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Latest Personal Finance updates or news :
- To protect senior citizens from falling interest rates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Saturday (31-Dec) said that they would be given guaranteed interest rate of 8 % on deposits up to Rs. 7.5 lakh. The provision of special interest for senior citizens (those above 60 years of age) will be applicable for 10 years, and the interest will be paid on a monthly basis. (Posted on 31-Dec-2016)
- EPFO has revised its Rate of Interest on PF deposits to 8.65% from 8.8% for the FY 2016-17. (Posted on 19-Dec-2016)
- Benefits & Discounts on Cash-less (or) Digital payments :* No Service Tax on Debit, Credit Card Transactions Up to Rs 2,000.* All railway passengers who buy tickets online will get free Accident insurance cover worth Rs 10 Lakh.
* Monthly / Season tickets on sub-urban Railways via digital payment will get 0.50% discount.
* Railways to give 5% discount on catering.
*Insurance bought online from customer portal of Public Sector companies will get 8% discount for Life & 10% for General insurance.
* Petrol & diesel to be cheaper by 0.75% if you buy on Cards. (Posted on 8-Dec-2016)
- Govt declares Rs 500 & Rs 1,000 currency notes to be void from 9th Nov, 2016. In a move to curb the black-money, PM Modi ji has declared that currency notes of Rs 1,000 & Rs 500 will not be legal tender from tomorrow. The public can exchange the notes in the next 50 days (10th Nov to 30th Dec, 2016) in any Bank or Post office branch. People who possess Rs.500 or Rs. 1000 currency notes after December 30 can exchange them at Reserve Bank of India by providing a declaration (ID proof). This is till March 31, 2017. New Rs 500 will be designed & new notes for Rs 2,000 will be brought into circulation very soon. (Posted on 09-Nov-2016)
- ‘Rate of Interest on Inoperative EPF accounts‘ – EPFO to pay 8.8% as interest on Inoperative EPF (Employee Provident Fund) accounts. In case of EPF, if there is no contribution paid during the last 36 months, then that account is classified as “inoperative”. The inoperative accounts are not being paid interest since 2011. Around Rs 42,000 crore is lying in “inoperative accounts” across the country. About 9.70 crore employees will benefit from this proposed notification. Henceforth, the concept of Inoperative accounts will cease to exist. (Source : PTI & Union Labour Ministry. Posted on : 31-Oct-2016)
- All the Private & Govt Salaried Employees will now receive SMS Alerts informing about the deposit of tax deducted at the end of every quarter. The new step is an effort by the Income Tax Department to directly communicate deposit of tax deducted, through SMS alerts to salaried taxpayers, at the end of every quarter. In case of a mismatch, they can contact their deductor (Employer) for necessary correction. Simultaneously, SMS alerts will also be sent to deductors who have either failed to deposit taxes deducted or to e-file their TDS returns by the due date. All taxpayers who wish to receive such SMS alerts are advised to update their mobile numbers in their e-filing account (Income Tax Filing Portal). (Posted on 25-Oct-2016)
- Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17 Series III Public Issue : Applications for the bonds to be accepted from October 24, 2016 to November 02, 2016 and the Bonds will be issued on November 17, 2016. (Posted on 24-Oct-2016)
- The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for amendments to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 by introducing the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament. The maternity benefit Act 1961 protects the employment of women during the time of her maternity and entitles her of a ‘maternity benefit’ – i.e. full paid absence from work – to take care for her child.
The act is applicable to all establishments employing 10 or more persons. The amendments will help 1.8 million (approx.) women workforce in organised sector.
The key amendments to Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 are as follows:
• Increase Maternity Benefit from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for two surviving children and 12 weeks for more than two children.
• 12 weeks Maternity Benefit to a ‘Commissioning mother’ and ‘Adopting mother’.
• Facilitate ‘Work from home’.
• Mandatory provision of Creche in respect of establishment having 50 or more employees.
