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Minimum balance penalty to offset costs of Jan Dhan accounts: SBI




Mumbai, March 9: Providing a rationale for re-introducing penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance in its savings accounts from April 1, State Bank of India chief Arundhati Bhattacharya on Wednesday said the public sector lender needs funds to balance the oprational costs of Jan Dhan accounts.

“Now there is a burden of a lot of things. We have 11 crore financial inclusion accounts – basic savings and Jan Dhan accounts – and have to manage them as well,” Bhattacharya said on the sidelines of a women entrepreneurs’ national convention here.

“SBI was the only bank that didn’t have this as we have removed it in 2012,” she said.

This condition of maintaining minimum balance will not be applicable to the Jan Dhan accounts, she added.

According to reports, the government has asked SBI to reconsider its decision to levy the penalty, though Bhattacharya said that the bank has not received any formal request on this.

She also said that SBI’s requirement for minimum balance is lowest among all banks.

The SBI has made it mandatory for savings accounts in metropolitan areas to maintain a minimum balance of Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 in urban areas, Rs 2,000 in semi-urban areas and Rs 1,000 in rural areas, from April 1.

These charges will be based on the difference between the minimum balance required and the shortfall. For metropolitan areas, if the shortfall is greater than 75 per cent. the charges would be Rs 100 plus service tax.

If the shortfall is between 50-75 per cent, the bank would charge Rs 75 plus service tax and for below 50 per cent shortfall, a fee of Rs 50 plus service tax would be levied, according to the SBI notification of new charges.

Similarly, for rural areas, the penalty for non-maintenance of minimum balance ranges from Rs 20-50 plus service tax.

A number of private sector banks already have the condition for maintenance of minimum balance.

ICICI Bank savings accounts need to have a minimum balance of Rs 10,000 in urban and metropolitan areas and Rs 5,000 in semi-urban areas.

In an HDFC savings account, the user needs to have a minimum balance of Rs 10,000 in urban and metropolitan areas, Rs 5,000 in semi-urban areas and Rs 2,500 in rural areas.

Axis Bank also has the condition of maintaining a minimum balance of Rs 10,000 in its savings accounts.



Dubai’s Meraas eyes Indian buyers for premium residences



Dubai's Meraas Residence at Bluewaters Photo Credit :

Hyderabad: Property investors and high net worth Indians can now own premium residences in Dubai with Meraas, a Dubai-based holding company, marketing its new venture ‘Bluewaters’ in India through Australia’s Raine & Horne.

The company at its roadshows in Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai is offering a flexi payment plan for those looking to buy the residential units in the project coming up on manmade island off the Jumeirah beach residence coastline in Dubai.

The project comprises 698 one to four bedroom apartments, four penthouses and 17 villas with price ranging from about Rs 3.5 crore (for a one-bed room apartment) to Rs 70 crore (penthouse).

Raine & Horne, a global services company based in Australia, will begin the marketing in India with first roadshow here on March 25 and 26.

Sanjay Chimnani, Managing Director of Raine and Horne Dubai told reporters that they expect to sell 100 units at the roadshows in the three cities.

“This is high-end big size products priced reasonably. We are targeting all those who can afford to pay Rs 75 lakh upfront,” he said.

The company is offering four-year payment plan with zero percent interest. The customers can book the units by paying 10 percent of the cost. They have to pay another 10 percent at the time of delivery in October and 5 percent every four months.

With 9 to 10 percent growth in rental income, the investors can pay the installment with their earnings from the rent, he said.

Indians in Dubai are among biggest foreign investors in Dubai’s real estate. Quoting Dubai’s land records department, he said people of Indian nationality purchased real estate worth Rs 30,000 crore in 2017, up from about Rs 22,000 crore the previous year.

“This number is going to grow further with Dubai’s population expected to be doubled by 2030,” he said.

The freehold area, where expatriates are allowed to buy property, has 250,000 units while another 170,000 are expected to be added in next five years.


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Equity indices open lower, Nifty50 slips below 10k mark




Mumbai, March 23: Key Indian equity indices on Friday opened on a subdued note following a global sell-off, with the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipping below the 10,000-level.

At 9.16 a.m., the Nifty50 — which opened at 9,968.80 points — declined by 120.20 points or 1.19 per cent to trade at 9,994.55 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 32650.89 points, traded at 32641.91 points — down 364.36 points or 1.10 per cent from the previous session’s close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,398 declines and 122 advances.

Heavy selling pressure was observed across all sectors led by banking, metals, auto, capital goods and consumer durables stocks.

On Thursday, negative cues on the back of global protectionist measures, higher interest rates in the US and hike in crude oil prices, along with selling pressure in banking, auto and capital goods stocks depressed the key indices.

The Nifty50 fell by 40.50 points or 0.40 per cent to close at 10,114.75 points while the Sensex closed at 33,006.27 points — down 129.91 points or 0.39 per cent.


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Equities close lower on global cues, selling pressure



Mumbai, March 22: Key Indian equity indices provisionally closed on a lower note on Thursday as negative European markets, along with selling pressure in banking, auto and capital goods stocks, suppressed investors’ sentiments.

The key indices had opened on a higher note after the US Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points, signalling two more rate hikes in 2018.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 40.50 points or 0.40 per cent to provisionally close at 10,114.75 points (at 3.30 p.m.).

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 33,206.99 points, closed at 33,006.27 points — down 129.91 points or 0.39 per cent from the previous session’s close.

The Sensex touched a high of 33,281.77 points and a low of 32,963.31 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 2,010 declines and 709 advances.

On Wednesday, value buying pushed the key indices higher even as some gains were ceded on caution ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meet.

The Sensex closed the day’s trade at 33,136.18 points — up 139.42 points or 0.42 per cent — while the Nifty50 gained 30.90 points, or 0.31 per cent, to close at 10,155.25 points.


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