Monday 16 March 2015

 The full report can be viewed by clicking on the following link.

1. Financial Inclusion

Financial Inclusion is an important priority of the Government. The objective of Financial Inclusion is to extend financial services to the large hitherto unserved population of the country to unlock its growth potential. To extend the reach of banking to those outside the formal banking system, various initiatives are undertaken by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India from time to time.

(a)   Expansion of Bank Branch Network: Public Sector Banks have opened 3456 branches during the year 2014-15 (Till 30.11.2014).

(b)   Expansion of ATM Network: Public Sector Banks have opened 12980 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) during the year 2014-15 (Till 30.11.2014) and number of ATMs have increased from 1,10,424 as on 31.03.2014 to 1,23,404 as on 30.11.2014.

(c)   Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana: Prime Minister had announced Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) on 15th August, 2014 and it was formally launched on 28th August, 2014. The Yojana envisages universal access to banking facilities with atleast one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension. The beneficiaries would get a RuPay Debit Card having inbuilt accident insurance cover of `1.00 lakh. In addition, there is a life insurance cover of `30,000/- to those people who opened their bank accounts for the first time between 15.08.2014 to 26.01.2015 and meet other eligibility conditions of the Yojana. Under PMJDY, banks have been given target to carry out surveys in allocated Sub Service Areas (SSAs) and Wards and to open accounts of all uncovered households by 26.01.2015. As on 07.01.2015, 21.07 crore households have been surveyed out of which accounts of 20.98 crore households have been opened i.e. coverage of 99.60 %. Accounts of remaining 0.09 crore households shall be opened before 26.01.2015. PMJDY is successfully being implemented by the banks. As on 10.01.2015, 11.07 crore accounts have been opened and 9.26 crore RuPay Cards have been issued to the eligible account holders. Total amount deposited in these accounts is `8698.01 crore.

2. Pension Reforms

The pension sector reforms were initiated in India to establish a robust and sustainable social security arrangement in the country against the backdrop that only about 12-13 per cent of the total workforce was covered by any formal social security system.

The National Pension System (NPS) has been introduced by the Government of India with effect from 1st January, 2004 mandatorily for all new recruits to the Government (except Armed
Forces), replacing the existing system of defined benefit pension system. Based on individual choice, it is envisaged as a low-cost and efficient pension system backed by sound regulation. As a pure “Defined Contribution” product with no defined benefit element, returns would be totally market-related. The NPS provides various investment options and choices to individuals
to switch over from one investment option to another or from one fund manager to another, subject to certain regulatory restrictions.

Scope of the National Pension System

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) which was constituted through a Government Resolution has attained the statutory status with the enactment of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013 (PFRDA Act, 2013) by Parliament in September, 2013.

The PFRDA Act, 2013 was brought into force with effect from 1st February, 2014. The creation of a statutory PFRDA may facilitate in providing protection and social security to the people in their old age, particularly those in the informal and the unorganised sector.

NPS has also been rolled out to all  citizens with effect from 1st May, 2009 on a voluntary basis. The process of making NPS available to all citizens entailed the appointment of NPS intermediaries, including sixty four institutional entities as Points of Presence (POPs) that will serve as pension account opening and collection centers, a Centralised Record Keeping Agency (CRA) and eight Pension Fund Managers (PFMs) to manage the pension wealth of the investors. PFRDA adopted a transparent, non-discretionary, competitive bidding process for selection of NPS intermediaries including PFMs in line with best international practice, which ensured high quality service delivery for NPS subscribers at optimum cost.

In order to facilitate the organised entities to move their existing and the new employees to NPS architecture, a customized version of the core NPS Model, known as the “NPS- Corporate Sector Model” has been introduced since December 2011. As on December 31, 2014, 1526 corporates and 3.35 lakh employees have been enrolled under this model. The AUM under NPSCorporate Sector Model is ` 4837.60 crore.

A number of changes have been introduced to energize NPS in the current year.

i. Seven Annuity Service Providers (ASPs) have been empanelled to offer annuity schemes to subscribers on maturity of NPS account. These are:-

1. Life Insurance Corporation of India
2. SBI Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
3. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
4. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
5. Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
6. Reliance Life Insurance Co. Ltd.
7. HDFC Standard Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

ii. A Request for Proposal was issued on 16th January 2014 for selection of Pension Fund under National Pension System (NPS) for Private Sector to transparently and competitively determine the Investment Management Fees (IMF), which have significant impact on terminal pension wealth of the subscribers.

iii. Acceptance of e-KYC as a valid process for KYC verification –

It has now been decided to accept e-KYC service launched by UIDAI as a valid process for KYC verification in consultation with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The information authenticated and transferred by UIDAI containing demographic details and photograph as a result of e-KYC process shall be treated as sufficient proof of Identity and Address of the client.

iv. Exit guidelines under National Pension System –

Option for Complete withdrawal of accumulated pension wealth by subscriber - It has been decided to provide an option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth to subscribers other than the subscribers of NPS Lite –Swavalamban Scheme, subject to the condition that the accumulated pension wealth in the subscribers permanent retirement account is equal to or less than ` 2,00,000/- at the time of superannuation for government employee subscribers or upon attaining the age of 60 years for subscribers falling under All Citizen Model and Corporate Model.

v. Registration of Government employees aged 60 years and above under National Pension System (NPS) –

PFRDA has decided to enroll all eligible Government employees (Central & State) who are on the rolls of the Government in to NPS, irrespective of the age at the time of entry, subject to the condition that the total period of contribution to NPS account shall not be more than 42 years.

The NPS applications of such subscribers need to be submitted through the appropriate nodal officer of the Govt/ Deptt, in line with the procedure adopted for NPS registration for Government employees aged below 60 years. Also, the responsibility for ensuring that the employee is eligible for being covered under NPS and that the NPS contribution is not paid beyond 42 years during the entire service period for such an employee, lies with the department submitting the Subscriber Registration Form.

vi. Portability of PRAN – NPS Lite/Swavalamban to NPS –

All Citizen Model and other sectors - A subscriber under the platform NPS Lite/Swavalamban desirous of joining the All Citizen Model can now join the NPS Regular platform under All Citizen model. This has been done to meet the demands for NPS Lite/Swavalamban subscribers who one joined the NPS lite platform but wanted to shift to NPS Regular model due to various reasons seeking porting of their PRANs from NPS Lite/Swavalamban to the All Citizen Model of NPS (UOS) through an Inter platform shift process.

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