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Showing posts with label FINANCE & BANKING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FINANCE & BANKING. Show all posts

Monday, 26 July 2021

All Banks to have Cheque Truncation System by September 2021: RBI Governor

 Reserve Bank of India 

The Reserve Bank today said that the Cheque Truncation System (CTS), which is currently operational at the major clearinghouses of the country, will be made operational across all branches of the country by September 2021.

Addressing the first Monetary Policy meeting after the Union Budget 2021, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that around 18,000 banks are still not under the Cheque Truncation System.

The Central Bank decided to implement ‘Positive Pay’ system to enhance the safety of cheque-based transactions. This new rule came into effect from 1 January 2021. Under the 'Positive pay system' for cheque re-confirmation of key details may be needed for payments beyond ₹50,000. The announcement of the same was made by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on 6 August 2020.

What is Cheque Truncation System (CTS)?

Under this process, the issuer of the cheque submits electronically details related to the cheque presented for clearings, such as the cheque number, cheque date, payee name, account number, amount, and other details against a list of cheques previously authorized and issued by the issuer.

 

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee has voted unanimously to keep the policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent, said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.

"The Monetary Policy Committee met on 3rd, 4th and 5th February and deliberated on current and evolving macroeconomic and financial developments both domestic and global. The MPC voted unanimously to leave the policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent," said Das.

"It also unanimously decided to continue with the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary at least through the current financial year and into the next year to revive growth on a durable basis and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going forward," he added.

 Source Link

 

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Sunday, 25 July 2021

India and Nigeria ramp up plans to launch central bank digital currencies

 

India and Nigeria ramp up plans to launch central bank digital currencies 

The Reserve Bank of India is considering a phased plan to implement a digital rupee, and the Central Bank of Nigeria aims to launch a digital naira pilot in October.

India’s and Nigeria’s central banks have drawn up plans towards launching their own sovereign-backed digital currencies.

Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are the digital form of fiat money, giving holders a direct claim on the central bank and allowing them to make instant electronic payments.

CBDCs differ from digital money like cryptocurrencies, which are private and decentralised tokens.

On Thursday, Rakiya Mohammed, the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) director of information technology, said that a CBDC pilot will begin as early as October 1.

At a press briefing in June, Mohammed said the bank had been researching a possible CBDC for years and would be trialing a digital naira before the end of this year.

Nigerian financial officials have been grappling with how to best deal with the rise of cryptocurrencies in the country, and had prohibited crypto transactions in the banking sector in February.

The CBN’s deputy governor Adamu Lamtek clarified that crypto trading was not banned, and its popularity has continued to grow despite the banking restrictions.

A digital rupee on the cards?

Also in a speech on Thursday, Deputy Governor T. Rabi Sankar said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is considering running a series of pilot programs for a proposed CBDC.

Sankar said “perhaps the time for CBDCs is nigh” and the RBI was weighing a “phased introduction” of a digital rupee to allow time for required legal changes to the country’s foreign-exchange rules.

He added that it would reduce currency costs for the government and protect citizens from the volatility of cryptocurrencies.

The RBI published a report back in March that highlighted the benefits of a CBDC for financial inclusion and drawbacks related to raising the cost of lending through commercial banks.

While the Indian government has previously indicated its intent to ban cryptocurrencies, the mood has shifted in recent months with signs of the country taking a more lenient approach by regulating the crypto market.

So far, at least 80 percent of central banks around the world are exploring use cases for CBDCs, with 40 percent already testing pilot programs.

China’s digital yuan trials are currently at the most advanced stage of any CBDC project to date.

The US announced a series of private sector-led pilot programmes in May to generate data to help policymakers develop a digital dollar.

Source: TRT World
 
 

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Monday, 12 July 2021

PMC Bank Scam: Small Finance Bank to take over operations, RBI tells Delhi HC

Small finance bank to take over scam-hit PMC Bank; approval given says RBI  to HC 

On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) told the Delhi High Court that it has given in-principle approval for setting up a small finance bank which will take over the scam-hit PMC Bank soon.

A bench comprising of Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh granted time to the RBI to file an affidavit on the development in the matter and listed the case for further hearing on August 20.

Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, representing the RBI, submitted that it has given in-principle approval to Centrum Finance Services Ltd to set up a small finance bank which will take over Punjab and

Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank very soon as the process in near completion.

He said this will ease the trouble faced by the bank's customers who are unable to withdraw their money.

 

The court was hearing an application by consumer rights activist Bejon Kumar Misra seeking directions to the RBI to consider other needs of PMC Bank depositors such as education, weddings and dire financial position, not just serious medical emergencies as being done at present.

The application was filed in Misra's main PIL seeking directions to the RBI to ease the moratorium on withdrawals from the PMC Bank during the coronavirus pandemic.

Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, representing Misra, submitted that more than five dates have been given to the authorities and the hard earned money of the depositors has not been released.

 

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Sunday, 11 July 2021

Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attends Third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting

 

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman participated virtually in the Third G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) Meeting under the Italian Presidency. The two-day meeting held on July 9th and 10th, 2021 saw discussions on a wide range of issues including global economic risks and health challenges, policies for recovery from the CoVID-19 pandemic, international taxation, sustainable finance and financial sector issues.

Image

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors reaffirmed their resolve to use all available policy tools for as long as required to address the adverse consequences of COVID-19.

Smt. Sitharaman appreciated the Italian G20 Presidency for identifying three catalysts of resilient economic recovery from the pandemic as being Digitalization, Climate Action and Sustainable Infrastructure and shared the Indian experience of integrating technology with inclusive service delivery during the pandemic.

