DOORSTEP BANKING SERVICES
- Finance Minister inaugurated Doorstep Banking Services (DBS) by Public Sector Banks.
- This service is part of EASE Reforms.
- DBS is envisaged to provide convenience of banking services to the customers at their doorstep through the universal touch points of Call Centre, Web Portal or Mobile App.
- Customers can also track their service request through these channels.
- The services shall be rendered by the Doorstep Banking Agents deployed by the selected Service Providers at 100 centres across the country.
- At present only non-financial services like pick up of negotiable instruments, new cheque book requisition slip, 15G / 15H forms, IT / GST challan, issue request for standing instructions, request for account statement are available to customers.
- Financial services shall be made available from next month.
- The services can be availed by customers of Public Sector Banks at nominal charges.
- A common reform agenda for PSBs, EASE Agenda is aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking.
- It was launched in January 2018.
- PSBs have shown a healthy trajectory in their performance over four quarters since the launch of EASE 2.0 Reforms Agenda.
- Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, and erstwhile Oriental Bank of Commerce were felicitated for being the top three in the ‘Top Performing Banks’ category according to the EASE 2.0 Index Results.
- Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India and erstwhile Corporation Bank were awarded in the ‘Top Improvers’ category basis EASE 2.0 Index.
Work from Home
- Up until last quarter, most companies regarded WFH as a temporary workaround.
- But the inexorable surge in India’s Covid-19 cases is forcing companies to face up to the reality that work from home (WFH) is here to stay for the indeterminate future.
- KPMG research shows more than 33% of organisations now see remote working as a norm for the next three years and an additional 10% now believe it to be a long-term practice.
- India’s biggest consumer goods company HUL has decided to continue WFH for all office employees.
- “When reopening our office, flexibility and personal choice of employees will also be key considerations.” – HUL
- Cipla: employees will continue to work from home until the end of October 2020
- India’s airlines have seen a sharp improvement in demand so far this month as states have progressively relaxed curbs.
- Number of flights has risen
- Business, leisure travel, beyond those flying due to personal emergencies.
- Some carriers said passenger loads have risen as much as 10 percentage points in the early days of the month along with an increase in the number of flights.
- Average load factor has risen to about 70% at the top six scheduled airlines on the basis of data in the first nine days from 56% in July.
- The reason for the revival is greater clarity on quarantine and other measures.
- Meanwhile, the reopening of the economy has meant that business travel is returning.
- The executive said the airline sector has a long way to go before it can get back to pre-Covid levels.
- Airlines have finalised schedules to operate up to 1,450 flights a day.
- Airlines, prior to the lockdown, operated about 2,500 domestic flights a day.
- Travel industry analysts predict that the trend is set to grow with the festive months approaching.
Mini Trade Deal
- India and the United States are unlikely to firm up a MINI TRADE DEAL before the presidential election in the US in November.
- India has sought 100% restoration of benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) scheme and duty concessions for some agricultural products.
- India and the US are aiming for a free trade agreement in the long run and have been working on an initial trade deal for almost two years amid a plethora of bilateral issues like medical devices, agriculture, tariffs on Harley Davidson motorbikes, e-commerce, totalisation pact, visa issues and disputes at the World Trade Organization.
- Under the GSP, India exported goods worth $6.3 billion (as per United States Trade Representative figures) to the US, accounting for about 12.1% of its total exports to the country in 2018.
- Agriculture is another key area for India and it is keen to get market access for its mangoes, pomegranates and grapes. The US too has sought lower duties for apples, pecan nuts, walnuts, almonds and soya.
- Besides, India has demanded exemption from high duties imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products.