Current Affairs Update – 28th Feb, 2015

In today’s Current Affairs, We have news on:

Budget/Finance/Banking
Highlights
of Union Budget:

  • Gross tax receipts of
    14.49 lakh crore rupees
  • Non-planned expenditure
    was 1312200 crore rupees
  • Corporate tax was reduced
    to 25 percent over next four years from existing 30 percent
  • Defence allocation for
    fiscal 2015-16 is 246727 crore rupees
  • 100 percent tax deduction
    for contribution to Swachh Bharat Fund
  • Service tax hiked by 14
    percent
  • 34699 crore rupees
    allocated for MNREGA, which is highest ever allocation to the programme
  • Yoga was included in the
    ambit of charitable purposes under the Income Tax Act
  • People will have to quote
    their PAN for all purchases above 1 lakh rupees
  • Law under FEMA on capital
    account transactions will be amended
  • By 2022 there is plan to
    produce 175000 MW renewable energy
  • Visa on arrival extended
    to 150 countries
  • 1000 crore rupees more
    allocated to Nirbhaya fund
  • Transport allowance
    increased to 1600 rupees per month
  • Online excise &
    service tax registrations in 2 working days
  • 1008 crore rupees was
    collected under total wealth tax
  • GARR will be deferred by 2
    years
  • Benami transactions in
    property deals will be curbed
  • 7-year imprisonment for
    non-filing of return on foreign asset

Govt to set up Mudra Bank
for SC/ST entrepreneurs
  • To give financial
    confidence to the budding entrepreneur, especially those in the socially
    excluded category, the government has proposed creation of a special bank –
    MUDRA – to fund small enterprises.
  • MUDRA, or the Micro Units
    Development Refinance Agency Bank, will have a corpus of ` 20,000 crore and credit guarantee
    corpus of ` 3,000 crore.
  • “MUDRA Bank will refinance
    Micro-Finance Institutions through a Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana,” the finance
    minister said in his budget speech.
  • Finance Minister said that
    priority in lending will be given to enterprises run by people belonging to the
    scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
  • The government estimates
    that there are 3.57 crore small units that are run by people belonging to the
    socially disadvantaged classes (including other backward class) out of a total
    of 5.77 crore small business units in the country.

Centre to Delink Eight
Schemes in 2015-16
  • The government has decided
    to delink 8 Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS), including National e-Governance
    Plan, Backward Regions Grant Funds, Modernization of Police Forces and Rajiv
    Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyaan (RGPSA), from its support.
  • As many as 24 CSS will run
    with the changed sharing pattern and 31 programmes will get full support of the
    Centre in 2015-16.
  • As per the the General
    Budget 2015-16, there are 31 schemes to be fully sponsored by the Union
    Government, 8 schemes have been delinked from support of the Centre and 24
    schemes will now be run with the changed sharing pattern.

The 8
schemes delinked from Centre’s support are:
  1. National e-Governance
    Plan,
  2. Backward Regions Grant
    Funds,
  3. Modernization of Police
    Forces,
  4. Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat
    Sashaktikaran Abhiyaan (RGPSA),
  5. Scheme for Central
    Assistance to the States for developing export infrastructure,
  6. Scheme for setting up of
    6000 Model Schools,
  7. National Mission on Food
    processing  
  8. Tourist Infrastructure.

FMC to be merged with SEBI
  • In a significant move, the
    Government today said commodities market watchdog FMC will be merged with the
    capital market regulator SEBI.
  • After the emergence of a
    major crisis at National Spot Exchange Ltd, the Forward Markets Commission
    (FMC) was last year brought under the Finance Ministry.
  • Presenting his maiden
    full-fledged Budget today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government
    would merge “FMC with SEBI’’.
  • The proposed merger would
    help streamline the monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild
    speculations, he added.
  • To implement the merger,
    the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act (SCRA) as well as the Forward
    Contracts (Regulation) Act (FCRA) would need amendments.
  • The Financial Sector
    Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) had recommended that SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA
    and FMC should be merged into a single entity into a unified financial agency
    (UFA).

Jaitley proposes setting
up of autonomous banks’ board bureau
  • In order to improve
    governance of public sector banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today proposed
    setting up an autonomous banks’ board bureau to help lenders raise capital for
    meeting expansion needs.
  • “The bureau will search and
    select heads of public sector banks and help them in developing differentiated
    strategies of capital raising plans to innovative financial methods and
    instruments,” he said while presenting Budget for 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha.
  • This would be a step towards
    establishing a holding and investment company for banks, he said.
  • This issue was discussed
    extensively at the Gyan Sangam addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last
    month.
  • During the two-day
    bankers’ retreat, heads of financial institutions suggested the creation of a
    Bank Investment Committee (BIC) and transfer of the Government’s investment in
    banks to BIC.

How to claim tax benefits
for up to
` 4,44,200
  • During his Budget speech,
    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said an individual tax payer can claim tax
    benefits for up to ` 4,44,200 in addition to the tax exemption.

