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From shopping to banking: Be ready for these 10 changes in 2020



This new year, you will see changes in the way you shop and bank and will have to pay more for certain vehicles. There will be new rules which will have a big impact on the way you use your ATM card as well.

Here are the 10 changes you will see in 2020:

1. PAN-Aadhaar linking

You will have to link your Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar by March 2020 after the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) extended the December 31-deadline.

According to section 139 AA (2) of the I-T, every person who has PAN, the 10-digit alphanumeric number, as on July 1, 2017, and is eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to tax authorities.

The policy-making body for the income tax department has said that in case a person fails to link PAN and Aadhaar card, then the PAN allotted to the person will be considered as invalid.

2. No NEFT transaction charge

You will not have to pay any charge for your National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) transactions. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed banks not to charge savings account holders for NEFT from January 1, 2020, to give “further impetus to digital retail payments”.

3. No MDR charges on transactions through RuPay, UPI

You won’t have to pay Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charges on transactions through RuPay cards and UPI payments from this new year.

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had asked banks earlier this month not to charge MDR on payments via RuPay, UPI from January 1 with a view to driving digital payments.

The move will apply to all companies with a turnover of Rs 50 crore or more. MDR is the fee paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting digital payments.

4. Pension computation facility for EPFO ??members

The labour ministry will restore pension commutation or advance partial withdrawal under the Employees’ Pension Scheme of the Employees’ Provident Find Organisation (EPFO) from January 1, 2020.

Under this facility, a pensioner is given a lump sum of the pension in advance and after that, their monthly pension is deducted by one-third for the next 15 years. After 15 years, pensioners are eligible for the full pension.

The move, which comes 10 years after the provision was withdrawn, will benefit around 630,000 pensioners.

5. SBI to introduce a new way of ATM cash withdrawal

The State Bank of India (SBI) will introduce one-time password (OTP)-based cash withdrawal system at all its ATMs from January 1, 2020. The country’s largest lender’s new OTP-based cash withdrawal system will be applicable for transactions above Rs 10,000 between 8pm and 8am to help protect its customers from unauthorised transactions at ATMs.

6. These debit cards won’t work

State Bank of India (SBI) has announced that its magnetic debit card won’t work after December 31, 2019. Customers will have to upgrade their old cards to the more secure EMV chip and PIN-based debit cards. SBI had informed its customers through its tweet asking them to replace the existing SBI debit cards through the new EMV cards.

7. You will have to pay more for some vehicles

Tata Motors, Toyota Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motors India, Mercedes-Benz, Kia Motors and Nissan Motors India are going to raise prices of their vehicles from January.

Two-wheeler company Hero MotoCorp has also announced an increase in prices of its vehicles from January. The prices of all the motorcycles and scooters of the company will increase by Rs 2000.

8. Sabka Biswas Yojana

The ‘Sabka Biswas Yojana’, introduced for resolution of old pending disputed cases related to service tax and excise duty, is going to end on December 31, 2019. It is unlikely to be extended further.

9. Aadhaar verification to be mandatory for new dealers

The GST Network has decided to make Aadhaar authentication or physical verification mandatory for new dealers from January 2020 to check malpractices in Goods and Services Tax.

10. Assam’s Arundhati Gold Scheme

The state government will start the Arundhati Gold Scheme by January for registered newly-married couples. The bride will get Rs 30,000 to buy gold under the scheme.

The annual income of the bride and her father should not be more than Rs 500,000 per year and the minimum age of the bride and groom has to be 18 and 21 years to avail the benefit under the scheme.

The Assam government has said the scheme is aimed to promote marriage registrations and prevent under-age marriages in the state.



Do you want electric buses to operate in your neighborhood too? Send your suggestions here.



Image Source: PTI

A survey is being conducted in Delhi to initiate small-sized electric neighborhood buses on congested roads. The Delhi Transport Department has commenced an extensive ground survey to determine suitable routes for neighborhood bus services in different areas of Delhi. This survey will run from June 1st to June 15th, with 23 technical teams deployed in various locations across Delhi for study purposes.

Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot stated that the Delhi government has never purchased more than 2000 feeder buses before this initiative. The 9-meter buses will operate on routes where 12-meter buses are unable to reach. Delhi residents can also share their feedback and suggestions regarding the neighborhood buses at mohallabusfeedback [at]

To ensure the inclusion of public suggestions, teams have been formed by the Transport Department to gather insights from the people of Delhi. This will guarantee that all significant routes are covered by these neighborhood buses.

