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Section of bank employees threaten nation-wide strike on Feb 7

Section of bank employees threaten nation-wide strike on Feb 7

New Delhi: A section of bank trade unions have threatened to go on a day-long nation-wide strike on February 7 to press various demands including complete removal of restrictions imposed during demonetisation period and safeguarding the autonomy of the Reserve Bank of India.

“It was expected that the government and the RBI would take necessary steps to mitigate the problems faced by the banks and the public but even now, we find that there is acute shortage of cash supply to the banks with the result that branches are not able to honour even the restricted payment of Rs 24,000/100,000 per week,” AIBEA General Secretary C H Venkatachalam said.

Apart from All India Bank Employees’ Association( AIBEA), other unions which will be part of the strike are All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India.

Unions are also demanding publishing names of individuals who have defaulted in paying loans of Rs 1 crore and above so that stringent measures could be taken to recover bad loans.

Other demands of banks include ensuring autonomy of RBI in cash management, compensation to family of general public, bank customers and bank staff who lost their lives in the demonetisation aftermath and payment of overtime to employees and officers for their additional effort during the 50-day demonetisation period.

He added that the government is interfering by appointing officials to monitor cash management which is affecting the autonomy of RBI. Cash management falls under the sole jurisdiction of RBI, he said.

“Humiliated” by the events since demonetisation, even RBI employees had written to Governor Urjit Patel protesting the operational “mismanagement” of the note ban exercise and the government impinging the apex bank’s autonomy.

In a letter, the employees said that the autonomy and image of RBI has been “dented beyond repair” due to mismanagement and termed the appointment of a senior Finance Ministry official for currency coordination as a “blatant encroachment” of the RBI’s exclusive turf.

PTI

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm

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Digital payment promotion gets a boost

Digital payment promotion gets a boost
More than 3.81 lakh consumers and 21,000 merchants win prizes worth Rs.60.90 crore at Digi-Dhan Melas

The Government’s efforts to give a boost to the digital payment systems and the cashless economy, post-demonetization have generated enthusiastic response from the people. People from different age groups, occupations and different walks of life have taken part in a big way in the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-dhan Vyapar Yojana giving a fillip to digital transactions.

More than 3.81 lakh consumers and 21,000 merchants have been declared the winners of prize money worth Rs.60.90 crore at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas across the country.   Giving the details, the Union Minister Law & Justice, Electronics and Information Technology Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Common Service Centres under the Deptt. of Electronics and Information Technology have trained 1.94 crore citizens and 5.93 lakh merchants so far for carrying out transactions through digital payment systems.

The prize money worth Rs. 60.90 crore to over 3.81 lakh winners of NITI Aayogs’s lucky draw schemes ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana, LGY’  for consumers and ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana, DVY’ for merchants has been declared at 24 Digi-Dhan Melas across the country – daily as well as weekly.   The lucky winners include 24 year old Ashutosh Mishra, a mobile shop owner in Rampur, Odisha, 24 year old Jadhav Amit Anil from Ghatkopar, Mumbai, 27 year old Mangesh Anantrao Jadhav from Nasik, 42 year old Suman Sapra from Ulsoor, Bengaluru, Tripta Devi, a 54 year old housekeeper from Andhra Pradesh, among others.  The list includes winners from different walks of life including the small farmers, Anganwadi workers, housewives, labourers, etc.

Data analytics provided by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has highlighted a positive response among the people to adopt digital payments.  Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have emerged as the top 5 states with maximum number of winners.  Active participation has been seen among men and women while most of the winners were in the age group of 21-30 years.

The two schemes were launched on December 25, 2016 and shall remain open till April 14, 2017.  The schemes are aimed at incentivizing the consumers and the merchants to promote digital payments.  15,000 daily winners vie for total prize money of Rs. 1.5 crore at the rate of Rs.1000 per person.  Besides, over 14,000 winners qualify for weekly draws with the total prize money of over Rs. 8.3 crore per week.

Customers and merchants using RuPay Card, BHIM, UPI (Bharat Interface for Money/Unified Payment Interface) USSD based *99# service and Aadhaar enabled Payment Service (AePS) are eligible for participating in the daily and weekly lucky draws.

These lucky draws are being held at Digi-Dhan Melas across the country.  Over 100 Digi-Dhan Melas will be held across the country to inculcate digital payment among the people.  Till date, 24 Digi-Dhan Melas have been held across the country since 25th December, 2016.  These include New Delhi, Gurugram, Ludhiana, Panaji, Dehradun, Lucknow, Ranchi, Raipur, Mumbai, Meerut, Haldwani, Amritsar, Pune, Patna, Vijayawada, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kochi, Bilaspur, Bokaro, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Bengaluru, Jammu and Hyderabad. The exercise has covered so far 12 states and 3 Union territories. By 1st February, the exercise will have covered the cities from 21 States and 4 UTs. The upcoming Digi-Dhan Melas are scheduled to be held as per the following schedule:-

Table – List of cities for Lucky Grahak Scheme draws till February 1, 2017.

