An expert says in comparison to savings account, liquid funds will give better returns as the interest rate on them is around 6.5% which is 1-2% higher than savings deposit
Vivina Vishwanathan | Mon, Jul 31 2017. 07 53 PM IST | LiveMint.com
On Monday, State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, cut the interest rate on savings account deposits from 4% to 3.5% per annum. The bank, in a BSE notification, said the 3.5% per annum interest rate is for deposits up to Rs1 crore in a savings account. For deposits above Rs1 crore, account holders will continue to earn 4% interest. Here is a look at what it means and what you should do:
The rate cut
Till 2010-11, the interest rate on savings account deposits stood at 3.5%. In October 2011, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deregulated interest rate on savings accounts. This allowed banks to set their own interest rates. From 2011-12 onwards, a majority of the large commercial banks offered an interest rate of 4%. However, then new banks such as Yes Bank Ltd and Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd started offering higher interest rates of 6-7%. Even today these banks offer a higher interest rate.
But why did SBI cut its interest rate?
“The rationale is that the real interest rate is very high right now. In April 2011, interest rate on savings accounts was 3.5% and then there was a negative carry of nearly 5%. Today, if you look at inflation and all other benchmark rates, there is a positive carry of nearly 2.46% on savings bank interest. Real interest being so high, there was no choice for the bank but to bring down the savings account interest rate. The choice was either to raise MCLR (marginal cost of funds-based lending rate) or reduce the savings bank rate. We didn’t consider it appropriate to raise MCLR,” said Rajnish Kumar, managing director, SBI.
What should you do?
Financial planners don’t recommend leaving money idle in a savings bank account. “Typically at 4% interest rate, it was never recommended to leave money in a savings account. At 3.5% it further doesn’t make any sense at all,” said Surya Bhatia, a New Delhi-based financial planner.
Then what should you do?
“Ideally, you should put your money in instruments that give you better returns. You can make use of sweep-in fixed deposit product or liquid funds,” said Bhatia. If you are under the higher tax brackets, fixed deposit may not work for you. Liquid fund will be a better option.
Swarup Mohanty, chief executive officer, Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) Pvt. Ltd, said, “For the first time, the realization of a low interest rate is likely to hit the consumers. SBI’s move will also start the entire process of shifting investment from guaranteed products to other financial assets. This is going to be a significant turning point for incremental money to move towards financial instruments. However, I am not concluding that all money will come to mutual funds but we will benefit,” said Mohanty.
So what is the interest rate on liquid funds?
“In comparison to savings account, a liquid fund will give you better returns. Currently the interest rate on liquid funds is around 6.5%. Last year it was around 8-9%. In any case you will benefit since you are likely to get 1-2% higher returns higher than savings deposit,” said Mohanty.
Hence, instead of leaving your money idle in a bank account, put it to work through other financial products.
Taxpayers who missed the earlier ITR (income tax return) deadline of July 31 can now file their tax returns by August 5.
Business | NDTV Profit Team | Updated: August 02, 2017 09:57 IST
The government has extended the deadline for filing of income tax return (ITR). Taxpayers who missed the earlier deadline of July 31 can now file their tax returns by August 5. Can you claim HRA (house rent allowance) if the landlord is not providing you his or her PAN? If the annual rent paid by the employee exceeds Rs. 1 lakh per annum, it is mandatory for the employee to report the landlord’s PAN to the employer. The tax law also says that in case the landlord does not have a PAN, a declaration to this effect from the landlord along with the name and address should be filed by the employee.
Tax experts say that an employee can still claim tax benefits under HRA in his or her tax return. “The requirement for furnishing PAN of landlord is only to one’s employer only. However, once a person is to file his/her income tax return, there is no requirement to furnish the PAN of landlord,” says Sandeep Sehgal, director of tax and regulatory at Ashok Maheshwary & Associates LLP.
Even if the company may not allow HRA exemption to the employee, due to non-availability of PAN or declaration by the landlord about not having PAN, still the employee has the option to claim so while filing his or her income tax return, he says.
