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Sep 14 th, 2015
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Indian Economy

Economy

28th Nov – 10th Dec

  • CBDT signed 11 unilateral APA with Indian subsidiaries of foreign companies.
    Earlier various MNCs have misused transfer pricing system like vodafone, shell, Nokia etc. who misused the system to transfer profits to their subsidiaries in other countries with low tax rates.

  • After government has relaxed FDI in railway sector to 100% in 2014, the first major investment has been finally done by GE and Alstom of Rs. 40K crore to set up a electric locomotive factory in Madhepura (Bihar) and a diesel locomotive factory in Marhowrah (Bihar). It is a good step forward in making possible the Make-In-India initiative.
  • Yuan has been included into the reserve currency basket of IMF thus making it fifth freely usable currency globally with other being Dollar, Yen, Pound Sterling and Euro.
    Criteria for any currency to be included in this basket are:
    – Free usability i.e. widely used in world for various transactions, – Country must have a high export value
    Yuan is the old name of Chinese currency which since 1949 has been known as Renminbi which in mandarin (i.e. China’s official language) means the people’s currency.

  • Credit rating agency Brickwork report gave a insight about various activities in states of India viz.
    – Biggest State Economy: Maharashtra
    – Manufacturing: Gujarat
    – Services Sector: Karnatka
    – Fastest Growing: Bihar
    – Slowest Growing: Telangana

  • RBI 5th bi-monthly monetary policy review didn’t changed anything and kept everything as it is viz.
    Repo rate: 6.75%.
    Reverse repo rate: 5.75%
    MSF and Bank Rate: 7.75%
    CSS: 4% of NDTL
    – Liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25% and under 14-day tern repos upto 0.75% of NDTL

  • Cabinet has given approval for signing a DTAC agreement with Japan which will have various implications like:
    – Avoidance of double taxation, – No fiscal evasion, – Exchange of tax related information, – Sharing of information with other law enforcement agencies etc.

  • Chief Economic Adviser Dr. Arvind Subramanian led committee has suggested standard tax rate of 17-18% for GST.
    GST seeks to subsume all central and state indirect taxes into single indirect tax, – Enhance federalism by removing tax barriers, – Establishing a common economic market, – Increasing government revenue and reducing business costs etc.

  • Singapore replaced Mauritius as the top FDI source for India with investment of about $ 6.69 bn in comparison to $3.66 bn by Mauritius.
  • Parliament passed negotiable Instruments (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which seeks to amend Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 to make cheque-bounce filing of cases more convenient for check payees.
    It has provisions like cases to be filed in court whose jurisdiction the bank branch of the payee lies. If case has been registered in multiple courts then it will be transferred to court with appropriate jurisdiction.

  • CCEA approved measures to increase pulses production to deal with food inflation due to absurd increase in prices of pulses.
    – Procurement at prices above MSP by agencies like FCI, NAFED, SFAC etc., If prices fall below MSP procurement will be done at MSP both under Price Stabilization Fund.
    India faces shortage even after being the highest producer of pulses in the world, – Presently pulses production is promoted under National Food Security Mission (NFSM) under which initiatives like providing improved variety seeds, pest management, water saving devices etc. is considered.

17th – 27th Nov

  • “Competition Commission of India (CCI) slapped penalties on three airlines i.e. on Jet Airways, Indigo and Spicejet who acts in collusion with each other to fix cargo fuel surcharge rates hence affected the competitive practices and economic development of the country.
    Fuel surcharge has been imposed to mitigate fuel price volatility.
    CCI is a quasi judicial body established to eliminate practices adversely affecting competition in India whose predecessor was MRTPC which was working before 1991 economic reforms. It’s a statutory body established under The Competition Act of 2002.”

  • “CCEA has approved 10% disinvestment in Coal India Ltd (government currently holds 79.65% stakes in CIL), which is 3rd time the disinvestment is happening in the history of CIL and will fetch around Rs. 21,000 crores. It is part of government’s target of raising Rs. 69,500 crores through disinvestment and so far Rs. 12500 crores have been raised.
    CIL is headquartered in Kolkata, state controlled, largest coal producer in their world, contributes to 81% of coal needs of India, controlled by Ministry of Coal, has maharatna status etc.”

