ECONOMY - 2014 JULY

July 1

The fiscal deficit during the first two months of this fiscal is Rs. 2.4 lakh crore constituting as much as 45.6 percent of estimate of 12- month period of this year.
* The fiscal deficit, the gap between expenditure and revenue, for the whole fiscal year is at Rs. 5.28 lakh crore [(or) 4.5 of GDP] in interim budget of UPA government.

July 2

In one of the largest penalties imposed by SEBI in recent times, the capital market regulator slapped Rs. 76 crore cumulative fines on Taksheel Solutions and 15 other entities, including the firm's promoters, in a case related to alleged irregularities in the company's IPO.
* Accordingly, the SEBI in a 100-page ordered has imposed Rs. 26 crore fine on Taksheel Solutions and Rs. 11 crore each on its promoters -- Pavan Kumar Kuchana and Ramaswamy Kuchana.

July 3

Onion and Potato were brought within the purview of stockholding limits under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
* The move followed a decision earlier in the day to hike the minimum export price (MEP) of onions to $500 a tonne from $300 a tonne

July 4

The increase in state levies such as entry tax and octroi led to prices of domestic LPG rising in Kerala by Rs. 4.50 per cylinder, Rs. 3 in Karnataka, Rs. 5.50 in Madhya Pradesh and Re 1 per cylinder in Uttar Pradesh.
* Besides excise duty and change in SSC by the Central government and sales tax or VAT by state governments, certain other local levies such as entry tax, octroi and input tax restrictions on VAT are applicable in some states has made this rise in price.
Terminologies:
* SSC (State Specific Costs): In order to ensure that revenue demands (like transportation, maintenance) of certain states don't become a burden for consumers across the country, the Government had introduced the scheme of State Specific Costs (SSC) on July, 2012.
* Octroi tax: levied tax on the goods while they entered the limits of the civic body (i, e. state to state (or) while entering municipality). Maharashtra is first state to implement it. It is taken from Roman Empire.
* VAT (value added tax): it is an indirect tax into the Indian taxation system from 1 April 2005. First introduced state is Haryana.
The French company CMA CGM Group, will partner with Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd to build a new container terminal in western India.
* The terminal, the fourth at Adani's Mundra complex in the state of Gujarat, will be built over two years in a 50-50 joint venture.
* The terminal will add 30 per cent to Mundra port's capacity, and will making it the biggest port in India.
* Currently, Mundra port is India’s largest private multi-port operator.
Central Government for strengthening the Essential Commodities Act announced a non-bailable offence.
* The ministers decided that the Centre will set up a price stabilisation fund to enable market intervention by states to tackle spike in prices of fruits and vegetables.
* Recently, union government imposed minimum export price and put stock holding limits on onions and potatoes.
* Minister of agriculture: Radha Mohan Singh.
Vishal Sikka has become highest paid person in India.
* Newly-appointed Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka will draw an annual salary of $5.08 million (over Rs. 30 crore).
* In addition, he will also receive $2 million in stock options, placing him atop the list of well-paid Indian CEOs, together making $7.08 million (34 crore).
* His previous job as CTO at German software major SAP.

July 6

C. Rangarajan Committee on Poverty presented.
* Consumption expenditure estimates of NSSO was considered as the basis for determining poverty.
Highlights of the Report:
* Three out of every 10 Indians are poor.
* The daily per capita expenditure is at 32 rupees for the rural poor and at 47 rupees for the urban poor. (or) for monthly at 972 rupees for rural India and 1407 rupees for urban India.
* On the basis of this, it pegged the total number of poor in India at 363 million or 29.6 percent of the population.
* This is higher than 269.8 million poor people or 21.9 percent pegged by the Suresh Tendulkar committee.
* The percentage of people below the poverty line in 2011-12 was 30.95 in rural areas and 26.4 in urban areas.
* In 2009-10, about 91.6 million people were lifted out of poverty as compared to 454.6 million poor in 2009-10.

July 7

India’s largest utility vehicle maker, Mahindra & Mahindra announced recall of a specific batch of the entry-level EX variant of Scorpio sports utility vehicle manufactured between May 2012 and November 2013 for inspection. It would replace some components in the vehicle if required.
* The car costs Rs. 8.20 lakh.
About M&M:
* Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) is an Indian multinational automobile manufacturing. It is one of the largest vehicle manufacturers by production in India and the largest seller of tractors across the world.
* Managing Director: Anand Mahindra.
* Head quarters: Mumbai.
ONGC-videsh raised a whopping USD 2.214 billion the largest bond sale from the country through dual tranche money to fund its overseas arm OVL's Mozambique asset purchase.
* Amount has three tenures -- USD 750 million of 5-year money and the rest is of 10-year tenor, while the euro issue is a 7-year money, said the merchant bankers, which include RBS, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Citigroup.
India's natural rubber imports in June surged 41.5 percent from a year ago to 32,550 tonnes despite a rise in local output by 65%. This has raised demand of imposing import duty on Rubber.

