RBI Employees Plan Mass Casual Leave on November 19 2015
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) employees will go on mass casual leave on November 19 to protest the government’s proposed policies which will take away from the central bank some of its vital operations “in the name of the draft financial code and legislative reforms”.
- The United Forum of Reserve Bank Officers and Employees, the umbrella organisation of four recognised unions of officers and workmen staff in RBI, has decided a day’s ‘Mass Leave’ on November 19 by around 17,000 workforce, AIRBEA General Secretary Samir Ghosh told PTI.
- The draft Indian Finance Code (IFC) has proposed re-aligning of the powers of the RBI vis-a-vis the finance ministry through the composition and functioning of the monetary policy committee that would be responsible for setting rates.
- With the proposed mechanism of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), the government plans to intervene and themselves decide the monetary policy which has been the exclusive jurisdiction of RBI so far.
- This is a big shift from the current practice where the RBI governor decides on the interest rate, although he consults the Technical Advisory Committee on policy rates that includes the Bank’s deputy governors as well as experts and economists.
- The finance ministry is reportedly giving final shape to shift government’s debt management functions from RBI to the proposed Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), which will also henceforth function as depository of government securities (G-Sec), thus taking away from RBI some vital operations having relevance to money market as well
India, UK announce 9 billion pound worth of deals
- India and the UK today announced deals worth 9-billion pound as they signed a civil nuclear pact and decided to collaborate in the field of defence and cyber security besides launching a railway rupee bond.
- Modi highlighted plans for India to use London as a financial base for fundraising.
- Cameron came out from his 10 Downing Street to receive Modi before the two leaders headed to the world’s most famous political office for a nearly 90-minute dialogue.
- Other senior ministers present include foreign secretary Philip Hammond, employment minister Priti Patel and business minister Sajid Javid. On the Indian side, the delegation included the High Commissioner to the UK Ranjan Mathai, foreign secretary S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Big bang move: Modi government announces FDI reforms in 15 sectors
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Tuesday announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reforms in as many as 15 sectors.
- According to the government’s release, “The crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalise and simplify the process of foreign investments in the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on automatic route instead of government route where time and energy of the investors is wasted.”
- These FDI reforms are set to benefit sectors such as agriculture and animal husbandry, plantation, defence, broadcasting, civil aviation and manufacturing. “Further refining of foreign investments in key sectors like construction where 50 million houses for poor are to be built. Opening up the manufacturing Sector for wholesale, retail and e-Commerce so that the industries are motivated to Make In India and sell it to the customers here instead of importing from other countries. “
- The proposed reforms also enhance the limit of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) from current Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 5,000 crore. The proposal also contains many other long pending corrections including those being felt by the limited liability partnerships as well as NRI owned companies who seem motivated to invest in India. Few other proposals seek to enhance the sectoral caps so that foreign investors don’t have to face fragmented ownership issues and get motivated to deploy their resources and technology at full force.
- India got FDI of $19.39 billion in the April-June period, according to government data, up 29.5% over the year earlier. The Modi government has been pushing hard to drum up overseas investment, easing FDI regulations in various sectors including the railways, medical devices, insurance, pension, construction and defence.
India tops Facebook’s content removal list
- Indian demands that Facebook remove online content shot up more than threefold in the first six months of the year, outnumbering those from any other country, mostly on account of posts that could incite religious hatred. Turkey came second at 4,496 and France a distant third at 295.
- According to the social network’s biannual Government Requests Report, India made 15,155 such demands in the January-June period, compared with 5,832 in the preceding six months.
- India has been the top seeker of content removal from Facebook in the past two years since the social network began releasing the data. In the second half of 2013, the first time Facebook revealed these numbers, removal requests from India stood at 4,765.
- India has been rocked by several controversies over content being blocked or taken down this year. This includes the British Broadcasting Corp. documentary India’s Daughter on the December 2012 New Delhi rape and attitudes toward women in country.