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Financial Events
·    GOVT. MOVE TO CRACK DOWN TAX EVADERS: The Finance Ministry has decided to take help from the Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU-Ind) in tracking evasion of Central Excise Duty and Service Tax, mainly in cases, where defaulters are not traceable. The database of the FTU-Ind may be helpful in locating the .financial transactions or assets of defaulters of central excise duty and service tax and realising the arrears.
·    BANKING BILL—FOREIGN MONEY INFLOW & RBI POWERS: The Banking Bill has increased the cap in voting rights, which was long desired by the foreign investors as increase in minority shareholding is expected to improve the Corporate Governance Standards. This may increase flow of foreign money in Indian Banks. Further, the RBI has been accorded greater regulatory control including the ability to overrule bank Boards and oversight, over acquisition of a substantial stake in banks. RBI was demanding these enhanced regulatory powers before inviting applications for new banking licences.
·    SUPREME COURT RULING ON COMPOSITE DEED: When a person speaks his mind on, the way, his properties must be disposed through a composite document, his intentions must be culled from the document as to which of the properties are gifts, taking effect immediately, and which are testamentary disposals, taking effect on his death. .
·    GOVT. MEASURES FOR WOMEN JOBS: The Government has suggested a series of measures including fast tracking job cards for widowed and destitute women in villages and providing worksite facilities such as crèches, as part of measures to improve women's participation in the Mahatma Gandhi National
Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
·    PLANNING COMMISSION TO CONTINUE SONSORED SCHEMES: The Planning Commission has favoured that all centrally sponsored schemes with allocation of less than Rs.300 Crore may be continued instead of discontinuation from next fiscal year, as suggested by the Finance Ministry. A Plan Panel appointed committee headed by Mr. BK Chaturvedi had suggested rationalization of schemes to bring them down to 59 as against 147 now, which is expected to enhance their flexibility, scale and efficiency.
·    PLANNING COMMISSION ON ANNUAL GROWTH TARGET: The economy in the first half of the current fiscal grew at 5.4% lower than 7.3% recorded in the corresponding period last year. For 2012-13 as a whole, growth rate is estimated at 5.7-5.9% which would be the lowest in the decade. After initially estimating the growth rate at 9% in the Approach Paper, the Commission lowered the 12t" Plan target to 8.2% in September. Now the Planning Commission will seek the nod of the National Development Council to lower the average annual growth rate for the 12th Plan period to 8% from 8.2%. In the 11th Plan, the average annual growth rate was 7.9%.
·    GOVT. ANNOUNCES MORE SOPS TO LIFT EXPORTS: The Government had set the export target of $360 billion for 2012-13 but up to November 2012, the exports has been at $189.2 billion only. Worried by dwindling exports and the rising trade account deficit, the Government announced a number of measures to boost exports. The sops include extension of 2% interest subsidy for another year till March 2014 and additional incentives on incremental exports.
·    RBI PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS AFFECT NBFC BUSINESS: The RBI constituted Panel, headed by its former Deputy Governor Usha Thorat, to tighten rules for NBFCs has proposed that these companies should have minimum Rs.25 Crore. She has also suggested that their minimum equity capital be raised to 10% of the risk-weighted assets from 7.5%. There are 12, 371 registered NBFCs as of November 2012. There are 12,104 non-deposit taking NBFCs while 265 take deposits from retail investors. More than 2/3rds of NBFCs face closure if the Usha Thorat Panel recommendations on minimum asset size is implemented by RBI, shutting a vital source of funding in many parts of the country.
·    RBI CENSURED NABARD FOR WAREHOUSING REFINANCE: NABARD was censured by RBI for (1) charging higher interest rate than prescribed (2) converting RIDF-XVII into a refinancing scheme for warehousing infrastructure lending. NABARD had charged an interest rate of 8% against the prescribed 6.5% for 2011-12. RBI told NABARD to refund the amount refinanced with interest at applicable rates to contributing banks in proportion to their contribution to the warehousing fund.
·    COURT RULING ON DISHONOURING ACANCELLED DRAFT: Delhi High Court has ruled that a payee can not haul a bank under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act for not honouring a demand draft that is cancelled by the person who got the draft made, before being presented to it.