Board

Headquarters

Highest Producer

(state)

Started in (year)

Rubber Board

(Rubbermark)

Kottayam

Kerala, N-E

1947

Tea

Kolkata

Assam

1953

Coffee Board

Chickmagalur, Karnataka

Karnataka, Kerala, T.N

1942

Liberalized in 1992

July 8

THE RAILWAY BUDGET: 2014 - 15

Sadananda Gowda

Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda present the Railway Budget 2014 - 15 in the Loksabha on 8th July.

Annual Plan 2014-15
(a) Annual Plan envisaged at Rs. 64,305 crore with a Budgetary Support of Rs. 30,223 crore, Internal Resources of Rs. 10,418 crore and Extra Budgetary Resources of Rs. 19,805 crore.

(b) Total receipts are projected at Rs. 1, 64,374 crore.
(c) Expenditure in 2014 - 15 pegged at Rs. 149,176 crore.
New Services
* New Trains
(a) Budget proposed first bullet train (Mumbai – Ahmedabad) and 9 High - Speed Rail of India.
(b) 17 Premium trains; 38 Express trains; 10 Passenger trains; 4 MEMU; 3 DEMU.
* First time Dynamic Pricing (like airways)
(a) Premium AC Special train introduced in Delhi – Mumbai Sector with shorter advance reservation period and dynamically varying premium over tatkal fare.
* First Railways University:
(a) Railways University for technical and non-technical subjects.
* Rail Tariff Authority
(a) Independent Rail Tariff Authority set-up to advice on fixing of fares and freight, to engage all stake-holders.
* New REMC:
(a) Budget proposed REMC (Railway Energy Management Company).
(b) Railway Energy Management Company (REMC) to setup Windmill and solar power plants with 40% subsidy from Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
(c) 200 Stations, rooftops of 26 buildings and 2,000 level crossing gates to be covered.
Passenger Friendly Initiatives

* Jan-Ahaar scheme:
(a) Food can be ordered through SMS, phone; Food courts at major stations.
(b) Feedback services through IVRS on quality of food.

(c) Setting up of ''corpus fund'' for stations' upkeep; RO drinking water at stations and trains.
IRCTC:
(a) Online booking to support 7,200 tickets/ minute; to allow 1.2 lakh users log in simultaneously.
(b) Online platform for unreserved tickets.
(c) Retiring room facility to be extended to all stations.
Modernisation and Technology Induction
* High Speed Trains
(a) Joint feasibility study by India and Japan for Mumbai – Ahmedabad Corridor to be co-financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency. This is part of Mumbai- Delhi high speed train corridor of UPA scheme.
* Semi - High Speed Projects
(a) Plan to hike speed of trains to 160 - 200 kmph in 9 sectors.

* Improved Internet facility
(a) Office-on-Wheels: Internet & workstation facilities on select trains.
(b) WiFi in A1, A category stations and in select trains.

Measures for improving Safety & Security
(a) A total of 5,400 unmanned level crossings eliminated.
(b) Development of ‘crashworthy’ coaches.
(c) Multi-tier protection for electric circuits.
(d) Induction based cooking to replace LPG in pantry cars.
(e) Cleanliness budget up by 40 percent over last year.
(f) CCTVs to be used at stations for monitoring cleanliness.
Financial Health
(a) Rs. 6005 crore for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects,
(b) FDI, domestic investments in rail infrastructure.
(c) FDI in railway projects, except in operations.
Achievements/ Initiatives
(a) Major landmark achievement in National Project of Kashmir.
(b) State of Meghalaya and capital of Arunachal Pradesh to be on Railway Map by this fiscal.
(c) Dedicated Freight Corridors on the Eastern and Western Routes – leading to strategically critical capacity augmentation.
(d) New factories – Rail Wheel Plant, Chhapra; Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli; and Diesel Component Factory, Dankuni.
About Indian Railway Budget:

Railway Budget is the Annual Financial Statement of the state-owned Indian Railways.
* It is presented every year in parliament by the Minister of Railways.

* On the recommendations of Acworth Report railway budget is separated from general budget in 1924.
* Indian railways are first started in 1853. First route is Mumbai to Thane.