 Digital-payment-promotion

 Background:

Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana awards were launched in New Delhi on December 25, 2016 by Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley and Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad to incentivize digital payments. The lucky draws have been planned at over 100 Digidhan Melas spread across the country in 100 different cities till April 14, 2017. The highlights of the Schemes are as follows :

  •  All transactions done by consumers and merchants from November 9, 2016 till April 14, 2017 will be eligible for winning prize under the scheme.
  •  All such transactions irrespective of the fact whether it has won daily / weekly prize, will be eligible for Mega Draw to be conducted on April 14, 2017.
  • Three Mega prizes for consumers worth Rs. 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh.
  •  For merchants too, there would be three mega prizes worth Rs. 50 lakh, Rs. 25 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh.
  • The draw of winners are presented at different centres on each day by the senior officials of NPCI in the presence of senior minister from GoI, representatives of NITI Aayog and general public.
  • Schemes have total outlay of Rs. 340 crore of which – Rs. 300 crores would be spent on consumers and merchants while the remaining Rs. 40 crore on awareness and publicity.
  • Total winners under the scheme are expected to be over 18.75 lakh.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 19, 2017 at 10:54 pm

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Cabinet approves the exclusion of States from the investments of National Small Savings Fund from 1.4.2016

Cabinet approves the exclusion of States from the investments of National Small Savings Fund from 1.4.2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to exclude State Governments States/UTs (with Legislature) except Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh from National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) investments from 01.04.2016. It also approved providing a one-time loan of Rs. 45,000 crore from NSSF to Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet its food subsidy requirements.

The details are as under:-

a) Exclusion of States/UTs (with Legislature) excepting Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi from NSSF Investments. Arunachal Pradesh shall be given loans to the tune of 100% of NSSF collections within its territory, whereas Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh shall be provided 50% of collections.

b) Servicing of interest and principal of debt extended to FCI through the budget line of Department of Food and Public Distribution. The repayment obligation of the FCI in respect of NSSF Loans would be treated as the first charge on the food subsidy released to the Food Corporation of India. In addition, FCI shall reduce the amount of its current Cash Credit Limit with the banking consortium to the extent of the NSSF loan amount.

c) NSSF in the future shall, with the approval of Finance Minister, invest on items the expenditure of which is ultimately borne by Government of India and the repayment of principal and interest thereto would be borne from the Union budget.

The States except Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh shall be excluded from NSSF investments from 01.04.2016. A legally binding agreement will be signed between FCI, Department of Food and Public Distribution and Ministry of Finance on behalf of NSSF on the modalities for repayment of interest rate and principal and the restructuring of FCI debt will be made possible within 2-5 years.

Once states are excluded from NSSF investments, the investible funds of NSSF with Gol will increase. Increased availability of the NSSF loan to Gol may reduce the Gol’s market borrowings. The States will however, see an increase in market borrowings. Any increase in yields due to an increased demand for loanable funds in the market from Centre and States combined would be marginal. The reduction of FCI’s borrowing cost equivalent to the extent of the interest differential will be reflected in the Gol’s savings on the Food Subsidy Bill.

Implementing the decision to exclude states from NSSF investments and extending the loan will entail no additional cost. Instead a reduction in the food subsidy bill of the Gol is anticipated.

Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh will continue availing of NSSF loans, 26 other States and Puducherry who are eligible to borrow from the market have preferred to stop taking loans from the NSSF.

Background:

The Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) recommended that State Governments be excluded from the investment operations of the NSSF. The NSSF loans come at an extra cost to the State Government as the market rates are considerably lower. The Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 22nd February, 2015, accepted that this recommendation will be examined in due course in consultation with various stake holders. Barring Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, the other State Governments/UTs expressed a desire to be excluded from NSSF investments. The involvement of States which are excluded from operations of National Small Savings Fund with effect from 1.4.2016 would be limited solely to discharging the outstanding NSSF debt obligations as on 31.3.2016 (FFC Recommendation). The loan contracted by States till 31.3.2016, from the National Small Savings Fund will stand completely repaid by the Financial Year 2038-39.

NSSF shall extend a part of its collections to Food Corporation of India (FCI) to meet its food subsidy requirement. This will help the FCI reduce its interest cost. FCI presently takes working capital loans through Cash Credit Limit (CCL) at an interest rate of 10.01% and Short Term Loan (STL) at a weighted average interest rate of 9.40%, whereas the NSSF currently charges 8.8% p.a interest on its loans. This savings on interest rate outgo will reduce the food subsidy burden of the Government of India.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 18, 2017 at 5:00 pm

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ATM Withdrawal increased to Rs.10000 per day per card – RBI Notification issued on 16.1.2017

ATM Withdrawal increased to Rs.10000 per day per card – RBI Notification issued on 16.1.2017

Enhancement of withdrawal limits from ATMs and Current Accounts

RBI/2016-17/213
DCM (Plg) No.2559/10.27.00/2016-17

January 16, 2017

The Chairman / Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer,
Public Sector Banks / Private Sector Banks / Foreign Banks /
Regional Rural Banks / Urban Co-operative Banks /
State Co-operative Banks/District Central Co-operative Banks

Dear Sir,

Enhancement of withdrawal limits from ATMs and Current Accounts

Please refer to our circulars DCM (Plg) No. 1274, 1317, 1437 and 2142/10.27.00/2016-17 dated November 14, 21 and 28 and December 30, 2016, respectively, on the above subject.

