The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to withdraw all currency notes issued prior to 2005, including Rs500 and Rs1,000 denominations, from 31st March. From 1 July 2014, persons seeking exchange of more than 10 pieces of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes will have to furnish proof of identity and residence to the bank. As the new currency notes have added security features, they would help in curbing the menace of fake currency.
Principal Financial Well Being Index 2013 has been launched by the asset management company Principal. The Index is based on a survey of Indian households and covers issues related to household spending; saving and investment attitude and trends; financial priorities and attitude towards finances; availing services of financial advisors; perceptions and attitude towards retirement planning; and employee benefits and satisfaction levels. The survey attempts to highlight the Indian household’s perception of its own financial health and economy, in general. The Principal Financial Well Being Index will be based on an annual study charting the progress / movements on these topics year-on-year. The first study has been conducted with Principal’s research partner—Nielsen & Company—during the last quarter of 2013.
The study was conducted in 11 cities—Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Lucknow & Jaipur and a total of 1,664 Indian households were interviewed. The respondent profile includes: age 25 to 60 years, SEC (socio-economic classification A & B), annual household income of Rs5 lakh, salaried or self-employed professionals and employed full-time/ part-time with either a small, medium, or large-sized company. Quantitative research was conducted using a structured questionnaire.
Defying the market expectations and those of the finance minister P Chidambaram, Dr Raghuram Rajan, to fight inflation, raised the repo rate 25 basis points to 8%— his third rate hike (of a total of 75 basis points) since taking charge in September 2013. “An increase in the policy rate will set the economy securely on the recommended disinflationary path,” RBI said. RBI’s decision came five days after the finance minister issued a veiled instruction to RBI, that it, too, had a duty to help in economic growth. But RBI has openly declared that its mandate is to fight inflation, and consumer price inflation at that.