Current Affairs: 03 January 2019

Daily Current GK Update

03 January, 2019

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  1. Qatar withdraws from OPEC

Qatar has withdrawn its membership from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The country had sent an official notification to the OPEC expressing its wish to pull out and to focus on its liquefied natural gas production in December.

Qatar has been in OPEC for 57 years. The decision came amid the ongoing diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on the country by its Persian Gulf neighbours and several Arab states.

Source: – AIR World Service


  1. Government sets up export promotion cell for MSMEs

The MSME Ministry has established an export promotion cell to create a sustainable ecosystem for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The ministry has also proposed to formulate a governing council that will be chaired by the secretary of the MSME ministry.

The benefits likely to accrue from the setting up of the cell include integration MSMEs into global value chain, evaluation of readiness of MSMEs to export their products and services, and recognition of areas where improvements are required in order to be able to export effectively and efficiently.

Source: – The Economic Times


  1. Minister launches 100 Ujjwala Sanitary Napkin Units in Odisha

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan launched ‘Ujjwala Sanitary Napkins’ initiative saying it will go a long way in making Odisha’s 2.25 crore women empowered and self-reliant.

Under the novel initiative, which will cover 93 blocks in 30 districts of Odisha, oil marketing companies (OMC) will set up 100 manufacturing units at the Common Service Centres (CSC) at an estimated cost of Rs 2.94 crore.

Source: – The Times of India


  1. RBI provides for One-Time Restructuring of loans to MSMEs

Reserve Bank allowed a one-time restructuring of existing debt up to Rs 25 crore for the companies which have defaulted on payment but the loans given to them have continued to be classified as standard assets. The decision will help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are facing a cash crunch in the wake of demonetization and GST implementation.

To be eligible for the scheme, the aggregate exposure, including non-fund based facilities of banks and NBFCs, to a borrower should not exceed Rs 25 crore as on January 1, 2019, and the restructuring has to be implemented by 31st of March 2020.

Source: – AIR World Service


  1. US, Israel quit UNESCO citing bias

The United States and Israel officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the close of 2018. The countries had announced their decisions in 2017 of withdrawing from the agency, accusing it of bias against Israel.

America has demanded fundamental reform in UNESCO, which was co-founded by it after World War II to foster peace. Israel joined the agency in 1949. It is best known for its World Heritage program, which designates cultural sites and aims to preserve traditions.

Source: – AIR World Service


  1. Allahabad Bank, SBI Life join hand for Bancassurance Partnership

Allahabad Bank and SBI Life Insurance came together and signed a bancassurance pact, to offer a holistic financial planning solution to consumers. The tie-up, one of the largest Bancassurance partnerships in the country, will see 3,238 branches of Allahabad Bank across the country offer SBI Life’s range of protection, wealth creation, and savings products to its customers.

This will empower the consumer to address their complete financial needs under one roof. The agreement was signed in the presence of Allahabad Bank Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mallikarjuna Rao and SBI Life MD & CEO Sanjeev Nautiyal.

Source: – The Hindu Business Line


  1. Amitabh Chaudhry takes charge as Axis Bank MD & CEO

Axis Bank announced its Managing Director and CEO Shikha Sharma has retired from the post and Amitabh Chaudhry will be the new managing director and CEO of the bank with effect from January 1, 2019.

Chaudhry, the former MD and CEO of HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company, was in September named the MD and CEO of Axis Bank for a period of three years.

Source: – Business Times


  1. France introduced GAFA Tax on global internet, technology firm

The finance minister of France Bruno Le Maire announced that France will introduce its own tax on large internet and technology companies from January 1.

France has been pushing hard for a new so called “GAFA tax” — named after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – to ensure the global giants pay a fair share of taxes on their massive business operations in Europe.

Source: – The Livemint


  1. Jair Bolsonaro takes oath as new President of Brazil

Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil’s President in a ceremony at Brazil’s National Congress Building. Bolsonaro is a former Army captain and admirer of the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship.

Bolsonaro, 63, was a seven-term fringe congressman who rode a wave of antiestablishment anger to became Brazil’s first far-right president since a military dictatorship gave way to civilian rule three decades ago.

Source: – The Livemint

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