Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams 06 March 2016

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams

06 March 2016

:: National ::

After backlash from salaried class EPF proposal likely to be taken back

  • All options on the controversial budget proposal to tax EPF savings are on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s table and a decision, even on a complete rollback, is expected at the highest level in the government soon.
  • A senior official of the Finance Ministry conceded that the “entire” proposal was under review.
  • The Ministry’s original intent was to promote the New Pension Scheme that had failed to take off even over 10 years after it was launched, as the EPF offered better tax benefits.
  • Finance Ministry has introduced into the debate by saying that: only 60 per cent of the interest income from EPF savings would be taxed or the entire EPF corpus at retirement would be tax-free if an employee buys an annuity with 60 per cent of his EPF account balance.

Pak minister says Pakistan team will play only after security clearance

  • Pakistan’s Interior Minister said that the Pakistani Cricket team would not take part in the March 19 Dharamshala League match of the ICC T20 World Cup series till “security clearance” was granted by his government.
  • His statement comes a day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh offered paramilitary security for the Pakistani cricket team for the Dharamshala match.
  • Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board spokesperson said that a mere verbal assurance would not suffice and strong security measures were needed. We want a guarantee that can be given at the government level.
  • Meanwhile, the PCB has stopped the India tour of its women’s team until it gets written security assurances.

President wants parties to clear Women’s bill

  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appealed to all political parties to clear the Constitution (108th) Amendment Bill to set aside one-third of seats in Assemblies and Parliament for women.
  • Addressing women lawmakers, he said this would be the natural fulfilment of the ideals of the Panchayati Raj Act.

Madras HC makes in mandatory to include National anthem singing in curriculum

  • The Madras High Court has ordered that private schools in the State must follow singing of national anthem as part of their curriculum, keeping in mind the mandate of the Constitution of India, the respect for national anthem and the national flag.
  • The Bench passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition moved by N. Selvathirumal, who claims to be an ex-service.
  • The petitioner submitted that most of the schoolchildren were of the opinion that the national anthem was a movie song.
  • He brought the court’s attention to Article 51A of the Constitution which envisages every citizen of the country to abide by the Constitution and respect the national flag and the national anthem.

:: India and World ::

Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai wants India to be part of Taliban talks

  • India, Iran and Russia should be included in the talks with the Taliban, says former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who said that the current talks among the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) were Afghanistan’s “only hope for peace” despite the fact that the talks were being held in Pakistan.
  • Mr. Karzai’s comments came as there was uncertainty in Islamabad over just when the next round of QCG talks that include representatives from the U.S., China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, would be scheduled.
  • The group had met twice, in February in Islamabad and Kabul, expressing the hope that the direct talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives would be scheduled in early March, after which the QCG had met.
  • However, in a statement on Saturday, the Taliban said it would not attend the talks until all the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) forces had left the country.
  • Afghan analysts have also been worried that the presence of the U.S. and China in the QCG would push President Ghani to accept more and more concessions toward the Taliban, even though they have been unable to bring enough pressure to bear on Pakistan to use those “levers”.
  • India has stayed disengaged from the process, saying that it would support any initiative that is “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led”.

:: International ::

Taliban reject peace talks with govt.

  • The Taliban refused to hold direct peace talks with the Afghan government, dealing a blow to international efforts to revive long-stalled negotiations aimed at ending the deadly 14-year insurgency.
  • The statement, which comes as face-to-face talks were expected to start in Islamabad this week, stressed longstanding preconditions for dialogue, including the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban’s seemingly intractable position follows a string of military victories for the insurgent group after NATO formally ended its combat operations more than a year ago.
  • The announcement marks a setback in efforts by Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the U.S. to restart negotiations aimed at ending the insurgency.
  • Delegates from the four countries had met in Kabul late February for a fourth round of talks aimed at reviving the nascent peace process, which stalled last summer.
  • The quartet had called for a direct dialogue between the Taliban and Kabul by this week, a deadline that some analysts called “completely unrealistic”.
  • The group also accused the U.S. of duplicity, saying it had boosted troop numbers, increased air strikes and night raids against the insurgents in tandem with its efforts to revive talks.
  • The Taliban have also stepped up attacks on government and foreign targets in Afghanistan — even in the winter months when fighting usually abates — underscoring a worsening security situation.
  • Afghan security forces have suffered record casualties since NATO ended its combat mission in December 2014, leaving them to battle the resurgent Taliban largely on their own.
  • In recent months the Taliban briefly captured the northern city of Kunduz, the first urban centre to fall to the insurgents, and have seized territory in the opium-growing southern province of Helmand

