Korea Exim Bank extends loan worth Rs. 4,100 crores for Vizag Metro......Top 8 Banking Affairs, Internet Affairs, Echnomic Affairs and all other Current affairs of 10th March 2019

1.A 3-member mediation panel created by SC to settle Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid Case

*For the amicable settlement of Ayodhya’s Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case, the five-judge bench, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi, constituted a three-member mediation panel headed by former Supreme Court (SC) judge Justice F. M. Kalifullah to resolve the issue.
  1. The other members of the panel include spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Senior Advocate Sriram Panchu.
  2. The proceedings in the case will be held in Faizabad.
  3. The panel of mediators will file a progress report of the mediation proceedings within 4 weeks and the process will be completed within 8 weeks.
  4. They may co-opt more members and in case of any difficulty, inform the Supreme Court registry.
  5.  14 appeals have been filed in the Supreme Court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in 4 civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the 3 parties – the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lala

2.Government succeeds in achieving the target of 87 per cent of 8 crore free LPG connections

*On 9th March 2019, the government allotted its 7-croreth free cooking gas (LPG) connection, as a part of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
Key Points:
  1.  7 crore free LPG connections have been issued in the past 34 months which approximates to almost 69,000 connections per day.
  2. This scheme was launched on 1st May, 2016 with the aim of issuing 5 crore connections to women from poor families.
  3.  42% of the total connections have been issued to SC/ST.
  4.  The highest number of connections have been issues in Uttar Pradesh (1.26 crore), followed by West Bengal (78 lakhs) and Bihar (77.51 lakh).

3.Loan agreement of $137 Million signed between Government of India, the World Bank and the representatives of Five States for the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP)

*On 8th March 2019, a loan agreement worth $137 million was signed in New Delhi, between the World Bank, the Government of India and representatives of 5 States of Government of India and Implementing Agencies, for the Additional Financing of the Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP). The project involves more than 220 selected large dams in Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
Key Points:
i. The Loan Agreement was signed by Mr. Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India; and Mr. Junaid Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India, on behalf of the World Bank, and the representatives from the State Governments of Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand.
ii. This fund shall be utilised for the construction of an additional spillway for Hirakud Dam, Odisha and to facilitate rehabilitation and improvement of other dams including strengthening the institutional, legal and technical framework for dam safety assurance within the Government of India and in the participating States.
iii. This from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 3-year grace period and a final maturity of 16 years

4.Korea Exim Bank extends loan worth Rs. 4,100 crores for Vizag Metro

*On 7th March 2019, the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) proposed to provide a soft loan worth Rs.4,100 crore for the Visakhapatnam (Vizag) metro rail project. The matter was discussed in a meeting involving a delegation led by KEXIM Director (Operations) Yang Dong, Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha, Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation Limited (AMRCL) Managing Director N.P. Ramakrishna Reddy and other officials at the Secretariat.

Key points:
  1.  The State government had sent a proposal to Central government for asking KEXIM Bank to provide loan at 8-10% rate of interest. No firm decision has been taken on this yet.
  2.  The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 8300 crores and it constitutes 3 corridors spread over 42 km.
About Andhra Pradesh
  •  Capital- Amaravati (de facto)
  • Hyderabad (de jure)
  • Chief Minister- N. Chandrababu Naidu
  •  Governor- E. S. L. Narasimhan

5.SBI links savings account, short-term loan interest rates to RBI repo rate

*On 8th March 2019, the State Bank of India (SBI) became the first bank to link its interest rate on savings account with balance above Rs. 1 lakh and short-term loans to the repo rate of the Reserve Bank of India. This shall be effective from 1st May 2019.
Key Points:
  1. The current repo rate of RBI is 6.25%.
  2. The bank will link savings accounts with balance greater than Rs. 1 lakh to repo rate at current effective rate of 3.5% (2.75 percentage points lower than the current repo rate of 6.25%).
  3.  All cash credit accounts and overdrafts having limits greater than Rs. 1 lakh shall also be linked to the benchmark policy rate, plus a spread of 2.25%—amounting to 8.5%.
  4. A risk premium, above 8.5%, will be charged on these loans on the basis of the risk profile of the borrower.
  5. The interest rate on home loans will continue to be determined by MCLR (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate).

6.India’s Data Usage to Grow at 73% CAGR by 2022 : Assocham – PwC Study

On 10th March 2019, According to the Assocham – PwC StudyIndia’s data consumption is expected to grow at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 72.6% by 2022.
Key Points
  1. Internet consumption is clearly on the rise in India. It is expected that Video on Demand (VoD) mark will show a significant development as per the study.
  2.  In 2013 the average monthly spend on voice services was Rs.214 compared to Rs.173 spend on data which became Rs.124 on voice and Rs.225 on data in 2016.
  3.  Instead of content creators and packagers, social media and technology platforms emerged as the primary beneficiaries of the increase in user time and spending.
  4. As per the study internet penetration shows an increase in India with mobile internet penetration is set to reach 56.7% in 2022 from 30.2% in 2017. But connectivity and consistency in speed issues are badly needed to be addressed.

7.Total Government liabilities rise to Rs.83.40 lakh crorein Q3 : FinMin Report

On 8th March 2019, according to Finance Ministry Report during the period October to December 2018, the total liabilities of the government increased to Rs.83.40 lakh crore from 82.03 lakh crore in the previous quarter of the current fiscal.
Key Points 
  1. Public debt accounted for 89.5% of total outstanding liabilities at the end of December 2018 with an internal debt accounting for 83.3% share.
  2.  In the third quarter of the fiscal G-Sec yields have shown a softening trend with the decrease in weighted average yield of primary issuances to 7.82% from 8.01% in the last quarter.

8.India claims the First Prize at The International ‘Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019’ in the category of ‘TV Cinema Spot’ at ITB, Berlin

*The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was awarded the First Prize in the category- TV Cinema Spot at the International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019 held at Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB), Berlin. The awards were received by Shri Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, Tourism.

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