Centre approves gold scheme to tap gold within households
- Centre approved two financial schemes on gold with a view to use the bullion for the benefit of itself and the households that pile up stocks of the idle asset.
- The Gold monetisation scheme aims to tap household gold stocks of around 22,000 tonnes , the sovereign bond scheme would help shift part of the estimated 300 tonnes of physical gold bars and coins purchased every year in the country for investment into the demat gold bonds.
- Both schemes will give tax free returns to investors , and the bond scheme would also enable them to profit from a potential rise in gold prices.
- The sovereign gold bond programme could potentially reduce the cost of borrowing of the government as the interest outgo on these bonds would be far lower than that incurred in market borrowings.
- The Central Banks of China , India , Russia are beginning on a trend that has seen them buying large amounts of gold bullion as a backup for any currency fluctuations that might happen.
Cabinet approves 100% FDI under automatic route for white label ATMs.
- In a move meant to further financial inclusion and attract FDI , the Cabinet approved a proposal for 100% FDI under the automatic route for white label ATM operations (WLAO)
- White label ATMs refer to the ATMs set up by non bank entities. WLAO in the country include Muthoot Finance , Srei Infra Finance etc.
- This is part of the strategy of the centre of enhancing ATM networks in semi-urban and rural areas.
- Until now , the foreign investment in WLAO was allowed only through the government approval route which resulted in large delays and dissuaded investors from investing in critical areas.
- Conditions for allowing 100% FDI includes that the non bank entity intending to set up WLAOs should have a minimum net worth of 100 crores.
- The guidelines for setting up WLAO will be set by the RBI.
No FPI investment in commodities till Centre review : RBI tells SEBI
- The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has instructed Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to not allow any Foreign Portfolio investment (FPI) until Centre gives its nod.
- The merger of SEBI with Forward Market Commission that regulates the commodity market was expected to pave the way for FPIs to participate in commodity derivatives market as they are already allowed by SEBI.
- Ahead of the FMC merger , SEBI has also amended its regulations that would allow the functioning of the commodities derivative market under its ambit.
India must buy overseas assets aggressively : Pradhan
- India ‘s petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that India must buy overseas oil and gas assets aggressively for the creation of strategic reserves.
- He also called to step up domestic exploration and production.
- India sources almost 80% of its crude by way of imports and the decreasing oil prices have come as a big boon in reducing the Current account deficit and in containing inflation.
- The low oil prices also brought down the value of oil and gas fields abroad.
- ONGC Videsh limited is currently involved in an offshore oil field project in the South China sea in Vietnam and is competing for rights in Kazakhstan which has some of the largest oil fields in the world along with Chinese consortium.
- India is late in creation of foreign assets while large economies like USA , UK have many such strategic assets in many countries. China is also seeking to aggressively bolster its clout in this region.
SEPTEMBER 9 – Himalaya Diwas Call for conservation of Himalayan Ecosystems
- Activists across the world decided the date of September 9th as Himalaya Diwas.
- Wildlife conservationists have stressed on the dastardly effect climate change and pollution has on the Himalayan Cordillera.
- Until now , the conservation of Himalayas were confined to research institutions .
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat stressed on the importance of conservation of the Himalayan ecosystems and has advocated for a public conservation campaign in these regions.
- Himalayas through melting of snow and glaciers provide water supply to many of the largest rivers in Asia and is crucial to the security of the subcontinent.
GK QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
1) It is the only strait apart from the Panama canal to link both South Atlantic and South Pacific oceans. Navigation here is dangerous owing to high speed of winds in the region. Which strait is this ?
a)strait of hormuz
c)Vasco da gama strait
Answer : Magellan strait
2)What is deficit financing?
a) Government borrows from Overseas Commercial banks to meet its debts.
b)Government finances other countries when they face a budget deficit.
c)Domestic borrowing from Financial institutions.
d) RBI prints more money to pay back government debt.
Answer: Deficit financing is when RBI prints more money to pay back government debt.
3)Located in the Tigris river , this ancient city is the second most populous Arab capital. Sacked by Hulagu Khan ‘s Mongols in 13th century ,when it was one of the knowledge centres of the world totally stopped progress in the Arab world. Which city is this?
4) Who is the current commerce and industry minister of india
d)N M Naidu
Answer: Nirmala Sitharaman is the current commerce and industry minister of India.
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