India Current Affairs 2017

TRAI ink LoI with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) deepen bilateral cooperation in telecom and broadcasting regulation.

The LoI was signed on the sidelines of ongoing ITU-TRAI Asia-Pacific Regulators’ Roundtable jointly organised by the International Telecom Union (ITU) and TRAI in New Delhi.

Key Facts

The LoI will help both regulators to jointly conduct capacity building exercises in the fields of broadcasting and telecommunications regulation. It will help them to work closely in enhancing mutual cooperation and bilateral relations.

It will also facilitate exchange of information and regulatory best practices in the fields of broadcasting and telecommunications, including new and emerging areas. It will also help in exchange, deployment and attachment of experts from both the countries.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)

The TRAI is an independent regulator of the telecommunications business in India. It came into existence by the Act of the Parliament in 1997. It was established in wake of entry of private sector in telecom industries after Government had launched the National Telecom Policy (NTP) to attract domestic and FDI investment in the telecommunication sector. Its mandate is to deliver a fair and transparent environment for fair competition in telecom market. TRAI also fixes or revises the tariffs for telecom services in India.

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17th meeting of FSDC held in New Delhi

The seventeenth Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley.

The meeting was attended by RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R. Patel, SEBI chairman, IRDAI Chairman along with heads and other senior officers of the Government and financial sector regulators.

Key Highlights of Meeting

Macro-economic stability: FSDC held that India has macro-economic stability on the back of improvements in its macro-economic fundamentals, structural reforms, action taken to address the Twin Balance Sheet (TBS) challenge, extraordinary financial market confidence and long-term positive consequences of demonetization.

Challenges facing the Indian economy: It also discussed the issues and challenges facing the Indian economy and members agreed on the need to keep constant vigil and be prepared of managing any external and internal vulnerabilities.

Progress of Financial Sector Assessment Program for India: It is jointly conducted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. It directed that the assessment report should be finalized by end of this calendar year.

CERT-Fin and FDMC: It took note of the developments and progress made in setting up of Computer Emergency Response Team in the Financial Sector (CERT-Fin) and Financial Data Management Centre. It also discussed measures for time bound implementation of the institution building initiative.

Central KYC Registry (CKYCR) system: It also discussed on the CKYCR system and took note of the initiatives taken in this regard by the members and discussed the issues in respect of its operationalization.

Regulation of CRAs: It also deliberated on strengthening the regulation of Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs).

About Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)

FSDC is super regulatory body for regulating financial sector which is a vital for bringing healthy and efficient financial system in the economy. The idea to create it was first mooted by the Raghuram Rajan Committee on Financial Sector Reforms in 2008.

The FSDC envisages to strengthen and institutionalise mechanism of (i) maintaining financial stability, (ii) Financial sector development, (iii) inter-regulatory coordination along with monitoring macro-prudential regulation of economy.

Composition of FSDC: The Union Finance Minister is its chairman. Besides, heads of the financial sector regulatory authorities (i.e, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, PFRDA), Finance Secretary and/or Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (Union Finance Ministry), Secretary, Department of Financial Services, and Chief Economic Adviser are its members

Two Core functions: (i) Act as an apex level forum to strengthen and institutionalize the mechanism for maintaining financial stability. (ii) Enhance inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development in the country.

Other functions: (i) Focus on financial literacy and financial inclusion. (ii) Monitor macro-prudential supervision of the economy. (iii) Assess the functioning of the large financial conglomerates.

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