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Finance
Finance December 2nd week 2017
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Category : Finance
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Finance December 2nd week 2017

 1. Paytm Payments Bank Unveils Paytm FASTag Across India.

The newly constituted 15th Finance Commission will hold its first meeting on Monday after meeting finance minister Arun Jaitley.

However, an official of the commission speaking under condition of anonymity said it will be a courtesy call with Jaitley and the views of the finance ministry on the various terms of reference of the 15th Finance Commission will be sought separately. “A press statement will be issued after the commission’s meeting,” the official said.

Former revenue secretary N.K. Singh, who is also a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was last week named head of the commission, and its terms of reference have been notified by the Narendra Modi-led government.

Apart from Singh, members of the 15th Finance Commission include former economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das and adjunct professor at Georgetown University Anoop Singh. Bandhan Bank chairman and former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri and NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand have been appointed part-time members. The 15th Finance Commission , whose recommendations will come into effect for the five years starting 1 April 2020 has been asked to submit its report by 30 October 2019.

The 14th Finance Commission, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India governor Y.V. Reddy, is considered to have fundamentally reset the centre-state fiscal relationship by raising the united share of states in net central taxes to 42% from 32% after ending discretionary resource transfers from the centre to the states.

Apart from performing its constitutionally mandated job of deciding on the distribution of shareable central tax proceeds among centre, states and local bodies for the first time in the post goods and services tax (GST) era, the 15th Finance Commission has been asked to recommend appropriate levels of general and consolidated government debt and deficit levels for the centre and states.

The 15th Finance Commission has also been asked to propose measurable performance-based incentives in areas such as efforts made by the states in expansion and deepening of the tax net under GST, and efforts and progress made in moving towards replacement rate of population growth, which refers to the total fertility rate that will result in a stable population without increasing or decreasing it.

2. Paytm Payments Bank Unveils Paytm FASTag Across India.

Paytm Payments Bank is rolling out Paytm FASTag across the India, with the government mandating the use of FASTag on every new vehicle sold from December 1.
 
Paytm is one of the service providers for FASTag. FASTags are simple and reusable tags based on radio-frequency identification technology (RFID) that can be placed on a vehicle’s windscreen and enables electronic toll fee collection on highways across the country.
 
The FASTags allow vehicles to pass through 380 toll plazas across India covering 55,000 km without having to stop.
 
Each Paytm FASTtag is linked to a registered Paytm account to facilitate instant automatic deduction of toll charges.
 
"We are currently working with leading car and commercial vehicle manufacturers and dealers, including Maruti, Hyundai, Tata, Mercedes, Renault, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo, among others, to make Paytm FASTag available for customers purchasing new vehicles across India. If you already own a vehicle, you can buy FASTag online on Paytm app. Paytm FASTag customers will get 7.5% cashback on every toll transaction," said Paytm in a statement.
 
There is no need to recharge Paytm FASTags separately. It is enough if there is balance in the Paytm wallet.
 
Renu Satti, MD & CEO — Paytm Payments Bank, said: “Cash payments at toll plazas result in precious man hours and fuel being unnecessarily spent, as attendants and motorists are left grappling with the hassles of dealing in exact change. The Paytm FASTag will facilitate non-stop movement of vehicles through toll plazas and bring the benefits of cashless payments to every toll in India. Besides offering convenience to commuters, this will also improve transparency and overall efficiency of the country’s toll network.”
 
The FASTtag project is run in partnership with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and NPCI.
 
3. Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement Released by RBI.
 
 
The Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI has decided to maintain status quo and keep its key interest rate, the repo rate, unchanged at 6%. It had last cut rates by 25 bps four months earlier in its August review. Consensus estimates predicted a status quo policy and it was on expected lines.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 per cent.
 
LONE VOICE FOR RATE CUT
 
The six member monetary policy committee voted on the basis of a majority for a pause. Dr. Chetan Ghate, Dr. Pami Dua, Dr. Viral V. Acharya, Dir Michael Patra and Dr. Urjit R. Patel were in favour of status quo while Dr. Ravindra H. Dholakia voted for a policy rate reduction of 25 basis points. This was on the same lines as the previous policy.

 


 

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