The Finance Minister shared recent policy responses of Government of India to strengthen the health system and economy, including the efficient application of CoWIN Platform to scale-up vaccination in India. Smt. Sitharaman added that this platform has been made freely available to all countries as humanitarian needs outweigh commercial considerations in this extraordinary crisis. The Finance Minister stated that as the co-chair of Framework Working Group of the G20, India along with UK, views digitalization as an agenda that will continue to play a key role in bolstering economic growth.

Smt. Sitharamanreferred to the global risks in view of the emerging CoVID-19 variants and highlighted the need for international coordination and cooperation on this front. The Finance Minister joined other G20 members in welcoming the Report of the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response and emphasized on the urgent need to strengthen multilateralism for global health.

Smt. Sitharaman shared her insights on the Italian Presidencys ongoing work on a roadmap to guide sustainable finance. Speaking on the need for aligning recovery strategies with climate concerns, the Finance Minister called for climate action strategies to be based on the principles of the Paris Agreement and noted the criticality of timely fulfilment of international commitments on climate finance and technology transfer.

Regarding the Statement on a two-pillar solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy” released by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS-IF) on July 1st, the G20 Finance Ministers called on the OECD/G20 BEPS-IF to swiftly address the remaining issues. Smt. Sitharaman suggested that further work needs to be done to ensure a fairer, sustainable and inclusive tax system which results in meaningful revenue for developing countries.

 

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Friday, 9 July 2021

Income Tax Department conducts searches in Hyderabad

 Ministry of Finance 

 

Income Tax Department carried out a search and seizure operation on 06.07.2021 on a group based in Hyderabad. The group is engaged in real estate, construction, waste management and infrastructure. The activities of waste management are spread across India while real estate activities are mainly concentrated in Hyderabad.

During the course of search and seizure operation many incriminating documents, loose sheets etc were seized indicating involvement of the group in unaccounted transactions. It was found that the group had sold majority stake, to a Non-resident entity based in Singapore, in one of its group concerns during FY 2018-19 and had earned huge capital gains. The group subsequently devised various colourable schemes by means of entering into a series of share purchase/sale/Non arm’s length valued subscription and subsequent bonus issuance etc with related parties, creating a loss which was set off against the capital gains earned. Incriminating evidence/documents have been recovered, which indicate that the loss was artificially created to set off the respective capital gains. The search operation led to detection of artificial loss of approximately Rs. 1,200 crore, which is to be taxed in the hands of the respective assessees.

Further, during the course of the search, it was found that the assessee had incorrectly claimed bad debts to the tune of Rs. 288 crore on account of related party transactions, which was set off against the aforementioned profits earned. During search proceedings, incriminating documents relating to this artificial/incorrect claim were found. Unaccounted cash transactions with the associates of the group have also been detected during the search, and the quantum and modus of the same is under examination.

As a result of the search & seizure operation, and on the basis of various incriminating documents found, the entities and associates have admitted to having unaccounted income of Rs. 300 crore and have also agreed to pay due taxes.

Further investigations are in progress.

 

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Ministry of Corporate Affairs

 

Extension of last date for submission of public comments to 30th July, 2021 for Consultation Paper on Enhancing Engagement with Stakeholders 

 

The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) has extended the last date for submission of comments on its Consultation Paper titled "Enhancing Engagement with Stakeholders: Report of Technical Advisory Committee (March 2021)" from 10th July, 2021 to 30th July 2021. Consultation paper may be viewed at https://nfra.gov.in/consultation_papers.

The comments may either be submitted by email at comments-tac.paper @nfra.gov.in or sent by post to NFRA Office at:

Secretary

National Financial Reporting Authority

7th Floor, HT House

18-20, Kasturba Gandhi Marg

New Delhi- 110001

About NFRA

The National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) was constituted on 01st October, 2018 by the Government of India under Sub Section (1) of Section 132 of the Companies Act, 2013. The main objective of NFRA is to protect the public interest and the interests of investors, creditors and others associated with the companies or bodies corporate governed under NFRA Rules, 2018 by establishing high quality standards of accounting and auditing and exercising effective oversight of accounting functions performed by the companies and bodies corporate and auditing functions performed by auditors.

About Consultation Paper

National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) has set up a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to, inter alia, provide NFRA with inputs from the perspective of various key stakeholders. The TAC has undertaken a consultative exercise to review NFRA’s engagement with its stakeholders, and has, in its report of March, 2021, recommended ways to enhance the same. Important recommendations of the TAC relate to formation of advisory/consulting groups, institution of fellowship programmes, publication of NFRA’s Inspection Policy, and building up of NFRA’s Regulatory Capacity. Consultation Paper has been prepared and published by NFRA incorporating its preliminary views, and proposed action plan, on the recommendations of the TAC

 

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PAISA for Municipalities

 

Swaroop Iyengar, Tanvi Bhatikar, T.R. Raghunandan & Avani Kapur  (2020) 

This study aims to understand the nature and compute the size of the local public sector in the Smart City of Tumakuru, in Karnataka State. It makes use of our flagship methodology Planning, Allocations and Expenditures, Institutions Studies in Accountability (PAISA). It aims to understand:

  • An analysis of functions devolved to the Municipal
    Corporation.
  • Study of Tumakuru Corporation revenues and
    expenditures in financial years (FY) 2014-15 and FY
    2015-16.
  • Provide methodologies to attribute expenditure to
    specific wards, and;
  • Analyse ward-wise expenditure trends in FY 2014-
    15 and FY 2015-16 across all 35 wards of Tumakuru Corporation. 

 DOWNLOAD  PDF FILE  ; 

;


SOURCE ;  cprindia.org

 

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Monday, 5 July 2021

Ministry of Finance

Auction for Sale (Re-issue) of (i) ‘4.26% GS 2023’,(ii) ‘New 10 year GS, 2031’ and (iii) ‘6.76% GS 2061’

 media.9curry.com/uploads/organization/image/390...

