Flash Cards

Day#32 Current Affairs Flash Cards [PRELIMS 2020]

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044); ‘Draft Model Tenancy Act (MTA)’; Kyrgyzstan; Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002;
By IASToppers
August 30, 2019

 

  

What is the purpose of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044)?

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Answer:

  • Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 1044) was introduced with the purpose of removing the per-country percentage caps in the green card process.

Enrich Your Learning:

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044)

  • The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044), was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • It seeks to eliminate the per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas (i.e., “green cards”).
  • The legislation proposes instead to treat all foreign nationals equally, regardless of country of birth.
  • The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 attempts to change the distribution of green cards by eliminating the seven (7) percent per-country cap on all employment-based immigrant visas.
  • If passed into law, H.R. 1044 will subject employment-based green card applicants from all countries to a single waitlist for each employment-based immigrant visa category.
  • Countries with the longest green card waitlists mainly, India and China would see an immediate decrease in green card wait times.

Highlights

  • Currently, immigrants can be issued a maximum of 7 per cent Green Cards per year.
  • The new Bill seeks to increase this 7 per cent per-country limit to 15 per cent.
  • This would benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals in the US.

Key Facts:

  • A Green Card allows a person to live and work permanently in the US.

 

 

What is the meaning of Merchant Discount Rate?

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Answer:

  • Merchant Discount Rate also referred to as the Transaction Discount Rate or TDR is the sum total of all the charges and taxes that a digital payment entail.

Enrich Your Learning:

‘Merchant Discount Rate’

  • Merchant discount rate (MDR) is a charge retailers pay to a bank or payment service provider for payment acceptance infrastructure.
  • It is thus the fee that a merchant has to pay to a bank for every transaction which is split between the bank which has issued the card, the lender whose point-of-sale terminal is being used and payment gateways like MasterCard or Visa.
  • The MDR includes bank charges, which a bank charges customers and merchants for allowing payments to be made digitally.
  • It also includes the processing charges that a payments aggregator has to pay to online or mobile wallets or indeed to banks for their service.

Who will bear the MDR costs?

  • In 2019 budget the Finance minister announced that RBI and Banks will absorb these costs from the savings that will accrue to them on account of handling less cash as people move to these digital modes of payment.

 

 

What is the significance of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002?

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Answer:

  • The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 enables bank to recover their Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) without the intervention of courts.

Enrich Your Learning:

SARFAESI Act

  • The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002, was enforced in the year 2004.
  • SARFAESI was created to allow banks and financial institutions to auction properties (residential and commercial) if the borrowers fail to repay the loans.

Applicability of the Act

  • The provisions of this Act applies to outstanding loans (above Rs. 1 lakh), which are classified as Non-Performing Assets(NPA).
  • NPA loan accounts amounting to less than 20% of the principal and interest are not covered under this Act.

The SARFAESI Act isn’t applicable for:

  • Money or security issued under the Indian Contract Act or the Sale of Goods Act, 1930.
  • Any conditional sale, hire-purchase, lease or any other contract in which no security interest has been created.
  • Any rights of the unpaid seller under Section 47 of the Sale of Goods Act, 1930.
  • Any properties not liable to attachment or sale under Section 60 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

Rights of Borrowers

The following rights are endowed to the borrowers with respect to this provision:

  • The borrowers can at any time remit the dues and avoid losing the security before the sale is concluded.
  • Where any unhealthy or illegal act is done by the Authorised Officer, he/she will be subject to penal consequences.
  • The borrowers will be allowed to get compensation for the defaults of an Officer.
  • For rectifying the grievances, the borrowers can approach the Debts Recovery Tribunals (DRT).

Methods of Recovery under the Act

The Act makes provisions for three methods of recovery of the NPAs, which includes:

  • Securitisation
  • Asset Reconstruction
  • Enforcement of security without the interruption of the court

Enforcement of security without the intervention of the court

It also empowers banks and financial institutions to:

  • Issue notices to any individual who has obtained any of the secured assets from the borrower to surrender the due amount to the bank.
  • Claim any debtor of the borrower to pay any sum due to the borrower.

 

 

Kyrgyzstan shares its border with which states?

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Answer:

Kazakhstan shares borders with five other nations:

  • Russia lies to the north of Kazakhstan.
  • China is along the country’s eastern border.
  • Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan are to the south of the country.

Enrich Your Learning:

Kazakhstan

  • Kazakhstan is the largest country in the world compared to all other landlocked countries.
  • The country’s westernmost regions are part of Europe and its central and eastern areas are found in Central Asia.
  • The Aral Sea is located along Kazakhstan’s southern border between a portion of its border with Uzbekistan.
  • The Caspian Sea is situated along Kazakhstan’s westernmost border.

 

 

What are the salient features of the ‘Draft Model Tenancy Act (MTA)’?

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Answer & Enrich Your Learning:

‘Draft Model Tenancy Act (MTA)’

  • Model Tenancy Act’, 2019 has been drafted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • It envisages to balance the interest and rights of both the owner and tenant and to create an accountable and transparent ecosystem for renting the premises in disciplined and efficient manner.

Important points of the Act:

  • MTA stipulates a robust grievance redressal mechanism comprising of Rent Authority, Rent Court and Rent Tribunal.
  • It proposes to cap the security deposit equal to a maximum of two month’s rent in case of residential properties and, minimum of one month’s rent in case of non-residential property.
  • It also proposes that no person shall let or take on rent any premises except by an agreement in writing.
  • The Model Act provides for its applicability for the whole of the State i.e. urban as well as rural areas in the State.
  • Within two months of executing rental agreement both landowner and tenant are required to intimate to the Rent Authority about the agreement.
  • A digital platform will be set up in the local vernacular language of the State for submitting tenancy agreement and other documents.

Significance of the Act:

  • It will enable creation of adequate rental housing stock for various income segments of society including migrants, formal and informal sector workers, professionals, students etc.
  • It will increase access to quality rented accommodation.
  • It will enable gradual formalization of rental housing market.
  • It will help overhaul the legal framework vis-à-vis rental housing across the country.
  • It will give fillip to private participation in rental housing for addressing the huge housing shortage across the country.

Key Fact:

  • As per Census 2011, nearly 1.1 crore houses were lying vacant in the country and making these houses available on rent will complement the vision of ‘Housing for All’ by 2022.
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