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1Govt doubles excise duty evasion limit to ₹2 crore

  • The government has doubled the monetary limit in case of excise duty evasion to ₹2 crore.
  • The Central Board of Excise and Customs said that the move aims to maintain uniformity of practice in central excise and service tax.
  • In October 2015, the monetary limit for excise related offences was set at ₹1 crore.

2Saudi Arabia sees its oil reserves lasting another 70 yrs

  • The world’s biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia sees its crude reserves lasting for another 70 years.
  • The nation’s wealth was based mainly on oil, with crude sales accounting for 75% of total export earnings, it added.
  • Notably, international oil companies report their reserves to show they’re finding enough new deposits.

3Centre may merge 2 large Mumbai banks: Vinod Rai

  • Bank Board Bureau chief Vinod Rai has said that the Centre may merge “two large Mumbai-based banks” in 2017-18, once the consolidation of non-performing assets has been done,
  • However, he declined to identify the banks and said that the deliberations were preliminary.
  • It depended on the success of efforts to restructure the balance sheets of other public sector banks, he added.

4Airtel, Jio bought over 90% spectrum in 2,300 MHz 4G band

  • Airtel and Reliance Jio focused on increasing their 4G network capacity during the recently concluded telecom auction and bought over 90% of the spectrum available in 2,300 MHz band, a report has claimed.
  • According to analysts, this auction reinforces Airtel and Jio’s spectrum leadership in the high-speed  data  market. Airtel is currently the leader with a 22% spectrum market share.

5Indian banks’ Tier 1 capital 3rd lowest in emerging markets

  • Indian Banks have been ranked third from the bottom in terms of Tier 1 capital ratio among major emerging market economies, according to the International Monetary Fund’s latest Global Financial Stability Report.
  • Only Russian and Chilean banks were ranked below India. Tier 1 capital is the core measure of a bank’s financial strength from a regulator’s point of view.

6India to supply 500 MW power to SL via sub-sea cables

  • Union Power Secretary PK Pujari has said that India is planning to supply 500 MW power to Sri Lanka through a network of sub-sea underground cables,
  • Sri Lanka needs power from India to meet its domestic needs but nothing has fructified in the absence of an adequate transmission infrastructure. Pujari also added. “[Submarine cable] is a good technology at a reasonable cost,”

7Centre to invest ₹1k cr in PSUs for skill development

  • The Centre is looking to pump in around ₹1,000 crore in public sector undertakings (PSUs) through the skill development initiative.
  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has reportedly held discussions with the PSUs over deploying 5 lakh apprentices as against 36,000 now.
  • Secretary Rohit Nandan has said that the ministry will pay these companies ₹18,000 per apprentice deployed,

8BP withdraws from drilling in Great Australian Bight

 

  • British Petroleum (BP) on Tuesday announced it would not go ahead with plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
  • BP said the decision was purely commercial and they would instead focus on projects they can exploit in the short-to-medium term.
  • This comes after BP’s environment plan for the region had been rejected twice by the Australian government.