RBI/ BANKING/BUSINESS NEWS (MAY-AUGUST 2015)

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1 RBI/ BANKING/BUSINESS NEWS (MAY-AUGUST 2015) 21 August: The Reserve Bank of India granted its in-principle approval to setting up Payments Banks to 11 entities. These are Aditya Birla Nuvo, Airtel M Commerce Services, Cholamandalam Distribution Services, Department of Posts, Fino PayTech, National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), Reliance Industries, Tech Mahindra, Vodafone m-pesa, Dilip Shanghvi and Vijay S. Sharma. The two individuals to get RBI s approval Dilip Shanghvi and Vijay S. Sharma, are associated with Sun Pharma and Paytm respectively. Payments banks will be the entities which will be mainly involved in remittance services and will be allowed to accept deposits up to Rs. 1 lakh but cannot lend. They can also issue debit cards and offer internet banking but will be not allowed to issue credit cards. 20 August: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched two funds by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), a fund of funds with total corpus of Rs 12,000 crore. The funds are Rs 2,000-crore India Aspiration Fund (IAF) and SIDBI Make In India Loan For Enterprises (SMILE) scheme with an investment size of Rs 10,000 crore. 20 August: The State Bank of India has launched its mobile wallet State Bank Buddy in collaboration with Accenture and MasterCard. The mobile wallet app is available in 13 languages on Google Play Store.The bank said the wallet will soon be available in the Apple App Store as well. 20 August: The Indian government's recent steps to support the capitalisation of public sector banks won't fully resolve their looming capital shortfall, according to a Standard & Poor's report. The government has recently announced its plan to allocate capital to each of the banks for fiscal (ending March 31), increase the capital allocation for fiscal 2016, and commit to further allocation in the next few years if needed. The government has earmarked Indian rupee (INR) 0.7 trillion (US$11 billion) for capital infusions for

2 20 August: To fund the unfunded, the Finance Ministry plans to launch a month long campaign for loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and hopes to double loan disbursement to the small business sector to over Rs 1 lakh crore during the fiscal. 20 August: The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), the major player in the insurance sector launched its new endowment plus ULIP product. Mr B K Panda, Sr Divisional Manager LICI, Guwahati, along with Mr S Biswas, Manager Sales officially launched the policy. 18 August: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a new campaign 'Start-up India, Stand-up India' to promote bank financing for start-ups and offer incentives to boost entrepreneurship and job creation. The campaign was launched during the celebrations of 69th Independence Day at Red Fort, Delhi. The initiative is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship among the youth of India. 18 August: Government appointed new heads in five Public Sector Banks. Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Canara Bank have become the first public sector banks which will be headed by private sector professionals. P.S. Jayakumar (53), who currently heads realty firm VBHC Value Homes, has been appointed as the managing director & chief executive officer of Bank of Baroda. MD and CEO of private sector lender Laxmi Vilas Bank Rakesh Sharma (57) will head Canara Bank. M.O. Rego (Deputy Managing Director, IDBI Bank), Kishore Kharat Piraji (Executive Director, Union Bank of India), and Usha Ananthasubramanian (CMD, Bhartiya Mahila Bank) are the new MD and CEOs of Bank of India, IDBI Bank and Punjab National Bank, respectively. 18 August: Reserve Bank of India notified the Union Budget Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) and asked all banks to provide interest concession of 2 percent on short term crop loans of up to 3 lakh rupees. The central bank in its notification said that interest subvention of 2 percent per annum will be made available to public and private sector banks. 17 August: The Reserve Bank of India paid a dividend of nearly Rs. 66,000 crore to the government, the highest ever from the central bank in its 80-year history, and 22% more than it paid last year. On a point to point basis, RBI's dividend payment to the government is up more than four times in as many years. This payment can help ease the government's finances, help meet its fiscal deficit targets, provide liquidity to the system so that the rate of interest remains low. 17 August: The programme to pay cash subsidy to cooking gas LPG consumers has been recognised by Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cash transfer programme in the world. The Direct Benefit Transfer on LPG (DBTL), or Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL) scheme, was launched in 54 districts on November 15, 2014 and all over the country from January 1, 2015 with a view to provide subsidy to the right beneficiary and to cut diversion and subsidised fuel being consumed by unintended segments like restaurants and other commercial establishments.