The Government of India (GoI) has announced the Sale (Issue / re-issue) of
(i) ‘4.26% Government Security, 2023’ for a notified amount of Rs 3,000 crore (nominal) through price based auction, (ii) ‘New Government Security, 2031’ for a notified amount of Rs 14,000 crore (nominal) through yield based auction, and (iii) ‘6.76% Government Security 2061’ for a notified amount of Rs 9,000 crore (nominal) through price based auction. GoI will have the option to retain additional subscription up to Rs 6,000 crore against above security/securities. The auctions will be conducted by the Reserve Bank of India, Mumbai Office, Fort, Mumbai on
July 09, 2021 (Friday) using uniform price method for 4.26% GS 2023, New GS 2031 and multiple price method for 6.76% GS 2061.

Up to 5% of the notified amount of the sale of the Securities will be allotted to eligible individuals and Institutions as per the Scheme for Non-Competitive Bidding Facility in the Auction of Government Securities.

Both competitive and non-competitive bids for the auction should be submitted in electronic format on the Reserve Bank of India Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system on July 09, 2021. The non-competitive bids should be submitted between 10.30 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. and the competitive bids should be submitted between 10.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m.

The result of the auctions will be announced on July 09, 2021 (Friday) and payment by successful bidders will be on July 12, 2021 (Monday).

The Securities will be eligible for “When Issued” trading in accordance with the guidelines on ‘When Issued transactions in Central Government Securities’ issued by the Reserve Bank of India vide circular No. RBI/2018-19/25 dated July 24, 2018 as amended from time to time.

 

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Sunday, 4 July 2021

Privatising Banks, Diminishing Rights: Does a Receding State Mean Receding Banking Services for the Poor?

 Privatising Banks, Diminishing Rights: Does a Receding State Mean Receding Banking Services for the Poor? 

Analysing the recent steps around privatisation of public sector banks in India from a socio-legal perspective, TANVI APTE and ANKUSH RAI argue that such privatisation will not augur well for flagship government schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, which will in turn lead to diminishing of rights and decreased financial inclusion for those worst affected by the pandemic. 

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IT has been around a year and a half since the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc around the world. India has also not been spared of the pandemic’s wrath. Over the last few months, there has been significant discussion on how the Indian economy has been affected by the pandemic, including issues like a negative growth raterising unemployment, and increasing non-performing assets, with few optimistic voices of recovery speckled in between.

Against this backdrop, the Union Budget for financial year 2021-22 was naturally awaited with much anticipation. The months leading up to the Budget speech involved extensive debate on what the government should and should not do in such a situation. Later, after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech in Parliament, the debate has continued – some have praised the budget, while others have come down heavily against it.

 

Privatization of public sector banks announced in Budget speech

The budget contained several aspects that have invoked conflicting opinions. One such aspect is the question of privatisation – more specifically, the privatisation of public sector banks (PSBs). Sitharaman caused ripples in the banking sector by announcing the government’s intention to privatise two PSBs as part of its drive to raise funds and bridge its fiscal deficit. This announcement came amidst the government’s repeated emphasis on PSBs’ bad loans and the role of the private sector in driving economic development. Subsequently, the government has been racing ahead with this privatisation plan: it has shortlisted four banks out of which two will be privatised, and has also started making the selected banks’ health look good in order to attract buyers.

However, not everyone is happy. The Government’s moves have been met with massive opposition from bank employees’ unions. Recently, around 10 lakh bank employees went on a massive two-day strike in protest, and more such protests are expected.

In response, Sitharaman has attempted to allay fears by mentioning that “salaries or scale or pension of employees, all will be taken care of.”

Unfortunately, Sitharaman’s statements suggest that the government is viewing the protests against privatisation as a mere employee concern, whereas in reality it is a people concern. The question that she must confront is: what does bank privatisation really mean for the public at large, that too during a pandemic?


The ‘public’ function of public sector banks

Interestingly, India has traditionally enjoyed a heavy public sector presence in the banking sector. Indian PSBs have long been seen as vehicles for ensuring welfare by providing growth opportunities and financial inclusion to the poor and vulnerable sections of society, who incidentally happen to be the ones hit hardest by the pandemic.

Our courts’ jurisprudence regarding amenability to its writ jurisdiction also helps support this proposition. This jurisprudence suggests that entities controlled by the government, which perform functions of public nature, are amenable to writ jurisdiction. As per this legal position, PSBs are owned and controlled by the state, and also perform public functions which have the potential to affect the fundamental rights. Therefore, the applicability of writ jurisprudence to them underscores their public importance.

PSBs’ performance of this public function is reflected in several ways:

Firstly, they are the main players involved in implementing the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY), the government’s flagship scheme, which encourages financial inclusion by permitting persons to open a bank account with zero minimum balance.

The mere creation of such a bank account brings with it several benefits. For instance, Jan Dhan account holders can avail of several insurance and overdraft facilities on beneficial terms. An account holder who is a migrant worker can also use the account to send the money to their family back home, actualising their right to livelihood.

Further, Jan Dhan accounts are used as a means to identify beneficiaries of various welfare schemes and directly transfer the benefits to their accounts. For instance, an August 2018 Press Information Bureau Release marking the sixth Jan Dhan anniversary notes, “About 8 crore PMJDY account holders receive Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) from the Government under various schemes… (There are) 63.6% Rural PMJDY accounts; 55.2% Women PMJDY accounts…Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, a total of Rs. 30,705 crore have been credited in accounts of women PMJDY account holders during April-June, 2020.” In fact, during the pandemic, Jan Dhan accounts have increased by over 60%, further evidencing the value of the scheme. In this manner, the PMJDY’s intrinsic and instrumental benefits are amply clear.


Secondly, in addition to the PMJDY, PSBs also help allocate scarce capital to medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) and cottage industries on favourable terms. In fact, during the pandemic, PSBs have been taking the lead in ensuring that MSMEs stay afloat by disbursing over two-thirds of the loans under the government’s credit guarantee scheme. Overall, PSBs enjoy the trust of the vulnerable sections of society, and aid their welfare.

