RBI Permits Banks To Open Vostro Accounts From 22 Countries For Trade In Rupee Published 18 minutes ago
The Reserve Bank has permitted 20 banks operating in the country to open 92 Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVAs) of partner banks from 22 countries as part of efforts to promote bilateral trade in local currencies, the government said on Wednesday.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash also informed that an MoU has been signed between the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of UAE on July 15.
This would enable exporters and importers to invoice and pay in their respective domestic currencies enabling the development of a bilateral foreign exchange market.
As on July 23, 20 banks in India have been permitted to open SRVAs of partner banks from 22 countries, including Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, Fiji, Germany, Guyana and Israel.
Other countries are Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Russia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said India's exports rose by 36.6 per cent during the last five years from USD 330.07 billion in 2018-19 to USD 450.95 billion in 2022-23.
India's imports rose by 38.8 per cent during the last five years from USD 514.07 billion in 2018-19 to USD 714.04 billion in 2022-23.
She also informed that most of the goods imported from China are capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials and are used for meeting the demand of fast expanding sectors like electronics, telecom and power in India.
Samhi Hotels Makes Stock Market Debut With 6% Listing Gains
Samhi Hotels Ltd on Friday, September 22, made a stock market debut, with its shares listing with 6 per cent gains on the BSE and NSE. The company's shares opened at Rs 134.5 apiece on the NSE as compared with the issue price of Rs 126 a share. The shares, however, fell after the listing and are now currently trading at Rs 129.5 apeice on the NSE as of 10.40 am.
On the BSE also, Samhi Hotels' shares listed at a premium on the BSE also at Rs 130.55 on BSE. As of 10.41 am, its prices stood at Rs 4.70 apiece on the BSE, which is 3.73 per cent higher than its issue price.
Shivani Nyati, head of wealth, Swastika Investmart Ltd, said, “Samhi Hotels listed at Rs 134.5 per share, a premium of 6.7 per cent to its IPO price of Rs 126. On the one hand, the company is loss-making, and its financial performance has been poor for the last three years.”
She said that on the other hand, the company is making progress on cutting losses, and the sales multiple is 3.7X, which is below the industry average. “Investors should book profit and exit their position, and those who still want to hold should maintain a stop loss at the listing price.”
The IPO was open for subscription between September 14 and September 18. The IPO had a fresh issue of up to Rs 1,200 crore and offer for sale of up to 13,500,000 equity shares.
Price range for the offer was at Rs 119-126 a share.
Gurugram-based Samhi Hotels earlier said it mopped up Rs 616.54 crore from anchor investors.
In a pre-IPO placement, external investor Blue Chandra had sold 10.32 million shares, or 8.4 per cent of its stake, to renowned investor Madhusudan Kela's wife Madhuri Kela, along with Nuvama Crossover Opportunities Fund and TIMF Holdings, for a total consideration of Rs 130 crore.
Samhi acquires and builds primary hotels and thereafter renovates, rebrands and rerates the property and runs it.
JM Financial and Kotak Mahindra Capital Company were the managers to the IPO.
Household Debt Doubles In FY23
The net financial savings of households plunged by close to 55 per cent in FY23 to 5.1 per cent of GDP, and their indebtedness more than doubled to Rs 15.6 lakh crore from FY21, primarily led by massive borrowings from banks, shows an analysis of latest official numbers.
According to SBI Research, a good portion of the drawdown from savings have gone to physical assets and of the Rs 8.2 lakh crore increase in household indebtedness in FY23, as much as Rs 7.1 lakh crore accounted for bank borrowings, primarily for home loans and other retail finances.
In FY23, household savings plunged to 5.1 per cent of GDP, from 11.5 per cent in FY21, a 50-year low, and 7.6 per cent in FY20, which was not the pandemic period. It can be noted that the most important source of funds for the two deficit sectors — general government finances and the non-financial corporations, are household savings.
The household sector in the national accounts includes, apart from individuals, all non-government, non-corporate enterprises like farm and non-farm businesses, unincorporated establishments like sole proprietorships and partnerships and non-profit institutions.
