Cheque signature mismatch may lead to criminal proceedings: Supreme Court

March 19, 2013

A person may face criminal proceedings if a cheque issued by him gets dishonoured on the ground that his signature does not match the specimen signature available with the bank.

A Supreme Court bench of justices T S Thakur and Gyan Sudha Mishra set aside the verdict of Gujarat High Court which had held that criminal proceedings for dishonouring of cheque can be initiated only when the cheque is dishonoured because of lack of sufficient amount in the bank account and not in case where a cheque is returned due to mismatch of signature of account holder.

“Just as dishonour of a cheque on the ground that the account has been closed is a dishonour falling in the first contingency referred to in Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act, so also dishonour on the ground that the ‘signatures do not match’ or that the ‘image is not found’, which too implies that the specimen signatures do not match the signatures on the cheque would constitute a dishonour within the meaning of Section 138 of the Act,” the bench said.

The apex court, however, said that in such cases of dishonouring of cheques, the account holder must be given a notice and an opportunity to arrange the payments before initiation of criminal proceedings against him.

“Dishonour on account of such changes that may occur in the course of ordinary business of a company, partnership or an individual may not constitute an offence by itself because such a dishonour in order to qualify for prosecution under Section 138 shall have to be preceded by a statutory notice where the drawer is called upon and has the opportunity to arrange the payment of the amount covered by the cheque,” it said

Source: Business Today

 


All about settling your final salary before leaving a job

March 13, 2013

The procedure for ‘full and final settlement‘ is often fairly simple and as per the appointment contract. Usually, the following components are used to decide the final settlement sum:

  1. Unpaid Salary (including annual benefits such as leave travel allowance) and arrears, which is calculated as the number of days for which salary is to be paid multiplied by the gross salary divided by 26 (paid days in a month)
  2. Unpaid bonus
  3. Payment for non-availed leaves (earned or privilege leave), which is calculated as the number of days of non-availed leave multiplied by basic salary divided by 26

 Apart from the usual components the following might be applicable:

  1. Gratuity, if four years and 240 days have been completed
  2. Pension, as long as the employee has completed at least 6 months of service with the existing employer and 10 years of ‘pensionable service’ on providing a Scheme Certificate after retirement (58 years) age

Deductions include profession tax (if applicable), provident fund, income tax and compensation for notice period not served. Gratuity and cashed earned leave are exempt from tax deducted at source (TDS). All other payments attract TDS under Section 192 of the Income Tax Act.

As far as the period for settlement is concerned, going strictly by the rules, the final settlement needs to happen on an employee’s last working day at the organisation. However, as clearances take time, it is prevalent policy to do so within 30-45 days after the employee has left. For gratuity, the stipulation is 30 days after leaving the company, while bonuses must be paid within the specified accounting year.

A common point of contention is the notice period. Even so, it is clear according to the law. Whichever party does not live up to the commitments in the contract will have to compensate the other.

In case of a mass termination, permission has to be sought from the government or the appropriate authority (as specified in the Industrial Disputes Act) specifying the reason for termination. There are also clauses that require employees be given sufficient notice or compensation as per designation and nature of industry.

There are also a few things that an employee must do to ensure there are no complications in the process or later on. Make sure to settle any advances taken or get it adjusted in the final settlement.

Further, get a copy of all the various clearances required from the different departments of the organisation that the employee was attached to by virtue of his responsibilities. This will also ensure that there will be no complications when you join another organisation.

Source: Business Today


Tips to build a good mutual fund portfolio

March 13, 2013

Investing requires discipline, even if you regularly put money in mutual funds. Since mutual funds are run by professionals, these are considered good for those who do not have the time and knowledge to invest in shares and bonds. However, building a good mutual fund portfolio requires planning.

Though the ideal portfolio depends upon the person’s risk-taking ability and age, investors must keep some broad points in mind while deciding which funds they should invest in.

