Retirement
'Government employees may soon invest pension fund share in equity'

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Hemant Contractor said that the PFRDA is also pushing with the government to give the government subscribers the choice of choosing their pension fund manager

 

Government employees may soon be able to invest up to 50 percent of their contribution towards the pension fund into the equity market, from the current limit of 15 percent, India's pension fund regulator said here on Tuesday.
 
"It is under government consideration. We have sent a proposal to the government to give the government employees an option to invest up to 50 percent in equities," Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Hemant Contractor told reporters here on the sidelines of a pension fund conference.
 
He said the PFRDA is also pushing with the government to give the government subscribers the choice of choosing their pension fund manager.
 
"Currently the government employees do not have any choice. With this they will be able to go for private fund managers to make investments into stock market," said Contractor.
 
The number of government subscribers currently stands at 45-46 lakh, which accounts for 44 percent of the total pension fund subscribers.
 
PFRDA is also looking at guidelines for allowing two percent of the government pension moneys to flow into alternative investment funds (AIFs) every year, he said.
 
Currently only 2 percent of private pension moneys are allowed to be invested in AIFs.
 
About the government's National Pension Scheme, Contractor said that in FY16 alone, NPS has added 1,18,000 subscribers, which is more than the subscribers of previous four years.
 
"In previous four years till March 31, 2015, NPS had 87,000 subscribers and in 2015-16 alone we have added 1,18,000 new subscribers. Tax breaker though was the kicker for NPS but along with it, many more bank branches were roped in for NPS. We expect the launch of eNPS (online NPS facility) to have contributed substantially,” he said.
 
The government has made 40 percent of the NPS tax-free at the time of withdrawal.
 
About the less successful micro-pension product Atal Pension Yojana (APY), he said that it expects to add 60-70 lakh new subscribers in FY17.
 
"We will be able to generate more subscribers this year. We are at 25 lakh subscribers in APY and hope to reach close to a crore in this fiscal," Contractor said.
 
State Bank of India is offering the APY scheme online in some of its branches to get more traction. 
 
PFRDA has also requested the government to extend the deadline for APY, which expired on March 31, 2016, by at least a year, Contractor said.
 
APY is a micro-pension product with a government guarantee, which distinguishes it from other micro-pension schemes like Swavalamban Yojana. The scheme is for the informal sector so deadline should be extended by at least a year, he said.
 
So far 90,000 bank and post office officials have been trained for APY and as many as 20,000 post offices across the country will be engaged in promoting the scheme.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex in an uptrend – Tuesday closing report
As long as Nifty stays above 7,670, the market will head higher
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex has averted the downtrend for now and that Nifty would have to stay above 7,630 for the bullish trend to continue. Optimism in the Indian stock markets continued with the major indices making small gains over Monday’s close. The latest news to attract optimistic investors was the forecast for a favourable monsoon from the Indian Meteorological Department. The trends of the major indices in Tuesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Ahead of the release of data on factory output and retail inflation, key Indian benchmark indices were trading higher on Tuesday. At the BSE, good buying was observed in auto, industrials and oil and gas sectors, while selling pressure was seen in metal sector; 26 shares were up and four were down -- three of them from the pharmaceuticals sector.
 
The overall optimism is not leading to a bigger rally, as there is caution on corporate earnings in the season for quarterly results. Asian markets showed a somewhat mixed trend with Japanese benchmarks up and those in China trading lower.
The Coal India board approved “giving up of performance incentive for supply of higher grades of coal (G5 and above) in the Model Fuel Supply Agreement for power and non-power with immediate effect and to improve lifting of coal," the company said in regulatory filing to BSE. The miner said this decision was taken due to fall in international coal prices and improved supply by it. There is sluggishness in coal demand in general and higher grade of coal in particular, the company said. CIL shares closed at Rs274.45, down 2.28% on the BSE.
 
Bharti Airtel's recent acquisition of Aircel's 4G airwaves in eight circles for Rs3,500 crore through a spectrum trading deal is credit-positive, rating agency Moody's Investors Service report said here on Tuesday. “Despite the slight increase in leverage, the spectrum acquisition from Aircel is credit positive as it further extends Bharti's 4G footprint across all circles making it a pan India 4G operator,” the report stated. The company has rolled out 4G services in a total of 427 cities across 14 circles already, as it had secured a pan-India data enablement in the 2010, 2014 and 2015 auctions, through a combination of the 900Mhz, 1800Mhz and 2300Mhz bands. Bharti Airtel shares closed at Rs349.55, up 0.34% on the BSE.
 
Aluminium major Nalco said on Monday that it will set up a joint task force with Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (IMIDRO) to deliberate on a proposed smelter and gas-based power plant in Chabahar Free Trade Zone. The joint task force will be comprised of senior projects, operations and marketing executives of Nalco, directors of Iran's ministry of industries and senior executives of Iranian Aluminium Company (IRALCO), said Nalco statement.  "The project would help Nalco to use low cost energy available in Iran for conversion of its alumina, presently exported to international markets, to aluminium. The aluminium products from the joint venture company are expected to be highly cost competitive combining the advantages of low cost Nalco alumina and low cost Iranian energy," said Nalco CMD Tapan Kumar Chand, who is in Iran as part of Indian business delegation, led by Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.  Nalco shares closed at Rs39.20, down 1.26% on the BSE. Gail India's shares closed at Rs365.20, up 3.87% on the BSE, following tariff revision and increased revenue forecast. 
 
US stocks reversed early gains to end lower as big US companies are reporting their quarterly results this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 20.55 points, or 0.12%, to 17,556.41 on Monday. The S&P 500 lost 5.61 points, or 0.27%, to 2,041.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 17.29 points, or 0.36%, to 4,833.40. US material company Alcoa, seen as an unofficial start to quarterly earnings season, will post results after the market closes. Big bank earnings, starting with JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday, will be watched closely this week. Experts said that market expectations for profit growth are low amid the sluggish world economy, a strong dollar and declining commodity prices. According to Thomson Reuters, the blended earnings of the S&P 500 companies in the first quarter of 2016 are expected to decline 7.7% year-on-year, while the revenue is forecast to decrease 1.3%. Wall Street also kept a close eye on oil recovery. Oil prices extended gains on Monday, with US oil settling above $40 a barrel for the first time since March 22, as crude producer countries are scheduled to meet on Sunday in Doha to discuss the output freeze. Indian investors watching quarterly earnings results from Indian corporates are also showing caution in the Indian stock markets. The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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Kerala HC bans high decibel firecrackers at night

Firework displays during the day too should not exceed the decibel levels of 125-145

 

Two days after a fire tragedy in a temple killed 110 people, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday ordered a ban on exploding high decibel firecrackers at night.
 
Firework displays during the day too should not exceed the decibel levels of 125-145, a division bench of Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice Anu Sivaraman said.
 
The court came down heavily on Kerala Police for failing to do its duty on Sunday when a massive blaze and explosion caused by fireworks led to the death of 110 people at a temple in Kollam district.
 
The judges wanted to know if the probe by the Crime Branch into the incident was enough or whether the Central Bureau of Investigation should probe the tragedy.

 

 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 
 

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