savings account

    41 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instructed banks to make all online payments done through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real-time gross settlement (RTGS) free of cost for savings account holders. Some banks have already made it free and some bank has been asked to do so. It will come to effect from 1 January 2020. The move is to boost digital retail payments in the country.  NEFT charges: ♦ In July 2019, RBI removed all the charges it imposed on banks for processing of NEFT and RTGS transactions.  ♦ It also directed the banks to pass on the benefits to its customers. Banks including SBI and ICICI Bank had made online NEFT transfers free. SBI does not levy any transaction charges through IMPS, RTGS and NEFT for YONO, internet banking, and mobile banking customers. Also, HDFC Bank imposes no charges on NEFT transactions. ♦ Earlier, RBI ordered banks not to charge more than Rs.2.50 for funds transfer up to Rs.10,000, Rs.5 for transfers between Rs.10,001 to Rs.1 lakh and Rs.15 for transfers between Rs.1 lakh and above and Rs.25 for transfers beyond Rs.2 lakh.

    GST council fixed 28 percent uniform tax rate for lottery

    41 days ago
    The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council fixed a uniform tax rate of 28% on both state and private lottery. The 38th GST Council was chaired by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi. The new rate for the lottery will be effective from March 2020. Highlights: ♦ The GST Council rationalized the tax rate on woven and non-woven bags to 18%. Exemptions have been given on long-term lease for industrial plots. It aims to facilitate the setting up of industrial parks. ♦ The panel reduced the levy of penalty for non-filing of GSTR-1 from July 2017. ♦ The council deliberated to study revenue augmentation but refrained from any generalized rate increase or removal of exemptions. ♦ GST Council provided needed guidance for concession impact analysis, exemption and tax base analysis, sensitivity analysis and compliance measures needed to keep pace with revenue needs. It also directed for expeditious implementation of IT and other initiatives.

    RBI recorded 11.4 lakh Online transaction in first 8 hours after NEFT was made 24/7 operational

    43 days ago
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) operationalized National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) System 24X7 from 12:00 am on 16 December 2019. After making the NEFT operational on a 24X7 basis, around 11.40 lakh transactions were settled in the first eight hours after widely-used NEFT. Aim: The aim is to ensure the availability of anytime electronic funds transfer.  Benefits: ♦ RBI has now joined an elite club of countries that have payment systems that enable round-the-clock funds transfer and settlement of any value. ♦ The move is a part of its vision of empowering every Indian with access to a bouquet of e-payment options. ♦ In order to boost digital retail payments, RBI has directed the banks to levy any charges from their savings bank account holders for funds transfers done through the NEFT system which is initiated online from 1 January 2020.  ♦ Online transactions include transactions through internet banking and mobile apps of banks.

    The 5th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council of the XVFC was held

    44 days ago
    The fifth meeting of the Economic Advisory Council of the Fifteenth Finance Commission (XVFC) was held in New Delhi on 16 December 2019. The meeting included discussions related to GST stabilization and the ways to improve tax collection for additional resource mobilization. Meeting Highlights: ♦ Advisory Council has been informed to submit the 2020-21 report. ♦ The Commission is preparing the report for the 2021-26 period. ♦ Advisory Council Members were updated by the Commission regarding the additional terms of reference extending the term of XVFC till October 2020. ♦ It also plans to make recommendations on Goods and Services Tax (GST). It will be under consideration by the GST Council. ♦ Discussions that are related to the stabilization of GST, the relationship between GST Council and Finance Commission, and GST compensation being paid to states were held. ♦ It also plans to make medium-term revenue projections in its report. ♦ The members also discussed the Macro assumptions for the Commission's award period relating to real growth, inflation, etc. ♦ The meeting focused on improving tax collection for additional resource mobilization ♦ Issues related to compliance and adherence to Fiscal responsibility legislations (FRLs) that were enacted by respective governments.  ♦ The meeting highlighted the need for bringing the fiscal transparency. ♦ The Commission will be submitting two reports, one for the year 2020-21 and the second report for the five year period of 2021-22 to 2025-26. Participants: Chairman Nand Kishore Singh and Members of the XVFC, members of the Advisory Council and some special invitees including M Govinda Rao, Indira Rajaraman, Sudipto Mundle, Omkar Goswami, Arvind Virmani, Surjit Bhalla, and Prachi Mishra attended the meeting.

    SBI reduced MCLR by 10bps

    47 days ago
    State Bank of India (SBI) announced a reduced 1-year marginal cost-based lending rates (MCLR) by 10 bps. MCLR will be reduced to 7.90% from 8%. The new rates will come to effect from 10 December 2019. All the other rates remain the same. This is the eighth consecutive MCLR cut in the financial year 2019.  The bank did not reduce the interest rates on its repo linked loans or fixed deposit rates. The bank aims to ensure that the transmission turns more effective since much needs to be passed on. MCLR: MCLR is abbreviated as the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate. MCLR is the minimum interest rate of a bank below which any bank cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by the RBI. MCLR is the reference rate or an internal benchmark set by and for the bank.

