In a bizzare move, the government has proposed to set up a ‘credit guarantee fund’ to address cases of education loan defaults. The idea is to enhance the flow of assistance to students by providing a safety net to the banks. In addition to the scheme of interest subsidy on education loans to students of weaker sections already in place, the new fund will ”address cases of education loans defaults which add to the burgeoning non-performing assets of the bank”. Will this scheme go the same way as the credit guarantee scheme of loans to small industries? The banks are simply reluctant to lend.
Canara Bank’s debit cards, which are currently issued free of cost, will carry an annual fee of Rs112 beginning 1st July. Canara Bank argues that banks need to offer services at competitive rates “that are in tune with the market trends” and that it has been decided by the Bank to charge a nominal fee of Rs100 per card plus service tax.
The Union Cabinet of ministers has cleared a Bill to set up a real estate regulator. The main provisions of the Bill relating to violations and grievance redress include:
1. Failure to comply with the norms for the first time would attract a penalty which may be up to 10% of the project cost and a repeat offence could land the developer in jail.
2. A developer putting out misleading advertisements can be jailed.
3. There will be Real Estate Appellate Tribunal that will hear appeals from orders, decisions or directions of regulator and adjudicating officer.
4. For fast tracking settlement of disputes, an adjudicating officer not below joint secretary in the state will be appointed by the authority.
5. Real estate regulator will have offices in every state. Commercial real estate has been kept out of purview of the proposed Bill. The Bill will apply to only residential buildings.
6. Developers will have to get their projects registered with the regulator before sale.
7. Developers can launch projects only after acquiring all statutory clearances from relevant authorities.
8. Developers cannot offer any pre-launch sales before obtaining all statutory clearances.
9. The statutory clearances are to be submitted to the regulator and also displayed on a website before starting the construction.
10. The developer will have to deposit up to 70% of funds received for a particular project in a separate bank account for the project.