Here is how you get there:
Deductions under 80C – ` 1,50,000
Deductions under 80CCD for
contribution to NPS – ` 50,000
Interest on house property
loan – ` 2,00,000
Exemption with new
transportation allowance of ` 1,600 per month – ` 19,200
New deductible health
insurance premium – ` 25,000
Total – ` 4,44,200
India
AP becomes first state to
execute NOFN on its own

  • Andhra Pradesh has become
    the first state to opt for executing the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN)
    on its own and the telecom department will reimburse the cost for the same,
    Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
  • “Fibre network of 7.5 lakh
    kilometres in 2.5 lakh villages is being further speeded up by allowing willing
    states to undertake its execution on reimbursement of cost determined by the
    Department of Telecommunications. Andhra Pradesh is the first state to have
    opted for this manner of implementation,” Jaitley said while presenting the
    Budget for 2015-16 in Parliament.
  • Andhra Pradesh had
    proposed to deliver broadband connection with 10-15 mbps download speed to each
    12 million households for ` 150/month that are planned to be covered under state designed
    project.
  • The state had proposed to
    execute the project at a cost of ` 4,913 crore in five years while Centre has earmarked ` 1,940 crore for the NOFN project
    in the state.

Indian Navy concluded
TROPEX Exercise 2015
  • Indian Navy on 27 February
    2015 concluded its Theatre Level Readiness and Operational Exercise
    (TROPEX)-2015. The event encompassed all dimensions of maritime warfare.
  • TROPEX-2015 was a month
    long exercise aimed at validating the Indian Navy’s Concept of Operations and
    the area of operations spanned across the Arabian Sea and Northern Indian
    Ocean.
  • TROPEX-15 provided a
    reinforce platform for Indian Navy’s offensive capabilities across all
    dimensions. It included Network Centric Operations (NCO) by using satellite
    Rukmani.
  • The exercise also
    reinforced the Navy’s ability to serve in different roles with relative ease,
    when it exercised a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission.

Union Government blocked
private email network for official work
  • Union Government blocked
    private email network like Yahoo and Gmail for official work. The aim of the
    move is to monitor staff’s online activities.
  • In this regard, Union
    Government notified E-mail Policy of Government of India and Policy on use of
    Information Technology resources of Government of India on 18 February 2015.
  • As per the notification,
    only the e-mail services provided by National Informatics Centre (NIC) shall be
    used for official communication.
  • The notified policies
    stipulate measures to ensure secure and proper access to and usage of
    government’s IT resources and prevent their misuse by official users.

Sports
Martin David Crowe
inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
  • Former New Zealand cricket
    captain Martin David Crowe on 28 February 2015 was inducted into the ICC
    Cricket Hall of Fame.
  • He was inducted into the
    Hall of Fame during the innings break of the New Zealand-Australia match in the
    2015 World Cup at Eden Park, New Zealand.
  • He received his
    commemorative cap from Wally Edwards, ICC Director and Chairman of Cricket
    Australia.

World Cup 2015
  • Newzealand defeated
    Australia by 1 wicket in a nail biting match.
  • India defeated UAE by 9
    wickets in 3rd World Cup Match of India.

Appointments
Indian-Origin Counsel Appointed to Singapore Supreme Court
  • A 49-year-old
    Indian-origin lawyer has been appointed as a Judicial Commissioner to
    Singapore’s Supreme Court bench for two years.
  • Senior Counsel Kannan
    Ramesh, who was appointed to the bench yesterday, will assume the position from
    May 22, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Days
International Rare Disease
Day observed on 28 February
  • Eighth International Rare
    Disease Day was observed globally on 28 February 2015. The Rare Disease Day
    annually takes place on the last day of February.
  • To mark the day, hundreds
    of patient organisations from more than 80 countries and regions worldwide carried-on
    awareness-raising activities around the slogan Day-by-day, hand-in-hand.

National Science Day
celebrated on 28 February

  • National Science Day is
    celebrated all over India with great enthusiasm on 28th of February every year
    in order to commemorate the invention of the Raman Effect in India by the
    Indian physicist, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on the same day in the year 1928.
  • For his great success in
    the field of science in India, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was awarded and
    honored with the Nobel Prize in the Physics in the year 1930.

Obituaries
Acclaimed US actor Leonard
Nimoy aka Mr Spock passed away
  • Renowned US actor Leonard
    Nimoy passed away on 27 February 2015 in Los Angeles following chronic
    obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.
  • Leonard Nimoy was best
    known for his half-human, half-Vulcan character of Mr Spock in the cult
    scientific-fiction series Star Trek. The character of Mr Spock had a
    significant cultural impact and garnered Nimoy with three Emmy Award
    nominations.

Russian opposition
politician Boris Nemtsov shot dead in Moscow

  • Boris Nemtsov, the former
    Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and present leading Russian opposition
    politician was shot dead on 27 February 2015. The unidentified attacker shot
    him four times in Central Moscow.
  • 55-year-old Nemtsov was
    gunned down a day before he was supposed to lead a demonstration against
    Putin’s support for the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and his economic
    policies. The demonstration was scheduled to be held on 1 March 2015.

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