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Finance and Banking
Project Sashakt: Sunil Mehta Committee’s 5-pronged strategy to tackle NPAs approved
Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on July 2, 2018 approved the Sunil Mehta Committee’s suggestions of a 5-pronged strategy to tackle the Non-Performing Assets (NPA).
The committee led by Punjab National Bank Chairman Sunil Mehta has submitted its draft report titled ‘Sashakt’ to the Finance Ministry with a strategy to tackle stress in the banking sector. However, there is no proposal or recommendation to create a bad bank.
The recommendations now await the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Recommendations of the Committee
- The ‘Sashakt’ Report highlights nine guiding principles aimed at the operational turnaround of the banking sector in a manner that will create jobs and enhance the value of public sector banks.
- Resolution of bad assets below Rs 50 crore within 90 days: Banks will be required to create a ‘Focused Vertical’ for bad assets below Rs 50 crore and set up a Steering Committee for resolution of such bad assets within 90 days.
- Resolution of consortium loans between Rs 50-500 crore within 180 days: It suggested the Bank Led Resolution Approach (BLRA) for loans between Rs 50 and Rs 500 crore. It suggested constitution of an Independent Screening Committee to examine resolution of such loans within 180 days and if there is no resolution in 180 days, then these bad assets will be moved to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
- Resolution of loans above Rs 500 crore: The loans above Rs 500 crore will be dealt via AMC/AIF-led resolution process. The panel proposed creation of a national Asset Management Company (AMC) to take over such Non-Performing Assets from banks.
- Recommendations included creating platforms where banks can trade in bunched loan assets.
Supreme Court refuses to stay RBI circular against cryptocurrencies
The Supreme Court today refused to stay a Reserve Bank of India circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from providing services in relation to cryptocurrencies.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra issued notices to the ministries of Finance, Law and Justice and Information Technology and the RBI and tagged the matter along with similar cases.
According to the April 6 circular, the entities regulated by the RBI are prohibited from providing any service in relation to virtual currencies, including those of transfer or receipt of money in accounts relating to the purchase or sale of virtual currencies”.
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of the currency units and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.
Income Tax Department launches ‘Instant’ PAN Card Service
The Income Tax Department on July 1, 2018 launched the ‘Instant’ Aadhaar-based PAN allotment service for individuals seeking to obtain the unique identity for the first time. The facility is free of cost.
Under the facility, instant allotment of e-PAN will be available for a limited period on a first-come, first-served basis for valid Aadhaar holders.
A fresh PAN will be allotted on the basis of a one-time password sent on the mobile number linked to the Aadhaar number of a person.
The new PAN will have the same name, date of birth, gender, mobile number and address as in the Aadhaar.
Once the PAN is allotted to an applicant through his electronic Aadhaar-based verification system, in a few seconds, the applicant will be sent the PAN card by post.
Telangana inks MoU with Surbana Jurong for Genome Valley 2.0
The Telangana Government today said it has signed an MoU with Singapore-based Surbana Jurong forpreparing a roadmap for Genome Valley 2.0, an upgraded version of life sciences and biotechnology industrial cluster near here.
The Genome Valley cluster has emerged as the largest life sciences destination in Asia, being home to over 200 companies employing 10,000 people, a release said.
Moreover, the clusters proposed footprint expansion will enable more global companies to establish and expand their operations, the release added.
Election Commission launches ‘cVigil’ App to help voters share malpractice proof
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, along with the Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, on July 3, 2018 launched an Android-based mobile application named ‘cVigil’ for citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.
The app will help voters to share malpractice proof with the authorities.
The app will be operational only where the elections will be announced.
cVIGIL will allow anyone in the election-bound state to report violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that comes into effect from the date of announcement of elections and goes on till a day after the polls.
Madhya Pradesh to implement Ayushman Bharat Yojana
The Ayushman Bharat Yojana under the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission will be implemented in Madhya Pradesh from August 15 this year.
The state government has signed a MoU with the National Health Agency for the implementation of the scheme.
Under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, an annual health security cover worth Rs 5 lakh will be provided to each family.
The benefit of the scheme will be given in cashless form through government and private hospitals.
Ericsson launches India’s first lab for fostering 5G technology at IIT Delhi
In a bid to stimulate the 5G ecosystem in India, Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson on 3 July formally launched the country’s first “Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Lab” for 5G at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.
The 5G innovation lab is essentially a testbed for the technology, which aims to bring together the industry and the academia, to leverage the 5G technology to develop new apps and business models.
The Minister said that the government is in the process of identifying potential use cases for 5G and sectors like health, education and disaster management, agriculture, autonomous vehicles, among others.
Election Commission of India organises National Consultation on Accessible Elections
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has organised a two-day “National Consultation on Accessible Elections,” from July 3, 2018 in New Delhi.
The event was inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, in the presence of Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa. During the inaugural session, a dedicated portal for the ECI’s ‘Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) initiative was launched.
The event is a part of the ECI’s larger mission to ‘leave no voter behind,’ with a special focus on ‘Persons with Disabilities’ (PwD).
MAIDS ranked ‘best dental college’ in India
The Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS) under the Government of NCT of Delhi has been ranked the ‘Best Dental College in India’ for the seventh year in a row.
The evaluation was done on the basis of reports of independent rating agencies of Hansa Research, Drshti Strategic Research Services and Nielsen India.
MAIDS outshone 310 dental colleges to become No 1 in dental education in India.
The institute is the first and only dental hospital in India to be accredited by the National Accreditation of Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).
