Current Affairs - April, 2020

This category comprises latest Current Affairs of April, 2020 with news summary on current events of National and International importance. Current Affairs April, 2020 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline submits its report

On April 29, 2020, the task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline has submitted its final report to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. The report has been prepared for the year 2019-25.

Highlights

The summary of the report prepared by the task force on National Infrastructure Pipeline had already been released in December 2019. The Finance Minister in her Union Budget Speech 2019-20 had announced Rs 100 lakhs crore for the National Infrastructure Pipeline.

The Task Force had undertaken bottom to top approach to prepare the report. the report has provided a detailed split up for the capital expenditure of Rs 111 lakh crore. According to the report, projects of Rs 33 lakh crore are at conceptual stage. Also, the report suggests the funds to be allocated as 24% to energy sector, roads 18%, railways 12% and urban 17%.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made by the task force

  • A Committee to be set up to monitor NIP progress. This will help to eliminate delays
  • A Steering Committee be set up at ministerial level to follow the implementation
  • A Steering Committee be set up to raise financial resources for NIP.

National Infrastructure Pipeline

The National Infrastructure Pipeline is the first of its kind. It aims to improve quality life of the citizens in the country. The project will aim to attract investments. It has set a target of making India a 5 trillion USD economy by 2025.

Functions of the Task Force

The Task Force was constituted to identify financially economical and feasible infrastructure. It was tasked to estimate the annual infrastructure investment and capital costs. Also, the task force was employed to monitor projects in order to minimize costs.

Infrastructure Vision 2025

The GoI has framed the Infrastructure Vision 2025. The main aspirations of the vision are as follows

  • To provide affordable and clean energy
  • To provide 100% digital coverage to all
  • To provide world class quality education.
  • To provide housing and water supply
  • To double farmers’ income by 2022

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation: Economic Decline of 2.7% expected in the region

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation has stated that the APEC region is to face an economic decline of 2.7% in 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19. Also, the region is to face near growth rate. This will be the highest decline for the region since the 2008 financial crisis.

Highlights

The unemployment rate according to the report of APEC was 3.8% in 2019 and it is to increase to 5.4% in 2020. The region is also expected to face an economic rebound in the year 2021. The anticipated growth of the region in the 2021 is 6.3%.

APEC

APEC comprises of Vietnam, US, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Philippines, Peru, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Chile, Canada, Brunei and Australia.

It was begun in 1989. The forum was formed to leverage the growing inter dependence of the countries in the region of Asia-Pacific. The region has now been renamed as Indo-Pacific.

The three major observers of APEC include ASEAN, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and Pacific Islands Forum.

India and APEC

India is not a member of APEC. For the first time, India was invited to be an observer in the association in 2011. India has requested for membership in APEC and had received the support from Japan, US, Papua New Guinea and Australia. There are constraints faced by India to join APEC as India does not border Pacific Ocean.

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