3 17 August: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) allowed banks to tie up with insurance companies. This decision is taken on the basis of 'Bancasurance' guidelines soon to be notified. Prior to this decision no bank was allowed to tie up with more than one insurance company. Now, according to the new bancassurance guidelines banks can tie up with a maximum of 9 insurers from three segments life, non life and standalone health insurers as part of the new. While such a tie-up will not be mandatory on the banks. 13 August: Wipro Chairman Azim Premji and HCL founder Shiv Nadar are the only two Indian tycoons in the top 20 richest people in the world of technology, according to an inaugural list by Forbes that has been topped by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Premji is ranked 13th on Forbes' first ever list of '100 Richest People In Tech', followed by Nadar on the 14th spot. Premji, 70, who has a net worth of $ 17.4 billion, is among Asia's most generous tycoons. Nadar has a net worth of $ 14.4 billion. 13 August: The Financing Agreement for World Bank assistance of US$ 104 million for Additional Financing under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project-I (NCRMP-I) was signed between Government of India and the World Bank. The objective of Additional Financing under NCRMP-I is to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclone and other hydro meteorological hazards in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. 13 August: The Financing Agreement for World Bank assistance of US$ million for National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project-II (NCRMP-II) was signed between Government of India and the World Bank. The objective of NCRMP-II is to reduce vulnerability to cyclone and other hydro-meteorological hazards of coastal communities in the States of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal. 12 August: In view of the forthcoming festival of Raksha Bandhan, a special enrolment drive, Suraksha Bandhan, is being launched by participating banks and insurance companies for enrolling bank account holders in Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY). The Suraksha Bandhan drive aims to take forward the Government s objective of creating a universal social security system in the country. It is targeted especially at the poor and the under-privileged. 11 August: In a report on Working Conditions of Women in Public Sector Banks a parliamentary panel has recommended making at least 15 per cent public sector banks branches all-women offices to provide safe and convenient work environment to women in the banking sector. The PSBs have a total staff strength of about 8, 57, 868. Of this, women employees account for 1, 96, 374, constituting 24 per cent of the total workforce as of September, August: Payment system running companies in India like Airtel, Vodafone, OneMobikvik etc. who have applied for licence with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), might have to be under control of the two regulators. They will contnue to be regulated by the RBI, and after the Indian Financial Code (IFC) is

4 implemented the proposed financial authority will also superwise them. Regulation of banking sector, the systematically important payment systems and authorized dealerships shall remain with RBI. 11 August: The Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana launched by the Government of India on August 15, 2014, is set to close on August 14, Administered by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, the scheme is aimed at the welfare of the senior citizens of the country, offering a yield of 9.38 per cent annually. 11 August: ICICI Bank has launched its Saral-Rural Housing Loan at base rate of 9.7 per cent for borrowers from the rural areas.the loan would range from Rs lakh for a period of 3 20 years and the loan could be up to 90 per cent of the property value.the offer would be available in 189 cities across the country. 8 August: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to shift, merge or close branches in urban areas without seeking its prior permission. According to RBI banks can shift, merge or close all branches except rural branches and sole semi-urban branches at their discretion. Shifting, merging or closing a branch in a rural area or a sole branch in a semi-urban area would, however, continue to require prior permission from RBI. RBI took this decision to give extra freedom to banks. 8 August: In a historic move, retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) kickstarted the process of investing in the stock market, with an initial corpus of around Rs. 5,000 crore to be invested through Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in the current fiscal. It invested in the major shares of SENSEX and NIFTY. Next year this investment woud increase upto 15,000 crore rupees. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya announced the first investment. 8 August: Federal Bank launched India s first Mobile App for Bank Account Opening in Mumbai. Federal Bank has introduced this unique facility of Mobile based Bank Account Opening as an upgrade to FedBook, its e-passbook App, launched two years ago. With the new avatar of FedBook, anyone having an Aadhaar Card and PAN Card can now open a Savings Bank Account and get their Account Number instantly using a mobile from anywhere at any time. Further, the account can also be funded with an initial remittance through online fund transfer up to a maximum amount of Rs August: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its interest rates unchanged in its third bi-monthly monetary policy review. The Reserve Bank of India retained the growth target for at 7.6 percent. The Repo Rate is retained at 7.25 percent, the Reverse Repo Rate at 6.25 percent, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) at 4 percent and 21.5 percent, respectively 5 August: Snapdeal, an online marketplace, and HDFC Bank launched a co-branded credit card, 'Snapdeal HDFC Bank credit card' in partnership with Visa. This partnership aims at encouraging more customers from tier-2 and tier-3 markets to adapt to digital payments. Snapdeal will also give reward points to customers for making digital payments through the co-branded card.

5 4 August: The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the disbursement of about USD 1.7 billion to Ukraine. The IMF has pledged USD 17.5 billion in total financial assistance over four years. Thus, the total amount of financing of Ukraine from the Fund will reach 6.68 billion. This financing is aimed at restoring the country's economy, empowering public finance system and maintaining financial stability. 3 August: Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) launched Kotak Bharat, mobile banking app primarily for unbanked regions. Kotak Bharat is the inclusive digital banking app launched by KMB that is primarily targeted to benefit customers in the under-banked and un-banked regions, who can access its services in their preferred language. One major benefit of this app is that it requires no internet connectivity. The app is Android-based. It works on the existing SMS banking. 3 August: BNP Paribas, a multi-national bank announced to acquire Indian retail brokerage firm Sharekhan Limited. BNP Paribas is the leading French bank with worldwide presence. Currently, BNP Paribas has a presence in India through Geojit BNP Paribas in which it holds a stake of about 33%. Sharekhan was set up in 2000 by Mumbai-based entrepreneur Shripal Morakhia. 1 August: According to Global rating agency Moody's Indian economy started recovering by the end of 2014 but till now no big recovery is seen. According to Moody's accommodative monetary policy will lift the GDP (gross domestic product) to 7.6% in 2015, increasing to 8% in However, Moody s pointed out that India s true potential GDP growth lies somewhere near 10%. 1 August: According to a survey released by leading global management consulting firm AT Kearney, India has fallen four spots to 11th place in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during According to a latest survey titled Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index 2015 commissioned by AT Kearney India attracted $35 billion as FDI in India lost its top 10 position for the first time since The US topped the Index for the third straight year followed by China. 30 July: India signed a loan agreement of 300 million US dollars with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its flagship programme National Urban Health Mission (NUHM). The main of the NUHM is to improve the health status of the country s urban population. The loan agreement is titled Supporting National Urban Health Mission and it seeks to reinforce ongoing government efforts under the NUHM to develop health systems in urban areas that can deliver quality health services to the urban poor and vulnerable. 29 July: Axis Bank, India s third largest private sector bank, has signed a $200 million 7-year bilateral loan deal with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The deal will help bolster Axis Bank s efforts of improving farm efficiency by extending customized and affordable agriculture credit to farmers. The bank would effectively leverage its extensive semi urban and rural branch network to deliver agriculture credit.

