1. RBI cuts interest rate by 0.25 pc, keep CRR unchanged
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 3 May 2013 reduced the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points, from 7.5 per cent to 7.25 per cent with immediate effect as part of its annual monetary policy statement 2013-14.
ii. The reverse repo rate under the LAF also stands adjusted to 6.25 per cent. The RBI took this step to boost flagging economic growth.
iii. The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate, both stand adjusted to 8.25 per cent with immediate effect. The cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks has however been retained at 4 per cent of their net demand and time liabilities.
iv. In its Monetary Policy Statement the RBI has stated that the balance of risks stemming from the Reserve Bank's assessment of the growth-inflation dynamic yields little space for further monetary easing.
v. Interest rates on home and car loans will ease following RBI’s decision to cut key policy rates. The next mid-quarter review of Monetary Policy for 2013-14 will be announced on17 June 2013
vi. Cash reserve ratio kept unchanged at 4 per cent.
Repo rate – 7.25%
R. Repo Rate – 6.25%
CRR – 4%
MSF – 8.25%
Bank Rate – 8.25%
SLR – 23%
2. Sarabjit cremated with state honours
i. The mortal remains of Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh, who died after being brutally assaulted in a Pakistani jail, were today consigned to flames in his village with full state honours amid emotional scenes.
ii. A contingent of Punjab Police reversed their arms and then fired shots in the air as a mark of respect to 49-year-old Sarabjit, who died yesterday in a Lahore hospital.
iii. A large crowd comprising villagers and VIPs, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and representatives of other political parties bid a heartfelt adieu to Sarabjit, whose body was brought to Bikhiwind late last night, 23 years after he inadvertently crossed over to Pakistan.
iv. Wrapped in the tricolour, the body had been placed at a school ground for the people to pay their last respect.
v. Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, has demanded action against all those who played a role in the assault on Sarabjit Singh.
vi. The commission called upon Islamabad and New Delhi to take urgent measures to prevent the incident from undermining bilateral ties and to improve the lot of detainees from the other country in each other’s prisons.
NOTE: i. 49-year-old Sarabjit, the second Indian prisoner to die in notorious Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore this year, was brutally attacked on Friday by six fellow inmates as he and other prisoners were brought out of their cells for a break.
ii. Another Indian prisoner Chamel Singh also died in the same jail in January.
iii. Sarabjit was convicted of alleged involvement in bomb attacks in Punjab province that killed 14 people in 1990 and spent about 22 years in Pakistani prisons.
iv. His mercy petitions were rejected by the courts and former President Pervez Musharraf.
3. RBI pegs 5.7 percent growth for current fiscal
i. Projecting a modest pick-up in economic activity in the coming months, Reserve Bank pegged the GDP growth rate for the current fiscal at 5.7 pc, significantly lower than the Finance Ministry's forecast of 6.1 to 6.7 pc.
ii. "The Reserve Bank's baseline projection of GDP growth for 2013-14 is 5.7 per cent...The bank's current assessment is that activity will remain subdued during the first half of this year with a modest pick-up in the second half, subject to appropriate conditions ensuing," RBI said in its annual monetary policy review for 2013-14 on Friday.
iii. The RBI's current fiscal year's growth estimate of 5.7 percent is much lower than the finance ministry's growth projection of 6.1-6.7 percent and Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council's growth projection of 6.4 percent for 2013-14.
iv. It is also lower than the World Bank's growth projection, which predicted Indian economy to grow by 6.1 percent in 2013-14 on account of robust domestic demand, strong savings and investment rate.
v. India's headline inflation in March fell to its lowest in more than three years at 5.96 percent, but the consumer price index remained elevated at 10.39 percent.
4. India, Japan, US hold trilateral dialogue
i. India, Japan and the US held their fourth tri-lateral dialogue in which they discussed wide range of regional and global issues of mutual interest, including prospects of greater Indo-Pacific commercial connectivity.
ii. "These discussions focused on the prospect of greater Indo-Pacific commercial connectivity," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said at his daily news conference.
iii. A readout of the meeting later in the day said the discussions focused on the prospect of greater Indo-Pacific commercial connectivity and regional and maritime security, and cooperation in multilateral fora.
iv. The group agreed to meet again in the fall in Tokyo to continue their deliberations.
5. Jaipur Metro to start operations in August
i. Jaipur metro will be operational from the first week of August, a state minister said on Thursday.
ii. State UDH Minister Shanti Dhariwal said "the remaining work of the first phase of Jaipur Metro project is scheduled to be completed by the first week of August after which the service of the Jaipur Metro will be available for public".
iii. However, the Minister said, that there should be no compromise with safety aspects. Jaipur Metro Corporation MD Nihal Chand Goyal briefed the minister about the progress of the project
6. CSK beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs
i. Chennai Super Kings choked a marauding Kings XI Punjab with a brilliant three-wicket burst in the last over, by Dwayne Bravo, to record their seventh straight victory and to virtually seal their place in the kncok-out phase of the Pepsi IPL on Thursday
ii. But the victory would not have been possible without Suresh Raina's superb ton, built on six sixes and seven fours, as it helped CSK record a 15-run win over Kings XI at the M Chidambaram stadium.
iii. Raina scored an unbeaten 100 in Chennai Super Kings' total of 186 for four and then the bowlers kept their cool to restrict Kings XI to 171 for six despite a brilliant conter-attacking partnership of 95 between between Shaun Marsh, who scored a 51-ball 73 (8x4, 2x6) and David Miller (51 not out, 26 balls, 5x4, 2x6).
iv. The win took CSK's points tally to 18 from 11 matches and they are now all but through to the last four stage of the competition.
v. The seventh successive win is an IPL record which they now share with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
7. AITA nominates Somdev for Khel Ratna
i. Somdev Devvarman might have led a players' rebellion against the national tennis federation but AITA has recommended his name for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 2013.
ii. Somdev has achieved some great results on the ATP tour as well as in the multi-discipline games for India after turning a pro.
iii. He won the singles gold in 2010 Commonwealth Games and gold in both singles and doubles in the Guangzhou Asian Games the same year.
8. Bhutto case prosecutor gunned down in Pakistan
i. Federal Investigation Agency prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfizar Ali handling the 26/11 Mumbai attack case and Benazir Bhutto assassination case was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen in Islamabad,
ii. Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali was heading to a court in Rawalpindi, where he was trying a case stemming from the death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated while she was campaigning for her party.
iii. Ali's attackers opened fire on his car as it passed through an Islamabad neighborhood,
iv. He was rushed to a hospital, but died before arrival, said hospital spokesman Dr. Wasim Khawaja.