ICICI Bank announced the launch of the country’s first ‘contact-less’ debit and credit cards, enabling its customers to make electronic payments by just waving the card near the merchant terminal in lieu of dipping or swiping it. These cards are based on the near field communication (NFC) technology which provides customers the improved convenience of speed, as these cards require significantly less time compared with traditional cards to complete a transaction. They also provide enhanced security as they remain in control of the customer.
Reliance Capital Asset Management Company has received government approval for the first-ever equity-oriented pension scheme giving tax benefits to investors. The government has notified Reliance Retirement Fund as a ‘Pension Fund’ under a relevant Section of the Income-Tax Act offering tax deductions to individuals for investments up to Rs1.5 lakh in a financial year. This is the first pension fund that offers an equity-oriented option, thereby enabling investors to earn competitive returns that can help beat inflation.
This is with regard to “Wealth Creators” (Moneylife, 8 January 2015). It is only Moneylife that talks about shares like Symphony or Mayur Uniquoters which have given investors incredible returns. This is because numbers can’t bluff us. Business papers, today, are full of Infosys’ results, even though these were not spectacular. Yet, how they manage to make it appear so good! Symphony, after its results, may get a five-line mention, although it seems a far better atock to invest in today.
Mohan Sivanand, online comment
This is with regard to “Reforms & Governance under Modi” by Sucheta Dalal. The article is just a good sample of acts of good governance that are getting delayed for want of pragmatic action. The country is young. Education reforms are crucial. Vice-chancellors are appointed on the basis of caste and region and not merit. Teachers, likewise, are appointed on the basis of reservations that continue after 65 years of independence. Reservations, like subsidies, need reform if governance in education and health sectors has to improve significantly.
B Yerram Raju, online comment
This is with regard to “MOIL: An Exceptional PSU?” MOIL has a huge cash balance on its books. Investors in MOIL should not assume that the cash is theirs. For a cash-strapped government, it can be used to fund the government’s PSU divestment programme. Why invest in PSUs when our ‘Dear Leader’ is pro-private business?
Ralph Rau, online comment
This is with regard to “4 Reasons To Sell a Stock” by R Balakrishnan. How does one dig up the 20-year trading band? Where is such information on PE available? I haven’t found any financial portal that gives this information. Can someone help with pointers to such information?
Kiran Bhagwat, online comment
R Balakrishnan replies:
Bloomberg, Capitaline and ACE are some of the services; all of them are paid services. Often, some of the ratios have to be derived. So, something like ACE is a good database to use.
This is with regard to “Life Insurance: Review of Edelweiss Tokio online term plan MyLife+” by Raj Pradhan. What about solvency ratio and claim settlement ratio for Edelweiss Tokio?
Shashank S, online comment
Raj Pradhan replies:
Good question. Solvency ratio should not be a major worry, due to regulations. Claims settlement ratio can be a concern. For new insurers, it can be low due to high early death claims. We will look at the new IRDA annual report 2013-14, which was released on 8 January 2015, to check how insurers fared.
This is with regard to “NITI Aayog: A Stronger & More Powerful Body” by Sucheta Dalal. Media analysis, so far, has not gone deep into the rationale for revamping the Planning Commission which has come about as part of the reform process. But for the change in name and the announcement in Narendra Modi’s maiden Independence Day speech, perhaps the changes would not have been criticised by the mainstream media or Opposition parties. The previous regime has damaged the system silently, like the withdrawal of pension scheme. After Nehru, planning has remained an arithmetical exercise factoring in whatever was happening in the economy without much involvement of, or concern for, those affected by planning.
The new dispensation, which claims to be a ‘bottom up’ approach, hopefully, will allow greater participation of stakeholders at and ensure distributive justice. So far, higher share of resources have been cornered by more developed geographical areas; the development needs of states which did not have a ‘hold’ at the Centre were neglected. By and large, the change takes care to retain the essential role played by the erstwhile Planning Commission while bringing focus on decentralisation and wider role for states.
A responsible Opposition, instead of ‘crying foul’, should do more homework and suggest corrections where they feel the revamp goes against the broad interests of the country and the people.
MG Warrier, online comment
This is with regard to “Best & Worst Equity Schemes of 2014.” One year is too short a period to judge the performance of equity schemes.
Atul Naik, online comment
This is with regard to “Pension Plan: Review of LIC’s Varishtha Bima Pension Yojana” by Raj Pradhan. Varishta Bima Pension Yojana (VBPY) has a drawback; its income is fully taxable. The pension has a limit of Rs5,000/- per month which is not sufficient to lead a decent life.
Government should increase the monthly pension amount to Rs10,000/- and there should be no tax deduction at source because this amount, on an annual basis, is not taxable for a senior citizen.
Loan should be available from the deposit amount, immediately from day one, and not after three years’ waiting period. After five years’ lock-in period, a senior citizen should be able to withdraw the amount from this scheme.
For ‘most senior citizens’ (who complete 80 years of age), this lock-in period should be reduced to three years.
Also, the monthly pension amount should be increased to Rs15,000/- for those belonging to the 80+year age group.
Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag
This is with regard to “Moneylife Foundation felicitates Constable Azim Shaikh for preventing a railway catastrophe.”
Thank God. Good news to read, at last!