This poses a pertinent set of questions: what will happen to these banks’ public welfare related activities post privatisation? Will the newly privatised bank still provide such services? Is there any guarantee to that effect?

Private Banks won’t provide beneficial services to the poor

There are no easy answers. Post privatisation, the government cannot compel recently privatised banks to continue to provide beneficial services to the poor, since that would constitute an interference with their right to do business freely.

Indeed, the judicial stance on the accountability of private banks also supports this conclusion. Post the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Federal Bank Ltd. vs. Sagar Thomas & Ors., (2003) 10 SCC 733, the higher judiciary has generally treated private banks as entities that are not amenable to its writ jurisdiction for enforcement of fundamental rights. Though there has been some judicial pushback to this position in recent times, it cannot really be seen as altering an established position of law. Therefore, there is seemingly no way to compel newly privatised banks to continue to provide beneficial services to the poor.

However, it is imperative to ensure that these services are not suspended or made onerous as a consequence of privatisation. If that happens, it will be another blow to those that have suffered the most during the pandemic, and further hit their right to life and livelihood. For instance, the newly privatised banks may discontinue the PMJDY’s minimum balance requirement, which spells trouble.


Traditionally, private banks have been near absent in implementing the PMJDY, which also does not bode well for any potential future beneficiaries. Similar concerns hold true with regard to finance terms for MSMEs and cottage industries. In this manner, the discontinuation of public welfare services in the newly privatised banks will fly in the face of the Government’s much publicised objective of real financial inclusion and economic development.

Overall, it is clear that any decision to privatise banks has to take into account these concerns. It is important that the Government views the protests against the privatisation as going beyond mere employee concerns and sees them as concerns affecting the public at large – especially the ones most affected by the pandemic. A holistic consideration of these concerns will lead to a more equitable reforms process.

(Ankush Rai and Tanvi Apte are fourth year students at NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. The views expressed are personal.)

source ;  theleaflet.in/


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Saturday, 3 July 2021

RBI tweaks norms for interest on unclaimed amount after deposit matures

 


FILE PIC

The RBI has tweaked the norms for interest on the amount left unclaimed with the bank after a term deposit matures. Currently, if a term deposit matures and the proceeds are unpaid, the amount left unclaimed with the bank attracts the rate of interest as applicable to savings deposits.

AIR correspondent reports, On a review, the RBI said, it has decided that if a term deposit matures and proceeds are unpaid, the amount left unclaimed with the bank shall attract rate of interest as applicable to savings account or the contracted rate of interest on the matured TD, whichever is lower.

The new norms are applicable for deposits in all commercial banks, small finance banks, local area banks, and cooperative banks. Term deposit refers to a interest-bearing deposit received by the bank for a fixed period. It also includes deposits such as recurring, cumulative, annuity, reinvestment deposits and cash certificates. 


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Wednesday, 30 June 2021

GST system to complete four years tomorrow


The Goods and Service Tax system is going to complete four years tomorrow. During the four years, several key policy initiatives have been taken by the government to make the GST system and compliance mechanism simple, transparent and technology driven.
  
Meanwhile Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, GST has been a milestone in the economic landscape of India. Mr Modi said, it has decreased the number of taxes, compliance burden and overall tax burden on common man while significantly increasing transparency, compliance and overall collection. It has been four years since the introduction 
of Goods and Services Tax (GST) law, country’s biggest tax reform, on July 1, 2017.
 
GST is a remarkable example of cooperative federalism wherein all the decisions have been taken in the GST Council by consensus. By replacing multi-layered, complex indirect tax structure, GST subsumed more than a score of taxes and paved the way for making India an economic union.
 
The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax is a very significant step in indirect tax reforms. It came into effect from 1st of July in 2017. It promotes the idea of 'ONE NATION, ONE TAX, ONE MARKET.' With the introduction of GST, Ease of Doing Business has significantly improved in the country.

 
During the last four years, the Central Government in close coordination with the States and Union Territories are continuously engaged in making the GST compliance system simple and transparent. To make the system hassle free, several key measures have been taken to reduce the compliance burden. Quarterly return monthly payment facility has been introduced from January this year to provide relief to the small taxpayers. Under the scheme, taxpayers need to file their return on a quarterly basis.
 
Earlier, taxpayers had to pay taxes on a monthly basis. The taxpayer who availed this facility now required to file eight returns instead of 24 returns in a year. Around 90 per cent of the taxpayers under GST are eligible to avail benefit under this scheme.
 

The Government has introduced a facility of Nil filing of GSTR-3B returns by SMS which helped 22 lakh taxpayers. E-Invoicing Facility has also been implemented which reduced time and cost for generation of E-way bills which ensured hassle free movement of goods throughout the country. Over 194 crore e-way bills have been generated so far.
 
To provide relief to the taxpayers and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic, several medical equipments and medicines have been exempted from IGST. Besides, the amount of late fees has also been reduced to provide relief to the taxpayers.

 

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Monday, 28 June 2021

गुजरात: एक साल में राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंकों की 278 शाखाएं कम हुईं, निजी बैंकों की शाखाओं में बढ़ोतरी

 

गुजरात राज्य स्तरीय बैंकर्स समिति की रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि 2019-20 में राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंकों द्वारा संचालित 5,257 शाखाओं की तुलना में 2020-21 में यह संख्या घटकर 4,979 हो गई है. दूसरी ओर निजी बैंकों की शाखाओं में 5.5 प्रतिशत की वृद्धि हुई है. मार्च 2021 के अंत में 116 शाखाओं के जुड़ने के बाद इनकी शाखाओं की संख्या बढ़कर 2,225 हो गई है.

