9 PM Current Affairs Brief – February 2nd, 2020

Union Budget 2020-21

News:TheGeneral Budget 2020-21 has been presented by the Union Finance Minister in the Lok Sabha.


About Budget:

  • The word Budget has not been used in the Constitution of India.Rather Article 112 of the Constitution of India mentions the term “Annual Financial statement”.
  • The budget is a statement of the estimated receipts and expenditure of the Government of India among other things.

Theme of Budget 2020-21:The Union Budget has been structured on the overall theme of “Ease of Living.”

Aim of the Budget:Union Budget 2020-21 aims to:

  • To achieve seamless delivery of services through Digital governance
  • To improve physical quality of life through National Infrastructure Pipeline
  • Risk mitigation through Disaster Resilience
  • Social security through Pension and Insurance penetration.

Prominent Theme:The  budget is woven around three prominent themes:

  • Aspirational India in which all sections of the society seek better standards of living, with access to health, education and better jobs.
  • Economic development for all, indicated in the Prime Minister’s exhortation of “SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas”.
  • Caring Society that is both humane and compassionate, where Antyodaya is an article of faith.

Budget 2020:Macro-economic Framework Statement (MFS) 2020-21

News:In Budget 2020-21,Government of India has presented the Macro-economic Framework Statement(MFS) 2020-21.


Key Highlights of the statement:

  • The Macroeconomic Framework Statement(MFS) 2020-21 describes the return path of fiscal consolidation without compromising the needs of investment out of public funds.
  • Fiscal Deficit:The government’s fiscal deficit for 2019-20 will be 3.8% of the gross domestic product(GDP) compared to 3.3% projected last year.For the financial year 2020-21,the fiscal deficit target has been set at 3.5%.
  • Disinvestment target:The government has pegged disinvestment target for 2020-21 at Rs 1.20 lakh crore nearly double of Rs 65,000 crore it expects to raise in the current financial year.
  • Capital Expenditure:The Finance Minister has proposed a 21% increase in capital expenditure for the FY 2020-21.
  • India is now the fifth-largest economy in the world
  • FDI:India’s Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) elevated to US$ 284 billion during 2014-19 from US$ 190 billion during 2009-14.
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline(NIP):To improve the physical quality of life,the Government has announced the NIP of projects worth Rs. 102 lakh crores which would commence in phases from 2020-21 to 2024-25.
  • Debt:Centre’s debt as a percentage of GDP has come down to 48.7% as of May, 2019.
  • Poverty:271 million people raised out of poverty between 2006 and 2016.
  • Taxpayers:6 million new taxpayers have been added in the last four years due to the GST.

National Technical Textiles Mission Proposed in Union Budget

News:Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs has announced a proposal to set up a National Technical Textiles Mission.


About National Technical Textiles Mission:

  • The National Technical Textiles Mission will be implemented for a period of four-years from 2020-21 to 2023-24 at an estimated outlay of ₹1,480 crore.

About Technical Textiles:

  • Technical textiles are materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical properties and functional requirements rather than for aesthetic characteristics.
  • Technical textiles include textiles for automotive applications, medical textiles (e.g., implants), geotextiles (reinforcement of embankments), agrotextiles (textiles for crop protection) among others.

Budget 2020:Deposit Insurance cover raised to ₹5 lakh

News:The Finance minister has announced in the Budget that the Deposit insurance cover for bank deposits has been raised to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.


About Deposit Insurance:

  • Deposit insurance is providing insurance protection of Rs 1 lakh to the depositor’s money by receiving a premium.
  • The government has set up Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) under RBI to protect depositors if a bank fails.
  • The Deposit cover is for deposits in commercial banks, regional rural banks (RRBs), local area banks (LABs) and cooperative banks and branches of foreign banks in India.
  • In Budget 2020,the Government has now raised this Deposit insurance cover to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.

