Paper 3: Government has asked states to complete the identification of properties owned by de-registered companies at the earliest
The Government has asked states to complete the identification of properties owned by de-registered companies at the earliest and ensure that district administrations prevent transactions in those assets.
- Amid intensifying efforts to fight black money, the Corporate Affairs Ministry has also urged the states to initiate disciplinary action against the concerned officialsin case such transactions go through.
- The number of such firms is about 2 lakh 25 thousand.
- Over two Lakhs companies that have not been carrying out business activities for long have been de-registered.
- Tackling the menace of shell companies is an imperative element of fight against black money.
- The Ministry has asked states to complete identification of properties owned by de-registered companies at the earliest and ensure district administrations prevent transactions in those assets.
Paper2: The Jammu & Kashmir Public Property (Prevention and Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance 2017
- J & K governor promulgated The Jammu & Kashmir Public Property (Prevention and Damage) (Amendment) Ordinance 2017.
- The ordinance will more effectively discourage and prevent the deleterious activities of individuals and organizations which result in damage to public and private properties.
- The Governor on the recommendations of the chief minister promulgated the Ordinance which comes into force with immediate effect.
- The Ordinance states that whoever announces direct action in the form of strikes, demonstrations or other public forms of protests which result in damage to public as well as private property can be punished with imprisonment for a period of 2 to 5 years and can be imposed a fine equivalent to the market value of the property damaged or destroyed.
Paper 2 & 3: Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for all Central Sector Schemes
The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs said that the mandatory use of Public Finance Management System (PFMS) for all the Central Sector Schemes of the Government of India.
The PFMS is designed to serve the pertinent need of establishing a common electronic platform for complete tracking of fund flows from the Central Government to large number of programme implementing agencies, both under Central Government and the State Governments till it reaches the final intended beneficiaries.
- PFMS would ensure that the benefits of the various Government Schemes like DBT (Direct Benefits Transfer) reach to the last mile;
- It would help in tracking and monitoring the flow of funds to the implementing agencies.
- The actual status of utilization of funds by the multiple implementing agencies of the Central and the State Governments can be known.
- Reduce the float in the financial systems by enabling ‘just in time’ releases and also the Government borrowings with direct impact on interest costs to the Government.
- Minimizing the cases of delay and pending payments to a large extent.
- Bring about a transformational accountability and transparency in the Government Financial Management Systems and promoting overall Good Governance
- PFMS thereby enables real time monitoring of disbursements and utilization of funds which in turn provides a sound Decision Support System.
Paper 2: Governance :37th edition of Mann Ki Baat programme
Prime Minister said, India has always been giving a message of peace, unity and harmony to the world.
Updates on 37th edition of Mann Ki Baat programme:
- Jawans of Indian security forces play an important role not only on Indian borders but they play a very vital role in establishing peace the world over.
- As UN Peacekeepers, Indian soldiers are bringing glory to the nation in the comity of nations.
- Both the preface of the Indian Constitution and the UN Charter starts with the words We the people.
- Indian women have played a leading role in peace keeping efforts and India was the first country which sent a female police unit to Liberia for the United Nations Peace Mission. The brave peacekeepers from the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Budha have sent a message of peace and amity around the world.
- Around 7,000 Indian security personnel are deployed in UN peacekeeping missions, making it the third highest contributor.
- India has always stressed on the importance of equality for women and the UN Declaration of Human Rights is a living example of this. He said, in the initial phrase, it was proposed as all men are born free and equal which was amended and adopted as all human beings are born free and equal with the efforts of the Indian representative Hansa Mehta.
- Khadi is emerging as a powerful means of gramodaya:During Diwali Khadi gift coupon sales recorded an overwhelming 680 per cent rise and compared to last year the total sales of Khadi and Handicrafts have risen almost by 90 percent. Khadi and handloom have transformed the lives of the poorest of the poor and are emerging as a powerful means of empowering them.
- The diseases which surfaced in old age or emerged around the last lap of life have started to appear in children nowadays due to lack of physical activity and the changes in the eating habits. Yoga will be helpful for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting children from lifestyle disorders.
Paper 2 – International Relations
India Flags off first shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through Chabahar port.
Indian External Affairs Minister, Foreign Minister of Afghanistan and Foreign Minister of Iran, through a joint video conference, flagged off the first shipment of wheat from India to Afghanistan that would be transhipped through the Chabahar port in Iran.
