HomeWhat's TrendingApril 1 Brings Major Financial Shifts: E-insurance, FASTag, ITR Filing, and More

April 1 Brings Major Financial Shifts: E-insurance, FASTag, ITR Filing, and More

As the clock ticks over to April 1, 2024, a slew of significant changes ripple through India’s financial landscape, touching upon everything from insurance and mutual funds to daily transactions and taxation. With each alteration poised to influence the average citizen’s pocket, staying informed is paramount. Here’s a succinct rundown of the key transformations and how they might affect you.

E-insurance Digitisation

Today marks the inception of a new era in insurance as the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) mandates the digitisation of all insurance policies. This sweeping move encompasses life, health, and general insurance, necessitating that all policies be issued electronically.

EPFO Automatic Transfers

In a bid to streamline processes and enhance user convenience, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) now facilitates automatic transfers of subscribers’ balances to their new employers upon job changes. No longer will EPFO account holders need to manually request PF transfers, easing the transition between jobs.

Revisions in Drug Pricing

The Department of Pharmaceuticals announces revised ceiling rates for 65 formulations, effective April 1. These revisions encompass essential medications like painkillers and drugs for chronic ailments such as type 2 diabetes. Reflecting a 0.00551% inflation in the National List of Essential Drugs (NLEM) prices, the adjustments respond to changes in the wholesale price index (WPI).

FASTag KYC Requirements

From today onward, individuals failing to update their vehicle’s KYC information with their respective banks may face disruptions in FASTag services. Non-compliant users risk deactivation of their FASTags by banks, potentially resulting in double toll tax payments at toll plazas. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) urges FASTag users to ensure compliance with RBI regulations.

Mutual Funds and KYC Compliance

Effective April 1, updated KYC documentation becomes mandatory for all mutual fund transactions, including investments and withdrawals. Traditional proofs such as bank statements will no longer suffice, with Aadhaar ID, passport, and voter ID emerging as the officially valid documents for these transactions.

Overseas Investment Restrictions for Mutual Funds

Responding to near breaches of the $1 billion ETF investment limit, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) directs asset managers to halt new investments in overseas exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from April 1.

OLA Money Wallet Transition

OLA Money announces a transition to small PPI (prepaid payment instrument) wallet services, imposing a maximum wallet load restriction of ₹ 10,000 per month starting April 1, 2024. Users receive the option to either switch to a small PPI setting on their Ola Money wallet or close the wallet altogether without incurring bank transfer fees.

NPS Security Measures

The National Pension System (NPS) beefs up security measures with the introduction of two-factor authentication from April 1. OTP verification becomes mandatory for account access, enhancing protection for NPS subscribers.

New Income Tax Regime Adoption

April 1 heralds the transition to the new income tax regime as the default option. Individuals failing to select the old regime will automatically be enrolled in the new framework, offering tax exemptions for incomes up to ₹ 7 lakh annually.

Credit and Debit Card Policy Changes

Several Indian banks unveil pivotal changes to their credit and debit card policies, effective April 2024.

SBI Credit Card: Reward points accumulation undergoes modifications, particularly affecting point gathering through rental payments. Additionally, select debit cardholders face a ₹ 75 increase in annual maintenance charges.

ICICI Bank Credit Card: Customers can now enjoy one free airport lounge visit upon reaching a spend threshold of ₹ 35,000 within the preceding calendar quarter.

Axis Bank Credit Card: Revisions to the Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card, effective April 20, include alterations to the reward points earning mechanism and the lounge access scheme.

With these changes ushering in the new financial year, it’s essential for individuals to adapt and stay abreast of the evolving financial landscape to navigate it successfully.

Monika Shanmugam