July 9

ECONOMIC SURVEY: 2013 - 14

Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented Economic Survey of India 2013 - 14 in the Lok Sabha on 9th July.

Highlights
* Economy to grow in the range of 5.4 – 5.9 percent in 2014 - 15.

* Agricultural and allied sector registered a growth of 4.7 percent in 2013 - 14.

* Industry and Service sectors also witnessed slowdown.
* Survey suggests removal of restriction on farmers to buy, sell and store their produce to customers across the country and the world.
* Rationalisation of subsidies on inputs such as fertilizer and food is essential.
* The fiscal policy for 2013 - 14 was calibrated with two-fold objectives; first, to aid growth revival; and second, to reach the FD level targeted for 2013 - 14.
* Public sector banks (PSBs) have high exposures to the ‘industry’ sector in general and to such ‘stressed’ sectors in particular.
* The New Pension System (NPS), now National Pension System, introduced for the new recruits who join government service on or after January 2004, represents a major reform of Indian pension arrangements.
* The India’s balance-of-payments position improved dramatically in 2013 - 14 with current account deficit at US $32.4 billion as against US $88.2 billion in 2012 - 13.
* India’s foreign exchange reserves increased from US $292.0 billion at end March 2013 to US $304.2 billion at end march 2014.
* India ranked 12th in terms of services GDP in 2012 among the world’s top 15 countries in terms of GDP (at current prices).
* India has the second fastest growing services sector with its CAGR at 9.0 per cent, just below China’s 10.9 per cent, during 2001 to 2012.
* According to HDR 2013, India has slipped down in HDI with its overall global ranking at 136 (out of the 186 countries) as against 134 (out of 187 countries) as per HDR 2012. It is still in the medium human development category.

July 10

GENERAL BUDGET: 2014 - 15

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the General Budget of India 2014 - 15 in the Loksabha on 10th July.

Budget Estimates
* Total estimated Budget expenditure Rs. 17,94,892 Lakh Crores.
* Non-plan Expenditure of Rs. 12,19,892 crore.

Arun Jaitley

* Plan expenditure Rs. 5,75,000.
* Disinvestment target fixed at Rs. 58,425 crore.
* Gross borrowings pegged at Rs. 6 lakh crore.
Deficits:
* Fiscal deficit of 4.1% of GDP.
* Outlines fiscal deficit of 3.6% for 2015 - 16 and 3% for 2016-17.
* Revenue deficit of 2.9% estimated.
Allocations
* New Statement to separately show plan allocation made for North Eastern Region.
* Allocation of Rs. 53,706 crore for North East Regions.
* Allocation of Rs. 50,548 crore under SCSP and Rs. 32,387 under TSP.
* Allocation for women at Rs. 98,030 crore and for children at Rs. 81,075 crore.
Education

* The education sector receives an allocation of Rs. 68,728 crore for 2014 - 15, equals to 3.8% of budget.
* An amount of Rs. 28635 crore is being funded for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).
* 4966 crore for Rashtriya madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA).
* A new program 'Communication Linked Interface for Cultivating Knowledge (CLICK)' is setup with Rs. 100 crore provided for setting up virtual classrooms and to provide online courses.
* Jai Prakash Narayan National Centre for Excellence in Humanities to be set up in MP.
* Rs. 500 crore provided for setting up 5 more IITs in the Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
* 5 IIMs in the States of HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan.
Defence
* 2.29 Lakh crores has been allotted to Defence, equals to 1.28% of budget.
* A further sum of Rs. 1000 crore to meet requirement for ''One Rank One Pension''.
* Rs. 100 crore is provided for construction of a war memorial in the Princes Park.
* Rs. 50 crores provided for construction of National Police Memorial.
Tax Proposals
* Government expects Rs. 9.77 lakh crore revenue from taxes.
Direct Tax:
* Income tax.
* Tax slab on personal income remains unchanged.

