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Centre, RBI step in as cash crunch hobbles ATMs across various states

Centre, RBI step in as cash crunch hobbles ATMs across various states Several states are facing cash shortage despite currency flow in the economy going back to the pre-demonetisation level The finance ministry held a meeting with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banks, and state government officials on Thursday to take stock of cash availability in automated teller machines (ATMs) after receiving complaints of cash crunch in some states. Several states are facing cash shortage despite currency flow in the economy going back to the pre-demonetisation level. A recent analysis by the RBI to the finance ministry found that the rate of cash withdrawal was far more than the cash deposits in banks in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana, according to the documents reviewed by Business Standard. “We held a meeting with the RBI officials, banks, and states today (Thursday). There is no apparent cash crunch across sta…

SC/ST Act: Dalits view Apex Court verdict as ‘extension of govt policy'

SC/ST Act: Dalits view Apex Court verdict as ‘extension of govt policy'  The nation has ensured elected representation of Dalits and Tribals at every level of democracy, yet the communities continue to face denigration and oppression following atrocities heaped on them for centuries by a social system. Dalits and Tribals are absent in the higher judiciary, which enjoys the authority to override and even protect legislative actions. Monday’s protest was due to the perception that the March 20 judgement of the Supreme Court emasculated the protection given in the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. In recent memory, this was the largest violent and massive outcry of the oppressed against a court verdict. But the massive agitation contained more than just anger and frustration.  The protests were primarily from Ambedkarite organisations in the Hindi belt. The response in north Indian is easier to analyse. Jatavs dominate the Dalit social landscape…

RBI governor Urjit Patel rejects easing NPA norms

RBI governor Urjit Patel rejects easing NPA norms  The Reserve Bank has ruled out any relaxation in bad loan rules, saying the tough norms will discipline borrowers and prevent banks from pushing distressed loans under the carpet, two senior officials, who did not want to be named, said. This message was conveyed by RBI governor Urjit Patel to parliamentarians in a closed-door meeting held in New Delhi on Tuesday. The revised rules of February 12 give banks direction on measures they should take once an account shows initial signs of weakness. Banks termed the changes harsh and feared it would lead to a steep rise in the share of bad loans.According to the new rules, banks must work on a resolution plan from day one of a default and relevant plans must be put in place within 180 days. If they fail to do this the loan has to be referred to the dedicated bankruptcy court. “The RBI is very clear that such measures are needed to clean the banking system and any dispensation could be misused,…

Aadhaar cards have not been duplicated: Government

Aadhaar cards have not been duplicated: Government  The government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that no Aadhaar card has been duplicated. They claimed that these cards were the least invasive and most successful way of plugging leaks in the country’s system which prevented government benefits from trickling down to the poor.  “Duplicate Aadhaar cards are virtually non-existent,” additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, said in his submissions before a five-judge bench, led by CJI Dipak Misra, which is hearing challenges to the 2016 Aadhaar Act. Mehta claimed that though duplicate pan cards had flooded the system, Aadhaar cards were yet to be duplicated.  Mehta, who was speaking for both the Centre and UIDAI, said the scheme would help the government mop up Rs 30,000 crore in revenue. He dismissed the argument that the scheme was based on the presumption that the entire population was hesitant in paying taxes and indulged i…

SEBI plans to tighten appointment rules for top executives at MIIs

SEBI plans to tighten appointment rules for top executives at MIIs The move comes at a time the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have raised objections over Axis Bank's decision to reappoint Shikha Sharma The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is planning to tighten rules governing the appointment process for top executives at market infrastructure institutions (MIIs) such as exchanges, clearing corporations and depositories.According to sources, MIIs might have to appoint managing directors (MDs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) afresh after the completion of their tenure. At present, the tenure of MDs and CEOs is extended by the board and is sent for Sebi’s approval without a formal appointment process. The move comes at a time the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have raised objections over Axis Bank’s decision to reappoint Shikha Sharma as MD and CEO for the fourth term.“If an MII decides to reappoint an existing person, the nomination and remuneration c…

Banks Want MPs, Finmin Officials to Help Convince RBI to Relax Norms

Banks Want MPs, Finmin Officials to Help Convince RBI to Relax Norms
Lenders seek a longer period — a minimum of 30 days — to start the resolution of a loan Lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) have sought New Delhi’s intervention in convincing the banking regulator to relax the recent rules on stressed assets, arguing that the ‘harsh’ norms and zero tolerance of bad loans could affect future credit disbursements.During a two-hour meeting with Rajya Sabha members and senior finance ministry officials, bank chiefs suggested that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) consider relaxing norms that require lenders to work on a restructuring plan a day after a company skips scheduled payments. Bankers urged they be given a longer period — a minimum of 30 days — to start the resolution of a loan. They have also sought the government’s help to get the RBI to relax the rules regarding 100% consent from all borrowers for restructuring a loan within 180 days.According to the revised RBI rules iss…

FinMin raises questions on interest rate of 8.55% proposed by EPFO

 FinMin raises questions on interest rate of 8.55% proposed by EPFO Asks why the retirement fund body has not kept a higher surplus The finance ministry has raised questions over the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO’s) recent decision to declare an interest rate of 8.55 per cent to around 200 million formal sector workers for 2017-18. In a letter to the labour and employment ministry on March 15, the finance ministry has asked why the EPFO has not kept a higher surplus while declaring the rate at 8.55 per cent. The EPFO has contested the arguments. This is the third consecutive year when the finance ministry has asked the labour ministry to keep a higher surplus while deciding the rate of interest for EPFO subscribers. The finance ministry had pressed for similar arguments in the previous two years to overrule the EPFO’s proposed interest rate for 2015-16 and 2016-17. The EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees (CBT), chaired by Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh K…