After Border and maritime issue resolution Bangladesh wants Teesta issue resolved

  • After the the resolution of the land boundary and maritime issues, Bangladesh is now looking up to India for an “immediate signing” of the Teesta water-sharing accord, which the two governments had agreed over four years ago.
  • Mr. Alam, the State Minister, said Bangladesh had “fully delivered by undertaking specific measures to address India’s security concerns”.
  • With more and more dedicated institutional mechanisms being put in place, we are having better, targeted and coordinated action in various sectors of security. And the cooperation will continue.
  • BJP spokesperson said New Delhi would like to solve all the pending issues with Dhaka.

:: Business and Economy ::

China continues its effort to change to a self-sustaining economy based on consumption

  • China is targeting growth of about 6.5-7 per cent this year, in tune with an effort to transition from a low-end manufacturing and exports nation to a self-sustaining economy based on innovation and consumption.
  • While presenting his work report Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said Beijing was taking measures to avoid falling into a “middle income” trap. The term refers to the inability of many countries, starting from a low base, to transition to developed status after experiencing years of high economic growth.
  • Fiscal deficit has been calibrated to 3 per cent of the GDP this year, up from last year’s 2.3 per cent of the GDP, Mr. Li said. That figure, expected to stand at $335 billion is the highest since economic reforms began in 1979.
  • The fiscal stimulus is expected to focus on tax breaks for small businesses, especially in the fast-growing services sector, seen among the major drivers of the restructured “new normal” economy.
  • China is now focusing on electric cars, deep space exploration, aero-engines, robotics and nuclear power, and the services industry, such as healthcare to restructure its economy.
  • In a panel discussion with political advisors from the China Democratic National Construction Association and the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, President Xi said that China should stick to its basic socialist economic system while strengthening and developing both public and non-public sectors of the economy.
  • Mr. Li acknowledged that transforming the Chinese economy would be far from easy, in a world witnessing weak growth in trade, and experiencing fluctuations in financial and commodity markets, whose impact should not be underestimated.
  • Over $15 billion are being earmarked for the next two years as a safety net to tackle unemployment.

Government looking into the proposal of consolidating public sector banks

  • The government will soon set up an expert group to look into consolidation of public sector banks as the country needs stronger rather than a large number of banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

  • He also said the government is considering ESOPs for PSU bank officials besides strengthening the SARFAESI Act and Debt Recovery Tribunals to deal with the problems of stressed assets that are estimated at around Rs.8 lakh crore.

  • There could be niche banks and banks which could survive independently and sustain themselves well, he said, observing that the Gyan Sangam strongly supported the idea of consolidation in the banking sector.

  • With regard to the rising Non—Performing Assets or bad loans, Jaitley said that besides strengthening the institutional mechanism, the government has been taking sector specific decisions to deal with the problems in segments like power, highways, sugar and steel.

  • On the NPA situation in the banking sector, Jaitley said banks are taking steps to recovery bad loans. “As far as recovery is concerned, whatever steps have to be taken with regard to recovery banks have various rights for recovery through DRT, SDR... Neither loan waiver has been given to anyone, nor will be given,” he said.

  • In the current global environment, Jaitley said, banks have to take all the measures in order to clean up their books by effecting recoveries.

  • He also said that there are some sector specific decisions which are required to be taken by the government. These include, power, highways, sugar and steel.

:: Sports ::

Patna pirates are the winner of Pro Kabaddi league

  • Patna Pirates had struggled to break the semifinal jinx in the previous two editions of the ProKabaddi League (PKL).
  • Having got past that hurdle, the side went all the way on Saturday, defeating defending champion U Mumba 31-28 in the dying seconds of the game to win the title but not before Mumba gave it a scare till the last few seconds of the game.
  • Tied 28-28 till the last 45 seconds, it was more a case of holding nerves than anything else and Patna, with the monkey off its back, was the one that gave it the final push.
  • Mumba skipper Anup Kumar — its key raider and, on this day, someone who almost took his team to the title single-handedly — had kept his calm and pushed his team to fight back from an eight-point deficit at half time.
  • But his final raid, that saw him slip and go out of the play area to concede a point, saw the trophy slip away.

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