According to Soumya Kanti Ghosh, the group chief economic adviser at the State Bank of India, financial liabilities jumped by Rs 8.2 lakh crore since the pandemic, outpacing the increase in gross financial savings of Rs 6.7 lakh crore.
On the asset side of households, there was an increase of Rs 4.1 lakh crore in insurance and provident funds and pension funds during the period. On the liability side of the households, of the Rs 8.2 lakh crore increase, as much as Rs 7.1 lakh crore accounted for an increase in household borrowings from commercial banks.
When juxtaposed this increase in borrowings from banks with the increase in bank credit, as much as 55 per cent of the retail credit to households in the last two years have gone to housing, education and vehicle purchases.
According to Ghosh, this is possible due to the low interest rate regime, resulting in a paradigm shift of household financial savings to household physical savings in the last two years.
He sees a significant long-run relationship between housing loans and households' savings in physical assets. As a result, the decline in net financial savings of households has resulted in a concomitant increase in household savings in gross physical assets. In fact, savings in physical assets, which accounted for more than two-thirds of household savings in FY12, had declined to 48 per cent in FY21.
However, the trend is again shifting and the share of physical assets is expected to reach 70 per cent in FY23, due to a decline in share of financial assets.
Ghosh also believes that the shift to physical assets is also triggered by a recovery in the real estate sector and the increase in property prices.
Meanwhile, the household debt-to-GDP ratio has increased during the pandemic but has declined thereafter. The household debt as percentage of GDP was at 40.7 in March 2020, and has then fallen to 36.5 in June 2023. Over the years, 80-90 per cent of household physical savings were in dwellings, other buildings and structures and rest in machinery and equipment.
RBI Can Spend $30 Bn Of Forex Reserves To Defend Rupee
Amid pressure on the rupee, a German brokerage on Thursday said the RBI can spend up to USD 30 billion from the over USD 594 billion forex kitty to defend the domestic currency.
Even after spending the money, India will be left with reserves sufficient to take care of import bills for ten months, Deutsche Bank said in a note.
The rupee is trading close to its all-time high against the US dollar at around Rs 83.30, and the Reserve Bank is actively intervening in the forex market to curtail volatilities, it added.
“…the RBI can easily spend at least USD 30 billion to defend the rupee, and even then, the import cover will remain around 10 months,” the brokerage said in its report.
The rupee rose by 5 paise to close at 83.06 against the dollar at the end of the day's trade on Thursday.
The brokerage also estimated that the headline inflation will cool off sharply to 5 per cent for September, from 6.8 per cent in August, on a decline in the vegetable prices, but noted that there is an increase in global crude prices to USD 95 a barrel.
However, the fuel station prices are unlikely to change despite the pressure from global crude, owing to the upcoming state elections, which will be followed up with general elections, the brokerage said.
It also said that the central government recently cut prices of domestic cooking gas up to Rs 200 per cylinder, which will lead to a 0.25 per cent decline in the CPI.
Ideally, a ten per cent spike in crude prices can otherwise impact consumer price inflation by 0.30 per cent, it noted.
If domestic pump prices of petrol and diesel are not raised, then they are unlikely to have any meaningful impact on growth estimates, the brokerage said, reiterating its view of FY24 GDP growth to come at 6.2 per cent.
The brokerage said headline inflation can fall below 4 per cent in July-September 2024 due to the exceptionally favourable base effect, and the RBI may consider a rate cut from April 2024 onwards.
The note said it does not foresee any major upside risk to the balance of payments estimates at this stage, even with the current spike in oil prices, and added that India's current account deficit will come at 1.4 per cent in FY24.
GSTN Enables Geo-coding For
GST Network has enabled geocoding functionality for the ‘additional place of business' address of GST-registered businesses across all states and union territories.
The move is aimed at curbing fraudulent registrations under Goods and Services Tax (GST) by giving bogus addresses for the purpose of claiming Input Tax Credit (ITC).
“GSTN is pleased to inform that the geocoding functionality for the ‘Additional Place of Business' address is now active across all States and Union Territories. This builds upon the geocoding functionality earlier implemented for the principal place of business, operational since February 2023," GST Network said in an advisory to taxpayers.
