CURRENT AFFAIRS , 8th Jan 2018

1 . Growth likely to be higher than CSO estimate of 2.1% in Agriculture

The country’s agriculture sector is expected to grow higher than projected 2.1 per cent growth by the CSO for the current fiscal, following better rabi crop prospects, the agriculture ministry said recently . Last week, Central Statistics Office (CSO) had pegged farm and allied sector growth at 2.1 per cent for 2017-18, much lower than 4.9 per cent achieved in the 2016-17.

The farm sector growth comprises GVA (gross value added) of crops at 60 per cent, livestock 20 per cent and forestry 8.5 per cent and fishing and aquaculture at 5.5 per cent.

Justifying the reasons for possible higher growth, the ministry said it is of the opinion that the lower coverage of area by August, 2017 on account of delayed onset of monsoons has caused a poor reflection compared to the actual positive field situation by December, 2017.However, good rainfall thereafter helped increase in area coverage in accordance with the with kharif targets.

 

2 . Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank plans to issue first USD bonds this year

  • China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), in which India is a second largest shareholder, plans to issue its first US dollar-denominated bond with minimum worth of a USD billion by June this year.
  •  In terms of maturity of the bond,  the choice will be between three and five years depending on investor demand at the time.
  • The bank plans to cap its total borrowing volume at USD three billion dollars in 2018.
Know  About  Asian  Infrastructure  Investment  Bank (AIIB)
  • With 84 members so far, the AIIB was officially established in December 2015 and opened for business in January 2016.
  • The Beijing-based AIIB is a multilateral development bank initiated by China.
  • The bank has an authorised capital of $100 billion.
  • China is the largest shareholder with 26.06 per cent voting shares in the bank.
  • India is the second largest shareholder with 7.5 per cent followed by Russia 5.93 per cent and Germany with 4.5 per cent.
  • It prioritises investment in energy, power generation, transport, rural infrastructure, environmental protection and logistics in Asia.
  • The AIIB has received three top-notch ratings from the global credit rating agencies S&P Global Ratings, Moody’s and Fitch in recognition of the bank’s strong capital base and stable outlook.

 

3 . Global investment policy: Maharashtra unveils future strategy

  • The Maharashtra government recently announced its plans to host a global investment summit, the first such event to be held in the state, in a bid to attract foreign investment.
  • The summit: ‘Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018’, will be held between February 18 and February 20 in Mumbai.
  • With the proposed event, Maharashtra joins a long list of states that have organised investment summits.
  • The Vibrant Gujarat Investment Summit, anchored for many years by present Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been perhaps the most prominent of all such events.
  • The three-day event will be organised by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • It aims to scale up manufacturing activity in Maharashtra, in order to promote employment and better infrastructure.
  • Manufacturing, which is the driving force of Make-in-India contributes 21.43% to the state’s gross state domestic product (GSDP).
  • Today, Maharashtra contributes 15% to National GDP and is estimated to grow at 9.4% in the current fiscal.
  •  Maharashtra has attracted 45.24% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) received by the country in the first-half of the fiscal.
  • Maharashtra worldwide is recognised as the finance and entertainment capital of India.
  • While Mumbai is clearly the financial capital of the country, Maharashtra hasn’t exploited its true potential in developing manufacturing as a sector. The other area it clearly lags behind is on technology services — the southern states and NCR region are miles ahead in this segment as well as in fostering a start-up culture.
  • The summit will include interactive seminars, panel discussions, CEO roundtables, and B2B and B2G meetings. It intends to bring together heads of the state and central government, leaders from political and corporate world, policymakers and academicians under one roof.