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Government bonds for NRIs

  • IASbaba
  • March 31, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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Government bonds for NRIs

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Economy

In News: 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) shall issue certain series of government securities (G-secs) under the “fully accessible route” for Non-resident Indians. 

Key takeaways:

  • These special securities will attract no foreign portfolio investor (FPI) limits
  • These are first step towards Indian G-Secs being listed on global bond indices
  • These shall also attract access cheap liquidity in the overseas markets.
  • This would facilitate the inflow of stable foreign investment in Indian bonds.
  • All new issuances of G-secs of 5-year, 10-year, and 30-year tenors from FY21 will be eligible for investment as specified securities. 
  • The RBI also raised upwards the FPI limits for corporate bonds to 15%, from 9%, for 2020-21. 
  • This scheme shall operate along with the two existing routes – the Medium Term Framework (MTF) and the Voluntary Retention Route (VRR). 

Important value additions:

Foreign portfolio investment

  • Foreign portfolio investment (FPI) consists of securities and other financial assets held by investors in another country. 
  • Along with foreign direct investment (FDI), FPI is one of the common ways to invest in an overseas economy. 
  • FDI and FPI are both important sources of funding for most economies.

The Medium-term Expenditure Framework

  • It is a statement presented to the Parliament under Section 3 of the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, 2003 and 
  • It sets forth a three-year rolling target for the expenditure indicators with specification of underlying assumptions and risks involved.

Voluntary Retention Route

  • Under this route, FPIs have been given greater operational flexibility in terms of instrument choices besides exemptions from certain regulatory requirements.

Miscellaneous

Earth Hour 

  • Earth Hour 2020 was held on March 28, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
  • It is a global grassroots movement uniting people to take action on environmental issues and protect the planet.
  • Organized by – World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • The annual Earth Hour lights out event is held worldwide toward the end of March to encourage individuals, households, communities and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.
  • Why is Earth Hour event held in late March?
  • The second-to-last and last weekend of March is around the time of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively, which allows for near coincidental sunset times in both hemispheres, thereby ensuring the greatest visual impact for a global ‘lights out’ event.
  • Earth Hour logo: Earlier it was 60 (60 symbolizes 60 minutes). But since 2011 it is 60+. 
  • Here + represents the commitment to go beyond the earth hour (i.e. switching off non – essential lights in day to day life). 

Sections 269 and 270 of the IPC

  • During the coronavirus outbreak, penal provisions, such as Sections 269 and 270 of the IPC, are being invoked to enforce the lockdown orders. 
  • Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) provides for a jail term of six months and/or fine.
  • Section 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) provides for a jail term of two years and/or fine. In Section 270, the word ‘malignantly’ indicates indicates a deliberate intention on the part of the accused.

Sodium Hypochlorite 

  • Recently, migrant workers travelling to their home states, were sprayed with a disinfectant, apparently to sanitise them.
  • The chemical in the spray was a sodium hypochlorite solution.
  • It is commonly used as a bleaching agent, and also to sanitise swimming pools.
  • It releases chlorine, which is a disinfectant.
  • The World Health Organization, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend homemade bleach solutions of about 2-10% concentration to clean hard surfaces to clear them of any presence of the novel coronavirus.
  • Sodium hypochlorite is corrosive. 
  • A 1% solution can cause damage to the skin of anyone who comes in contact with it. If it gets inside the body, it can cause serious harm to lungs. 

To ponder: Is it justified to use sodium hypochlorite as disinfectant on human beings? 

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