(प्रतीकात्मक फोटो: पीटीआई)

(प्रतीकात्मक फोटो: पीटीआई)

अहमदाबाद: राज्य स्तरीय बैंकर्स समिति (एसएलबीसी-गुजरात) द्वारा प्रकाशित हालिया रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंकों ने पिछले एक साल में गुजरात में 278 बैंक शाखाओं की कमी की है. इसकी तुलना में निजी बैंकों द्वारा संचालित शाखाओं की संख्या में 5.5 प्रतिशत की वृद्धि हुई है.

इंडियन एक्सप्रेस की रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, एसएलबीसी रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि 2019-20 में राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंकों द्वारा संचालित 5,257 शाखाओं की तुलना में, 2020-21 के दौरान यह संख्या घटकर 4,979 हो गई.

एक एसएलबीसी अधिकारी ने कहा, ‘2019 के बाद से हुए विभिन्न एकीकरण का असर अब दिखने लगा है. देना बैंक और विजया बैंक का पहली बार 2019 में बैंक ऑफ बड़ौदा में विलय किया गया था, उसके बाद 10 अन्य बैंकों को मिलाकर चार बैंक बनाए गए थे. एकीकृत बैंकों की शाखाएं जो एक-दूसरे के करीब स्थित थीं और जो अव्यवहार्य पाई गईं, उन्हें बंद कर दिया गया या मौजूदा शाखाओं में मिला दिया गया. एकीकरण एक बड़ी कवायद थी.’

जिन बैंकों का विलय हुआ है, उनमें बैंक ऑफ बड़ौदा में पिछले एक साल के दौरान शाखाओं की संख्या में 14 प्रतिशत की गिरावट देखी गई है.

बाद में विलय किए गए अन्य बैंकों में ओरिएंटल बैंक ऑफ कॉमर्स और यूनाइटेड बैंक ऑफ इंडिया शामिल हैं, दोनों का पंजाब नेशनल बैंक में विलय कर दिया गया था.

सिंडिकेट बैंक का केनरा बैंक में विलय कर दिया गया. इसी तरह, कॉरपोरेशन बैंक और आंध्रा बैंक का यूनियन बैंक ऑफ इंडिया में और इलाहाबाद बैंक का इंडियन बैंक में विलय हो गया.

हालांकि, राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंक जो एकीकरण अभ्यास का हिस्सा नहीं थे, उन्होंने भी शाखाओं की संख्या में कटौती की. उदाहरण के लिए भारतीय स्टेट बैंक (एसबीआई) ने गुजरात में 13 शाखाओं को कम किया और इंडियन ओवरसीज बैंक ने चार शाखाओं को कम किया.

राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंकों ने एकीकरण शुरू होने से पहले से ही गुजरात में अपनी संख्या कम करनी शुरू कर दी थी. वर्ष 2017-18 में सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र के बैंकों ने 5,422 शाखाएं संचालित कीं, जबकि निजी बैंकों की केवल 1,607 शाखाएं थीं. इसके बाद राष्ट्रीयकृत बैंकों की शाखाओं की संख्या में लगातार गिरावट आई है.

इसके विपरीत निजी बैंकों ने 2020-21 के दौरान राज्य में अपनी उपस्थिति बढ़ाई है. मार्च 2021 के अंत में 116 शाखाओं के जुड़ने के बाद शाखाओं की संख्या बढ़कर 2,225 हो गई है. लघु वित्त बैंकों और सहकारी बैंकों ने राज्य में शाखाओं की संख्या में क्रमशः 68 और 9 की वृद्धि की है. 

SOURCE ; THE WIRE

 

सोशल मीडिया बोल्ड है।

 सोशल मीडिया युवा है।

 सोशल मीडिया पर उठे सवाल सोशल मीडिया एक जवाब से संतुष्ट नहीं है।

 सोशल मीडिया में दिखती है ,

बड़ी तस्वीर सोशल मीडिया हर विवरण में रुचि रखता है।

 सोशल मीडिया उत्सुक है।

 सोशल मीडिया स्वतंत्र है। 

 सोशल मीडिया अपूरणीय है। 

लेकिन कभी अप्रासंगिक नहीं। सोशल मीडिया आप हैं।

 (समाचार एजेंसी भाषा से इनपुट के साथ)

 अगर आपको यह कहानी पसंद आई तो इसे एक दोस्त के साथ साझा करें! 

हम एक गैर- लाभकारी संगठन हैं। हमारी पत्रकारिता को सरकार और कॉरपोरेट दबाव से मुक्त रखने के लिए आर्थिक मदद करें !

Saturday, 26 June 2021

Experts divided on Kerala HC order seeking decision on GST on petrol, diesel

 GST.png 

With petrol prices breaching the three-digit mark in many parts of the country, the Kerala High Court has asked the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to consider a representation that seeks to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime, and take an appropriate decision in six weeks.

Experts are divided over the court’s move, with some welcoming the move and others saying the bring fuels under GST have huge implications for tax revenue collected by the centre and states.

Petrol and diesel are the major revenue spinners for the Union government in the form of excise duty and cess and for states in the form of value added tax (VAT). "Considering the rising fuel prices in the country and keeping the objective of “One Nation, One Tax, One Market” in mind, this is a welcome decision of the Kerala High Court directing the Centre to deal with this matter in a time bound manner," said Prateek Bansal, Associate Partner, White and Brief Advocates and Solicitors.

He said that since the supply of petrol and diesel is currently not liable to GST, the taxes (Excise duty and VAT) paid thereon cannot be offset against the outward GST liability of the businesses, and thus become an additional tax cost in the supply chain of goods, which ultimately leads to inflation and is borne by the common man.

