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Maruti Jimny in India to replace Gypsy

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The Jimny is the new generation of the Gypsy and is true to the roots of being an affordable off-road car. It is not a modern compact SUV but a proper 4-wheel drive SUV

Unlike the Brezza the Jimny has a ladder frame like the Toyota Fortuner which makes it robust off-road but it has a special system where for off-roading the gearing is tuned which means you can drive through rough roads with a low gear with extreme off-roading.

The Jimny is 3.5m in length and quite a small car but the design is proper SUV with a large grille and small round headlamps like the Gypsy plus it has a spare wheel at the back too which is similar to the old Gypsy.

The Jimny has a 1.5l petrol engine with 100 bhp while it has both an automatic plus a manual gearbox. There is no diesel option and in India it will be petrol only. the engine si same in the new Ciaz and Brezza.

The Jimny showed here is a 3-door and in India it is expected to come in that only which means it would be the only 3-door Maruti SUV like the Gypsy which was also 3-door. It is a four-seater with boot big enough too.

Maruti is most likely to launch it later in the year or early next year and it will compete with the Mahindra Thar. Overall the Jimny is a off-roader SUV and not a Brezza like compact SUV.

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വായ്‌പാ പലിശയിൽ ഇളവുമായി വീണ്ടും എസ്.ബി.ഐ

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രാജ്യത്തെ ഏറ്രവും വലിയ ബാങ്കായ എസ്.ബി.ഐ തുട‌ർച്ചയായ 11-ാം മാസവും വായ്‌പാ പലിശ നിർണയത്തിന്റെ മാനദണ്ഡമായ മാർജിനൽ കോസ്‌റ്ര് ഒഫ് ഫണ്ട്‌സ് ബേസ്ഡ് ലെൻഡിംഗ് റേറ്ര് (എം.സി.എൽ.ആർ) കുറച്ചു. ഇന്നലെ 0.35 ശതമാനം ഇളവ് വരുത്തി. ഏപ്രിൽ 10ന് പ്രാബല്യത്തിൽ വരും. ഇതുപ്രകാരം, ഒരുവർഷ കാലാവധിയുള്ള വായ്‌പയുടെ എം.സി.എൽ.ആർ 7.40 ശതമാനമാണ്.ഉപഭോക്താക്കൾ വാങ്ങുന്ന ഒട്ടുമിക്ക വായ്‌പയുടെയും അടിസ്ഥാനം ഒരുവർഷ എം.സി.എൽ.ആർ ആണ്. പുതിയ ഇളവോടെ, വായ്‌പാ പലിശഭാരത്തിൽ കുറവുണ്ടാകും. ഉദാഹരണത്തിന്, 30 വർഷ തിരിച്ചടവ് കാലാവധിയുള്ള ഭവന വായ്‌പയുടെ ഇ.എം.ഐയിൽ പ്രതിമാസം ഒരുലക്ഷം രൂപയ്ക്ക് 24 രൂപവീതം കുറയും.

കഴിഞ്ഞമാസം എസ്.ബി.ഐ, വായ്‌പാ പലിശ നിർണയത്തിന്റെ പുതിയ മാനദണ്ഡങ്ങളായ എക്‌സ്‌റ്റേണൽ ബെഞ്ച്മാർക്ക് റേറ്റ് (ഇ.ബി.ആർ), റിപ്പോ ലിങ്ക്ഡ് ലെൻഡിംഗ് റേറ്ര്  എന്നിവ 0.75 ശതമാനം കുറച്ച്, ഉപഭോക്താക്കൾക്ക് ആശ്വാസം പകർ‌ന്നിരുന്നു. അന്ന് സ്ഥിരനിക്ഷേപങ്ങളുടെ പലിശയും എസ്.ബി.ഐ 0.20 മുതൽ 0.50 ശതമാനം വരെ കുറച്ചു.

സേവിംഗ്സ് ബാങ്ക് അക്കൗണ്ടുകളിലെ നിക്ഷേപത്തിന് നൽകുന്ന പലിശനിരക്ക് എസ്.ബി.ഐ ഇന്നലെ മൂന്നു ശതമാനത്തിൽ നിന്ന് കുറച്ച് 2.75 ശതമാനമാക്കി. ഏപ്രിൽ 15ന് പ്രാബല്യത്തിൽ വരും.

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Four tax-saving options easily available online

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In a relief to individual tax payers, the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced  that the deadline for investing in tax-saving instruments has been pushed back to June 30 2020. The usual deadline is March 31. But with the entire country in lockdown mode, it has been difficult to make last-minute tax investments. The extension of the deadline comes as a relief, especially to those still relying on physical modes of investments. But if you have internet banking access, things are easier even if you have never really invested online so far.

