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The finance ministry has asked PSBs to look at rationalising their domestic and overseas branches as part of the reform process to strengthen their financials. The banks have been advised to pursue closure of loss making domestic and international branches as part of capital saving exercise, official sources said. There is no point in running loss making branches and putting burden on the balance sheet, so banks should look at not only big savings but also small savings like these for improving overall efficiency, people in the know said.
Many banks, including SBI and Punjab National Bank, have already taken initiative. Indian Overseas Bank has also rationalised the number of regional offices in the country by reducing 10 regional offices.

Even as demonetisation led to a spurt in household deposit growth rates across the country, the southern region has shown a dip in deposit growth for the fiscal year 2016-17, a report has said. The overall household deposits at the country level grew 14.1%  during the fiscal, up from the 12.3% in the previous fiscal, RBI data showed. The southern region  household deposits growth rate dipped to 13.3% or FY17, as against 13.8% in the year ago period, the data said.
-Economic Times 

Axis Bank is seeing more transactions through mobile phones than through their ATM networks, says Rajiv Anand, ED and head of retail.
-Economic Times

Just over 2 crore Indians, or 1.7% of the total population, paid income tax in the AY 2015-16, according to data released by the I-T dept. The number of IT return filers increased to 4.07 Cr in AY 2015-16 (FY 2014-2015) from 3.65 crore in the previous year but only 2.06 crore actually paid tax as the others claimed income below taxable limits.
-Business Line

An online platform has been launched for central government employees to apply for leave and access their service-related information, according to an official statement issued today. Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh launched the electronic-HRM System (e-HRMS) as the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions observed Good Governance Day.

Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd  are both keen to acquire gas utility GAIL India Ltd to become fully integrated energy companies. IOC and BPCL have separately indicated to the petroleum ministry their interest in taking over GAIL to help add natural gas transportation and marketing business to their kitty, official sources said.
-Business Line

Infosys co-founder N R  Narayana Murthy has flayed the high wage hikes that senior managements have been apportioning to themselves when the software industry is in trying times and has advised them to make "sacrifices" to maintain common man's faith in capitalism. Conceding that times are difficult for the IT services sector, Murthy dismissed the commonly attributed threats of artificial intelligence and automation as "more hype than reality".
-Economic Times

BSNL is set to launch its 4G services from Kerala next month, followed by Odisha, a top company official said.
-Business Line

Rajya Sabha member l Subramanian Swamy has alleged that the Central Govt had pressurised senior officials from the Central Statistical Organisation to present data that said that demonetisation had not affected the Indian economy and the GDP.


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