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Important Current Affairs 18th April 2020

National

India removes ban on export of Paracetamol formulations

• The Central Government recently removed the ban on the export of formulations that are made from Paracetamol. The information was shared in a notification released by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

• The formulations including the fixed-dose combinations will now be made available with immediate effect for export purpose.

Banking and Economy

RBI cuts reverse repo rate by 25 bps to 3.75%, announces Rs 50,000 crore TLTRO 2.0

• On 17 April 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das took several important decisions to ensure adequate liquidity in the system to ease the financial stress.

• RBI has decided to undertake targeted long-term repo operations (TLTRO-2.0) for total amount of Rs 50,000 crore to begin with in tranches of appropriate sizes. RBI might increase this amount in future as per requirement.

• The funds availed by banks under TLTRO-2.0 should be invested in grade bonds, Commercial Papers, Non-Convertible Debentures of NBFCs with at least 50% going to mid-sized NBFCs and MFIs.

• RBI has announced the allocation of Rs 50,000 crore as special refinance facilities to All India financial institutions (AIFIs) such as NABARD, SIDBI, NHB to enable them to meet sectoral credit needs. These advances to the above organizations will be charged as per the RBI policy repo rate of 4.40%.

• Out of total allocation of Rs 50,000 crore, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will receive the amount of Rs 25,000 crore for the refinancing of Regional Rural Banks, cooperative banks and microfinance institutions.

• Out of total allocation of Rs 50,000 crore,Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will receive Rs 15,000 crore or on-lending and refinancing to scheduled commercial banks, non-banks and microfinance institutions.

• The National Housing Bank will receive Rs 10,000 crore to support housing finance companies.

• RBI has also decided to reduce the reverse repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 4% to 3.75% with immediate effect while the policy repo rate will remain unchanged at 4.4%, Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank rate will remain unchanged at 4.65%.

• The RBI has increased the ways and means advances (WMA) limit of states by 60% over and above the level as on March 31, 2020. The increased limit will be available till September 30, 2020.

• In respect of all accounts for which lending institutions decide to grant moratorium or deferment, and which were standard as on March 1, 2020, it has been decided that the 90-day NPA norm shall exclude the moratorium period. It indicates that there would an asset classification standstill for all such accounts from March 1, 2020 to May 31, 2020.

• RBI decides to extend the period for resolution plan by 90-days, citing the challenges faced during the resolution of stressed assets in the current volatile environment.

• RBI has refrained the scheduled commercial banks and cooperative banks from making any further dividend payouts from profits pertaining to the financial year ended March 31, 2020 until the further instructions.

• To ease the liquidity position at the level of individual institutions, the RBI has brought down the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) requirement for Scheduled Commercial Banks from 100% to 80% with immediate effect.

Science and Technology

NASA discovers habitable zone planet 300 light years away

• NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has discovered an Earth-sized planet in a habitable zone around a star that could support liquid water. The exoplanet, named as Kepler-1649c, was discovered by a team of of transatlantic scientists.

• The findings are based on the data provided by Kepler as well as Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).

Obituary

Freedom Fighter RV Bhuskute passes away at 94

• Freedom fighter R V Bhuskute, who had participated in the Quit India Movement, has passed away of prolonged illness. He was 94

• Hailing from Maharashtra’s Raigadh district, Bhuskute has also written several books on land laws.

Sports

Mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games unveiled

• “Feifei” to be the mascot for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games, China. The 4th Asian Para Games are going to be held from October 9-15, 2022, featuring 22 sports with Taekwondo and Para-Canoe to form their Games debuts. The mascot helps to bring the Games to life for everybody, from the athletes to the spectators.

• Theme 2020- Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility.

Days

International Day For Monuments and Sites

• The International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day) is observed on 18 April each year to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.

• Theme 2020- Shared Cultures, Shared Heritage, Shared Responsibility.

• The International Day for Monuments and Sites was proposed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on 18 April 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983.