Borrowing: Banks Can Lend up to Rs1 lakh against Jewels

RBI has allowed banks to sanction loans of up to Rs1 lakh against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery. It has been decided to permit bullet repayment of loans extended against pledge of gold ornaments and jewellery for other than agricultural purposes. Bullet repayment means a lump-sum payment for the entire loan amount at the time of maturity. The period of the loan should not exceed 12 months from the date of sanction.

Interest will be charged at monthly intervals but will become due for payment along with the principal only at the maturity, RBI said.

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VIP quota in Railways: CBI probing alleged corruption in ticket bookings

CBI suspects that certain vested interests within various unions of railways and in alleged conspiracy with private travel operators confirm these VIP tickets against a premium

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing alleged corruption to the tune of crores of rupees in sale of VIP or emergency quota tickets in the Railways. The agency has sought records for the last two years, claiming that even signatures of members of Parliament (MPs) have been forged to confirm the tickets in some cases.

 

On an average day, as many as 35,000 tickets in various classes of all trains that originate from Delhi or cross the city are reserved under the emergency quota which is also known as VIP or Headquarters quota.

 

The agency suspects that certain vested interests within various unions of railways and in alleged conspiracy with private travel operators confirm these tickets against a premium, official sources said.

 

The sources said that the agency had some requests which had forged signatures and in some cases even the letter heads were fake. Initially, the probe may be limited to the national capital but, if required, it may cover other states, they said.

 

CBI has already registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) last week against unknown persons to carry out a thorough probe for misuse of the railway tickets issued under quota to various railway unions.

 

The quota is meant for emergencies which includes medical necessity but the agency has alleged that the process was abused by certain vested interests.

 

It had found some related documents while looking into the functioning of railways as part of its probe into the alleged bribery case involving the nephew of former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

 

In May last year, the CBI had also searched the office of an RPF inspector who had allegedly helped the sacked Railway Board member, Mahesh Kumar, besides shifting some movable assets from his Mumbai residence. Many documents which pointed to a scam in railway ticketing were recovered from there.

 

CBI had, during a discreet probe, claimed to have found that the emergency quota tickets to unions were being handed over to some travel agents who used to charge a huge price for confirming a wait-listed ticket.

 

A senior CBI official claimed it was a full-fledged racket. The official said the travel agents had been identified and would be called for examination soon besides some of the office bearers of a few railway unions who had allowed confirmation of wait listed tickets.

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FY12 GDP unlikely to be revised upwards from 6.2%

Gross Capital Formation (GCF) declined sharply 8.7% in FY12 after growing by 23.2% in FY11 and 38.3% in FY10

Uncertain global and domestic environment dragged investment down by 8.7% in FY12. Tight monetary policy resulted in escalating lending rates discouraging industrial activity. Interest paid by companies increased 37.1% in FY12, significantly higher than 20.1% rise in interest payment in FY11 and a mere 6.8% rise in FY10. Net Value Added of the manufacturing sector has increased by 18.7% in FY12 from 19% in FY11. Based on the ASI numbers, we believe that manufacturing sector growth for FY12 is likely to be revised downwards and other things remaining unchanged may drag overall GDP to 6.0% from the earlier revised number of 6.2%. These are the observations made in a research note on GDP growth by SBI Research.

 

According to SBI Research, Gross Capital Formation (GCF) declined sharply 8.7% in FY12 after growing by 23.2% in FY11 and 38.3% in FY10. It may be noted that most of such decline in investment in FY12 was attributed to a decline in working capital investment as net fixed capital formation rebounded, growing 24.7% from a 0.1% decline in FY11. The chart below shows the pattern in GCF since 2006-07:

 


Total persons engaged in different industries were 1.34 crore in FY12 as compared to 1.27 crore in previous year. The number of jobs in different industries increased by 5.8%, while wages rose by 16.6%, reports the SBI research note.

 

According to SBI Research, in an economic downturn, unregistered manufacturing units suffers the most due to weak demand accompanied with difficulty in having access to financial capital. Given this observation, we expect overall industrial sector growth may have logged in a lower growth rate in the final analysis. This may finally drag the overall GDP growth to 6.0% (sub 6% may not be ruled out) from the earlier provisional growth of 6.2%. The chart below shows the revision in GDP growth numbers:

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