2. On a review of limits placed on withdrawals from ATMs and current accounts, it has been decided to enhance the same, with immediate effect as under:

(i) The limit on withdrawals from ATMs has been enhanced from the current limit of Rs.4,500/- to  Rs.10,000/- per day per card (It will be operative within the existing overall weekly limit).

(ii) The limit on withdrawal from current accounts has been enhanced from the current limit of Rs. 50,000/- per week to Rs.1,00,000/- per week and it extends to overdraft and cash credit accounts also.

3. There are no changes in the other conditions. The relaxations as provided in our circular dated November 28, 2016 will continue.

4. Please acknowledge receipt.

Yours faithfully,

sd/-
(P Vijaya Kumar)
Chief General Manager

Authority: www.rbi.org.in

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 17, 2017 at 8:01 am

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LPG customers to now get a discount for on-line payment of LPG refill

LPG customers to now get a discount for on-line payment of LPG refill

Oil Marketing Companies, viz IndianOil, BPCL & HPCL are now offering an upfront discount of Rs 5/- on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for their LPG cylinders online. Customers can make payment through existing online modes i.e net banking, credit & debit cards at the time of web-booking their refills.

Customers will get the discounted amount displayed on their screens – i.e. net amount i.e refill RSP minus (-) incentive amount of Rs.5/- which they need to pay for their refill transactions. The net discounted amount will also be shown on the cash memo accompanying the home-delivery of the LPG cylinder.

Under the aegis of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, it the endeavour of all Oil Marketing Companies aim to encourage consumers to increasingly shift to such payment modes through digital platforms to achieve the objective of no-cash or less-cash based transactions. The incentive will encourage more and more LPG consumers to go for cashless mode transactions.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

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Cabinet to meet tomorrow to finalise Budget Session

Cabinet to meet tomorrow to finalise Budget Session

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) will meet tomorrow at 11 a.m. to decide on advancing the Budget Session of Parliament.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair the meeting. Apart from Singh, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar will also be present at the CCPA meeting.

The budget is expected to be presented on February 1 by Jaitley.

The Budget Session is being advanced as the government wants early allocation of funds for various schemes– from April 1, the beginning of the financial year.

The 2017 Budget is going to a historic one as the government, for the first time in 92 years, will present a budget that would be merged with the rail budget.

ANI

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PRESIDENT’S Greetings on the Eve of New Year

PRESIDENT’S Greetings on the Eve of New Year

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has greeted the nation on the eve of the New Year 2017. In a message the President has said:

“On the occasion of New Year, I extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to all my countrymen in India and abroad.

May the New Year bring progress and prosperity to our glorious nation. Let us unite to build an India of our dreams and pledge to make our beautiful country clean and pollution free”.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 31, 2016 at 6:59 pm

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Cash withdrawal from ATMs – Enhancement of daily limits (Rs.2500 to Rs.4500)

Cash withdrawal from ATMs – Enhancement of daily limits (Rs.2500 to Rs.4500)

RBI/2016-17/204
DCM (Plg) No. 2142/10.27.00/2016-17

December 30, 2016

The Chairman / Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer,
Public Sector Banks/ Private Sector Banks / Foreign Banks/
Regional Rural Banks / Urban Cooperative Banks/ State Cooperative Banks
District central Cooperative Banks

Dear Sir,

Cash withdrawal from ATMs – Enhancement of daily limits

Please refer to our circular DCM (Plg) No. 1424/10.27.00/2016-17 dated November 25, 2016 on “Withdrawal of cash from bank deposit account – Relaxation”.

2. On a review of the position, the daily limit of withdrawal from ATMs has been increased (within the overall weekly limits specified) with effect from January 01, 2017, from the existing Rs. 2500/- to Rs. 4500/- per day per card. There is no change in weekly withdrawal limits.Such disbursals should predominantly be in the denomination of Rs.500.

3. The relaxation of withdrawal limits as enabled by our circular DCM (Plg) No. 1437/10.27.00/2016-17 dated November 28, 2016 remains unchanged.

4. Please acknowledge receipt.

Yours faithfully,

(P Vijaya Kumar)
Chief General Manager

Source: https://www.rbi.org.in

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 11:01 am

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Government notifies law on rights of persons with disabilities

Government notifies law on rights of persons with disabilities

New Delhi: Government has notified the recently passed Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill which provides for reservation in government jobs for persons with benchmark disabilities from 3 to 4 per cent, and in higher education institutes from 3 to 5 per cent, Union Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said today.

“The Bill was passed by Parliament in the winter session and then it was sent to the President for his assent. After the nod from the President, it was notified on Wednesday,” Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said on the foundation day of the National Trust.

On the occasion, Gehlot launched the mobile app and Facebook Page of the National Trust.