New Rules

Old Rules


Income Amount

Slab

Income Amount

Slab

Less than 2.5 L

Nil

< 2

Nil

2.5 L - 5L

10%

2-5

10%

5L – 10L

20%

5L – 10L

20%

>10L

30%

>10L

30%

Senior citizens:
* Tax exception has risen from 2.5 L to now 3L.
* For annual income of 3L@tax = Nil; 3L-5L@10%; 5L - 10L@20%; > 10L@30%.
Super senior citizens:
* There is neither change in exception limit nor in slab.
* Income upto 5L@tax = Nil; 5L - 10L@slab = 20%; > 10@20%.
For every co-operative society:
* Income < 10,000 tax is 10%.
* Income Rs. 10,000- 20,000 tax is 20% of income + Rs. 1000.
* Income > Rs. 20,000 tax is 30% of income + Rs. 3000.
Indirect Tax:
* Goods that has become cheaper on reducing various type of taxes are.
* CRT television, LED/LCD TVs especially below 19 inch, Footwear priced between Rs 500 to Rs. 1,000 per pair, Soaps, E—book readers, Desktop, laptops and tablets, RO based water purifiers, LED Lights, fixtures and lamps, Pre forms of precious and semi—precious stones, Sports Gloves, Branded petrol, Matchbox, Life micro insurance policies, HIV/AIDS drugs and diagnostic kits, DDT insecticides.
Goods that has become costlier on increase in various type of taxes are
* Cigarettes, Aerated drinks with sugar, Pan masala, Gutka and chewing tobacco, Jarda scented tobacco, Radio Taxi, Imported electronic products, Portable X—ray machines, Half cut/broken diamonds.

FDI
* The composite cap in the insurance sector to be increased up to 49% from 26%, but full management lies in Indian management and control through the FIPB route.
* The composite cap in the Defence sector to be increased up to 49% from 26%, but full management lies in Indian management and control through the FIPB route.
* Requirement of the built up area and capital conditions for FDI to be reduced from 50,000 square meters to 20,000 square meters and from USD 10 million to USD 5 million respectively for development of smart cities.
ODI by Indian Companies
* Through Overseas Direct Investment Indian manufacturing units to be allowed to sell its products through retail including Ecommerce.
Banking
* Rs. 11,200 crore for PSU banks infusion to meet BASEL-III norms.
* An estimate of Rs. 2,40,000 crore as equity by 2018 in our banks to be in line with Basel - III norms.
* Capital of banks to be raised by increasing the shareholding of the people in a phased manner.
* Under Ajeevika, the provision of bank loan for women SHGs at 4% to be extended to another 100 districts.
* Introduce one single operating demat account.
* Six new Debt Recovery Tribunals to be set up.
* In the PPF Scheme, annual ceiling will be enhanced to Rs. 1.5 lakh p.a. from Rs. 1 lakh at present.
PSU
* PSUs will invest through capital investment a total sum of Rs. 2,47,941 crores in the current financial year.
* Disinvestment target fixed at Rs. 58,425 crore from all PSU.
Smart Cities

* A sum of Rs. 7060 crore is provided in the current fiscal for the project of developing ''one hundred Smart Cities''.

Irrigation
* Under irrigation “Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna” has got Rs. 1000 crore.
Rural Development

* Rs. 500 crore for ''Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana'' for feeder separation to augment power supply to the rural areas.
* Rs. 14,389 crore provided for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna(PMGSY).

* Under Ajeevika, the provision of bank loan for women SHGs at 4% to be extended to another 100 districts.
* Initial sum of Rs. 100 crore for ''Start Up Village Entrepreneurship Program'' for encouraging rural youth to take up local entrepreneurship programs.
* New program ''Neeranchal'' to give impetus to watershed development in the country with an initial outlay of Rs. 2142 crores
* Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) to be restructured to address intra-district inequalities.
Urban Development
* Rs. 100 crore provided for Metro Projects in Lucknow and Ahemdabad.
Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe
* An amount of Rs. 50,548 crore is proposed under the SC Plan and Rs. 32,387 crore under TSP.
* For the welfare of the tribal’s ''Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna'' a new program launched with an initial allocation of Rs. 100 crore.
Senior Citizen

* Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) to be revived for a limited period from 15 August, 2014 to 14 August, 2015 for the benefit of citizens aged 60 years and above.
* Government notified a minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month to all subscriber members of EP Scheme. Initial provision of Rs. 250 crore.

Disabled person
* Government to print currency notes with Braille like signs for visibly challenged persons.
* National level institutes for Universal Inclusive Design, Mental Health Rehabilitation and a Centre for Disability Sports to be established.
* Assistance to State Governments to establish fifteen new Braille Presses and modernize ten existing Braille Presses.
Women & Child Development
* A sum of Rs. 100 crore is provided for “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana”, a focused scheme to generate awareness and help in improving the efficiency of delivery of welfare services meant for women.
Drinking Water & Sanitation
* “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” to cover every household with sanitation facility by the year 2019.
Health and Family Welfare
* Free Drug Service and Free Diagnosis Service to achieve “Health For All”.
* Two National Institutes of Ageing to be set up at AIIMS, New Delhi and Madras Medical College, Chennai.
* AIIMS like institutions to be setup in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP. A provision of Rs. 500 crores made.
Information Technology
* Program for promoting “Good Governance” to be launched. A sum of Rs. 100 crore provided.
* Kisan TV for farmers, Arun Prabha TV for northeast.
* Film & Television Institute, Pune and Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata are proposed to be accorded status of Institutes of national importance.
Agriculture

* An amount of Rs. 100 crores set aside for “Agri-tech Infrastructure Fund”.
* Rs. 200 crore provided to open Agriculture Universities in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan and Horticulture Universities in Telangana and Haryana.

