Economy and Banking Current Affairs January 2017
Government Removes Excise Duty on PoS Machine
- The government removed excise duty on goods for manufacturing of Point of Sale (PoS) machines on November 27, 2016 that are in great demand as merchants are being compelled to use them in the wake of currency crisis. The PoS machines will be exempted from 12.5% excise duty and 4% Special Additional Duty (SAD) till March 31, 2017.
- Special additional duty with respect to customs duty is a duty leviable under Section-3(5) of the customs tariff Act 1975. Special additional duty is levied on imports to ensure that local sellers do not lose out on competition i.e., SAD is levied due to the reason that imports are cheap compared to price charged by local manufacturer.
- Thus, to ensure both the imports and local prices are equal special additional duty is levied to counter balance the sales tax or value added tax payable by local manufacturers.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board Set-up Two Advisory Panels
- Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (1BBI) set-up under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code that seeks to consolidate and amend laws relating to reorganisation as well as insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time-bound manner, on November 27, 2016.
- The nine-member advisory committee on service providers is headed by educationist Mohandas Pai while the panel on corporate insolvency and liquidation is chaired by noted banker Uday Kotak.
- The members of the panel on service providers include National Institute of Public Finance and Policy’s Professor Ajay N. Shah, National Stock Exchange Vice-Chairman Ravi Narain, SEBl’s Executive Director J. Ranganayakulu and senior lawyer Arnarjit Singh Chandiok.
SEBI Relaxeed Investment Rules for Angel Funds Giving Boost to Startups
- Markets regulator SEBI relaxed some of the investment rules for angel investors in Indian startups in a bid to channelise more investments into these companies on November 24, 2016.
- Angel investors are financiers who put money in new companies at their formative stages, in expectation of superior returns.
- The SEBI raised the total number of angel investors who can now invest in a start up company to 200 from 49. It also reduced the minimum investment amount to Rs 25 lakh from Rs 50 lakh earlier.
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Airbnb Signed MoU with SEWA to Boost Rural Tourism
- The world’s largest online homestay marketplace and homestay network Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) with the Self-Employed Women’s Association of India (SEWA) on November 24, 2016.
- Through the partnership, Airbnb will work with SEWA members to help them share their homes with Airbnb’s community of international and domestic guests, creating economic opportunities for women in rural areas and promoting tourism spend! in pans of India that have not traditionally benefited from tourism and hospitality.
- As part of the partnership, Airbnb and SEWA plan to expand the network of Airbnb homes in rural areas through SEWA’s member network : The initiative will begin in Gujarat and eventually expand to other States that have a significant presence of SEWA members.
Union Government Set-up HEFA to Provide Funds for Creating Infrastructure
- The Union government set-up Higher Education Financing Agency, HEFA, to provide funds for creating infrastructure and promoting research facilities in the Centrally-aided institutions of higher learning on November 22, 2016. The agency will leverage funds from the market.
- The agency will mobilise funds under Corporate Social Responsibility and function as a non-banking financing company.
- The interest on loans provided by HEFA to institutions will be met by the government. The move will help provide quality education to students without putting burden on them.