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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Monthly release of Wholesale Price Index data

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The government is likely to clear tomorrow a proposal for release of data on monthly basis instead of weekly basis for bulk of the items tracked by the Wholesale Price Index, WPI.

Sources in the Commerce and Industry Ministry said, if the proposal is approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs ,CCEA, the shift in data release would take place from December. In the first phase, data in respect of only manufactured items, which have a weightage of 63.75 per cent on the WPI, would be released on the monthly basis. On a parallel track, weekly figures for the food articles and fuels would continue to be released.

Our correspondent reports that Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had also pressed for monthly release of data following the international practices on data release.

New Pension Scheme (NPS) collects Rs 3.5 crore in first five months: PFRDA

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A pension system thrown open to all citizens of the country could draw just Rs 3.5 crore from over 2,000 accounts in more than five months of its introduction.

“So far, New Pension System (NPS) has raised around Rs 3.5 crore,” a senior Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) official told PTI.

According to the data available on PFRDA website, 2183 accounts have been opened by the collection and distribution centres, techinally known as Points of Presence (PoPs).

The country’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has managed to open the maximum number of 393 accounts, while 264 customers went to State Bank of India’s 38 designated branches to subscribe to the New Pension System.

However, SBI’s associate banks have performed dismally as collection and distribution centres.

Out of the 5 associates banks of the country’s largest lender, two of them-State Bank of Indore and State Bank of Travancore-have not attracted any subscribers while State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur managed to get five subscribers.

Earlier, PFRDA had asked all the contact and collection centres to come up with their business plans as it feels more efforts are needed to enthuse investors.

At present, there are 21 PoPs of NPS, which include, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Axis Bank and Union Bank of India.

NPS was extended to all citizens from May one this year.

Earlier, it was implemented only for government employees who joined service on or after 1 January 2004.

There are six fund managers for all citizens’ scheme—IDFC Mutual Fund, Kotak Mahindra, SBI, UTI Asset Management, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and Reliance MF—to manage the corpus of customers.

Source: PTI

Holidays for Central government offices

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Saturday (October 17) and Monday (October 19) have been added to the list of restricted holidays for Central government offices for 2009.

These holidays have been declared on account of Naraka Chaturdasi and Bhai Dhuj respectively, according to a press release.
Source:The Hindu



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