Indian Economy - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects says India is ___ fastest growing economy in the world.
- Published on 19 Jul 17

a. 2nd
b. 3rd
c. 4th
d. 5th
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: 4th

Explanation:
India is the world’s fourth fastest growing economy in the world thus far in 2017.

That’s according to the World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects.

For 2017, India’s economy is expected to advance 7.2%.

That’s slightly above the country’s long-term growth.

GDP Annual Growth Rate in India averaged 6.12% from 1951 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 11.40% in the first quarter of 2010 and a record low of -5.20% in the fourth quarter of 1979.

The Indian economy has benefited from a stable macroeconomic environment of low inflation and interest rates.

This has helped shake off a temporary slow-down in consumer spending and a drop in investment that followed the demonetization program back in November 2016 - which took 86% of the country’s currency out of circulation.

India’s economy has also benefited from ongoing market reforms that have improved competitiveness.

For 2016-17, India scored 4.52 points out of 7, according to Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum, slightly above its ten year average of 4.33 points.

That helped the country climb to rise to the position as the 39th most competitive nation in the world out of 138 countries ranked in the report.

The Competitiveness Rank in India averaged 52.73 from 2007 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 71.00 in 2015 and a record low of 39.00 in 2017.

Improved competitiveness, in turn, has helped narrow the country’s current account deficit to 0.70% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2016.

Current Account to GDP in India averaged -1.40 percent from 1980 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 2.28% in 2003 and a record low of -4.80% in 2012.

Financial markets have taken note. The iShares S&P India have gained 20.76 percent over the last twelve months.


2)   IBBI stands for which of the following?
- Published on 18 Jul 17

a. Insolvency and Banking Board of India
b. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India
c. Insolvency and Board of Bankruptcy of India
d. Insufficiency and Bankruptcy Board of India
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

Explanation:
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has powers to start probe against service providers registered with it without intimating them, according to new regulations.

IBBI, which is implementing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), has notified the regulations for inspection and investigation of service providers registered with it.

Insolvency professional agencies, professionals, entities and information utility are considered as service providers under the Code.

The Code, which provides for a market-determined and time-bound resolution of insolvency proceedings, became operational in December 2016.

As per the regulations, the investigation authority has to serve a notice intimating the entity concerned about the probe at least ten days in advance.

However, the requirement could be done away with on grounds such as apprehensions that the records of the particular service provider might be destroyed before the probe starts.


3)   According to GoI, allowing more deposits of old INR 500 and 1000 notes will lead to?
- Published on 18 Jul 17

a. Benami transactions
b. Defeat the purpose of demonetisation
c. Both a and b
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and b

Explanation:
One last opportunity to deposit the 500- and 1,000-rupee notes that were banned in November will defeat the whole point of demonetisation as well as the battle against black money, according to the government of India.

The top court had asked the centre to consider a final window to benefit those with a genuine reason for not turning in the outlawed notes by the end of last year.

The deadline that was set by the RBI after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's shock announcement on demonetisation.

Different citizens' appeals were clubbed together by the Supreme Court.

But the government complained today of “the gross misuse or abuse” of previous extensions or exceptions that allowed old notes to be used to book railway tickets or at petrol pumps among others.

Allowing a new opportunity to deposit the banned notes would result in “any number of benami transactions” and make it difficult for departments to distinguish “genuine cases from bogus ones”, the centre warned.

The PM said the short notice was vital to ensure that black money holders were deprived of the opportunity to launder their money.

However, the RBI says it has still not determined the exact figure of the returned notes. By the end of December, banks had received virtually all the currency notes that had been banned - which implied that no black money had been destroyed.

INR 15.5 lakh crore was the value of the outlawed currency - about INR 15 lakh crore was accounted for in deposits by the end of 2016, said several reports.

The last official estimate from the RBI, shared in mid-December, pegged the returned notes at Rs. 12.5 lakh crore.


4)   India has topped which OECD report?
- Published on 17 Jul 17

a. Government at a Glance 2017
b. Government Factsheet 2017
c. Government Index 2017
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Government at a Glance 2017

Explanation:
India has topped in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Government at a Glance 2017 report.