6 24 July: Unveiling a set of 13 corporate governance principles for the banking sector, the BCBS has said that regulators should set corporate governance guidelines in line with these principles, besides addressing expectations for checks and balances, clear allocation of responsibilities, accountability and transparency among the members of the board, senior management and within the bank. 24 July: Non-resident Indians (NRIs) can invest in National Pension System (NPS) to get a social security cover, pension regulator PFRDA s Chairman Hemant Contractor has said. While RBI has communicated to PFRDA about NRIs being eligible to make such investments, the government will shortly come out with a clarification on Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) guidelines to facilitate nonresident Indians to invest in National Pension System (NPS), he said. 22 July: The International Monetary Fund named Maurice Obstfeld, a widely respected economist known for his work on how policies spill over into the global economy, as the emergency-lender s next chief economist. Obstfeld, a University of California, Berkeley, professor and a member of the White House s Council of Economic Advisers, will replace Olivier Blanchard in September. 21 July: The Reserve Bank of India signed a special currency swap agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka that will allow the latter to draw up to $1.1 billion. Under the arrangement, the Sri Lankan bank can draw up to $1.1 billion for a maximum period of six months. Earlier in March, RBI had signed a Currency Swap Agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for $400 million under the existing SAARC Currency Swap Framework within the overall limit of $2 billion. 21 July: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) retained its India GDP growth projection for FY at 7.8 percent and 8.2 percent in , but cautioned that delay in reforms relating to land acquisition and GST could hamper growth. Indian economy grew 7.3 percent in ADB, however, has cut its growth forecast for developing Asia to 6.1 percent from the earlier 6.3 percent. 20 July: The World Bank Group (WBG) and China signed an agreement to set up a trust fund to help reduce poverty. The fund aims to enhance the WBG-China cooperation and leverage financial and knowledge-based resources to help developing countries achieve inclusive and sustainable development. The fund worth $50 million is expected to start later this year. 20 July: India signed a pact with the World Bank for $250 million financial assistance for Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project which will help the state enhance its capacity to respond promptly and effectively in times of crisis. The project, through its different components, will provide both direct and indirect benefits to Andhra Pradesh. The beneficiaries include populations of the affected coastal areas, specifically four heavily impacted districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari. 20 July: Competition Commission of India (CCI) slapped Rs. 671 crore penalty on four state-run insurance companies -- National Insurance, New India Assurance, Oriental Insurance and United India

7 Insurance -- for cartelisation and indulging in anti-competitive practices. It is being considered as the biggest fine in the insurance sector of the country. Competition Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs crore on New India Assurance, Rs crore on National Insurance, Rs crore on United India Insurance and Rs crore on Oriental Insurance, respectively. 17 July: The Reserve Bank of India constituted a committee to work out a medium-term (five-year) action plan for financial inclusion. The 14-member panel will be headed by RBI executive director Deepak Mohanty. The Committee will work to spread the reach of financial services to unbanked population. 15 July: In order to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to identify and scale innovative solutions, the FICCI and the World Bank announced their partnership to advance the Millennium Alliance (MA) initiative. The agreement was signed to formalize a shared commitment to support sustainable and scalable innovative solutions in the identified priority areas of sanitation, education, healthcare, clean energy and agriculture. 13 July: The World Bank and Norway has approved an amount of 55 crore dollars for education sector in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Group has signed an agreement with Norway for result based financial help in the education sector. Under this agreement both states will get a separate loan of 55 crore dollars. Loan to the state of Bihar is sanctioned for capacity addition of Primary teachers in Bihar while Madhya Pradesh will get the financial help for higher education reforms. 13 July: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed mass transit system (MTS) operators like Mumbai Metro, Delhi Metro, Indian Railways, etc. to issue pre-paid cards to their customer. This is expected to provide a huge relief to the commuters who face problems while purchasing tickets. RBI guidelines also say that the balance in the prepaid instrument issued by the MTS should not exceed Rs. 2,000 at any point of time. Also, MTS would not be allowed to refunds cash that is stocked in the pre-paid instruments (PPI). These PPIs will have a minimum validity of 6 months from the date of issue. 13 July: Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) has signed a multilateral agreement to cooperate with New Development Bank (NDB) along with other member development banks of BRICS nations. New Development Bank (NDB) is promoted by the BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The agreement was signed between Exim Bank Chairman and Managing Director Yaduvendra Mathur and Chairpersons or Presidents of other member development banks of BRICS in Ufa, Russia during the BRICS Summit July: Vodafone India, the telecom service providers, has entered into a strategic tie-up with Walmart India. This tie-up will enable business members of six Best Price Modern Wholesale stores, owned and operated by Walmart India, to make payments using M-Pesa from their mobile anywhere, anytime. The first-of-its-kind partnership with Walmart India, gives all its members, including small businesses such as kiranas/resellers, the benefit of sending money through their mobile phones instantly and securely and run their customer facing businesses more efficiently and in hassle-free manner.

