Why in news? The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is about to set up a public credit registry—an information repository that collates all loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers.
Public Credit Registry:
A credit repository will help banks distinguish between a bad and a good borrower.
It will help the banks to offer attractive interest rates to good borrowers and higher interest rates to bad borrowers accordingly.
It has been set up on the recommendations of Y.M. Deosthalee committee.
The public credit repository will address information asymmetry, improve access to credit and strengthen the credit culture among consumers.
It will help solve the bad loans problem facing the banking system, as corporate borrowers will be unable to lend from multiple banks without disclosing their existing debt.
It will also help improve India’s rankings in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.
Other suggestions of the Y.M. Deosthalee committee:
The task force has recommended that the registry should be set up by RBI and in due course, the central bank may consider moving the registry to a separate non-profit entity.
It has envisaged it as a registry of all credit contracts, for all lending in India and any lending by an Indian financial institution to “an Indian natural or legal person.”
PCR is to serve as a registry of all credit contracts irrespective of any threshold amount and it should be backed by a legal framework.
The committee has also recommended that registry should also capture data such as external commercial borrowings, market borrowings, and all contingent liabilities to provide a holistic picture about the borrower’s indebtedness.
It has also suggested that the registry should capture both positive and negative information for all loans and borrowers be able to access their own history.
The data will be available to stakeholders like banks strictly on a need-to-know basis and privacy of data will be protected.
It has placed the onus of data quality on the reporting entities and suggested action against the institutions in case of any violations in rules.
To ensure a comprehensive database, the committee has also proposed linkages with other defaulter databases like the wilful defaulter’s list, goods and services tax network data and utility and insurance payments data, etc.
FACT # 2
MMR In India
Why in news? The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016, according to a special bulletin issued by the Health Ministry.
MMR in India:
Maternal death or maternal mortality is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.
Simply, MMR is defined as the proportion of maternal deaths per 1,00,000 live births.
To understand the maternal mortality situation in the country better and to map the changes that have taken place, especially at the regional level, the government has categorised states into three groups
Empowered Action Group (EAG): EAG states comprise Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and Assam.
Southern states: The southern states are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
“Other” states: The “other” states categories cover the remaining states and Union territories.
The decline has been most significant in Empowered Action Group (EAG) states and Assam, from 246 to 188.
The southern states are performing better than the rest of the country on MMR, with a decline from 93 to 77, close to the country’s target of 70 by 2030, under the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Decline in “other” states is from 115 to 93.
The present bulletin, which provides only the levels of maternal mortality for the period 2014-16, is being brought out as a sequel to the previous bulletin (2011-13).
The survey for the current bulletin covered 62,96,101 pregnant women out of which 556 died.
The number of women who die during childbirth in India has come down sharply due to more women delivering children in hospitals (institutional deliveries).
Apart from the increase in institutional deliveries, other factors include:
involving private doctors to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government hospitals
decline in child marriages
a reduction in teenage pregnancies by 50%
more women being treated for anaemia
FACT # 3
Atal Bhujal Yojana
Why in news? The World Bank has approved Rs. 6,000 crore for Atal Bhujal Yojana.
Atal Bhujal Yojana:
Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY) is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with World Bank assistance.
Atal Bhujal Yojana has been formulated by the Ministry to address the criticality of ground water resources in a major part of the country.
The scheme aims to improve ground water management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in the states of:
These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of ground water in India.
They also cover two major types of groundwater systems found in India:
Alluvial rock aquifers
hard rock aquifers
They also have varying degrees of institutional readiness and experience in groundwater management.
Funds under the scheme will be provided to the states for:
strengthening the institutions responsible for ground water governance
encouraging community involvement for improving ground water management to foster behavioural changes that promote conservation and efficient use of water
convergence of ongoing Government schemes in the states by incentivizing their focussed implementation in identified priority areas
Implementation of the scheme is expected to benefit nearly 8350 Gram Panchayats in 78 districts in these states.
Funds under the scheme will be made available to the participating states as Grants.