    ADB reduced India's growth forecast for 2020-21 cut 5.1 percent

    48 days ago
    Asian Development Bank (ADB) reduced India's economic growth forecast for FY 2019-20 to 5.1%. It reduced upon analyzing the slowing job prospects, rural distress exacerbated by poor harvest and credit crunch. The bank has predicted the growth will pick up to 6.5% next year on supportive government policies. The bank has also reduced the estimate for the next fiscal, FY 2020-21 to 6.5% from 7.2%. In September 2019, ADB forecasted the GDP growth of 6.2% in 2019 and 6% in 2020.  RBI's report: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its fifth bi-annual monetary policy revised its FY 2019-20 outlook to 5%t from 6.1%. It said that the July-September GDP growth was significantly lower than the estimated. RBI also said that various high-frequency indicators suggested that domestic and external demand conditions have remained weak. The growth rate for the second quarter has dipped to a 6-year low of 4.5%.

    Kerala Bank was launched by CM Vijayan

    53 days ago
    The Kerala Bank, the biggest in the State, was launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on 6 December 2019. Under this, 13 district co-operative banks (DCBs) of Kerala were amalgamated with Kerala State Co-operative Bank to form the Kerala Bank. Kerala Bank: ♦ The move aimed to transform the banking sector of the state. It was initiated by the Kerala State government to form a state cooperative bank. It will provide unlimited opportunities for the state. It will facilitate transactions in other countries with a considerable population of Keralites. ♦ All the DCBs barring the Malappuram District Cooperative Bank controlled by the United Democratic Front (UDF) have approved the government's proposal for amalgamation in their respective general body meetings. The RBI has already approved the proposal regarding the amalgamation of the DCBs.

    OPEC countries to cut oil production

    53 days ago
    Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) group of oil-producing countries and their allies including Russia is to cut oil production by 500,000 barrels per day. The decision was made in a meeting in Vienna, Austria.  Cut in Oil Production: ♦ The countries agreed to reduce production to stem pressure on prices from abundant reserves and weak global economic growth. It will be effective from 1 January 2020. This will reduce the production 1.7 million barrels per day below October 2018 levels. ♦ The group, mainly Saudi Arabia, is to continue their additional voluntary contributions. It will lead to an overall production cut to 2.1 million barrels per day. OPEC and its partners would conduct a special meeting on 6 March 2020 to review oil production. ♦ Oil prices surged following the announcement, with US benchmark WTI and its European counterpart Brent crude by about 2% higher.

    RBI allows 24X7 NEFT transactions from 16 December

    53 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that the online money transfer allowed online money transfer through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) will be available 24x7 from 26 December 2019. The move by RBI aims to promote digital transactions in the Country. NEFT timings: ♦ The new NEFT transfer system will be available on all days of the year, including holidays.  ♦ RBI has set the NEFT transactions in hourly batches.  ♦ For weekdays, the timing set for the the batches are from 8.00 am to 7.00 pm.  ♦ On the first and third Saturdays, the settlement will be allowed from 8 am to 1 pm.  ♦ The first settlement will take place after 00:30 hours on 16 December 2019 (night of December 15, 2019).  ♦ The RBI has asked the participating member banks to keep adequate liquidity in their current account with the regulator at all times in order to facilitate the successful posting of NEFT batch settlements.

    RBI released Guidelines for on tap Licensing of SFBs

    53 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released Guidelines for 'on tap' Licensing of Small Finance Banks (SFBs) in the Private Sector after making few changes. The previous guidelines were released on 27 November 2014. New Changes: Major changes from the earlier Guidelines on Small Finance Banks are: ♦ The new guidelines stated that the minimum paid-up voting equity capital or net worth requirement should be Rs.200 crore ♦ As per the new guidelines, licensing window will be open on-tap ♦ For Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs), which want to transit into Small Finance Banks (SFBs), the initial requirement shall be Rs.100 crore. It should be increased to Rs.200 crore within five years from the date of commencement of business. ♦ Upon the commencement of operations, the SFBs will be given scheduled bank status immediately and will have general permission to open banking outlets. ♦ Payments Banks can be transit into SFB after five years of operations if they are otherwise eligible as per these guidelines.

