Current Affairs May 2018 - Economic


1 - BHEL bags order for largest Hydro Power Project in Nepal


BHEL has secured an order for executing 900 MW Arun-3 Hydroelectric Project from SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company (SAPDC), Nepal. Once completed, this will be the largest Hydropower project in Nepal. Valued at Rs. 536 Crore., the order envisages design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection and commissioning of ElectroMechanical equipment involving supply of four Vertical Francis Turbines and Generator sets, each rated 225 MW.

BHEL is currently executing hydro projects of over 2,700 MW capacity in the country and 2,940 MW in Bhutan which are under various stages of implementation.

2 - Core sector growth rate slows to 4.1% in March

Core sector

The growth of eight core sectors slowed to a three-month low of 4.1% in March. Six sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, steel and electricity had weak performance. The other two sectors are fertilisers and cement.

The growth rate of eight infrastructure sectors was 5.2% in March 2017. Cumulatively, the eight core sectors grew by 4.2% in 2017-18, lowest in the last three financial years. The growth was 4.8% in the previous fiscal and 3% in 2015-16.

3 - GST Revenue collection in the month of April 2018 exceeds Rs. 1 Lakh Crore

GST Revenue

The total Gross GST revenue collected in the month of April 2018 is Rs.1,03,458 crore of which CGST is Rs18,652 crore, SGST is Rs.25,704 crore, IGST is Rs. 50,548 crore (including 21,246 crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs.8554 crore (including Rs.702 crore collected on imports).

The total revenue earned by the Central Government and the State Governments after settlement in the month of April, 2018 is Rs.32,493 crore for CGST and Rs.40,257 crore for the SGST.

4 - Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in Rs. terms)

Foreign Exchange Earnings

1. FEEs during the month of March 2018 were Rs.17, 294 crore as compared to Rs. 14, 667 crore in March 2017 and Rs. 12, 985 crore in March 2016.

2. The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in March 2018 over March 2017 was 17.9%, compared to the growth of 13.0% in March 2017 over March 2016.

3. FEEs during the period January- March 2018 were Rs. 52, 916 crore with a growth of 15.5%, as compared to the FEE of Rs. 45, 819 crore in January-March 2017 with a growth of 13.6% over January- March 2016.

5 - Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through tourism (in US $ terms)

Foreign Exchange

1. FEEs in US$ terms during the month of March 2018 were US$ 2.659 billion as compared to FEEs of US$ 2.224 billion during the month of March 2017 and US$ 1.938 billion in March 201.

2. The growth rate in FEEs in US$ terms in March 2018 over March 2017 was 19.6% compared to the growth of 14.8% in March 2017 over March 2016.

3. FEEs during the period January-March 2018 were US$ 8.228 billion with a growth of 20.4% as compared to the FEE of US$ 6.833 billion in January- March 2017 with a growth of 14.4% over January- March 2016.

6 - NTPC Targets 268 BU Power Generation for the Year 2018-19


NTPC, India’s largest power generating company is aiming at generating 268 billion units (BU) of electricity during the fiscal year 2018-19, under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between NTPC and Ministry of Power.

Revenue from Operations is targeted at Rs 85,500 Crore. Parameters related to financial performance, improvement in operational efficiency, capital expenditure, projects monitoring, technology upgradation and HR Management are also part of the MOU for the year 2018-19.

7 - Cognizant acquired Belgium-Based Hedera Consulting


Cognizant has acquired privately-held Hedera Consulting. The purchase further expands Cognizant's consulting, business insight and digital transformation capabilities for clients in Belgium and the Netherlands. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hedera Consulting, founded in 2009, is a consulting company specialized in growth strategy, digitization, innovation and commercial excellence for clients across industries, including financial services and utilities. Headquartered in the U.S., Cognizant is ranked 205 on the Fortune 500.

8 - PGCIL signed pact with power ministry for Rs.25,000 crore capex


Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Power to incur capital expenditure of Rs.25,000 crore for the current fiscal. The MoU includes various targets to be achieved by Powergrid during 2018-19.

As on March 31, 2018, the company owns and operates over 148,800 ckt. km. of transmission lines, 236 EHV sub-stations with transformation capacity of more than 322,000 MVA.

9 - GSTN to be converted into Government entity


The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has approved a proposal to convert GST Network, the IT backbone of GST, into a government-owned entity. The central government currently owned 24.5% in GSTN and state governments held 24.5%. The remaining 51% was with five private financial institutions - HDFC Ltd, HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd.

With the new changes, the central government will own 50% and the remaining would be collectively held by state governments.

10 - Central Statistics Office released index of industrial production estimates

Central Statistics

The quick estimates of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 2011-12 for the month of March 2018 were released by the Central Statistics Office of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The General Index for the month of March 2018 stands at 139.0, which is 4.4 percent higher as compared to the level in the month of March 2017. The cumulative growth stood at 4.3%.

The Indices of Industrial Production for the Mining, Manufacturing and Electricity sectors for the month of March 2018 stood at 131.3, 138.6 and 156.7 respectively.