India’s most potent missile Agni-V to be inducted soon
India is in the process of inducting the first batch of its intercontinental ballistic missile system – Agni-V – which will bring targets across China within its range and is expected to significantly bolster the country’s military prowess.
The missile system, with a strike range of 5,000 km and capable of carrying nuclear warhead is being inducted into the elite Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
The missile is being inducted at a time when India’s neighbourhood is witnessing evolving security threats.
Punjab government to recommend death penalty for drug peddlers
Faced with criticism from several quarters over alleged spate of deaths due to drug overdose in the state, the Punjab state cabinet on July 2, 2018 decided to recommend to the Centre death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers.
The move was aimed to act as a deterrent to the heinous crime, which was destroying the lives of youth in Punjab and many other places.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, which resolved to send a formal recommendation soon to the Union Government to this effect.
Muslim teacher translates ‘Ramayana’ into Urdu
To spread the message of communal harmony and brotherhood, a Muslim teacher and author has translated the Ramayana into Urdu.
Mahi Talat Siddiqui, a teacher who hails from the city, said that it took her two years to complete the work. She hoped more people from the Muslim community would now become aware of the goodness of Ramayana.
Chhattisgarh government to set up tribal museum in Naya Raipur
The Chhattisgarh government will set up a tribal museum in the state’s upcoming new capital Naya Raipur with a view to exhibit culture and tradition of scheduled tribes.
This decision was taken on July 1 during a meeting of Chhattisgarh State Tribal Advisory Council chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh at New Mantralya in Raipur.
The tribal museum will be built at the cost of Rs 27 crore in an area of around 22 acres in Naya Raipur and will be named after Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh, a freedom fighter from the state who had made a tremendous contribution in the freedom struggle of 1857.
States cannot appoint acting Director General of Police: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on July 3, 2018 passed a slew of directions on police reforms in the country, stating guidelines for appointment of the Director General of Police (DGP).
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, comprising A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, ordered all the States and Union territories to not appoint any police officer as acting Director General of Police (DGP).
The court also directed all the states to send names of senior police officers to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for being considered as probable candidates to be appointed as DGPs or Police Commissioners, as the case may be.
Social Justice Ministry organises National Workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities
The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment organised a ‘National Workshop on Skill Development for Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan)’ in New Delhi on July 3, 2018.
The workshop was organised with a view to provide a platform to all stakeholders ranging from training partners to the policymakers as well as employers. It was inaugurated by Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot, while Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, was the Guest of Honour.
In his inaugural address, Thaawarchand Gehlot said that employment is the key to empowerment. The Right of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPwD), 2016 which came into force last year mandates the Government to frame schemes to promote Skill Development of Persons with Disabilities so as to enhance their scope of employability.
Spain’s Andres Iniesta retires from International football after World Cup loss to Russia
Andres Iniesta, the elegant Spanish midfielder who was a symbol of Spain’s golden generation, retired from international soccer following the team’s loss to Russia in a penalty shootout at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on July 1, 2018.
In addition to scoring the World Cup’s winning goal in 2010, Iniesta had been key for Spain when it won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships with its tiki-taka style modeled on Barcelona’s ball-possession game.
ICC to impose minimum six Tests or 12 ODIs ban on ball tampering offenders
International Cricket Council (ICC) will impose a ban of minimum six Tests or 12 ODIs on ball tampering offenders as it has now been upgraded as a Level 3 offence as per it’s new code of conduct.
The decision was taken at its Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland on July 2, 2018.
Major General completes Ironman Triathlon
Major General V D Dogra has become the first Indian Army officer to complete the Ironman Triathalon event, considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world, in Austria.
The Ironman Triathlon comprises three consecutive events 3.8 km swim, 180km cycling and 42.2 km marathon – all completed in a day without a break.
The competitors have to complete the events in sequence within 17 hours to earn the title of ‘Ironman’. The competition was held in the scenic town of Klagenfurt and it saw participation from over 3000 athletes.
India clinch Kabaddi Masters title defeating Iran 44-26
India clinched Kabaddi Masters title by defeating Iran 44-26 in the summit clash in Dubai on July 1, 2018.
In a battle between the top two sides of the world, the three-time world champions did not give Iran any ground to recover with captain Ajay Thakur and youngster Monu Goyat leading the raid charts.
Puducherry’s first woman DGP assumes charge
IPS officer Sundari Nanda on July 2, 2018 assumed charge as Puducherry Director General of Police, becoming the first woman to head the force in the Union Territory.
A 1988 batch officer, she was transferred to Puducherry from the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Nanda succeeded S K Gautam, who has been transferred to Delhi.
UN declares Colombia’s Chiribiquete park as world heritage site
The United Nations has placed Colombia’s Chiribiquete national park on its list of world heritage sites.
The park, which straddles the southern provinces of Caquetá and Guaviare, is the country’s largest and has one of the highest rates of plant diversity in the northern Amazon.
It is also famous for its table-top rock formations known as tepuis, which rise out of the forest.
Palghar Fisherman selected for National Maritime Search & Rescue Award
Milan Shankar Tare, a fisherman from Maharashtra’s Palghar district, has been selected for this year’s National Maritime Search and Rescue Award.
A Coast Guard press release issued in Mumbai stated that the fisherman had saved the lives of 12 people from a sinking fishing boat named Shivneri in May 2018.
Tare used his judgement to locate the distressed boat in the dark. He also alerted other boats to join the rescue operation off the Satpati coast.
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