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Scrap deposit insurance: AIBEA tells FM Sitharaman

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AIBEA General Secretary CH Venkatachalam

Chennai, Nov 19 : Even as the government is mulling increasing the insurance cover for bank deposits, the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has demanded scrapping of such insurance cover for public sector bank deposits.

In a letter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, the General Secretary of AIBEA said as per the Section 45 of Banking Regulations Act, 1947, the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have the powers, in public interest, to amalgamate any bank with another bank.

He said this would avert bank closures and consequent loss of deposits of the customers.

“Further, with the nationalisation of major banks in 1969 and 1980, the public sector banks also enjoy the sovereign guarantee of the government,” Venkatachalam said.

According to him, there is no question or possibility of any commercial bank getting closed or liquidated as per Section 45 of the Banking Regulations Act.

“Hence we strongly feel and opine that the deposits of commercial banks, importantly, the public sector banks, need not be covered by the Deposit Insurance Scheme at all,” he said.

According to Venkatachalam, the commercial banks paid a premium of Rs 11,190 crore during 2018-19 and Rs 10,350 crore the previous year to Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) with zero claims.

Venkatachalam said the total amount of deposits under 200 crore bank accounts were Rs 120 lakh crore whereas the deposit insurance cover is only for Rs 33.70 lakh crore or 28 per cent.

He said while the premium is calculated on the entire Rs 120 lakh crore of commercial bank deposits, the insurance cover for bank deposit is only up to Rs 1 lakh.

In the case of public sector banks, the total deposit is about Rs 70 lakh crore and the insurance cover is only for Rs 28 lakh crore or 30 per cent of the total deposits.

Venkatachalam said, as on 31-3-2019, the Deposit Insurance Fund of DICGC is Rs 97,350 crore including a surplus of Rs 87,890 crore. The claims settled so far since 1962 is only Rs. 5,120 crores and that too for the cooperative banks.

“Out of 2,098 banks covered by the DICGC, 1941 banks are co-operative banks. Only these banks are facing problems of closure and liquidation and the deposits of these banks need to be covered by DICGC. Even in the case of these banks, only to extent of deposits covered by the insurance cover, premium should be charged and not on the total assessable deposits which is much higher,” Venkatachalam told the Finance Minister.

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WhatsApp rolls out first-ever global brand campaign in India

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New Delhi, July 4 : WhatsApp on Saturday launched its first brand campaign in India that narrates real stories about how Indians communicate daily on WhatsApp with their closest relationships.

The campaign called ”It”s Between You” gives thrust on WhatsApp”s commitment to privacy, the company said in a statement.

“With WhatsApp”s end-to-end encryption, we come closest to replicating real-life interactions and that”s when we can truly be ourselves. The conversations you have, the jokes you tell and the memories you relive belong to you and deserve to stay between you,” said Avinash Pant, Director, Marketing at Facebook India.

WhatsApp collaborated with Gauri Shinde, a celebrated Indian Bollywood director along with BBDO India to create two 60-seconds ads, each highlighting how WhatsApp”s features like texts, video calls or even a voice message, help replicate in-person conversations and bring people closer.

One ad is based on a true story about an elderly woman and her caregiver, who are now separated from each other.

“From how to bring together the cast and crew that were right for the part and happened to be living together, and directing over a WhatsApp video call, to doing all the post production work without being physically present, it”s been really rewarding,” said Shinde.

The second story is at the other end of the spectrum of emotion, which is a light and fun film about a younger sister giving joyful courage to her elder one through a WhatsApp video call, when the latter feels vulnerable and hesitant to give her a haircut at home.

“WhatsApp is designed to help friends and family communicate as well as help users connect with a business that is important to them,” said the company.

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Govt to levy interest on late payment to MSMEs for GeM purchase

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, July 3 : Government departments and agencies will have to pay interest on late payment to vendors, largely MSMEs, for products procured through the Government e-Martketplace (GeM), starting October 1.

Through an office memorandum, the Department of Expenditure of the Ministry of Finance on Friday said that if the payment is not made within 10 days of the Consignee Receipt and Acceptance Certificate (CRAC) being auto generated or issued by the buyer, the concerned department will have to pay interest at the rate of one per cent per month for the delayed payment.

However, this very interest will not go to the MSMEs concerned and instead, will deposited in an account maintained by the GeM, which will be used only for the education of buyers and sellers or public procurement with the prior approval of the Department of Expenditure, said the office memorandum.

“ln order to promote greater discipline and timeliness in payment to vendors, especially #MSMEs, the government has issued an order to levy interest on late payment to vendors on the government e-marketplace. #AatmaNirbharBharat,” said a tweet by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman”s office.

The order will be effective on orders made from October 1, 2020.

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Tomato prices skyrocket to Rs 70/kg in Delhi-NCR

He attributed the hike in the prices of all vegetables and fruits, not only tomatoes, due to the increase in diesel prices, which led to an increase in the transportation cost of vegetables.

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New Delhi, July 3 : With the onset of the monsoon tomato prices soared to Rs 70 per kg in New Delhi and its surrounding areas on Friday.

Crop failure in the rainy season and the late arrival of tomatoes in the mandis (wholesale markets) have led to the price hike. However, the prices are expected to fall after the arrival of the new crop from Himachal Pradesh next week.

A month ago, the price of tomatoes in Delhi’s Azadpur mandi was between Rs 1.25 and Rs 4.75 per kg, while the wholesale price on Friday was Rs 6.44 per kg.

The model rate of tomato was Rs 3 per kg in Azadpur mandi on June 3, which has increased by 10 times to Rs 29 per kg. On July 2, the wholesale price of tomatoes rose to Rs 52 per kg in the mandi, which means there has been an increase of about 995% in the last one month. Due to the rise in wholesale prices, tomatoes were sold at Rs 80 per kg on Thursday in Delhi-NCR and Rs 50.70 per kg in Greater Noida.

Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) chairman Adil Ahmad Khan said prices have gone up due to late arrival of tomatoes. The quantity of tomatoes received at Azadpur mandi was 528.2 tonne on June 3 while on July 3 it was 281.6 tonne. The quantity has thus been reduced by nearly 50 per cent in a month. Only 241.9 tonne were received on July 2 due to which the wholesale price was Rs 6.52 per kg while the model rate was Rs 32 per kg, Khan added.

He attributed the hike in the prices of all vegetables and fruits, not only tomatoes, due to the increase in diesel prices, which led to an increase in the transportation cost of vegetables.

From next week, the arrival of the new crop from Himachal Pradesh will lead to a decline in the prices of tomatoes. He said at present 90 per cent of the tomatoes in Delhi arrive from Himachal Pradesh while only 10 per cent are received from Haryana and Karnataka.

The consumption of all green vegetables, tomatoes and onions has declined during the past few months because of the shutdown of hotels, restaurants, canteens and dhabas following the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the corona pandemic. This led to a marked fall in prices. The wholesale price of tomatoes had come down to less than one rupee per kg.

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