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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He was also asked to give expenditure details for repl­e­nishing the currency withdrawn during demonetisation.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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WPI inflation at 8-month low of 3.80 pc in Dec on softening fuel, food prices

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New Delhi: Inflation based on wholesale prices fell to a 8-month low of 3.80 per cent in December, 2018, on softening prices of fuel and some food items.

The Wholesale Price Index (WPI)-based inflation stood at 4.64 per cent in November, 2018, and 3.58 per cent in December 2017. According to the government data released on Monday, deflation in food articles stood at 0.07 per cent in December, against 3.31 per cent in November.

Vegetables, too, saw deflation at 17.55 per cent in December, compared to 26.98 per cent in the previous month. Inflation in the ‘fuel and power’ basket in December slumped to 8.38 per cent, nearly half of 16.28 per cent in November.

 

This was on account of lowering of prices of petrol and diesel through December. Individually, in petrol and diesel inflation was 1.57 per cent and 8.61 per cent, respectively, and for liquified petroleum gas (LPG) it was 6.87 per cent during December.

Among food articles, potato prices became cheaper substantially with inflation at 48.68 per cent in December, as against 86.45 per cent in November.

Inflation in pulses stood at 2.11 per cent, while in ‘egg, meat and fish’ it was 4.55 per cent. Onion witnessed deflation of 63.83 per cent in December, compared to 47.60 per cent in November.

The 3.80 per cent inflation is the lowest in 8 months, and a lower inflation than this was last seen in April at 3.62 per cent. Data for retail or consumer price index-based inflation would be released later in the day.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mainly takes into account retail inflation data while formulating monetary policy. In its fifth monetary policy review for the fiscal, last month, the Reserve Bank kept interest rates unchanged, but held out a promise to cut them if the upside risks to inflation do not materialise.

The central bank lowered retail inflation projection to 2.7-3.2 per cent for the second half of the current fiscal, citing normal monsoon and moderate food prices.

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Air tickets, identity cards to become redundant; flyers can use facial recognition to enter airport

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New Delhi: The hassle to show air tickets and identity cards at Airport will be over as air travellers can soon enter airport with facial recognition biometric facility.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) that operates the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), has successfully conducted the trial of facial recognition technology. During the first phase of the trial, employees of GHIAL were included. The second phase of the trial is expected to be launched by the end of this month, in which GHIAL will include common air fliers. And if the second phase of the trial is successful, GHIAL will implement facial recognition technology in Hyderabad airport from March onwards.

Three phases of facial recognition technology

 

First phase: GHIAL has installed facial recognition cameras in the Hyderabad. In the first phase, the imaging of passengers will be done through these cameras which will recognise the faces of the flyers.

Second phase: There would be a centralised registration system for passengers. Each passenger’s face will be attached with his/her photo identity like passport, Aadhaar, voting id, driving licence etc. The details of passengers along with his facial mapping will be scanned and stored by GHIAL through the centralised registration system at the Airport.

Third phase: The ID proof of the passengers along with their facial mapping will be stored at the e-boarding gate of the Airport.The data centres at Airlines will also have similar information. Whenever such passengers book tickets, the data system will alert the Hyderabad Airport authorities.

The moment you book a flight ticket originating from Hyderabad airport, your details will be shared by the data centre and the information will be given to all the concerned authorities.

When you reach the Hyderabad terminal gate, face recognition technology will identify you and all your details will be shared on the screen. The security personnel at the gate will access all your information via the system.

Similarly, your details can be accessed by the security personnel at the check-in counter, security check-in. Once the formalities are done, passengers will get an online boarding pass on their mobile phone.

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Maruti all-new WagonR 2019 available for booking at Rs 11,000

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New Delhi: Country’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said that its all-new WagonR is available for booking starting.

Customers can book the 3rd generation WagonR at authorized dealer network across the country by paying Rs 11,000. They can also book the car online.

The New WagonR is powered by the advanced K-series engine offering high fuel efficiency and an unmatched driving experience, Maruti said. The car now comes with a new 1.2 L engine option that delivers powerful and impressive performance coupled with great fuel economy. Customers will also have the choice of 1.0 L engine for the all-new WagonR.

 

Maruti Suzuki’s acclaimed two pedal technology will also be offered in the new WagonR. The Auto Gear Shift (AGS) offers. Maruti said that for the first it is going to offer the most innovative SmartPlay Studio infotainment experience in the Big New WagonR.

The car will be available in Pearl Poolside Blue, Pearl Nutmeg Brown, Magma Grey, Pearl Autumn Orange, Silky Silver and Superior White Range of variants. The Petrol: 1.0 L engine will be available in Lxi, Vxi / Vxi AGS variants while the Petrol: 1.2 L will be available in Vxi, Vxi AGS, Zxi / Zxi AGS variants.

“The new WagonR gets bigger with enhanced comfort. The car’s sturdy and masculine look with true tall boy design makes for a strong road presence. The Big New WagonR not only embodies strong looks but is also stronger inside out,” Maruti said in a release.

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