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Saturday, May 16, 2020

DAILY Current Affairs 15 MAY 2020


DAILY GK C.A 15 MAY
1. SCO FOREIGN MINISTERS VIDEO CONFERENCE ON COVID-19
·        External Affairs Minister (EAM) S.Jaishankar participated in a virtual conference of foreign ministers hosted by Russia from Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) member states and insisted on the collective action against the terrorism and the security challenges.
·        India and Pakistan became the members of the SCO in 2017.

2. PM CARES FUND TRUST ALLOCATES RS 3,100 CRORE
·        PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund Trust has allocated  Rs 3100 crores to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
·        Out of the total amount around Rs 2000 crores will be allocated for the purchase of ventilators, Rs 1000 crores to care migrant labourers and Rs 100 crores to support vaccine development.
·        50,000 Made-in-India ventilators are to be purchased at Rs 2000 crores to boost the infrastructure so as to tackle COVID-19 cases across the country.



3. JAL JEEVAN MISSION
·        UT Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) and the state Government of Haryana have planned to provide tap connection to supply water to all rural families by December 2022 under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM).
·        Jal Jeevan Mission is a central government initiative with the aim to provide drinking water to every rural household.
·        Works under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the government implement the mission on a priority basis.


4. ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ABHIYAAN PART-1
·        Nirmala Sitharaman provided the details of the first part of the Special economic and comprehensive package of Rs 20 lakh crores, equivalent to 10% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 12, 2020. 
·        The 15 points plan details were dubbed as “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan” (self-reliant India Movement) which is premised on 5 pillars viz. Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand.
·        Also, the measures taken in the package are focused on “Getting back to work” which enables employees, employers, and businesses to get back to production and workers back to gainful employment.
·        The second part of the package will be unveiled by the Union Finance Minister on May, 14, 2020.
–Rs 3 lakh crore Emergency Working Capital Facility for Businesses, including MSMEs for 4 years
–Rs 20,000 crore Subordinate Debt for Stressed MSMEs; Max upto Rs 75 lakhs
Apart from above, a provision of Rs. 20,000 cr has been made for 2 Lakh MSMEs which are Non-performing assets (NPA) or are stressed. In this regard, a financial support of Rs 4000 crore will be provided to Credit Guarantee Trust for Micro and Small enterprises (CGTMSE). CGTMSE will provide partial Credit Guarantee support to banks. Further banks are expected to provide the subordinate-debt to promoters of such MSMEs equal to 15% of his existing stake in the unit.
–New definition set for MSME to boost growth
·        Micro Units: Companies with Investments up to Rs 1 crore & Turnover of below Rs 5 crore.
·        Small Units: Companies with investment below Rs 10 crore and turnover under Rs 50 crore.
·        Medium Units: Companies having investment under Rs 20 crore and turnover below Rs 100 crore.
As per the proposal, amendments will need to be made in the MSME Development Act of 2006.
–Global tenders to be disallowed upto Rs 200 crores in government procurement
To overcome the unfair competition faced by MSMEs from foreign companies, the global tenders will be disallowed in government procurement tenders up to Rs 200 crore. This step will not only support the “Make in India” initiative but also help MSMEs to increase their business.
–Rs. 2500 crore Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Support for Business & Workers for 3 more months
Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), payment of 12% of employer and 12% employee contributions was made into EPF accounts of eligible establishments. This was provided earlier for salary months of March, April and May 2020. Now, this support will be extended by another 3 months to salary months of June, July and August 2020.
–EPF contribution reduced for Business & Workers for 3 months- Rs 6750 crores Liquidity Support
To provide more take home salary for employees and to give relief to employers, the EPF or Employee Provident Fund contribution is being reduced for businesses and workers for three months to 10% each from the existing 12% for all establishments covered by EPFO. This will provide liquidity of about Rs.2250 Crore per month and Rs 6,750 crores for 3 months. This will provide liquidity relief to 3.67 lakh establishments and for 72.22 lakh employees.
–Reduction in Rates of ‘Tax Deduction at Source’ and ‘Tax Collected at Source” by 25% for the remaining period of FY 20-21
The Central Board of Income Tax on Wednesday ordered a 25% reduction in the rate of income tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collection at source (TCS) from 14 May, 2020 to 31st March, 2021 to provide more money in the hands of taxpayers. This will provided liquidity to the tune of Rs 50,000 Crore.
–Other Direct Tax Measures
Extension of dates: The due date of all Income Tax Returns for Assessment Year 2020-21 will be extended to 30 November, 2020.  Similarly, tax audit due date will be extended to 31 October 2020.
·        The date for making payment without additional amount under the “Vivad Se Vishwas” scheme will be extended to 31 December, 2020.
–Relief to Real Estate Projects
The Central Government has extended the Registration and Completion Date of Real Estate Projects under Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) amid COVID-19 impact. The Central Government directed to advise States/UTs and their Regulatory Authorities to the following effect:
·        Treat COVID-19 as an event of ‘Force Majeure’ (natural disaster) under RERA.
·        The registration and completion date for all registered projects will be extended up to 6 months and may be further extended by another 3 months based on the State’s


5. INDIA LIKELY TO MISS GLOBAL NUTRITION TARGETS BY 2025
·        According to World Health Organization(WHO)’s Global Nutrition Report 2020, India is one among 88 countries to miss global nutrition targets by 2025 & is with highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.
·        India along with Nigeria & Indonesia are worst in disparities in stunting & the levels varied four-fold across communities.
·        The World Health Assembly in 2012 identified 6 nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025 they are:
·        Reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5; Reduce Anaemia by 50% in women of reproductive age(15-49 years); Reduce 30% in low birth weight; No increase in childhood overweight; Increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%; Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.

6. FOREST LOSS RATE GLOBALLY DECLINED
·        According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment(FRA) 2020 released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), the forest loss rate in 2015-2020 has declined to an estimated 10 million hectares(mha), down from 12 mha in 2010-2015.
·        The world has lost 178 mha of forest since 1990, an area the size of Libya.
·        Among the world’s regions, Africa has the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 mha, followed by South America, at 2.6 mha, whereas Asia has the highest net gain of forest area in 2010–2020, followed by Oceania and Europe.
·        The world’s total forest area was 4.06 billion hectares(bha), which was 31% of the total land area; this area was equivalent to 0.52 ha per person.

7. DIRECT-TO-BANK DEPOSITS IN INDIA
·        MoneyGram Payment System, a subsidiary of MoneyGram International, global leader in P2P payments tied up with Federal Bank Limited, a private bank in India to provide the customers a cost-effective way to receive deposits directly in their bank accounts in India.

8. UN FORECASTS INDIA TO GROW AT 1.2% IN CY20
·        In the United Nations(UN) World Economic Situation and Prospects(WESP) mid year report forecast that the COVID-19 pandemic situation will shrink the world economy by 3.2% in 2020 this is the sharpest contraction since the 1930’s Great Depression and India’s economy to grow at 1.2% in 2020.

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