Monetary Policy Committee
- Maintaining an accommodative stance, the RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das yesterday said that the Monetary Policy Committee has unanimously decided to leave the policy repo rate unchanged at 4%.
- He said the marginal standing facility remains unchanged at 4.25% and reverse repo rate stands unchanged at 3.35%.
- Reserve Bank of India’s Governor Dr. Shaktikant Das said that the RBI expects the economy to record positive growth in the second half of the current financial year.
- While ensuring that the Monetary Policy Committee will keep on monitoring all threats to price stability, Dr. Das said that the Financial sector entities like banks and NBFC’s should give highest priority to quality of governance, risk management and internal controls.
- He ensured that the RBI will use various instruments at the appropriate time while ensuring ample liquidity is available to the system.
- There were positive developments in the monetary policy announced yesterday.
- One was that the economy is bouncing back from the lockdown impact a little quicker than forecast two months ago.
- RBI decided to push ahead with its agenda of expanding and deepening the digital payments architecture.
- In keeping with this aim, the real time gross settlement (RTGS) system for immediate funds transfer will now run round the clock.
- This will be supplemented by an increase in limits for contactless card transactions from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 beginning January.
- The share of digital transactions in the total volume of non-cash retail payments was 97% in 2019-20.
- RBI governor Shaktikanta Das explained, it is important to maintain public confidence in digital banking.
- Digital banking has to overcome two challenges to gain currency.
- It needs to provide convenience without compromising either safety or privacy.
- Given the surge in digital transactions that has accompanied the mobile phone revolution, both financial intermediaries and the regulator have to up their game.
- The government too has to do better on policy making as that influences the quality and spread of network infrastructure.
- Digitalisation of payments does call for a greater level of sophistication on the part of all stakeholders as easy access and speed can also work in the wrong direction.
- India is at a critical juncture in this matter.
- It’s no longer a question of incentivising digital transactions. It’s about improving services and bolstering confidence.
Smuggling in India Report 2019-20
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday inaugurated the 63rd Founding Day Celebrations of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
- On the occasion, Mrs Sitharaman released the Smuggling in India Report 2019-20 which analyses organised smuggling trends on Gold and Foreign Currency, Narcotic Drugs, Security, Environment and Commercial Frauds.
- Finance Secretary Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that DRI has contributed to the economy of India by actively bringing to light some significant cases of commercial frauds and cross-border smuggling.
- On the occasion, Bravery Awards were conferred upon Najimudheen T S of DRI Cochin Zonal Unit and Sumer Sen, an independent witness of a case booked by DRI,Jaipur.
- The DRI Utkrisht Seva Samman, 2020 was awarded to B. Sankaran, an officer of the 1961 batch of the Indian Revenue Service.
- The Finance Minister congratulated DRI and its officers on their performance and commendable service, especially in times of the prevalent pandemic.
- She encouraged the officers to continue working hard as the cases booked and arrests affected by DRI, while large, are just the tip of the iceberg and urged DRI and Indian Customs to ensure that every offender of India’s economic frontiers is taken to task.
Denmark Gas Exploration
- Denmark will end all new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea.
- A wider plan of Denmark is to stop extracting fossil fuels by 2050.
- Its government also agreed to cancel its latest licensing round on Thursday.
- Denmark is currently the largest oil producer in the European Union, although it produces much less than non-EU members Norway or the UK.
- There are 55 drilling platforms on its territory, across 20 oil and gas fields.
- The decision will cost Denmark about 13 billion kroner (£1.1bn)
- Since the 1970s, Denmark has earned billions of dollars from its North Sea oil.
- That’s also helped finance the country’s generous welfare state.
- As part of the new plan, Mr Jorgensen says carbon capture and storage technology will be developed in the area, and new job creation will come from the country’s growing off-shore wind sector.