“This concession is being made for those who have not yet made the requisite tax savings investments. This change does not impact tax payers who have already made their tax savings investments,” says Sonu Iyer, tax partner and people advisory services leader, EY India. If you invest during, say, April, you can claim deduction for the financial year 2019-20. Of course, if you have already exhausted options and want make fresh investments in April, it can be used for the financial year 2020-21. You need to specify the relevant financial year while filing your returns.

Let’s look at the investments you can make by sitting at home, online. The basic requirement is to have internet banking.

1. Life and health insurance

If you wish to buy a pure insurance cover, go for a term plan that qualifies for a tax deduction under Section 80C. The premium you pay is allowed as deduction, subject to the overall limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.

Your annual premium for life insurance policies should not exceed 10 per cent of the sum assured. If it does, then the tax benefit will be restricted to 10 per cent of the sum assured – premium amount that exceeds this limit will not be eligible for the deduction. More importantly, if the annual premium exceeds 10 per cent of the sum assured, the maturity proceeds will not be tax-free under section 10(10D).

You should also look to buy an independent health cover – for yourself and your family, including parents – even if you are covered under your employer’s group policy. This premium can be claimed as a deduction under section 80D.

You can buy as well as renew policies online. The application process and acceptance are quicker if you do not have a pre-existing illness. But if you do have a pre-existing disorder such as hypertension, many insurance companies as well online distribution portals such as Policybazaar offer tele-underwriting service. Once you make an online application, a doctor calls you within 24 hours to know more details about your condition, medication and so on. “At present, there could be some delay because of lack of staff and the on-going curfew, but we don’t expect too many delays,” says Vaidyanathan Ramani, Head of Product & Innovation, Policybazaar. Make sure your Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process is complete if you wish to buy a term policy. You do not need KYC to buy health insurance though. Insurance companies offer e-KYC as well. That is, you can do your KYC online, if you haven’t done it already.

2. National Pension System

You have a choice of seven pension fund managers and three asset classes (equities, corporate bonds and government securities). Also, there are two investment options – an active choice (you get to select your asset allocation on your own) and auto choice.

You can open an NPS account online, via the eNPS portal of the NSDL (National Securities Depositories Ltd) e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd; a sister firm of NDSL, the depository. You can also consider various online distributors such as Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), Fundsindia and other such portals and even banks.

To be able to invest online in NPS – even if it’s for the first time – you need to have enabled your internet banking. NPS can also be opened at several Point-of-Presence outlets (such as banks and post offices) by filling and submitting the Permanent Retirement Account form. During this lockdown though, stick to the online mode as banks may not be able to help you at the moment.

You need the Permanent Retirement Account (PRAN) that is allotted to you, every time you invest. You get a tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh for investments in the NPS under section 80C and a further Rs 50,000 under Section 80CCD(1B).

3. Tax-saving mutual funds

Equity-linked saving schemes (ELSS) give you income-tax deduction benefits under section 80C, up to a maximum investment of Rs 1.5 lakh. A mutual fund is perhaps the best tax-saving investment if you wish to do it completely online. Remember though, that this is an equity investment and comes with a certain degree of risk. Equity markets have been volatile so far in 2020. But, Amol Joshi, founder, PlanRupee Investment Services sees the fall as an advantage, especially given the three-year lock-in that an ELSS comes with. “Equities are available at a huge 40 percent discount. If you invest now in an ELSS, you’ll be invested in it for atleast three years. Equities will rebound again someday when things improve and get back to normal,” he says. That is why, Amol adds, you should invest in it rightaway, if it fits your risk profile that is, and not wait till the end of March or even June.

“If you already have an ELSS in your portfolio and you are satisfied with the performance, then invest in the same scheme. Most of the ELSS schemes are multi-cap in nature; these invest in stocks across market capitalisation. There can be portfolio duplication if you hold multiple tax saving mutual funds,” says Valmiki Khatri, partner, Krushna Finserv, LLP, a distribution firm.

Ask your financial advisor for help if you wish to go online. If you don’t have one, most mutual funds help you to buy units online; all you have to do is state your folio number, typically, your mobile number with a few other basic details such as your date of birth and you can buy units. If you have do not have internet banking, your only hope here is to use a Unified Payment Interface (UPI) app such as Google Pay or your own banks’ platform (if your bank allows UPI transaction). But only a few mutual funds allow you to use UPI.

4. Five-year bank FDs

Bank fixed deposits come with a high degree of safety, but low interest rates. Typically, a bulk of your Section 80C investment limit (Rs 1.5 lakh) could get consumed by employee provident fund contribution and the remaining by the principal component of your home loan, if any. But if you still have some space left in the Section 80C basket and don’t have the stomach for equity risk, then the five-year tax saving bank fixed deposit is a pretty good option. Another option is the public provident fund that allows online investments through internet banking. But the PPF comes with a 15-year tenure and has partial liquidity only after the seventh year, but with conditions.

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