A mutual fund portfolio should ideally be divided into two parts – core, for stability and predictability; and satellite, for investments that have a lot of potential but are risky.

IN THE CORE

The core, as the name suggests, is at the backbone and must comprise 70-90 per cent of the portfolio. Its aim is giving stability and decent returns.

Globally, index funds or passively-managed funds are the first choice for the core. An index fund replicates a benchmark index both in portfolio composition and returns. The fund manager does not have any say in stock selection, which eliminates the risk of wrong judgement. The fund management costs, too, are low. Because they invest in multiple stocks, index funds are well-diversified.

“Considering that in India actively-managed funds have outperformed passive funds, which is contrary to global trends, the core should ideally be built around a combination of index and large-cap funds that have a good track record and stable fund management teams,” says Vishal Dhawan, founder and chief financial planner, Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors.

“Ideally, the core portfolio should have a combination of accrual-based funds which follow the hold-to-maturity strategy. These could range from FMPs (fixed maturity plans) of different maturities to short- and medium-term funds with hold-to-maturity strategy,” says Vishal Dhawan.

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SATELLITE PORTFOLIO

The core gives stability while the satellite part of the portfolio is for earning above-market returns. The latter’s objective is to generate high returns through aggressive products such as mid- and small-cap funds, sector funds, thematic funds and international funds.

Duration-based debt funds, which take active interest-rate bets, can also be a part of the satellite portfolio. These do not follow the hold-to-maturity strategy and instead try to profit from capital appreciation. Such funds invest in gilt funds, income funds and floating rate funds.

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REBALANCING PORTFOLIO

Periodic rebalancing (between equity and debt) of the portfolio is as important as creating a good portfolio. This helps investors keep up with the changing market conditions. We discuss different approaches for doing so.

Fixed ratio approach:
In this, you keep exposure to equity and debt at a certain ratio based on your age and risk-taking ability. If this changes significantly due to conditions in equity and debt markets, you shuffle the investments to the pre-determined ratio.

As an example, imagine a portfolio of Rs 10 lakh with 70:30 equitydebt ratio, that is, the equity portfolio is valued at Rs 7 lakh and the debt at Rs 3 lakh. After a year, suppose the equity portfolio rises by 12 per cent to Rs 7.84 lakh while the value of debt goes up by 7 per cent to Rs 3.21 lakh. Clearly, the ideal ratio (70:30) has been altered. It can be balanced by selling stocks worth Rs 10,500 and investing the money in debt.

Variable ratio approach:
Under this, if the value of the stock portfolio changes significantly, the equitydebt ratio shifts to a new predetermined ratio. If the equity-debt ratio was 1:1 at the beginning, and the equity portfolio rises by more than 10 per cent, you can sell a part of your equity holdings and invest it in debt to bring the ratio to, say, 4:6.

Suppose your portfolio of Rs 20 lakh is perfectly balanced between equity and debt. Now, after some time, the equity portfolio rises to Rs 11 lakh and the debt portfolio to Rs 10.6 lakh. If you now want to bring the equity-debt ratio to 4:6, you can sell stocks worth Rs 2.36 lakh and invest the proceeds in debt.

Constant rupee value approach:
Under this, you keep the value of the stock portfolio constant, investing any appreciation in value in debt, or vice versa.

For example, if your equity portfolio is valued at Rs 10 lakh and it rises 10 per cent to Rs 11 lakh, you sell shares worth Rs 1 lakh and invest the money in debt. Similarly, if the portfolio value falls to Rs 9 lakh, you sell Rs 1 lakh worth of debt and invest in equities to keep the value of the stock portfolio at Rs 10 lakh.

Source: Business Today


The most common personal finance habits

March 12, 2013
  1. Instant gratification:

We find spending more appealing than saving. And while focusing on satisfaction, we often ignore the negative effects that arise due to such decisions. We often buy goods which are not essential just because they are being offered on a deal too good to miss. The money we save on buying it gives us more satisfaction than the money we could have saved without buying it. Cutting down expenses in the name of savings is often considered nothing less than a sacrifice. We ignore the good things that can arise from cutting down an expense and saving the same amount.

