Indian Economy - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   India's food processing sector has the potential to attract $33 billion investment by 2024, according to a study by which trade body?
- Published on 22 Nov 17

a. ASSOCHAM
b. Nasscom
c. FICCI
d. IMC
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: ASSOCHAM

Explanation:
India's food processing sector has the potential to attract $33 billion investment by 2024, according to a study released here on 20thNov 2017 by ASSOCHAM.

The country's food and retail market is expected to touch $482 billion by 2020, up from $258 billion in 2015, with recent reforms making the sector more competitive and marke-oriented, it said.

ASSOCHAM: Know More

  • The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) is one of the apex trade associations of India.
  • The organisation represents the interests of trade and commerce in India, and acts as an interface between industry, government and other relevant stakeholders on policy issues and initiatives.
  • The goal of this organisation is to promote both domestic and international trade, and reduce trade barriers while fostering conducive environment for the growth of trade and industry of India.


2)   India was at what rank among 63 countries on the IMD Talent Rankings in terms of ability to attract, develop and retain talent?
- Published on 22 Nov 17

a. 25
b. 50
c. 51
d. 54
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 51

Explanation:
India ranked 51st among 63 countries on the IMD Talent Rankings in terms of ability to attract, develop and retain talent. In previous rankings, India was ranked 54th.

The annual IMD World Talent Ranking covers 63 countries and assessed methods countries adopted to attract and retain talent. The rankings of countries are based on their performance in three main categories - investment and development, appeal, and readiness.


3)   The Union Government has signed a guarantee agreement for IBRD/CTF loan for Solar Parks Project with which international body?
- Published on 21 Nov 17

a. International Monetary Fund
b. United States Government
c. World Bank
d. Global Bank
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: World Bank

Explanation:
The Union Government has signed a guarantee agreement for IBRD/CTF loan of US $98 million and Grant Agreement for US $2 million for Shared Infrastructure for Solar Parks Project with World Bank.

The objective Shared Infrastructure for Solar Parks Project is to increase solar generation capacity through establishment of large-scale parks in the country.


4)   The Union Cabinet approved setting up of which apex body under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime so as to ensure the benefit of tax reaches consumers?
- Published on 20 Nov 17

a. National Good and Services Authority
b. National GST Tax Authority
c. National Anti-profiteering Authority
d. National Anti-laundering Authority
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: National Anti-profiteering Authority

Explanation:
The Union Cabinet approved setting up of National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA), an apex body with an overarching mandate under Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime so as to ensure the benefit of tax reaches consumers.

It also approved creation of posts of Chairman and Technical Members of National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST regime.

NAA: Know More

  • The establishment of the NAA, to be headed by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India with four Technical Members from the Centre and/or the States.
  • It is one more measure aimed at reassuring consumers that Government is fully committed to take all possible steps to ensure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.
  • It may be recalled that effective from midnight of 14th November, 2017 the GST rate has been slashed from 28% to 18% on goods falling under 178 headings.
  • There are now only 50 items which attract the GST rate of 28%.
    Likewise, a large number of items have witnessed a reduction in GST rates from 18% to 12% and so on and some goods have been completely exempt from GST.
  • The "anti-profiteering" measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.
  • This institutional framework comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).


5)   The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs  gave its approval for removing the prohibition on the export of what type of items?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. Steel Ingots
b. Textiles
c. Pulses
d. Onions
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Pulses

Explanation:
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 16th Nov, 2017 gave its approval for removing the prohibition on the export of all types of pulses to give the farmers greater choice in marketing their produce for improved incomes.

The CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) has approved the removal of prohibition on export of all types of pulses.

CCEA: Know More

  • CCEA has a mandate to review economic trends on a continuous basis, as also the problems and prospects, with a view to evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy framework for the country.
  • It also directs and coordinates all policies and activities in the economic field including foreign investment that require policy decisions at the highest level.
  • Price controls of industrial raw materials and products, industrial licensing policies is undertaken by CCEA
    The CCEA also lays down priorities for public sector investment and considers specific proposals for investment of not less than specific levels (Rs. 3 Billion at present) as revised from time to time.
  • CCEA facilitates finalization of factual reports on the accomplishments of the Ministries, Agencies and Public Sector Undertakings involved in implementation of prioritized schemes or projects for evaluation by the Prime Minister.
  • The CCEA also considers cases of increase in the firmed up cost estimates/revised cost estimates for projects etc. in respect of the business allocated to the CCEA.
  • On 2 January 2013, Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure was merged with CCEA.


6)   Which is India's first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ)?
- Published on 17 Nov 17

a. Vizag Port
b. Chennai Port
c. Jawaharlal Nehru Port
d. Indira Gandhi Port
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Jawaharlal Nehru Port

Explanation:
The Union Government has given go-ahead for setting up India's first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Maharashtra.

The first of its kind mega CEZ will stretch along north Konkan region spread across Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nashik and Raigarh.

About 45 companies across auto, telecom and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in zone.