- India today sent its first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar port in Iran, seen as a “landmark” move to operationalise the new strategic transit route, bypassing Pakistan.
- The shipment was flagged off from the Kandla port in Gujarat with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani joining the ceremony through video conferencing.
- “The shipment of wheat is a landmark moment as it will pave the way for operationalisation of the Chabahar port as an alternate, reliable and robust connectivity for Afghanistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
- In June, India and Afghanistan had launched an air freight corridor between the two countries to boost trade as Pakistan has been refusing land transit access through its territory.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the much anticipated regulatory framework for peer-to-peer (P2P) lending earlier this month. This model emerged in 2005 as technology fused with lending and has been replicated across jurisdictions since.
- In its simplest avatar, it involves a platform that leverages technology to match lenders and borrowers, receiving fees in lieu of transactions successfully closed. Unlike banks that act as intermediaries and engage in liquidity transformation between (retail) lenders and borrowers, these platforms are genuine two-sided markets (similar to say, Uber) bringing lenders and borrowers together without taking any credit risk on their own balance sheet.
- An important feature of such platforms is that they leverage technology to filter borrowers, determine interest at which the transactions execute and reduce the risk of lender exposure through diversification (through one-to-many transactions, for example).
- Since they do not themselves face any asset-liability risk, the P2P lending model has the potential to both contribute to financial stability by making banks leaner and promote financial inclusion by getting more borrowers into the formal financial system.
- Saliently, the P2P regulations delegate potentially arbitrary discretion to RBI in gatekeeping, impose high market-access barriers that would inhibit innovation in a technology-intensive sector, and lack clarity around critical issues like leverage ratio. Let’s address each of those in turn.
- Excessive regulatory discretion: One of the principal governance issues of a modern state is injecting accountability into regulatory discretion. The P2P regulations fail on this parameter, and underscore the need for Parliament to implement reform through legislation rather than delegate it to regulators. Notice for example, the “prejudicial to public interest” factor that the RBI states it will rely on to decide whether to grant a company the licence to operate.
- Disproportionate minimum capital requirements:The RBI has prescribed a mandate that would require a minimum net-owned fund (NOF) of Rs2 crore. That would exclude innovative, lean start-ups from entering the market, and it is unclear if there would be any benefit net of costs. As discussed, the P2P model “disintermediates” credit risk. In light of the fact, it may be feasible for the RBI to tailor minimum capital based on the value of loans made through the platform.
- The application for certificate of registration may be required to project the size of loans to be intermediated through the platform, say in the next three years, and then work out the minimum capital as a percentage of that. By way of benchmark, the Financial Conduct Authority, UK, requires 0.2% of the first £50 million of the total value of loaned funds outstanding.
- Lack of clarity around critical issues like leverage ratio:Leverage ratio is defined as “total outside liabilities divided by owned funds, of the non-banking financial corporation in P2P (NBFC-P2P)”. This leverage ratio has been capped at 2.
Paper 2: International Relations.
Paper 3: Terrorism
Terrorism is a global concern that demands global attention and requires global cooperation: Vice President
Interacts with Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Paolo Gentiloni
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that Terrorism is a global concern that demands global attention and requires global cooperation. He was interacting with the Prime Minister of Italy, Mr. Paolo Gentiloni, who called on him, here today.
The Vice President said that India believes in an early conclusion of negotiations and the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations. He further said that we also need to coordinate our action at the forthcoming meeting of the Financial Action Task Force and ensure that designated individuals and entities have no access to property and financial services. We must ensure that Pakistan continues to remain under the Asia Pacific Group and Financial Action Task Force monitoring, he added.
The Vice President thanked for Italy’s support which led to India’s eventual membership in the MTCR. Membership of the NSG remains a priority for Indian Government and we look forward to Italy’s continued support for India’s membership of the NSG, he added.
The Vice President said that Climate Change is a very important issue for the two countries and India ratified the Paris Agreement on 3rd October 2016. We have a renewable energy target of 175 Giga Watts by 2022, launched the International Solar Alliance initiative and are working on a road map for introducing all electric vehicles beginning 2030.
The Vice President said that many Italians take active interest in Indian culture, cuisine, music, dance, Yoga and Ayurveda. We will be happy to collaborate with Italy in enhancing the understanding of traditional systems of Indian medicines, he added.