Financial services Current Affairs - 2019

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India and ADB sign $200 Million Loan to improve State Highways in Bihar

Union Government has signed $200 million loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for Bihar State Highways III Project (BSHP-III). It will finance widening and upgrading of about 230 kms state highways in Bihar to all-weather standards with road safety features. Since 2008, ADB has provided four loans to Bihar amounting to $1.43 billion to upgrade about 1,453 km of State Highways and to construct new bridge over Ganga River near Patna (on completion it will be the India’s longest river bridge).

Bihar State Highways III Project (BSHP-III)

It was approved by ADB Board in October 2018. It aims at upgrading State Highways to standard two-lane width with road safety features and paved shoulders including reconstructing, widening and strengthening culverts and bridges. It also seeks to build institutional capacity of State for road design and maintenance and incorporate appropriate new technologies in the State’s road sub-sector. The improved roads under the Project will contribute to savings in vehicle operating cost and travel time, reduce vehicle emissions and improve road safety. This loan will complement efforts of Bihar Government to upgrade all state highways to meet minimum two-lane standard with better surfaces and improved road safety leading to improved connectivity. It will also establish State-level Road Research Institute to improve technical and management capacity of Road Agency Staff.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

ADB is a regional development bank based out of Asia. It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia by achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It was established in December 1966. It is headquartered at Ortigas Centre in Manila, Philippines. It has total 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside

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India, UAE inks 5 MoUs

India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed five Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in key areas of energy sector, railways, manpower and financial services.

These agreements were signed in PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi. They were signed in presence of PM Modi, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohammed bin and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces Zayed Al Nahyan at the Presidential Palace, Abu Dhabi.

Signed Agreements are

  • MoU for Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector
  • MoU to institutionalise the collaborative administration of contractual employment of Indian workers in UAE.
  • MoU between Indian Consortium (OVL, BPRL & IOCL) and ADNOC: It was signed for acquisition of 10% participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakum Concession.
  • MoU between Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX): It seeks to enhance cooperation between both the countries in financial services industry.
  • MoU between Government of Jammu and Kashmir and DP World: It seeks to establish multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and specialized storage solutions.

India-UAE Relations

India-UAE Relations deeply rooted in history and strategic cooperation which is driven by mutual aspirations of both countries. UAE is lynch-pin of the economic, defence and strategic strands of  India’s coordinated strategy to outreach west Asia.

UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after China and the United States. Bilateral trade between India and UAE stood at about $50 billion in 2015-16. It is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI) and was the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2015-16. Besides, there are also more than 2.6 million Indians living in the UAE and their annual remittance is estimated to be around $14 billion.

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