“Through the app, information regarding the schemes and programmes will be disseminated. The Facebook page was launched with an aim to bring together all NGOs and organisation working in this field on the same platform,” Gehlot said.

With the enforcement of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, every child with benchmark disability between the age group of 6 and 18 years will have the right to free education.

The legislation has been made to bring Indian laws in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Under the newly enacted Act, the types of disabilities have been increased from the existing seven to 21.

The newly added types include mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, chronic neurological conditions, specific learning disabilities, multiple sclerosis, speech and Language disability, thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell disease, multiple disabilities including deaf blindness, acid attack victims and Parkinsons disease.

Also, disability has been defined based on an evolving and dynamic concept and government will have the power to add more types of disabilities.

As per the Act, assaulting, insulting, intimidating, denying food to a person with disability or sexually exploiting a differently-abled woman and performing a medical procedure on such women without consent which may lead in termination of pregnancy will draw a jail term up to five years once the law is passed.

Any person who contravenes any provision of the act will be punished with a maximum fine of Rs 5 lakh.

PTI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 30, 2016 at 7:13 pm

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FinMin invites comments on Watal panel report on digital payment

FinMin invites comments on Watal panel report on digital payment

New Delhi: Finance Ministry today invited comments from stakeholders on the Watal committee report on promoting digital payments, which has suggested a separate regulator to deal with issues concerning payment, among others.

The report of the committee, which was set up last August under the chairmanship of Ratan Watal, Principal Advisor, NITI Aayog, to review medium term measures necessary to promote digital payment, was made public yesterday.

“Comments/suggestions from the members of public are requested within 15 days of hosting the Report on the website of the Ministry of Finance. Decision on the Report will be taken after considering the comments/suggestions received on the Report,” an official statement said.

Stating that the overall objective of the government’s digital initiative is to halve the cash to GDP ratio to 6 per cent over the next three years, the report suggested a host of fiscal incentives to promote digital transactions.

It suggested withdrawal of all charges levied by government departments and utilities on digital payments and making it mandatory for government departments and agencies to provide option to consumers to pay digitally.

Besides, there should be incentives for consumers to make payments (including payment of fines and penalties) to government electronically by giving a discount or cash back and enable consumers to make payments (including taxes) to government through suitable digital means like cards and wallets.

The report also suggested putting a special emphasis on digital payments for recurring low value transactions and reducing custom duties on payments acceptance equipment.

On making regulation of payments independent from the function of central banking, it said the panel weighed two options on how best this could be implemented.

The first was to create a new payments regulator and the other, to make the current Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems (BPSS) within RBI more independent.

The committee also suggested instituting awards to promote digital transaction.

Following submission of the report on December 9, most of the recommendations have already been implemented by the government in its effort to make India a less-cash economy.

“Feedback/comments on the said Report may be sent to the Coin and Currency Division of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, at currency-dea@gov.In,” the statement added.

PTI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 28, 2016 at 5:20 pm

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Demonetisation is short term pain for long term gain: PM Narendra Modi

Demonetisation is short term pain for long term gain: PM Narendra Modi

Raigad (Maharashtra): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday articulated that demonetisation is only short term pain for long term gain, adding that the present regime would not shy away from taking difficult decisions that are in the interest of the country.

“Demonetisation is only short term pain for a long term gain. We will continue with sound economic policies to ensure India’s bright future in the long run,” he said.

Speaking at the inaugural function the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) in Raigad, Prime Minister Modi said that India is being seen as bright spot and to see how far India has travelled one should look back to 2012-13 when the currency was falling sharply.

“India has earned a good name for its well regulated securities markets,” Prime Minister Modi said.

The Prime Minister Modi also expressed the view that public investment has increased in the last three years and progress has been made in ease of doing business.

“Constitutional amendments on GST that remained pending for years has been passed and the long awaited GST will soon be a reality,” he said.

“For financial markets to function successfully, participants need to be well informed,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi further said that those who profit from financial markets must make a fair contribution to nation-building through taxes.

Highlighting the progress made by the Indian economy the Prime Minister said, ” SEBI should work for closer linkage between spot markets like e-NAM and derivatives markets to benefit farmers. The country has made progress and improved the ease of doing business as foreign direct investment(FDI) has now reached record levels.”

The Prime Minister asked stock markets to raise capital in innovative ways for projects in agriculture.

“Government is very keen to encourage start-ups as stock markets are essential for the start-up ecosystem,” he added.

Earlier, Prime Minister Modi arrived in Raigad to inaugurate the new campus of the National Institute of Securities Markets in Panvel.

During his one-day-visit to the state, the Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for the grand memorial of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on an island in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai and a metro project in Pune.

ANI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 24, 2016 at 3:18 pm

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Government to launch lucky draw schemes on Dec 25 to push e-payments

Government to launch lucky draw schemes on Dec 25 to push e-payments

New Delhi: Government today said it will launch awards under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana in 100 cities over 100 days on December 25.

