Bank of Maharashtra reduces base rate by 10 bps

The Bench Mark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) of the Bank of Maharashtra shall continue to remain unchanged at 15% p.a. on monthly compounding basis

Bank of Maharashtra has announced that the Base Rate of the bank is reduced by 10 basis points (bps) from 10.70% p.a. to 10.60% p.a on monthly compounding basis, with effect from 21 February 2012.

The Bench Mark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) of the bank shall continue to remain unchanged at 15% p.a. on monthly compounding basis.

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EPFO may fix minimum pension at Rs1,000 per month

“Board meeting will discuss proposal to issue contribution cards similar to bank passbook,” said DL Sachdev, EPFO trustee

Retirement fund body EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund of India) may take a final decision on fixing the minimum pension for its subscribers at Rs1,000 per month, at a meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) scheduled on 22 February 2012.

"The EPFO's apex decision-making body the CBT could fix minimum pension at Rs1,000 per month for its subscribers, at a meeting this month," All India Trade India Congress Secretary DL Sachdev told PTI.

Mr Sachdev, who is also an EPFO trustee, said the proposal was listed on the agenda for the CBT meet on 22 February 2012. The trustee said the CBT would also discuss the proposal to issue contribution cards similar to bank passbooks to over 4.72 crore subscribers, which would be updated on a monthly basis from 1 April 2012.

According to EPFO data, as of 31 March 2010, there were 35 lakh pensioners subscribed to the retirement fund body, of which 14 lakh persons get a monthly pension of less than Rs500. The number of EPFO pensioners getting a monthly pension of Rs1,000 is 7 lakh. The data reveals there are cases where pensioners are getting a monthly pension as low as Rs12 and Rs38.

As per estimates, the proposal to hike the minimum pension to Rs1,000 per month will require an additional contribution of 0.63% of subscribers' basic pay and dearness allowance to the pension account. The hike in contribution will be over and above the 8.33% contributed by employers toward the pension account of employees, as well as the 1.16% provided by the government under the scheme.

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Cheque transaction value down 6.4% in Dec: RBI

The figures are in line with the trend of decline in cheque transactions during the past few years with the growth of electronic transfer medium, according to experts

Total value of transactions through cheques across the country amounted to Rs8.17 trillion in December 2011, down 6.4% compared to the same month last year.

Banks cleared cheques worth Rs8.74 trillion in December 2010, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The number of cheques cleared by banks in December was also down at 107.1 million in the month last year against over 119.4 million in December 2010.

The figures are in line with the trend of decline in cheque transactions during the past few years with the growth of electronic transfer medium, according to experts.

During the April-December period, total value of transactions through cheques stood at Rs73.45 trillion, against Rs75.07 trillion in the same period a year ago.

A total of 995.3 million cheques were cleared by banks during the first nine months of the current fiscal, a decline of almost 4.1% from 1.038 billion in the April-December period a year ago.

In December, the Mumbai region reported the highest number of cheque clearances, as well as the maximum transaction value for any zone.

Banks in the Mumbai region cleared 20.5 million cheques, with total value of over Rs1.49 trillion, in December.

In the Delhi region, banks cleared 13.4 million cheques, with a total value of over Rs1.20 trillion in the month.

The Bangalore region stood third, with banks reporting a total of 5.5 million cheque clearances worth over Rs433 billion.

The value of cheque transactions in the country declined by 2.6% year-on-year to Rs101.33 trillion in 2010-11. Delhi and Bangalore were the only major centres to report a rise in the value of clearances last fiscal.

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