JNPT: Know More

  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai (formerly known as the Nhava Sheva Port) located within the Mumbai harbour on the west coast of India, was commissioned on 26th May 1989.
  • It occupies a place of prominence among the major Indian ports.
  • It is the second youngest and one of the most modern major ports of the country. Though it was initially planned to be a "satellite port" to the Mumbai Port with the purpose of decongesting traffic at the latter, eventually it was developed as an independent port on its own right and it became the country's largest container port.
  • Being one of the oldest ports in India, the Mumbai port was proving to be structurally inadequate to meet the requirements of modern cargo handling.
  • There was an urgent need for a new port in the Mumbai region, which eventually led to the birth of JNPT in 1989.


7)   CBDT reported a rise in PAN applications post demonetisation. What was the number?
- Published on 16 Nov 17

a. 300%
b. 200%
c. 500%
d. 100%
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 300%

Explanation:
CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra announced while there were around 2.5 lakh PAN applications per month earlier, after the Centre announced to scrap high value currency notes in November last year, the number rose to 7.5 lakh.

Additionally, the department was taking a number of measures to curb black money and that steps such as no cash transaction of above INR 2 lakh was a move in that direction.

CBDT: Know More

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India and is also responsible for administration of the direct tax laws through Income Tax Department. The CBDT is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. It is India's official FATF unit.[21]

Organisational Structure

  • The CBDT is headed by CBDT Chairman and also comprises six members. The Chairperson holds the rank of Special Secretary to Government of India while the members rank of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
Other members:
  • Member (Income Tax)
  • Member (Legislation and Computerisation)
  • Member (Revenue)
  • Member (Personnel & Vigilance)
  • Member (Investigation)
  • Member (Audit & Judicial)
  • The CBDT Chairman and Members of CBDT are selected from Indian Revenue Service (IRS), a premier civil service of India, whose members constitute the top management of Income Tax Department.


8)   Commerce Ministry closed down its nearly 100-year-old public procurement arm called ___________
- Published on 16 Nov 17

a. DGS&B
b. DGS&D
c. DGC&A
d. DGP&T
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: DGS&D

Explanation:
The commerce ministry closed down its nearly 100-year-old public procurement arm–the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D)-on October 31.

The closure of the DGS&D, which traces its origin to London during the British raj, follows setting up of the government e-market (GeM) platform last year for public procurement of goods and services.

About 1,100 of its employees are being shifted to different departments, including income tax, while the senior officers are likely to be accommodated in other branches of the government. DGS&D assets, which were present across the country, are transferred to the Land and Development Office of the urban development ministry.

The directorate has four regional offices, including Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. It has 12 Purchase Directorates.


9)   Bharti Airtel has offloaded 83 million shares of which subsidiary on Nov 14, 2017?
- Published on 15 Nov 17

a. Bharti Televentures
b. Bharti Infratel
c. Bharti-AXA Life Insurance
d. Tikona Infinet Limited
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Bharti Infratel

Explanation:
Bharti Airtel on Nov 14, 2017 offloaded 83 million shares of its subsidiary Bharti Infratel for र 3,325 crore through a secondary share sale in the stock market.

Bharti Airtel will primarily use the proceeds to reduce its debt, the company said in a statement. The firm's net debt stood at र 91,480 crore at the end of September 2017.

The sale was for a consideration of more than र 3,325 crore or about $510 million and was executed at a price of र 400.6 a share.

Following the transaction, Bharti Airtel and its wholly-owned subsidiaries hold 53.51% in Bharti Infratel. Promoters held 58% as of September 2017, as per BSE data.

The allocation was done to global investors, fund managers and long only funds, including many repeat investors.

Led by healthy investor appetite, the deal was upsized by over 25%.

J.P. Morgan, UBS and Goldman Sachs were joint placement agents for the transaction.


10)   Which trade body released the report "Ideate, Innovate, Implement" in Nov 2017 on impact of GST?
- Published on 15 Nov 17

a. ASSOCHAM
b. FICCI
c. PhD Chambers of Commerce
d. CRISIL
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: ASSOCHAM

Explanation:
Despite a temporary economic slowdown after the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July 2017, India is on the threshold of sustainable growth, according to an ASSOCHAM report.

In its study, titled: "Ideate, Innovate, Implement: the apex industry body held that despite slowdown in growth after GST implementation, India is on the path to growth.

It said that faster GST implementation, removal of check gates between states that have smoothened inter-state movements and central sales tax (CST) no longer being a cost will help improve the situation.

The report maintained that GST will have a significant impact on all aspects of the businesses operating in the country including-supply chain, logistics, cash flows and transactions.

The study said that GST will have an impact on prices agreed for contracts entered under the pre-GST regime and proposed to be executed either partly or completely under the post-GST regime.

Also, the introduction of GST should entail a reduction in overall process on account of reduced tax costs.

The Assocham-EY report also suggested central and state governments need to work in tandem by executing investor-friendly policies to further strengthen investment prospects.


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