The first draw of the Lucky Grahak Yojana to provide a cashback of Rs 1,000 to 15,000 consumers every day for the next 100 days will be launched on December 25, 2016 in New Delhi, the Niti Aayog said in a statement.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of Electronics & IT Ravi Shankar Prasad will inaugurate the first draw of lots in Delhi.

To create awareness in different parts of the country, this event would be followed in 100 different cities across India over the next 100 days until March, Niti Aayog said.

Winners will be selected on a daily and weekly basis under the Lucky Grahak Yojana and weekly basis under the Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana respectively, leading up to a mega draw on April 14, 2017, thereafter the scheme shall be reviewed for further implementation.

With the goal of ensuring that easy and user-friendly methods of digital payments become a mass movement in India, the government had announced a slew of incentives to encourage general public to move from cash to a digital platform, it added.

Thus discounts will now be given for payments made on a digital platform at petrol stations, for insurance premium, tolls at national highways and for railway tickets.

The statement further said to reduce transaction costs of digital payments several fees and charges being levied so far by banks and on various government portals have either been reduced or done away with.

Besides, schemes have also been launched to improve supply of cards and POS machines in rural areas.

Niti Aayog, along with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) as its implementation partner, launched two major schemes – Lucky Grahak Yojana for consumers and Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana for merchants.

By providing monetary rewards for undertaking Digital Transactions made with Rupay cards, AEPS, UPI Apps and USSD, these schemes attempt to attract general public and facilitate significant behavioural change among public, the NITI Aayog said.

Niti Aayog expressed hope that large sections of the population would be able to shift from a cash based to a digital platform.

In the long-term such a mass movement is expected to shift large sections of the consumer and producer sections which was hitherto in the informal sector to the formal fold of the economy, it noted.

PTI

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State Bank of India will grant special leave of two days to its employees

State Bank to grant two-day special leave to employees

State Bank of India will grant special leave of two days to its employees as reward for having taken additional stress since November 8 when demonetisation was announced.

Employees would be able to avail this leave any time until March 2018, said SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya in Mumbai on Wednesday.

“Our employees will get rewarded, I am sure. We are looking into what can be done. We have already given overtime wherever it is due.”

On the issue of new currency notes being diverted by some bank employees, Bhattacharya clarified that in any system there would be a few bad examples.

She observed that such incidents of Rs.100-200 crore being diverted to a select few had created doubts in the minds of people. The banking sector had dispensed Rs.7 lakh crore worth of money in the system during this period. But those who are guilty of such malpractices will be dealt in accordance with law, she said.

Bankers have been going about their job silently and without being given credit for implementing such a challenging task, she said.

They had been putting in late hours and many could not go home in the initial few days, she said.

The SBI chief said that there were checks and balances in place but if checks were tightened further, banks would not be able to serve their customers.

SBI was using analytics to ascertain the number of notes received by the bank versus the number issued to customers, besides reporting suspicious transactions on a daily basis, Bhattacharya said.

Source : The Hindu

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

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Announcement of new Passport Rules

Announcement of new Passport Rules

1. In order to streamline, liberalize and ease the process of issue of passport, the Ministry of External Affairs has taken a number of steps in the realm of passport policy which is expected to benefit the citizens of India applying for a passport. The details of these steps are given below:

PROOF OF DATE OF BIRTH

2. As per the extant statutory provisions of the Passport Rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after 26/01/1989, in order to get a passport, had to, hitherto, mandatorily submit the Birth Certificate as the proof of Date of Birth (DOB). It has now been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the following documents as the proof of DOB while submitting the passport application:

(i) Birth Certificate (BC) issued by the Registrar of Births & Deaths or the Municipal Corporation or any other prescribed authority whosoever has been empowered under the Registration of Birth & Deaths Act, 1969 to register the birth of a child born in India;

(ii) Transfer/School leaving/Matriculation Certificate issued by the school last attended/recognized educational board containing the DOB of the applicant;

(iii) PAN Card issued by the Income Tax Department with the DOB of applicant;

(iv) Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the DOB of applicant;

(v) Copy of the extract of the service record of the applicant (only in respect of Government servants) or the Pay Pension Order (in respect of retired Government Servants), duly attested/certified by the officer/in-charge of the Administration of the concerned Ministry/Department of the applicant, having his DOB;

(vi) Driving licence issued by the Transport Department of concerned State Government, having the DOB of applicant;

(vii) Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India having the DOB of applicant;

(viii) Policy Bond issued by the Public Life Insurance Corporations/Companies having the DOB of the holder of the insurance policy.

Report of the Inter Ministerial Committee

3. A three-member Committee comprising of the officials of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Women and Child Development was constituted to examine various issues pertaining to passport applications where mother/child has insisted that the name of the father should not be mentioned in the passport and also relating to passport issues to children with single parent and to adopted children. The Report of the Committee has been accepted by the Minister of External Affairs.

The following policy changes have been made inter-alia on the basis of the recommendations of this Committee:

(i) The online passport application form now requires the applicant to provide the name of father or mother or legal guardian, i.e., only one parent and not both. This would enable single parents to apply for passports for their children and to also issue passports where the name of either the father or the mother is not required to be printed at the request of the applicant.

