HDFC raises benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points

New Delhi: Leading housing finance firm Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) today announced a hike in its benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points, making home loan dearer for both existing and new borrowers, reports PTI.

HDFC has raised its retail prime lending rate (RPLR) by 0.75% with effect from 1 December, 2010, it said in a statement.

With this revision the RPLR goes up from 14.25% to 15%.

“This is in line with the current rates of interest in the economy, which have hardened due to rising inflation and shrinking liquidity in the domestic market,” it said.

While HDFC has increased its benchmark by 75 basis points since its last hike in September, the overall interest rates in the economy have moved up as much as 125 basis points during this period, it said.

Faced with tight liquidity, many banks, including Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank and Syndicate Bank recently raised their deposit rates.

For new borrowers, it said, the home loans up to Rs30 lakh are priced at 9.5% while loans up to Rs75 lakh will cost 9.75%.

Earlier this week, HDFC also decided to discontinue the teaser rate scheme that entails cheaper home loans to new borrowers.

HDFC's scheme of dual rate home loan, which expired last month, was not extended.

Teaser rate is a special loan scheme under which a concessional rate is offered for a limited period to attract customers.

Under this offer, HDFC offered home loans at a fixed rate of 8.5% up to 31 March, 2011, 9.5% for a period between 1 April, 2011 and 31 March, 2012 and the applicable floating rate for the balance term.


No plans to reduce interest rate on farm loans: Thomas

New Delhi: The government today said it has no plans to reduce the rate of interest to 4% from the current 5% on farm loans, reports PTI.

In a response to a written query in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for food and agriculture KV Thomas said that the government has no proposal under consideration for reducing the interest rate to 4% on farm loans.

The minister said in 2009-10, the government provided an additional 1% interest subvention to those farmers who repaid their short term crop loan as per schedule.

“The government has raised this subvention for timely repayment of crop loans from 1% to 2% from the year 2010-11,” he said while adding that thus the effective rate of interest for such farmers will be 5% per annum.

The minister said that during the first half of current fiscal (April-September period) public sector commercial banks have disbursed total loan of Rs86,284 crore to farmers.

“The loan amount has benefited 77.68 lakh farmers for meeting their credit requirements for agricultural operation purposes,” the minister said.


Aadhaar launched in Tripura, first in N-E region

Agartala: Aadhaar, a 12-digit Unique Identification Number (UID) to be issued to each citizen of the country, has been formally launched in Tripura, the first state in the north eastern region where the project was inaugurated, reports PTI.

State industries and commerce minister Jitendra Chowdhury launched Aadhaar at a function at Sabroom in South Tripura district, about 135 km from here, on Thursday.

However, the citizens of Sabroom have to wait for sometime to get the Aadhaar number, to be issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

“We hope the process of enrolment in Tripura would be completed by next year and then the people of the state would be given the Aadhaar number by UIDAI,” Mr Chowdhury told PTI from Sabroom today.

The number will store basic demographics and biometric information of each individual in a central database, officials said. This would help the government launch various programmes.

Tripura is the eighth state in the country to have launched Aadhaar.

Meanwhile, UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani has said the ‘Aadhar’ number should not be the basis for any discrimination.

Asked about activists like Jean Dreze, a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC), not favouring linking Aadhar to MNREGA, he said the number should not be used in such a manner that one gets discriminated against.

He said the number was optional and not compulsory and that ‘Aadhar’ only aims at ensuring that people get the right services they are entitled to.

Talking about other aspects of the project, including privacy, he said there should not be any fears with regard to the UID databank as it will store very limited information.

Nilekani said the Aadhaar number will be helpful in opening a bank account, getting a ration card and many other things especially for the poor and the migrant labourers.

He said the number will enable inclusive growth and development for the deprived and will act as an instrument of social inclusion.


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