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India contributes $1 million to UN women’s body
December 8, 2013
To help global efforts to ensure gender equality and empowerment of women,India contributed $1 million to the UN as the fourth installment of India’s multi-year pledge to provide USD 5 Mn to UN Women (United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women).
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. Asoke K Mukerjiurged UN Women to focus on increasing the use of information and communication technology for empowerment of women.
About UN Women
UN Women is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women and girls.
Became operational in January 2011
Member of the United Nations Development Group
Headquarters at New York, USA
UN Women’s Office based in New Delhi covers four countries: India,Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. In these countries, the organization strengthen women’s rights by working with women, men, feminists, women’s networks, governments, local authorities and civil society.
It stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on many priority areas such as Ending violence against women, Promoting Leadership and Participation, Economic Empowerment, national planning and budgeting for women, etc.
Ministerial panel recommends bail out package to the sugar industry including financial assistance to sugar cane farmers
December 8, 2013
An informal group of ministers, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar recommended a number of incentives to cash-starved sugar mills including financial package to pay cane farmers.
Why the need for a financial package for sugar mills ?
Owing to an increase in prices of fuel and fertilizer, farmers are insisting that mills pay Rs.280- Rs.300 per quintal for sugarcane. But millers hold that they can afford to pay only Rs.225 per quintal.
At present, sugar industry is facing a financial crisis due to higher cost of production and decline in the prices of sugar. This has led to 3400 crore rupees cane arrears from 2012-13 during the marketing year that ended in September 2013. Thus, owing to liquidity crunch, the sugar mills demanded interest-free loans for working capital requirement, hike in import duty, export subsidies among others. This financial package will allow millers to pay money they owe to the farmers.
Recommendations of the Panel headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar:
To ensure timely payments to cane growers, the PM-constituted panel recommended loan recasting for mills as per the RBI norms, incentives for production for raw sugar of up to 4 million tonnes and setting up of buffer stock besides doubling ethanol-blending in petrol to 10%.
The bailout includes 7200 crore rupees at 12 percent interest rate to sugar mills by the banks to pay off the arrears of the sugarcane growers.
The 12% interest on the financial support on the loan will be paid by Government of India (GoI) and Sugar Development Fund (SDF).The GoI will pay 5% of the loan, while the 7% will be paid by the SDF. This makes the loan amount free of interest for the sugar mills.
The mills will have to repay loans in 5 years, but can get a moratorium on repayment in the first two years.
To increase import duty on sugar (but at present there is no hike in import duty).
An inter-departmental panel will be set up to coordinate with oil marketing companies and sugar mills for ethanol blending.
Note:India is the second biggest sugar producer in the world after Brazil.Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are the top sugar producing state of India.
RBI proposes new capital rules for D-SIBs (banks too-big-to-fail)
December 7, 2013
To safeguard the financial system from any possible crisis situation where large financial institutions faltered due to loss of confidence in the financial system, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the draft report to introduce increased capital requirements by 2016 for banks regarded as too big to fail and make them subject to greater regulatory oversight.
Key Elements of the RBI Report on D-SIBs (banks too-big-to-fail)
It outlines the methodology to be adopted for identifying the D-SIBs and regulatory policies for them.
The sample of banks for D-SIBs will be selected when its’ size is more than 2 % of GDP .
Banks classified as systemically important will be required to hold additional capital in the range of 0.2 % to 1 % of their risk weighted assets.
The banks designated as D-SIBs will be subjected to more intense supervision in the form of higher frequency and higher intensity of off- and on-site monitoring.
A D-SIB in lower bucket will attract lower capital charge and a D-SIB in higher bucket will attract higher capital charge.
Large banks such as the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank,Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank were likely to fall under this category of systemically important banks (D-SIBs) or too large to fail.
Domestic systemically important banks (D-SIBs)
These are large and highly interconnected financial institutions—whose failures failure might trigger a financial crisis or can impact the orderly functioning of the financial system and harm the economy.
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