Exuding confidence that inflation should be "no more than 7%" by March-end from 8.23% in January, prime minister Manmohan Singh said the government's effort has been to rein in high prices without hurting growth
New Delhi: Under attack for high food prices and slow reforms, prime minister Manmohan Singh today said the UPA has not given up its economic agenda and promised clear measures in the upcoming budget, reports PTI.
Exuding confidence that inflation should be "no more than 7%" by March-end from 8.23% in January, Mr Singh said the government's effort has been to rein in high prices without hurting growth, which he projected to be at 8.5% this fiscal.
Addressing electronic media editors here, Mr Singh said global factors like high crude and food prices were not under the control of the government and that efforts were being made to insulate the poor through programmes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) and keeping prices at state-run ration shops unchanged since 2002.
"We want to deal with it (inflation) in a manner that the growth rhythm is not disturbed. If we were concerned only in curbing inflation we could have done with pursuing tighter monetary policies... if in the process the growth rate gets hurt that would not do our country any good," he said.
Rejecting criticism that the government has given up on economic reforms, the prime minister said: "We will persist...
I sincerely hope in the (upcoming) budget we will see a clearer picture of the reform agenda."
He, however, blamed the opposition for not co-operating with the government on "path breaking reforms on Goods and Services Tax (GST)".
The opposition, "Particularly the BJP, has taken a very hostile attitude," he said.
For the introduction of GST, the Constitution Amendment Bill has to be passed by a two-third majority in both houses of parliament and ratification by at least 15 state assemblies.
The draft of GST, which subsumes most of the state and central taxes, is being opposed by NDA-ruled states.
Indicating big initiatives for infrastructure development in the budget, Mr Singh said: "I believe we are going to have a fresh wave of infrastructure investment with the help of PPP (public-private partnership) model."
Stating that discussions are going on to create an infrastructure development fund, he said finance minister Pranab Mukherjee may make some announcements. "Some discussions are going on...and most probably, finance minister will outline something in that direction."
India needs investment to the tune of over $1 trillion in the 12th Five Year Plan (in 2012-17) to sustain a growth rate of 8%-9%.
When asked from where the country would mop up resources, he said: "We must create a viable corporate debt market. I think that is the direction in which we must move."
Commenting on the drop in foreign direct investment (FDI), Mr Singh admitted there was a need for "favourable" environment for fund flow from abroad.
"We need to strengthen the resolve to create favourable environment for larger flow of funds from abroad," he said.
The prime minister said government policies could not be blamed for the current drop in FDI as the current international scenario was prompting foreign funds to move out from emerging markets
"I think we need to strengthen the resolve to create favourable environment for larger flow of funds from abroad," he said.
During April-December of the current fiscal, FDI inflows declined by 23.14% to $16.03 billion over the year ago period.
The prime minister also said that discussions are going on to create an infrastructure development fund and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee may make some announcements in this direction.
Mr Singh also assured the government has not given up on reforms and that more reforms could be unveiled in the forthcoming budget.
"No, we have not given up on reforms. We will persist...
I sincerely hope in the (upcoming) budget we will see a clearer picture of the reform agenda," Mr Singh said.
He reiterated that the government has been working on a host of reform initiatives, some of which have already been successful.
"We are working on a Food Security Bill. The Right to Education is now a reality... The ICDS (Integrated Child Development Services) is a reality... and also the National Rural Health Mission," Mr Singh said.
Prior to the new ULIP regulations, about 30% of business came from pension products. While most insurers have avoided pension ULIPs, IDBI Federal plans to revive the dwindling pension market with a new traditional pension product
IDBI Federal Retiresurance is a guaranteed traditional pension plan designed to help customers secure their lifestyle post-retirement. Retiresurance is a good product for people looking at returns in line with rates of long-term government securities.
You know the exact amount that you will receive on your vesting date for each premium paid. But the catch is that the rate used to calculate guaranteed returns may vary each year, depending on the government securities rate declared by the Fixed Income Money Market and Derivatives Association (FIMMDA). So, the corpus you are accumulating will depend on FIMMDA rates; but the positive side is that the premium you pay will get the government securities rates without any charges.
