Directions(1-10): In each of the following questions a passage is given in which there is a blank. Choose the most logical and appropriate option from the five options given that can be filled in the blank.
- The composition of the committee appointed to determine the adequate level of reserves for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), _____________________. Bimal Jalan, former RBI governor and economic adviser to the government, is expected to side with the government’s view of the matter, which would be fully articulated by the department of economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg.
along with the three-month period allowed for the task, is a welcome sign of sense on relations between the government and the central bankby former economic adviser to the government and former deputy governor of RBI, Rakesh Mohan, aided by current deputy governor N S Vishwanathanwith continuing multifaceted engagement in Gujarat, and Doshi, a distinguished corporate executive with intimate knowledge of financefar from clear that a central bank’s credibility depends to any great extent on the size of the reserves it holdsNone of theseOption A
- In the ever-expanding space-time continuum, how significant can yet another year be, particularly one in the Gregorian calendar whose beginning is as arbitrary as that of any of the numerous other calendars that mark time around the world in different cultures? Yet, the next year is special for us here in India, because it will witness elections to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha, and with it, bring renewal of democracy and government. Major economies around the world are losing steam, but India is poised for acceleration of growth, __________________.
as the banking crisis approaches its nadir and lending resumes to fuel private sector investmentfinally see the light and muster the political courage to ask consumers to pay for the power they consume and rehabilitate the crippled sector in their statesas make villages hum with agro-processing, which, in turn, will revolutionise farming and farm incomesas pioneers of Indian languages on the web broaden the base of internet useNone of theseOption A
- It has been over two years since India adopted the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to swiftly resolve corporate distress and clean up bad loans on the books of banks. This must be hailed as the most significant reform initiated by the present government. To expect miracles would be naïve, but the overall experience has been positive even as the law is still being tested. Rules would also have to evolve to subserve the public policy goal to maximise the value of the asset being resolved, _____________________.
benches of the adjudicating authority must be set upas 1,298 cases were admitted till December 1, 2018. Of these, 52 (or 4%) have been resolved and 30% of the pending cases had crossed the 270-day timeline till September 2018and also brought in a behavioural change in debtors who want to settle defaults to avoid losing their companiesminimise haircuts that banks have to take, and reduce the burden on taxpayers to recapitalise banksNone of theseOption D
- The landslide victory of Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League in Sunday’s national elections in Bangladesh is good news for the region. As Bangladesh’s prime minister for the third continuous term, ________________ , although the strong-arm measures that give the discredited Opposition the chance to cry foul were eminently avoidable. The results of the Bangladesh elections are significant for India as well. New Delhi must continue to partner with Bangladesh, deepening the ties to ensure regional development, security and cooperation.
a performance superior to that of most north Indian stateswhich backs Islamists, will ensure that the country becomes far less hospitable to Islamists either in transit or seeking refugeSheikh Hasina needs to continue with the policies that have ensured stability and economic growthencouraging Indian companies to invest, and working together in climate change, terrorism, migration and energyNone of theseOption C
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has refused to yield to populism on farm loan waivers, ___________________. This is welcome. But it also makes it imperative to come out with a non-populist alternative to rural distress that has been one factor in the recent political upheaval in the Hindi heartland that has cost the prime minister’s party three state governments. It is to be hoped that such an alternative would be forthcoming, in the wake of denunciation of what the Opposition Congress has been parading as a trophy policy.
his own party made waiver of farm loans a key promise in its election campaigns, most tellingly in Uttar Pradesh in 2017during the course of a wide-ranging television interview on the first day of the New Yearthat the government takes justifiable pride in has not gone beyond opening an account to meaningful mediation of savings to rural folkwriting off his loan is folly while writing off the unpaid loans of fat-cat industrialists is virtueNone of theseOption B
- It will be nothing short of a miracle if the 15 miners trapped in a coal pit some 300-odd ft deep in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills are found alive. The precarious predicament of these miners, __________________ is a testament to collective failure of the state machinery, the judiciary and local business.
was ordered on complaints that Meghalaya’s preferred mode of mineral extractionpaid no more than a few hundred rupees to crawl through narrow deep pits and trenches to dig out coal,are likely to be technology-intensive and expensiveenforcing regulation to make the mining non-polluting and safeNone of theseOption B
- In its twice-annual report on financial stability released on December 31, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) finds that bad debt held by banks fell from 11.5% of all loans to 10.8% between March and September 2018, and could fall further to 10.3% by March 2019. _________________. The new package of debt restructuring announced for small borrowers with total loans of up to Rs 25 crore might dent this trend. But not much, as large entities accounted for 55% of bank borrowings, but near-84% of defaults.
RBI must keep a keen eye on financial companies that fund everything from tractors to infrastructurelenders have to be empowered further, possibly with greater protection from arbitrary charges of mala fide while taking decisions on haircuts while resolving bad loansa drop in non-performing assets (NPAs) is welcomeonly way to cut through this asset-liability mismatch is to create and nurture a market for long-term bondsNone of theseOption C
- Political failure leading to weak finances of state utilities underlies the power sector’s problems. __________________. Simply seeking speedy exit of current promoters would lead to steep haircuts for banks, one or two well-connected promoters cornering the assets, and little or no resolution of the underlying structural issues in power.
We do need transparency in state power utility finances and regular disclosure of quarterly resultsabsence of power purchase agreements (PPAs) and inability of private promoters to increase equity stakesa welcome move to mandate prepaid meters for power connections, to address rampant revenue leakageThese are not internal to the sector as in cement or steelNone of theseOption
- Most construction material, capital goods and various input services used in buildings attract 18% GST, while cement is taxed at 28%. Plus, 12% GST is levied on under construction property, including on “ready-to-move-in” flats where completion certification has not been issued at the time of sale. _____________________, perversely, more opacity in housing and built spaces. Reports say that the actual incidence of GST for homebuyers would be only about 5%, if builders do pass on input tax credits.
There is no GST on real estate, and the steep tax rate for under-construction houses merely incentivisesSuch a rate reduction would widen the tax base and also bring about much-needed transparency in real estateThe effective pre-GST tax incidence on housing was, reportedly, in the 15-18% rangeIt would truly broaden the base of indirect taxes, boost tax buoyancy, and bring about an efficient tax structure right across the boardNone of theseOption A
- The Opposition has vehemently raised the demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to investigate alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal. The government has pooh-poohed the demand, claiming the Supreme Court has already given a certificate of integrity to the deal. _______________________.
The CAG report is like the auditor’s report to shareholdersThe fact of the matter is that a JPC on the deal to acquire the fighter aircraft would be premature at the momentAny qualifications and observations made by the auditor would be laid before the annual general meeting of the shareholders, along with the management’s responseSince the CAG has not yet submitted its report, the PAC has not vetted itNone of theseOption