  • “Tata Steel commissioned first phase of its steel plant in Kalinganagar on Odisha.
    Salient Features: Largest greenfield steel project in India – Production capacity of 6 MTPA, blast furnace with capacity of 4,330 cubic meteres, – employment to 45000 people, – advanced carbon hearth technology, – On-site power generation of 202 MW”

  • “CCEA decided to pay a production price of Rs. 4.50 per quintal to sugarcane farmers.
    Implications:
    – Cost to exchequer: Rs. 1,147 crores, – Will help farmers to offset cost of sugarcane, – Facilitate timely payment of cane prices to farmers, – Sugar mills faces currently problem of liquidity crunch due to low prices of sweetener in market and so they don’t get enough profits to pay to cane farmers.
    In last two crushing seasons government was giving subsidy direct to sugar millers which is now abandoned due to objection by WTO.”

  • “Asian Development bank have agreed to provide loan for second Bangladesh-India grid connectivity project under ambitious South Asia Sub-regional Economic Co-operation (SASEC) Program to promote regional prosperity through improved cross-border links in trade, power, road and rail links. This second project will increase the current capacity from 500 to 1000 MW i.e. from power grid of Bheramara in western Bangladesh to Bahrampur in Odisha.
    SASEC:
    – Set up in 2001 between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to strengthen economic cooperation, improving trade, cross-border connectivity, better quality life for people etc.”

  • “Harshvardhan Neotia has been elected as new President of federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). FICCI was established in 1927 in New Delhi is non-governmental and non-profit organization, largest and oldest apex business organization in India whose main aim is to:
    a. Enhance competitiveness and efficiency of Indian industries,
    b. Enhancing business opportunities in both domestic and foreign markets”

4th – 16th Nov

  • RBI and Finance Ministry has arrived at a mid-way position following RBI’s opposition on proposed amendments by FimMin to RBI Act.
    A new five member Monetary Policy Committee is being proposed, as currently governor although can be advised by a technical committee but he can still veto decisions, hence being sole authority in case of monetary policy.

  • Raghuram Rajan has been appointed as Vice Chairman of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) which was established in 1930, is world’s oldest financial organisation has head office at Basel in Switzerland for stability of central banks of countries and fostering international cooperation.
  • Government launched three gold related schemes viz.
    a. Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) to deposit gold of residents and providing interest on it, which will be applicable in all scheduled commercial banks except RRB. Minimum deposit must be 30 grams of 995 fineness with no maximum limit, there is also a minimum lock in period.
    B. Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS) to reduce demand of physical bond. These bonds will be available in DEMAT and paper form tradable in stock exchange etc. Bonds will be denominated in multiples of grams with a basic unit of one gram and two gram as minimum investment limit and 500 grams as maximum; plus it will be sold to only resident Indian entities.
    c. Indian Gold Coin and Bullion Scheme: One side national emblem ashok chakra and on other mahatma gandhi’s image, which are easily liquidates. It will be first ever national gold coin and both are part of gold monetisation scheme, plus coins are available in 5 and 10 grams denomination.

  • CCEA took decision to hike the MSP for major Rabi crops including Wheat, gram and pulses to boost the production in the wake of acute shortage that the country is facing. MSP is the market intervention by central government to ensure that agricultural producers are protected against any sharp fall in farm prices.

      24th Oct – 3rd Nov

      • Government set up R.V.Easwar Committee to si plify provision of IT Act, 1961 i.e. to identify provisions leading to litigation, provisions which need simplification, provision impacting ease of doing business etc. and to make modifications in the tax laws related to same without substabtial impact on revenue collection and tax base.
      • India placed at 130th position among 189 countries in World bank’s 2016 Ease of Doing Business Report. India improved its ranking by 4 spots compared to last 134th rank.
      • RBI allowed Indian corporates to issue offshore rupee-dominated bonds in foreign countries which has several implications like
        a. Investment made will be exempted from capital gains tax

      • RBI allowed NRI’s to subscribe National Pension System (NPS) which was launched in 2004 and is goverened by PFRDA with aim to institute pension reforms and inclucate the habit of saving for time after retirement.
      • India ranked 7th in world’s most valuable nation brand with brand value of over $2.1 bn. Valuation is based on 5 year forecasts of sales of all rbands in each nation followed by using GDP as a proxy for total revenues.

      21-23 Oct

      • Annually India imports approximately 5 million tonnes of pulses for domestic consumption from countries like Canada and Australia.
      • RBI allowed banks to fix their own interest rates for gold deposited under the Gold Monetisation Scheme. Banks may sell or lend gold accepted under the deposit to MMTC for minting new gold coins. This scheme is basically started to mobilise approximately 20,000 tonnes of precious metal lying idle with Indian households.
      • Japan offering both technology as well as funding for India’s ambitious first bullet train project between Mumbai-Ahmedabad.
      • Union government imposed anti-dumping duty on chinese auto parts used in heavy and medium commercial vehicles for a period of five years.

