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Home >News >India >Small savings, auto-debit, PAN-Aadhaar linkage: Govt saves the day for consumers

For the last few days, news reports were pouring in about changes consumer should expect from 1 April. While the changes were not drastic or too many, it was easy to lose track of them. However, the first day of the month came as relief instead of pain.

SMALL SAVINGS RATES REMAIN UNCHANGED

The biggest relief was that the government's decision to hold the interest rates on small savings schemes. On 31 March, a government notification stated that the interest rates on the small savings schemes were revised downwards.

In the morning, however, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman posted on Twitter, informing that the old rates will continue.

"Interest rates of small savings schemes of GoI shall continue to be at the rates which existed in the last quarter of 2020-2021, ie, rates that prevailed as of March 2021. Orders issued by oversight shall be withdrawn".

Many said that the government halted rate revision due to the ongoing elections in many states. Whatever is the reason, holding the rates has brought relief to small investors for at least three months. The next revision could happen in July.

LINKING PAN WITH AADHAAR EXTENDED

The deadline to link your PAN or permanent account number and Aadhaar was 31 March. Failing this, the government had announced that it would levy penalty on the taxpayers.

But on the final day of the deadline, the government extended the deadline by three months. In a tweet, the income tax department informed that the last date has been extended from 31 March to 30 June 2021.

The decision was taken after many reported technical glitches on the Income Tax website when they were linked PAN and Aadhaar.

AUTO DEBIT TO STAY FOR NOW

If you had signed up for any subscription-based service, the money gets deducted automatically from your debit card, credit card, UPI or wallet. Suppose you have a monthly subscription of Netflix. The platform sends the debit request to the bank or card every month, and your bank pays it. To get it up, you had to give permission once, in the beginning, when you had signed up.

RBI had said that every time there is an auto-pay from the customer's debit or the card, or wallet, the company will need to inform the customer at least 24 hours in advance. Only if the customer confirms, the subscription payment will happen.

But banks and industry associations told RBI that they need time to implement the new regulations. RBI obliged and postponed the deadline to 30 September.

If this had been implemented, most auto-debit would not have happened in April. Customers would need to go to individual merchant's website and make the payment manually.

COMPANIES CAN STORE CARD DETAILS FOR NINE MORE MONTHS

RBI had asked payment gateways and online merchants to stop storing customer's card details from July onwards. The same story played out, which did in the case of auto-pay – companies asked for more time to implement it as they were not ready. The deadline was July 2021. But now extended by six months, and will come into force from January 2022.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts)

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