Data from the government’s Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) shows that contribution to the state exchequer in the form of sales tax and value-added tax of petroleum, oil, and lubricants has increased by 46 per cent from Rs 137,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 200,493 crore in 2019-20. For the first nine months of 2020-21, it was seen at Rs 135,693 crore. The states that have seen the maximum revenue out of this in the first nine months of 2020-21 include Maharashtra (Rs 16,962 crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 14,643 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs 11,826 crore) and Rajasthan (Rs 11,071 crore).

“Inclusion of petroleum and petroleum products within the purview of GST is a policy decision and must be taken unanimously by the GST Council comprising both the central government and all state governments. The inclusion will impact revenue collection and distribution of revenue and therefore must be taken very pragmatically”, said Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner at Khaitan & Co.

Over the past five years, the central government’s excise duty collection from petrol rose 167 percent from Rs 29,279 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 78,230 crore in 2019-20. This has further increased to Rs 89,575 crore in April-January 2020-21, owing to the rise in taxes last year. A similar hike was seen in diesel, with excise collection almost tripling to Rs 1,23,166 crore in 2019-20 from Rs 42,881 crore in 2014-15. For the April to January period of 2020-21, this has further increased to Rs 2,04,906 crore.

"The Constitution requires the GST Council to recommend the date on which petroleum products such as diesel, petrol, aviation turbine fuel, etc would be brought under the GST net. Under the present tax system, the excise duty and VAT collected on petrol and diesel works out to more than 125 percent of the price charged to the dealers. The overall share of petroleum products in the total tax collection is significantly higher than tax from other sectors," said Ajinkya Gunjan Mishra, Partner at L&L Partners.

 

He added that since a significant percentage of the Centre and state revenue comes from taxes on petroleum products, the government is unlikely to push for their inclusion any time soon.

"To enable both the centre and the states to maintain the current level of tax collection from petroleum products, any inclusion of petroleum products in the future may likely result in the adoption of a GST rate that is way higher than the existing highest GST slab rate of 28 per cent," he said.  In a Public Interest Litigation, Kerala Pradesh Gandhi Darshanvedhi had urged the court to order the GST Council to recommend the inclusion of petrol and diesel under the GST regime.

ICRA has projected a year-on-year (YoY) growth in the consumption of petrol and diesel in FY2022 at 14 percent and 10 percent, respectively, on the low base of FY2021.

 "Benefitting from the revival in consumption of fuels, the aggregate revenue generated from the cesses imposed by the Government of India (GoI) on petrol and diesel is estimated by ICRA to expand by 13 percent or Rs 0.4 trillion to Rs 3.6 trillion in FY2022. If this additional revenue of Rs 0.4 trillion is foregone, it can support a reduction in cesses by Rs. 4.5/litre each on MS and HSD," the rating agency said.

 Source ; .moneycontrol.com

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Friday, 11 June 2021

Covid-19: HC calls on Appellate Authorities to condone delay in filing documents, grants relief to GST litigants

 GST Law India - The future of Indian Indirect Tax 

The Orissa High Court has called upon appellate authorities to condone the delay in filing certified copy of the order appealed against along with appeal by GST-related litigants as long as the restricted functioning of courts and tribunals due to the Covid-19 continues. 

The court said the appellate authority should condone the delay in filing such certified copy when the appeal is accompanied by an ordinary downloaded copy of the order appealed against, verified as a true copy by the advocate for the appellant.

In these Covid times when there is a restricted functioning of courts and tribunals in general, a more liberal approach is warranted in matters of condonation of delay, the court said.

The call came on Monday while setting aside an order issued by the Additional Commissioner of State Tax (Appeal), Balasore. In the order, appeal filed by M/s Shree Jagannath Traders was rejected on grounds of delay in filing the certified copy.

It was also brought to attention of the court that in other similar matters, the appellate authority had also declined to condone the delay in the appellants filing a certified copy of the order appealed against after filing a downloaded copy.

 

The two judge bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice KR Mohapatra said,

“The difficulties faced by lawyers and litigants in the Covid affected times, where the functioning of courts and tribunals is limited in applying for and obtaining certified copies of orders is generally known. Acknowledging this reality, the explanation offered for the delay in furnishing such certified copy ought to have been accepted by the appellate authority and the delay in that regard ought to have been condoned,” the bench observed.

 SOURCE ; newindianexpress

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Thursday, 3 June 2021

Choksi Produced Before Magistrate to Respond to Charges of Illegal Entry into Dominica

 Mehul Choksi, who is wanted in India for his 13,500 crore PNB fraud, was produced before the magistrate in Dominica to explain his illegal entry into Dominica. His lawyers allege that he was kidnapped from Antigua and brought to Dominica against his wishes. 

 Choksi Produced Before Magistrate to Respond to Charges of Illegal Entry into Dominica   

Mehul Choksi. Photo: PTI/File

 

New Delhi: Diamantaire Mehul Choksi was produced before a magistrate in Dominica to respond to charges of his illegal entry into the Caribbean island nation following a high court order on Wednesday, local media reported.

He appeared before the magistrate on a wheel chair in a blue T-shirt and black shorts.

Earlier in the day, Dominica High Court Judge Bernie Stephenson issued the order for his production before a magistrate after nearly three hours of hearing on a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of the businessman who had claimed that he was abducted from neighbouring Antigua and Barbuda and forcefully brought to the Caribbean Island nation.

She adjourned the habeas corpus matter till Thursday, Dominica News Online reported.

Rejecting the submission of Choksi who is wanted in India in an alleged Rs 13,500 crore loan fraud case in Punjab National Bank and has an Interpol Red Notice against him,, the prosecution said the habeas corpus petition does not stand as he had illegally entered the country and was subsequently detained.

His lawyers, however, alleged that he was kidnapped from Jolly Harbour in Antigua and brought to Dominica on a boat, about 100 nautical miles away.