8 11 July: MakeMyTrip, RBL Bank, Inox wind and IRCTC are among the firms that have made it to the Fortune Next 500 list of Indian companies, which has been topped by iphone distributor Redington India. Redington India tops the list with annual revenue of over Rs. 1,690 crore followed by Inox Wind (Rs 1,689 crore), ISMT (Rs 1,685 crore), Emcure Pharmaceuticals (Rs 1,683.5 crore) and Orientcraft (Rs 1,683 crore). 11 July: Country's second largest IT services firm Infosys has signed a multi-million euro deal with Deutsche Bank. Under the terms of the agreement, Infosys will provide services like development, application maintenance, digital and mobility, package implementation and testing services across the Deutsche Bank Group. 9 July: Sriram Kalyanaraman, Director-Business Development, Equifax Credit Information Services Pvt. Ltd has been appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Housing Bank for a period of five years from the date of his taking over the charge. The appointment of Shri Kalyanaraman is unique in its way as he is the first person form the Private Sector to head a Public Sector Financial Institution. 9 July: China named Jin Liqun as the first Chief of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is being established as an alternative financial entity to World Bank and IMF. Jin Liqun is a former Finance Minister of China. AIIB is a multilateral development bank proposed by the government of China to provide finance to infrastructure projects in the Asia region. 9 July: According to World Bank India's rural employment guarantee programme MNREGA has been ranked as the world's largest public works programme, providing social security net to almost 15 percent of the country's population. According to World Bank Group's report 'The State of Social Safety Nets 2015', India is among the five middle-income countries running the world's largest social safety net programmes. India's Mid-day meal scheme has been classified as biggest school feeding programme benefiting 105 million beneficiaries. 9 July: State-run IDBI Bank has signed an agreement with Mudra Bank for refinancing of loans given to small enterprises. As per the agreement, the Bank will offer credit facilities up to Rs. 10 lakh to micro enterprises, at a competitive interest rate under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) and Mudra will be providing refinance assistance to the bank for eligible sanctioned loan cases. 8 July: Taking a step towards digitalisation, Union Bank of India launched a slew of initiatives such as IMPS at branches and M-passbooks for its customers. The bank has become the first lender to launch immediate payment service (IMPS) through branches for its retail and corporate customers by integrating the platform to its core banking solution. This will allow customers to instantly transfer funds to any account from the branch. The limit has been set at up to Rs. 2 lakh per day. The digital passbook or M-passbook feature will enable customers to view account statement on mobile.

9 8 July: Euclid Tsakalotos, the deputy foreign minister of international economic affairs and chief coordinator of the country's negotiating team over the debt deal with lenders, has been appointed as new Finance Minister of Greece after Yanis Varoufakis resigned from the post because Greek voters delivered an overwhelming "No" vote in a referendum on whether to accept more austerity measures in return for new bailout cash. 7 July: Reserve Bank of India prohibited the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in manufacturing of tobacco products, though activities such as retail and wholesale trading fall under the sectoral restrictions. According to RBI notification Foreign direct investment (FDI) is prohibited in the manufacturing of cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes of tobacco or of tobacco substitutes. Foreign direct investment in other activities relating to these products including wholesale cash and carry, retail trading shall be governed by the sectoral restrictions laid down in the FDI policy. 7 July: Corporation Bank has become the first bank to launch the MUDRA Card. Hasmukh Adhia, secretary, department of financial services, union ministry of finance launched the first MUDRA (Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency) card under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) for small entrepreneurs. Mudra Card based on the RuPay platform. PMMY aims to fund micro units in manufacturing, trading and services sectors with affordable credit upto Rs. 10 lakh. 7 July: China unveiled an Internet Plus scheme, aiming to integrate the Internet with traditional industries and fuel economic growth. China s Internet Plus action plan will integrate mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data with modern manufacturing, to encourage the healthy development of e-commerce, industrial networks, and Internet banking, and to help Internet companies increase their international presence. 6 July: The country s largest public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) launched Project Tatkal, an initiative to provide doorstep services and expedite Home Loan Application (HLA) process. The project will help home loan applicants to get the loan within 10 days after receipt of application form and relevant supporting documents. 6 July: State-run operator BSNL launched a pre-paid card linked mobile wallet service which would allow its customers to transfer money, pay for services as well as withdraw cash of up to Rs. 1 lakh. The wallet service, Speed Pay, allows a customer to load money even if he does not have a bank account. The money loaded in the mobile wallet can be transferred to a bank account and even withdrawn at bank branches or at BSNL outlets. 6 July: Google India, Tata Trust and Intel have started a unique initiative to educate rural women about internet and create awareness towards it. These companies joined hands to launch a programme 'Internet Saathi'. Under the programme 1,000 specially- designed bicycles equipped with internet devices will be sent into remote villages. The aim of the initiative is to create awareness towards internet among 5 lakh Indian rural women in the next 18 months.