(ii) The total number of Annexes prescribed in the Passport Rule, 1980, has been brought down to 9 from the present 15. Annexes A, C, D, E, J, and K have been removed and certain Annexes have been merged.

(iii) All the annexes that are required to be given by the applicants would be in the form of a self declaration on a plain paper. No attestation/swearing by/before any Notary/Executive Magistrate/First Class Judicial Magistrate would be henceforth necessary.

(iv) Married applicants would not be required to provide Annexure K or any marriage certificate.

(v) The Passport application form does not require the applicant to provide the name of her/his spouse in case of separated or divorced persons. Such applicants for passports would not be required to provide even the Divorce Decree.

(vi) Orphaned children who do not have any proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate or the Matriculation Certificate or the declaratory Court order, may now submit a declaration given by the Head of the Orphanage/Child Care Home on their official letter head of the organization confirming the DOB of the applicant.

(vii) In case of children not born out of wedlock, the applicant for the passport of such children should submit only Annexure G while submitting the passport application.

(viii) In case of issue of passport to in-country domestically adopted children, submission of the registered adoption deed would no longer be required. In the absence of any deed to this effect, the passport applicant may give a declaration on a plain paper confirming the adoption.

(ix) Government servants, who are not able to obtain the Identity Certificate (Annexure-B)/ No-Objection Certificate (Annexure-M) from their concerned employer and intend to get the passport on urgent basis can now get the passport by submitting a self-declaration in Annexure-‘N’ that he/she has given prior Intimation letter to his/her employer informing that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport to a Passport Issuing Authority.

(x) Sadhus/ Sanyasis can apply for a passport with the name of their spiritual Guru mentioned in the passport application in lieu of their biological parent(s) name(s) subject to their providing of at least one public document such as Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC) issued by the Election Commission of India, PAN card, Adhar Card, etc wherein the name of the Guru has been recorded against the column(s) for parent(s) name(s).

4. Necessary notifications would be soon published in the Official Gazette to give effect to these changes. Instructions are also being issued to the Passport Issuing Authorities in India and abroad on these revised regulations.

5. The Ministry of External Affairs expects that the above changes in the Passport Rules would further ease the process for passport applicants in getting their Passport. At the same time, it would enable this Ministry to continue to deliver passport related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce.

PIB

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Government Clarification on Amendment to Payment of Wages Act

Government Clarification on Amendment to Payment of Wages Act

It is seen from the media reports that there is a general impression that is being created that the Government is bringing an amendment to the Payment of Wages Act to make mandatory the payment of wages to the workers only through cheque or accounts transfers. This is not the correct position.

It is clarified that the government proposes to bring an amendment to Section 6 of the Payment of Wages Act which will further provide crediting the wages in the bank account of the employees or payment through cheque along with the existing provisions of payment in current coin or currency notes.

This is being done to facilitate the employers from making payment of wages using the banking facilities also in addition to the existing modes of payment of wages in current coin or currency notes.

Also, the appropriate Government (Centre or State) will have to come up with the notification to specify the industrial or other establishments where the employer shall pay wages through cheque or by crediting the wages in employees’ bank account. It is, therefore, clear that the option of payment through cash is still available with the employers for payment of wages.

It may be understood that the Payment of Wages Act was passed in the year 1936 (eighty years ago) and the situation prevailing at that point of time has completely undergone a technological revolution. Most of the transactions now take place through the banking channels. The proposal of Ministry of Labour and Employment to bring an amendment to Section 6 of the Act is an additional facility of crediting the wages in the bank account of the employees or payment through cheque along with the existing provisions of payment in current coin or currency notes.

The above proposed amendment will also ensure that minimum wages are paid to the employees and their social security rights can be protected. Thus the employers can no longer under-quote the number of employees employed by them in their establishments to avoid becoming a subscriber to the EPFO or ESIC schemes.

It is also pointed out that the states like Andhra Pradesh/Telangana, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana have already come out with notifications to provide for payment through banking channels.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm

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Government, RBI taking steps to lower digital transaction cost: FM

Government, RBI taking steps to lower digital transaction cost: FM

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the government and the Reserve Bank are taking measures to bring down the digital transaction cost with an aim to move towards a less-cash economy.

Chairing the 5th Meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to his ministry, Jaitley said digital transactions are a parallel mechanism, not a substitute, for cash transactions and “cashless economy is actually a less cash economy as no economy can be fully cashless”.

He told the participating Members of Parliament (MPs) that the government is trying to encourage digitisation as much as possible because an excessive cash economy has its own social and economic costs and consequences.

Less cash, he said, can be gradually substituted to the possible extent through digital transactions.

According to an official release, Jaitley said the Centre has announced various incentives to attract people to shift to digital mode of payment and the response is quite positive so far in this regard.

Jaitley further said the government and the RBI have taken various steps to bring down the cost of digital transactions and specifically mentioned about MDR charges.

The Finance Minister added that 55 per cent petrol pumps in the country are accepting payment through digital means and

with the government providing incentives, more people are switching to this mode.

Jaitley further said the government is conscious of the need of cyber security of high level to secure digital payments.

