02.09.2008

  • Duvvuri Subbarao is RBI governor
    • Presently the finance secretary of the country, he is appointed for a term of three years. He becomes the 22nd governor of RBI.
    • A 1972 batch IAS officer, Mr. Subbarao was also an IIT alumnus. His strong macroeconomic background surely is going to be of help in weathering the challenges that the RBI governor faces today.
  • Look at India’s top brands…
    • Reliance, as can be expected tops the list with a brand valuation of $6.8 bn
    • India boasts of 20 companies with a brand value of over $1 billion, up from 16 last year. There are now a dozen (BSE-listed) companies with a brand value over $2 billion (vis-├ávis nine last year) and half-a-dozen with over $3 billion.
  • Japanese PM resigns
    • Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda resigned in an effort to break a political deadlock. Fukuda has been struggling to cope with a divided parliament where the opposition parties control the Upper House and can delay legislation.
  • What does the New Pension Scheme envisage?
    • This was brought into existence from January 1, 2004 for new recruits into government service. On retirement, subscribers receive 40% of the corpus to their credit while the balance is used to buy annuities on which they will get a regular monthly income.
  • “Nothing is lost, everything is transformed.” -- Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry.
    • Viewed in isolation, this saying can give you comfort on a wide variety of occasions and conditions.
    • The history of markets too suggests that no regime lasts forever and merely evolves over time.
    • The high-growth, low-inflation bull market from 2003 to ’07 gave way to a stagflation-induced bear market late last year. Now it seems we are entering a low growth and declining-inflation regime, which may not lead to a strong bull market rally but should be broadly supportive of equities, with plenty of value-oriented investment opportunities around.
  • Mobile phone users
    • There are now more than 3.3 billion subscribers in the world, roughly one for every two people on the planet.
    • India has around 300 million subscribers, with subscriptions rising by a stunning eight million or more per month.
    • The rural poor in more and more of the world now have access to wireless banking and payments systems, such as Kenya’s famous M-PESA system, which allows money transfers through the phone.
  • Come September 15, pre-paid mobile users will be really free
    • Hidden charges in recharge coupons will soon become history. Telecom regulator TRAI on Monday announced a series of measures, largely for pre-paid customers including waiving off processing charges on recharge cards to ‘improve transparency in tariffs and to protect the interests of consumers’. In addition, subscribers will no longer be charged any fee for moving from prepaid to a post-paid connection.
  • Our exports are on the rise; but imports are rising faster
    • Look at this graphic which gives details about our export-import performance for the period April to June with corresponding figures of last year.
  • What are the fiscal transfer methods through which states get support from the centre?
    • Finance Commission transfers
    • centrally sponsored schemes; and
    • plan transfers
    • BTW the net central transfer to states — taxes and grants — as proportion to its revenue receipts, has fallen from 32.7% in 1990-91 to 29.5% in 2004-05. This trend is not considered good because states’ annual development expenditure is 50% more than the Centre’s.
    • Gross tax revenue of the Centre as a ratio of GDP increased from 9.2% in 2003-04 to 12.5% in 2007-’08.

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