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Centre set to notify new rules for exchanging torn notes

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New Delhi :While the problem of banks handing out torn and mutilated currency to depositors has hogged the limelight off late, the bank customers’ woes may be far from over. Many banks are refusing to exchange old and torn notes of the Rs 2,000 denomination with many saying that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) does not have any rules in place that require banks to exchange torn Rs 2,000 notes carried by a depositor. Bank officials manning cash counters are turning away customers saying that they should “hold on to their torn Rs 2,000 notes till RBI comes out with a policy to exchange such notes.”
When certain officials at some bank branches were reminded that the RBI has rules for replacement of all torn currency, they said that the old rules do not apply to the new denomination of Rs 2,000 and Rs 200. So why are banks refusing to exchange soiled Rs 2,000 notes by throwing the rule book at customers?
The RBI has robust rules in place for exchange of soiled currency but banks seem to be interpreting them in a way to exclude those with Rs 2,000 denomination from the exchange process. The Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Rules 2009 clearly lay down rules for all mutilated notes above the denomination of Rs 50. The rules regarding mutilated notes states, “if the area of the single largest undivided piece of the mutilated note of rupees fifty, rupees one hundred, rupees five hundred and rupees one thousand note presented is at least 70, 75, 80 and 84 square centimeters, respectively, the same may be paid for full value.” The rules further state if the mutilated notes presented to banks is less than these specifications, banks need to pay only half the value on the same.
While these rules pertained to the pre-demonetisation era, the Rs 1,000 note was declared illegal and replaced by the Rs 2,000 note on November 8, 2016. Banks seem to be reluctant to apply the rules that pertained to the Rs 1,000 note to the new Rs 2,000 note. The last time RBI amended its note exchange rules was on July 3, 2017. These new rules states, “In order to facilitate quicker exchange facilities, the definition of soiled note has been expanded. A ‘soiled note’ means a note which has become dirty due to normal wear and tear and also includes a two piece note pasted together wherein both the pieces presented belong to the same note and form the entire note with no essential feature missing. These notes should be accepted over bank counters in payment of Government dues and for credit to accounts of the public maintained with banks.”
While the RBI’s new rules clearly define ‘a soiled note’ irrespective of their denomination, banks seem to be interpreting it in a way to exclude the Rs 2,000 note from the definition. One reason for this behaviour of banks is that the RBI’s new rules which were announced after the note-ban episode do not specify the Rs 2,000 note in particular. These new rules were added to the original Reserve Bank of India (Note Refund) Rules 2009 and the amended RBI rules still have no specific mention of the Rs 2,000 denomination note.
Another reason is that the RBI’s existing note exchange rules determine the amount receivable by the person with a soiled note on the basis of its size which is determined by the value of the currency. But after the RBI started issuing new notes in new dimensions’ post demonetisation, there has been a reduction in the dimensions of every single denomination of currency notes barring the Rs 100 note.
For instance, the RBI’s original rules state that they the highest denomination of Rs 1,000 should have an undivided single piece of atleast 84 per cent of the note’s area for a person to get back the full value of the amount from the bank. The erstwhile Rs 1,000 note had an area of 129 square centimeters. Similarly, the old Rs 50 denomination note had an area of 115 square centimeters. A torn Rs 50 note needed to have a single undivided area of at least 70 per cent of its original area (or at least 90 square centimeters for a person to get back the full value of his torn note.) The irony is that the highest value of currency in India at the moment is smaller in area than even the Rs 50 note (of the older versions). The new Rs 2,000 note has an area of 110 square centimeters. Since the RBI has no specific rules of refund of torn Rs 2,000 notes, banks seem to be in the dark on what rule of what note do they apply to a torn Rs 2,000 note while exchanging it for the common man. Even the Rs 200 denomination which was introduced recently seems to face a similar dilemma.
An RBI official said that the finance ministry should be clarifying on the issue rather than the central bank. Mr Manmohan Sachdeva, Director, Department of Economic Affairs in India’s Ministry of Finance told Business Standard, “We are at an advanced stage of finalising new rules for exchange of torn currency of the new denominations. The Law Ministry is examining the new rules and we will soon notify the same.”


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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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