·     CAG REPORT ON ECGC: According to the report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, ECGC should insist on a certificate from the banker that due diligence had been carried out on the creditworthiness of the buyers. Further, out of 29 banks to whom the whole turnover post- shipment (VVTPS) cover was issued, the claim premium ratio of 13 banks was more than 200% and resulted in a loss of Rs.309 Crore during 2008- 09 and 2010-11. It is needed to introduce an effective system of incentivising the banks with lesser claim ratio and dis-incentivise banks with higher claim ratio in WTPS.
·     CBDT CLERIFICATION ON WITHHOLDING TAX ON QFI: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified that withholding tax on Qualified Foreign Investor (QFI) income will be computed on settlement basis and not on transaction basis, as stock broker would credit the net proceeds of all transactions to QFIs on settlement basis for one settlement period.
·    MARKET-LINKED FOCUS PRODUCT SCHEME: The Centre has added 60 new products and 3 new countries to the market-linked focus product scheme (MLFPS) as part of its efforts to boost merchandise exports. The three new countries are Thailand, Taiwan and the Czech Republic. The MLFPS seeks to incentivise export of products that have high employment intensity in rural and semi-urban areas.
The gratuity was withheld by the employer pending completion of the Disciplinary proceedings. The gratuity, the employee received on acquittal was without interest. The bank contended that according to its scheme, no interest was payable, while the proceedings were on. The Supreme Court ordered payment of interest from the date of retirement till the payment of gratuity.
·    SEBI LAUNCHES SCORES SYSTEM: SEBI has launched a new multi-media campaign with a tagline "SEBI-Har Investor Ki Taaciat"-(SEBI -the strength of every investor). The campaign focuses on a new mechanism called SCORES (SEBI complaints Redress System) that displays a statement: "This complaint window does not have a lunch break, tea break or a closing time). SCORES, a web-based centralized System was launched by SEBI in 2011. All the complaints are saved in a central database which would generate relevant MIS reports to enable SEBI to take appropriate policy decisions or remedial actions, if any.
·     RBI EXTENDS TIME FOR BASEL-III NORMS: RBI has extended the date for implementation of BASEL-III, the global capital norms for banks, by 3 months to April 1, 013 from January 01, 2013. As per new global norms, banks will have to hold core capital of at least 7% of risk-weighted assets by 2018. According to RBI Governor, Indian banks will require an additional capital of Rs.5 Lakh Crore to meet the new global banking norms.
·     RETAIL SECTOR TO FOLLOW FTP GROUP DEFINITION: The Government has decided to apply the foreign trade policy's (FTP) definition of "Group Company" for sourcing norms in the retail sector that prevent foreign cash- and-carry companies from selling more than a fourth of their goods to affiliated entities the Foreign Trade Policy defines a "Group Company" as an entity that directly or indirectly can exercise 26% or more of voting rights in the other enterprise or appoint more than 50% of board members.
·     DIRECT CASH TRANSFER SCHEME ROLL OUT: The government has said that the scheme will be rolled out in 20 districts initially and not 43 as declared earlier. The scheme will take place only for 7 schemes, mainly scholarships or women welfare-oriented ones, not in 34 schemes, as announced earlier. The Government is not giving any timeline for using this scheme for food, fertilizer or fuel, the most critical segments for subsidy management.
·     RBI ROADMAP FOR CTS IMPLEMENTATION: The Cheques Truncation System (CTS) is all set to replace the age-old clearing system in India, where physical cheques were exchanged between banks. RBI in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India has worked out a roadmap for CTS implementation across the country. Just as power grids serve a geographical spread, a CTS Grid spans geographies, in the sense that various clearing centres across the country would be linked to a Nodal Centre for settlement.
·    GOVERNMENT EMPOWERS RBI BUT KEEPS VETO: The Central government empowered the RBI to deal with Bank's top management, through a recent Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) notification but it reserved its veto on key powers. The move would take effect once the notification is published in the official gazette.
·     EXTERNAL DEBT OF INDIA RISES: India's external debt increased by 5.8% in April-September 12 to $365.3 billion due to increase in non-resident deposits, short term debt and commercial borrowings by companies. The long term debt was $280.8 billion, at end-Sept, an increase of 5.1% over the end March 2012 level, while short term debt increased by 8.1% to $84.5 billion.
·     GOVT. ALLOWED IDRs FOR MERGER: The Government has allowed Indian companies to merge with firms overseas through the issue of Indian Depository Receipts (IDR) and RBI has been asked to issue detailed guidelines on the process. The shareholders of the merging company can be paid in cash or in IDRs or partly in cash or partly in IDRs.
