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2 April 2023

GST collection in March

  • About the News:

    • India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues grew 13% in March, to record the second-highest monthly collection of ₹1.6 lakh crore from the indirect tax, with receipts from goods imports rising 8%.

  • Inflows from domestic transactions and services imports rose 14%.

  • Gross GST collections for 2022-23 are 22% higher than in 2021-22 at ₹18.1 lakh crore, reflecting an average gross monthly collection of almost ₹1.51 lakh crore. 

  • The growth in GST collections in March was the fastest so far in 2023, marking the 12th month in a row that inflows were over ₹1.4 lakh crore and the fourth month in 2022-23 over the ₹1.5 lakh crore mark.


India, Malaysia to settle trade in rupee

News: India and Malaysia have agreed to settle trade in the Indian rupee,


About the news:

  • Trade between India and Malaysia can now be settled in Indian Rupee (INR) in addition to the current modes of settlement in other currencies. 

  • The Union Bank of India said that it had become the first bank in India to operationalise this option by opening a Special Rupee Vostro Account through its “corresponding bank” in Malaysia  India International Bank of Malaysia.

  • This follows the decision by the Reserve Bank of India in July 2022 to allow the settlement of international trade in the Indian Rupee (INR). 

  • This initiative by RBI is aimed at facilitating the growth of global trade and supporting the interests of the global trading community in Indian rupees.

  • Malaysia was one of the 18 countries that were allowed by the RBI to open Special Rupee Vostro Accounts to settle payments in the rupee. 

Significance of the move:

  • The shift away from the U.S. dollar indicates that India is willing to take concrete steps towards the de-dollarisation of its international trade.

  • It is a step in order to safeguard the Indian economy from the impact of the Ukraine crisis.

  • The move is aimed at achieving better pricing for goods and services traded. 

  • This mechanism is expected to also benefit the traders on both sides as they can directly trade in Indian Rupee and therefore save on currency conversion spreads.

  • The India-Malaysia bilateral trade touched $19.4 billion during 2021-22.

  • Malaysia is the third largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region, after Singapore and Indonesia which account for $30.1 billion and $26.1 billion in bilateral trade with India respectively.

India-Romania Defence Pact

News: The defence cooperation agreement was signed between India and Romania.

About the Agreement:

  • It will enhance collaboration through the exchange of expertise and knowledge on subjects of mutual interest including co-development and co-production of military hardware.

  • This agreement will open up enormous opportunities in sectors such as defence medicine, scientific research, cyber defence, technology and research and development.

Romania Visit to India:

  • Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane of Romania visited India last week.

  • The topic of discussion included the security situation in the Black Sea region and in the Indo-Pacific region and cooperation in the multilateral framework.

  • They discussed the development of bilateral cooperation on matters of interest such as the exchange of experience in cyber defence, training and education, communications and informatics, military medicine, scientific research in the field of defence policy and military history, as well as in the technical-military field.”

  • She said, “India represents an important partner for Romania in the Indo-Pacific region”.

  • The EU Indo-Pacific strategy represents an opportunity to advance the cooperation between the EU and India. 


Marburg Virus

News: Equatorial Guinea and Tanzania reported outbreaks of Marburg virus disease (MVD) which is the first-ever outbreak of the disease in these countries.

About the News:

  • An outbreak of unknown haemorrhagic fever linked to a funeral ceremony was reported from Equatorial Guinea on February 7, 2023, which was later confirmed as Marburg virus on February 13 by the WHO.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the risk of spread of the disease as “very high” across both countries.

  • The genome sequence of a Marburg virus from Equatorial Guinea shows high similarity with Marburg virus genomes previously found in fruit bats, suggesting a potential zoonotic origin.

About Malburg Virus

  • The Marburg virus was first identified in 1967 during outbreaks in Germany and Serbia.

  • It is known to cause severe and fatal viral haemorrhagic fevers in humans.

  • The virus is closely related to another deadly virus, Ebola and is rated as a high-risk pathogen by the WHO. 

  • Transmission: Marburg virus is transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals such as fruit bats, and further human-to-human transmission can occur through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected patient or contaminated surfaces resulting in outbreaks.

  • Outbreaks of Malburg Virus:

    • several outbreaks of the Marburg virus have been detected between 1975 and 2023, with African countries being the most affected and often with high fatality rates of up to 90%, depending on early access to quality care.

    • For the first time, isolated cases have been reported in Guinea and Ghana in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

    • Treatment:

      • There are no approved vaccines, antivirals or monoclonal antibodies for the Marburg virus.

      • However, the WHO aims to accelerate trials of some investigational vaccines. Case detection through contact tracing, molecular diagnosis and quarantine is central to managing the spread of the disease.

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