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Anti-dumping Duty put on Saccharine

Paper : General Studies 3

 

Why in news?

  • The Finance Ministry has, on the recommendations of the Commerce Ministry, imposed an anti-dumping duty of $1,633.17 per tonne on the import of saccharine from Indonesia.
  • Saccharine has been exported to India from Indonesia below their normal values and consequently, the domestic industry has suffered material injury.

 

What is anti-dumping duty?

  • An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value.
  • Dumping is a process where a company exports a product at a price lower than the price it normally charges in its own home market.
  • The WTO agreement allows governments to act against dumping where there is genuine (“material”) injury to the competing domestic industry. In order to do that the government has to be able to show that dumping is taking place, calculate the extent of dumping (how much lower the export price is compared to the exporter’s home market price), and show that the dumping is causing injury or threatening to do so.

 

India and UK are in talks to build a naval supercarrier

Paper : General Studies 3

 

Why in news?

  • The United Kingdom is in talks with the Indian government on building a new state-of-the-art aircraft carrier along the lines of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of the ongoing ‘Make in India’ negotiations.
  • The talks are underway for the Indian Navy to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called “copycat super carrier” to be named INS Vishal in 2022.
  • India-UK Naval deal would follow the sale of Britain’s Falklands War carrier HMS Hermes to India in 1987, which was renamed INS Viraat and decommissioned two years ago.
  • An aircraft carrier is a warship that serves as a seagoing airbase, equipped with a full-length flight deck and facilities for carrying, arming, deploying, and recovering aircraft.

 

How many aircraft carriers does India have?

  • INS Vikramaditya (Active)
  • INS Vikrant (Under construction, to be launched in late 2019)
  • INS Vishal (Planned)

Decommissioned carriers:

  • INS Vikrant (1961 – 1997)
  • INS Viraat (1987 – 2016)

 

Grey areas in schemes stymie financial inclusion

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

Banking agents and business correspondents (BCs) operating in the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme and other banking services are finding the going tough due to certain grey areas in the implementation of some of the services.

 

What are the grey areas/ outstanding issues?

  • All the banks receiving DBT from the government in customer accounts are not participating in the AEPS settlement. This restricts access of DBT money to the citizen.
  • AEPS device subsidy being offered by NABARD is not being availed by the banks, thereby leaving the banks to purchase the AEPS devices without subsidy
  • While 3.15 per cent fee was proposed by the government to be paid to BC agents for facilitating DBT disbursement to the citizen, currently only 0.15 percent is being paid to BC agents
  • Another complaint of the bankers is that RuPay debit cards are not being used by the end users.
  • Small retail money is not coming into the formal banking sector. As granular savings is costly for the banks to mobilise from each household, banks generally don’t take interest in such small savings.
  • Further, on-boarding agents and customers by BCs has become unviable and risky due to manual work without eKYC.
  • Though there’s nil GST for serving Jan Dhan accounts and accounts in rural areas, while serving these accounts, the common IFSC code of centralised Core Banking System is used and hence identification of these accounts is not possible, thereby making the service to these accounts at BC agent outlet as violative of the government intent since GST is charged to all.

 

What are Business Correspondents?

  • Business Correspondents, authorised by the Reserve Bank of India, are retail agents engaged by banks for providing banking services at locations – mostly remote areas — other than a bank branch or ATM.
  • BCs enable a bank to provide its limited range of banking services at low cost, thus promoting financial inclusion.

 

What is Aadhar enabled Payments system (AEPS)?

AePS is a bank led model which allows online interoperable financial inclusion transaction at PoS (MicroATM) through the Business correspondent of any bank using the Aadhaar authentication.

The only inputs required for a customer to do a transaction under this scenario are:-

  • IIN (Identifying the Bank to which the customer is associated)
  • Aadhaar Number
  • Fingerprint captured during their enrolment

 

What is Core Banking System/ Solution?

  • Core Banking Solution (CBS) is networking of branches, which enables customers to operate their accounts, and avail banking services from any branch of the Bank on CBS network, regardless of where he maintains his account.
  • All CBS branches are inter-connected with each other. Therefore, Customers of CBS branches can avail various banking facilities from any other CBS branch located anywhere in the world.

 

 

Forex Reserve at a 1 year high of $418.51 billion

Paper : General Studies 3

Why in news?

  • According to the RBI data while the forex reserves stood at $399.1 billion for the week ended February 22, it has risen sharply by over $19 billion over the last two months.
  • This is due to two reasons – continuing strong inflow of FPIs and RBI’s $10 billion dollar – rupee swap
  • Rising forex reserve is expected to further increase the import cover for the country.

 

What is Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI)?

  • Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) is investment by non-residents in Indian securities including shares, government bonds, corporate bonds, convertible securities, infrastructure securities etc.
  • Any equity investment by non-residents which is less than or equal to 10% of capital in a company is portfolio investment. While above this the investment will be counted as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).