It states that Narendra Modi led NDA coalition has secured 73% trust of people, highest in the world. OECD’s Government at a Glance report presents an index of countries that trust their governments the most.

It determines government’s trust levels by whether or not people consider their government stable and reliable, if it’s able to protect its citizens from risk and whether it can effectively deliver public services.

The Canadian government headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was ranked second with confidence of 62% citizens.

Turkey was in third place with 58% of the populace placing its trust in the Reciep Erdogan government.

Russia and Germany were ranked fourth and fifth with confidence levels at 58% and 55% respectively.

US government led by President Donald Trump secured only 30% of the peoples’ confidence.

United Kingdom led by PM Theresa May secured 41% of the peoples’ confidence.

Greece was placed at the bottom of the list with a mere 13% of the people’s confidence.

The report states that government spending averaged 40.9% of GDP in OECD countries in 2015, up from 38.8% in 2007. In 2016, government spending as a share of GDP was highest in France with 56.5% followed by Finland (56.1%) and Denmark (53.6%).

It was lowest Mexico (24.5%), Ireland (29.5%) and South Korea (32.4%).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

  • OCED is an international economic organisation of 34 countries to stimulate economic progress and world trade Founded: 1961.
  • It defines itself as a forum of countries committed to democracy and the market economy.
  • It provides common platform for members to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices etc.
  • Most OECD members are regarded as developed countries i.e. high-income economies with very high Human Development Index (HDI).
  • Its headquarter is in Paris, France.


5)   Which is the world’s third largest oil importer?
- Published on 12 Jul 17

a. Bangladesh
b. Pakistan
c. Nepal
d. India
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: India

Explanation:
India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, will import crude oil from the United States for the first time after Indian Oil Corp bought a cargo that will be delivered in October.

The purchase comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June when President Donald Trump said his country looked forward to exporting more energy products to India.

IOC bought 1.6 million barrels of US Mars crude, a heavy, high-sulphur grade, and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select that will be delivered onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier.

PetroChina was awarded the tender to sell the cargoes and is expected to load the oil off the US Gulf Coast, said a trading source with direct knowledge of the sale.

The cargo was priced on a delivered ex-ship basis, which is “very competitive” to that of Basra Light,

India is the latest Asian country to buy US crude after South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Taiwan.

Countries seek to diversify oil imports from other regions after the OPEC cuts drove up prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude, or grades with a high sulphur content.

Indian refiners are seeking these heavy, high-sulphur grades as feedstocks after modifications at their plants make it easier to process these types of crudes, which typically sell at a lower cost relative to other oil types.

The US could become an alternative source for the Indian companies for these grades.

A second Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd also planned to buy its first ever US crude oil cargo and has issued a purchase tender.

BPCL: Know More

  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • CEO: S. Varadarajan (30 Sep 2013)
  • Owner: Government of India (54.93%)
  • Revenue: 2.404 trillion INR (2015, US $36 billion)
  • Founded: 1976


6)   A new tax payer service module was compiled by the IT dept called ____________.
- Published on 11 Jul 17

a. Aaykar Setu
b. Aaykar Jyoti
c. Aaykar Yojana
d. Aaykar Rupee
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Aaykar Setu

Explanation:
The Finance Ministry launches a new tax payer service module ‘Aaykar Setu’ that compiles various tax tools, live chat facility, dynamic updates, and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department in a single module.

This e-initiative would not only provide better taxpayer services but would also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.

To enhance mobile access experience, a mobile responsive android version was also released along with the desktop version.

This highlights the Government’s commitment towards continuously upgrading tax payer services.

This initiative will be minimizing the chances of any tax harassment.

The new step is an effort by the Income Tax Department (ITD) to directly communicate with the taxpayers, on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services aimed at providing tax information at their fingertips.

The module compiles various tax tools, live chat facility, dynamic updates, and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department in a single module.

The tax payers will also be able to receive regular updates regarding important tax dates, forms and notifications on mobile numbers registered with the ITD.

All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to register their mobile numbers in the Aaykar Setu module.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) constantly endeavours to provide better taxpayer services and reduce taxpayer grievances.