      14 – 19 Oct

      • RBI formed Financial Inclusion Fund with Rs. 2000 crore corpus expanding reach of financial services. It was established as a single entity by merging financial inclusion fund and financial inclusion technology fund for funding the setting up and operational cost for running financial inclusion and literacy centres.
      • RBI and UAE Central bank signed a MoU for supervisory cooperation and exchange of supervisory information among the authorities.

      9 – 13 Oct

      • Rajasthan government unviled Startup Policy, 2015 to strengthen start up environment, for support, mobilising angel and venture capital etc.
      • Vodafone wins tranfer pricing dispute case against Indian Income Tax authorities which had imposed Rs. 3,700 crore transfer pricing on it, where transfer pricing is referred to the fixing of the price of goods and services sold between related legal subsidiaries within an enterprise.

      8 Oct

      • Banks are a major cause of NPAs by lending loans to developers far higher than the governments project cost estimates: Officials.
      • Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana: By Finance Ministry to fund the unfunded. It will provide loans from public sector, regional, rural, State and urban cooperative banks to non-farm income generating enterprises in manufacturing, trading and services whose credit needs are below Rs.10 lakh. PMMY can be availed under three categories — Shishu, which will cover loans up to Rs. 50,000; Kishor for loans above Rs. 50,000 and up to Rs. 5 lakh; Tarun for loans above Rs. 5 lakh and up to Rs. 10 lakh.
      • Productivity linked bonus have been approved for 12.58 lakh non-gazetted railway employees.
      • In its fight against black money Union cabinet approved amendments to the existing double taxation avoidance convention (DTAC) between India and Israel and also with Vietnam. The DTAC provides for internationally accepted standards for effective exchange of information on tax matters including bank information.
      • In order to promote movement of cargo through coastal waters, Union government has exempted customs and excise duty on the use of bunker fuels by Indian ships. Levy of customs and central excise duty on bunker fuels, which raises cost of transportation acts as hindrance to the growth of coastal shipping.

      7 Oct

      • RBI relaxes norms for FPI investment in government debt. RBI announced higher investment limits in rupee terms in government securities by FPIs with a view to bringing in an additional Rs. 1.2 lakh crore by March 2018

      6 Oct

      • The outgo on subsidies is down to 1.6% of GDP in 2015-16 from 2.5% in 2012-13.
      • Import duty on ghee, butter and butter oil raised by 10-40%, after domestic milk producers of sought duty protection following a steep decline in the global prices of these dairy products.

      5 Oct

      • RBI saying hat with 50 basis point reduction in repo rate will attract an average annual flow of Rs. 48, 000 crore in government bonds from overseas investors for the next three years. The limits for FPI in government securities would be increased in phases to 5% of the outstanding stocks by March 2018, from current level of 3.7%.
      • SEBI wants mutual funds to lower the cost of investments and be more vigilant about risky assets to safeguard investor’s interest and help them maximize returns. SEBI also wants fund houses to improve their disclosure regime and make it simpler for investors by doing away with the current practice of having too many schemes.

      3 Oct

      • S&P: India should benchmark its natural gas process to similar gas-deficient nations instead of using rates prevalent in gas-surplus geographies. Their statement comes seeing the rate cut last week. It is of the opinion that neither India has developed transport infrastructure for it (still emerging) nor it has surplus production, so it must follow the pricing formula prevalent in such economies.
      • Seeing the increasing domestic demand of gasoline, experts are of the opinion that India’s gasoline or petrol exports will fall by 98% by 2019 and will become the second largest importer of gasoline after Indonesia by 2024.
      • DIPP notifies automatic FDI route for white label ATMs under automatic route, but it is applicable to only private non-bank companies with minimum net worth of Rs. 100 crore.

      2 Oct

      • IRDAI to roll out norms on reinsurance, governance to call upon the industries to come together and create a platform to combat frauds in the sector.

      23 Sept – 1 Oct

      • RBI reduced the repo rate by 50 basis points from 7.25% to 6.75% in its 4th bi-monthly report, CRR remained same at 4%, Reverse repo rate becomes 5.75%.