Retiresurance is a long-term product that has an accumulation phase and a payout phase. The duration of the accumulation phase can be over 10, 15, 20 or 25 years. In the payout phase, you could draw from your retirement corpus for a regular pension.
There is a single premium as well as a regular premium option with a minimum premium payment term of three years. The single premium option has a minimum premium of Rs25,000 and it is Rs20,000 for the regular premium. There is no upper limit for investment.
If someone chooses a 25-year term and pays a premium of Rs1,00,000, the FIMMDA rate for 25-year government securities is 8.6% today. With this rate, the policyholder is guaranteed Rs5,50,000 at the end of 25 years. For the next premium that you pay the remaining policy term will be 24 years. The FIMMDA rate for 24-year government securities at that time will determine what will be your guaranteed maturity value for your second year premium and so on. At the end of the accumulation phase (25 years in this case), the policyholder has the option to take out a one-third lump sum and use the remainder to buy annuity or to buy annuity for the full corpus. The annuity rates and terms will depend on what is offered at the time of the payout phase.
According to GV Nageswara Rao, managing director and chief executive officer, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, "We have designed Retiresurance to suit the definitive needs of people post-retirement. With an increase in life expectancy, many Indians could be spending a good 20 to 25 years of their life in retirement. The product offers a guaranteed corpus for every premium paid. Moreover, if the customer continues the policy till maturity, the plan offers guaranteed loyalty additions."
Retiresurance also comes with a death benefit to ensure that the policy holder's nominee gets money which could be the higher of either the premiums paid, along with a 5% compounded interest, or the special surrender value.
Under the current tax laws, contributions by way of premiums are eligible for deduction under section 80CCC. Under section 10 (10A), the tax benefits are on any payment in commutation of pension received from the fund.
IDBI Federal plans to also come out with a single-premium pension ULIP in the near future. They have already filed for the product with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority. The regular-premium pension ULIP is avoided by most insurers-except LIC-as it is perceived to be risky to offer a guaranteed 4.5% per annum.
Scamsters offer Honda CR-V—an SUV—plus Rs6 lakh in emails sent from a Gmail ID, forcing the company to issue a clarification
Honda Siel Cars India has said that it has come to the company's notice that some fraudulent emails are being circulated, offering the Honda CR-V variant and Rs6 lakh. The company has clarified that Honda Siel Cars is not running any promotion scheme on chromium-vanadium alloy tool steels or on the CR-V sports utility vehicle (SUV) and it has warned people against sharing any personal data in response to such mails.
The scamsters have used Honda Siel Cars India as the name of the sender of the email which has been sent from the address email@example.com as email ID. It says, "This Email is to inform you that you have Emerge the Beneficiary of a Brand New HONDA CR-V CAR and a Cash Amount Of Six Indian Lahks (600.000.00 INR) Reply with your ID:HON3134UVM, Full name, Mobile Number and Country Claim."
Honda Siel Cars is a joint venture between Japan's Honda Motor Co Ltd and Siel Ltd, a Siddharth Shriram Group company. The company makes and sells cars under the Honda brand name in India.
The email originates from an IP address that is labelled as private in Whois database. However, it is routed through the IP address of US-based Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Regular readers of Moneylife will recognise such messages as spam or phishing mails. For others who might have received such messages and did not know what to do, here are some guidelines.
The first thought that should come to mind is, why would Honda send an email from an ID other than their own? In this case the scamsters have chosen to use a Gmail ID. Then, we qualify the the money with rupees, or Rs, or use the new symbol before the amount, whereas the email reads "Six Indian Lahks (not even lakh/lakhs), or 600.000.00 INR. Whether this figure is 6 lakh or 600 or 6 crore, there is no way of knowing since the scamsters have put full stops anywhere and everywhere-but it appears to be the American style of million and billions.
This is yet another fraud unsuspecting people ought to guard against. In case one receives such and email, delete it immediately. You could also check the company website for further information-in this case it is HondacarIndia.com.
One last thing: Since the scamsters have used a Gmail ID, and if you have received the message on your Gmail ID, you could open the mail, click on the reverse triangle sign next to reply. Here click on 'Report phishing', so it is marked as a phishing attack and can be blocked permanently.