Current Affairs

Morning Brief: Pakistan Will Pay, Warns Sitharaman; RBI Sets 180-Day Timeline For NPA Resolution; India’s Factory Output Grows

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressing at a press conference on terror on 12 February 2018 (Nitin Kanotra /Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Pakistan Will Pay For Misadventures, Warns Defence Minister

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has accused Pakistan of helping Jaish-e-Mohammed launch attacks in India, saying Islamabad will have to pay for misadventures and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. She visited the camp in Jammun’s Sunjuwan where five soldiers and a civilian were killed.

“Evidence is being scrutinised by the National Investigation Agency. Pakistan is expanding the arch of terror to areas south of Pir Panjal and resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration,” Sitharaman said.

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In Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting of top defence officials. The meeting was attended by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba and director of Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain. Earlier, Pakistan had asked India to “refrain from any misadventure across the Line of Control...” in a reference to the September 2016 surgical strike following the attack in Uri in which 19 Indian soldiers died.

RBI Sets 180-Day Timeline For Banks To Resolve Bad Loans

As part of a revised framework for resolving stressed accounts, the Reserve Bank of India has tightened norms for bad loan resolution by setting a 180-day timeline for banks to resolve large non-performing assets. Under the new framework, lenders will have to implement a resolution plan within 180 days for accounts where the banking sector’s aggregate exposure is Rs 2,000 crore or more. If the resolution plan is not implemented as per the timelines in the new framework, the NPA accounts have to be referred to the insolvency and bankruptcy code within 15 days. The central bank has also withdrawn debt restructuring schemes such as SDR and S4A.

India’s Forest Cover Increases

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India’s forest and tree cover has increased by 8,021 sq km, up 1 per cent since 2015. Total forest cover in India has increased by 6,778 sq km over the last two years while tree cover has grown by 1,243 sq km. According to the data released by the Environment Ministry on Monday, India’s total forest cover is 708, 273 sq km and tree cover is 93,815 sq km. While the forest cover forms 21.54 per cent of India’s total geographical area, tree cover forms about 2.85 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Telangana have reported a maximum increase in forest cover.

India Signs Oil Storage Pact With UAE

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, India cleared the way for the United Arab Emirates to park its crude in the storage facility at Mangalore, part of New Delhi's strategic reserve infrastructure. The deal with the Gulf nation, signed in January 2017, will turn India into a regional oil storage and trading hub. According to reports, Abu Dhabi National Oil Corporation will store about 6 million barrels of oil in Mangalore, taking up about half of the site's capacity.

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China Warns Against Intervention In Maldives, Again

Amid the raging political crisis in the Maldives, China has yet again warned against outside intervention in the country. Saying that the current situation was the internal affairs of the island nation, Beijing said on Monday that the issue should be resolved through “dialogue and negotiation by various parties in the country”. China also refuted allegations made by former Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed that Beijing 'grabbing land’ in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

Inflation Cools, Industrial Output Grows

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Maintaining the recovery momentum, India’s industrial output grew by 7.1 per cent in December on account of uptick in the manufacturing sector. In comparison, the Index of Industrial Production had grown at 2.4 per cent in December 2016. Retail inflation in the country eased marginally to 5.07 per cent in January after touching a 17-month high of 5.21 per cent in December 2017. However, it remained above the 4 per cent target set by the Reserve Bank of India for the third straight month.

India Gets Access To Oman’s Duqm Port For Military Use

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Oman, India secured access to the strategically located Port of Duqm for military use and logistical support. The two countries signed an annexure to the Memorandum of Understanding on Military Cooperation between the two countries. According to the Indian Express, the Indian Navy will have access to the port and dry dock for maintenance of vessels.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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