  1. Cushion of loans and debts:

Our instant gratification nature is supported by a range of loans and debt options that are easily available now. We rely on loans ranging from personal loans to home loans to meet our purchases. We often fail to assess the impact of such financial decisions on our personal and financial wellbeing. The interest rate payments we make on these loan instruments negatively affect our savings rate.

  1. Postponing savings:

Health and wealth remain the most ignored aspects of our life. We make plans to go to the gym, follow a diet regime and maintain a good shape every new year. But we hardly follow these plans. We follow the same routine when it comes to our personal finances as well. We make plans every month to cut down cost and increase savings. But every month ends up as a zero-sum game. Postponing savings will eventually push the dates when you want to realize your dreams.

  1. Reliable advice:

Individuals are forced to make more financial decisions than ever before. With a wide variety of products available in the market, choosing the right product always remains a challenge. We rely on our family, neighbors and colleagues for our financial advice. We ignore the fact that every individual’s financial situation is unique and the financial plan they have to follow is also unique. The current product-centric nature also played its part in us relying on our close sources rather than a financial planner for financial advice.

Source: NDTV


5 free tools to remove Alureon DNSChanger malware

July 9, 2012

About a quarter-million computer users around the world are at risk of losing Internet access on Monday because of malicious software at the heart of a hacking scam that U.S. authorities shut down last November.

Some blogs and news reports hyped the risk of an outage, warning of a potential “blackout” and describing the Alureon malware as the “Internet Doomsday” virus.

Yet experts said only a tiny fraction of computer users were at risk, and Internet providers would be on call to quickly restore service. They said they considered the threat to be small compared with more-prevalent viruses such as Zeus and SpyEye, which infect millions of PCs and are used to commit financial fraud.

If it turns out the reason you are offline is indeed the Alureon malware and not a faulty Internet connection, here are 5 free tools that will remove the DNSChanger malware from your system. Download them on another PC and copy them to the infected PC using a USB drive or a CD.

1) McAfee Stringer
Remove Alureon/ DNSChanger: Yes
Platform: Windows
Price: Free
Download

2) Kaspersky Labs TDSSKiller
Remove Alureon/ DNSChanger: Yes
Platform: Windows
Price: Free
Download

3) Norton Power Eraser
Remove Alureon/ DNSChanger: Yes
Platform: Windows
Price: Free
Download

4) Trend Micro  House Call
Remove Alureon/ DNSChanger: Yes
Platform: Windows
Price: Free
Download

5) MacScan
Remove Alureon/ DNSChanger: Yes
Platform: Mac OS X
Price: Free for 30-days
Download

With inputs form Reuters

Source : http://gadgets.ndtv.com


INS Chakra: Top 10 must-know facts

April 5, 2012

1) INS Chakra is a Russia-made, nuclear-propelled, hunter-killer submarine. Unlike conventional submarines that India operates which need to surface to charge its battery’s often – sometimes as frequently as 24 hours – INS Chakra can stay under as long as it wants. Its ability to stay underwater is restrained only by human endurance to stay underwater. Also, another problem that the submarine could face is acidity. This is because of a lack of exercise inside due to prolonged deployments.

2) The Akula Class submarine will carry conventional weapons. The vessel is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes. It will be used to hunt and kill enemy ships.

3) The INS Chakra displaces about 10,000 tons. It can do over 30 knots – more than twice the speed of conventional submarines. It can go upto a depth of 600 metres.

4) INS Chakra is one of the quietest nuclear submarines around, with noise levels next to zero.

5) It has about 80 crew members on board. The entire crew of INS Chakra has been trained in Russia for over a year. Facilities for the crew on board INS Chakra include a large recreation area, a gymnasium and a sauna as well.