10 4 July: The World Bank announced to provide $650 million loan for a major project of Indian Railways, the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor project. Construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor will help speed up the carrying of goods between Ludhiana in the west of India and Kolkata in the east. This huge project will span 1,840 kms (1,140 miles) across the North India. The loan is the third from the World Bank to help fund the freight corridor. 4 July: Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been launched across the country on 3rd July With the launch of nationwide MNP, mobile users can retain their numbers despite changing states/circles across the country, without incurring any roaming charges. Telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Uninor, MTS, Reliance Communications, Videocon Telecom, BSNL and MTNL have already announced the launch of full MNP. 4 July: According to the data released by World Bank in Washington the size of Indian economy stood at $2.06 trillion at the end of It has almost doubled in size since the financial crisis hit the country in 2008, and has more than quadrupled from the start of this millennium. India s growth rate, at 7.4% in 2014, makes it the fastest growing major economy along with China s. 4 July: Just 4.6% of all rural households in the country pay income tax while such households with salaried income are close to 10%, the first Socio-Economic and Caste Census released in eight decades said. According to the Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 the percentage of Scheduled Caste (SC) households paying income tax was 3.49% while Scheduled Tribe (ST) tax-paying rural households were mere 3.34%. 3 July: Greece became the first developed nation to default on International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt. It became a defaulter after it missed the deadline for payment of 1.7 billion dollar (1.5 billion euro) to IMF. According to IMF's Fund spokesman Gerry Rice, Greece has too much debt to return and it can get finance from the IMF only if it repays the loan. 3 July: Country s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) announced its tie-up with travel company MakeMyTrip.com. This partnership includes partnership with personal banking unit for consumer facing propositions including EMIs on purchase of holidays & international travel, customized travel products like Forex cards and travel products. On the other hand MakeMyTrip customers will be able to access special offers from SBI on debit/credit cards and personal financing. 2 July: National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and JCB International Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Japan's JCB Co. Ltd., entered into a partnership for payment cards issuance and acceptance. Under the pact, JCB cards will be accepted at all NPCI locations in India. The partnership will also include the issuance of RuPay/JCB international cards by NPCI member banks that will be globally accepted through the JCB network. These cards will be launched in the second half of 2016.

11 2 July: Infosys has launched a mobile app, the 'Finacle SME Enable' to help banks enhance support and service for their small and medium business enterprise (SME) customers. The mobile-based financial and business management solution will provide bank s SME customers real-time access to their account information and relevant financial management tools to manage their day-to-day business operations in a self-service mode. 1 July: The Union Government approved 643 crore rupees drinking water and sewerage project for Shimla town for World Bank funding. Under the project, World Bank will provide a loan of 514 crore rupees and remaining 129 crore rupees will be provided by the state government as counterpart funding over a project period of three years. The project would help the people of Shimla and adjoining Special Planning Area in addressing the chronic water shortage problem and also sewerage connectivity. 1 July: Country's second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank launched '30-min auto' and '15- min 2-wheeler' loan schemes, for which customers have to provide only their biometric details. The 30- minute auto loan is available for HDFC Bank customers, as well as others. With this technology-enabled solution, loans for two-wheelers can also be approved within 15 minutes. 30 June: The Union Government in June 2015 increased the national floor-level minimum wage (NFLMW) to 160 rupees per day from 137 rupees per day. The new rate will be effective from 1 July June: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to allow Authorized Dealer Category I (AD Category-I) Banks to borrow foreign currency from International/Multinational Financial Institutions (IFIs/MFIs). Authorized Dealer Category -I Banks (AD Category I Banks) is one of the three types of Authorized Money Changers (AMCs) approved by the RBI. 26 June: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the date to exchange pre-2005 bank notes till December 31, 2015 for third time. Earlier in December 2014, RBI had set the last date for public to exchange these notes as June 30, June: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Financial Stability Report (FSR) June It is the eleventh issue of its half yearly publication. Besides, the report discussed issues relating to development and regulation of the financial sector. HIGHLIGHTS OF FINANCIAL STABILITY REPORT (FSR) JUNE 2015 Financial Institutions: Soundness and Resilience Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) Urban Co-operative Banks and Non-Bank Financial Companies