About DICGC:

  • Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) is a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).
  • It was established in 1978 as a statutory body under Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act,1961.
  • The act provides for the establishment of a Corporation for the purpose of insurance of deposits and guaranteeing of credit facilities and for other matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
  • The Deputy Governor of RBI acts as its Chairman of DICGC.It is headquartered in Mumbai.

Budget 2020: Govt unveils 16-point action plan to revive agricultural sector

News:Union Finance minister has proposed 16 action points focusing on doubling Farmers income, Horticulture sector, Food storage, Animal Husbandry and Blue economy.


About 16 point Action Plan:The key highlight of the 16-point action plan includes:

  • Help 20 lakh farmers setup standalone solar pumps under PM-KUSUM scheme.
  • Artificial insemination to be increased to 70% from the present 30%.
  • Expansion of NABARD Refinancing Scheme while MGNREGS to be used to develop fodder farm
  • State governments who undertake implementation of model laws (issued by the Central government) to be encouraged.
  • Village Storage Scheme which will be run by the SHG (Self Help Group) to provide farmers a good holding capacity and reduce their logistics cost.
  • Indian Railways will set up a Kisan Rail for transporting perishable goods.
  • Krishi Udaan will be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on national and international routes for agricultural exports.
  • Target for Agricultural credit has been increased to Rs 15 lakh crore from Rs 12 lakh crore
  • Fish production to be raised to 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-23
  • By 2025, milk processing capacity to be doubled to 108 MT
  • Government proposes measures to improve the situation in 100 water-stressed districts
  • One District One Product to be extended to Horticulture
  • Integrated Farming systems in Rain fed areas to be expanded
  • Jaivik Kheti Portal – online national organic products market to be strengthened.
  • Foot and Mouth Disease, Brucellosis in cattle and Peste Des Petits ruminants(PPR) in sheep and goat to be eliminated by 2025.
  • Self Help Groups(SHGs) of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana to be mobilised.

Union Budget 2020:Education and Skill Development

News:The Budget 2020 was presented at the Parliament under three themes. One of the themes is Aspirational India.The Education and Skills is a subtheme under Aspirational India.


Key takeaways in the Education Sector and Skill Development:

  • Under Study in India Programme,IND-SAT exam will be conducted in African and Asian countries for foreign candidates who wish to study in India.
  • National Police University and a National Forensic Science University have also been proposed in the domain of policing science, forensic science and cyber-forensics.
  • Degree level full-fledged online education programme will be started to provide quality education to students of deprived sections.However, these shall be offered only by institutions who are ranked within the top 100 in the National Institutional Ranking Framework(NIRF).
  • The Urban Local Bodies to provide internship opportunities to the local youths especially fresh engineers for a period of 1 year.
  • External Commercial Borrowings and FDI to be enabled for the education sector.
  • The medical colleges to be established along with district hospitals in PPP mode to address the problem of lack of qualified medical doctors.
  • National Skill Development Agency to be given special thrust to infrastructure-focused skill development opportunities.

Brexit:UK leaves the European Union

News:Britain has officially left the European Union(EU) and has become the first country to leave the 28-member bloc.


UK-EU Brexit withdrawal agreement:

  • As part of the withdrawal agreement,there will be a transition period until December 31st,2020.
  • The transitional period is designed to make the separation process smoother and will be used by UK and EU to negotiate a new relationship.
  • During the transition period,the UK will be officially out of the EU and not be represented on EU bodies but would still have the same obligations as an EU member.
  • These include remaining in the EU customs union and the single market, contributing to the EU’s budget and following EU law.

About Brexit:

  • Brexit is a term used to define United Kingdom coming out of European Union(EU).During a referendum in 2016,UK voted by a narrow margin in favour of Brexit.
  • Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any European Union(EU) member state the right to quit unilaterally and outlines the procedure for doing so.

European Union:

  • The European Union is an international organization which will now consist of 27 European countries.It governs common economic,social and security policies of its member states.
  • It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.
  • The 19 EU countries use EURO as their official currency.But eight EU members namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden do not use the euro.
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