THE BIG PICTURE- CASHLESS ECONOMY
In a bid to promote cashless transactions, the government said businesses with an annual turnover of over Rs 50 crore can offer low-cost digital modes of .........
Double farm incomes by investments, not subsidies
WTO scrutiny will prevent a big hike in farm subsidies by govt, but fixing markets is a far more efficient solution anyway.
If anyone thought the government could double farmers’ income by 2022—a Narendra Modi promise—by a sharp hike in farm subsidies or in ..............
Tackling fake news
We need uniform guidelines, regulation and policy regarding fabricated content
Indians and the ‘Indian National Anthem’ being adjudged the best by UNESCO is probably the most common fake news going around the Internet. While this false information may have been innocuous, it captures the larger menace we face today. With the advent ..............
Farmers Suicide - Social and Economic Implications
...by Arvind Swami
Agriculture is the lifeline of the Indian economy. Farmers are the backbone to realize the full potential of the agricultural sector and in its contribution to the Indian economy. However, the contribution of the agricultural sector to the economy is decreasing and the number of people employed here is reducing. Due to decreasing productivity and income realization, farmers who are primarily dependent on it are resorting to suicides. These .....................
India’s reasons for not joining RCEP:
- Changed scenario due to the China-US trade war:
China has been seeking to tie up the deal expeditiously as the country faces slowing growth from a trade war with the U.S.
This shifted the focus somewhat from crafting an agreement that worked for all to an early conclusion of agreement.
- RCEP lacking balance and fairness:
India was not able to get several of its key concerns addressed.
The biggest concern in the bloc is still with China with whom the Indian bilateral trade deficits lurk around USD 55-60 billion.
There are too many non-tariff barriers in place in China which have to be removed.Otherwise, progressively low tariff rates which form the core of the RCEP treaty, will seriously hurt our dairy, steel, MSME and textile sectors.
- Lopsided ‘Free Trade Agreements’:
India has already signed a host of free trade agreements (FTAs) and comprehensive economic cooperation agreements (CECAs) with the South-east Asian nations, with whom India’s trade deficit only increased after the agreements came to effect.
Even with other RCEP nations with whom India does not have trade agreements, namely, Australia, New Zealand, and China, India faces a massive and growing trade deficit.
Domestic opposition: Agricultural producers and farmers are fearing that cutting tariffs on dairy and other produce would open the door to cheap Chinese imports and threaten sectors that support a vast swathe of the population.
- The economic slowdown: Indian industries facing consumption slowdown, would have been further hit by cheap imports.
- Stagnating Indian exports: India's exports have declined along with an increase in imports.
India’s main issues with RCEP:
- The main issues that need resolution include
number of goods on which import duties should be completely eliminated
norms to relax services trade
investor-state dispute settlement
Rules of Origin (ROO)
- The e-commerce chapter & the issue of cross-border transfer of electronic information:
The e-commerce chapter contains clauses that, if India had agreed to them, would have prevented it from implementing data localisation rules on companies doing business in India.
- India has proposed locating computing facilities inside the country if it is meant to protect its essential security interests and national interests.
- Also Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) in its April 2018 notification mandated “all system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India”.
RCEP does not want data localization. It said that these requirements raise costs for suppliers of data-intensive services by forcing the construction of unnecessary, redundant data centres.
- Number of goods on which import duties should be completely eliminated
- RCEP members want India to eliminate or significantly reduce customs duties on maximum number of goods it traded globally.
To protect domestic industry against surge in imports, India suggested an auto trigger method that would automatically increase import levies once shipments cross a given threshold limit.
India is negotiating ‘standstill’ and ‘ratchet’ clauses which mean that the governments have to freeze their current levels of market opening, and if they liberalise more they cannot go back.
Dairy Sector - New Zealand and Australia would gain significantly for commodities- Milk powder and fat. Already Malaysia and Indonesia have successfully exploited the Indian market in palm oil, as did Argentina and Brazil in soyabean oil and Ukraine in sunflower oil.
2. Norms to relax services trade
- Under services, India wants greater market access for its professionals in the proposed agreement.
But the RCEP grouping had earlier rejected India’s proposal for a visa fee waiver on a common reciprocal basis, fearing migration and subsequent loss of jobs.
Computer related services is a sector of India’s interest and in that Mode 4 is India’s main concern.
3. Proposed inclusion of the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS):
- This mechanism gives the exclusive right to bypass domestic legal systems and sue governments at international arbitration tribunals whenever they feel government regulation can limit their profits.
- India does not want an ISDS mechanism in RCEP as it does not want its domestic laws to be challenged in offshore arbitral tribunals.
4. Rules of Origin (ROO):
- Rules of origin are the criteria used to define where a product was made and are important for implementing other trade policy measures, including trade preferences, quotas, anti-dumping measures and countervailing duties.
- India wants strict rules of origin to prevent Chinese goods from flooding the country through member countries that may have lower or no duty levels.
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Para-Jumble refers to a paragraph wherein the sentences forming it are jumbled. Basically, you are given a paragraph - but the sentences are not in the right order. It's up to you to untie this knot and rearrange the sentences so that they logically make sense. This type of question is actually pretty common and it is one of the most important and high scoring topics of English section for all Competitive Exams. The right approach to such type of questions can fetch you good marks in such exams which we’ll going to discuss in the webinar scheduled on 24th November, i.e., 4th Sunday @ 11:00 on Youtube and @ 4:30 pm on Facebook. SET REMINDER & Join us Live!!
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