सामयिक विषय: Miscellaneous

Cabinet approved cash credit to Punjab for food procurement

Cabinet approved cash credit to Punjab for food procurement

Question: What percentage of state gross domestic product has the 14th Finance Commission pegged the fiscal deficit at, for award period 2015-20?
(a) 7 percent
(b) 9 percent
(c) 10 percent
(d) 3 percent
Ans (d)
Related Fact :

  • On 6th March, 2017, The Cabinet today approved settlement of legacy food cash credit accounts (up to crop season 2014-15) of Punjab government for food procurement operations.
  • This proposal of Department of Expenditure was approved by Prime Minister under Rule 12 of (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961 on January 2, 2017
  • It further said that early settlement of legacy issues will help the banks in disbursement of food credit in the larger interest of numerous farmers of the state and uninterrupted continuity in food procurement operations to ensure food security for the nation.
  • The outstanding amount in Cash Credit Accounts of Punjab up to Kharif Marketing Season 2014-15 amounting to about Rs 31,000 crore shall be converted into a term loan.
  • It will be repayable in half yearly instalments over a period of 20 years with the option for pre-payment. The terms and conditions of the loan shall be as prescribed by the RBI and the lending banks.
  • Punjab government shall enter into a tripartite agreement with Government of India (GoI) and RBI irrevocably authorising the GoI to deduct, in case Punjab government fails to make any payment towards principal or interest of the term loan on due dates, such defaulted amount from the states share in central taxes and pay the same to SBI consortium.
  • It is notable that the 14th Finance Commission has prescribed the fiscal roadmap for each state for its award period 2015-20 and anchored their fiscal deficit to an annual limit of 3 per cent of states gross state domestic product.

Reference:
http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=158894

Country's tallest Tricolour hoisted at Attari border

India tallest Tricolour

Question: Where was India’s tallest Tricolour hoisted recently?
(a) Pathankot
(b) Laddakh
(c) Attari
(d) Hyderabad
Ans: (c)
Related Fact :

  • On 5th March, 2017, India hoisted the tallest tricolour in the country at the Attari border. The 360-foot tall flag is high enough to be spotted from Lahore in Pakistan.
  • It was hoisted on a 110-meter high mast, the flag is 120-foot long and 80-foot wide. The weight of the flag pole is 55 tonnes.
  • Punjab government spent an estimated Rs 3.50 crore rupees on this project.
  • The decision to install tallest tricolour at the Attari border was taken by the Amritsar Improvement Trust.
  • Before this, the title of the tallest national flag in India belonged to a 293-foot-high tricolour that was hoisted in Jharkhand’s Ranchi.

Reference:
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-tricolour-attari-wagah-tallest-flagpole-pakistan-spying/1/897492.html

Secretaries seek merging of two ministries

Secretaries recommend merging of two ministries

Question: Which of the two ministries below have been recommended to be merged by a panel of secretaries?
(a) AYUSH and the Health ministry
(b) Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and Urban Development ministry
(c) Finance and commerce and industry ministry
(d) None of the above.
Ans: (b)
Related Fact :

  • On 24th February, 2017, a panel of secretaries recommended the government to merge the ministries of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and Urban Development to improve implementation of central schemes.
  • The group of secretaries on urban development, health and sanitation has also suggested that pharmaceuticals and AYUSH Ministries be brought under the health ministry.
  • The mergers envisage improve planning and implementation of government schemes. Housing is an integral component of urban planning and development.
  • Similarly, smart Cities scheme, which is under Urban Development Ministry, also seeks to provide quality houses and so on. It would be higher efficiency if both the ministries are merged.
  • He said a concept note would be prepared which would delve into financial implications and would also consider the new names that could be given to the merged ministries.
  • Urban Development and HUPA Ministries were one entity before being separated into two independent ministries in 2004.

Reference:
http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/secretaries-seek-merging-of-two-ministries-117022400585_1.html
http://www.ptinews.com/news/8441624_Secretaries-seek-merging-of-two-ministries.html

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