Bringing you up to speed on the financial world this week
1. E-mail, Phone to be Quoted in Income Tax Notices
The Finance Ministry has directed Income Tax department officials to compulsorily list their e-mail and official phone numbers in e-notices and letters to taxpayers. This will help to bring authenticity to such correspondence and make it safe and reliable.
2. PFRDA Now Using PAN Card for Verification
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority has begun using PAN numbers instead of Aadhar in the verification process and for the online registration of new customers in the National Pension System scheme.
3. Asian Markets to Drive Gold Demand in 2016
The World Gold Council (WGC) has revealed that the Asian markets demand for gold is slated to improve. The pro-gold schemes introduced by the Indian Government, the further internationalization of the renminbi (Chinese currency) and the increased transparency of Chinese gold reserves will continue to improve the market in 2016.
4. Housing Prices increase by 13.7% in Q2
The Reserve Bank of India released its quarterly House Price Index (HPI) recently and revealed that housing prices in India increased by 13.7% year-on-year in the quarter ended September. Delhi recorded the highest rise of nearly 22% while rates decreased in Kochi, Kolkata and Bangalore.
5. Weak Corporate Growth Raises Risk for Banks
According to the Financial Stability Report released by the Reserve Bank of India, the risks posed by Indian banks have increased in the last 6 months, owing to the lukewarm profit growth in the corporate sector.
6. India’s FDI Policy is Credit Positive
The Indian Government’s recent liberalization of FDI policy as credit positive by Moody’s Investors Service. The agency expressed confidence over the appreciation of the rupee and also said that the year-on-year increase of net FDI inflows from $15.8 Bn to $17 Bn in April-September was noteworthy.
7. Government Expected to Introduce National Minimum Wage Bill
Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said recently that a National Minimum Wage Bill with a statutory provision would soon be introduced in Parliament. This will allow every worker to get a fair wage.
8. RBI Establishes Forex Helpline for Start-ups
An e-mail helpline has been set up by the Reserve Bank of India for Indian start-ups. The new Forex helpline will offer guidance for undertaking cross-border transactions.
9. India to Grow at 7% to be World’s Fastest Growing Economy
A report from Harvard University’s Centre for International Development has suggested that India has the potential to be the world’s fastest growing economy in the coming decade. India’s annual growth rate is projected at 7% ahead of China’s 4.3%.
10. Current Account Deficit Narrows to 1.6% of GDP
India’s Current Account Deficit for the quarter ended September narrowed to 1.6% of the GDP at $8.2 Bn compared to 2.2% ($10.9 Bn) in the corresponding quarter last year. This was due to the lowering of trade deficit, the RBI revealed.
11, Scribbled Notes Continue to be Legal
In an attempt to dismiss rumours, the RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has said that scribbled notes continue to be legal tender. This clarification followed a rumour on social media that banks would not accept scribbled currency notes from 1 January 2016.
12. Over 51k Sign Petition for Passage of Goods and Services Tax
An online petition filed on Change.org calling the Goods and Services Tax “India’s most significant tax transformation in decades” has been signed by the heads of several of India’s biggest companies. The signature campaign was launched by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to urge MPs to pass the GST Bill.
13. RBI Extends Currency Note Exchange Deadline to 30 June 2016
The Reserve Bank of India has extended the deadline for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes to 30 June 2016. The notes can be exchanged at select branches and RBI’s Issue office.
14. New System Made for More Secure Online Banking
A group of researchers from the United Kingdom’s Plymouth University have developed a security system called GOTPass to provide more secure online banking with a system that uses images and a one-time numeric code.