Banking and Finance Current Affairs | March, 2021

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Banking and Finance Current Affairs | March, 2021

Banking and Finance - March 2021

31st March, 2021

RBI fixes WMA limit to Rs. 1.2 lakh crores for the 1st half of FY22

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has fixed the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) limit to Rs. 1.2 lakh crores in the 1st half of Financial Year 2021-22 (FY22) i.e., from 1st April to 30th September, 2021. WMA is a facility where RBI provides very short term loans to the Central and State Governments as a banker. Central and State governments can borrow money from RBI for 90 days at a rate of 4 %. The WMA limit for FY21 was 2 lakh crores for helping the state governments tackle the pandemic effectively.

NPCI sets 30 % market cap on UPI transactions for the TPAPs

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has set market cap on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) at 30 % for the Third-Party Application Providers (TPAPs). As per the fresh guidelines and exemptions of NPCI, the TPAPs will limit the volume and value of UPI transactions per customer. The new limit has been decided on the basis of the UPI data collected in the last 3 months. The TPAPs have been given relaxation till December, 2023 for preparing their platforms to comply with the new norms and limits set by NPCI.

4th March, 2021

EPFO retains 8.5 % annual interest rates on PF contributions for 2020-21

Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has made an official announcement to retain the 8.5 % interest rates on Provident Fund (PF) contributions for 2020-21. It was decided in the 228th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees of EPF chaired by Union Minister of Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar. The meeting was held in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. EPFO has retained the interest rate since 2012-13 which the lowest since then.

2nd March, 2021

Central Government amends Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017

Government of India has amended the Insurance Ombudsman Rules, 2017 and has named it ‘Insurance Ombudsman (Amendment) Rule, 2021’. The Executive Council of Insurers has been renamed to ‘Council of Insurance Ombudsmen’ which administers the Ombudsman mechanism. The amendments are 1) the ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings 2) insurance brokers have been brought in the range of the Ombudsman mechanism 3) appointment of Insurance Ombudsman will be made by the Council of Insurance Ombudsmen. The amendments have been made to provide better complaint resolution of the beneficiaries of the insurance service.

Canara Bank partners with Arya for providing services to the farmers

Canara Bank has partnered with post-harvest agri-tech provider, Arya Collateral Warehousing Services Pvt. Ltd. for offering warehousing and collateral management to the farmers. This strategic partnership also aims to support the farmers with its financial schemes and effective marketing linkages. Arya will provide hassle-free warehousing facilities to the farmers associated with Canara Bank in storing their produce for future sales. Arya currently owns a network of 4000 warehouses across India.

1st March, 2021

APGVB and TGB become the 1st RRBs of India to operationalize Video-KYC facility

Andhra Pradesh Grameena Vikas Bank (APGVB) and Telangana Grameena Bank (TGB) have become the 1st Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) of India to operationalize Video-KYC (Know Your Customer) facility. Both the SBI-sponsored RRBs have enabled digital savings bank account opening facility via Video-KYC. APGVB currently operates in 19 districts of Telangana and 5 districts of Andhra Pradesh whereas; TGB is operational in 18 districts of Telangana. This step will widen the Current Account Savings Account portfolio of the RRBs.