Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

Will he, won’t he Keep your fingers crossed till 2.30 pm

As the rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India began its third review meeting on Tuesday, expectations of a possible rate cut by the central bank are mixed.
Experts were divided if the RBI governor-led panel will recommend cut in interest rate by 0.25 per cent to give fillip to growth or maintain status quo because of inflationary pressure from rising oil prices.

Bank stocks outperform key indices

Bank stocks, by and large, outperformed the market benchmarks in the past three month period, which also saw banks getting surplus deposits due to demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
The BSE Bankex gave a return of 6.23 per cent in the last three month period as against Sensex and Nifty 50 giving returns of 3.5 per cent.
In the run up to the budget, banking stocks’ universe gained as the BSE Bankex index was up 7.53 per cent between January 1 and February 1.

25 basis points cut in repo rate likely this time

There is a high likelihood of a 25 bps cut in the repo rate in the upcoming policy review. The CPI inflation in the ongoing quarter is expected to remain below the forecast of 5 per cent. Moreover, the Union Budget for FY2018 has balanced fiscal consolidation with increased capital spending, which would revive growth in a non-inflationary manner.

Central bank may cut rate and go for a long pause after that

The easing inflation trajectory may prompt the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut the policy rate by 25 basis points (bps) on Wednesday. However, this would be followed by a long pause on the back of uncertainty in global commodity prices, looming Fed rate hike, besides domestic factors like secondary impact of the GST and house rent allowance from the 7th pay commission—all this could put pressure on inflation, going forward.

Gold demand down 21% in 2016: WGC

Gold demand for 2016 fell 21 per cent to 675 tonnes, lowest annual consumption since 2009. With the uncertainties around GST and digitisation prevailing, World Gold Council (WGC) has kept the demand projection for 2017 within a range of 650 to 750 tonnes.
The gold demand for the full-year was 675.5 tonnes compared to 857.2 tonnes in 2015. Jewellery demand was down by 22.4 per cent at 514 tonnes against 662.3 tonnes in 2015. Investment demand declined by 17.1 per cent to 161.5 tonnes against 194.9 tonnes in 2015.

Late filing of ITR to attract fine

To ensure that assesses file their income tax return (ITR) on time, finance minister Arun Jaitley has introduced the provision of late fee up to Rs 10,000 in the budget. Till now late ITR submitters, whose numbers were quite significant, were only barred from revising the return. The delay also had no effect on tax refunds.

A bad bank to resolve big stressed loans

The The Economic Survey has suggested setting up of a centralised bad bank to take over large bad loans for resolving the twin balance sheet problem of over-leveraged companies and bad-loan-encumbered banks.

RBI lifts ATM withdrawal restrictions

Come February 1, bank customers will be able to withdraw up to Rs 24,000 from an ATM. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday announced lifting of cash withdrawal limits from ATMs effective February 1, but put the onus on banks to have their own operating limits. However, the withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 from a savings account in a week will remain. “The limits on savings accounts will continue for the present,” RBi said in a notification.

Gold imports dip to 13-year low

Gold imports fell to 13-year low in 2016 to 510 tonnes as protests against introduction of excise duty and mandatory PAN card norms kept the demand subdued for long and demonetisation created further uncertainties.
The imports were down 43.5 per cent from 904 tonnes in 2015 and lowest since 2003, finds precious metals agency GFMS. The demand too was 34 per cent down to 580 tonnes in 2016, lowest in 13 years.

Aadhaar will soon be a must for demat a/c

As the government is widening the bucket of services for which Aadhaar is being made mandatory, it may soon make it compulsory to link demat accounts with the unique identification number. The move is a part of the overall plan to track all financial transactions.
Compared to other documents, Aadhaar has much wider coverage, making it most preferable among digital identity proofs. As per the latest data, Aadhaar number has already been allocated to 111 crore people. The total PAN database is about 25 crore only.