Very severe cyclonic storm had closed in on the East Coast off Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Government agencies and disaster management personnel are on standby and ready to make this a zero casualty storm
The cyclonic storm HUDHUD reached within range of the doppler weather radar at Vishakapatnam Saturday, the Indian Meteorological Department's (IMD) said in a bulletin. “It would then move north-westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh coast around Visakhapatnam by the forenoon of Sunday, 12 October 2014,” the IMD said.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in Vishakapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam districts of North Andhra Pradesh and Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Phulbani districts of South Odisha in the next 48 hours. “The wind speed would gradually increase to 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph around the time of landfall along and off north Andhra Pradesh,” the IMD said.
The National Crisis Management Committee met today, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth. The Home Ministry said, “All Central agencies are fully geared up to provide necessary assistance to these states in case of any eventualities arising out of landfall of the cyclone expected on Sunday.” The Ministry also said that 39 NDRF teams comprising 1,680 rescuers along with 199 inflatable boats had been deployed in various parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The state government evacuated 24,000 in Vishakapatnam, 15,000 in Vijayanagaram, 46,000 in Srikakulam and 160 from the East Godavari District. The IMD has already advised all fishing be stopped till further notice as the sea was expected to be rough to very rough in the next 12 hours and was expected to become 'phenomenal' from the morning of 12th October. The IMD will also be addressing the media with an update on the situation a little later in the day.
Bankers are under tremendous pressure to meet targets, so banking correspondents, who are paid higher commissions are taking the same set of people from one bank to another to open multiple accounts. A huge waste of time and money later in weeding out dormant and multiple accounts seems inevitable
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), aimed at opening bank account for every household across the country, was implemented with brutal force following Prime Minister Narendra Modi personal push. Hapless bankers, working day and night, opened crores of bank accounts under the PMJDY. The question that everybody ignored and is being asked by banks is, who are the real beneficiaries of these new bank accounts and who will bear the cost of maintaining, de-duplication or shutting down dormant accounts? Interestingly, after launching the scheme, the government directed banks to undertake a survey to identity households who do not have a bank account. In fact, this exercise should have done before the hurried launch of Jan Dhan, say bankers.
There are endless anecdotes and internet jokes doing the rounds about how unbanked persons rushed to open accounts assuming it would immediately give them Rs5,000 in cash (overdraft) and the ability to encash Rs1 lakh in insurance. Some even opened four and five accounts in order to multiple the insurance cover, they believe will be available to their families. Harried bankers are ending up spending a lot of productive time explaining to people when and how these benefits will be available.
"Multiplicity of accounts in the name of same person is a serious operational risk. The scheme does not prevent opening of multiple accounts, i.e. opening the accounts in different banks to avail the benefits under the scheme. There is no mechanism to check such misuse," says an editorial from 'Officer's Voice', a periodical from Corporation Bank Officers' Organisation (CBOO).
The 'force' behind achieving the numbers was so powerful that bankers were directed to open account for anyone without even basic document required under know-your-customer (KYC) norms. In fact, RBI through a notification issued on 26 August 2014 asked banks to open small account for anyone without any officially valid documents by just submitting self-attested photograph. The validity for such accounts is 12 months, and the account holder can conduct transactions up to Rs1 lakh in this period only. Thereafter, he needs to submit documents required under the KYC norms to continue to operate the account.
However, the dilution in KYC norms while opening the accounts has created fear of accountability among bank officials in case of misuse of these accounts by unscrupulous elements. United Forum of Bank Unions (UBFU), an umbrella organisation of bank unions across the country, has demanded protection to bankers who have been implementing the PMJDY scheme.
According our interaction with field staff from some banks, their performance was monitored not only by their seniors or any government agency, but also by political party workers, especially Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Local office bearers of BJP were openly interacting with bankers and checking and reporting the progress of the PMJDY to their party bosses. The 'fear factor' in banker's mind about this ‘shadow monitoring’ was so large that some simply pleaded the party workers to help them in enrolling more people under the PMJDY.
The editorial from 'Officer's Voice', says, “The pressure on bank employees and officer to open accounts under the scheme is tremendous. The employees working in branched with allotted villages are required to work from 8am to 8pm on every Saturday till 26 January 2015 and conduct camps to enable people to open accounts under the scheme. The public sector banks (PSBs) are already under tremendous pressure due to acute staff shortage due to absence of recruitment during the past two decades and large scale retirement and resignations under voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).”
It said, "These multiple accounts could also be utilised by unscrupulous elements for money laundering. Unless there is a centralised database for all these accounts, this risk will remain.” It is in this context Dr Raghuram Rajan, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), cautioned bankers about running behind the number game instead of achieving the core objective of the scheme.
Earlier, the RBI launched the financial inclusion programme to provide financial services to people in unbanked areas. According to the RBI data, since March 2010, the number of zero balance accounts (no-frills account or Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account- BSBDA) in India has doubled to 103.2 million from 49.33 million in March 2010. There is cost attached for banks even to maintain record for no-frills account irrespective of whether there was any transaction conducted in the account or not.
Although the government has promised to compensate banks for the cost incurred in the PMJDY, the modalities are yet to be worked out. Even of the government compensates banks, it is the taxpayers who will end up being billed for this exercise. As per the cost or premium for the Rs30,000 life insurance for each account holder under the PMJDY, is concerned, there still no clarity. Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC) has expressed inability to bear the cost. In this scenario, the government would pay the cost from the exchequer, ultimately from the taxpayers’ pocket.
