The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is all set to sell inflation-indexed bonds to retail investors through IDBI Bank. RBI has already raised Rs2000 crore via two auctions in early- and late–June 2013. Retail investors will be allowed to buy up to Rs25 lakh of inflation-linked bonds, with a minimum of Rs10,000 and additional investments of Rs10,000 each. The price of the bonds will most likely be linked to the wholesale price index (WPI) which defeats the very purpose of purchasing these bonds, according to Moneylife. WPI is nowhere close to the rate of inflation that the common man faces and money you would get as ‘returns’ would be lower than what you pay for the goods in the market.
Concerned over the growing menace of chain-money schemes across the country, the finance ministry is expected to bring new legislation to plug regulatory gaps. According to the ministry it is now possible for companies to run a business that would be classified neither as a non-banking finance company, nor as a chit fund or any other regulated entity, and peddle dubious schemes avoiding the oversight of regulators and government departments. . A Cabinet note on the proposed Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2013, has been circulated and seeks to provide SEBI with powers to carry out search and seizure to attach the assets of those running chain-money schemes.
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will provide subscribers the facility to apply for settlement of provident claims online, from August 2013. This move is expected to benefit 1.3 million applicants who apply for provident fund (PF) claims settlement each year. EPFO expects that of the 1.3 million transfer claims that would be filed this year, around 1.0 million cases would be cleared online, especially those employed in the information technology (IT) industry. These employees change jobs more frequently and are more tech-savvy than others; hence, they are more likely to use this service. Digital signatures would be mandatory for online settlement applications. EPFO has already unveiled revised PF transfer forms for this purpose.