Economy Current Affairs

SIDBI inks MoU with SAARC Development Fund

The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has inked MoU with SAARC Development Fund (SDF) for mutual cooperation and collaboration.

The MoU was signed by SIDBI Deputy Managing Director A K Kapur and SDF CEO Sunil Motiwal.

MoU envisages

  • SDF and SIDBI to work together in co-funding of projects in Indian MSMEs on risk sharing basis in identified sectors.
  • Development of suitable financial products for SME financing for MSMEs of other Saarc states, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
  • Technology transfer and making available software to MFIs regarding loan tracking systems in other SAARC states.
  • Capacity development of SDF, SIDBI and SME funding institutions in SAARC countries.

SIDBI: It is an independent financial institution aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).


Reliance Defence inks strategic partnership pact with 3 Ukrainian state firms

Reliance Infra-led Reliance Defence Ltd has signed a strategic partnership agreement with 3 Ukrainian state firms to collaborate on a range of military products.

These three Ukrainian state-owned firms are Ukroboronprom, Spetstechno Exports and Antonov.

Key facts

  • The strategic collaboration will be for range of military products including transport aircraft, armoured vehicles, maritime gas turbines and unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • Under the agreement with Antonov, both companies will jointly bid for the medium military transport aircraft programme of the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
  • In addition they will also collaborate for assembly, manufacture and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of Antonov series of aircraft.
  • This collaboration will mainly address the requirements of the Indian market and also the agreed global markets.
  • Cooperation between Reliance Defence and Spetstechno Exports will focus on upgrade programs for the BMP 2 and Armoured Vehicles, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Marine Gas Turbines for the Indian Navy Frigate program in India.

Reliance Defence is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure led by Anil Ambani. Antonov is globally known as the manufacturer of the largest transport aircraft in the world.

Currently, the Indian Air Force (IAF) operates more than 100 AN-32 aircraft, which forms the backbone of its transport fleet.


Union Government constitutes Ashok Dalwai committee for doubling farmers’ income by 2022

The Union Government has recently constituted 8-member inter-ministerial committee to prepare a blueprint for doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

The committee will be headed by Ashok Dalwai, Additional secretary at the Union Agriculture Ministry and is expected to submit the report in two months.

Its members will include officials from Agriculture and Food Ministries, experts from the Delhi-based National Council of Applied Economic Research and National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research.

Terms of reference of the Committee

  • Prepare plan to shift farm policies to income based from current production-oriented. Identify potential areas of agriculture where more investment should happen.
  • Suggest ways to reduce the risk of farming by diversifying to horticulture and allied activities like livestock and fisheries to boost income.
  • Suggest measures for reducing the cost of cultivation and addressing unpredictability of weather and price fluctuations in farm sector.


  • In the Union Budget 2016-17, Government had announced to double farm incomes by 2022. To follow up its budget announcement, Government decided to set up the committee.
  • Union Government is focusing on increasing crop yields and reducing the cost of cultivation in order to increase the net income of farmers.
  • For this purpose, Government had launched various schemes related to agriculture sector to bring down the cost of cultivation.