New schemes and e-initiatives to educate the taxpayers and deliver tax payer services in an effective manner are key to this effort.


7)   President of India promulgated two ordinances for which state to join GST?
- Published on 10 Jul 17

a. Mizoram
b. Manipur
c. J&K
d. HP
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: J&K

Explanation:
The President of India has promulgated today two ordinances, namely, the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Ordinance, 2017 and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Ordinance, 2017.

This was for extending the domain of Central GST Act and the Integrated GST Act to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, with effect from 8th July, 2017.

With this, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has become part of the GST regime, making GST truly a “one nation, one tax” regime.

Earlier, the Goods and Services Tax was launched in the country from the midnight of 1st July, 2017.

However, because of the special provisions applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir extra steps had to be taken before the State could join the GST fold.

On 6th July 2017, the State of Jammu and Kashmir had taken the first step towards adopting the GST regime with the President of India giving assent to the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Amendment Order, 2017.

Resultantly, the One Hundred and First Amendment Act, 2016 to the Constitution of India that paved the way for introduction of GST in the country, became applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir also.

Following this, on 7th July, 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir Goods and Services Tax Bill, 2017 was passed by the State Legislature, empowering the State to levy State GST on intra-state supplies with effect from 8th July, 2017.

Concomitantly, the President of India has promulgated two ordinances, namely, the Central Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Ordinance, 2017 and the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Extension to Jammu and Kashmir) Ordinance, 2017.


8)   When are traders exempt from GST registration?
- Published on 07 Jul 17

a. When annual turnover is more than 20 lakhs and does not involve interstate supply
b. When annual turnover is less than 20 lakhs and does not involve interstate supply
c. When annual turnover is more than 15 lakhs and does involve interstate supply
d. When annual turnover is more than 13 lakhs and does involve interstate supply
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: When annual turnover is less than 20 lakhs and does not involve interstate supply

Explanation:
The government on July 6, 2017 conducted the first GST "masterclass" for all stakeholders including citizens.

These "masterclasses" are in the form of hour-long programs and will be held for six days.

Here are key takeaways from the first GST masterclass:

1) Registration on GST portal:

The government clarified that it is mandatory for the traders and dealers to complete the Part-B of their GST registration within the period of 90 days.

If an individual is not hands-on with online registration, then she/he can visit any excise, VAT or Service Tax office of state and central government where officials will get the job done.

There is no charge involved in this process.

Responding to a query on problems regarding registration of names bearing special characters (e.g. D'Souza or L&T), the government said that the software of the GST portal has been fixed to overcome the hiccup.

2) Updating details after registration:

The GST masterclass also discussed the updation of details of a business in the GST portal.

The government said that for minor details like bank account number, phone number, e-mail ID, updation can be done by the trader herself/ himself by visiting the GST registration portal.

However, modification like change in legal name of business, address of place of business, addition or deletion of partners or directors etc. can be done only by tax officials.

3) Exemption on turnover of INR 20 lakh

Trader class by now are well-versed with the fact that they are exempt from GST registration if their annual turnover is less than Rs 20 lakh.

However, the GST Council officials clarified that if a business involves inter-state supply, then GST registration is mandatory even if the turnover is below the threshold.

However, it was pointed out that if a business has a turnover below INR 20 lakh currently and happens to cross the threshold over time, then it needs to get itself registered within 30 days of it.

4) Items outside GST purview:

The Revenue Secretary on Wednesday reiterated the items which are outside the ambit of GST.

Following is the list of such products and the competent authority which can charge tax on them:

  • 5 petroleum commodities- VAT can be levied by state government while excise duty by the centre government
  • Stamp duty and registration charges- By state government
  • Vehicle Tax- By state government
  • Electricity Duty- By state government
  • Potable alcohol- By state government
  • Entertainment Tax- By state government in order to benefit local bodies
5) Miscellaneous
  • The provisional ID number received at the time of registration will be the same as the ID number received at the completion of registration.
  • All registered dealers will have to furnish their GSTN registration numbers on signboards.
  • In case, a dealer is facing problems in uploading Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), he/she can also opt to authenticate using an OTP (One Time Password) sent to his/her mobile number and e-mail ID.