·     US DEAL SAVES IT FROM 'FISCAL CLIFF' : The US Senate passed the bill that saves the US from the so-called 'Fiscal-Cliff' to avert huge new Year tax hikes and postpone automatic spending cuts that had threatened to send the US economy into recession.
·     SEBI SETS NEW NORMS FOR SHAREHOLDING: The new rule set by SEBI stipulating stipulating 25% public shareholding is expected to infuse Rs.30,000 Core worth of shares into the market. SEBI stated that the money coming to the capital market has declined by 30-50% across the world over the past few years. In India alone, a total of Rs.60, 000 Core which was expected to come through the capital market has been shelved.
·     GOVT. NEW PSU NORMS FOR INDEPENDENT DIRECTORS: The government has come out with a set of guidelines for independent directors on Boards of PSUs, defining their roles and responsibilities aimed at improving corporate governance in state-owned companies. Earlier the norms were not defined for non-official directors who are being appointed on board of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) This is the First time that the role and responsibilities have been defined.
·    14TH FINANCE COMMISSION SET UP: The 14th Finance Commission will be headed by former RBI Governor Sh.Y.V.Reddy. Besides the tax-sharing formula between the Centre and the States, the Panel has been mandated to look into the pricing of public utility services such as drinking water, irrigation and power and public transport, so as insulate them from policy fluctuations through statutory provisions. The 13th Panel was headed by Vijay Kelkar. The report of the 14th finance commission will have to be made available by October 31, 2014.
·    SEBI PROPOSED FRAMEWORK FOR SHARE BUYBACK: "Tender Offer" and "Open Market" are the two routes through which share buybacks are allowed. However almost 99% of these in India happen through the latter route. Under the proposed framework, a firm would have to buy at least 50% of the quantity proposed by it. Currently, there is no such quantity restriction. SEBI has, however asked the Investment Bankers to ensure that companies buy at least 25%. Companies would have to complete their buyback offering within 3 months. At present, most buybacks are open for a year. In another significant change proposed, 15% or more of paid up capital and free reserves must be by way of a Tender Offer method.
·    SEBI ASKS BANKS ON ASBA FACILITY: SEBI has asked banks providing ASBA (Application Supported by Blocked Amount) facility for public offers to use accounts in other registered banks while making their own applications. SEBI has clarified that for making applications by banks on own account using ASBA facility, Self Certified banks should have a separate account in own name with any other SEBI registered SSB/s.
·    NO TDS ON SOME FINANCIAL SERVICES BY BANKS: The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has granted exemption from tax deduction at source (TDS) on certain payments made by businesses towards financial services offered by banks. This has been done to mitigate the compliance burden on businesses held by individuals, firms, and corporates. Payment towards bank guarantee commission, cash management service charges, depositary charges on demat accounts, charges for warehousing services and underwriting services charges (Excluding foreign banks) can now be made without TDS.
·     CBDT SETS UP COMMITTEE FOR FOREIGN TAX CREDIT: At present, there are no set rules for foreign tax credit (FTC) that makes it difficult for assessees to decide on the credit claims and leads to either undue harassment for the tax payers or litigations. The guiding principle to decide on FTC is the Double Tax Avoidance Tax Agreements and the Income Tax provisions. CBDT has set up a committee for drafting the rules which has to give its report by February 28. The committee is studying the system of FTC in India and the best international practices.
·         NATIONAL CONSUMER COMMISSION DIRECTION ON DELAY: The National Consumer Commission directed the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation limited to pay Rs.26 lakh for delay in disbursement of a loan. The delay resulted in losses to the firm which was setting up a marine products processing unit. Even after two and a half years, the sanctioned loan was not fully provided. Therefore, there was deficiency in service as defined in the Consumer Protection Act.
·    BASEL LIQUIDITY RULE EASED: The Basel Committee has agreed to ease a new rule forcing banks to build cash buffers to protect against any month-long market squeeze. The Liquidity Coverage Ratio Rule is one of the World's main regulatory responses to the financial crisis. Instead of full compliance in January 2015, banks will have to hold only 60% of their buffer by then, rising 10% annually thereafter, to full compliance by January 2019.
·    EXIM BANK RAISES $750 MILLION: The Export Import Bank of India has raised $750 million by issuing 10 year bonds to fund it operations including extending Lines of Credit to the governments of other countries, export finance and support Indian companies' overseas investments. The resources were raised at a fixed coupon of 4% (or 10 years US Treasury plus 220 basis points). Exim bank's inaugural 10 year US dollar bond marks the "First Such Issuance" from India this year.