      22 Sept

      • Small tea Growers in West Bengal and Assam are facing distress due to low prices being offered by bought leaf factories (BLF). They account for about 35% of India’s annual tea output approx. 1,100 million kg. The BLF sector held that it was unable to pay higher prices for the green leaf as quality was not good and price realization was low. Tea Board said that it is important that small growers harvest quality green leaf and the BLF sector too should stop purchasing if they found leaf quality to be below par.
      • NG production increased by 3.7% first time in last five years and crude oil production by 5.6%. The increase in ONGC’s onshore has production is due to its fields in Andhra Pradesh and Tripura. ONGC, Oil India and Cairn India asked the Centre on Monday to cut the cess on crude oil they have to pay in view of the ongoing slump in prices.

      21 Sept

      • “India’s merchandise exports to decline by over 13% in FY16 mainly due to sharp erosion in commodity prices globally.
        The entire export drop is not on the back of fall in demand for Indian goods only. The global merchandise economy has moved away sharply from a very high cost, ultra bullish commodity situation to a bearish and low cost situation where demand relates mainly to the actual consumption which is rather low key.”

      • India sees scope of raising it’s tea supply to Russia as it was supplying 50 million kg tea to Russia earlier, which declined to 40 million kg in last six years. But Russia has demand of 160 million kg of tea annually, with Sir Lanka, Kenya and India being the three major exporters.

      19 Sept

      • With inflation in decline and the US Fed emerging markets a lifeline by not raising interest rates, there is a favorable environment for monetary policy action by the RBI. The RBI has cut interest rate by 0.75 percentage points this year in three tranches.
      • Government hiked duty on edible oil by 5% in a bid to safeguard the domestic industry. Now duty on crude edible oil stands at 12.5% and on edible oil segment at 20%.
      • SEBI has asked listed companies to inform stock exchanges at least two working days in advance about board meetings on proposals related to buyback of securities, voluntary delisting and fund raising. The move is aimed at bringing in greater transparency in the business affairs of the listed firms.

      18 Sept

      • USFR is keeping US interest rates at record low in the face of threats from a weak economy, persistently low inflation and instable financial markets. Signs of a sharp slowdown in China have intensified fear among investors about the US and global economy. And low oil prices and a high-priced dollar have kept inflation undesirably low. China’s surprise decision to devalue its currency ignited fears that the world’s second – largest economy was weakening faster than assumed.
      • “RBI: Sustained low inflation over medium to long term is necessary to bring down the cost of fund. The higher the cost of restructuring, the higher the cost of debt workout, the more it builds in the cost of capital from the side of the lender and this is something we are in middle of addressing. A vibrant banking system is important for lowering cost of capital and a lower taxation too is helpful.
        Licenses for small finance banks with focus on small borrowers have been announced for creating entrepreneurial numbers to create one million jobs per month.”

      • RBI said that Indian is well prepared to deal with Fed rate hike, saying that we trying to make the fundamentals of our economy strong so that our ability to resist these changes can substantially improve. Said that whether it is fundamentals of our economy, foreign exchange reserves or ability to access various markets, India can deal those types of macro events.
      • “Federation of Associations of Maharashtra (FAM) has opposed the 20% safeguard duty on hot-rolled imports, saying the move will kill small and medium steel businesses, and also threat to take legal measures. FAM said that domestic steel makers have been selling steel to domestic consumers at about 20% higher even though international prices are low helping them to pay service their debt. Therefore, the safeguard duty is unjustified and intolerant.
        According to Moody’s the 20% safeguard duty on some variants of steel imports (i.e. hot rolled coil steel imported into the country) is credit positive for domestic producers because the duty will support domestic steel prices, improve producers profitability and their leverage metrics.”

      17 Sept

      • Karnatka High Court has declared that companies are not liable to pay VAT for software “implementation” process, which happens after the installation of customized software. Court said that as implementation is included under the definition of taxable services under the Service Tax Act by Parliament, the State has no power to levy VAT treating it as transfer of property in goods or otherwise.
      • RBI allows 10 companies to set up small finance banks. The approval will be valid for 18 months to enable the applicants to comply with the requirements.

      16 Sept

      • “Trade related stats of India for August 2014 and 2015 shows that trade deficit been widened, viz.
        – Export decreased by 20.66%
        – Import decreased by 10%
        – Oil imports decreased by 42.6%
        – Non-Oil imports increased by 7%”

      • SEBI the Capital Market Regulator of India has decided to conduct a nationwide investor survey to understand investment habits of individuals and households in different parts of the country.
      • RBI may limit size of lender consortiums, in a bid to encourage banks to carry out better independent credit checks and do more to chase rogue borrowers.
      • Government has permitted foreign investments through partly paid shares and warrants in a move to facilitate FDI in the country.

