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Raghuram Rajan: Retail inflation-based saving certificates from November, mobile banking a 'gamechanger'

Sep 05 2013, 15:16 IST
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RBI will be launching a pilot project to enable cash payments using the prepaid instruments and Aadhaar based identification, Raghuram Rajan said. Reuters RBI will be launching a pilot project to enable cash payments using the prepaid instruments and Aadhaar based identification, Raghuram Rajan said. Reuters
Summary'RBI will introduce consumer price inflation-linked savings certificates by Nov to provide some cover to households.'

The Reserve Bank will introduce consumer price inflation-linked savings certificates by November to provide some cover to households, new RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said today.

The central bank had recently launched inflation-indexed bonds.

"We will issue inflation-indexed savings certificates linked to the CPI new index to retail investors by the end of November," Raghuram Rajan said at his maiden media briefing.

He said households have expressed desire to be protected against CPI-based retail inflation, which has been hovering at the double-digits mark for some time now.

The move follows the introduction of inflation-indexed bonds introduced in June, and its multiple tranches have been already issued.

Notably, outgoing Governor D Subbarao had expressed his reservations on the dependability of the new CPI number in policymaking as recently as last week, saying it is too narrow for an excess focus on food prices.

On the personal banking front, Raghuram Rajan said RBI will work towards making "anywhere-anytime" payments a reality.

A national Giro-based Indian bill payment system will be implemented which will enable households to use bank accounts to pay school fees, utility and medical bills, and enable person to person transfers electronically, he said.

RBI will also facilitate the setting up of "white" point of sale terminals, which enable merchant payments using cards, by private sector participants, just as it did for the automated teller machines, Raghuram Rajan said.

That apart, he said, RBI is also mulling to allow holders of instruments issued by non-bank companies to withdraw cash from the outstanding balances in their cards or electronic wallets.

RBI will be launching a pilot project to enable cash payments using the prepaid instruments and Aadhaar based identification, he said.

A technical committee will soon be set to examine the feasibility of using encrypted SMS-based fund transfer that can run on any type of mobile phone handset, Raghuram Rajan said, noting that the possibilities offered by mobile-based banking in the country make it a "gamechanger".

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