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India to have 1 billion debit cards soon, from just 84 million 10 years ago

India to have 1 billion debit cards soon, from just 84 million 10 years ago

Finance
Bengaluru: The country is set to touch one billion in debit cards. It was a mere 84 million a decade back. Even four years ago, it was less than half of what it is today. This phenomenal growth in the number of debit cards is because of the government’s consistent push towards rural financial inclusion, with schemes such as MNREGA, opening of Jan Dhan accounts and direct benefit transfers. The RuPay cards, which come with all Jan Dhan accounts and increasingly with other accounts too, have played a singular role in the debit card surge. Sources told TOI there are now 560 million RuPay cards. These cards were introduced way back in 2012, but there’s been a surge in them in recent years. Two years ago, the number of RuPay cards was less than half at 230 million. Even usage of deb...
RBI’s prompt corrective action just baby steps before weak banks leap

RBI’s prompt corrective action just baby steps before weak banks leap

Finance
The Mint Street and North Block are in a tug of war on the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework for weak banks. The finance ministry wants to soften the restrictions on banks under PCA. RBI, which imposes them, is resisting it. There could be more to this than meets the eye. “There is an assertion being made in some circles that imposition of the PCA has starved the Indian economy of credit. There is little factual basis for this assertion, either for the overall economy or at sectoral level… There is also a call for more lending by PCA banks to large industries where the overall credit growth remains muted,” Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Viral Acharya said earlier this month. The government was demanding dilution of restrictions, such as prohibition on lendi...
'To some, Maddie was just a junkie': Obituary gives new take on drug addiction

'To some, Maddie was just a junkie': Obituary gives new take on drug addiction

Health
Madelyn Linsenmeir was a mother, sister and friend, who was "hilarious, and warm, and fearless, and resilient." She was also an opioid addict. Linsenmeir was a drug addict for 12 years and, at what her sister said were some of her darkest points, she would sometimes panhandle for money. She lost custody of her young son because of her disease. On Oct. 7, the 30-year-old died in the hospital while in police custody, according to her sister, Kate O'Neill. O’Neill does not want Linsenmeir to be remembered for her addiction. Her surprisingly honest obituary she wrote for a local Vermont paper is getting widespread attention for its warmth and candor. “It is impossible to capture a person in an obituary, and especially someone whose adult life was largely defined by drug addict...
Crude oil stays steady with Iranian sanctions just a month away

Crude oil stays steady with Iranian sanctions just a month away

Business
Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices stayed steady Friday after a volatile week that saw the highest prices in four years.WTI crude was up 26 cents to $ 74.59 a barrel in mid-day trading while Brent was up 9 cents to trade at $ 84.67 a barrel. "Fundamental dynamics have shifted in favor of the bears this week with a huge build in commercial crude oil stocks and news that Saudi Arabia and Russia made a private agreement weeks ago to increase output to help offset the declining exports from Iran," said Tyler Richey, co-editor of the Stevens Report. On Nov. 4, sanctions will go into effect that will prohibit countries from buying Iranian crude oil. The Trump administration wants to cut off money from the Iranian regime to pressure the leaders back into a new nuclear agreement. Oil prices are up...
Petrol now just Rs 19 short of 100 mark in Delhi, diesel prices hiked too

Petrol now just Rs 19 short of 100 mark in Delhi, diesel prices hiked too

Finance
Oil marketing companies have hiked the prices of petrol and diesel again on Thursday by 13 paisa and 11 paisa respetively. As a result, petrol has reached its all time high of Rs 81 per litre in Delhi while diesel costs Rs 73.08 per litre in the national capital. In Mumbai, petrol now costs Rs 88.39 per litre and for disel you have to shell out Rs 77.58 per litre. Petrol and diesel prices have been rising for a while now owing to a falling rupee and rising international oil prices. A fear that the US sanctions on Iran may end up contracting global oil supplies more than other producers can make up is pushing up oil prices. Crude oil prices have risen to $ 77 a barrel, gaining about $ 7 in a month. Recently Andhra Pradesh as well as Rajasthan have announced cut in state taxes to rein in th...