“Our stand that Mr Mehul Choksi is in illegal detention as he was required to be produced within 72 hours before the magistrate and was not so produced has been vindicated. In order to remedy this, he has been asked to be produced before the magistrate. This establishes illegal detention of Mr Mehul Choksi as pleaded by the defence,” Choksi’s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal said.

“The matter being heard is of habeas corpus petition…and not of his repatriation to India. His citizenship is not in question before the court…. Contrary to numerous media reports, there was no discussion regarding Government of India,” Aggarwal said.

The diamantaire, who mysteriously went missing on May 23 from Antigua and Barbuda where he had been staying since 2018 as a citizen, was detained in neighbouring Dominica for illegal entry after a possible romantic escapade with his rumoured girlfriend.

Choksi’s wife Preeti told reporters that the woman in question was not his girlfriend.

She said the woman was known to him and used to go on walks with him.

She said Choksi was abducted by people looking like Indian and Antiguan when he had gone to meet the woman.

During Wednesday’s trial, Choksi was present through video-conferencing from Dominica China Friendship Hospital while his lawyers were present physically in court.

The judge asked authorities to share court documents with Choksi who is admitted at the Hospital.

His lawyers said that he does not feel safe in police custody and that he should be sent back to Antigua and Barbuda, local media reported.

He also said he would pay for his security and raised the issue of injury marks found on his body and him being hospitalised.

In case of an adverse order, Choksi has the option of appealing in higher courts.

Last week, the Government of Dominica had issued a press statement that it was verifying the status of Choksi’s citizenship with Antigua and Barbuda.

“Once the information is provided by the Antigua authorities, possible arrangements will be made for Mr. Mehul Choksi to be repatriated to Antigua,” the statement had said.

A team of multi-agency officials led by a CBI DIG has gone to Dominica to bring Choksi to India if court there clears his deportation to India, officials said.

Choksi’s arrest has created turbulence in the calm political waters of the neighbouring Caribbean Island countries — Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica –where allegations have been levelled against opposition parties supporting the businessman having an Interpol Red Notice against him.

Dominican Leader of Opposition Lennox Linton had to issue a denial on the reports of meeting Chetan Choksi, the brother of Mehul Choksi, or receiving any money from him.

“I do not know Chetan Choksi. I have never seen him. I have never spoken to him. I have never met with him,” Dominica News Online quoted a video message released by Linton.

Local media outlet Associate Times had alleged that Choksi arrived on a private jet on May 29 and met Linton at his home in Marigot locality the next day for nearly two hours where he gave token money of USD 2 lakh and promised funding for elections in return for raising the issue in Parliament.

The outlet alleged that Linton was quiet on the Mehul Choksi affair till meeting his brother Chetan. After the meeting, he started attacks on the government over the arrest of the fugitive diamantaire.

Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi are wanted for allegedly siphoning Rs 13,500 crore of public money from the state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) using letters of undertaking.

While Modi is in a London prison after being repeatedly denied bail and is contesting his extradition to India, Choksi took citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 using the Citizenship by Investment programme before fleeing India in the first week of January 2018. The scam came to light subsequently.

 
 
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Plea for ₹5 lakh interest free Loan to Lawyers during pandemic; HC seeks Centre, Delhi Govt stand

 Loan.jpg 

A petition for financial assistance in the form of interest-free loans to Lawyers enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi (BCD), during the prevailing pandemic, was heard on Wednesday by the High Court of Delhi which sought the Centre & Delhi Govt’s stand on the plea.

A Bench of Chief Justice D. N. Patel & Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Ministry of Finance, Delhi Govt, BCD & the Reserve Bank of India seeking their response to the plea moved by 14 lawyers.

In their plea, the lawyers have urged the Court to direct that the financial assistance of ₹5 lakh, in the form of interest free loans, be provided irrespective of the residential address or voter ID of the advocates as long as they are enrolled with the BCD.

The plea filed through Advocate Sunil Kumar Tiwari, who is also one of the petitioners, has contended that the financial assistance would help the lawyers to “meet their basic needs & survive with dignity & make the payment of school fees, their pending EMIs against their various loans/credit card payments etc”.

The plea said that “...it has become a real struggling issue to fulfil the their basic need for survival & pay off the school fees, & monthly loan installments as there is no constant & secured income of the legal professionals & independent litigators due to the continued closure of the courts of the country including the high court".

 

It has contended that the “acute financial crisis” being faced by the lawyers was evident from the mass gathering of advocates for obtaining the 10kg of atta, 2kg of sugar, 5kg of rice & other items distributed by the BCD recently.

The plea has sought that the interest free loan of ₹5 lakh be provided to each lawyer for a period of 5 years.

Source Link

 

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Monday, 31 May 2021

COVID-19: Delhi HC issues Notice to Govt, GST Council on Plea seeking GST Relief on imports purchased for Donations to States

 GST 

The Delhi High Court issued the notice to Delhi Government, GST Council on a plea seeking GST relief on COVID-19 Imports Purchased for donations to states.

The petitioner, International Cargo Terminal and Rail Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. imported oxygen cylinders and regulators from foreign and thereafter, donated them to the Delhi government for free distribution to the people , however, it had to remit GST on such imports.

SOURCE ;  .taxscan.in

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Sunday, 23 May 2021

Lockdown Distress: A Saga of Rising Household Debts, Ebbing Incomes

 

Economic recovery and alleviating economic distress, hunger and destitution require maintenance of incomes of the working people through cash transfers.

 

On March 24, 2020, Narendra Modi had announced that the country would go into a lockdown after four hours! This nation-wide lockdown was to last till the end of May, after which there were local lockdowns but not a general one. It brought acute hardship to millions of the working poor, among whom migrant workers’ woes received global attention.

What was striking about the Indian lockdown was that, in contrast to virtually everywhere else, including the US under Donald Trump, no compensation was offered to the people (except paltry amounts to a few specific target groups) for their loss of incomes because of the lockdown. They were pushed into a situation of income loss, destitution and hunger, from which they had not recovered even months after the lifting of the lockdown.