11 - IMF predicted India to grow at 7.4% in 2018


The International Monetary Fund predicted that India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2018 and 7.8% in 2019 and would re-emerge as one of the fastest growing major economies in the period. The IMF explained this is due to the strong private consumption as well as fading transitory effects of the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national goods and services tax. Bangladesh is predicted to be the fastest-growing economy in South Asia.

As per the report, the consumer price increase in 2017 was 3.6% and predicted it to be 5% in 2018 and 2019.

12 - Indian Tea Industry registered highest ever production

Indian Tea

India’s tea industry registered the highest ever production as well as exports in FY18. The total tea production stood at 1325.05 million kgs, an increase of 74.56 million kgs (6%) as compared to 2016-17. The total export during 2017-18 increased by 28.94 million kg or 12.71% as compared to the corresponding period last year.

Exports registered growth at 227.63 million kg in 2016-17. The major export driven countries were Egypt (increased by 7.49 million kgs), Iran (increased by 6.95 million kgs), Pakistan (increased by 4.96 million kgs) and China (increased by 2.91 million kgs).

13 - Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and UAE minister flagged off 1st cargo of ADNOC crude oil


Petroleum Minister Pradhan and UAE minister flagged off first consignment of ADNOC crude for India.They jointly initiated the filling of the crude oil carrier vessel with 2 million barrels of crude oil belonging to Abu Dhabi National Oil Company of UAE. ADNOC’s investment by way of crude oil in Indian SPR facility is the first time that a private foreign entity, is filling up an Indian SPR cavern with crude oil.

The Agreement stipulated that during an emergency oil shortage situation the Indian government can use the entire available crude oil stored by ADNOC in the Mangalore SPR facility for its use.

14 - Fitch report predicted 7.3% growth rate of India in 2018-19

Fitch report

Fitch Group Company, has released a report known as BMI Research report. Fitch has projected India's GDP growth at 7.3% for the financial year 2018-19. It also predicted that the growth will accelerate further to 7.5% in 2019-20. According to Fitch, positive signs are observed in third quarter due to investment segment to be pushing growth rate once again.

Fitch Ratings Inc. is one of the "Big Three credit rating agencies", the other two being Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

15 - India became largest remittance receiving country in world

Largest Remittance

World Bank's latest migration and development brief report was topped by India. According to World Bank, India topped as the highest recipient of remittances globally in 2017. Indians residing abroad sent back $69 billion. The second in the list was China with $64 billion followed by Philippines ($33 billion), Mexico ($31 billion), Nigeria ($22 billion), and Egypt ($20 billion).

India had received $70.4 billion in 2014. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, grew 7% to $613 billion in 2017.

16 - Bharti Airtel completed acquisition of Telenor India

Bharti Airtel

Telenor entered into a definitive agreement with Bharti Airtel Limited whereby Airtel took full ownership of Telenor India. As the new owner, Airtel acquired Telenor India’s spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million. As part of the agreement, Airtel acquired outstanding spectrum payments and other operational contracts, including tower lease.

Telenor Group is one of the world’s major mobile operators. Telenor announced its entry into India in 2008. Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa.

17 - India’s GDP predicted at 7.6% in 2018-19 by UN WESP


According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects as of mid-2018, India's economy is projected to grow 7.5%% in 2017-18 and 7.6% in fiscal year 2018-19.World gross product is expected to expand by 3.2 per cent in both 2018 and 2019.GDP pf Chinese economy was projected to gradually moderate from 6.9% in 2017 to 6.5% in 2018.

The report underscores that the risks have increased as well and highlights the need to urgently address a number of policy challenges.GDP growth forecasts in 2018 have been upwardly revised in nearly 40% of countries.

18 - India launched WTO complaint against U.S. over tariffs on steel, aluminium

WTO complaint

India has launched a complaint against the United States to the World Trade Organization, WTO, to challenge US President Donald Trump's tariffs on Steel and Aluminium.

Mr Trump imposed the tariffs in March, levying 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on Aluminium. India, China, Russia, Japan, Turkey and the European Union have all dismissed that claim, regarding the U.S. tariffs as "safeguards" under the WTO rules, entitling them to a combined 3.5 billion dollar in annual compensation.

19 - ICRA projected India’s Q4 GDP Growth at 7.4%


Rating agency ICRA Ltd has projected India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the fourth quarter of the fiscal 2017-18 at 7.4% on account of good rabi crop harvest and improved corporate earnings, up from 7.2% in the third quarter.

As per ICRA, the growth of the Indian gross value added (GVA) at basic prices in year-onyear (YoY) terms is likely to record a considerable recovery to 7.3% in Q4 FY2018 from 6.7% in Q3 FY2018.

20 - TCS becomes India’s first company to cross Rs 7 Lakh Crore in market capitalisation


Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) became the first Indian company to hit the Rs 7 lakh crore market capitalisation milestone. TCS had become the first Indian information technology firm to cross the $100 billion (about Rs 6.7 lakh crore) mark in April 2018.

Market Capitalisation is the value of a company that is traded on the stock market, calculated by multiplying the total number of shares by the present share price.