To date, over 2.05 crore addresses have been geocoded for both principal and additional places of business by GSTN.
Since March 2022, all new business addresses are geocoded at the point of registration, ensuring consistent accuracy and standardisation from the beginning, it added.
AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said the integration of geocoding functionality assumes a pivotal role in detecting instances of tax evasion by furnishing tax authorities with precise geographical location data.
“Using tools such as heat maps and spatial analysis, tax authorities can uncover tax irregularities clusters, enabling enforcement agencies to allocate their resources more strategically. power of geocoding, tax authorities can elevate the effectiveness of their audit and enforcement endeavours, ultimately contributing to a more equitable and streamlined tax collection process," Mohan added.
Rupee Recovers From Record Lows
Staging an impressive rebound from its lifetime low levels, the rupee surged by 24 paise to end at 83.08 (provisional) against the US dollar on Wednesday, aided by losses in global crude prices and a weak dollar ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy decision.
Besides, possible intervention by the central bank to check volatility in currency markets also helped the domestic unit, forex traders said.
Halting its four-session losing streak at the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic unit opened strong at 83.22 against the dollar and traded in the range of 83.27-83.06 against the greenback.
The rupee finally closed at 83.08 against the dollar, registering a gain of 24 paise from its previous close.
In the previous session on Monday, the rupee had settled at an all-time low of 83.32 against the dollar.
Currency markets were closed on Tuesday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi.
“The recent rise in crude oil prices had raised concerns about inflation and these concerns were likely to be addressed in the US Federal Reserve's statement.
“The dollar also traded weaker, and there was profit booking observed in crude oil prices, which declined from USD 92.40 to USD 89.50. These factors contributed to the rupee's gains after five consecutive days of losses. The trading range for the rupee is expected to be between 82.75 and 83.35," Jateen Trivedi, VP Research Analyst at LKP Securities, said.
The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.14 per cent to 104.68.
Brent crude futures, the global oil benchmark, declined 1.19 per cent to USD 93.19 per barrel.
On the domestic equity market front, the BSE Sensex slumped 796 points or 1.18 per cent to 66,800.84, while the broader Nifty declined 231.90 points or 1.15 per cent to end at 19,901.40.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net sellers in the capital markets on Monday as they sold shares worth Rs 1,236.51 crore, according to exchange data.
BYJU's India CEO Mrinal Mohit Quits
Edtech firm BYJU's Founding Partner and India operations CEO Mrinal Mohit has resigned “for personal reasons", the company said on Wednesday.
BYJU's International Business CEO Arjun Mohan will take the additional charge of heading the country's operations, it said.
“Arjun Mohan (is) taking charge as the CEO of India operations. He succeeds Mrinal Mohit, founding partner and the outgoing head of India business at BYJU's, who is embarking on a new journey to pursue personal aspirations," the company said in a statement.
Mohan was part of the BYJU's founding team and was the Chief Business Officer in his previous stint. He had rejoined the company from UpGrad in July.
“If BYJU's has reached the remarkable heights it stands at today, it is due to the extraordinary efforts of our founding team. Mrinal's contributions have left an indelible mark on our organisation, and we bid him a bittersweet farewell," BYJU's founder and Group CEO Byju Raveendran said.
I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together, he said.
BYJU's said Mohan has spent the last three months working closely with Raveendran.
“Arjun's return is a testament to his belief in our mission and the unparalleled opportunities that lie ahead. His expertise will undoubtedly help our turnaround efforts and strengthen our position in the global edtech landscape," Raveendran said.
Tamil Nadu Govt Gives Rs 1
The Tamil Nadu government recently launched the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam Scheme, whereby monthly financial assistance will be provided to eligible women family heads across the state.
The scheme is intended to provide assistance to women who are struggling to make ends meet. It is also intended to empower women and help them to become self-sufficient.
The scheme is being implemented through the Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Department.
Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam: Benefits
Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam scheme is aimed at providing monthly financial assistance of Rs 1,000 to 1.06 crore eligible women family heads.