Mr Sehgal however says that it could attract scrutiny from tax authorities. “The tax authorities can examine the cases to verify the genuineness of the claim made by the employee,” he says. “It is expected that HRA claims will be closely scrutinised henceforth considering the consistent introduction of measures during past few years. In fact, the chances are greater if the claim doesn’t appear in Form 16 but claimed in the return.”
To substantiate the claim, the employee needs to keep a record of the rent agreement/lease deed, rent receipts, intimation to the society for the occupancy etc., says Mr Sehgal. Also, it is advisable to ensure that the payments are made through bank as cash transactions may not be considered genuine, he adds.
Mayur Shetty | TNN | Updated: Jun 7, 2017, 03:10 PM IST | Times of India
MUMBAI: In a move that will encourage banks to lend more for housing in large cities and make high value home loans cheaper, the Reserve Bank of India reduced the risk weightage on home loans above Rs 75 lakh to 50% from 75% earlier.
“Considering the importance of the housing sector and given its forward and backward linkages to the economy, it has been decided as a countercyclical measure, to reduce the risk weight on certain categories. It has also been decided to reduce the standard asset provisioning on such loans,” RBI said in its monetary policy.
In its monetary policy review the RBI retained the repo rate at 6.25% and the reverse repo rate at 6%. The marginal standing facility (MSF) – an emergency funding facility continue to remain at 6.5% as also the cash reserve ratio of 4%.
In another move that will ease liquidity in the banking system by close to Rs 50,000 crore, Reserve Bank of India has reduced the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) – the prescription for minimum holding of government securities. As against investing 20.5% of their deposits in gilts, banks will now have to invest only 20% with effect from June 24, 2017. RBI said that the reduction was aimed at allowing banks to comply with the international norms on liquidity coverage that come into effect from January 2019.
It was widely expected that the central bank would keep rates on hold. However, economists believed that RBI would ease its stance from `neutral’ to `accommodative’ to send a message that easy money conditions would prevail. The central bank however continued to maintain a neutral stance on the ground that easing of prices might be temporary. It also pointed out that fuel prices have been hiked since the inflation numbers were published and prices might rise further.
India Infoline News Service | Mumbai | July 30, 2017 11:44 IST
The National Housing Bank and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), which are the nodal agencies for the subsidy scheme, are implementing the scheme through various banks and housing finance institutions.
The Government of India launched a home loan subsidy scheme for urban dwellers in August 2016. The National Housing Bank and Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), which are the nodal agencies for the subsidy scheme, are implementing the scheme through various banks and housing finance institutions.
The scheme offers a subsidy of 6.5% on the interest on home loan, subject to or a maximum amount of Rs 2.20 lakh, depending on the rate of interest. Hence, if the rate of interest on the home loan is, say, 8.5%, the actual rate of interest payable by the borrower is just 2.5% (8.5% less 6.5%).
The scheme can be availed by persons belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) whose annual household income is less than Rs 3 lakh and by those belonging to lower income group (LIG) whose annual income is between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 6 lakh. The maximum age limit for the scheme is 70 years. Also, the maximum loan amount eligible for subsidy is Rs 6 lakh and the maximum tenure of loan is 15 years. The maximum size of the house should not exceed 30 sq. metres (carpet) for EWS applicants and 60 sq. metres for persons belonging to LIG. The loan can be availed for the purpose of buying under-construction or ready-to-occupy home from a builder or for self-construction of a new house or extension of an existing house.
To be eligible, the borrower should not have any home in his/her own name or in the name of his/her family members.
Disclaimer: The contents herein is specifically prepared by ‘Dalal Street Investment Journal’, and is for your information & personal consumption only. India Infoline Limited or Dalal Street Investment Journal do not guarantee the accuracy, correctness, completeness or reliability of information contained herein and shall not be held responsible.
ECONOMICTIMES.COM|Updated: Jul 19, 2017, 03.57 PM IST
The need to disclose one’s permanent account number (PAN) has become essential in almost all financial transactions. But, when it comes to quoting bank’s PAN to avail certain tax benefits on home loan, not many could be aware of the same. And, locating the correct PAN of the bank may not be an easy task as well. Here’s a list of all bank’s permanent account number (PAN).
