Retirement
Atal Pension Yojana made more attractive
Pension scheme Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has been modified to make it more viable and acceptable for informal sector workers with intermittent incomes, an official statement said on Thursday.
 
The provision of mandatory monthly contributions and penal provisions for non-contribution towards the scheme by subscribers have been removed and the new rules allow individual subscribers to make monthly, quarterly or half yearly contributions instead, a finance ministry statement said.
 
The discontinuation of monetary contribution towards the pension scheme has been greatly modified in favour of the subscriber, while any account will not be deactivated and closed until the account balance with self-contributions minus the government's co-contributions becomes zero due to deduction of account maintenance charges and fees, the statement added.
 
Penalty for delayed payment has been simplified to Re.1 per month for a contribution of Rs.100, and the earlier practice of levying different penalties for different slabs has been done away with.
 
Premature exit from the scheme before 60 years of age was not allowed except in the event of death of terminal illness but now a subscriber can voluntarily exit from the scheme and receive his contribution along with the interest earned on it after deduction of account maintenance charges, the statement said. However, the government's co-contribution along with the interest earned on it will not be paid.
 
Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata in May, APY aims to provide a minimum monthly guaranteed pension to subscribers ranging from Rs.1,000, Rs.2,000, Rs.3,000, Rs.4,000 or Rs.5,000.

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COMMENTS

syed khan

1 year ago

it will be more widely accepted if entry age barrier can be modified to 50 years or even 45 years. thanks.

China devaluation a risk, if long-term: Raghuram Rajan
Repeating his warnings about global markets being at risk of a crash due to competitive loose monetary policies adopted by rich nations, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on Thursday said the recent devaluation of the Chinese currency poses a risk only if the depreciation continues for "longer term".
 
"If Chinese depreciation holds at the current level, it's not something we need to be overly concerned about. If it is the beginning of a more longer term depreciation, if it is part of a process of gaining competitive advantage, it has to be worrisome across the world," Rajan said here at the State Bank of India's Banking and Economics Conclave.
 
"You could have tit-for-tat actions," the Reserve Bank of India chief said.
 
"We will have to wait and watch the situation," he added.
 
In a move to deal with current economic weaknesses, the Chinese central bank lowered its daily reference rate by 1.9 percent last week, that rocked currency markets globally, affecting also the rupee.
 
Pointing to the very low interest rate policies of the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England in a bid to stimulate their economies, Rajan has been warning that emerging markets are especially vulnerable to big shifts in capital flows triggered by unprecedented monetary accommodation in rich countries.
 
"I think more generally across the globe, because of a weak demand, we've seen significant efforts to depreciate currency; you can call it monetary policy or direct exchange rate intervention. That's a worrisome trend," he said.
 
Moves like these, where countries devalue currencies due to low demand, can lead to a "free for all" on the global stage, he added.
 
Predicting the 2008 financial meltdown, which is still affecting global economy, Rajan in 2005 had argued that increasingly complex markets with myriad instruments of credit and mortgage-backed securities in ever greater quantities had made the global financial system a risky place.
 
Rajan also said the consequences of the Chinese devaluation have been felt on some of India's export items.
 
While there was a pick-up in the economy, Rajan said Indian exports continued to remain a worry and the RBI would keep an eye on exports in the coming times.
 
Exports during last month fell by 10.30 percent at $231.37 billion from $257.92 billion during July last year. Exports during June stood at $222.89 billion.
 
The downturn is a fallout of the prolonged worldwide economic slowdown, and a historic plunge in oil prices that has affected the price of petroleum products.

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Dedicated portal for education loans, scholarships
A dedicated web portal has been launched for the students to access all kinds of educational loans and government scholarships, an official statement said on Thursday.
 
The portal - www.vidyalakshmi.co.in - was launched by the finance ministry, the human resource development ministry and Indian Banks Association (IBA). 
 
The portal will provide a single window for students to access information and apply for various educational loans and government scholarships, the statement said.
 
A common education loan application form for students, ability to apply to multiple banks for education loans, facility for banks to download students' loan applications, facility for students to e-mail grievances, a dashboard to view the status and linkage to national scholarship portal for information on government scholarship are some of the features.
 
Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed to set up a fully IT-based student financial aid authority to oversee education loan and government scholarships under Pradhan Mantri Vidya Lakshmi Karyakram (PMVLK) to ensure that no student missed out on higher education due to insufficient financial resources.
 
The launch of the portal is the first step in this direction, the government added in the statement.
 
As many as 13 banks have registered 22 education loan schemes on www.vidyalakshmi.co.in while five banks --SBI, IDBI, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank, have integrated their system with the portal.
 
National Securities Depository Limited e-governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-gov) developed the portal and will maintain it.

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