·         PSBs GIVING I PADS TO SENIORS TO BECOME TECH SAVVY: Most Public Sector Banks are becoming tech savvy. Many have started distributing I Pads to senior officials in the hope that they would be better positioned to relate with young customers. SBI has given I Pads to all officers who are DGM rank and above. Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank have given it to all their GMs and above.
·         FITCH RETAINS NEGATIVE OUTLOOK ON INDIA: The Rating Agency, FITCH has reiterated its "Negative" outlook on India's Sovereign Credit Rating, which it gave 6 months earlier. The warning comes in the backdrop of bleak balance of payments data for July-Sept 2012. The current account deficit for this quarter, the second of this financial year, shot up to 5.4% of GDP from 3.9% in QR-1.
·         CABINET OKAYS CAPITAL INFUSION IN BANKS: The Cabinet has approved capital infusion to the extent of Rs.12, 517 Crore into about 10 banks during the current fiscal. An in-principle approval of the cabinet has also been accorded for need-based additional capital infusion in public sector banks from 2013-14 to 2018-19 so as to help them conform to the Basel-III capital rules. It implies that further capital infusion can be allowed without obtaining the Cabinet's nod. In 2011-12 and 2010-11, the Centre had infused Rs.12, 000 Crore and Rs.20, 117 Crore respectively.
·         CABINET CLEARS MORE FUNDS FOR INDIRA AWAS YOJANA: Keeping in view the steep rise in the cost of materials, the Union Cabinet has cleared raising the unit cost under Indira Awas Yojana. In plain areas, unit assistance under the scheme has been raised from Rs.45, 000 to Rs.70, 000 and from Rs.48, 500 to Rs.75, 000 in hilly and difficult areas. Further for BPL households, who have neither agricultural land nor a house site, amount has been hiked from Rs10,000 to Rs.20,000.
·         IRDA FOR INSURANCE POLICIES IN ELECTRONIC FORM: IRDA licensed the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL), Stock Holding Corporation of India, Karvi Group and Computer Age Management Repository Services (CAMS) to act as repositories for insurance policies. This move will enable policyholders to maintain insurance policies in electronic form and make changes, modifications and revisions to them. Policyholders will not be levied any charges for using such facilities as the repositories will be paid directly by the insurance companies.
·    COURT VERSION ON SEIZING MORTGAGE ASSET: Under the Securitisation Act, it is the Chief Manager of a Public Sector Bank and his counterparts in Private Sector Banks who are authorised to take a decision on the need for seizing the mortgage asset and issue notice accordingly. According to the Andhra Pradesh High Court, this duty can not be delegated to the Advocate, who can issue the notice.
·         RELAX CRITERIA FOR APPELLATE TRIBUNAL'S TOP POST: The Centre has decided to expand the eligibility criteria for selection of the Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT). A Retired or a Sitting Judge of a High Court with a minimum of 7 years of service– as a judge of a High Court- can now be appointed as Presiding Officer. According to the Union Finance Minister, an Ordinance will be issued to amend the SEBI Act to expand the eligibility criteria.
·         NSE TO LAUNCH NIFTY FUTURES ON OSAKA EXCHANGE: The National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Japan Exchange Group, one of the leading exchange groups in the world, signed a letter of intent for launching Nifty Futures, a representative stock price index of India, on Osaka securities Exchange. This is the first time that retail and institutional investors in Japan will be able to take a view on Indian markets, in addition to current ETFs, in their own currency and in their own time zone. Investors in Japan will, therefore not face any currency risk as they will not have to invest in dollar-or-rupee denominated contracts.
·         RDA APPROVES INSURANCE PRODUCTS NORMS: IRDA Board approved the product guidelines. These are expected to be published in the gazette very soon. The guidelines for traditional products of life insurers will have a deadline of April 1 for refilling of group products and July 1 for refilling other traditional products. Further policy holders would get back as much as 50% of their premiums, if a policy is active for three years.