Of the nearly 1.63 crore applications received for the scheme, a total of 1.06 crore have been accepted.
Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam: Eligibility
Under the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam, all women and transgender individuals above 21 years of age are eligible to apply. This includes unmarried and widowed women who are the heads of their households.
To qualify under the scheme, applicants should have an annual income of less than Rs 2.5 lakh, making the scheme particularly beneficial for economically vulnerable women. Land ownership is also taken into account, with applicants allowed to own less than 10 acres of dry land or five acres of wetland.
In addition to income and land ownership, the annual domestic power consumption of the family should be less than 3,600 units. These criteria aim to target assistance towards households facing genuine financial challenges.
Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam: Exemptions
According to a report by CNBCTV18, certain categories of individuals are exempted from applying. These include employees of state and central governments and public sector undertakings, bank employees, income taxpayers, professional taxpayers, pensioners, elected representatives of local bodies, and owners of four-wheelers.
How To Apply For Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam?
To enroll in the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam, eligible women need to visit their nearby ration outlets. Each household has the option to designate a single female member on their ration card to avail of the program's benefits. If a man's name is registered as the head of the household on the ration card, his spouse will be deemed eligible for participation in the scheme. Only one recipient is permitted per family's ration card.
How Will Beneficiaries Receive The Financial Assistance Under Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thogai Thittam?
The sum will be directly transferred into the bank accounts of beneficiaries and they will be given ATM cards to withdraw the amount. The beneficiaries will be notified of updates over SMS.
How To Get Instant PAN Through Your Aadhaar Number
E-PAN Card Apply Online: A Permanent Account Number (PAN) is a ten-digit alphanumeric number issued by the Income Tax Department of India to individuals and entities for tax purposes. It is a unique identifier for each taxpayer and is used to track their financial transactions. The traditional process of obtaining a physical PAN card can take some time due to printing, postage, and manual handling. To make the process faster, e-PANs are generated and delivered electronically, reducing the issuance time significantly.
e-PAN facility is for allotment of Instant PAN (on near-real time basis) for those applicants who possess a valid Aadhaar number. PAN is issued in PDF format to applicants, which is free of cost. e-PAN is a digitally signed PAN card issued in electronic format based on e-KYC data of Aadhaar.
The Instant e-PAN service is available to all individual taxpayers, who have not been allotted a PAN but possess Aadhaar. This is a pre-login service, where you can:
Benefits of e-PAN;
Steps to get e-PAN;
Firstly, visit the e-Filing portal of the Income Tax Department: https://www.incometax.gov.in/iec/foportal/
Step 1: Go to the e-Filing portal homepage, click Instant e-PAN.
Step 2: On the e-PAN page, click Get New e-PAN.
Step 3: On the Get New e-PAN page, enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number, select the I confirm that checkbox and click Continue.
If the Aadhaar is already linked to a valid PAN, this message will be displayed: Entered Aadhaar Number is already linked with a PAN.
If the Aadhaar is not linked with any mobile number, the following message is displayed: Entered Aadhaar Number is not linked with any active mobile number.
Step 4: On the OTP validation page, click I have read the consent terms and agree to proceed further. Click Continue.
Step 5: On the OTP validation page, enter the 6-digit OTP received on the mobile number linked with Aadhaar, select the checkbox to validate the Aadhaar details with UIDAI and click Continue.
Step 6: On the Validate Aadhaar Details page, select the I Accept that checkbox and click Continue.
On successful submission, a success message is displayed along with an Acknowledgement Number. Keep a note of the Acknowledgement ID for future reference. You will also receive a confirmation message on your mobile number linked with Aadhaar.
Petrol, Diesel Fresh Prices Announced For September 19
Petrol, and Diesel Prices on September 19: Indian oil companies have kept the petrol and diesel prices on Tuesday, September 19, in all major cities almost at the same level with minor tweaks. These, however, vary from state to state due to value-added tax (VAT), freight charges, local taxes, etc.
