Citizens' Issues
Rs5.25 crore bank van heist: Robber, wife arrested from Uttar Pradesh

Last Friday, the gang of robbers waylaid the bank's cash van, pinned down its security guard and shot him after he tried to snatch their weapons

New Delhi: One of the robbers allegedly involved in the sensational Rs5.25 crore bank van heist in south Delhi and his wife were arrested from Uttar Pradesh, reports PTI quoting police.


Hari Kishan and his wife Rashmi were apprehended from Banda, a senior police official said. With this seven persons have been arrested in connection with the last Friday's robbery.


Some cash has been recovered from them, the official said.


The gang had waylaid the cash van, pinned down a security guard and shot him after he tried to snatch their weapons.


They fled the spot in the cash van leaving behind the car in which they were following the vehicle. The guard later succumbed to bullet wound.


It was a raid at Harkishen's house in Khirki that helped police in its trail. The key of the looted cash van was recovered in his house.


Harkishen is the second person, who was allegedly involved in the actual robbery, to be arrested. One Deepak Sharma, who was with Kishan and others, was arrested earlier.


Two youths, who were allegedly involved in the planning were also arrested besides two relatives of a suspected robber who helped them in hiding a portion of the money.


Investigators have found out that four youths were spotted by some locals in Khirki with big boxes on Friday. A portrait of one of the suspects was sketched with their help.


From their description, police managed to get photographs of two criminals, which the eye-witnesses confirmed as those they saw robbing the van.


Several teams covered Hauz Rani and Khirki, and verified recently evicted tenants besides checking other details with property dealers.


Police on last Saturday managed to identify the house which was believed to have been used by the suspects. It belonged to Hari Kishan who had shifted recently and purchased it in his wife's name.


Raids were conducted at this house and from there, police managed to recover the keys of the cash van, which was abandoned by the gang. Some other documents were also seized from the spot which indicated that the suspects had visited and stayed there, the official said.


Handling inflation for personal finance requires a “Personal Finance Inflation Index”

While financial planners have their own opinion on inflation, institutions involved in conducting financial planning courses in India have never thought of an inflation index, which shows that there is very limited innovation in financial planning in India

All financial planning advice has one thing in common and that is how to handle inflation while creating portfolio of assets. It starts with the idea that investments made by an individual must beat inflation, else effectiveness of financial planning is lost and there is no real wealth creation. The idea sounds great. But is it possible to implement it so easily? Is there a common and convenient answer to this question? Talk to financial planners on this issue and they will answer this question more with gut feeling rather than a scientific analysis.

Some of the most common answers given on the issue are, “your investment must beat CPI or food inflation”, “your investments should generate at least 8% return as we have considered 8% inflation” (Interestingly, source of 8% is not known). Some other planners say that for education, healthcare and energy-related expenses a higher rate of inflation needs to be considered. But the question still remains unanswered—which rate of inflation needs to be considered for personal financial planning.

For reading what Morgan Stanley has to say about India’s CPI, click here.

It is extremely important to handle inflation scientifically and not based on some arbitrary number as inflation has a potential to derail the entire financial planning process. After all, inflation does not impact everybody equally. It depends on the level of income and consumption pattern of an individual. For a person with lower level of income, food inflation matters more than anything else, while for a person drawing a handsome income, food inflation will not be the same cause of worry.  This will make an impact on the inflation planning approach of both the individuals. Similarly educational and rental expenses have increased phenomenally during last five years and unfortunately no inflation index captures this. So how we handle this strange scenario? The solution of the problem probably is in creation an inflation index which will be focused on personal finance.

What is most surprising is that while financial planners continue to have their own opinion on inflation, institutions which are busy in spreading certification courses (and probably minting money) on personal finance in India have never thought of working such ideas which shows that there is very limited innovation in financial planning in India. If the National Stock Exchange (NSE) can create a Volatility Index (VIX) for measuring volatility, why not have a separate index for inflation for personal finance.

How the personal finance index should look like?  The personal finance index should be made up of expenses that comprise day-to-day expenses of individuals. Like any index there should be weightage assigned to important expenses such as rental, food, healthcare, education, etc. The index can be one common gauge but can be used differently by every individual and will be based on expenses of an individual. Additionally, this expense need not be calculated weekly or monthly. Once in a quarter computations should be good enough. Since portfolio churning is not done frequently, frequency of index computation once in a quarter makes sense. The idea here is capture those expenses which impacts the expense pattern of individuals. Some of the expenses such as those on education, healthcare and recreation are not captured by traditional inflation indices like WPI and CPI.  This index will remove all such anomalies.

Who will create this indexIdeally the index should be created by institutions such as “Financial Planning Standard Board” but it seems such institutions have limited capabilities in this direction. The next entity could be the financial planner who helps you build your financial plan. Logically the financial planner should record price trends in the economy. This means that at the start of financial planning the index value should be created and be used periodically to check whether investments have been able to beat inflation or not. However, an individual can also create an index by tracking his own expenses and changes in it. This is not a cumbersome exercise and can be done by recording transactions and prices associated with transactions in a simple software like MS Excel. However, an individual’s index can at best be used by only limited individuals who show similar pattern in expenses.

It is unfair to leave financial planning exposed to vagaries of inflation. Beating inflation needs a deeper analysis of inflation and its impact on investments. A hit and trail approach cannot be the benchmark of financial planning.


Government working on guarantee scheme for educational loans: RBI

According to the RBI governor, for loans up to Rs7.5 lakh where there is no third party guarantee or collateral security, the guarantee would be provided by the government. However, this scheme is not yet launched

Puducherry: In a bid to remove problems faced by students in obtaining education loans, Government was working on a scheme under which it would extend guarantee for advances upto Rs7.5 lakhs, reports PTI quoting Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D Subba Rao.


"There are grievances of students not getting loans or encountering problems...Understanding that there is a problem, the Government is now working on a guarantee scheme," he told students at an interactive programme organised by RBI and ABP News.


He said for loans upto Rs7.5 lakhs where there was no third party guarantee or collateral security there would be guarantee given by the government.


"It is yet to be launched. Hopefully it would come and resolve some of these issues," he said replying to a question on the woes of students in getting educational loans.


On paper for loans upto Rs4 lakhs there should be no collateral security or guarantee. "For good students and good institutions it is easier to get loans than for students not so good or institutions not rated so high," he said.


"But our endeavour is irrespective of level of achievements of institutions, they must have access to education loan upto Rs4 lakhs," he said.


On inflation, he said 'our endeavour, effort and expectation is that inflation will come down and will remain steady' so that it accelerate growth.


He also said RBI wanted to deepen penetration of banks either through bank branches or Business Correspondents since more than 50% of the households in the country did not have bank accounts.


Noting that RBI and the Government had initiated several steps towards financial inclusion with a view to ensuring that every household had bank accounts, he said it would become successful only when banks see it as a business opportunity.


Replying to another student, the RBI Governor said the apex bank was playing a development role and had implemented steps for rural development including priority sector lending.


On security and safety of electronic transactions, he said "Securing security is shared responsibility. It is not the exclusive concern of RBI alone. It is responsibility of commercial banks and of the customers."


All the three should share the responsibility and work together to ensure that banking transactions especially electronic and mobile transactions were safe, he added.


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