SUPREME COURT RULING ON PENALTY: The Supreme Court has ruled that the Commissioner of Income Tax is empowered to impose penalty under Section 271(1) of the Income Tax Act even where the assessed income is in the negative. The law authorizes the Commissioner to impose penalty ranging from 100% to 300% of the tax attempted to be evaded, using the discretion on the basis of the severity of the crime..
m GOVT.-URBAN POOR TO BE IDENTIFIED ON VULNERABILITIES: The Housing and Poverty Alleviation Ministry has decided to junk the Planning Commission's income benchmark. The Urban poor will now be identified on the basis of social, economic and occupational vulnerabilities. As of now, families earning below Rs.4824 a month are put in the bracket of urban poor. Once the census is complete,
the city-specific urban poor basket will be ready.
Government plans to introduce a system under which big industries will have to file "Water Returns" on the lines of "Income Tax Return" in a move to curb the unbridled use of water and check pollution. The 12'h plan (2012-17) document, which has been approved by the National Development Council (NDC) and is the broad policy for the five year period, emphasizes that the filing of water returns be made
mandatory for big industries and businesses.
bid to allay fears of foreign investors and boost sagging FDI inflows, the government has once again put off the implementation of the unpopular General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) by two more years till 2016. It also announced that the Rules will not be invoked against Non-resident Indians who invest in registered Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).
·     FITCH WARNS US RATING ON DEBT LIMIT: FITCH Ratings Agency warned that it might revise down its notation for the US from its current top "AAA" level, if Congress did not reach agreement on raising the ceiling for the national debt. The Agency also said that failure to raise the limit in time would lead to a formal revision by Fitch of its ratings of US debt instruments, but also said that the risk of a US default was extremely low.
·     SUPREME COURT VERSION ON CHARGESHEET: To be sure, an employee who is dismissed for various acts of misdemeanour needs to be provided an opportunity being heard and given access to documents and witnesses relied upon before he is fired but, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Charge Sheet itself need not be burdened with a list of all the documents and witnesses.
·    SEBI ASKS BANKS ON GOLD ETF FUNDS: SEBI has proposed allowing Gold Exchange—Traded-Funds (ETF) to park up to 20% of their gold holdings with commercial banks.. This is in line with a similar proposal made by RBI to put the gold corpus of ETFs to productive use and therefore, curb India's huge gold imports. As of now, gold ETFs need to maintain 100% of their gold reserves.
·    AMFI WAIVES FEE FOR MF AGENTS: The Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) has decided to waive off Rs.3000 registration fees for 6 months for the first time for Mutual fund Distributors and independent financial advisors to ramp up distribution network threefold to 1.5 Lakh from 49, 000 at present. This would be a landmark on the part of AMFI, aimed at expanding the distributor network and developing the industry.
·     FINMIN NOD FOR DCT THROUGH POST OFFICES: The Finance Ministry has issued a directive to allow cash subsidies under various Government Schemes to be deposited (Direct Cash Transfer-DCT) in the beneficiaries accounts in Post Offices, that had been opened for transferring wages earned under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
·     SEBI RELAXES MARGIN REQUIREMENT UNDER QFS: SEBI has said that the institutional investors can now bid without making full upfront payments and will also be allowed to place orders without depositing the margin amounts. However, such investors will not be allowed to cancel or revise downwards their price quantity. Further the investors who bid with 100% margin amount will be allowed to modify or cancel their orders and their trades will be settled the next day.
·     SUPREME COURT RULING ON DEPARTMENTAL INQUIRY: Supreme Court has ruled that in a departmental' inquiry, the disciplinary authority is expected to prove the charges on "preponderance of probability" and not on proof beyond reasonable doubt as in criminal case. Hence the Supreme Court has upheld the dismissal of a manager of State Bank of India.
·     GOVERNMENT MEASURES ON GOLD TO CURB DEMAND: The government has raised the import duty on gold & platinum from 4% to 6%. Minimum tenure of Gold Deposit Scheme has been reduced to 6 months from 3 years.. Mutual Fund AMC can deposit underlying gold with banks' gold deposit schemes. Banks can use such gold to meet the requirements of gems and jewellery trade.
·     MOODY'S BANKING OUTLOOK —NEGATIVE: Global Ratings Agency Moody's has a "Negative Outlook" on India's Banking System due to concerns over loan quality and high interest rates. In India, impaired loans are yet to peak among public sector banks. The Agency further said that though the Government is likely to remain supportive, options for RBI to slash lending rates are limited due to high inflation and the "modest fiscal capacity".
