Daily Current Affairs for Competitive Exams: January 31, 2016

Hello Readers,

Here are the important headlines of the day with significant highlights essential for competitive exams like UPSC, SSC, IBPS PO, SBI PO, Bank Clerk and other competitive examinations. 

IPPB starts pilot services in Ranchi and Raipur

India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) on January 30, 2016,  kicked off its operations by rolling out pilot services in the cities of Raipur in Chattisgarh and Ranchi in Jharkhand.

The bank will offer an interest rate of 4.5% on deposits up to ₹25,000; 5% on deposits of ₹25,000-50,000 and 5.5% on ₹50,000-1,00,000. The paid up equity of the new bank is ₹800 crore, of which the government has already infused ₹275 crore.

Highlights:

  • The idea is to have a branch in every district and make 3 lakh postmen come alive in payment bank function.
  • Terming IPPB as a mechanism for financial inclusion and a milestone, Sinha said the payments bank — the third one to get a permit after Airtel and Paytm and the first one promoted by the government — will not just conduct business but also serve people.
  • India Post Payments Bank is the third entity to receive payments bank permit after Airtel and Paytm. Payments banks can accept deposits up to ₹1 lakh per account from individuals and small businesses.
  • The new model of banking allows mobile firms, super market chains and others to cater to banking requirements of individuals and small businesses. It will be set up as a differentiated bank and will confine its activities to acceptance of demand deposits, remittance services, Internet banking and other specified services.
  • In 2015, the RBI had granted ‘in-principle’ approval to 11 entities, including the Department of Posts, to set up payments banks and proposed to give such licences ‘on tap’ basis in future.

RBI rejects EC’s plea

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rejected the Election Commission’s reuest to enhance the weekly cash-withdrawal limit, imposed after demonetisation, for those contesting Assembly elections in five states, prompting an angry reaction from the poll panel.

The Commission had requested RBI to enhance the withdrawal limit of candidates to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 24,000 per week imposed post-demonetisation as the nominees would find it difficult to meet campaign expenditure. But RBI said that it was not possible for it to hike the limit at this stage.

Highlights:

  • An apparently peeved Commission has now written back to RBI Governor Urjit Patel expressing “serious concern about the cursory manner in which the issue has been dealt with.
  • The Commission had told RBI that it has been apprised of the problems candidates were facing due to withdrawal limits imposed after the note ban.
  • It said the returning officer of the constituency would issue a certificate that the person was a candidate in the fray and the contestant be allowed to withdraw Rs 2 lakh cash per week from the bank account opened especially to meet poll expenses.
  • The EC said the facility be extended till March 11, the day of counting. Candidates are bound to open an election account for meeting poll-related expenditure which is monitored by the EC.
  • The Commission said that with a weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000, a candidate would be able to withdraw Rs 96,000 in cash during the election process which lasts three to four weeks.
  • It reminded the central bank that as per law, candidates contesting the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab can spend Rs 28 lakh each for electioneering.
  • The limit in Goa and Manipur is Rs 20 lakh each. The poll panel said despite paying amounts through cheques, candidates still need hard cash for petty expenses. Also the issue is further adversely effected in rural areas where banking facilities are negligible.

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