|Weekly G.K. ( 9 June to 15 June )|
- Government has decided to reduce the rate of contribution towards ESI scheme from 6.5% to 4% for the first time in over two decades, a post-poll gift to 3.6 crore employees. The Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948 (the ESI Act) provide for medical, cash, maternity, disability and dependent benefits to the Insured Persons under the Act. The ESI Act is administered by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC). Benefits provided under the ESI Act are funded by the contributions made by the employers and the employees. Under the ESI Act, employers and employees both contribute their shares respectively. The Government of India through Ministry of Labour and Employment decides the rate of contribution under the ESI Act. Presently, the rate of contribution is fixed at 6.5% of the wages with employers’ share being 4.75% and employees’ share being 1.75%. This rate is in vogue since 01.01.1997.
- The Indian Air Force confirmed that there are no survivors from the recent crash of AN-32 aircraft. Official sources “black box” of the aircraft has been recovered from the crash site and it will help the investigators reconstruct the events leading to the crash. The IAF has already ordered a court of inquiry into the accident. The Russian-origin aircraft went missing on the afternoon of June 3, around 33 minutes after taking off from Jorhat in Assam for Menchuka in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Farmers will have to contribute Rs. 100 per month under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana that seeks to provide a minimum fixed monthly pension of Rs. 3,000 on the attainment of 60 years. The central government will also contribute an equal amount to the pension fund to be managed by the LIC, which will be responsible for the pension payout. The government in its first cabinet meeting had approved a separate pension scheme for farmers with an aim to cover 5 crore beneficiaries in the first three years. Discussing the new scheme with state agriculture ministers through a video conference, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged all states and union territories to roll out the programme at the earliest.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for the united efforts from the global community to eliminate the terrorism from its root. Addressing the plenary session of SCO Summit at Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Mr Modi said that all humanitarian forces should have to unite to counter the terrorism. He said that we should make our society free from terrorism. Prime Minister Modi also called for International conference against terrorism. He said that nations, supporting, promoting and funding terrorism should be held responsible and made accountable for their actions. Mr Modi also said that terrorism and drug trafficking should not be seen as a separate menace. Referring to the gruesome terror attack in Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister said that terrorism is taking the lives of innocent people daily. Mr Modi said that peace is the utmost necessary in Afghanistan. Prime Minister Modi emphasised on sharing India’s expertise in health care and telemedicine with member countries. He also emphasized on people to people contact and health care services among the member countries. Giving HEALTH formula to members’ countries of the SCO, Mr Modi said that multilateral trade is the need of the hour. Mr Modi said that India has set up a helpline for the tourist of SCO countries.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral meetings with Presidents of China and Russia at Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek. The talks were held on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization SCO summit. In a series of tweets, Prime Minister Modi said, he had a fruitful meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said, their talks included the full spectrum of India-China relations. The Prime Minister said, the two countries will continue working together to improve economic and cultural ties. In a tweet, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, both the leaders discussed all aspects of enriching the bilateral relations between two countries. They recognised the positive role of strategic communication in deepening their partnership. Mr Xi also congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his poll victory. On his meeting with the Russian President, the Prime Minister said, he had a wonderful meeting with Mr Vladimir Putin. He said, various subjects pertaining to India-Russia relations were discussed during the meeting.
- Bangladesh has unveiled a growth-friendly budget focussed on infrastructure development. Introducing the budget proposal on behalf of the ailing Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in Dhaka, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set a GDP growth rate of 8.2 percent for the current financial year. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that the poverty rate will be brought down by 10 percent in the next four years through a coordinated approach engaging the private sector to supplement the government’s anti poverty initiatives. The budget envisages creation of jobs for 30 million people by 2030 and attain a double digit GDP growth in four years.
- The Reverse Bank of India has constituted a six-member committee to review the entire gamut of ATM charges and fees. In a press release, the RBI said, Chief Executive of Indian Banks’ Association VG Kannan will chair the committee consisting of senior officers from National Payments Corporation of India, SBI, HDFC Bank, Confederation of ATM Industry and Tata Communications Payment Solutions Limited. The committee will review existing patterns of costs, charges and interchange fees for ATM transactions. It is to submit its report within two months from the date of its first meeting.
- A UN report said, Foreign Direct Investment to India grew by 6 percent to 42 billion dollars in 2018, with strong inflows in the manufacturing, communication and financial services sectors, and cross-border merger and acquisition activities. The report ranked India among the top 20 host economies for FDI inflows in 2017-18. The World Investment Report 2019, released by UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said, Foreign Direct Investment inflows to South Asia increased 3.5 percent to 54 billion dollars. The report added that India has historically accounted for 70 to 80 percent of inflows to the subregion. Further, the growth in cross-border Merger & Acquisitions for India to 33 billion dollars in retail trade, which include e-commerce, and telecommunication.
- ICC World Cup match between India and New Zealand called off due to heavy rain in Nottingham. Both shared a point each. Rain shattered the hopes of spectators at Trent Bridge and fans all around the world as the match between India and New Zealand was called off. This was the fourth washout of this tournament, third one of week and it’s already started to rile up the fans across the globle.