·     SWISS GOVT. TO ACCEPT REQUEST FOR BANKING INFORMATION: A new Tax Administrative Assistance Act will come into force on February 1, 2013 and a resolution to this effect has been passed by the Switzerland's Federal Council. Accordingly, the Government will be able to provide banking and other details sought by other countries, including India, about a "Group of persons" even without their individual identification, provided the information has not been requested as part of some "fishing expedition".
·     SUPREME COURT RULING ON ADVANCE TAX PAYMENTS: The advance tax is paid on the estimated income and not on the actual income of the relevant year. The Supreme Court has ruled that it is "Mandatory" for an assessee to file return, even if it turns out that the actual income and the estimated income, in accordance with which advance tax has been paid, square.
·     RBI PUSHES FOR FIXED-RATE LONG-TERM LOANS: According to RBI Panel, banks could introduce and popularize fixed rate long term loans with a provision to reset rates periodically (say, every 7- 10 years). The loan product will be in addition to the plain-vanilla fixed rate loans for long tenure. While executing the original loan agreement, the lender could fix a cap and floor (say, 2 or 3 percentage points) at the time of reset in relation to the interest rate originally charged.
·     RBI RAISES FOREIGN INVESTMENT LIMIT IN DEBT MARKET: RBI has notified enhancement in the debt investment limit for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and long term investors from $65 billion to $75 billion. The RBI has done away the condition whereby FIIs and long term investors were required to invest in government securities (G-secs) of 3 years residual maturity at the time of first purchase. RBI has also dispensed/reduced the residual maturity requirements for investment in corporate bonds.
·     SEBI CLEARS BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP: SEBI has said that all intermediaries registered with it will have to identify the person exercising controlling ownership interest in a company. If a person, whether acting alone or together, with one or more judicial person, owns more than 25% of shares or capital or profits in a company, he will be identified as a beneficial owner. In case of partnership and HUF, the threshold limit is 15%.
·     The Centre has granted Service Tax Exemption on the services of Life insurance Business provided under the Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana (AABY) and Janshree Bima Yojana.
·     The Government wants companies to disclose the remuneration paid to promoters and CEOs in perspective of their median staff salary. The Regulations cap remuneration at 5% of the net profit per director. While the cap has been maintained, changes are being made in the disclosures to be made at the end of the year.
·     The Government has told the Employees Provident fund Organisation (EPFO) to switch to the Aadhar system to remit employees dues under its three schemes —provident fund, monthly pension and life insurance- into their savings bank account.
·     According to the Banker Magazine for July, State Bank of India (Total Assets with Rs.13.36 Lakh Crore) has been ranked 60m in the list of World's top 1000 banks. Bank of America, which topped the list, had assets of $2.16 trillion.
·     After a gap of 10 years, the US became the Largest Importer of Indian Seafood Items in rupee value terms during April-September period during the current financial year, pushing the European Union to the Second spot.
·     At an estimated Rs. 2000 Crore, India has become the Sixth Largest Market for contraband cigarettes, causing huge revenue losses to the Government and affecting the livelihoods of some 5 million tobacco farmers.
·      According to a list compiled by Assurance, Tax and Advisory Firm Grant Thornton, "India has been ranked at a low position of 40 among 50 economies in the world in terms of "dynamism", which was topped by Singapore.
·     Consumers in rural areas could get access to online services. The Government is making a blueprint to make the services available to villages through the Rs.20, 000 Cr National Optical Fibre Cable Network.
·     According to the Census data on "Female- headed Households" released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, "11% households in India.have a Female Head. The Highest number of female-headed households are in Lakshadweep at 43.7% and in Kerala at 23%.
·     In 2012, despite FlIs pouring $24 billion into the Indian Equity Market, the rupee still lost 3.1% against the dollar.
·     A 90 year old British lady Candy Miller has been officially declared the Oldest Darts Player in the World by the Guinness World Records.
·     India exports to the US cover 155.1% of its imports from the world's largest Economy. In contrast, the World's Largest Economy's earnings from exports to India can only service 52.3% of the goods and services it imports from the World's Largest Democracy.
·     According to the 12th Five Year plan (2012-13 to 2016-17) document, employment in manufacturing reduced by five million during 2005-06 to 2009-10), after adding almost million jobs in the first five years of this century.
·     State run banks are set to ring in the 2013 by opening 5000 ATMs across 51 districts, following the government's directive to make available this facility in the districts selected for the launch of the Direct Cash Transfer programme.
