On a day when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Interim Budget in Parliament, several changes in the financial sector also came into effect. Several regulatory agencies have been releasing updates about forthcoming changes and many of have come into effect from February 1. These changes have implications for investors, account holders and people who engage in financial transactions. One of the significant changes is meant to regulate sending of bulk emails that will make the lives of many people easier.
Here’s a look at these key changes:
FASTags without KYC to become inoperative: According to a notification released by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), car owners who have not completed the Know Your Customer (KYC) for their FASTags won’t be able to use them to pay for electronic at toll plazas on the highways from February 1. The deadline for it was January 31, 2024. FASTag is a pre-paid tag facility for vehicles that allows non-stop movement of traffic without having to wait at the toll plazas. The credit card-sized document is usually affixed on the windscreen of the car.
New IMPS rule: The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has made it simpler to transfer funds using immediate payment service of IMPS. As per the October 31, 2023 circular of NPCI, users can transfer and accept funds via mobile number + bank name on all IMPS channels. The limit for this transaction is Rs 5 lakh. NPCI had asked all member banks to comply with the directive by January 31, 2024.
Sovereign gold bond 2023-24 Series 4 issue: The RBI will issue the final tranche of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) in the 2023-24 series in February 2024. A release about the same was posted on Press Information Bureau (PIB) website in December, 2023. The scheme will open on February 12, 2024, and close on February 16, 2024.
New pension rules: The PFRDA released a master circular in December 2023 in which it introduced some changes in the withdrawal rules of National Pension System (NPS). The new rules came into force from today (February 1, 2024). The latest guidelines have changed conditions for partial withdrawal of funds from the pension account. They specify that subscribers can go for partial withdrawals for: Higher education expenses for the subscriber’s children (including legally adopted ones), marriage expenses for the subscriber’s children and purchase or construction of a residential house or flat in the subscriber’s own name or in joint name with their legally wedded spouse among other. Notably, the withdrawal of funds will be allowed for the purchase or construction of first house only.
Some email authentication changes will also come into effect from February 1, for organisations that send bulk email or high email volumes to Google and Yahoo accounts. They will apply to any email domain that sends more than 5,000 emails on a daily basis. The senders’ servers will have to be DMARC compliant if they want to keep sending bulk emails. Further, senders will have to maintain a spam rate below 0.3 per cent.