Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

Strengthening Re closes at new 2-yr high against dollar

The Indian rupee continued to strengthen against the US dollar on Thursday closing at a fresh two-year high as foreign investors remained bullish on India expecting real interest rates to remain high. The US dollar too remained weak on account of uncertainties regarding further rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.

The rupee opened at 63.65 a dollar against its previous close at 63.70, a level last seen on July 22, 2015. Rupee closed at 63.64, up 0.02 per cent from its previous close.

Rate cut by 25 bps, neutral stance stays

With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) continuing with its neutral stance in its third bi-monthly monetary policy on Wednesday, the rupee appreciated by 37 paise to close at more than two-year high of 63.70 against the dollar.

Yields on 10-yr G-secs rise to 6.48%; no major shakeup in near term

The sovereign bonds declined after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of RBI cut interest rates as widely expected while maintaining its neutral policy stance.

The yield on government notes due May 2027 rose to as high as 6.48 per cent before closing at 6.46 per cent in Mumbai, two basis points (bps) higher for the day.

Despite Patel’s nudge, lending rates may not fall this festival season

Prospective borrowers waiting for home loans and car loans to get further cheap during the upcoming festival season may be in for some disappointment. While the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its repo rate by 25 basis points on Wednesday, bankers remained non-committal on lowering lending rates. This comes despite RBI governor Urjit Patel nudging banks to pass on the entire benefit of its rate cuts to the customers.

Savings rates face scissors

After the State Bank of India (SBI) decided to tinker with interest rates on savings deposits, Punjab National Bank, India’s second-biggest state-run lender, Bank of India, HDFC Bank and others are set to realign their rates owing to high share of saving deposits in the interest-earning assets.

2.1m Indians sought H-1B visa in 11 yrs

Over 2.1 million Indian technology professionals have applied for H-1B work visas in the last 11 years, an official report has said. The report of the US citizenship and immigration services (USCIS) has also refuted the impression that those who applied for the visa were not highly qualified.

MPC uses words that hint at a cut

Come August 2, the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will announce its verdict. Though in the most recent policy the members of the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have accepted that inflation is indeed coming down, they have chosen to adopt a wait and watch stance and there are still some lingering concerns about core inflation. However, the mention of words like inflationary expectations, upside risks to inflation, firming of crude prices has come down significantly which is a good thing.

SBI cuts savings rate by 0.5%; 90% customers to be impacted

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday cut savings bank account interest rates by 50 basis points on accounts holding less than Rs one crore to 3.5 per cent per annum from 4 per cent per annum. The new structure is effective from July 31, the bank said.

However, customers with savings bank account balance of Rs one crore and above would continue to earn interest at 4 per cent per annum.

According to Rajnish Kumar, MD, national banking group, SBI, 90 per cent of the total savings accounts held by the bank have a balance of below Rs one crore.

File ITR by July 31, no extension proposed: I-T dept

The last date for filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) for the financial year 2016-17 will not be extended beyond tomorrow's deadline, a top official today said.

"The last date for filing of ITRs remains July 31. There are no plans to extend this deadline. The department has already received over 2 crore returns filed electronically.

The department requests taxpayers to file their return in time," the official said.