·     The Haryana state Agricultural Marketing Board (HSAMB) has acquired 500 acres for the development of an International Market at Gannaur in the National Capital region. Mapping of the market has been assigned to the French Firm Semmaris Rungis.
·     A steeper decline in exports relative to imports and lower net income flows aggrevated a key indicator of India's external vulnerability —the current account deficit (CAD) —in the second quarter. The CAD rose $22.3 billion (5.4% of GDP) in July-October 2012 from $18.9billion (4.2% of GDP ) in the year ago period.
·     The authorities have decided to allow soft display of Air Tickets on laptops, tablets and smart phones instead of carrying a printout of the ticket for entering an airport.
·     The consumer price index for industrial workers for November 2012 came in at 9,55%. This was higher than the 9,34% annual increase seen in November 2011.
·     According to a Government Survey, the number of jobs in industries increased by 7.8% while wages rose by 18.1% in real terms in 2010-11.
·     Economic output in Europe is shrinking in 9 out of the 17 nations that use the Euro.
·     Oriental Bank of Commerce has waived penalty on premature withdrawal of fixed deposit schemes for all maturities across all slabs.
·     Mr. Ashwani Kumar has taken over as CMD of Dena Bank Prior to this he has been the ED of Corporation Bank since December 1, 2010.
·     According to the Planning Commission study, overall allocation for the 12th Plan on all 16 flagship schemes has been raised from Rs.6, 93, 347 Crore in the 11" Plan to Rs.15, 46, 648 Crore.
·     The Department of Posts is likely to finalise plans for setting up the "Post Bank of India" soon to provide full banking services primarily to the rural poor, who will depend on informal credit sources.
·     According to the study by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Switzerland is the Best Place to be born in 2013 as per a list of nations with the Best Quality of life. India occupies a lowly 66" spot while Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh are at numbers 63, 75 and 77.
·     According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Carlos Slim of US, the Telecommunications Magnate is the Richest Person ($134 billion) in the World followed by Microsoft Co-Founder Bill.
·     According to the Research Firm Gartner, Global IT spending is projected to reach $3.73 trillion in 2013, a 4,2% increase from $3.58 trillion in 2012,
·     Fair Trade Regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved 30% stake purchase by Punjab National Bank in MetLife Insurance Company.
·     SEBI has asked listed companies to disclose their monthly sales turnover and production figures to stock exchanges before sharing these with trade bodies and industry associations.
·     The Insurance Act of 1999 stipulates that an insurance company can invest only 10% of the funds or have 10% of a company's stake, whichever is lower, in an entity.
·     SEBI has put out a consultative paper on corporate governance norms to enable listed companies adopt better global practices.
·     Turkey has removed penal duties "Wrongfully" imposed on cotton yarn from India in line with the agreement reached between the two countries earlier this year.
·     The government had no outstanding loans from the RBI as on December 28.
·     RBI has set up a working group to review and make improvements in the grievance redress mechanism for bank customers to review, update and revise the banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006.
·     According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, since independence till 2010, the total outflow of black money from India was $232 billion, primarily in the form of corruption, bribery and kickbacks. During the same period the value of illegal assets held by Indians is expected to be $487 billion.
·     LIC Housing Finance, promoted by the insurance co. [IC is planning to raise Rs.700- 1000 Crore through External Commercial Borrowings (ECB). Last month, RBI had allowed real estate developers and housing finance companies to raise up to $1 billion through ECB in the current fiscal to promote low cost housing projects.
·     According to RBI, Rs.25 Crore-balance sheet criteria is only required to be adhered to by Deposit-taking NBFCs. Other NBFCs will not be regulated if their balance sheet size is Rs.500 Crore or less.
·     The Finance Ministry has made it mandatory for India Inc to pay taxes even if a stay plea was pending before Appellate Body.
·     The Government's "You Tube" Channel not only has 2/3 minutes news clippings from DD news updated twice a day, but also short films, documentaries, live events and classical music, The government will be using its online presence to reach out to the young population of the country as well as to spread information about its policies.
·     BRICS Nations- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa- are likely to finalise the structure of a Development Bank that will fund infrastructure in the associate nations at the BRICS summit in Durban in March.
·     Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed Rajiv Takru, a 1979 batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services.
·     According to the Supreme Court, a post-dated cheque that confers no benefit to the recipient or to the donor need not be viewed with suspicion.