This phenomenon of non-recovery is documented by a survey called Hunger Watch, carried out by several civil society organisations which undertook a survey in October. This is not a survey based on any representative sample; nor does it record any statistics of expenditure. It just asks people, chosen because of the organisations’ access to them, about their own impressions. And these impressions are revealing.

More than half (53.5%) of the nearly 4,000 respondents reported that their household consumption of rice and wheat had gone down in October compared with March. The percentage reporting a decline in household consumption of pulses, green vegetables, eggs and meat was even higher.

This is consistent with the other finding of the survey that over 62% of the respondents felt that there had been a decline in the household monthly income between before the lockdown and October. It is because of this that there had also been an increase in the labour force participation rate compared with before the lockdown: more people were forced to join the labour force looking for work owing to their worsening material conditions.

It may be argued that the sample of respondents is not representative, because of which no general conclusions can be drawn from such findings. The important point, however, is that even if there is an increase in hunger because of the lockdown for some particular groups, then that itself is of great significance; in fact, Hunger Watch concentrated especially on vulnerable groups.

The other surprising finding of Hunger Watch is that the percentage of respondents reporting a decrease in consumption between pre-lockdown days and October, is larger in urban areas compared with rural areas. This is contrary to expectations. Typically, acute hunger and malnutrition are associated more with rural than with urban areas, just as poverty defined in nutritional terms has always been consistently higher in rural than in urban India. So, to find that the increase in hunger because of the lockdown was greater in urban India, comes as a surprise.

There are two obvious answers to this puzzle. One is the absence of ration cards among the urban poor who were, therefore, denied access to the public distribution system. The other is the fact that the MGNREGS (rural job guarantee scheme) provided some support to the rural population in this period of acute distress, but the absence of any such scheme in urban India meant that distress was unmitigated and hence greater.

A number of important conclusions can be drawn from the Hunger Watch report. Because of the absence of almost any support during the period of lockdown, distress and destitution during the lockdown itself was inevitable. What is striking, however, is that this distress continued and remained acute even after the lockdown was over. The usual belief is that a lockdown disrupts production but when it gets lifted, production should get back to normal; but this, while valid if the working people’s incomes are maintained during the lockdown through fiscal transfers, is wrong when they are not, as in India’s case.

Suppose, to start with, that the working people’s incomes are maintained during the lockdown. Then their demand for foodgrains and other consumption goods does not go down; nor does their debt increase for maintaining their demand. And this demand is met by sellers through running down inventories of goods since production has come to a stop. Hence, when the lockdown gets lifted and incomes flow to the workers from productive activities (eliminating the need for fiscal transfers), consumption demand remains as before; in addition, replenishing inventories adds to the normal level of demand, so that production would be even larger than before.

On the other side, if working people’s incomes become zero during the lockdown, then they have to cut back on consumption, and also borrow to meet this lower level of consumption. And when the lockdown gets lifted, even if we assume that production recovers to the earlier level, demand will be less because what the working people had borrowed has to be paid back with interest from their incomes. Demand, therefore, does not recover to the old level (until the debt has been repaid).

For this very reason, however, production, which responds to demand, will itself never get back to the original pre-lockdown level. The economy then never recovers fully to the old level of production and consumption. Not only do the people suffer distress, because their incomes remain depressed and their debt burden increases even while their consumption remains below what it was before the lockdown, but the economy’s recovery remains truncated.

Both economic recovery and alleviating economic distress, therefore, require the maintenance of incomes of the working people through fiscal transfers during the lockdown. The Modi government, in its utter mindlessness, not only did not do this, but brought the incomes of the large bulk of the working people to zero. The Hunger Watch findings are important precisely because these establish its consequences.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the economic recovery will be stimulated by the Centre’s spending on the backlog of unfinished infrastructure projects. The real question here is: how much spending? If the level of spending is the same as before the lockdown, then, because the working people’s consumption has to go down in the post-lockdown period compared with before the lockdown (owing to their need to repay debt), the overall level of demand in the economy will be lower than before. Hence, the level of production, too, will be lower than before the lockdown, i.e., recovery will remain truncated.

For a full recovery, therefore, it is necessary that the level of spending on infrastructure and other such projects must be much higher than before the lockdown, to compensate for the lower demand coming from the working people (because of their need to pay back debts incurred owing to loss of incomes during the lockdown).

It is far better, however, to stimulate the economy, not through infrastructure projects but by giving direct cash transfers to the working people even after the lockdown is over. And the amount of transfers must be such that at the old level of output, the incomes generated for the working people from productive activity plus the fiscal transfers to them together match the old level of consumption expenditure plus their debt-cum-interest payment. Only in such a case can the economy get back to the old level of output. In other words, not making such transfers during the lockdown leaves its imprint later as well: transfers have also to be made after the lockdown if recovery is to be stimulated.

Giving cash transfers is a better way to stimulate recovery because, apart from alleviating distress, such transfers also get spent on simple domestically produced goods with lower import content; this generates, per unit of government expenditure, larger home demand and hence output and employment.

Government expenditure in this context must not be taken to mean what is required for giving free foodgrains to workers. Free foodgrains, though beneficial, do not stimulate the economy at all, since their distribution is effected by decumulating Food Corporation of India stocks. It is the cash transfers over and above this which have the effect of stimulating the economy.

The Opposition leaders’ letter to the Prime Minister had demanded Rs 6,000 per month of cash transfers per household to all jobless. Even assuming that every working household in the country gets this much for a period of three months, the total expenditure would come to less than 2% of the GDP, which is perfectly manageable.

The Modi government, however, is as timid as it is mindless. It persists with its fiscal conservatism even when the economy is in acute crisis and people are in acute distress.

(This article was first published by Newsclick)

 

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