(Posted on 14-August-2016)
- The last date for filing Income Tax Returns for Assessment Year (AY) 2016-17 has been extended to August 5, 2016. (Posted on 30-July-2016)
- The sale of Pre-printed NSC (National Savings Certificate) & KVP (Kisan Vikas Patra) Certificates will be discontinued w.e.f 01-July-2016. Henceforth, the certificates shall be recorded in a Passbook. Detailed Procedure for accepting deposits for issue of NSC/KVP in the shape of Passbooks shall be issued shortly by the Ministry of Communication & IT (Dept of Posts). (Posted on 17-June-2016)
- Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can now open National Pension System – NPS accounts online through eNPS portal, if they have Aadhaar Card or PAN card. NRIs can make contributions on repatriable or non-repatriable basis through their NRE/FCNR/NRO accounts. If its on a non-repatriable basis then at the time of maturity or during partial withdrawals. the funds would be deposited in their NRO accounts only. (Source : Finance ministry website) (Posted on 17-June-2016)
- CBDT has notified Cost Inflation Index for Financial Year 2016-17 / Assessment Year 2017-18 at 1125 . Cost Inflation Index for Financial Year 2015-16 was 1081, so it’s an increase of 44 in Cost Inflation Index. (Posted on 07-June-2016)
- With effective from 1st June, 2016, Rental income has also been allowed to be included in the Form 15G/ 15H declarations. (Posted on 04-June-2016)
- EPF interest rate for 2015-16 is 8.8%. (Posted on 29-April-2016)
- RBI cuts Repo Rate & SLR by 25 basis points. The latest Repo Rate is 6.50% and SLR is 21.25%. CRR is unchanged at 4% . Reverse Repo Rate has been increased by 25 basis points to 6%. (Read : What is CRR/SLR/Repo Rate/Reverse Repo Rate?) (Posted on 07-April-2016)
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked Banks to pay interest on savings banks account on quarterly basis or shorter intervals. Though the interest rate on Savings account is calculated on a daily basis, at present the interest amount is credited in savings bank account on half-yearly basis (every 6 months) only. It is estimated that SB A/c deposits account for more than a quarter of the total bank deposits and this move would benefit the SB depositors to the tune of Rs 500 cr or more from the next FY. (Posted on 16-March-2016)
- Real Estate Bill finally becomes a Law. Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Bill 2016 has been passed in the Rajya Sabha. (Posted on 11-March-2016)
- Applications for Third tranche of ‘Sovereign Gold Bonds’ will be accepted from 8th March to 14th March, 2016. The bonds will be issued on 29th March, 2016. (Posted on 05-March-2016)
- No change in the Income Tax Slabs & Rates for Financial Year 2016-17 (AY 2017-18). (Posted on 29-Feb-2016)
- Rate of Interest rate on EPF (Employees Provident Fund) has been increased to 8.8% from the current 8.75%. This new rate is applicable for the fiscal year 2015-16. (Posted on 16-Feb-2016)
- Applications for Second tranche of ‘Sovereign Gold Bonds‘ will be accepted from 18th Jan to 22nd Jan, 2016. The bonds will be issued on 8th Feb. (Posted on 15-Jan-2016)
- The government has decided that the benefit of the LPG subsidy will not be available for LPG consumers if the consumer or his/her spouse had taxable income of more than Rs 10,00,000/- during the previous financial year computed as per the Income Tax Act, 1961 . The new system will begin in the new year and deny subsidy to such consumers even if the cooking gas connection is in the name of the spouse. This new rule will initially be implemented on self-declaration basis for cylinders booked from January 2016 onwards. (Posted on 28-Dec-2015)
- RBI keeps ‘Repo Rate‘ unchanged at 6.75% and ‘Cash Reserve Ratio‘ (CRR) at 4%. (Posted on 01-Dec-2015)
- Govt to impose ‘Swachh Bharat Cess’ of 0.5% on all Services liable for Service Tax w.e.f Nov 15, 2015. (Posted on 06-Nov-2015)
- Govt fixes ‘Interest rate’ on Gold bonds at 2.75% . These gold bonds will be sold through Banks & Post Offices. (Posted on 30-Oct-2015)
- To claim Tax deductions under Section 80DDB, it is mandatory for an individual to obtain ‘Doctor Certificate’ or ‘Prescription’ from a specialist working in a Govt hospital only. This condition causes undue hardship to the persons intending to claim tax deduction. Now, CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes) has issued a notification relaxing this condition. Specialist Doctors working in Private hospitals also can issue a ‘certificate / prescription’ now. (Posted on 15-Oct-2015)
- In order to reduce the cost of compliance and ease the compliance burden for both, the tax payer and the tax deductor, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has simplified the procedure for self declaration and also introducing new Form 15G / new Form 15H in new format. (Posted on 29-Sep-2015)
- RBI cuts Repo Rate by 50 basis points to 6.75% and keeps CRR unchanged at 4%. SBI to cut Base Rate by 40 basis points to 9.3% w.e.f. 5th October, 2015. (Posted on 29-Sep-2015)
