The 44th Goods & Services Tax(GST) Council met under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister through video conferencing on 12th June 2021. The Council in its meeting has decided to reduce the GST rates on the specified items being used in Covid-19 relief and management till 30th September 2021.
About GST Council
Established : 2016
Chairman : Union Finance Minister
Goods & Services Tax Council was constituted with One Hundred and Twenty-Second Amendment Bill, 2016. GST Council is a constitutional body for making recommendations to the Union and State Government on issues related to Goods and Service Tax. The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and other members are the Union State Minister of Revenue or Finance and Ministers in-charge of Finance or Taxation of all the States.
Sources : PIB
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India has announced that the Policy Repo Rate will remain unchanged at 4% and the Reverse Repo Rate too will remain unchanged at 3.35% in RBI’s bi-monthly monetary policy meeting.
About Monetary Policy Committee
The Monetary Policy Committee is responsible for fixing the benchmark interest rate in India. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee are held bi-monthly. The committee comprises six members - three officials of the Reserve Bank of India and three external members nominated by the Government of India. The Governor of Reserve Bank of India is the chairperson of the committee. The Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 was amended by Finance Act (India), 2016 to constitute MPC which will bring more transparency and accountability in fixing India's Monetary Policy.
Repo rate is the rate at which the Reserve Bank of India lends money to commercial banks.
Reverse Repo Rate
the RBI borrows money from banks when there is excess liquidity in the market.
Sources : PIB
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to continue with the existing interim Ways and Means Advances (WMA) scheme limit of ₹51,560 crore for all States/ UTs shall for six months i.e., up to September 30, given the prevalence of COVID-19. The RBI would review the WMA limit thereafter, depending on the course of the pandemic and its impact on the economy.
Sudhir Shrivastava Advisory Committee on Ways and Means Advances (WMA)
Based on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Ways and Means Advances (WMA) to State Governments, 2021 (chaired by Sudhir Shrivastava) the RBI had revised the WMA Scheme of States and Union Territories (UTs).
About RBI Ways and Means Advances (WMA)
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) gives temporary loan facilities to the central and state governments. This loan facility is called Ways and Means Advances (WMA). The Ways and Means Advances scheme was introduced in 1997. The Ways and Means Advances scheme was introduced to meet mismatches in the receipts and payments of the government. The government can avail of immediate cash from the RBI, if required.
The U.S. Treasury report on "Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States", which is submitted to the U.S. Congress. These report used to review partners currency practices of the U.S.’s 20 biggest trading partners. India is one of the 11 countries on the U.S. Treasury’s ‘Monitoring List’ with regard to their currency practices, according to the April 2021 edition of the semi-annual report. The other 10 countries on the list with India are China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Mexico.
Criteria to review Major Trading partners with U.S.
Three criteria are used to review partners:
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 15th April 2021 announced the setting up of a regulatory review authority(RRA 2.0), to review its regulations internally and in consultation with other stakeholders. Deputy governor M Rajeshwar Rao has been appointed as the head of the regulatory review authority(RRA 2.0) which would be set up for a period of one year from May 1, 2021, unless its tenure is extended.
The central bank had set up an RRA initially for a period of one year from April 1, 1999 for reviewing the regulations, circulars, reporting systems, based on the feedback from public, banks and financial institutions. The recommendations of the RRA enabled streamlining and increasing the effectiveness of several procedures, simplifying regulatory prescriptions, paved the way for issuance of master circulars and reduced reporting burden on regulated entities.