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LCA Tejas successful test fires Derby air-to-air beyond visual range missile

Indigenously developed light combat aircraft (LCA) Tejas successfully fired Derby air-to-air beyond visual range missile (BVRM) off the Goa coast. The successful test demonstrated its overall capability as effective supersonic combat jet. It also expands firing envelope as well demonstrated safe operation of Tejas during missile plume ingestion into aircraft engine under worst case scenarios. It will also enable its developers state-run HAL and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inch closer to final operational clearance (FOC).

Derby BVR missile

Derby is short to medium range BVR Air-to-Air missile. It is a dual-use missile (air-to-air and surface-to-air).It is developed jointly by Israeli armament development agency Rafael and Israel Aircraft Industries MBT. It has maximum effective range of about 50 km.

The missile weighs around 118 kg light and is 3.8 metres long. Its weight allows it to be adapted to various modern fighter aircraft. It is active radar air-to-air missile for fighter aircraft and has capability to be launched at target day or night and in all weather conditions. It has look-down and shoot-down capability, fire and forget mode and advanced Electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) tailored to customer’s operational requirements.

RBI eases External borrowing norms to enable cheaper funds

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has further liberalised External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy by including more sectors in the window in a bid to facilitate cheaper access of overseas funds to Indian companies.

Key Facts

RBI has stipulated uniform, all-in cost ceiling of 450 basis points (bps) over benchmark rate, which, in most cases, is six-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The benchmark rate for rupee-denominated bonds will be prevailing yield of government bonds of corresponding maturity.

RBI has decided to increase ECB Liability to Equity Ratio for ECB raised from direct foreign equity holder under automatic route to 7:1. This ratio will not be applicable if total of all ECBs raised by entity is up to $5 million or equivalent. Earlier, ratio exceeding 4:1 was required the RBI’s approval.

RBI also has allowed all housing finance companies regulated by National Housing Bank and Port Trusts to raise ECB under all tracks. Such entities shall have board-approved risk management policy and shall keep their ECB exposure hedged 100% at all times for ECBs raised under Track I.

RBI also has allowed companies engaged in business of maintenance, repair and overhaul and freight forwarding to raise ECBs denominated in rupee only. Funds raised through ECBs will be not allowed to be invested in real estate or for purchase of land except for affordable housing, construction and development of SEZ and industrial parks or integrated townships.

RBI also relaxed norms for foreign investment in bonds by withdrawing investment cap for investors from investing in government bonds with minimum residual maturity of three years.

External Commercial Borrowings (ECBs)

ECBs are commercial loans borrowed from foreign sources for financing the commercial activities in India. It may be bank loans, securitised instruments, buyers’ credit, suppliers’ credit, foreign currency convertible bonds, etc. It should be noted that ECBs are not FDI. In case of FDI, foreign money is used only to finance the equity Capital. But in case ECBs, foreign money is used to finance any kind of funding other than equity.