Current Affairs Agreements

  HDFC Bank, Mastercard and SAP Concur have joined hands for spending management services for the corporate sector. HDFC Bank will offer a corporate credit card for business travellers, providing a one-stop solution for payment and expense management during business trips. The corporate credit card will enable the seamless integration of all business-related to spend into SAP Concur offerings, enhancing the employee experience, increasing visibility, saving money, and improving corporate efficiency. The card is supported by Mastercard. SAP Concur is a travel, expense, and invoice management solutions provider. HDFC is headquartered in Mumbai and has more than 100,000 employees. It’s India’s largest private sector lender when viewed by assets, and it’s the largest bank in India by market capitalization.

  The Goverment of India has signed USD 450 million loan agreement with the World Bank. The loan agreement of USD 450 million aims to support the national programme “Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY): National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme“. It will help the Union Government to curb the country’s depleting groundwater levels along with strengthening of the groundwater institutions.
  • More Details about loan:
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) will provide the loan amount on behalf of the World Bank. According to the loan agreement signed between Indian Government and the World Bank, the loan amount will be having a grace period of 6 years, along with the maturity period of 18 years.
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY): National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme
The Atal Bhujal Yojana aims to provide strength to the institutional framework for participatory groundwater management and to encourage behavioural changes at the community level for sustainable groundwater resource management. With this, it will curb the country’s depleting groundwater levels along with strengthening of the groundwater institutions.
  • Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) Implementation:
ABHY will be implemented in 7 states and cover 78 districts. The 7 states are: Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. The ABHY programme will increase the recharge of aquifers and introduce water conservation practices. It will also promote water harvesting, crop alignment, and water management activities. The above targets are expected to be achieved with the use of cutting-edge technology along with Artificial Intelligence and space technology which will further help in better implementation of the programme.

 On February 12, 2020 the Union Cabinet approved the protocol to amend the DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) that was signed between India and Sri Lanka. The DTAA with respect to prevention of fiscal evasion is to be amended.
  • Highlights
Under the amendment, an anti-abuse provision is to be included. Also, the amendment will include Principle Purpose Test. This will help in curbing strategies that exploit gaps in tax rules.
  • Significance
Both Indian and Sri Lanka are members of major multilateral organizations such as OECD, G20, BEPS. Therefore, it is essential for both the countries to implement standards based on Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty related measures.
  • Why Principle Purpose Test?
India is a signatory of MLI, whereas Sri Lanka is not. Therefore, it is essential for the countries to insert Principle Purpose Test to meet the minimum standards
  • What is MLI?
In 2016, around 100 countries signed Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty. The treaty includes features that help to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. This is called Multilateral Instrument or MLI. If a country has signed MLI along with India, it is not important to include Principle Purpose Test in the DTAA. As Sri Lanka is not a signatory, DTAA has been included.

  Indian Oil has picked up a minority equity stake in Israel’s battery developer Phinergy to jointly set up a facility in India to manufacture metal-air batteries for electric vehicles. This collaboration helps in the field of Al-Air battery system including research & development, customization, manufacturing, assembly, sale and service of aluminium-air energy systems technology. Phinergy specialises in aluminium-air (Al-Air) and zinc-air battery systems that have potential applications in electric mobility and stationary applications. The preference for this technology is also because aluminium is abundantly available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also well established.

  Eastern Railways has partnered with Amazon India to set up a pick-up kiosk at the Sealdah railway station in Kolkata, West Bengal. This follows after the successful pilot of pickup kiosks in four railway stations across Mumbai in 2019. Customers can select this point as a pickup location on the checkout page of their order while shopping on the marketplace. A kiosk is a small open-fronted hut or cubicle from where newspapers, refreshments, tickets, etc will be sold.

  The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has signed a licensing agreement with Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures Europe. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures Europe is an operator of global exchanges and clearinghouses. India is one of the largest consumers and importers of crude oil in the world, and Brent crude is highly co-related with the Indian crude oil market. This agreement will serve the needs and interests to the Indian energy commodities space and market participants to access Rupee-dominated Brent benchmark prices. It will also help Indian commodity markets by providing convenient and cost-effective onshore hedging products and enable the price discovery of Brent crude prices in the Indian time zone.

  Indian Oil has signed an MoU with Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority for proper execution of the Ghana’s National LPG Promotion Policy. According to the MoU, Indian Oil will provide its technical expertise and assistance to Ghana’s National Petroleum Authority. The MoU is expected to strengthen the ties between India and Ghana in the field of Petroleum as Indian Oil will help Ghana in the successful execution of its plan of Re-circulation Model (CRM) of LPG. The MoU will also provide for administrative support to Indian Oil in case it decides to take part as a commercial participant in Ghana’s downstream petroleum sector.

  Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited has partnered with online bus ticketing platform redBus to start carpool service for train passengers. The facility aims to provide end to end connectivity to daily commuters in an affordable manner. The service will be offered through “rPool”. rPool is an in-app ride sharing service provided by redBus. Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited will also provide space inside the station premises to rPool for setting up of kiosks for customer service, apart from parking facilities for ride givers on rPool, for easy pick-up and drop of commuters.

  NITI Aayog and Union Territory of Ladakh sign MoU for Development of Infrastructure Projects in Ladakh.  It was signed between NITI Aayog Senior Adviser Dr Yogesh Suri and Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh Umang Narula. The agreement was executed in the presence of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. Under this agreement, NITI Aayog will be supporting the UT’s administration through its key initiative ‘Development Support Services to States for Infrastructure Projects (D3S-i)’. In an important initiative to promote the development of key infrastructure sectors in the newly constituted Union Territory of Ladakh. NITI Aayog will identify high-impact projects, It will expedited project implementation, addressing structural-level issues and creating unique models of development for the Union Territory of Ladakh. The main purpose of D3S-i projects is creating PPP (Public Private Partnership) projects. In 2018, phase I of the project was completed. In phase I, 10 projects were selected from 400 projects that were submitted by the states. In phase II, that was completed in the year 2018-19, the selected projects entered transaction stage.
Preparation activities were carried out:
  • The think tank also created a techno-economic feasibility report.
  • A professionals team is to be stationed at Ladakh for identification and development of projects in the UT, especially in tourism, solar energy and basic infrastructure.
The following were other steps taken:
  • The think tank organized investor consultations for the state governments Integrated post-harvest supply chain management and integrated community-based micro-irrigation infrastructure were generated.

  Infosys has inked a deal for 5 years with GEFCO to digitally transform its worldwide operations. Infosys has partnered with the multimodal supply chain solutions provider, GEFCO to strenghthen its Digital Transformation. The digital services and consulting firm Infosys will help GEFCO to transfrom GEFCO’s next-generation business application management services. It will also help GEFCO to emerge as ‘Digital Native’ organization. The prime objective of the partnership is to support GEFCO to create new sustainable sources of competitive advantage and to constantly improve value for its customers.

You need to login to perform this action.
You will be redirected in 3 sec spinner