      15 Sept

      • India has emerged as the 3rd largest producer of pharmaceutical drugs in the world and every third pill consumed across the globe was made in India.
      • Gujarat comes 1st in World Bank’s first ever ranking of states on the ease of doing business in India. Reasons for top rank are: e-payments of taxes and reforms_ construction permits_ ease of business_ environmental clearances etc.
      • Centre imposes 20% safeguard duty on select steel products with a view to protect domestic producers from recent surge in inward shipment. Safeguard duty is a_ WTO-compatible temporary measure that is brought in for a certain time frame to avert any damage to a country’s domestic industry from cheap imports.

      [table caption= width=”1000″ colwidth=”75″ colalign=”Center|Left”]
      Date,Content

      26 August, Markets rebound as China cuts interest rates to rejuvenate its economy and markets.
      26 August, Technical advisory committee suggested a rate cut while RBI kept it unchanged at 7.25%.
      26 August, RBI deputy governor said that Indian economy is doing good and has good long and short term policies. He said that on today’s complex environment to plug the loopholes_ financial institutions should make an effort to learn from each other’s experiences and share best practices. New financial products should be run through a regulator before they are introduced in market. Timely approval is much needed to unhurt innovator’s interest.
      26 August, Increase in foreign equity from some present percentage to more in any company in India also requires approval from FIPB. And as we know FDI beyond a certain limit requires approval of CCEA and less than that are approved by FIPB

      27 August, BSNL with its new mouthwatering schemes like free roaming added around 8 lakh customers in its base. These are speculations that with free night calling number of landlines will also increase.

      28 August, Smart city is one that uses information and communication technologies to enhance citizen engagement. Sites for safe investment as well. SBM_ AMRUT etc. will complement each other.
      28 August, RBI warned government that any delay in reform of the banking system would lead to greater risk in the economy.
      28 August, EXIM bank utilizing the opportunity of yuan devaluation by picking up it at an attractive rates_ suggesting corporates too to make some cheap imports by way of raw materials. China by devaluing its currency Yuan_ was trying to export away inflation while neutralizing the dominance of the US dollar.
      28 August, SEBI wants to make trading of corporate bonds mandatory on stock exchanges_ but RBI is of the opinion to make this option voluntary. SEBI feels that the move would bring in the much-needed transparency in the corporate bonds market.
      28 August, 2% cess on airfares to fund flights in regional and remote areas such as north east.

      29 August, India’s external debt increased by 6.6% to $475.8 bn in 2014-15. Increase in long-term external debt was primarily on account of rise in commercial borrowings and NRI deposits. The growth in commercial borrowings can be attributed to the rise in commercial bank loans and securitized borrowings. Short term external debt was at $84.7 bn down by 7.6% mainly due to decline in FII investment in Government Treasury Bills. The ratio of Indian’s external debt stock to gross national income at 23% was the 6th lowest with China having the lowest ratio at 9.5%. In terms of cover provided by FOREX to external debt_ India’s position was 6th highest at 64.7%.
      29 August, SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said that government need to think about ‘ways and means’ to sustain social security schemes such as PMJDY in the long run and compensate PSBs to make such initiatives commercially viable. The bank is looking at compensation such as a hike in commissions for transferring subsidy under the direct benefit transfer scheme.
      29 August, Scheduled commercial banks credit growth slowed to 8.6% compared to 12.9% of last year. Bank deposits grew by 10.6%. PSBs accounted for largest share of 72.5% in aggregate deposits and 70.4% in gross bank credit followed by private sectoe banks at 19.8% and 20.6% respectively.

      31 August, Inflation down quicker than expected and so rates can be cut: Rajan.
      31 August, Free trade pacts affecting paper industry feeling the heat of the cheap imports of raw materials at a time when the country’s green laws bar paper manufacturers from taking up farm forestry projects for accessing the same raw materials indigenously. Wood industry can add significantly to India’s GDP_ employment potential_ farmer incomers and greening India. However_ due to raw material shortage he furniture segment is slowly shrinking.

