October is ready to usher in a string of changes on the finance and trade front – from a revision in LPG price to changes in pension rules to tweaks in liquor policy – that would directly touch the common man. Here is a peek into what’s going to change:
New pension rules
As per rules effective from October 1, pensioners above 80 years will be required to submit their Digital Life Certificate or proof of life certificate at their Jeevan Pramaan Centre in Head Post Offices.
According to details provided by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, for those who are not living in India, either the pensioner or the family pensioner can ask his or her authorised agent to get a life certificate signed by a magistrate, a notary, a banker or a diplomatic representative of India and submit it at the Jeevan Pramaan Centre or online (https://jeevanpramaan.gov.in/).
Change of cheque books
Account holders of Allahabad Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank of India – which were recently merged with two nationalized banks – will have to get their cheque books updated as the same will be invalid from October 1 onwards.
While Allahabad Bank amalgamated with Indian Bank on April 1 last year, Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank were merged with Punjab National Bank on April 1, 2019.
In recent notifications on Twitter, both Indian Bank and Punjab National Bank have intimated the account holders of all the three merged banks to collect their new cheque books as the old ones will be valid only till September 30, 2021. Indian Bank also informed account holders that the pre-existing MICR codes and IFSC codes of Allahabad Bank will become invalid after October 1.
The customers have been asked to apply for the new cheque book through internet or mobile banking and collect it from the nearest branch.
RBI’s AFA mandate
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all banks to conduct ‘Additional Factor Authentication’ (AFA) from October 1 onwards. As part of the process, monthly bills including auto-paid bills have to be verified by the customer and approved before the transaction. For the same, a customer will receive a notification through SMS or e-mail and once verified, the amount will be deducted from his or her account.
LPG price revision
Price of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) is expected to rise in October in line with the monthly rate revision. In September, the rate of LPG in all cylinder categories was hiked by ₹25 per cylinder, making it the third price rise in two months. A 14.2 kg cylinder now costs ₹884.5 in Delhi.
Similarly, in August the rate was increased by ₹25, which took the cost of a 14.2 kg cylinder to ₹859.5 in Delhi.
Private liquor shops to close for 45 days in Delhi
As part of the new excise policy introduced by the Arvind Kejriwal government, private liquor shops in Delhi will remain closed for 45 days starting October 1. Government liquor vends, however, will remain operational.
Delhi has around 260 privately-owned liquor shops who are closing business for the 45-day-long hiatus.
New players who have acquired liquor licence through open bidding will open around 850 liquor shops in Delhi from November 17 onwards.
Invest 10% in mutual funds, SEBI tells junior employees
Under a new rule introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), junior employees of asset management companies have been asked to invest 10 per cent of their gross salary in the mutual fund units of the fund house, from October 1 onwards.
From October 1, 2022, these employees will be required to set aside 15 per cent of their salary in the mutual fund scheme, in line with the new SEBI directive. The share will increase to 20 per cent in October 2023.
The SEBI circular says that any employee under 35 years will be considered a junior employee.
The same rule, however, is not applicable to CEOs, heads of department and fund managers of the companies. These officials instead have been asked to invest 20 per cent of their compensation in the mutual fund scheme with a lock-in period of three years, starting October 1.