Out of the 43 lakh claims settled by EPFO since April, more than 68% were settled in less than 10 days
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has settled over 11 lakh claims, including transfer and withdrawal of provident fund, during July.
"EPFO has settled more than 11 lakh claims during July 2014. This has taken the cumulative total during this financial year to 43 lakh claims," the retirement fund body said a statement.
Of the 43 lakh claims, more than 68% were settled in less than 10 days.
Besides, the EPFO also updated 92% of the annual accounts due for the year 2013-14. "This achievement is unprecedented and has happened for the first time in the last 30 years," EPFO added.
EPFO has recently issued Universal PF Account Numbers for 4.17 crore contributing members. They have been made available to the employers who in turn have to seed the numbers with KYC details such as bank account, PAN and Aadhaar.
As per latest progress review, more than 30 lakh (KYC) data has been seeded so far. EPFO has set 15th September as deadline for completing this task. These 4.17 crore UANs are expected to be operational by 15th October.
The UAN will be portable throughout the working career of the members and can be used anywhere in India. Thus, they will not need to apply for transfer of PF account on changing jobs.
With a view to making inspections of establishments more transparent, objective and to bring in greater accountability on the part of inspecting staff, a new scheme has been introduced by EPFO.
The new system envisages both mandatory and optional inspection of establishments. While mandatory inspections would be applicable in respect of new coverages (companies), establishments registered on ECR portal but not complying and those establishments reported for closure.
The optional inspection would be resorted to in such cases where there is a drop in remittance or membership. It is also been decided shall be uploaded on the EPFO's website and thereby placing the same in the public domain for scrutiny.
It was also stated that social security agreements have been notified with respect to two more countries -- Finland and Sweden. The agreements are operationalised from 1st August.
Under the agreement, employees who are deputed for short term assignments are exempted from making social security contributions in the country in which they are deputed provided they carry Certificate of Coverage (CoC).
Facilities also exist for totalisation and portability of social security benefits.
A day after lowering SLR, Rajan said the RBI would reduce the amount of pre-emptions in the system including SLR and make a more effective priority sector lending process
Reserve Bank of India governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has said the central bank is all for reducing "pre-emptions" over a longer horizon for more efficiency in the financial system.
"The broader, longer term programme of five years, is that we should reduce the amount of pre-emptions we have in the system including statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) and make a more effective priority sector lending (PSL) process," Dr Rajan said during the customary post-policy call with analysts.
Rajan drew attention towards the Nachiket Mor committee on PSL and said that the RBI is trying to make the entire process more effective.
"These are necessary changes in the system and should not be seen as tied to the monetary cycles," he added.
Various stakeholders in the system, including banks, have been expressing reservations about the pre-emptions like the SLR and CRR. In the present scenario, banks have to set invest 22% of their deposits in government securities and 4% gets parked as cash reserve ratio (CRR) without any interest payment.
Banks carry out lending on whatever remains, and 40% of the lending as well is mandated to be done to weaker sections of the society under the PSL.
Rajan conceded that Tuesday's 0.50% cut in SLR is not going to have any real impact in the immediate future and added that banks will continue carrying excess SLR for the "foreseeable future".
The cut in the SLR holding requirement, which has the potential to release an additional Rs40,000 crore into the system, offers banks the flexibility to manage their finances better when the credit demand will go up, he said.
"Going forward, we would investigate the conditions in both the credit market as well as the bond market and make appropriate decisions at that point," Rajan said, asserting that banks will continue to be present in the government securities market.
When asked about the limit for foreign institutional investors' investments in government securities, Rajan said the RBI is happy with their renewed interest and also acknowledged their preference for longer maturity debt of over three years.
The Travel Card helps overseas students to pay for application fee, university admission and other course-related fees, hostel fee and day-to-day living expenses, while their parents can reload the card from India
ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender has launched a travel card which enables students going abroad for higher studies to take care of their expenses.
“The card offers both students and parents a convenient, safe and hassle-free way to manage their education-related expenses abroad. While it helps the students pay for expenses such as application fee, university admission and other course-related fees, hostel fee and day-to-day living expenses, their parents can reload the card from India. Also, the card allows withdrawal from ATMs across the globe in local currency,” the bank said in a statement.
Additionally, card users get the benefit of free comprehensive travel insurance, lost card liability insurance and a replacement card which can be activated easily by calling an international toll-free number in the event of loss/ damage of the primary card.
The unique feature of the card is that it is bundled with membership of the International Student Identity Card (ISIC). ISIC is the only internationally accepted proof of full-time student status and offers 40,000 benefits and discounts at 1.2 lakh merchant outlets across 130 countries.
ICICI Bank Student Travel Card is available in the dollar, pound, euro, Australian dollar and Canadian dollar. It is valid for three years and can be applied for from any foreign exchange-enabled ICICI Bank branch. Anyone, including non-customers, can apply for this card.