Current Affairs

Morning Brief: Rs 8,500 Crore Export Incentives; RBI Warning Against Bitcoins; UAE Announces New Saudi Alliance

Swarajya Staff

Dec 06, 2017, 08:59 AM | Updated 08:59 AM IST

India announces new exports incentives. (GettyImages)
India announces new exports incentives. (GettyImages)

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

Government Unveils Rs 8,500 Crore Export Incentives: The Union government on Tuesday announced incentives worth Rs 8,500 crore to boost exports of goods and services — mainly from labour-intensive segments and the micro, small and medium enterprises — and to increase employment generation and value-addition. The incentives were announced as part of the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy. Incentives under the Manufacturing Exports from India Scheme and Service Exports from India Scheme were targeted at labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, leather, carpets and marine products and came days before the Gujarat elections, where the launch of goods and services tax and the impact on small businesses has emerged as a key issue. The incentives of Rs 8,450 crore that will be applicable from November include higher benefits of Rs 2,743 crore offered to readymade garments and made-ups a few days ago. All put together, there will a 34 per cent rise in sops from the existing Rs 25,000 crore.

India Successfully Tests Supersonic Surface-To-Air Missile: India on Tuesday successfully test-fired a supersonic surface-to-air missile from the test range in Odisha. The state-of-the-art indigenous missile, Akash, was fired from the launch complex-III of the integrated test range at Chandipur. The supersonic missile is the first surface-to-air missile to be test fired and is being inducted into the Indian Army as short range surface-to-air missile. With the successful test firing, India has achieved the capability of making any type of surface-to-air missile, defence sources said. Akash has a strike range of about 25 km and carries a 55 kg fragmentation warhead that is triggered by proximity fuse. It is an all-weather area air defence weapon system for defending vulnerable areas against medium range air targets penetrating from low, medium and high altitudes. Developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Akash missile system has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles as well as ballistic missiles.

RBI Warning Against Use Of Bitcoins: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reiterated its concerns about Bitcoins, as the cryptocurrency hit a record high of $11,850 on Tuesday, stoking fears that a rapidly swelling bubble could burst in a spectacular fashion. Bitcoin powered to a record high of $11,850, continuing its surge from below $1,000 at the start of the year. The cryptocurrency was last up 2 per cent on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange. The RBI said it wanted to reinforce its previous message to “users, holders and traders of Virtual Currencies (VCs) including Bitcoins regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection and security related risks associated in dealing with such VCs.” The RBI had previously said those trading in virtual currencies were doing so at their own risk, given that the central bank has not given a licence or authorisation for any company to deal in such cryptocurrencies.

SC Backs Law On Capping 'Astronomical' Fees Of Lawyers: The Supreme Court on Tuesday supported the idea of having a law to put a ceiling on the lawyers’ fee, which is a barrier to access to justice and deprives poor litigants of suitable representation in courts. Citing the ‘astronomical’ fee being charged by top lawyers, a bench of Justices Adarsh K Goel and Uday U Lalit recalled a number of judgments passed by the top court in the past wherein appeals had been made to the lawyers to come to the aid of needy litigants. “While considering the mounting cost of litigation, it was observed that fee charged by some senior advocates is astronomical in character. The corporate sector is willing to retain talent at a high cost. It develops into a culture and it permeates down below,” said the bench citing a report by the Law Commission in 1988. The court underlined that lawyers must remember their duty under Article 39A of the Constitution that provides for ensuring equal opportunity for access to justice to all.

RK Nagar Bypoll: Actor Vishal And Deepa's Nominations Rejected: In an unprecedented turn of events, the Election Commission rejected actor Vishal's nomination for the Radha Krishna Nagar by-polls, hours after accepting it following protests by the actor when the poll panel initially rejected it. The commission first rejected his nomination, as one of the proposers had said they had not proposed Vishal but their names were included in the actor's nomination paper. Dramatic scenes followed as the actor then staged a sit-in in front of the poll panel's office in Chennai, claiming his supporters were threatened. The poll body has also rejected the nomination form filed by late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's niece J Deepa, while accepting the nomination papers filed by candidates belonging to all major political parties and over 50 independents. The bypoll will be held on 21 December and the results will be declared on 24 December.

Maharashtra Launches Dedicated Industrial Policy For Women: Maharashtra is blazing a trail in woman empowerment. The state on Tuesday launched a number of incentives for women entrepreneurs, becoming the first Indian state to unveil a dedicated industrial policy for women. “This is the first time the government has extended a capital grant incentive to an industry segment,” said Maharashtra Development Commissioner (Industries) Dr Harshdeep Kamble. Under the policy, cleared by the state cabinet, first-generation women entrepreneurs who set up micro, small or medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state will be entitled to a capital subsidy of up to Rs 1 crore, depending on location of the unit. Industries Minister Subhash Desai said the women-run businesses would be offered special concessions for locating their units, and extended lower power tariffs, higher interest subsides, and grants for branding their products, among other incentives.

IATA Warns Against Privatising Airports To Fund Growth: Governments across the world have been cautioned by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) against privatising airports to fund growth. “To be blunt, we have not seen an airport privatisation that has fully lived up to expectations,” said IATA director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac. “All our members are not satisfied at airports in Europe, Australia and South America. “Infrastructure, which includes airport infrastructure, needs to improve to meet the demand. And if you (governments) are thinking about privatising airports to fund their growth…. be cautious,” he added. It assumes significance in the context of India, which is the highest growing aviation market in the world in terms of passenger growth, as the government is trying to build airport capacity through private participation.

Reshaping Gulf Ties: UAE Announces New Saudi Alliance: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced the formation of a new political and military alliance with Saudi Arabia, throwing into doubt the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The announcement, made at a GCC summit in Kuwait City, marks the latest development in a six-month dispute that has pitted the GCC members Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, against Qatar. Since June the four countries have mounted a land, sea and air blockade of Qatar. Numerous efforts at mediation made by fellow Gulf states and European leaders have failed. Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar of funding terrorism, interfering in its neighbour’s internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. Western leaders fear the Saudi action is pushing Qatar – which houses a major US military base – closer to Iran.


For BJP, Ram Mandir Movement A One-Way Street: As a general rule, the nation should wait for the court order and obey it. Nearly three decades later, many milestones have been crossed, but the road has not come to an end.

Behind GDP Data, Some Signs Of Concern: GDP data shows a deceleration in investment coupled with the predominance of consumption-led growth. The stressed balance sheets of banks and corporations continue to act as a drag on investment activity.

Unintended Consequences Of Autonomous Transportation: Full autonomy means that each car on the road will be able to communicate with every other vehicle, allowing them to avoid collisions and bring an end to motor vehicle accidents as we know them.


The Hadiya Debate: Why It Is Important To Draw The Right Conclusions: For the mass of humanity, Hadiya’s is a story of disloyalty and betrayal. In the hinterlands of India and outside cocktail parties, it is Asokan, who is the victim.

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

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