Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received India’s 1st container vessel at Varanasi which had started sailing from Kolkata through inland waterways. This was the first commercial container movement in India after independence. While the aim is to promote inland waterways as a cheaper and more eco-friendly mode of transport, the work is still going on without any environmental clearance.
Recently, the World Bank has released the Ease of Doing Business Index. India has jumped 23 places in the ranking at 77th position as the country made it easier to start a business, deal with construction licenses and enabled faster cross-border trading.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Support and Outreach Programme that has 12 key initiatives including a 59-minute loan portal for sanction of up to Rs 1 crore for small and medium enterprises. These initiatives will help in the growth, expansion, and facilitation of MSMEs across the country.
Recently, an inter-ministerial committee on the regulation of the payments system in India has submitted its report to the finance ministry. However, the RBI has opposed its proposal to establish a separate and independent regulator for the payments sector in India.
The Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) crisis exposes the weakness in India’s financial regulatory architecture. It highlights the need for suitable reforms in regulatory mechanisms since the consequences are widespread.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently claimed that the cooperative movement in Gujarat has developed a successful alternative model to both socialism and capitalism. It has to be noted that, India's 1st home minister Sardar Patel who as chairman of Ahmedabad Municipality had started India’s first cooperative housing society, Pritamnagar, in Ahmedabad in 1927.
Recently, the Union Ministry of Finance decided to merge three public sector banks namely Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank. However, the decision to merge at the time of weakening trend of banks has raised serious concerns.
On September 30, 2018, the US, Canada, and Mexico signed a new trade agreement to replace the old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the new deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) or NAFTA 2.0.