12 Financial Sector Regulation, Banking sector, Securities market, Insurance sector, Commodity derivative markets, Pension sector 25 June: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released the World Investment Report 2015 (WIR15) titled. HIGHLIGHTS OF WORLD INVESTMENT REPORT 2015 In 2014, Global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows fell by 16 per cent to 1.23 trillion US dollars mostly because of the fragility of the global economy, policy uncertainty for investors and elevated geopolitical risks. However, they are projected to grow by 11 per cent to 1.4 trillion US dollars in June: The Union Cabinet approved renaming of Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) as Renewable Energy Corporation of India (RECI). 24 June: Union Ministry of Finance issued draft proposals for facilitating electronic transactions in the country. E-transactions mean authorization of transfer of money through electronic means and flow of funds directly from one account to another. 24 June: The Board of Financial Benchmarks India Private Limited (FBIL) decided to adopt FBIL overnight Mumbai Inter-Bank Offer Rate (MIBOR) from 22 July 2015.FBIL overnight MIBOR is a new method to set the overnight interest rate benchmark that will be based on traded levels instead of contributions from market participants. 24 June: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI relaxed the norms for technological start-ups to raise funds from the capital market while easing the norms for issuance of Initial Public Offering (IPO) by companies. It reduced the post-listing lock-in period for tech start-up promoters to six months, instead of three years for other IPOs. 23 June: Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) notified an order to make Universal Account Number (UAN) mandatory for all employers covered under the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, June: National Stock Exchange (NSE) operationalised the Overnight Liquid Transaction facility on its web-based Mutual Fund Service System (MFSS) platform. 20 June: The Union Government released the Draft Outline of Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme. The government invited comments till 2 July 2015 on it.

13 The scheme is aimed at reducing the demand for physical gold and to shift part of the estimated 300 tons of physical bars and coins purchased every year for investment into demat gold bonds. 19 June: Union Ministry of Finance formed two committees for facilitating implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from 1 April TERMS OF REFERENCE OF COMMITTEE ON GST RATE: It will recommend possible tax rates under GST that would be consistent with the present level of revenue collection of the Union and States. It will be headed by the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA), Ministry of Finance. The present CEA is Arvind Subramanian. 19 June: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval for the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for Kharif Crops of season. 19 June: HDFC Bank, India s second-largest private sector lender has launched a 10-second paperless instant loan Scheme for its existing customers. The 10-second loan Scheme was launched as part of HDFC Bank s digital banking platform GoDigital. With this, HDFC bank became first banking institution to completely automate the entire process of loan approval and disbursement. 19 June: The Union Government released the Draft Outline of Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme. The government invited comments till 2 July 2015 on it. The scheme is aimed at reducing the demand for physical gold and to shift part of the estimated 300 tons of physical bars and coins purchased every year for investment into demat gold bonds. 18 June: The Union Government decided to increase the number of workdays under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) from 100 days to 150 days in droughtaffected areas of the country. 18 June: The Union Cabinet gave its approval for stepping up of solar power capacity target under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) by five times to MW (100 GW).The target to be achieved by June: Bangladesh Supreme Court s appellate bench upheld the death sentence of war criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid. Decision in this regard was taken by 4-member bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha. The court has found Mujahid guilty of systematically killing intellectuals in the end of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh.

14 17 June: Maharashtra Government has given nod to new Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) policy. KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF MAHARASHTRA IT & ITES POLICY 2015 Aims at making state an IT, animation and gaming industry hub by attracting 50,000 crore rupees of investment and creating 1 million jobs in nest five years i.e. by Promotes a walk-to-work concept by proposing the construction of integrated IT townships along with residential apartments and social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, multiplexes, malls and parks etc. 15 June: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the services sector grew by over 46 per cent to 3.25 billion dollars in fiscal. It was revealed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). 15 June: The High Level Committee (HLC) on railway restructuring headed by Dr Bibek Debroy submitted its final report to the Union Ministry of Railways. 15 June: Domestic e-commerce giant Snapdeal has acquired Gurgaon based mobility solutions company Letsgomo Labs. With this acquisition Letsgomo team will become part of Snapdeal. It will help to strengthen Snapdeal position in the m-commerce domain by further strengthen it mobile technology capabilities. 15 June: State owned telecommunications giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched free pan India roaming scheme. This scheme will allow company s mobile customers across the country to receive incoming calls at no additional cost i.e. free of cost. It will benefit around 7.72 crore of its existing subscriber base as well as new subscribers. 15 June: Metal and mining giant Vedanta Ltd and its subsidiary oil explorer Cairn India have announced to merge. The merger will create India s largest diversified natural resources company. It will also help Cairn spread its risk from volatile oil business to other metals and commodities. 15 June: World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) in their latest report have reported that around 400-million people worldwide lack access to essential health services. It was revealed in a report by the World Bank and WHO on tracking universal health care (UHC) coverage. It is the first report to measure health service coverage and financial protection and to assess countries progress towards UHC. 13 June: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the final guidelines for the 6-year and 13-year cash settled Interest Rate Futures (IRF) on government securities with residual maturity of 4-8 years and years respectively under the Interest Rate Futures (Reserve Bank) (Amendment) Directions, 2015.