- Due date for filing Income Tax return has been extended till September 7, 2015. (Posted on 02-Sep-2015)
- Govt launches ‘Vidyalakshmi‘ portal for students seeking Educational Loans & Govt Scholarships. Vidya Lakshmi Portal is a first of its kind website providing single window for Students to access information and also make application for Educational Loans provided by Banks. It also provides a link to National Scholarship Portal wherein students can apply for various Government Scholarships. Students can apply to multiple banks through vidyalakshmi.co.in. (Posted on 21-Aug-2015)
- RBI grants in-principle nod to 11 companies for payments bank licence. Name of the applicants that have received nods are – 1) National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), 2) Reliance Industries, 3) Aditya Birla Nuvo, 4) Airtel M Commerce, 5) Department of Posts, 6) Fino Paytech, 7) Tech Mahindra, 8) Vodafone m-pesa, 9) Cholamandalam Distribution services, 10) Paytm and 11) Sun Pharma. What are Payments Banks and their benefits? (Posted on 20-Aug-2015)
- The Central Board of Direct Taxes has notified the Cost Inflation Index for Financial Year 2015-16. The CII for FY 2015-16 is 1081. (Posted on 28-July-2015)
- The Income Tax Department has recently activated Electronic Verification of Income Tax Return using Electronic Verification Code on e-filing website. If an Assessee uses EVC to e-verify his/her Income Tax Returns then there is no need to post the physical copy of ITR V to CPC Bangalore. (Posted on 15-July-2015)
- RBI (Reserve Bank of India) extends the deadline for exchanging pre-2005 Currency Notes by six more months to 31st December 2015. Till then, all pre-2005 notes continue to remain a legal tender. (Posted on 25-June-2015)
- Income Tax Returns Forms (ITR forms) are now available on IT Dept’s website. Important changes in new ITR forms.(Posted on 02-June-2015)
- SBI cuts Base rate by 0.15% to 9.70% effective from June 8. (Posted on 02-June-2015)
- Increased Service Tax of 14% to be applicable from June 1 : Finance Ministry. (Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget 2015-16 has proposed increasing the incidence of service tax from 12 % to 14 %) – (Posted on 19-May-2015)
- Honorable PM has launched 3 new schemes for Jan Suraksha; 1) Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) 2) Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) & 3) Atal Pension Yojana (APY). (Posted on 10-May-2015)
- The rate of Interest on Public Provident Fund will be 8.7% for the Financial Year 2015-16. Read my article on “Post office Small Savings Schemes – Interest rates for FY 2015-16). (Posted on 02-Apr-2015)
- RBI cuts Repo rate by 25 basis points. The new Repo rate is 7.5% . Read my post on “RBI cuts rates & Impact on your Loans). (Posted on 04-Mar-2015)
- State-run Banks Branches will remain closed on second & fourth Saturdays of every month. The other Saturdays will be full working days. (Posted on 25-Feb-2015)
- RBI (Reserve Bank of India) cuts SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) by 50 basis points (from 22% to 21.5%). RBI keeps REPO RATE and CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) unchanged. Inflation likely to be around 6% by 2016. (Read my post on “RBI cuts rates & Impact on your Loans). (Posted on 03-Feb-2015)
- RBI has cut Repo Rate by 25 basis points. New Repo rate is 7.75%. Cash Reserve Ratio has been kept unchanged at 4%. (Posted on 15-Jan-2015)
- Government decided to pay 8.75% interest on EPF for the fiscal 2014-15 . (Posted on 19-Dec-2014)
- RBI has decided to advance RTGS business hours to 8:00 AM from 9.00 AM and extend closing time of RTGS to 8:00 PM on week days. RTGS business window will be open from 8.00 AM to 3:30 PM on Saturdays. (Posted on 16-Dec-2014) (Visit my post on RTGS – extension of Business Hours)
- RBI keeps the interest rates unchanged in today’s monetary policy review. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) unchanged. (Posted on 02-Dec-2014) ( You may visit my post on “What is CRR & SLR & Impact of interest rates on Loans)
- Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) has been re-launched by the Government. (You may visit my post for more information on this scheme – Click here) (Posted on 21-Nov-2014)
- Kotak Mahindra Bank to acquire ING Vysya Bank in all stock deal. (Posted on 21-Nov-2014)
- Investors will soon get a single consolidated statement for Mutual Funds and Shares. This consolidation will be done on the basis of PAN (Permanent Account Number) with effect from Mar-2015. The consolidated statement will be sent on a monthly basis either through e-mail or in physical form. In case there is no transaction in any of the MF folios (or) Demat accounts then statement with ‘Holding’ details would be sent to the investor on a half-yearly basis. (Posted on 13-Nov-2014)
- Prime Minister launched “Jeevan Pramaan” scheme,a digital life certificate linked to the Aadhaar unique identity number.
