News: Inflation in wholesale prices resurged to 11.39% in August, staying in the double digits for the fifth month in a row.
About Wholesale Price Index (WPI):
The Office of the Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is releasing index numbers of wholesale price in India (Base Year: 2011-12).
In India, the wholesale price index (WPI) is the main measure of inflation.
The WPI measures the price of a representative basket of wholesale goods.
In India, wholesale price index is divided into three groups: Fuel and Power (13.2 percent), Primary Articles (22.6 percent of total weight) and Manufactured Products (64.2 percent).
Food Articles from the Primary Articles Group account for 15.2 percent of the total weight.
The most important components of the Manufactured Products Group are Basic Metals (9.7 percent of total weight); Food products (9.1 percent); Chemicals and Chemical products (6.5 percent) and Textiles (4.9 percent).
2. EMERGENCY USE LISTING AND COVAX
News: The possible Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO) of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin by September-end “would bring in ease of international travel to Indians,’’ Dr. N.K. Arora, member, COVID-19 Task Force, told The Hindu on Tuesday.
About Emergency Use Listing (EUL):
Emergency Use Listing (EUL) procedure to streamline the process by which new or unlicensed products can be used during public health emergencies.
The EUL replaces the Emergency Use Assessment and Listing (EUAL) procedure, which was used during the West Africa Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016.
COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
It is one of the three pillars of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, an initiative begun in April 2020 by the WHO, the European Commission, and the government of France as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVAX coordinates international resources to enable low-to-middle-income countries equitable access to COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines.
On 24 February 2021, Ghana became the first country in the world to receive vaccines through COVAX when 600,000 doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine were delivered to Accra.
On 1 March 2021, frontline workers and public officials from the Ivory Coast became the first persons to be inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines shipped from the COVAX Facility.
COVAX is principally funded by Western countries.
India joined COVAX through a membership with the GAVI alliance.
3. INDIA – SINGAPORE TO LINK FAST PAYMENT SYSTEM
News: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Tuesday announced a project to link their respective fast payment systems — Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and PayNow — to facilitate instant, low-cost, cross-border fund transfers.
The linkage is targeted to be operationalised by July 2022.
The UPI-PayNow linkage will enable users of each of the two fast-payment systems to make instant, low-cost fund transfers on a reciprocal basis without a need to get onboarded onto the other payment system.
UPI is India’s mobile-based, ‘fast-payment’ system that facilitates customers to make round-the-clock payments instantly using a virtual payment address created by the customer.
PayNow is the fast payment system of Singapore that enables peer-to-peer fund-transfer service.
About Unified Payments Interface (UPI):
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) facilitating inter-bank peer-to-peer (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions.
The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.
As of December 2020, there are 207 banks available on UPI with a monthly volume of 2334.16 million transactions and a value of ₹4,162 billion (US$58 billion) UPI witnessed 22102.3 million transactions till November 2020.
The mobile-only payment system helped transact a total of ₹17.29 lakh crore (US$240 billion) during the 37 months of operation starting from 2016.
As of May 2021, the platform has 100 million monthly active users in India with plans to achieve 500 million by 2025.
Unified Payments Interface is a real time payment system that allows sending or requesting money from one bank account to another. Any UPI client app may be used and multiple bank accounts may be linked to single app.
Money can be sent or requested by using user created Virtual Payment Address (VPA) or UPI ID that helps in sending or requesting money from bank account using the know your customer (KYC) linked mobile number.
UPI also generate specific QR code for each user account for the purpose of contact-less payment.
Any UPI app can use payment and transfer fund from and to UPI enabled banks.
The website of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) lists the banks that facilitate UPI.
4. NON – PERFORMING ASSETS
News: With fresh slippages in retail and MSME loans, the gross non-performing assets (GNPAs) of commercial banks are expected to exceed ₹10 lakh crore by March 2022, Assocham and Crisil said in a joint report.
About Non – Performing Assets (NPA):
A non performing asset (NPA) is a loan or advance for which the principal or interest payment remained overdue for a period of 90 days.
Banks are required to classify NPAs further into Substandard, Doubtful and Loss assets:
Substandard assets:Assets which has remained NPA for a period less than or equal to 12 months.
Doubtful assets:An asset would be classified as doubtful if it has remained in the substandard category for a period of 12 months.
Loss assets:As per RBI, “Loss asset is considered uncollectible and of such little value that its continuance as a bankable asset is not warranted, although there may be some salvage or recovery value.”