According to government oil companies, in Lucknow, petrol is being sold at Rs 96.57 and diesel at Rs 89.76 per litre. The price of petrol in Noida is Rs 96.79 and diesel is Rs 89.96 per liter. Apart from this, the price of petrol in Ghaziabad is stable at Rs 96.58 per liter and diesel at Rs 89.75 per liter. At the same time, the price of petrol in Gurugram is Rs 97.18 and diesel is Rs 90.05 per liter.
At present, petrol in Delhi is being sold at Rs 96.72 a litre while diesel is being sold at Rs 89.62 a litre. Whereas in Mumbai, petrol is available at Rs 106.31 and diesel at Rs 94.27 per litre. While petrol in Kolkata is Rs 106.03 and diesel is Rs 92.76 per litre. On the other hand, petrol is being sold at Rs 102.63 and diesel at Rs 94.24 per litre in Chennai.
NPS Vs Old Pension Scheme
Even as several states recently reintroduced the old pension scheme (OPS) and several others contemplating it, the RBI on Monday said the decision of some states to revert to OPS poses significant fiscal risks for states, apart from dampening India's medium-term macroeconomic outlook.
Recently, five states reintroduced OPS, including Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Apart from these, Haryana has also witnessed a series of employee union protests in February to reintroduce OPS.
Rajasthan was the first state to reintroduce the old pension scheme in April 2022, followed by Chhattisgarh (notifying OPS in December 2022), Jharkhand and Punjab (October 2022), and Himachal Pradesh (April 2023).
The central government introduced the National Pension System (NPS) in 2004, which is a defined contribution (DC) scheme. It replaced the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), which was a defined benefit plan.
“While pension reforms which took place across the states during the first decade of this century were much needed to assist fiscal consolidation and
enhance fiscal flexibility (viz., reallocation of their budget towards growth enhancing expenditures), the recent decisions and announcements by some of the States to revert to the OPS (with a few others contemplating the same), pose significant fiscal risks for the states which could have distortionary effects on the labour market, savings and investments as well as capital market development and dampen the country's medium-term macroeconomic outlook," the RBI said in its Bulletin September 2023.
The pension plans of the governments are generally classified into defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid pension arrangements. In a DB plan, benefits are defined in advance based on the employee's final or average salary and those benefits are guaranteed by the government as the
In contrast, DC plans do not have a guarantee component. The pension benefits depend upon the market performance of the pension fund and the government's cost is limited to a prespecified rate of contribution.
Hybrid pension arrangements offer a minimum return or benefit guarantee and may also offer a variable (DClike) benefit over and above the minimum return or benefit guarantee.
“Recently, a few States like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh have announced reversal to the OPS from NPS. The immediate gain is that they will not have to spend on NPS contribution of the current employees. In future, however, the unfunded OPS is likely to exert severe pressures on their finances, especially with increasing longevity," the RBI said.
Six large states viz., Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Karnataka account for around half of all the subscribers to NPS. Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are the only two states, which have more than five lakh subscribers (as on November 30, 2022).
NPS Vs OPS
The National Pension Scheme requires employees to contribute 10 per cent of their basic salary and the government 14 per cent. The eventual payout depends on the market returns on that corpus, which is mostly invested in debt.
In contrast, the old pension system guarantees a fixed pension of 50 per cent of an employee's last-drawn salary, without requiring them to contribute anything during their working life.
The old pension scheme, referred to as the Defined Benefit Pension System (DBPS), is based on the last pay drawn by the employee. The NPS is referred as the Defined Contribution Pension System (DCPS), in which the employer and employee contribute to build a pension wealth payable at the time of retirement by way of annuity/lumpsum withdrawal as per norms.
Under the OPS, the employee could withdraw 50 per cent of the last-drawn salary as pension after the retirement.
Under the NPS, a person is allowed to withdraw 60 per cent of the accumulated corpus contributed during his/ her working years at the time of retirement, which is tax-free. The remaining 40 per cent is converted into an annuatised product, which could currently provide the person with a pension of 35 per cent of his/ her last-drawn pay.
The NPS is applicable to all employees joining services of the central government, including central autonomous bodies (except Armed Forces) on or after January 1, 2004. Many state governments have also adopted NPS architecture and implemented NPS mandatorily for their employees joining on or after a cut-off date.