HDFC Bank launches credit card for doctors

The credit cards Superia and Platinum have been designed to cater to the lifestyle, travel and other needs of doctors


Chandigarh: Private sector lender HDFC Bank rolled out credit cards for doctors to cater to medical fraternity's specific needs, as part of its plans to launch total one million credit cards in current fiscal to deepen its presence in credit cards space, reports PTI.

The credit cards for doctors Superia and Platinum have been designed to cater to the lifestyle, travel and other needs of doctors.

The doctors with new exclusive range of credit cards members will be able to access more than 600 airports lounges around the world, irrespective of preferred airlines or class and they will also benefit from the reward point redemption across all major airlines in India, said HDFC Bank, business head (credit cards & merchant acquiring services) Parag Rao.

He informed that there are 8.4 lakh registered doctors in the country as per Medical Council of India while 35,000 become new doctors every year.

“Healthcare sector in India stands at $17 billion and it is growing at a rate of 13%,” he said.

Claiming to be one of the largest players in credit cards business in the country, Rao said that HDFC Bank had a credit card customer base of 5.60 million as of March 2012.

 "We are adding 90,000 to 100,000 credit cards every month which is more than the double of what credit card industry is doing," he said.

HDFC bank has plans to launch one million new credit cards in current fiscal in line with its strategy to further penetrate the credit card business.

“We have plans to launch 1 million new credit cards in 2012-13 which is more than what we launched last fiscal,” he said.

Country’s total credit card holders are pegged at 18 million, down from 28 million in 2008 when slowdown hit global economies.

Rao further said that the bank witnessed 60% growth in terms spending through credit cards in last fiscal against industry's overall spending of 10%-11%.

 "We aim to perform better than industry’s growth in terms of spending which is likely to be 15%-20% in current fiscal," he said.

With travelling, eating out and apparel segments constituting bulk of total spending by credit card holders, Rao said that the online shopping was going to be the next growth driver for the credit card industry.

“The way internet space is growing, we feel online shopping through credit card which constitutes almost 20%-25% at present will move up to 50% in next three years," he said.


E-filing of returns must for taxpayers earning over Rs10 lakh

CBDT said taxpayers with annual income of over Rs10 lakh will have to file their tax returns for FY12 online, however digital signature will not be mandatory for these people


New Delhi: People with annual income of over Rs10 lakh will have to file their tax returns for 2011-12 electronically, reports PTI.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notification making e-filing compulsory for assessment year 2012-13 onwards for an individual or a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) if his or its total income exceeds Rs10 lakh.

However, digital signature will not be mandatory for these taxpayers, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

E-filing for such assessees was optional till 2010-11.

The Income Tax Department had received a record 1.64 crore e-Returns in 2011-12 financial year.

Currently, 'Business Houses' with receipts of Rs60 lakh and professionals with income of Rs15 lakh are mandatorily required to e-file their return with digital signature.

As on 31 March 2012, there were 1.96 crore tax payers who had registered for e-filing.

The ministry said, "e-filing is an easy, fast and secure method of filing income tax return" and "the processing for e-filed return is faster and taxpayers get their refunds, if due, quickly".

The electronically filed returns are processed at Centralised Processing Centre, Bengaluru.

The Income Tax Department also provides some value added services like tracking of refunds and viewing of tax credit status.


Details of Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme by month-end: Finance ministry

Under the proposed scheme, the investors would be allowed to invest up to Rs50,000 in a year, with a lock-in period of 3 years

New Delhi: The finance ministry is likely to come out with details of the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme, which is aimed at boosting retail investments in capital market, by the end of this month, reports PTI.

"We are working on it and the norms should be ready by this month end," a senior finance ministry official said.

The market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has been pitching for routing this tax-saving equity scheme through mutual fund so as to minimise the risks associated with direct stock investments for the investors.

In order to make the scheme more attractive for retail investors, the ministry has been considering reducing the lock-in period under the scheme to one year from the proposed three years.

Former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, in the Budget for 2012-13, had announced introduction of the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Scheme under which 50% tax deduction would be provided to retail investors with annual income less than Rs10 lakh.

Under the proposed scheme, investors would be allowed to invest up to Rs50,000 in a year, with a lock-in period of three years.

The scheme, it was proposed, could be availed once in a life time by investors. It was the first ever, tax benefit scheme in India, for direct investment in equities to encourage retail investors' participation. By offering this scheme, the government aims at channelizing household savings into stock markets.

In 2010-11, net inflow in equity schemes of mutual fund had declined by Rs13,000 crore, but in the following year, it is positive by few hundred crore, the official said, adding the number of folios that have declined.

The ministry, he added, was also working on several other issues with a view to streamlining the path for investment by qualified financial institutions (QFIs).

"There are 57 action points we are working on for streamlining the QFI investment process. We will be addressing them and also the withholding tax issue," he said.

The ministry is also considering a proposal to bring the taxation structure of the QFIs in line with that of the foreign institutional investors (FIIs). A short-term capital gain tax of 15% would be deducted at source in case the QFI makes a profit on investment.

A qualified foreign institutional investor (QFI) is an individual, group or association in a foreign country that is compliant with financial action task force (FATF) standards. They do not include FIIs/sub-accounts.

The finance ministry had last month conducted roadshows in five nations in the Middle-East-Riyadh, Dubai, Muscat, Kuwait and Bahrain-projecting India as an "incredible investment destination".


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