Current Affairs - March, 2020

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

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Asian Development Bank to invest 100 million USD in NIIF

On March 30, 2020, the Asian Development Bank announced that it is to invest 100 million USD in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The investment during an economic slow down is a great boost for the Indian Economy.

NIIF

The National Investment and Infrastructure Funds were set up in 2015. The main purpose of the fund is to aid Greenfield and brownfield projects in the country. When an entity is to use the benefits of the funds, the Indian Government invests 49% and the rest has to be raised from third party investors.

The NIIF makes it mandatory that the funds shall be invested in the areas such as transportation, energy, water, housing, waste management.

Major funds of NIIF

There are three major funds under NIIF. IT includes Master Fund, Fund of Funds and Strategic Investment Fund

Master Fund

This is an infrastructure fund. These funds shall be used in core infrastructure sectors such as ports, road, power, etc.

Fund of funds

The fund of funds shall be used on affordable housing, green infrastructure and infrastructure services. These funds are availed only to fund managers who have good track on infrastructure projects

Strategic Investment Fund

This fund is registered under SEBI. These funds focus on green field and brown field investments.

Odisha Mining Activity greatly affected due to COVID-19; 21 mines interrupted

With the COVID-19 spreading at faster rate in the country, GoI had extended the statutory permits of mines for smooth transition. In spite of this, several mines in Odisha are facing delays of resumption.

Highlights

The operations of 21 mines have been disrupted completely. The delay in resumption of merchant mines in the state is to affect demand-supply mismatch greatly. Most of the small-scale steel plants, pellet makers and sponge iron units are dependent on the merchant ore market for raw materials. These mines mainly include manganese, iron ore and chromite.

Odisha Resources

The state is rich in Limestone, Manganese ore, iron ore, chromite, bauxite, Dolomite, graphite, etc. According to Economic Survey, Odisha is the major supplier of raw materials in the country. Mining contributes 10% of income of the state. It holds 96% of Chromite and 25% of coal reserves of India. After Mines and Minerals Development and regulation act, 2015, Odisha was at the forefront in auctioning new mineral blocks.

Therefore, disruption of mining activities in the state will hit the economy badly.

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