The technical teams involved in the survey will visit metro stations, bus terminals, bus stops, and different areas of Delhi. The survey will focus on the following four aspects:

  1. Assessment of travel demand: The survey teams will examine last-mile connectivity in each area and study the transportation needs of the general public for such connectivity.
  2. Road network: The survey teams will assess road width, encroachments, and obstacles encountered during bus operations.
  3. Public transport connectivity: All teams will determine the distance travelers need to cover to reach public transport. A Pakistani team will also investigate the availability of other public transport options in the area.
  4. Para-transit connectivity: The availability of options such as e-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and other para-transit services in specific areas will also be surveyed.

According to the information received from the Transport Department, the data collected during this survey will be digitized. It will be used to determine the origin and destination of proposed neighborhood bus services in each area. Additionally, the survey aims to identify potential routes that will benefit the maximum number of passengers through neighborhood buses.

It should be noted that Kailash Gahlot, Delhi’s Finance Minister, who also serves as the Transport Minister, announced the Neighborhood Bus Plan in the budget speech. The objective of this plan is to deploy 9-meter-long electric buses to provide local or feeder bus services. The Kejriwal government has planned to operate a total of 2,180 such buses by 2025. The neighborhood buses will be specifically operated in those areas of Delhi where road width is limited or regular operation of 12-meter buses is difficult due to congestion.

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Delhi’s Coolest May in 36 Years: Record-Breaking Temperatures and Abundant Rainfall



Image: PTI

Delhi has recently witnessed a remarkable drop in temperatures during the month of May, marking it as the coolest May in the past 36 years. This significant shift can be attributed to the abundant rainfall that showered the city over the course of two weeks.

Surprisingly, Delhi encountered an unusual 11 days of rainfall, which is quite uncommon for this hot summer month. Data provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reveals that the average maximum temperature recorded in May this year was 36.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1987. It is worth mentioning that in May 1987, the Safdarjung weather station recorded an even lower average maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius, according to IMD scientist Kuldeep Srivastava.

To put things into perspective, the average maximum temperature in May last year was a scorching 40.1 degrees Celsius. The stark contrast in temperatures this year can be attributed to the five active western disturbances that affected the northwest plains of India. Srivastava highlighted that while the region usually experiences two to three western disturbances during this period, this year marked the fifth one.

Delhi received a staggering 111 mm of rainfall in May, which was 262 percent above the normal average of 30.7 mm for the month. The city has also witnessed above-normal rainfall in March, April, and May, accumulating a total of 184.3 mm during the pre-monsoon season. This figure represents an excess of 186 percent compared to the average of 64.4 mm.

Furthermore, the Safdarjung weather station did not record any instances of a heatwave throughout May, although other weather stations in the vicinity reported heatwave conditions. The copious rainfall and gusty winds not only provided relief from the scorching heat but also improved Delhi’s air quality. On Wednesday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 85, falling under the ‘satisfactory’ category. In contrast, on May 23, when there was no rainfall, the AQI soared to 198, according to data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Remarkably, data from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) shows that the average PM10 and PM2.5 levels from January to May this year have been the second lowest since 2016. The lowest levels were observed in 2020 due to the summer lockdown.

In conclusion, Delhi’s unusual weather patterns in May, marked by the lowest temperatures in over three decades and abundant rainfall, have brought relief from the scorching heat and improved air quality in the city.

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Delhi Government Introduces Small Electric ‘Mohalla Buses’ for Improved Public Transport.



Image: PTI

The Delhi government is taking a big step towards improving the city’s public transportation system by introducing small-sized electric “Mohalla Buses” on the streets. To make sure they identify the areas where these buses are needed and determine the best routes for them, the Transport Department has launched a comprehensive 15-day evaluation campaign. Starting from Thursday, teams of experts will be deployed in different areas until June 15 to conduct the study.

This means that soon we’ll have these convenient and eco-friendly buses operating throughout Delhi! Isn’t that exciting?

But that’s not all! The government has also come up with a plan to purchase over 2,000 feeder buses. These buses will serve routes where the regular 12-meter buses can’t go. So, it will make traveling much more convenient for all the bus commuters out there!

To ensure that they cover all the important areas and connect the major attractions in the city, They are forming teams across Delhi to gather feedback from the people. Their input will help them determine the most suitable routes for these Mohalla Buses. After all, They want to make sure that everyone benefits from this new and improved public transport system!

So get ready, Delhiites! Exciting changes are on the horizon, making your daily commute more comfortable and sustainable.

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