The Finance Bill 2023 has proposed an amendment to the Government Savings Promotion Act. The proposed amendment clarifies who will get money if the Small Savings Scheme account holder dies and there is no nomination in place at the time of his/her death. In this article, we take a look at what the new proposal says and what experts think about the implications of the new rule. As per the proposed amendment, the payment of the available balance in the account will be made to the person legally entitled to receive it if the accountholder dies without declaring his nominee. The Finance Bill has proposed to add the following to Section 4A of the Government Savings Promotion Act 1873. Legal experts say that the proposed amendment to the Government Savings Promotion Act 1873 is a progressive move that will help in reducing the misuse of power by officials while disbursing the amount in the account of the deceased person. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its Master Direction had earlier urged banks to adopt a simplified procedure for repayment to legal heir(s) of the depositor keeping in view the imperative need to avoid inconvenience and undue hardship to the common person.
Moving on to Infrastructure, Indian Railway has registered a record earning of Rs 54,733 crore in the passenger segment from April 2022 to January 2023. This is an increase of 73 percent in comparison to last year. In 2022, during the same period, the Railways achieved Rs 31,634 crore. The railway passenger traffic has also witnessed strong growth in the post-COVID-19 period. The passenger traffic was 809 crore in numbers during the pre-COVID-19 period (2019-20) but dipped to 125 crore in FY 2020-21. In the financial year 2021-22, the passenger traffic of railways recovered to 351.9 crore. The Economic Survey 2022-23 report said, quote, “Enhanced mobility across the country and demand for faster and competitive trains will assist the growth in passenger traffic in the coming years,” unquote. According to the national transporter, an increase of 7 percent is reflected in the reserved passenger segment. A total of 6,590 lakhs passengers have booked the trains during the period compared to 6,181 lakhs last year.
Meanwhile, Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Solutions has forecast its first quarter 2023 revenue to be in the range of $4.71-4.76 billion, a decline of 1% to flat in constant currency. It has not provided a full-year guidance and said it intends to provide an update in its next earnings release in early May. The Teaneck, New Jersey-based firm posted a 9.5% decline in net profit to $521 million for the December quarter from $576 million a year ago, even as revenues grew 4.1% in constant currency from the year-ago period to $4.8 billion. The company follows the calendar year. For the full year 2022, revenues grew 7.5% in constant currency to $19.4 billion. This was slightly above the 7% guidance it provided during the July-September quarter.
Let us have talk on technology, Apple may not have had a very exciting holiday quarter, but its India story was apparently “hugely exciting”. While reporting the company’s financial results for the fiscal 2023 first quarter ended December 31, 2022, CEO Tim Cook said that Apple set a quarterly revenue record in the world’s second largest smartphone market despite a 5 percent fall in overall global revenue. Cook said, quote, “Looking at the business in India, we set a quarterly revenue record and grew very strong double digits year over year and so we feel very good about how we performed,” unquote. Calling India, a “major focus”, Cook attributed the growth to increasing affordability –that it has started to offer— through financing options and trade-ins tied to more choice in products spanning multiple price points from entry-level to top-end. It’s making more iPhones in India now than ever, too. The company is also ramping up on inventory and distribution. It brought its official online store to the country in 2020 and is gearing to open its first “Apple Retail” offline store soon. Apple posted quarterly revenue of $117.2 billion during the fiscal 2023 first quarter, down 5 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.88.
Lastly, Domestic equity indices rallied over 1.5% on Friday with Sensex closing above 60,800 and Nifty 50 settling above 17,850. During the day indices remained volatile, but towards the end of the session, they surged, ending broadly in green. The NSE Nifty 50 surged 243 points or 1.38% to 17,854.05 and BSE Sensex skyrocketed 909 pts or 1.52% to 60,841.88. The index’s top gainers are Bank of Baroda, HDFC Bank, SBI, IndusInd Bank, PNB while IDFC First Bank, Federal Bank, Bandhan Bank, AU Bank and ICICI Bank are the losers.