* A target of Rs.8 lakh crore has been set for agriculture credit during 2014 - 15.
* To provide institutional finance to landless farmers, it is proposed to provide finance up to 5 lakh to joint farming groups of “Bhoomi Heen Kisan” through NABARD.
* Rs. 5,000 crore provided for the Warehouse Infrastructure Fund
Industry
* 100 crore provided for setting up a National Industrial Corridor Authority.
* Master planning of 3 new smart cities in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor region, viz., Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka.
* Apprenticeship Act to be suitably amended to make it more responsive to industry and youth.
MSME Sector
* Fund of Funds with a corpus of Rs. 10,000 crore for providing equity through venture capital funds, quasi equity, soft loans and other risk capital specially to encourage new startups by youth to be set up.
* For textiles: Rs. 50 crore is provided to set up a Trade Facilitation Centre and a Crafts Museum to develop and promote and loom products and carry forward the rich tradition of handlooms of Varanasi.
* Infrastructure: An institution to provide support to mainstreaming PPPPs called 4PIndia to be set up with a corpus of Rs. 500 crores.
* Inland Navigation: Project on Ganges called ''Jal Marg Vikas'' to be developed between Allahabad and Haldia.

* Energy: Rs. 100 crore is allocated for a new scheme ''Ultra-Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology''.

* Rs. 500 crores provided for Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects in Rajasthan, Gujarat, TN, Andhra Pradesh and Laddakh.

* 100 crore provided for the development of 1 MW Solar Parks on the banks of canals.

July 11

The Loan Agreements for World Bank (International Development Association (IDA) assistance of $153 million for Odessa Disaster Recovery Project were signed here between the Government of India and the World Bank.
* The purpose of loan agreement is to restore and improve housing and public services in targeted communities of Odessa, and increase the capacity of the state entities to respond promptly and effectively to an eligible crisis of emergency.
Amul has inked an agreement with the Indian Olympic Association to sponsor the Indian contingent for the upcoming Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games to be held later this year in South Korea.
* Amul, which has recently started its 'Eat Milk with Every Meal' campaign, had also sponsored the Indian contingent for the London Olympics in 2012.

July 13

Wholesale price inflation (WPI) in June eased to a four-month low of 5.43 per cent from 6.01 percent in May.
* WPI numbers are typically measured weekly by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

July 14

The retail inflation, measured on consumer price index (CPI), was 7.31 percent in June, from 8.28 from May.
* The CPI measures price change from the perspective of the retail buyer. CPI is calculated on certain year called as “Base Year”.
* A comparison of this CPI with WPI is given below:-

WPI
CPI
Base Year
2010 -11
2010-11
No. of Elementary Items
676
200
Weightage to Food products (%)
24.3
49.71
Weightage to Energy products (%)
14.91
9.49
Weightage to Miscellaneous Items (%)
Services not included
26.31

July 15

Consumer Price Index falls to 30-month low of 7.31% in June.
* The retail inflation was 8.28 per cent in May.
* Base year for CPI is 2011-12.

Central Government has increased spending of per student cooking cost under the Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS).
New per student cooking cost (in Rs)

 
Cooking cost per child per day 2013-14
Revised cooking cost per child per day 2014-15
Primary
3.34
3.59
Upper Primary
5.00
5.38

About Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS):
* Launched on 15 August 1995.
* Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS) is a programme of Government of India and has been designed to improve the nutritional status of school-age children nationwide school. The meal programme covers more than 12 crore children across India, in 12.65 lakh government and government aided schools on a daily basis. The scheme is the world’s largest school feeding programme.

