APSEZ Inked MoU with IPGA to Handle Pulses Across its Ports
- The India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) Limited entered into an agreement on October 19, 2015 to handle pulses at the latter’s port facilities in Gujarat.
- This agreement is to ease the supply pressure for pulses amid spiraling prices of the commodity and believed to help facilitate the development of a dedicated, cost-effective and efficient supply chain using Adani Ports located at strategic locations along the coast of Gujarat.
- The APSEZ has developed the world class facilities for an agricultural market place at its all ports to facilitate handling of pulses.
- It also has largest dedicated covered warehouse space inside ports for agricultural goods.
TRAI Ordered Telecom Operators to Pay Rs. 1 for ‘Call Drop’
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come up with a new rule on October 18, 2015 that the telecom operators to compensate consumers with one rupee every time a call is dropped, which means a call that gets automatically disconnected or is not [ completed, with effect from January 1, 2016.
- The TRAI has kept a limit of three dropped calls per day for the compensation and the telecom operators I have to send a confirmation SMS to the user who made the call within four hours. But, the Postpaid customers would get the compensation adjusted with their next monthly bill.
- The government of India had set up TRAI on February 20, 1997. The authority has since then taken care of the telecommunication sector of India.
- After TRAI’s inception, India has become the fourth largest telecom network in the world after the USA, China and Russia.
Banks are Free to Fix Interest Rates on Gold Monetization Scheme
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines on October 22, 2015 for the Gold Monetization Scheme that allows banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits. The RBI notification in this regard comes ahead of the formal launch of the scheme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Novermber 5,2015.
- The gold deposit scheme is aimed at mobilising a part of an estimated 20000 tonnes of idle precious metal with households and institutions. As per the new guidelines, banks will be free to set interest rate on such deposit, and principal & interest of the deposit will be denominated in gold.
- The designated banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term (1 -3 years) Bank Deposit (STBD) as well as Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years) Term Government Deposit Schemes. The interest will be credited in the deposit accounts on the respective due dates and will be withdrawable periodically or at maturity as per the terms of the deposit.
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Opened National Pension System as Investment Option for NRIs
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to subscribe to the pension scheme on October 29, 2015 to provide them an access to old-age income security. The decision has been taken in consultation with the government, which under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going all guns blazing to appease the NRIs.
- A lot of interest has been generated around the new scheme with the Union Budget 2015 giving additional tax benefits for investments up to Rs 50000. However, there is no ceiling on the investment amount. Investment has to be routed through normal banking channels.
- The subscription amounts should be paid by NRIs either by inward remittance through normal banking channels or out of funds held in their NRE/FCNR/NRO account.
- There will be no restriction on repatriation of the annuity or accumulated savings. Minimum annual subscription under NFS is Rs 6000, while allocation to equities is capped at 50% of investment NPS investments mature when the investor turns 60.
Signed Pact on Info Sharing with Central Bank of UAE
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has signed an information sharing pact with the Central Bank of UAE. It signed the Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) on Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information on October 19, 2015 at the head office of Central Bank of UAE at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
- The RBI has entered into such MoUs, Letters for Supervisory Cooperation and Statements of Cooperation with supervisors of a few countries to promote cooperation and sharing of information. With this, the Reserve Bank has signed 29 such MoUs, one Letter for Supervisory Cooperation I and one Statement of Cooperation.
RBI Created Rs 2000 Crore Fund to Push Financial Inclusion
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on October 15, 2015 announced merger of two funds i.e., Financial Inclusion Fund and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund to create a new Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) with a corpus of Rs 2000 crore.
- The contribution to FIF would be from the ‘interest differential’ in excess of 0.5% on Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) and Short-Term Cooperative Rural Credit (STCRC) deposits on account of shortfall in priority sector lending kept with NABARD by banks.
- The new FIF will be administered by the reconstituted Advisory Board constituted by government and will be maintained by NABARD. The fund is united to support ‘developmental and promotional activities’ for expanding reach of banking services.
- The FIF will provide support for funding the setting-up and operational cost for running Financial Inclusion and Literacy Centres and the institutions eligible for the fund are banks and NABARD. Enhanced investment in Green Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution is one of another major objective of the fund.
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