9)   World Bank has cleared a loan to aid which Indian mission?
- Published on 27 Jun 17

a. Start up India
b. Stand up India
c. Skill India
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Skill India

Explanation:
The World Bank has cleared a USD 250-million loan to aid the Skill India mission.

The loan amount would be used for making Indian youth more employable through reskilling.

The USD 250 million Skill India Mission Operation (SIMO) is set to increase the market relevance of short-term skill development programmes (3-12 months or up to 600 hours) both at the national and state levels.

It will help the government of India to better equip the young workforce with employable skills.

SIMO will be a six- year programme in support of National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (2017-23).

Under the programme, persons in the age group of 15-59 will acquire skill training irrespective of their employment status.

This will benefit 1.2 crore youngsters in the age bracket of 15 and 29 years who are entering the labour market every year.

The programme is expected to benefit approximately 15,000 trainers and 3,000 assessors.

The programme has also a mandate to offer placement and entrepreneurship opportunities to women and increase their exposure to skill training.

Need for Programme: Know More

  • As per the official estimates, India is in need of additional 109 million skilled workers to work in 24 key sectors by 2022.
  • SIMO will support the government’s vision of increasing women’s participation in the labour force and increase greater off-farm employment.
  • Higher skilled labour force will have an improved employment opportunity to raise their earnings.

  • World Bank: Know More

  • World Bank World Bank is one of five institutions created at the Breton Woods Conference in 1944. World Bank is part of the United Nations system, but its governance structure is different.
  • World Bank’s headquarter is situated at Washington DC. World Bank provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.
  • World Bank comprises only two institutions viz. the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA).
  • In contrast, World Bank Group comprises three more viz. International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).


10)   Which publication was released by RBI in June 2017 on gross fiscal deficits of states?
- Published on 26 Jun 17

a. Handbook of Statistics on States 2016-2017
b. Handbook of Statistics on States 2015-2016
c. Handbook of Statistics on States Second Edition
d. Both a and c are same
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Both a and c are same

Explanation:
According to ‘Handbook of Statistics on States 2016-17‘, the gross fiscal deficits of all the states have soared to Rs 4,93,360 crore in fiscal 2016 from Rs 18,790 crore in FY1991.

This is the second edition of RBI’s statistical publication.

‘Handbook of Statistics on States 2016-17 follows a ‘one-indicator-one table’ approach. It covers all sub-national statistics on socio- demographics, state domestic product, agriculture, industry, infrastructure, banking and other fiscal indicators across the states during the period 1950-51 to 2016-17.

The handbook also provides data on the state-wise availability of power, per capita availability of power, installed capacity of power, and power requirement, the length of national highways, roads and state highways, and railheads.

Uttar Pradesh had a fiscal deficit of INR 3,070 crore in FY91, which has soared to INR 64,320 crore in FY16.

It is projected to improve to INR 49,960 crore in FY17.

Rajasthan had a fiscal deficit of INR 540 crore in FY91, which has soared to INR 67,350 crore in FY16.

Maharashtra has a fiscal deficit of INR 37,950 crore in FY16 which is projected to soar to INR 35,030 crore in FY17.

Gujarat which has seen rapid industrialisation in the period of data analysis has got its fiscal deficit increased from INR 1,800 crore in FY91 to 22,170 crore in FY16 and the deficit is projected to further deteriorate in FY17 to INR 24,610 crore.

Andhra Pradesh has a deficit of INR 17,000 crore in FY16 which is set to increase to INR 20,500 crore in FY17.

Tamil Nadu is also projected to have a higher deficit at INR 40,530 crore in FY17. Karnataka is also estimated to post higher deficit in FY17 at INR 25,660 crore.

Bihar which has a fiscal deficit of INR 28,510 crore in FY16 is slated to improve its finances with the fiscal deficit of INR 16,010 crore in FY17.

Similarly, West Bengal is also slated to improve its fiscal deficit to INR 19,360 crore in FY17 .

However, the gross fiscal deficit is projected to decline to INR 40,530 crore in FY17.


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