As a salaried individual, if you have taken a home loan and looking to get the tax benefit on the principal repaid and the also on the interest paid, providing certain details about the home loan such as home loan lender’s name, date of loan disbursement etc, to your employer was a necessary requirement. In addition to such details, one has to furnish the PAN of the lender as well. Locating the lender’s PAN may not be an easy task for many. Here is a list of banks with their PAN to help you furnish complete details to your employer.
As per the Rule 26C of the Income Tax Act, it has become mandatory from 1st June 2016, for the employee to furnish certain details to the employer for claiming the tax benefits on salary income. For this, the employee needs to fill and submit Form 12BB to one’s employer to claim tax benefits or rebate on investments and expenses.
The Form 12BB is basically a statement of claims by an employee to claim tax deduction on leave travel allowance (LTA), house rent allowance (HRA), deductions under chapter VIA (Section 80C, 80D etc) and interest paid on home loans.
Among other things as mentioned above, in the Form 12BB, one has to furnish specific details about the home loan:
(i) Interest payable/paid to the lender (during the financial year)
(ii) Name of the lender
(iii) Address of the lender
(iv) Permanent Account Number (PAN) of the lender
Use the information on this page to locate the PAN of your banker.
In case you want to confirm it, you can click here to verify it from the government website.
By Yogita Khatri, ET Bureau|Jul 17, 2017, 06.30 AM IST
The Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) is keen to extend trading hours to 5 pm. This might force top exchanges NSE and BSE to follow suit.
However, will the move benefit small investors? ET Wealth reached out to market participants to know their views.
Rahul Jain, Head of Retail Advisory, Edelweiss Wealth Management, says Yes
Extension of trading hours will help drive volumes, which helps market liquidity, increasing confidence of smaller participants.
For secular retail participation in the capital markets, two things are important. One, education about the asset class and two, the confidence in the markets. While institutions are investing in educating the clients, confidence of small investors in markets will be boosted by growth in volume and more broad-based participation.
Longer trading hours will benefit traders and expert participants in multiple ways. Benefits will accrue to smaller participants as well. Here’s how:
A. It will increase time overlap with global markets, thereby reducing, to some extent, open gap shocks. Minimising such shocks is good for retail and small investors as it helps reduce the volatility of returns. In a country like ours where retail investors have traditionally invested in FDs or physical assets like gold and real estate, low equity market volatility will be a confidence booster.
B. Extension of trading hours will also help drive volumes which is good for the overall market liquidity, thereby increasing the confidence of smaller participants in the equity markets. As it is evident that more overlap with global markets and increased volume is good for all market participants, extending trading hours is an idea worth exploring.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay Group Chairman, Inditrade (JRG) Group of Companies, says Yes
If India is to become a global financial powerhouse and if exchanges are to become truly international, we need to have extended trading hours.
The Indian capital market is significantly influenced by the global markets and global investors. No market participant can deny this influence and co-relation. The most influential global market is the US market. It starts trading long after the Indian markets close.
This creates a peculiar situation which leads to “gap-up” or “gap-down” of opening of Indian markets post any major global event. For the health of any market and its investors and in particular the retail investors, this is definitely detrimental. Extending Indian market hours to align with at least the opening of the US market, will prevent some uncertainties.
Further, Indian financial markets, systems and processes are now robust enough to support long market hours. Both back office processes and banking activities even in normal course, continue far beyond the present market closing hours. Thus, adopting extended trading hours should not pose any operational or banking issues.
If India has to become a global financial powerhouse and if Indian exchanges aspire to become truly international, we need to have extended trading hours. However this can be done over a period of time in phases. At this stage, extending trading hours up to New York opening time, should at least be considered.
Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities says No
Impact of moves in global stock exchanges do impact the opening levels of Indian markets but in most cases, that effect is overcome in a couple of hours.
For small investors, extended trading hours will not help in any way. The six hours available now for trading are sufficient for price discovery and execution. With mobile trading on the rise, even investors who are occupied at work till evening can track the markets and trade within the trading timings.
Though currency and commodity markets are open till late, this is mainly to allow hedgers/traders to track forex markets or commodity prices abroad. As far as equity markets are concerned, Indian stocks prices do not track any other prices on a minute-by-minute basis. Impact of moves in global stock exchanges do impact the opening levels of Indian stock markets but in most cases, that effect is overcome in a couple of hours.
