Finally, the new year has arrived, and as the celebrations come to pass, it is time to look ahead into what 2019 has in store for us.
So along with planning resolutions, it would also be wise to be aware of all prominent changes in various public services, like bank transactions, Aadhaar and railway ticketing, among others.
Here are 8 such changes that will be useful for you to know:
1. No more waiting till the last moment: IRCTC moves towards quick confirmation of waiting tickets
The Indian Railways, from this year, is going to introduce a new facility that will ensure quicker confirmation of wait-listed tickets. Through this, information about vacant seats will be sent instantly to a ticket checker, thus distributing those seats more efficiently to wait-listed ticket-holders.
Further, in June 2018, the Supreme Court had ruled that passengers with wait-listed tickets will be allowed to board the train in case the confirmed passengers do not make the journey.
2. No use of old cheque-books
December 31, 2018, was the last day of using Non-CTS (Cheque Truncation System) cheques for account holders of all banks, including HDFC, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, among others.
From January 1, 2019, the Non-CTS cheques have been banned by RBI. This means that only CTS-2010 cheques will be valid for cash withdrawal from banks.
Owing to this, these cheques do not need to be sent to other banks for clearance; the process, however, can be completed online.
3. Not just old cheques, ATM cards too are now rendered invalid!
In a carpet sweep, all old magstripe-based ATM cards, from SBI to HDFC, have become invalid from January 1. Only, EMV chip-based cards will be valid.
Read more here.
4. Need changes on your Aadhaar card? Now’s the time!
From January 1, anyone planning to change the date of birth on their Aadhaar card will be able to do so at their nearest Aadhaar centre.
However, do note that this facility is available only once at the centre.
To make any changes for the second time, cardholders will have to visit the regional UIDAI centre.
For more changes like the address, for instance, card-holders will have to wait longer for a new UIDAI PIN which will be sent to the new address. Only then will the address be changed with the new PIN.
5. News for pensioners: no more tax!
The National Pension Scheme (NPS) now comes under the EEE category, which would mean that there will be no need to pay tax on NPS.
Under the EEE category, the amount invested (up to a certain limit) is exempt from income tax. Any profits made during the investment period is also tax-free. Finally, the full corpus, when withdrawn at the end (with some limitations), is also free from taxes.
6. Accidental insurance
This new year, the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India (IRDAI), has unbundled all third-party insurance covers into one accidental insurance cover which has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. After the premium is paid by the subscriber, a receipt will be sent to their mobile phones via SMS.
Read more here.
7. Cars are going to cost more!
Around October 2018, a number of automobile organisations were reported to hike car prices in 2019 depending on the dollar rate. With this, car makers speculate an increase in car prices.
8. New changes in GST
The GST Council has reduced tax rates on 23 goods and services which includes electronic goods, TV/monitor screens (up to 32 inches) and Lithium-ion power banks, digital cameras, video game consoles etc., which have reduced from 28% to 18%.
Also, the GST rate of movie tickets above Rs 100 has been reduced from 28% to 18%, and for those up to Rs 100, the GST slab is slashed from 18% to 12%.
As per the changes, GST has been slashed from 28% to 5% for parts and accessories for carriages for disabled persons.
Here’s wishing you a happy new year!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)