He told the MPs that the government and RBI are fully aware of cyber security challenges and ensuring strong firewalls around the systems.

As part of efforts to promote e-payments, the Finance Minister said the government is providing various incentives for digital transactions including on debit card use.

Regarding the availability of POS machines, he said POS machines are manufactured by two companies in China and the government has waived duties on them so that these machines become cheaper and reach the shopkeepers easily.

PTI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 16, 2016 at 2:52 pm

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Incentivizing Digital Payments

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
NITI Aayog

10-December-2016 18:18 IST

Incentivizing Digital Payments

Government of India has initiated numerous steps to combat the scourge of Corruption and Black Money in the last two and a half years. Demonetization of 500 and 1000 Rs. notes is an important milestone in this endeavour. These large denomination currencies have resulted in a number of ill effects upon the economy. To increase overall transparency in the economy, it is important that we set into motion long term schemes to encourage digital payments so that tax evasion can be minimized.

It is possible to leverage technology to carry out business transactions digitally through online payments, mobile banking, e-wallets, debit cards etc. There are a large number of instruments to move from digital to digi-dhan. In Africa a developing country like Kenya has made this possible. In a country like India where 65% of the population is below 35 years of age, whose IT prowess is well recognized and where even poor and illiterate people exercise their franchise through EVMs, this transformation toward digital economy is definitely possible provided the citizens resolve to do so. This would enable the economy to grow at a faster pace.

In order to realize this vision, we need to encourage electronic payments and nudge the society to move from digital to digi-dhan. There has been a remarkable increase in both volume and amount of digital payment transactions since November 8th. However, it is necessary to ensure that electronic payments are adopted by all sections of the society. In view of the above, NITI Aayog has requested National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) to conceptualize and launch a new scheme to incentivize digital payments. It would be useful to reiterate that NPCI is a not for profit company which is charged with a responsibility of guiding India towards being a cashless society.

The highlights of the proposed incentives scheme are as follows:

• All consumers and merchants using digital payments shall be eligible

• There are two levels of incentive amounts available under the scheme:

• Weekly lucky draw of the transaction IDs generated in that week, the contours of which are being finalized.

• Quarterly draw for grand prizes.

• While designing the scheme the focus will be on poor, lower middle class and small businesses.

• All modes of digital payments- viz. USSD, AEPS, UPI and RuPay Cards- will be eligible.

• For merchants, transactions made on the POS machines installed at their locations would be considered.

• The detailed guideline of the scheme shall be unveiled soon. However, it would be ensured that all those who have used digital payment systems after November 8th shall be eligible to participate in the scheme.

• The scheme would also provide for recognition of State Governments, their Undertakings, Districts and Urban & Rural Local Bodies who innovate for promoting electronic payment in their respective jurisdictions.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 14, 2016 at 10:51 am

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Benefits of Debit Card Activation – FAQ

Benefits of Debit Card Activation – FAQ

QUESTION 1. Why it is important to have active debit cards?

ANSWER: Debit Card makes your payments much more convenient and secure through an
electronic payment facility directly from your bank account. Debit card can be used for purchases online or at shops by directly debiting your Bank account. Debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash from an ATM.

QUESTION 2: How is a customer benefited by debit cards?

ANSWER: Major benefits to customers are

It is more convenient to carry a small, plastic card instead of a bulky Cheque book or a large amount of cash.

Easy to obtain: Once you open an account most institutions will issue you a debit card upon request.

Convenience: Purchases can be made using a chip-enabled terminal or by swiping the card rather than filling out a paper cheque.

Safety: You don’t have to carry cash or a Cheque book. Debit cards are protected by a four digit pin number that you set yourself. This pin is needed to make any purchase with your debit card.

Readily accepted: When out of town (or out of the country), debit cards are usually widely accepted (make sure to tell your financial institution you’re leaving your city; to not have an interruption in service).

It’s a Cash Card Too: Debit cards still have the ability to give you cash, you can take them to an ATM and use them there to withdraw the cash.

Insurance: National Payment Corporation of India has introduced Insurance cover in case of accidental death or permanent disablement of Rs 1 Lac for NonPremium cards (RuPay Classic) and Rs 2 Lac for Premium cards (RuPay Platinum) to eligible RuPay card holders. The RuPay Insurance programme will continue for financial year 2016-17, i.e. from April 01, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

QUESTION 3: Can I use my debit card if I have not used it for long?

ANSWER: Yes. It may however require activation. Please check the forwarding letter that came with your debit card. Please check your Bank website.

QUESTION 4: How do I generate a PIN ?

ANSWER: Banks provide PIN by mail, which is either dispatched by bank to the cardholder address. Some banks also offer Green Pin facility online. Banks also facilitate change of PIN to suit your requirements.

QUESTION 5: What are the recent steps taken for promoting debit card payments?

ANSWER: Some of the recent initiatives towards popularizing Debit card usage are:
MDR (Merchant Discount Rate) which a merchant (Shopkeeper) pays the Bank for POS transaction are reduced to zero on debit cards till 31th, December 2016. Excise duty payable on acquisition of POS machine which was earlier 16.5% has been waived till 31st March 2017.