Exchanges would like to extend time to offer differentiation, gain market share and boost income. Compulsive traders would like extended hours to get more opportunities to trade. Brokers would welcome extended hours provided the incremental revenues are more than the cost in terms of manpower and other running costs.
However, they currently feel that extending trading hours would bring more pressure on them and may not result in much higher volumes and revenues. Markets are trending for 25-35% time and are range-bound/trendless for the balance period. In the latter period, extending the trading hours could prove to be discomforting for all participants.
Sandip Raichura, Head, Retail, Prabhudas Lilladher, says No
A small trader has a defined risk appetite and that doesn’t change because more time is available. He will be looking at price levels, not the time.
Proponents of the benefit of longer trading hours have often justified this by giving examples of the commodity exchanges etc., which work for longer hours. While it may benefit certain segments of investors and traders, I don’t see any direct benefit to smaller investors, at least not immediately.
The small trader has a defined risk appetite and that doesn’t change just because more time is available. The small investor will typically be looking at price levels, and not necessarily the time of day to take decisions. Self-driven clients trading online may possibly do more trades, but that is a conjecture at this stage.
It might negatively affect relationships between small traders and sub-broker or RMs who typically meet in the evenings. This can affect fund flows with cheques not collected in time or that client feeling a deficiency in services if not met regularly.
In fact, brokers might desist from offering sit in or walk in services at low brokerage rates due to the enhanced costs of an extended day and attempt to pass on these costs. What’s most likely is that the same trades are likely to now get staggered over a longer period.
The benefits of an internationally aligned market are more likely to accrue to bigger investors. While European and Asian markets get factored into our markets adequately, the US markets open much later than 5 pm and therefore, it is unlikely that volatility would reduce due to the additional hours.
By Preeti Motiani | ECONOMICTIMES.COM | Jul 04, 2017, 03.20 PM
Going by an income tax department circular issued yesterday, it appears that you can repay your entire loan amount to any HFC (Housing finance company) or NBFC (Non-banking finance company) in cash provided each instalment is less than Rs 2 lakh. As per the new income tax rule introduced in the last budget, cash payments/receipts of or over Rs 2 lakh are illegal and will attract penalty.
This rule had created confusion as to whether the rule applied to single instalment repayment of loan or to the entire repayment amount. The finance ministry issued a circular dated July 3, 2017, clarifying that the prohibition of cash payment would only apply to repayment of a single loan instalment in cash and not to the aggregate amount.
Section 269ST was introduced in the last budget to discourage the use of large amounts of cash as a step towards controlling generation of black money.
Section 269ST prohibits any person to receive amount of Rs. 2 lakh and above in cash:
(i) In aggregate from a person in a day, or
(ii) In a single transaction, or
(iii) In respect of transactions relating to one event or occasion from a person
Though this gives clarity for determining the applicability of section 269ST, from an individual perspective, he/she has to maintain necessary supporting documents to substantiate any future request from the authorities seeking clarification on the source of cash says Amarpal Chadha, Tax Partner & India Mobility Leader, EY.
The government has also introduced penalty provisions in case of section 269ST is violated.
Section 271DA defines the penalty amount to be paid by the person who receives the amount in cash over the specified limit. The penalty amount as per the law shall be equal to the amount received in cash.
Income Tax department in its circular dated July 3, 2017 has given a clarification regarding the transactions that will fall under the purview of section 269ST in case repayment of loan is done using cash.
The circular states that receipt of repayment of loan by the Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC) and Housing Finance Companies (HFC) will fall under the purview of section 269ST clause (b) if the repayment of ‘one’ loan instalment is equal to or above Rs. 2 lakh. “All the instalments paid for a loan shall not be aggregated for the purposes of determining applicability of the provisions of section 269ST.” This means that the Rs 2 lakh limit will only be applied to a single loan instalment repayment in cash and not to the total of all the instalments.
The department has received the representations from NBFCs and HFCs seeking clarification regarding the applicability of section 269ST on the repayment of loan whether it will be on one instalment or on the whole loan amount.
The circular has clarified that the NBFC or HFC will end up violating Section 269ST only if they receive a single loan instalment in cash of or over Rs 2 lakh.