Mutual Funds
SEBI extends new fund offer period to 30 days for RGESS

In a circular dated 19th June, SEBI announced that the subscription period of an NFO of a mutual fund scheme under the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme would remain open for 30 days, against 15 days for other schemes


The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has notified regulations that allowed mutual funds to accept investor money in new plans under the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) for 30 days, as against a 15-day subscription period allowed for other schemes.

The relaxation has been made only for mutual fund schemes under RGESS, a government initiative aimed at attracting small investors into the capital market.

In a circular dated 19th June, SEBI announced that the subscription period or the window, for which a new fund offer (NFO) of a mutual fund scheme remains open, has been extended to 30 days. Generally, an NFO remains open for a period of 15 days.

Besides, SEBI said the timeframe for RGESS mutual funds allocating the refund money and issuance of statements by mutual fund houses would be 15 days from the closure of the initial subscription. The deadline remains at five days for other mutual fund schemes.

The notification comes into effect immediately. Under the scheme, announced in the 2012-13 Union Budget, new investors putting in up to Rs50,000 in the stock market and whose gross total annual income is less than or equal to Rs10 lakh, can avail tax benefits.

The scheme encourages flow of savings into financial instruments and improves the depth of the domestic capital market. The scheme was notified by the department of revenue, finance ministry in November 2012, following which SEBI issued the guidelines.

As per the notification issued by SEBI on RGESS, there would be a lock-in period of one year on investments made under the scheme.


Commodities transaction tax to come into effect from 1st July

Besides gold, silver, crude oil and base metals, processed farm items like sugar, soya oil and guar gum will come under CTT, according to the notification from the finance ministry


Commodities Transaction Tax (CTT) will be levied at 0.01% on various non-agricultural commodities, including gold, sugar and edible oils, with effect from 1st July.

Notifying the CTT today, the finance ministry said 23 agricultural commodities, including wheat, barley, chana, cotton and potato, would be exempted from the levy.

The tax would be levied on futures trading and not on spot trading in the commodities. Besides gold, silver, crude oil and base metals, processed farm items like sugar, soya oil and guar gum will come under CTT. Coriander, cardamom and guar seed is also out of CTT.

In the 2013-14 Budget speech, finance minister P. Chidambaram had said that the commodity transaction tax will be levied on non-farm items at the rate of 0.01% and would be paid by the seller.

According to sources, the implementation of CTT has been delayed as there have been consultations between the stakeholders and the finance ministry over the list of non-agri commodities to be brought under the ambit of CTT.

Exchanges and brokers are of the view that CTT would discourage day traders and speculators, resulting in a big drop in business of five national bourses.

There are 22 commodity bourses in the country, of which six of them operate at national level. The combined turnover of these bourses stood at Rs1,70,46,840 crore in 2012-13, down by 6% from the previous fiscal.

Of the total turnover, more than 80% comes from non-agricultural commodities.


Using sunscreen on a daily basis can slow down ageing of the skin

A study by Dr Adele Green published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that regular use of the sunscreen slows skin aging in the young and middle-aged


One secret to younger looking skin can be as simple as using sunscreen regularly. The study which was conducted in Nambour, Australia—a region known as the Sunshine Coast—with 903 participants younger than 55 found that after four and a half years, those who applied sunscreen daily to their skin had no detectable skin aging and had 24% less aging of the skin than those who used sunscreen less often.

The study was restricted only to those under 55 years of age, because their skin aging is caused mainly due to the effects from the sun as opposed to getting older. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the four groups, those who could use sunscreen when they felt it was necessary and those who were to use it on a daily basis. Participants in both groups either took a daily beta-carotene supplement, or placebo, or neutral substance.

Participants had moulds made of the back of their hands and were graded for aging at the start and end of the study. When the moulds were compared researchers saw no increased or progressive aging amongst the people who had used the sunscreen regularly compared with more severe progressive aging in those who didn’t use sunscreen on a regular basis. “Our findings now provide evidence that regular sunscreen use slows down skin aging in healthy middle-aged men and women,” said study author Dr Adele Green, a specialist in public health medicine and senior scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia.

Researchers were also considering whether participants who took beta-carotene, an antioxidant-rich dietary supplement might have fewer wrinkles and sun damage compared with those who took a placebo. But the study found no benefit to beta-carotene supplements for reducing skin aging, though it could not rule out a small effect. Skin aging is due to the cumulative effect of sun exposure, superimposed on chronological aging, experts say. Billions of dollars are spent each year on products that promise to treat or protect against it.



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