    Rates remained unchanged in RBIs 5th Monetary Policy

    54 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the apex body, released the fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2019-20. The policy was prepared by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)-led by Governor Shaktikanta Das. Both the RBI and government are working in coordination to achieve growth. Monetary Policy for 2019-20: ♦ The repo rate remains the same as 5.15%. It was not changed due to inflation pressure. ♦ The regulator did not reduce the MPC rate but wait for maximum impact. ♦ RBI stated the initial discussions to launch its own digital currency. ♦ RBI is discussion to find out the directions in the case of HDFC Bank's technical glitch ♦ RBI lowered its real GDP growth forecast for 2019-20 from 6.1% in the October policy to 5%. ♦ The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled for 4-6 February 2020.

    The 15th Finance Commission submitted the report for 2020-21 FY

    55 days ago
    The 15th Finance Commission submitted the report of the Commission for the financial year 2020-21 for further action. It was submitted by Chairman Shri N.K. Singh, members S/Shri Ajay Narayan Jha, Ashok Lahiri, Ramesh Chand, Anoop Singh and Secretary Shri Arvind Mehta of the commission. The final report for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2026 will be submitted by 30 October 2020. 15th Finance Commission: The Commission was constituted by the President of India under Article 280 of the Constitution on 27 November 2017. The commission was formed to make recommendations for a period of five years from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2025.

    IBBI amends 2016 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

    60 days ago
    The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) introduced the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2019. It amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016. The amendment Regulations come into force from 29 November 2019. IBBI Amendment regulation: ♦ The code envisages the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) for the reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate debtors. An insolvency professional conducts the CIRP and manages its operations during the CIRP. ♦ The amendment introduced cast an obligation on the IBBI and the insolvency professional agency (IPA) to monitor the performance of insolvency professionals (IPs). It obligates them to collect, maintain and disseminate information and records relating to the insolvency process of corporate debtors. ♦ The amendment also casts an obligation on IPs to forward and submit certain information and records relating to CIRP to the IPA and IBBI. The Amendment Regulations requires the IPs to file a set of Forms online on an electronic platform hosted on the website of the IBBI at https://www.ibbi.gov.in. The forms should cover the life cycle of a CIRP.

    ADB signed USD 451 million loan with India for CKIC Project

    61 days ago
    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $451 million loan on 29 November. The loan aims to strengthen power connectivity between the southern and northern parts of the Chennai- Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu. It is a part of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC). Aim: The Tamil Nadu state aims to develop the northern Chennai-Tiruchirappalli area of CKIC as a manufacturing center. It also targets the relatively poor southern Madurai-Thoothukudi portion for the development of renewable energy-based power generation because of the availability of wind and solar resources. CKIC Project: ♦ The total estimated cost of the CKIC project is $653.5 million. The Central government will provide $202.5 million for the project. The project has been estimated to be the completed date of the project is the end of 2024.  ♦ The project will promote economic development to deliver a more reliable and competitive power supply for industry and services in Tamil Nadu. This will create more job opportunities and improve livelihoods. ♦ CKIC covers 23 districts of Tamil Nadu and 70% of the state population. The project will establish an extra-high voltage of 765 kilovolt (kV) transmission link that can transfer the 9,000 MW of extra capacity from Virudhunagar in the southern CKIC to Coimbatore and Chennai. The CKIC project includes the construction of a 400 kV network to provide power generated at renewable and thermal power plants in Thoothukudi district to Virudhunagar.

    RBI enhances scope of non-resident rupee accounts

    67 days ago
    Reserve Bank of India enhanced the scope of Special Non-resident Rupee'(SNRR) by allowing persons residing outside India to open such accounts for purposes like external commercial borrowing and trade credit in INR. The other purposes for allowing such a move are for export or import invoicing and business-related transactions outside the International Financial Service Centre, all in INR. The government decided to rationalize specific other provisions for SNRR Account, like removing the restriction on the tenure of the SNRR account for the purposes given above. The apart from Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Account, permit the credit of amount due or payable to a non-resident nominee from the account of a deceased account holder to Non-Resident External (NRE) Account or direct remittance outside India through normal banking channels.

    Centre to set a new framework for SIFIs under IBC

    71 days ago
    The Central government has notified rules for the resolution of systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs) under Section 227 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). The new rules excluded banks. The government also said that the IBC’s regular provisions would be applicable to all other financial service providers (FSPs), not deemed SIFIs. Aim: The new rules set by the government of India aims to open the doors for resolution of stressed non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) under the framework. New Framework: ♦ Financial service providers are generally not covered under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Under the new rules notified by the government, the code can be invoked to find a resolution for stressed finance companies such as Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DHFL). These rules will not apply to banks. ♦ The government will notify the categories of FSPs that do not fall under the systemically important category. It shall be resolved under the normal provisions of the Code as ordinarily applicable to corporate debtors.  ♦ This new framework will be decided in consultation with the appropriate regulators, mostly the Reserve Bank of India.

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