·     The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has urged countries to adopt new standards to ensure decent working conditions and pay for the world’s 53 million domestic workers-mainly women. The ILO report shines a spotlight on a group of workers often neglected by policymakers and largely excluded from national Labour Laws.
·     Gujarat Chief minister has inaugurated the Tallest Building of the state at the Gujarat Intentional Finance Tec-City (GIFT).
·     According to the ILO Report, there are 52.6 million domestic workers worldwide, of whom 83% are women, accounting for 7.5% of women’s global wage employment.
·     MD Mallya, who retired from Bank of Baroda as Chairman in November last year is the Business Standard Banker of the Year 2011-12.
·     The European Central Bank (ECB) kept the interest rates on hold. Benchmark rate left at record low of 0.75%, deposit and marginal lending rates were also untouched at 0% and 1.5% respectively.
·     London’s Tube, the World’s First Underground Railway, which was opened on January 10, 1863, celebrated the 150th Birth Anniversary. It is considered a remarkable example of public transport as well as private enterprises.
·     Mr.Urjit Patel took over as the Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of 3 years from January 11, 2013. Patel, 49 years old is the 4th Deputy Governor. He comes in place of Mr.Subir Gokaran, whose term ended on January 11, 2013.
·     The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has asked banks to recover money from ineligible ineligible beneficiaries under the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme of 2008.
·     India will host the First ever Global Ministerial Meet on Elephants in the capital from November 14 to 19.
·     Indian & Vietnam signed an MOU aimed at building capacity for developing institutional framework & identifying thrust areas and opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.
·     RBI, in consultation with bankers, is thinking of renaming the “Banking Ombudsman” to another name which is simple and appeals to the common man.
·     SEBI has prohibited listed entities from framing any employees benefit schemes involving acquisition of its own shares from the secondary market.
·     SBI and its Associates plan to set up “By invitation only” branches under the “Kohinoor” Brand in 20 cities across India to serve “Urban - Rice” clients and NRIs.
·     According to the data released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the Chinese Economy grew at its Slowest Pace in 13 years posting 7.8% year-on-year growth in 2012 which showed the growth rate down from 9.3% in 2011 and 10.4% in 2010.
·     According to an Analysis, between April 2009 and November 2012, the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rose 35% in absolute terms. Manufactured products accounted for 44% of this rise.
·     State Bank of India's Central Board approved the capital infusion of Rs.3004 Crore by the Government. The Bank will receive the additional capital in exchange of preferential allotment of equity shares to the Government before the end of March.
·     Global Rating Agency Moody's Investor Service has retained its "Stable" outlook on India's Sovereign Rating, citing potential for growth , robust domestic savings rate and a dynamic private sector.
·     According to a new study done by the EC, Indian Companies have come on the top globally when it comes to growth in their R&D investments, leaving their counterparts in the US and Europe far behind.
·     The Government has set a target of bringing 2900 apparel units in the 12th Plan under "DISHA-a Programme" aimed at encouraging better social practices to meet global standards on issues like Child Labour.
·     CBDT has notified a scheme for centralized processing of statements of tax deducted at source (TDS). Central Processing Cell (CPC) of the income tax department is the Repository of all the information relating to TDS.
·     According to a new regulation by SEBI, registration is must for all investment advisors- both individual and corporate. SEBI has mandated a minimum net-worth requirement of Rs.25 Lakh for corporate and Rs.1 Lakh for individuals.
·     In a step to check instances of bogus registration and misleading addresses, the corporate Affairs Ministry has asked companies seeking incorporation to get their registered office verified by a professional.
·     According to the Global Open Budget Survey 2012, India enjoys a high rating when it comes to budget transparency practices. It ranks 14th among the 100 countries. Its open budget index score of 68 out of 100 is much higher than the average score of 43 for all countries covered in the survey.
·     According to International Labour Organisation's Report, about 42% of workers, or nearly 1.1 billion are now "Middle Class" living with families on over Rs.225 a person a day.
·     SEBI has directed banks to name at least one branch in the location of broker centres of stock exchanges where all brokers can submit ASBA (Application supported by Blocked Amount) forms, by March 1, 2013.
·     The cloned buffalo Garima-II gave birth to a calf at the Karnal-based National Diary Institute. The calf was born through "Hand-guided cloning technique". It is the First Calf born from a cloned buffalo in the World.
GENERAL AWARENESS BRIEFLY --FOR SBI PO/IBPS PO Reviewed by sambasivan srinivasan on 8:05:00 AM Rating: 5

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