15 13 June: China has launched a freight train service between its northeastern city of Harbin and Europe. The 9,820-km-long distance rail route will open new trade options for Chinese goods in the European Market. 13 June: United States (US) government has opened an investigation against two of the biggest Indian Information Technology (IT) outsourcing companies for possible violations of H1-B visa rules. The two IT giants are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys. 12 June: Reserve Bank of Indian has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in chit fund to encourage flow of capital into the country. Decision in this regard was taken after RBI had revised the extant guidelines for subscription to the chit funds in consultation with the government. 12 June: The second border haat (rural market) was opened for common people at Kamalasagar in Sipahijala district of Tripura bordering Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh. 11 June: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) Scheme which allows banks and non-banking lending institutions to convert their loans into equity stake.the scheme will benefit all Scheduled Commercial Banks, excluding Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). 10 June: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved two road projects worth 4721 crore rupees, one in Madhya Pradesh and another in Telangana. The projects will be executed under the flagship road building programme National Highways Development Project (NHDP). 10 June: Union Cabinet approved an interest-free loan i.e. soft loan to the tune of 6,000 crore rupees to enable sugar mills pay arrears to farmers. 7 June: India has slapped anti-dumping duty on imports of certain steel products from three South Asian countries viz China, Malaysia and South Korea. The duties have been imposed for five years on imports of certain varieties of steel especially on hot-rolled flat products of stainless steel used in automobile sectors. 7 June: Adani Power Limited (APL) and Reliance Power Limited of India have signed separate memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB). These MoUs were signed on the first day of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi s visit to Bangladesh. The deals were signed to set up 4,600 MW power plants in Bangladesh worth $5.5 billion. 6 June: Reserve Bank of Indian has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in chit fund to encourage flow of capital into the country. Decision in this regard was taken after RBI had revised the extant guidelines for subscription to the chit funds in consultation with the government.

16 6 June: Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Bank have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for exploring opportunities arising from cross-border business, investment and trade flows across various regions, including Europe. 5 June: India has lost a poultry case against United States at World Trade Organization (WTO) after WTO s Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) ruled that India s ban on import of poultry meat, eggs and live pigs from US is inconsistent with the international norms. 4 June: India has joined the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (AEOI). The new global standards has wide in scope and oblige the treaty partners to exchange wide range of financial information from institutions from their country. 3 June: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has reduced the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 7.5 per cent to 7.25 per cent with immediate effect. 3 June: Bangladesh has granted permission to India s state-owned insurance group Life insurance Corporation (LIC) to do business in the country. 2 June: Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) was awarded the Miniratna (Category -1) status by the Department of Public Enterprises under the Union Ministry of Heavy Industry and Public Enterprises. 2 June: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed cross holding in long-term infrastructure bonds. With this, now banks would be able to cross hold these bonds among themselves for financing infrastructure and affordable housing loans, which earlier was not permitted. 1 June: Researchers from China have successfully developed the first automated teller machine (ATM) with facial recognition technology. The machine has unique security feature which does not allow users to withdraw cash unless their face matches their facial ID. The first of its kind ATM was developed by researchers from Tsinghua University and technology firm Tzekwan. 1 June: The decision of the Parliament to increase the rate of service tax from12.36 to 14 percent became operational. 30 May: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the New Bank Note Paper Line unit of 6000 metric ton capacity at Security Paper Mill in Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. He also flagged off the first consignment of one thousand rupee bank notes made indigenously from this paper mill to the Currency Note Press Nasik. 30 May: A case was lodged in Barabanki court in Uttar Pradesh against Nestle India over inadequate safety standards of its product Maggi.

17 30 May: India s largest banking entity State Bank of India (SBI) has launched Online Customer Acquisition Solution (OCAS), an online platform to apply for loans. This online platform will enable SBI customers to apply for home, education, car and personal loans online. On filling the online form for loan requirement depending upon their eligibility customers will instantly get an e-approval. 27 May: Four Indians have been named in Forbes magazine s 12th annual list of World s 100 most powerful women. They are: Arundhati Bhattacharya: First woman (and youngest) Chairperson of State Bank of India (SBI) was placed at 30th position. Chanda Kochhar: Managing Director (MD) and CEO of India s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank was placed at 35th position. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw: Founder, Chairman and MD of Biocon Limited was placed at 85th position. Shobhana Bhartia: Chairperson and Editorial Director of the Hindustan Times Group was placed at 93rd position. It should be noted she has appeared on the list for the first time. Apart from them, two women of Indian-origin PepsiCo Chief Indra Nooyi (15th position) and Cisco Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior (84th position) also have appeared in the list. 27 May: Union government has constituted a 10-member committee to review and revitalise public private partnership (PPP) mode of infrastructure development. The committee will be chaired by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and submit its report within a period of 3 months from the date of its Constitution. 27 May: Union government has constituted a 10-member committee to review and revitalise public private partnership (PPP) mode of infrastructure development. The committee will be chaired by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and submit its report within a period of 3 months from the date of its Constitution. 27 May : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May 2015 launched India s first television channel DD Kisan dedicated to farmers in New Delhi. 27 May: National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) have launched NASSCOM Cyber Security Task Force. The aim of task force is to build India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions, developing cyber security Research & Development (R&D) plan and develop a skilled workforce of cyber security experts.

