Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2019

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India becomes Second Largest LPG Consumer and Importer

India is now the second largest consumer and importer of the LPG in the world. This is attributed to government initiatives to push for cleaner alternatives to traditional cooking fuels such as firewood and cow dung.

Import of LPG

The import of LPG grew by 12.5 per cent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19. India now stands at the second position when it comes to the import of LPG surpassing Japan. India is at second place behind China. The exporters of LPG to India include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iran.

Consumption of LPG

The number of active LPG consumers in India has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent – from 14.8 crore in 2014-15 to 22.4 crore in 2017-18.

Increase in population combined with LPG penetration in rural areas has resulted in an average growth of 8.4 per cent in LPG consumption, making India the second largest consumer of LPG in the world at 22.5 million tonnes.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas estimates that LPG consumption would grow to 30.3 million tonnes by 2025 and 40.6 million tonnes by 2040.

The flagship scheme of the government Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) has made a significant contribution towards enhancing the penetration of LPG, especially in rural areas. The renewed targets under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to provide LPG connections to 8 crore households before March 31, 2020.

Month: Categories: NationalUPSC

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Digital currency: Aber

The central banks of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will launch a common digital currency called Aber. Aber will be used for financial settlements between the two countries through Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers technologies.

Benefits of the Digital Currency

The digital currency would be launched to explore the following benefits:

  • The digital currency would aid in studying the impact on the improvement and reduction of remittance costs and the assessments of risks.
  • Aber will establish an additional means for the central financial transfer systems of the two countries and enable banks to directly deal with each other in conducting financial remittances.

Initially, the use of the digital currency will be restricted to a limited number of banks. By studying the various technical, economic and legal requirements, the use of the digital currency would be expanded.

Digital Currency Aber relies on the use of a distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides. Digital Currency is part of the efforts to adopt new technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, etc., in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is reshaping governments and corporates around the world.

Month: Categories: InternationalUPSC

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