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Currency printing cost rose to Rs 8,000 cr in demonetisation year: Jaitley

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New Delhi: The cost of printing currency notes escalated to Rs 7,965 crore in 2016-17, the year when the government had banned the high-value 500 and 1,000 rupee bills, the government informed parliament.

Also, the printing cost came down to a substantial Rs 4,912 crore in the following year 2017-18 when the RBI had sufficed the shortage of bank notes which was caused due to the government’s demonetisation move.

The expenditure on pri­nting of notes during 2015-16 (the year prior to demonetisation) was Rs 3,421 crore, finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

 

“Rs 79.65 billion (Rs 7,965 crore) and Rs 49.12 billion (Rs 4,912 crore) were spent on printing of banknotes in the year 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. In addition, Rs 1.09 billion (Rs 109 crore), Rs 1.47 billion ( Rs 147 crore) and Rs 1.15 billion (Rs 115 crore) were spent on remittance of currency in the year 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively,” Parliament was informed.

The minister’s reply was in regard to details sought on expenditure incurred by the reserve bank for calling back Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and destroying them.

He was also asked to give expenditure details for repl­e­nishing the currency withdrawn during demonetisation. “Expenditure on printing of new notes after demonetisation has not been shown separately by the reserve bank of India in its accounts,” Jaitley said.

The minister also informed the House that no public sector bank, expect for SBI, has reported incidence of casualty during the period of demonetisation.

On casualty incidents at all public sector banks during the note ban period, Jaitley said only state bank of India had reported that three staffers and one customer died during the demonetisation drive. A total compensation of Rs 44.07 lakh (including Rs 3 lakh to customer) was paid to their family members, he said.

On asked if any study has been conducted on the impact of demonetisation on industry and employment situation in the country, the finance minister said that “no specific study has been done by government”.

Prime minister Narendra Modi had announced the de­­monetisation of high-val­ue notes on Nov 8, 2016, which wiped out nearly 86 per cent of the total currency notes in circulation.

In a separate question asked about the durability of new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 bank notes, minister of state for finance Pon Radhakrishnan said these notes are expected to have normal life as that of older currencies.

He, however, said that some design elements have been changed in the new banknotes.

The visible changes in the new banknotes are in form of size, color and inclusion of heritage motifs. He also said that there are no issues related to non-recognition of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes by the ATMs.


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India’s trade deficit narrows by 7.98% to $15.28 billion in June, exports falls by 9.71%

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New Delhi: India’s trade deficit for June 2019 narrowed by 7.98 percent to USD 15.28 billion as against the deficit of USD 16.60 billion in June 2018, government data showed.

The country’s exports registered a negative growth of 9.71 percent during June 2019 to USD 25.01 billion as compared to USD 27.70 billion in June 2018. Non-POL exports for June 2019 declined by 5.73 percent; non-POL and non-gems and jewelry exports declined by 4.86 percent.

India’s imports in June 2019 too fell 9.06 percent to USD 40.29 billion in June 2019 as compared to USD 44.30 billion in June 2018, data further showed.

 

The major commodities which contributed towards decline exports in June 2019 have been Petroleum products (-32.85 percent), Rice (-28.05 percent), Cotton yarn/Fabrics/made-ups (-19.73 percent), Gems and Jewellery (-10.67 percent), Readymade garments (-9.18 percent), Organic & inorganic chemicals (-8.17 percent), and Engineering goods (-2.65 percent), data showed.

Import of petroleum crude & products in June 2019 (USD 11.03billion) has recorded a negative growth of 13.33 percent as compared to June 2018 (USD 12.73billion). In this connection it is mentioned that the global Brent price ($/bbl) has decreased by 15.81 percent in June 2019 vis-à-vis June 2018 as per data available from World Bank, official data said.

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It will take 2-3 days for scheduling to use Pakistani airspace: AI

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New Delhi: Hours after the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority ordered its airspace to be opened to all civilian traffic for flights between India and Pakistan, Air India official said that it will take 2 to 3 days for scheduling to use Pakistani airspace.

Indian airlines resumed flight operations over the Pakistan airspace, after the latter removed access restrictions, following Balakot airstrikes by the Indian Air Force in February. Air India was saddled with heavy financial losses following this.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation wrote on Twitter, “After cancellation of NOTAMS by Pakistan and India in the early hours of Tuesday, there are no restrictions on airspaces of both countries, flights have started using the closed air routes, bringing a significant relief for airlines”.

 

In March, Pakistan partially opened its airspace but did not allow Indian flight to fly over its airspace.

Since then, foreign carriers had been using Indian airspace have been forced to take costly detours because they cannot fly over Pakistan. The closure mainly affects flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.

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RBI slaps Rs 7 cr penalty on SBI for violating various norms

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Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India said it has slapped a penalty of Rs 7 crore on the country’s largest bank SBI for non-compliance with norms related to NPA identification and fraud risk management, among others.

The penalty has been imposed on the bank for non-compliance of income recognition and asset classification (IRAC) norms, code of conduct for opening and operating current accounts and reporting of data on Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC), and fraud risk management and classification and reporting of frauds.

Giving details of the case, it said the statutory inspection of SBI with reference to its financial position as on March 31, 2017, revealed, non-compliance with IRAC norms, sharing of information about customers with other banks, reporting of data on CRILC, fraud risk management, and classification and reporting of frauds.

 

Based on the inspection report and other relevant documents, a notice was issued to the bank advising it to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on it for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI.

“After considering the bank’s reply and oral submissions made in the personal hearing, RBI came to the conclusion that the aforesaid charges of non-compliance with RBI directions were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty,” the RBI said.

The penalty, RBI said, is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

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