Indian Economy - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

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1)   SIDBI has started which operations to benefit MSMEs w.e.f 27th July 2017?
- Published on 27 Jul 17

a. Rural banking
b. Issue of participatory notes
c. MF management
d. Merchant banking
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: Merchant banking

Explanation:
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has started full-fledged merchant banking operations to benefit the expanding number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

This is especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient.

The initiative is aimed at enhancing the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.

SIDBI has supported over 125 venture capital funds and thus can provide support for listing the investee companies on SME exchanges through its merchant banking operations.

SIDBI, by virtue of direct credit assistance for nearly two decades, also has a good number of such MSMEs that would like to list in the SME exchanges.

It is this strength that SIDBI would like to utilise by connecting the right investment opportunity to the funds and also would like to help these funds with exit opportunities at attractive valuations.

A significant increase in the number of venture funds active in the start-up/ MSME space in the past two years will create a large pipe of fast growing companies seeking public markets.

This will prove beneficial to the SME exchange as well as investors seeking liquidity or exit.


2)   Case Study on birth of which tax system in India was launched by the FM on 25th July 2017?
- Published on 26 Jul 17

a. Indirect Tax
b. Direct Tax
c. Sales Tax
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
A Case Study on the birth of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India – “The GST Saga: A Story of Extraordinary National Ambition” was released on 25th July 2017 by the Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley in his office in North Block in the national capital.

In view of the successful roll-out of the GST on 1 July 2017, it was felt that there was a need for the public to know of the story of how GST evolved, its timeline, the different stakeholders involved and how it eventually culminated in its inauguration in the Central Hall of the Parliament of India on the midnight of 30th June,2017 and 1st July, 2017 by the President and Prime Minister of India.

This case study accordingly captures the entire journey of GST right from its ideation in the Kelkar Task Force Report in 2003.

Other salient features such as the dates on which the SGST Laws were enacted in the 31 States, peculiarity of the Indian GST model, how the fitment of rates was done and the IT backbone of GST have also been addressed in the case study.

This makes it a concise yet comprehensive repository of the GST story.


3)   What does NTFAP stand for in the context of trade?
- Published on 24 Jul 17

a. National Trade Facilitation Action Programme
b. National Trading Facilitation Action Programme
c. National Trade Facilitation Action Plan
d. National Trading Facilitation Action Plan
Answer  Explanation  Related Ques

ANSWER: National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

Explanation:
National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP) aims to align border procedures with international best practices and improve Ease of Doing Business.

It would not only ensure compliance with the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) but would also give impetus to trade facilitation.

Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and Ease of doing Business which goes beyond TFA.

The Action Plan was released by the Finance Minister Shri Jaitley on 21st July 2017.

WCO appreciated the various initiatives taken by the Indian Customs to facilitate trade particularly the release of the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan (NTFAP).

While praising the massive reforms undertaken by the present Government in the Indian Taxation System including implementation of GST, WCO indicated that the efforts made with regard to outreach and capacity building before implementation of GST in India can be emulated by many other countries.

WCO is working with G-20 on illicit financial flows.


4)   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.


5)   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.


6)   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.


7)   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.


8)   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


9)   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.


10)   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.


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