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Now, you can withdraw 75% of PF amount after one month of unemployment

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New Delhi: Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) members can soon avail the option to withdraw 75 percent of their provident funds after one month of unemployment under the new provision in the Employee Provident Fund Scheme 1952.
PF members would can also withdraw the remaining 25 percent of their funds and go for final settlement of account after completion of two months of unemployment.
The decision was taken during 222nd meeting of CBT held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
PF members can “withdraw 75 percent of its funds as advance from its account after one month of unemployment and keep its account with the EPFO,” Gangwar said after the meeting.
At present, in case of unemployment, a subscriber can withdraw his or her funds after two months of unemployment and settle the account in one go.
The minister was of the view that this new provision would give an option to members to keep their account with the EPFO, which he can use after regaining employment again.
However, it was proposed that the members would be allowed to take 60 percent of funds as advance on unemployment for not less than 30 days. But, the CBT raised the limit to 75 percent in the meeting held today.
The minister further said, “We approved almost the entire agenda listed for the meeting of the CBT today. We have also given an extension of one year to ETF (exchange traded funds) manufacturers SBI and UTI Mutual funds till July 1, 2019. We have also extended the term of fund managers till December 31, 2018.”
There was a proposal to give extension of six more months to its five fund managers SBI, ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, Reliance Capital, HSBC AMC and UTI AMC for managing its corpus.
The five fund managers were appointed for three years from April 1, 2015. They were given extension till June 30, 2018. The CBT has also approved the proposal to appoint consultant for selection of portfolio managers.
The minister also said that the EPFO’s ETF investment would soon cross Rs 1 lakh crore mark as its has already invested Rs 47,431.24 crore till May end this year earning a return of 16.07 percent.
The EPFO has also extended the tenure of its consultant CRISIL for evaluation of performance of fund manager till December 31, 2018.
On the widening of range of the ETF investments by the EPFO, a CBT member said that the agenda was deferred and the board was unanimous that a call will be taken on the advise of new fund managers and consultants to be appointed shortly.
It was proposed to amend the investment pattern of the EPFO to enable the body to invest in equity index ETF beyond NIFTY 50 and Sensex ETF.

 

 
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Cabinet clears setting up of centralised GST appellate authority

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up of a centralised Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) under the goods and services tax that would decide on cases where there are divergent orders at the state level.

The setting up of a centralised AAAR would require amendments to the GST Acts. The centralised authority as an appellate body will only take up cases wherein the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of two states have passed divergent orders.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and comprising state counterparts, in December decided to establish the centralised AAAR.

 

“The Cabinet has cleared the GST appellate authority,” a source said after the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In view of the confusion created by contradictory rulings given by different AARs on the same or similar issues, the industry had been demanding a centralised appellate authority that could reconcile the contradictory verdicts of different AARs.

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Urbanisation to be big driver of Indian economic growth: Kant

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Davos: Urbanisation will be a big driver of economic growth in India going forward, supported by favourable macroeconomic factors, accelerated infrastructure building and continuing reforms, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Speaking here at an event on sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, he also said the Indian economy may even exceed the IMF growth forecast of 7.5 per cent for the country.

Kant said IMF has forecast 7.5 per cent growth for India despite a gloomy outlook for the global economy and this itself is good, though there are expectations that this estimate would be surpassed. He said India is giving a big push to urbanisation with more than 100 smart cities being developed.

 

The country is also using technology in a big way to change the way business and governance is done, he added. Besides a massive infrastructure building is happening, bank credit flow has rebounded and macroeconomic factors like inflation and fiscal deficit are also being supportive, Kant said.

DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek noted that states are competing with each other to attract investments and all political parties have adopted the economic reform process. He listed various reform initiatives undertaken in India, including on areas like ease of doing business, FDI, manufacturing and taxation.

They were speaking at Institutional investors’ breakfast roundtable, organised by the industry chamber CII and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Other participants included CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee and leaders from Indian and foreign companies.

On questions about some persisting issues in doing business including on tax and insolvency related issues, Abhishek said a lot of efforts have been put in to remove all bottlenecks and starting a business doesn’t take more than a day. Besides, special provisions have been made for startups and angel investors, he added.

Kant said efforts are also being made to remove all physical intervention and digitise the entire process of inter-ministerial and inter-department consultations to fast-track the decisions.

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India will surpass China, says Raghuram Rajan

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Davos: India will eventually surpass China in economic size and will be in a better position to create the infrastructure being promised by the Chinese side in South Asian countries, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said.

Addressing a session on Strategic Outlook for South Asia, Dr Rajan said that the Indian economy would continue to grow while growth rate is slowing down in China.

“Historically, India had a bigger role in the region but China has now grown much bigger than India and has presented itself as a counter-balance to India in the region,” Dr Rajan said at the WEF Annual Meeting 2019.

 

“India will become bigger than China eventually as China would slow down and India would continue to grow. So India will be in a better position to create the infrastructure in the region which China is promising today. But this competition is good for the region and it will benefit for sure,” he said.

The comments assume significance with China working on a lot of infrastructure projects across the region. In 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of $2.59 trillion while China was the second large with a GDP of $12.23 trillion.

At the same session, Nepal PM K.P. Sharma Oli cited collaboration with China as well as India as reasons for the economic growth.

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