This scheme may benefit over a crore retired employees of government and PSUs, a pensioner can now digitally provide proof of his existence to authorities for continuity of pension every year instead of requiring to present himself physically or through a Life Certificate issued by specified authorities.As of now, pensioners must either physically collect pension or submit every November a Life Certificate issued by authorities specified by the Central Pension Accounting Office.The proposed digital certification will do away with the requirement of a pensioner having to submit a physical Life Certificate in November each year, in order to ensure continuity of pension being credited into his account.
The software application system will be made available to pensioners and other stakeholders on a large scale at no extra cost. It can be operated on a personal computer or a smartphone, along with an inexpensive biometric reading device. This facility will also be made available at Common Service Centers being operated under the National e-Governance Plan, for the benefit of pensioners residing in remote and inaccessible areas. (Posted on 11-Nov-2014)
- RBI has asked the banks to partially freeze KYC (Know Your Customer) non-complaint accounts. While imposing ‘partial freezing’, RBI said banks are advised to ensure that the option is exercised after giving due notice of three months initially to the customers and followed by a reminder for further period of three months. “Thereafter, banks may impose ‘partial freezing’ by allowing all credits and disallowing all debits with the freedom to close the accounts. “If the accounts are still KYC non-compliant after six months of imposing initial ‘partial freezing’ banks may disallow all debits and credits from/to the accounts, rendering them inoperative,” it said. Further, it would “always be open to the bank to close” the account of such customers. The account holders can revive accounts by submitting the KYC documents as per the instructions that are in force. (Posted on 22-Oct-2014)
- Retail Inflation has fallen to 6.46% in September from 7.8% in the previous month. We can expect ‘Interest rate cuts’ from RBI soon. (Posted on 14-Oct-2014)
- EPFO’s Subscribers to get EPF a/c update in Real time : The subscribers of EPFO can soon access the EPF a/c on real time basis using a dedicated member’s web portal from October 16. The subscribers can monitor whether the employers are depositing their PF contributions. The UAN (Universal Account Number) member’s portal is likely to be launched by Prime Minister on October 16. The EPFO will soon provide more valued added sercices like paperless settlement of Provident Fund withdrawal claims (during retirement) and fixing of pension after attaining the age of 58 years. (Posted on 06-Oct-2014)
- Guarantors of wilful defaulters can be defaulters : RBI has issued a notification on 9th,Sep-2014 regarding ‘Guidelines on willful defaulters.’ As per this, a guarantor of a wilful defaulter can also be treated as a ‘Defaulter.’ A Guarantor can be an individual or a Corporate entity. (Posted on 10-Sep-2014)
- DA hiked by 7% : The central government approved 7% hike in Dearness Allowance (DA), taking it to 107% of Basic Pay. This move will benefit 30 Lakh Central Govt employees and around 50 Lakh Pensioners.
- EPF : If you are contributing to EPF (Employee Provident Fund) then by 15th Oct you may get Universal Account Number (UAN). The UAN will be portable throughout your working career and can be used anywhere in India.There won’t be any need to apply for PF a/c transfer when you change jobs.
- Frequent withdrawal of money from ATMs will become expensive from November, with the RBI imposing a limit of 3 transactions per month from ATMs of other banks and 5 from the same bank. A customer will be required to pay a fee of up to Rs 20 for using ATMs beyond the permitted numbers of transactions in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
- Modiji launched ‘Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana‘ scheme on 15-Aug-2014. Under the scheme, the person who will open bank account will get a debit card and the family will get Rs 1 lakh insurance cover to tide over any unforeseen eventuality.The Prime Minister said people in the country have mobile phones but do not have bank accounts, and this scenario needs to be changed.
- ICICI Bank offers EMI option on debit card buys: ICICI Bank-country’s largest private sector bank- is the first bank in the country to introduce this facility, an equated monthly installment option (EMI) for its customers on debit card purchases.
This EMI option that so far was limited only to credit card holders will now allow even the debit card holders to convert their high value transactions into equated monthly installments. Only debit card holders that have fixed deposits of minimum Rs 10,000 linked to the savings bank account will be allowed to exercise this option of buying products on an EMI basis of 3, 6, 9 or12 months. The customer is not allowed to break the fixed deposit till the end of the EMI term.
- Two Wheeler’s Insurance : The Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority(IRDA) has introduced a three-year third-party motor insurance policy for two wheelers.The move will allow two-wheeler owners to renew their motor insurance every three years instead of the existing annual renewal process