July 16

BRICS to create 100 billion dollar New Development Bank (NDB).
* The Contingency Reserve Arrangement will have $100 billion.
* The New Development Bank will start with an initial capital of $50 billion.
* Initial capital consists of $10 billion of "paid-in capital" and an additional $40 billion to be "paid upon request".
* It is scheduled to start lending in 2016.
* Each member cannot increase its share of capital without all other 4 members agreeing.
* Open to membership by other countries, but the capital share of the BRICS cannot drop below 55 percent.
Contribution:
* China will contribute 41 billion USD.
* Brazil, Russia and India will contribute 18 billion USD each.
* South Africa will provide 5 billion USD.
Other information about BRICS
* BRICS bank was proposed in 2nd BRIC summit held in 2010.
* If the situation of closing bank arrives, China can take half of its fund, SA can take double its fund and reaming countries can take whatever they invested.

Govt clears 19 FDI proposals worth Rs. 2,327 crore.
* Above proposals includes, including that of Walt Disney Company and Reckitt Benckiser (India).

The SEBI barred former Satyam Computer Services founder-chairman B Ramalinga Raju and four others from the market for 14 years for perpetuating the biggest accounting fraud in the country.
* The capital market regulator has also levied a monetary penalty of close to Rs. 1,850 crore on them along with an interest at 12 per cent per annum, which would be calculated from January 7, 2009.
How the scam unfolded
* The company’s market capitalisation had plunged from over Rs. 12,000 crore to Rs. 2,705 crore in a single trading session. After the clean-up of its books by a Government appointed committee, Satyam was eventually bought by Tech Mahindra and merged with itself.

July 17

China’s economy grew up at 7.5 percent in the second quarter of the year, against 7.4 in first quarter.
About China Economy:
* China is the world's second largest economy by nominal GDP and by purchasing power parity after the United States. China is also the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods in the world. China is the largest manufacturing economy in the world.
* GDP (nominal): $9.182 trillion (2013)

Asian Development Bank, ADB, has given India's economic growth forecast to 6.3 percent in 2015-16 on hopes of speedy reform process.
* But it retained its forecast as 5.5 percent growth in India this year. In a press release, it said expansion in the sub-region is expected to reach 5.4 per cent in 2014 and pick up to 6.1 per cent in 2015.

Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) constituted a six-member empowered committee to reduce litigation at the dispute resolution forums in the Income Tax Department.
* The Committee will also suggest steps to reduce legal cases and has been asked to submit its report within two months.
* The Committee will be headed by Chief Commissioner of Income Tax office in Ahmedabad, Rani S Nair. The other five members of the committee will be drawn from various field formations of the IT department.
* At present there is a four-stage grievance redressal mechanism that starts.
(a) With an appeal to the Commissioner of Income Tax (CIT).
(b) Then is followed by Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).
(c) Then to the High Court.
(d) Finally to the Supreme Court.
About CBDT:
* CBDT is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963.
* Deals with matters related to levy and collection of direct taxes and formulation of policy concerning administrative reforms and changes for the effective functioning of Income-tax Department.

July 19

Wipro, India’s third largest information technology services exporter has bagged the largest single outsourcing contract in its history in a deal valued at $1.12 billion through an alliance with ATCO, a Canadian energy and utility company.
* The deal will also include Wipro taking over ATCO’s IT subsidiary I-Tek in an all-cash deal worth $195 million.
* Top IT deals in country:

Deal Size

Year

Details

2.5bn

2013

Nielsen to TCS

2.5bn

2008

Citi-Group to TCS

2.2bn

2011

Diligenta to TCS

1bn

2006

British Telecom to Tech Mahindra

July 20

Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy gets NSE's nod to transfer business.
* USD $4bn was happened in November, 2013.
* As per norms, companies seeking to execute merger or de-merger strategies need to obtain a 'no-objection certificate' from stock exchanges.

July 21

SEBI issued draft guidelines for infrastructure investment trusts.
* Infrastructure trusts can raise money either through a public issue or a private placement, with a minimum issue size of 250 core rupees.
* If an investment trust proposed to invest at least 80 percent of its assets in completed and revenue generating infrastructure assets, it has to raise funds through a public issue of units. These sales will need to have a minimum subscription size and trading lot of at least 5 lakh rupees.
* Of the remaining 20%, such trusts can invest a maximum of 10% in under-construction infrastructure projects.
Kotak Mahindra Bank has agreed to buy a 15 per cent stake in Multi Commodity Exchange of India from Financial Technologies (India) Ltd for Rs. 459 crore.
* Financial Technologies originally held 26 per cent in MCX and had to divest its stake as it was deemed not ‘fit and proper’ by the commodities market regulator, Forward Markets Commission (FMC), owing to the Rs. 5,600 core NSEL fiasco.

