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Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022

Apr 11, 2022

Current Affair 1:
APEDA India’s Agri exports

 

India’s agri exports crossed USD 50 billion for the year 2021-22, notwithstanding logistical challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic in the form of high freight rates, container shortages, etc. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has scripted a new history by exporting agricultural and processed food products to the tune of USD 25.6 billion,

which is 51 per cent of the India’s total agriculture exports of USD 50 billion.

Cereal sector in APEDA exports contributes more than 52 per cent share in 2021-22. Livestock products and other processed foods contributes 17 and 15 per cent in APEDA export respectively in 2021-22.

Compared to total agricultural export, APEDA’s exports registered 16 per cent growth when it touched USD 25.6 billion in 2021-22 from USD 22.03 billion in 2020-21.  The highest growth rate recorded by APEDA products (more than 30 per cent) in 2021-22 corresponding to previous year may be seen from Graph-2.

Current Affair 2:
National Time Release Study, 2022

 

Shri Vivek Johri, Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), presented a set of Time Release Studies (TRS) conducted by the department.

TRS are essentially a performance measurement tool for assessing the cargo clearance process of the international trade, as recommended by the World Trade Organization (WTO) under the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

It adopts average cargo release time, i.e., the time taken from the arrival of the cargo at the customs station to its eventual release for import or export, as the case may be.

The National Time Release Study (NTRS) 2022 covered 15 major Customs formations, including four port categories - seaports, air cargo complexes (ACCs), inland container depot (ICDs) and integrated check posts (ICPs), which handle about 80 percent of the bills of entry (imports documents) and 70 percent of the shipping bills (export documents) and is based on the sample period between 1st – 7th January 2022. 

Current Affair 3:
5G Vertical Engagement and Partnership Program (VEPP) initiative

 

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) invites Expression of Interest for “5G Vertical Engagement and Partnership Program(VEPP)”initiative to build strong collaboration partnerships across 5G Use-case ecosystem stakeholders with velocity and with an exclusive emphasis to address User/Vertical Industry needs.

In order to multiply the 5G opportunities across the usage verticals, under the guidance of Secretary(Telecom), an Inter-Ministerial Committee chaired by Member(Technology), Digital Communications Commission is constituted to facilitate collaborative efforts across stakeholders.

 

5G Vertical Engagement and Partnership Program is being offered to Industry verticals which have potential as testing cum breeding grounds for innovative 5G use cases, through an Expression of Interest (EoI) to enable close collaboration between User vertical sand 5G Tech stakeholders (Service providers, Solution providers & partner OEMs), which can trigger a multiplier effect to try & fine tune 5G digital solutions in respective economic verticals.

Stakeholders who can Apply:

  1. User/Vertical Industries(Private & Public
  2. Service providers
  3. Solution Providers/System Integrators (SIs)
  4. Solution Partners/ /Devices, Sensors, Equipment Vendors (OEMs● Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Network Domain

In order to give fillip to the 5G use case development program, the DoT in partnership with other Ministries & State Government Departments, Start-up Hubs would facilitate necessary approvals/ regulatory clearances to enable Use case prototyping/pilots/Demos/ trials at the User or Vertical industry premises. Required experimental spectrum would also will be facilitated on priority basis.

Current Affair 4:
Sovereign debt crisis in Sri Lanka

 

  1. "Sovereign Debt" is defined as "Government Debt". But it is also used in the context of "Government's external Debt". And in the above article the $51 billion debt on which Sri Lanka Govt. has defaulted is basically "Sri Lankan Government's External Debt".
  2. This foreign debt of Sri Lankan Govt. (Sovereign Debt) was mostly denominated in foreign currency i.e., Sri Lanka would require dollars to pay for that. And since the forex reserve has declined to $2.3 billion which is not at all sufficient, so it has decided to default on the foreign debt and would rather use this $2.3 billion forex to import the essential items.
  3. To pay for the foreign currency denominated external debt we require forex. But if the debt has been taken by the Govt. from the domestic sources in domestic currency, then even if Govt. don't have the money to pay for it, then it can ask its Central Bank to print extra cash and it can pay for that. This is called 'monetisation of deficit'. And the chances of default on the debt due in local currency is negligible as Govt. has the printing machine (Central Bank). But Sri Lanka cannot print dollars to pay for foreign debt, so there can be default which has happened.
  4. Govt. securities are said to be risk free only when its denominated in domestic currency but a Govt. bond/security is not risk free when its denominated in foreign currency.
  5. Sri Lanka receives foreign currency through foreign tourists and some exports which mostly declined due to Covid domestic economic issues which resulted in declining forex reserves. When forex reserves declined there was pressure on Sri Lankan Rupee and it started depreciating (when forex reserves decline, it exerts (depreciating) pressure on domestic currency).
  6. When Sri Lankan Rupee depreciated a lot then its Govt. put a limit that it will not pay more than (Sri Lankan) Rs. 200 per US dollar coming into the country even though the market forces may have pushed the rate to Rs. 250/300 per US dollar. This resulted in trade pushed into black market. For example If a Sri Lankan person exported Rice worth $1 in the international market then he may demand Rs. 250/300 for his one dollar but Govt. official conversion rate was just giving him Rs. 200, so he did not convert it officially rather he converted it into Rs. 250/300 in the black market. [Whenever Govt. regulates prices of commodities or currency then a black market gets developed which reflects the actual price]
  7. Roll over of debt means if some debt is due and the person is not able to pay then payment is postponed for a later date.

Rest You can understand on your own.

One incident which I would like to remind you that, when India was in crisis in 1991 March/April and we had only $1.2 billion of forex and the default was imminent on our foreign debt then rather than defaulting, we decided to give our gold to foreign banks and arranged dollars. And later on we brought our gold back.

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