18 25 May: India s largest private sector lender Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank has launched voice password facility for users. This service will facilitate its customers to make transactions using their voice rather than using traditional means of authentication like entering id and password. 23 May: Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and world s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal signed a MoU to set up an automotive steel manufacturing facility in India. 21 May: India s largest public sector lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with e-commerce giant Amazon. 20 May: Tech giant Apple has acquired Global Position System (GPS) firm Coherent Navigation to improve its mapping capabilities. 16 May: ICICI Bank s first branch in China was inaugurated in Shanghai, a major global financial hub. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the presence of ICICI Bank s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar. 15 May: India s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) has launched contact-less credit and debit cards sbiintouch. 13 May: Lok Sabha passed The Negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 by a voice vote. The Bills amends the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in order to make cheque-bounce filing of cases more convenient for check payees (person who receives the cheque). KEY FACTS The bill adds provision to specify the territorial jurisdiction of the courts in cases related to bouncing of cheques which was not present in the parent Act. It says that cases in this regard need to be filed only in a court in whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee lies. 8 May: Indian Army and Bank of India (BOI) on 8 May 2015 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Defence Salary Package. The signed MoU is a revised version of previous and first MoU which was signed in 2011 between both parties and was valid for a period of three years. Key facts of revised MoU 8 May: India s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a RuPay Platinum debit card in association with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

19 NATIONAL NEWS (MAY-AUGUST 2015) 19 August: IndiGo, India s biggest airline by market share signed a huge $26.55 billion order for purchasing 250 aircrafts from Europe s Airbus company, which is the largest ever order (by volume) for Airbus. It had earlier placed a provisional order for supply of 250 narrow-body A320neo aircrafts from Airbus during October The company confirmed that provisional order with Airbus. This order worth $26.55 billion is the largest supply order for Airbus by volume, i.e., the number of aircrafts to be supplied. It is also the second-largest order by value for Airbus. 19 August: Tamil Nadu led in employment generation in manufacturing sector in the country in , according to an analysis done by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). Tamil Nadu was the leading State in employment generation in the country, generating as much as 15.2% of country s manufacturing sector jobs during During this period Tamil Nadu and West Bengal recorded a positive growth, while others saw a significant decline. 17 August: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced an investment of Rs lakh crore in Haryana in the next five years to strengthen rail network in the state. To provide smooth journey to the passengers, it has been decided to develop 400 world class railway stations throughout the country. 14 August: Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (TEEMA) signed a pact with Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) for establishing Taiwan Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (TEMC) in Benguluru with an investment of $500 million. This manufacturing cluster will be established at 100-acre Devanahally IT park. 12 August: The Government has launched the School Nursery Yojana, an initiative to bring students closer to nature, by involving them in raising of saplings in nurseries created in schools. The underlying theme of the Yojana is to plant a tree for sustainable future and to make the nation clean and green. 12 August: Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched a new mobile app named Disha to promote digital literacy in Bihar. The app aims to help people learn about computers and Internet through self learning modules. The app also aims to offer digital literacy to tribal and Dalit women in the state. The app can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store. The Ministry also launched Disha handbook that has pictographic lessons on computers operations. The Disha handbook is framed by the Common Service Centres (CSCs) for the purpose of digital literacy. 12 August: Dr. Najma Heptulla, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs launched a new Central Sector Scheme Nai Manzil in Patna. The scheme Nai Manzil scheme will address educational and livelihood needs of minority communities in general and muslims in particular as it lags behind other minority

20 communities in terms of educational attainments. It is a new direction and a new goal for the all out of school/dropped out students and those studying in Madrasas. 11 August: On the 10th August in the afternoon, in many parts of north India, including Delhi-NCR, tremors of Earthquake were felt. The epicenter was Hindukush in Afghanistan, the earth was trembling in the national capital for nearly 40 seconds. Apart from Delhi-NCR, shocks were also felt in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Srinagar. The intensity of the earthquake was August: For the first time Department of Science and Technology (DST) has decided to fund research on the impact of yoga and meditation on human health. Research and studies on yoga have so far remained within the domain of AYUSH, a government department whose mandate is to promote traditional medicine, including ayurveda, unani and homeopathy. 11 August: There has been a rush for registration of political parties, with as many as 239 new outfits enrolling themselves with the Election Commission between March, 2014 and July this year, taking their number to 1,866. Out of these, 56 are recognised as registered national or state parties, while the rest are unrecognised, registered parties. 10 August: As per India State of Forest Report 2013, the total forest cover in the country is 697,898 square kilometers which is 21.23% of the total geographical area of the country. There is a net increase of 5871 square kilometers in the forest cover of the country as compared with India State of Forest Report It is also been mentioned in the report that the density of population has increased in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand. 10 August: The Centre is going to extend the facility of E-Tourist Visa to 36 more countries from the 15th of this month. With this addition, the total count of countries under the scheme will go upto 113. Simultaneously, the Centre is going to add 7 more Indian airports as designated airports for entry on E- Tourist Visa from the 15th of this month. With this, the total number of designated airports will become 16. The Centre launched this scheme in November last year. Since the launch of this scheme more than 2 lakhs e-tourist Visas have been issued till now. 7 August: President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Navachara Kaksh, a science and innovation museum in the Rashtrapati Bhavan campus. The museum aims to spark curiosity about technology among children visiting the Presidential Estate. It has been established with the assistance of the chip-maker Intel while many of the innovations are by Indian students. 7 August: State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) inked Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with government aided telecom companies BSNL and MTNL for another term of 3 years. PNB, BSNL and MTNL had joined hands together in year 2004 and since then BSNL & MTNL are the primary IT link providers for providing connectivity to branches, ATMS and service outlets of the Bank.

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