July 22

India’s GDP growth is expected to rise to over 6% in FY 2015 and over 7% in FY 2016, says a Nomura report.
* "We expect real GDP growth to rise from an average of 4.7 per cent in 2013-14 to 6.3 per cent in 2015, 7.1 per cent in 2016 and 7.7 per cent in 2017'', Nomura said.
India has retained its position of 7th as a leading foreign investor into Britain, according to latest UK Trade and Industry (UKTI).
* Indian overseas sources of investment with 74 projects during 2013-14 - a year with the highest number of projects since records began in the 1980s.
* UKTI said the UK remains the most attractive destination in Europe for foreign business investment, winning almost 1,800 new projects in the past year.
* In terms number of projects US led investment with 501 projects in the UK, followed by Japan (116), France (110), Germany (102), Canada (89) and China (88). Below India in the tally are Italy (70), Australia (69) and Ireland (55).
* The 975 billion pound was the second-highest total of all the countries surveyed, behind the US (2,890 billion pound), and ahead of Hong Kong (845 billion pound), France (630 billion pound) and China (560 billion pound).

July 23

The World Bank has committed 15 to 18 billion dollars line of credit to India by 2017 to help the country return to a higher growth path which is critical for boosting jobs and reducing poverty.
* It will step up its lending to India to 5 to 6 billion dollars annually over the next three years from the earlier commitment of 3 to 5 billion dollars a year.
Line of Credit:
* It is an amount of credit extended to a borrower.
* It establishes a maximum loan balance that the bank will permit the borrower to maintain. The borrower can draw down on the line of credit at any time, as long as he or she does not exceed the maximum set in the agreement.
World Bank:
* Headquarters: Washington D.C.
* President: Jim Yong Kim.
Exim Bank's Line of Credit of USD 41.96 million to the Government of the Republic of Senegal.
* For financing eligible goods, machinery, equipment and services including consultancy services from India for the purpose of financing purchase of setting up of Modern Abattoir, Meat processing, Cold Storage, Rendering and Tannery Plant and Market Place in Senegal.
* The goods, machinery, equipment and services including consultancy services from India for exports under this Agreement are those which are eligible for export under the Foreign Trade Policy of the Government of India and whose purchase may be agreed to be financed by the Exim Bank under this Agreement.
* Out of the total credit by Exim Bank under this Agreement, the goods and services including consultancy services of the value of at least 75 per cent of the contract price shall be supplied by the seller from India and the remaining 25 percent goods and services may be procured by the seller for the purpose of Eligible Contract from outside India.
* The Directions contained in this circular have been issued under sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions/ approvals, if any, required under any other law.

July 24

Government aims at benifiting workers, to amend 3 labour laws.
* The ministry of labour and employment will soon seek Cabinet approval for amendments to three archaic labour laws, kickstarting a long-pending revamp of labour market rules with the aim of benefitting workers and increasing productivity. 
* The ministry is finalising changes to the Child Labour Act of 1986, the Minimum Wage Act of 1948 and the Apprenticeship Act of 1961. The proposed amendments will be put up before the Cabinet next week, after which they will be introduced in Parliament in the ongoing budget session, the official, who did not wish to be named.
Government clears 19 FDI proposals worth Rs. 2,327 crore. 
* The government has approved 19 proposals for foreign investment totalling about Rs. 2,327 crore, with Walt Disney leading the pack with an intended capital infusion of Rs. 1,100 crore in UTV Software. 
Cabinet clears 49% FDI in insurance with Indian control.
* The Cabinet approved 49 percent foreign investment in insurance companies through the FIPB route ensuring management control in the hands of Indian promoters.
* The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved rising of FDI cap in insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent, sources said after a meeting of the CCEA, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

July 26

India & Nepal to boost cooperation in defence, security, trade & investment.
* India and Nepal have agreed to take the bilateral ties to a new level. They will boost cooperation in diverse areas including defence, security, trade and investment, water resources and border issues.
* This was decided at the first meeting of the Joint Commission held in Kathmandu after a gap of 23 years. The Meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Nepalese counterpart Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

July 27

Australia approves Adani's $15.5 bn Carmichael coal project.
* The Australian government has approved billionaire Gautam Adani promoted Adani Goup's proposed $16.5 billion (US $15.5 billion) Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project subject to set of environmental conditions.
* Minister of Environment, government of Australia, Greg Hunt approved the project which is touted to be one of the world's biggest coal mines.
Bharti Airtel crosses 300 million customers milestone.
* India’s largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel said it has crossed 300 million customers mark across its mobile, fixed line, DSL and DTH services.
* Bharti Airtel, which began operations in 1995, reached the 100 million customers mark in 2009 and crossed the 200 million mark in 2012.
* ''The latest 100 million customers have joined the Airtel family in less than two years. The company ranks as the fourth largest mobile service provider globally and second largest globally outside of China'', Airtel said in a statement.