There is no doubt that the future may hold several disruptive business models for banking many of which may be enabled by technology. While encouraging innovation, it is the role of the government and regulators to ensure that these do not bring ruin to the nation’s financial system. The PMJDY appears to be heading in that direction only.
Under the scheme, account holders were promised a free RuPay Card with accident insurance of Rs1 lakh, overdraft facility of Rs5,000 after successful operation of initial six months and a life cover up to Rs30,000 for those who would open account under the PMJDY before 26 January 2015. No wonder, people who have bank account also rushed to open the account, as the freebies offered were very attractive. The announcement that the additional benefits will be available to existing accounts came very late. This was the same warning issued by RBI governor Dr Raghuram Rajan for banks to be careful people may be tempted to open multiple accounts. Senior RBI officials have also been warning banks about ‘smurfing’ and ‘money muling’.
According to report from Mission Director and Additional Mission Director for the PMJDY, as on 2 October 2014, bankers across the country opened 5.29 crore accounts under the scheme. Out of this, 3.12 bank accounts were opened in rural and 2.17 in urban areas. So far, banks have issued 1.78 crore RuPay cards. The government has asked banks to increase their capacity to issue RuPay cards and clear the backlog 'quickly'. Again, the question is who will bear the cost of the RuPay card? Will the regular bank customers, who may be using savings account or depositors, be made to pay for this extravaganza through increased service charges?
When A Layman Wants to Open PMJDY Bank Account…
ग्राहक - जन धन में खाता खुलवाना है।
बैंकर - भईया ये रूपए ही 6 महीने बाद आयेंगे ।
(Source not known. This is a message being circulated on social media sites and instant messengers)
Nifty may rally if closes above 7890
We had mentioned in Thursday closing report that rally on Nifty may continue if it manages to stay above 7,920. The index opened below this level and moved in a narrow range. In line with negative performance of the US indices on Thursday and the weakness on the Asian bourses, indices back home were also pulled lower.
S&P BSE Sensex opened lower at 26,552 while Nifty opened at 7,911. After hitting a high almost at the same level as opening the benchmark continue to move lower. The indices hit a low at 26,262 and 7,848. Sensex closed at 26,297 (down 340 points or 1.28%) while Nifty closed at 7,860 (down 101 points or 1.26%). The NSE recorded a volume of 76.14 crore shares. India VIX rose 8.93% to close at 14.3300.
Market awaited Infosys to declare its Q2 results today and the government will unveil industrial production data for August 2014.
Aban Offshore (9.43%) was among the top two gainers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It received two firm orders worth USD 91.33 million worth each from ONGC for the deployment of jack-up rig Aban III and Aban IV for a period of 3 years. The contracts are expected to commence during the first quarter of calendar year 2015.
JSW Steel (5.87%) was among the top three losers in ‘A’ group on the BSE. It recorded crude steel production at 3.30 million tons for Q2 FY 2014-15 showing a growth of 11% over the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Flat rolled products at 2.61 million tons and long rolled products at 0.56 million tons registering growth of 6% and 21% respectively over the relevant period.
Infosys (6.68%) was among the top three gainers in ‘A’ group on the BSE and the top gainer in Sensex 30 pack. It posted a net profit for the period after exceptional item of Rs 3,365 crore for the quarter ended September 2014 as compared to Rs 2,326 crore for the quarter ended September 2013. Revenue has increased from Rs 11,482 crore to Rs 11,863 crore for the relevant period. With a view to increase liquidity its board has recommended a bonus issue of one equity share for every equity share held.
Mr. Narayana Murthy and S Gopalakrishnan will cease to be Non-Executive Chairman effective October 10, 2014 and KV Kamath has been elected as the chairman of the board effective October 11, 2014. Its board also declared interim dividend of Rs 30 per equity share.
World Steel Association recently mentioned that India's outlook is improving following the election of a new government. In 2014, India's steel demand is expected to grow by 3.4 per cent to 76.2 million tonnes in 2014, following a growth of 1.8 per cent in 2013.Tata Steel (4.03%) was among the top four losers in Sensex 30 stock.
US indices closed in the red on Thursday.
Federal Reserve officials said the US economy may be at risk from a global slowdown as the International Monetary Fund this week cut its outlook for global growth.
All the Asian indices which were trading today closed in the red today. Hang Seng (1.90%) was the top loser.
In Japan, minutes from a central bank meeting showed that one board member warned of possible negative effects of additional stimulus. The comment indicated that not all board members were comfortable with aggressively easing policy further.
European indices were trading lower so were the US indices trading deeply in the red.
Germany, reported on Thursday that its exports fell 5.8% in August, the worst decline since January 2009.
The Bank of England (BOE) voted on Thursday to keep its main interest rate at a record-low level of 0.50%, with Britain experiencing low inflation and steady economic recovery. The central bank's nine-strong monetary policy committee opted also to maintain the level of its cash stimulus, or quantitative easing, at £375 billion ($608 billion, €476 billion), the BoE said in a statement issued following a regular monthly meeting.
Differences between the European Central Bank (ECB) and Germany over the steps needed to revive the euro-area economy came to the fore yesterday, 9 October 2014.
Speaking in Washington, ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to keep monetary policy loose and urged those governments with the room to ease fiscal policy to do so. By contrast, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned against US-style quantitative easing and urged continued budgetary discipline. Draghi said there are signs the region's recovery is losing momentum.