State Bank of India Current Affairs - 2019

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11th tranche of Electoral Bonds sale to start from July 1

Union Ministry of Finance recently announced the launch of 11th tranche of electoral bonds sale starting from 1-10 July. This is 1st issuance of electoral bonds after conclusion of 17th general elections and formation of new government.

What are Electoral Bonds?

Electoral bonds are being pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties in a bid to bring transparency in political funding.

Background: The government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme in January 2018. As per the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in India. A person can buy electoral bonds, either single or jointly or even with other individuals.

Exclusive Issuer: State Bank of India (SBI) is the only authorised bank to issue electoral bonds. In XI phase of electoral bonds sale, SBI has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorised branches with effect from 1 to 10 July.

Eligibility: Those registered political parties that secured not less than 1% of votes polled in former election of Lok Sabha or legislative assembly will be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

Validity: Electoral bonds are valid for 15 calendar days from date of issuance and no payment is made to any payee political party if bonds are deposited after expiry of validity period. Electoral bond deposited by an eligible political party in its account will be credited on very same day.

Previous Tranche: The sale of 1st batch of electoral bonds was from 1-10 March 2018, 2nd phase 2-10 April, 3rd phase 1-10 May, 4th tranche 2-11 July, 5th 1-10 October, 6th phase 1-10 November, 7th phase 1-10 January and 8th phase 1-15 March, 9th phase 1-20 April and 10th between 6-15 May 2019.

RBI constitutes high-level committee to review ATM charges

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a high-level committee under the chairmanship of VG Kannan, Chief Executive of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to review the entire gamut of ATM charges and fees.

Key Highlights

  • Background: There are around 2 lakh ATMs in India. At end of April 2019, there were over 88.47 crore debit cards and 4.8 crore credit cards in function, and as per RBI data during April only 80.9 crore transactions were done through debit cards on ATM.
  • Need: Over the years, uses of ATMs have grown significantly and there have been persistent demand of changing ATM charges and fees. Thus amid demands for reviewing the levies by bank, RBI constituted high-level committee.
  • Constitution: The six member committee chaired by of VG Kannan, will consist of members namely- Dilip Asbe (CEO, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)), Giri Kumar Nair (CGM, State Bank of India (SBI), Sanjeev Patel (CEO, Tata Communications Payment Solutions (TCPSL)), S Sampath Kumar (Group Head, Liability Products, HDFC Bank), and K Srinivas (Director, Confederation of ATM Industry (CATMi)).
  • Function:
  • It will examine existing patterns of costs, charges and interchange fees by banks for automated teller machines (ATMs) transactions.
  • It will review overall patterns of usage of ATMs by cardholders and also assess impact (if any) on charges and interchange fees levied by banks.
  • It will assess entire range of costs in respect of ATM ecosystem within the country.
  • It will make recommendations on optimal charge or interchange fee structure and pattern.
  • Timeframe: It will submit its report to RBI within two months from date of its first meeting.