Economy News-Daily Digest: 5 Key Updates
1. Axis bank tops value, Paytm volumes in mobile banking
At 17.2 per cent, Axis Bank commands the largest value share of mobile banking transactions but it’s Paytm that tops volumes with 22 per cent. However, Paytm’s value share is a meagre 0.25 per cent, according to State Bank of India’s (SBI) annual report for 2017-18 which has put out Reserve Bank of India’s data for January 2018.ICICI Bank has a 17.1 per cent share of transactions by value and 9.7 per cent by volume. SBI’s volume share has slipped by over 5 percentage points from nearly 25 per cent at the end of March 2017 to 19.5 per cent in January 2018. The lender has also lost value share from to 16.8 per cent from a high 44.4 per cent a year ago.
Mobile-banking usage itself has seen a steep jump, with volumes soaring a steep 91 per cent to 1,871 million in FY18 from 977 million in FY17.
2. Govt. set to unveil ₹500 cr. credit enhancement fund
The government is set to unveil a ₹500-crore credit enhancement fund next month to facilitate infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds.
The fund was first announced in the Budget for fiscal year 2016-17.
The dedicated fund will provide credit enhancement for infrastructure projects which will help in upgrading credit ratings of bonds issued by infrastructure companies and facilitate investment from investors like pension and insurance funds. The initial corpus of the fund, to be sponsored by IIFCL (India Infrastructure Finance Company), will be ₹500 crore, and it will operate as a non-banking finance company.
There is a “mismatch” at present, where bonds floated by infrastructure finance firms are typically rated BBB, whereas regulatory agencies mandate a rating of at least ‘AA’ for investments by the long-term pension and insurance funds.
IIFCL will hold a 22.5% stake in the NBFC, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has offered to pick up a 10%. SBI, Bank of Baroda and LIC will also have stakes in the firm.
3. Gujarat tops e-way bill collection since April
Despite industries such as textiles and ceramics, among others facing teething problems, Gujarat has emerged as the leading state in generating e-way bills during April, May and the first week of June. The state has generated over 10.72 million inter- and intra-state e-way bills, followed by Maharashtra (8.13 million), Karnataka (8.05 million), Uttar Pradesh (7.64 million) and Haryana (7.63 million), respectively.
4. Government launches “Rail Madad” – An App to expedite &streamline passenger grievance redressal
In line with digital India, Indian Railways has for the first time completely digitized the Complaint management system. Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal launched a new App “Rail Madad” – An App to expedite & streamline passenger grievance redressal. RPGRAMS (Railway Passenger Grievance Redressal and Management System),which has been developed by Northern Railway (Delhi Division) and comprises many novel features including ‘Rail Madad’(Mobile Application for Desired Assistance During travel) – a mobile App to register complaints by passengers through mobile phone/web. It relays real time feedback to passengers on the status of redressal of their complaints- the passenger gets an instant ID through SMS on registration of complaint followed by a customized SMS communicating the action taken thereon by Railway. RPGRAMS integrates all the passenger complaints received from multiple modes (14 offline/online modes currently) on a single platform, analyzes them holistically and generates various types of management reports which enable the top management to continuously monitor the pace of grievance redressal as well as evaluate the performance of field units/ trains/ stations on various parameters viz cleanliness, catering, amenities etc. It also identifies weak/deficient areas and laggard trains/stations for undertaking focussed corrective actions.
5. CSIR lab to give technology for India’s first indigenous Lithium Ion Battery project
Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu under Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and RAASI Solar Power Pvt Ltd have signed a Memorandum of Agreement for transfer of technology for India’s first Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Battery project.
A group at CSIR-CECRI headed by Dr Gopu Kumar has developed an indigenous technology of Lithium-ion cells in partnership with CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) New Delhi, CSIR- Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CSIR-CGCRI) Kolkata and Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) Hyderabad. CSIR-CECRI has set up a demo facility in Chennai to manufacture prototype Lithium-Ion cells. It has secured global IPRs with potential to enable cost reduction, coupled with appropriate supply chain and manufacturing technology for mass production.
Currently, Indian manufacturers source Lithium Ion Battery from China, Japan and South Korea among some other countries. India is one of the largest importers and in 2017, it imported nearly 150 Million US Dollar worth Li-Ion batteries.
It will give tremendous boost to two flagship programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi – increasing the share of Clean Energy in the energy basket by generating 175 Giga Watts by 2022, of which 100 Giga Watts will be Solar and the second, National Electric Mobility Mission, to switch completely to electric vehicles by 2030.
Li-Ion batteries have applications in Energy Storage System – from hearing aid to container sized batteries to power a cluster of villages, Electric Vehicles (2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, 4-wheeler and Bus), portable electronic sector, Grid Storage, Telecom and Telecommunication Towers, Medical Devices, Household and Office Power Back (UPS), Powering Robots in Processing Industry. Lithium-ion batteries can power any electrical application without the need of physical wires-means wireless.