In the following section, we will see the major developments in the field of economy in India during the period July – September. The section is very important from a perspective of all graduate level examinations. Let us see the economy in the news – July.
Economy In The News – July
Snapdeal terminates talks for a merger
Snapdeal has terminated talks for the merger with Flipkart and said that it will pursue an independent path. The decision end discussions with Flipkart marks a big win for Snapdeal founders Kunal and Rohit Bansal, both of whom were against the sale to Flipkart. The deal with Flipkart for $900-950 million, if it goes through, would mark the largest acquisition in the Indian e-commerce landscape.
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Flipkart launches Billion
Flipkart has launched a new brand called Billion across categories such as home appliances & fashion. It has already launched mixer cookware, backpacks & irons under the brand and will expand to other categories later this year. The brand is positioned as made-in-India & made-for-India both. It is being positioned as a value-for-money offering, indicating that it will be a budget brand
SBI slashes interest rate
State Bank of India has cut the interest rate on savings accounts with up to Rs1 crore to 3.5% from 4%. The decline in the rate of inflation and high real interest rates are the primary considerations warranting a revision in the rate of interest on savings bank deposits. The cut in the savings rate by SBI is the first such move by any bank since the RBI deregulated the savings rate in 2011.
RBI to procure 50 note verifying machine
RBI is planning to buy 50 Currency Verification & Processing Systems for its regional offices for counting & authenticating banknotes of all denominations. The machines proposed to be installed at its 18 regional offices throughout India. As per the Request for Proposal, machines should be computer-based & microprocessor controlled having the capacity to process at least 30 banknotes per second.
AI solution for visually impaired
Accenture has developed an artificial intelligence powered solution to help visually impaired people improve the way they experience the world & enhance their productivity in the workplace. Known as Drishti, It is a part of Accenture’s focus on Tech4Good, which aims to apply technology to improve the way world lives. Accenture plans to introduce it to 100+ visually impaired employees in India.
NABARD signs AMA with Green Climate Fund
NABARD has signed an Accreditation Master Agreement with Green Climate Fund. By signing this, NABARD became the 1st Indian organisation to get Direct Access Entity status & is the first step for the body to access GCF resources. GCF was set up in 2010 under UNFCCC’s financial mechanism to channel funding from developed countries to developing countries to allow them to mitigate climate change.
Govt defers BSNL stake sale
The govt has deferred a decision on selling a stake in BSNL amid turmoil in the telecom sector triggered by Reliance Jio’s entry. The firm has lost about $7bn in last 8 years, making it country’s biggest loss-making state-run company after Air India. Once India’s largest telecoms company, the number of BSNL landline subscribers has fallen by 8 million in the last five years to 25 million.
Ola partners with Indus OS
Homegrown smartphone operating system company Indus OS has partnered Ola to integrate the latter’s cab aggregator app on its platform. The move will provide Ola access to over 8 million users of Indus OS across handset brands like Micromax, Intex and Karbonn. Integration will also make Ola available in English and 12 regional languages.
Genomeceuticals Products in India
Unicity has launched world’s 1st ever Genomeceutical (gene controlling) range of products to India. Genomeceutical is a ground-breaking technology whereby certain secondary metabolites found in nature can help maintain gene response whenever needed by the body & help maintain overall metabolic health. Unicity is currently researching an extensive range of products by leveraging this technology.
Google commits $1 million
Lending a helping hand in flood relief operations in India, Nepal & Bangladesh, Google has committed $1 million to NGOs Goonj & Save the Children. Apart from offering funds to NGOs, Google’s crisis response team has also activated SOS alerts in the 3 countries. These alerts include the latest news about floods, an approximate map of the affected area & local updates from Twitter and other resources.
PNB cuts MCLR, base rate
Punjab National Bank has cut marginal cost based lending rates by up to 0.25% for select maturities. MCLR, which is changed every month is a uniform methodology which was introduced to ensure fair interest rates to borrowers as well as banks. The bank has also slashed its base rate by 0.20% to 9.15%. Majority of banks follow base rate or minimum lending rate formula to charge interest on loans
Government notifies e-way bill
Govt has notified e-way bill keeping some items of mass consumption such as vegetables, fruits, food grains, bread, books & jewelry out of its ambit. It will provide the framework for transport of goods under the GST. E-way bill is required to transport any item worth more than Rs 50,000 within the country.
Scheduled bank status from RBI
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, a subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services has been given scheduled bank status by RBI. It opens the door for issuing Certificate of Deposits, which will be an important source of funding. This status will enhance market acceptability of the bank in its effort to garner institutional deposits at a competitive price & participate more actively in the inter-bank market.
Amazon creates a B2B marketplace
Amazon India has launched Amazon Business, a B2B marketplace on Amazon.in, to enable small and medium businesses to procure products through the platform. It will act as a pure marketplace and will have over 100 million products across all categories. The B2B business will ensure free shipping on eligible purchases for business customers as well as doorstep delivery.
HDFC partners top education institutes
HDFC Bank will be partnering with 50 technology & business schools to tap into emerging fintech ideas. The objective is to identify potential fintech ideas at incubation & entrepreneurship cells in the institutes at a nascent stage & help them evolve into a consumer-ready product. Start-ups will get bank’s platform to test their ideas in the real world, in addition to expert insights & knowledge.
Green Masala Bond in the UK
Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency has launched a new Green Masala Bond on London Stock Exchange’s new International Securities Market to raise funds to finance renewable energy projects across India. The 5 year dated bond raised approximately $300 million, with a coupon of 7.125%. It is the first Green Masala Bond to be listed on the International Securities Market.
Tata Motors bags order for 10,000 e-cars
Tata Motors has won the first contract to supply electric vehicles to replace petrol & diesel cars used by govt & its departments as part of a plan to cut demand for fossil fuels. First 500 electric vehicles will be supplied to EESL in Nov & the remainder will be delivered in the 2nd phase.
RBI to sell sovereign bonds
Reserve Bank of India would sell govt bonds worth Rs 10,000 crore through Open Market Operations to mop up liquidity from the system. As part of the OMO, the RBI will sell government securities maturing in 2019, 2021, 2022, 2024, & 2030. Open market operations refer to buying & selling of govt securities in open market in order to expand or contract the amount of money in the banking system.
Indian Internet firms create a lobby group
India’s top Internet companies led by Flipkart have created a lobby group called Indiatech.org that will represent the interests of Indian Internet start-ups to fight their international rivals. Co-founder and executive chairman Sachin Bansal will lead the lobby group. Apart from Flipkart, Ola, Hike and some other Indian Internet companies will be part of the lobby group.
Aeris Communications partners with BSNL
Aeris Communications has entered into a partnership with BSNL to provide packaged Internet of Things solutions & services to small, medium businesses & PSUs in India. It will leverage BSNL’s wide network coverage, to provide end-to-end IoT services platform for OEMs & service providers
Q 1: Lending a helping hand in flood relief operations in India, Nepal & Bangladesh, Google has committed _____ to NGOs Goonj & Save the Children.
A) $ 60 billion B) $1 million C) $ 20 billion D) $ 11 million
Ans: B) $1 million.