QUESTION 6: What should you do if a shop asks you for an additional amount for use of your debit card?

Answer: As per the norms prescribed by card networks, shops should not ask for any additional amount called surcharge or convenience fee. You can refuse to pay an additional amount for use of your card and register complaint to your bank on its website or otherwise.

QUESTION 7: Can one refuse to pay additional amount as banks have waived their charges on one of debit cards till 31st December 2016.

Answer: Although all banks have waived MDR up to Dec 31, 2016, customers are not required to pay additional amount even after that if demanded by the shopkeeper, as this is to be paid by the shopkeeper.

QUESTION 8: Why should Merchant encourage card use?

ANSWER: Merchant are benefitted to encourage debit card transaction as:
Cost of Digital transaction is lower than handling Cash.
Deposition of cash in bank is not required as the amount will be automatically credited to account.

Credit History is created for the merchant which will help him in taking more support from banks and other financial initiatives of government time to time.
Manual reconciliation is not required at merchant side. He can always refer to his account.

Accepting payment cards can enable merchants to increase their revenues
Increased sales: Cards enable consumers to make quicker and easier payments.
Better customer service: Electronic payments offer customers more flexible payment options – faster checkout times for customers and a more efficient way of paying. Also, innovations such as Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) payments, allow consumers the ability to purchase and take possession.

Source: http://financialservices.gov.in

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm

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Employees in India may get lower salary hike next year: Report

Employees in India may get lower salary hike next year: Report

New Delhi: Employees are expected to see an average 10 per cent increase in salary in 2017, lower than 10.3 per cent rise this year, and after taking inflation into account, the hike would be a paltry 4.8 per cent, says a report.

According to Korn Ferry Hay Group 2017 Salary Forecast, India salary growth is pegged at 10 per cent, while real wages are expected to rise by 4.8 per cent.

“Salary hikes in India, although still higher than many other countries across the globe, have stabilised and we expect them to be in the 9.5-10.5 per cent range in the next couple of years,” Amer Haleem, Country Manager, Productized Services, Korn Ferry Hay Group said.

Haleem further noted, “We expect them to at the higher end of the range for entry level positions, given that our salaries are much lower at that level compared to most countries, even those within Asia”.

In Asia, salaries are forecast to increase by 6.1 per cent – down 0.3 per cent from last year, while real wages are expected to rise by 4.3 per cent – the highest globally.

The largest real wage increases are forecast in Vietnam (7.2 per cent), Thailand (5.6 per cent) and Indonesia (4.9 per cent).

The report noted that adjusted for inflation, workers around the world are expected to see real wage increases of 2.3 per cent, down slightly from last year’s prediction of 2.7 per cent.

“Although not as high as last year when we saw a three- year high, there are still positive real wage gains across the globe,” said Benjamin Frost, Korn Ferry Hay Group Global Manager – Pay.

Despite the turmoil following the Brexit decision, the United Kingdom is expected to see raises of 2.5 per cent (the same as the last three years). Adjusted for inflation, real wages are to increase by 1.9 per cent in 2017, which is slightly higher than the Western European average.

Workers in France and Germany are forecast to see real wage rises of 1.5 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.

“The global labor market is in flux as slower economic growth in mature economies keeps a check on pay rises. In emerging economies, upskilling workers is crucial for companies to maintain a competitive advantage – and those skilled employees can expect to see wages rise as talent shortages in certain regions drive salaries up,” Frost said.

The data was drawn from Hay Group PayNet which contains data for more than 20 million job holders in 25,000 organizations across more than 110 countries.

PTI
Workers in France and Germany are forecast to see real wage rises of 1.5 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.

“The global labor market is in flux as slower economic growth in mature economies keeps a check on pay rises. In emerging economies, upskilling workers is crucial for companies to maintain a competitive advantage – and those skilled employees can expect to see wages rise as talent shortages in certain regions drive salaries up,” Frost said.

The data was drawn from Hay Group PayNet which contains data for more than 20 million job holders in 25,000 organizations across more than 110 countries.

PTI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 8, 2016 at 10:16 pm

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Latest Guidelines for nomination in SCOVA

Latest Guidelines for nomination in SCOVA

The Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies (SCOVA) is a forum for holding consultation with the stakeholders, i.e., the pensioners through their Associations and various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India to get feedback on implementation of pension related policies, to discuss and critically examine the policy initiatives and to mobilise voluntary efforts to supplement the Government action.

A mechanism has been put in place for nomination of a Standing Group comprising of 5 Associations and a Rotating Group comprising of 10 Associations through a Resolution issued from time to time. As per the existing mechanism the Standing Group serves for 3 terms of 2 years each or till the pleasure of the Chairman of SCOVA whichever is earlier and Rotating Group serves for 1 term of 2 years and is eligible for re-nomination for one more term. These Associations represent various categories of Central Government pensioners from various Regions/States.

This was stated by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply to a question by Shri Mahendra Singh Mahra in the Rajya Sabha today.

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