The Union Cabinet today promulgated an ordinance that would end the liability of the Government and the RBI to the scrapped ₹ 500 and ₹ 1,000 notes. It would also penalise people holding more than 10 of the demonetised notes beyond March 31, 2017 with a fine of ₹ 50,000 as well as a criminal liability. Under Government guidelines, the demonetised notes can be deposited in bank branches till Dec 30. Those holding the notes beyond the period will have to deposit it in the RBI office.
Government today appointed Viral V Acharya, a professor of Economics in the Department of Finance at the New York University, new Deputy Governor at the RBI. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet cleared the appointment for 3 years.
-Business Line Over one crore rural citizens have enrolled for digital payments under the 'Digi Dhan Abhiyan' programme within 20 days of the start of the digital financial literacy campaign, surpassing initial targets, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
Black money holders keen to avail of the new tax evasion amnesty scheme will have to first deposit 49.9% tax and park a quarter of their unaccounted cash in zero-interest deposit before being able to apply for it. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016, which provides last chance to holders of undisclosed income in the form of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes to come clean, will not be applicable to any person facing prosecution for corruption, holding benami property, money laundering, violation of foreign exchange or drug trafficking. In a clarification on Provisions of the Taxation and Investment Regime for PMGKY, CBDT said the scheme will not be applicable to anyone facing charges under the Foreign Black money Act.
Easing rules on issuance of prepaid payments instruments, RBI today allowed banks to facilitate such devices to unlisted corporates, public entities like municipal corporations and urban local bodies to deepen digital transaction system. "In order to facilitate greater adoption of digital payments, banks may include other entities/employers such as unlisted corporates, partnership firms, sole proprietorship, public organisations like municipal corporations, urban local bodies (employers) for onward issuance to their staff or contract workers, " the RBI said in a notification.
The report on Digital Payments, prepared by the committee headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P. Watal, was put in public domain and suggests outsourcing electronic fund transfer systems like RTGS and NEFT and making the service available round the clock. "RBI should progressively increase their timings over due course. Upgrade payment systems like RTGS and NEFT to operate on 24x7 basis in due course of time. Consider outsourcing the function of operation of payment systems like RTGS and NEFT, " the report said.
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.
In order to strengthen the consumer protection mechanism, the Government has initiated an exercise to set up a unified body to address grievances of customers in the financial sector. Currently, there are separate grievance redressal mechanism for insurance, banking services, pension and securities market. Financial Redressal Agency design offers a simplified resolution process, allowing retail consumers in distant and remote locations to pursue effective remedies against financial service providers, without imposing significant costs on them, Finance Ministry said in a statement.
The RBI has further relaxed the norms for bad loans classification, providing further relief to small-time borrowers. It has now granted an additional 30 days' time to them to repay their loans. This additional time has been granted over and above the 60 days extended repayment period announced last month.
Twitter and ICICI Bank announced a partnership today that is aimed at integrating additional digital customer care support features to benefit customers with direct online response to their queries and feedback in real-time, Twitter said in a statement. The social networking platform said ICICI Bank is the first bank in India to implement the new features to its Twitter account @ICICIBank _Care for social customer care.
SBI today rejected reports that Rs 1,300 crore cash have been deposited in its various branches in Arunachal Pradesh after demonetisation saying no such deposits were found after minutely verifying the relevant records.
South Indian Bank has introduced a full-fledged NRI-focused mobile banking application called SIB Mirror+ across major mobile platforms. The new app was launched after the path-breaking 'E-Lock' feature that provided a single tap solution to fully secure all digital transaction from frauds.
The ED has arrested the manager of a Kotak Bank branch in connection with its money laundering probe in a case of detection of 9 alleged fake accounts with deposits worth Rs 34 crore post demonetisation. Officials said the agency arrested the Manager of the bank's branch in the K G Marg area, identified as Ashish Kumar, late last night after questioning.
Demonetisation has boosted the digital platforms for payment, which has helped National Payments Corporation's RuPay card usage at merchant terminals soar seven times since Nov 8, taking the daily volumes to over 2.1 million. "Usage of RuPay cards at points of sale and for e-commerce together that used to be about 3 lakh per day (before the demonetisation), is now about 2.1million, which is a 7-times jump, " NPCI chief executive AP Hota said.
Nasscom, telecom operators, and NITI Aayog have come together in creating a dedicated helpline - 14444 - for addressing all queries on digitial payments, as Government takes strides to push for more digital transactions post demonetisation. After the fourth meeting of the Committee of Chief Ministers on digital payments, Convenor and Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu said, plans are afoot to import one million PoS machines to enable cashless payments across India. NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said IT industry body Nasscom, telephone operators and the Government thinktank are creating the helpline to address all queries of public regarding digital payments. The helpline number would be made operational soon.
-Business Standard The RBI has allowed foreign portfolio investors to transact in non-convertible debentures/bonds issued by Indian companies either directly or in any manner as per the prevalent/approved market practice.
Of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were scrapped as a resulted of Government's Nov 8 declaration, as much as Rs 14 lakh crore has been deposited in banks. The value of scrapped currency exceeded the Government's expectation that as much as Rs 3 lakh crore will not be returned as this would be part of black money hoards. This also means that expectation that RBI will be able to give a substantial dividend to the Government will be belied.
-Economic Times In a bid to tackle the call drop menace, Government has launched an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) system at multiple locations including Delhi and Mumbai to obtain direct feedback from subscribers on call quality. The feedback will be shared with operators so they can take corrective steps in the problem areas and address the issue of call drops. The IVRS system will be extended to the entire country shortly, an official release said.
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