July 28

RBI cancels licenses of six Delhi-based NBFCs. 
* The Reserve Bank has cancelled the licenses of six Delhi-based non banking financial companies following which they would not be able to conduct business. 
* "The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the certificate of registration of the following non-banking financial companies ( NBFCs): GE Strategic Investments India, Profound Exports, Two Brothers Holding, Swank Services Private Ltd, Praxis Consulting and Information Services and Credible Microfinance Ltd'', RBI said in a notification. 

July 29

Flipkart raises $1 billion in fund - highest in Indian e-commerce.
* Flipkart on Tuesday announced it has risen $1 billion (Rs. 6,000 crore), the largest ever fund-raising by an Indian internet company.
* The company declined to disclose the valuation at which it has raised funding. However, according to multiple people involved in the deal, the Bangalore-based company is now valued at about $7 billion.
Textile policy aims to create 35 million jobs, $300 billion exports.
* The draft National Textile policy, aims at achieving 300 billion dollars exports by 2024 - 25 and creation of additional 35 million jobs by attracting investments.
* The draft Vision, Strategy and Action Plan for Indian Textiles and Apparels was presented to the Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar. Expert Committee Chairman Ajay Shankar presented the blueprint to the Minister.

July 30

Amazon to add $2 billion (Rs. 12,000 crore) investment in its Indian market.
* Announcement comes hours after rival Flipkart got $1 billion from investors.
* This is the strongest ever indication by the Seattle-based internet entrepreneur of his intent to battle for top honours in the Indian online retail market where Amazon is on track to record Rs 6,000 sales of over Rs crore in just over a year of operations.
About Amazon:
* Amazon, which launched its marketplace in India last year (2013).


Amazon

Flipkart

Founder, CEO

Jeff Bezos

Sachin Bansal

Headquarters

Washington, USA

Bangalore, India

Revenue (2013)

USD 74,452.0 million

USD 200 million

International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) will buy Rio Tinto's Mozambique coal assets having an estimated reserve of 2.6 billion tonnes for USD 50 million (about Rs. 300 crore).
* ICVL signed the pact on July 28 to buy Rio Tinto's 65 per cent stake in Benga and 100 per cent each in Zambeze and Tete East coal assets.
About International Coal Ventures Ltd:
* State - owned ICVL is a joint venture of Steel Authority of India, Coal India, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, NTPC and NMDC, was created to ensure long - term security of supply of the critical raw material for the steel industry.
Tata Group releases its “Vision 2025”.
* The Tata Group will invest $35 billion in the next three years.
* To building the reputation of the Tata brand globally, attracting and developing leaders of tomorrow, and improving the Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM).
* To maximise synergies, the group is creating a special focus on four new clusters -- Defence & Aerospace, Retail, Infrastructure, and Finance.
About Tata Group:
* The group that has over 100 operating companies in seven business sectors -- communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals -- had posted total revenue of Rs. 5,27,047 crore (USD 96.79 billion) in the previous fiscal.
ITC to diversify and built several brands to get a fair degree of consumer franchise.
* ITC would now want to enter areas of fruit juices, tea, coffee, chocolates and dairy products.
* The tobacco business continued to be the highest revenue grosser for the company followed by agri-business.
About (ITC) Imperial Tobacco Company:
* Established: 1910.
* Headquarters: Kolkata, India.
* Chairman: Y.C. Deveshwar.
* ITC claims to be the only company in the world of comparable dimensions to be Carbon Positive, Water Positive and Solid Waste Recycling Positive
Piramal Enterprises Ltd has tied up with Dutch pension fund APG Asset Management to invest $1 billion in Indian infrastructure companies over three years, in a move that would help indebted firm’s access funds to complete projects.
* Piramal, controlled by billionaire Ajay Piramal, and APG will invest in local infrastructure companies through rupee-denominated mezzanine instruments, the two sides said in a statement
* Piramal and APG have each initially committed $375 million for investments under the alliance.

July 31

Helped by healthy growth in coal, crude oil, cement and electricity, the eight core industries grew by 7.3 per cent in June.
* Growth in the infrastructure sector, which has a combined weight of about 38 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), was 1.2 per cent in June 2013.
Index of industrial production:
* The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) is an index for India which details out the growth of various sectors in an economy.
* It is compiled and published monthly by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO).
* Base year is 2004 - 2005.

 

 

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