      1 Sept, At 7%_ India remains fastest growing major economy. In terms of GVA growth was 7.1%. The revised methodology for GDP calculation subtracts subsidy and adds taxes to the GVA to arrive at the GDP.
      1 Sept, RBI declares SBI_ ICICI bank Domestic Systematically Important Banks (D-SIBs). The D-SIB framework requires the RBI to disclose the names of banks designated as D-SIBs every year in August starting from August 2015. Now they will be under better observation to avoid to make them default.

      2 Sept, FinMIn announced that MAT will be waived of on capital gains made by FIIs prior to April 1_ 2015. Decision comes in the wake of pulling out of money by FIIs of approximately $2.65 bn. A. P. Shah Committee said that there is no legal basis for levying 20% MAT on past capital gains.
      2 Sept, Seeing gross financial irregularities in cargo handling at the 12 major ports_ Ministry of Shipping issued a new policy to handle cargo which asks to set up a “transparent auction system to locate vendors and handlers who would provide the highest revenue share”.
      2 Sept, Defense acquisition council headed by Defense Minister Manohar Parikar clears projects worth over Rs. 13000 cr.
      2 Sept, With inflation in the CPI falling to an eight-month low and in the WPI to a historic low_ the expectation is that this will boost consumption in the coming months.
      2 Sept, Russia is India’s single largest tea importer. Turkey preferred black tea and hence Sri Lanka and India exports it to them_ with the former along with Vietnam commanding a sizeable share of the market now.
      2 Sept, RBI proposed a formula to calculate the base rate for lending to bring uniformity among banks for calculation of base rate and for effective transmission of policy rates. RBI suggested banks to consider marginal cost of funds to calculate individual lending rates. The components of base rate will include cost of funds_ negative carry on CRR/SLR_ un-allocable overhead costs and average return on net worth. It was observed that Base rates based on marginal cost of funds are more sensitive to changes in the policy rates.
      4 Sept, Fair trade regulator looking into the charges of cartelization among the airlines in fixing airfares. It is of the opinion that airfares are a cartel matter in which airlines gang up to increase fare. Whenever the prices go up suddenly and are abnormally high_ there is the feeling that the airlines are working in conjunction.
      4 Sept, SEBI notifies revised listing regulations with two provisions which are applicable with immediate effect. These pertain to passing of ordinary resolution instead of special resolution in case of all material related part transactions subject to related parties abstaining from voting on such resolutions. Secondly_ re-classification of promoters as public shareholders under various circumstances.
      5 Sept, RBI crisis fund have fallen to 8.4% of total assets_ against a target of 12%. RBI has made no transfers to its contingency fund or Asset Development Fund in the past two years. Annual report shows RBI transferred 99.9% of its profits to the centre without keeping funds for itself.
      5 Sept, Raghuram Rajan urges global economies to hiker rates but not in one go.
      7 Sept, In light of high loan repayment among the poor_ Yunus recommends special banks to cater to their needs. Even today_ a large section of the poor the world over remain cut off from the banking sector. In our experience_ there is a high rate of loan repayment from the poor. So we need to trust them more and provide maximum services to them. For this_ instead of commercial banks independent banks for the poor should be created_ the Nobel Peace Prize winner said.
      9 Sept, Union cabinet is expected to take a decision on permitting 100% FDI in white labeled ATM operations under the automatic route_ a move aimed at promoting financial inclusion. It aims at increasing the number of ATMs in smaller cities and towns_ enhancing financial inclusion in the country. As per the current policy_ foreign investment is allowed under the government approval route.
      10 Sept, The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved two schemes — the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme and the Gold Monetisation Scheme — that could bring an estimated 20000 tonnes of idle gold lying with Indian consumers into the economy and also reduce India’s dependence on gold imports. Through the Gold Monetisation Scheme_ gold in any form can be deposited with banks for a period of one to 15 years. This gold will earn interest and redemption will be at the prevailing market value at the end of the tenure of deposit. While the gold deposited with banks under the monetisation scheme will be allowed to be sold to jewellers in order to boost domestic supply_ there would be no dilution of KYC (know your customer) norms. The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme is aimed at customers looking to buy gold as an investment. Under the Scheme_ “there will be no need to buy actual gold as customers can buy gold bonds which will be relatable to the weight of gold”. The bonds will be issued in denominations of 5 grams_ 10 grams_ 50 grams and 100 grams for a term of five years to seven years with a rate of interest to be calculated on the value of the metal at the time of investment”.
      14 Sept, With its latest technology upgrade of electronic and Aadhaar based ITR verification_ the IT department is now able to process and send refunds to bank accounts of eligible taxpayers in 7-10 days.
      [/table]

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