6) INS Chakra has been taken on lease from Russia for 10 years and would provide the Navy the opportunity to train personnel and operate such nuclear-powered vessels. In 2004, India had signed a deal with Russia worth over $900 million for leasing the submarine. INS Chakra was expected to be inducted into Indian Navy a couple of years ago, but after an on-board accident in 2008, in which several Russian sailors died, the delivery schedule was changed.

7) INS Chakra formally joined the Indian Navy on Wednesday.  It was commissioned by Defence Minister AK Antony at the Ship Building Complex in Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. “INS Chakra will ensure security and sovereignty of the country,” the minister has said. When asked if INS Chakra’s induction will lead to arms race in the region, Defence Minister AK Antony told reporters, “India does not believe in arms race. We are not a confrontationist nation. We are a peaceloving nation….but, at the same time, the armed forces will be strengthened to meet any challenge.”

8) The induction of the nuclear-powered submarine clearly indicates India’s intentions in the Indian Ocean Region and South East Asia which has recently seen increasing assertive Chinese presence in the last few months. It will also a send a strong reassuring message to south east Asian nations like Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia who want India to play a more active role in the region to counter the assertiveness of China in the area.

9) The induction of the INS Chakra is likely to be followed by the induction of the indigenous INS Arihant, which will be capable of launching nuclear weapons and therefore complete the nuclear triad. INS Arihant, it is understood, is now undergoing sea trails at Vizag.

10) The only other nations possessing nuclear-powered submarines are – US, Russia, UK, France and China. India is back in this elite club after over a decade. In 1988, the Indian Navy had leased a Charlie Class nuclear-powered submarine for three years till 1991. However, the expertise gathered then was lost as most officers who had trained to operate nuclear submarines have retired.

Source: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/ins-chakra-top-10-must-know-facts-194179?pfrom=home-otherstories


COUNSELING OF UPSEE-2011 AND IT’S PROCEDURE

July 18, 2011

For completing the admission for the best choice through counseling the Candidates opting for admission based on UPSEE-2011 rank counseling and AIEEE /CAT/MAT rank counseling have to complete the following steps:

Step 1: Document Verification: You are required to reach the Document Verification / Choice Locking Centre (DV& CC), in person as per the schedule to be given on our web site www.mtu.ac.in / www.gbtu.ac.in. You must come with your Admit Card and a demand draft of Rs. 500/- drawn in favor of the Finance Officer, Mahamaya Technical University, Noida and bring along all the testimonials/ certificates/ documents in original & one set of photocopies as mentioned below. You must get your Document Verification done on the same day and collect the document verified certificate from the Officer available at the reporting center itself. In case of any indicated deficiency you should remove the deficiency and get back to the DV&CC with the correct document/s and thus ensure clearance from the same DV&CC and get your candidature verified during specified time slot at the same Document Verification Centre following same procedure. Detailed instructions are given below.

Step 2: Choice Locking: Report at the designated Choice Locking Centre which is same as the Document Verification Centre as per schedule which will be declared on or before 2nd July, 2011 on the website http://www.upsee.nic.in and http://www.mtu.ac.in. Candidate will be required to lock the choices on computer and take print out of the same after locking it. Generally, the seat allotment will be done in the night on the same day of choice locking. The candidate must report at the Choice Locking Centre on the scheduled date during 8 AM to 10 AM along with the Admit Card & Document Verification Slip, demand draft of Rs. 5000/- drawn in favour of the Finance Officer, Mahamaya Technical University, Noida. Each candidate will himself / herself be locking the choices and leave the centre only after taking printout of the choices locked by him/her and signed by the verification officer at the DV&CC. In case of not locking the options your candidature shall not be considered for the purpose of seat allotment and the sole responsibility for this shall lie only on you the candidate. The admission letter, after the seat allotment, shall be handed over to the candidate on the next day.

 Step 3: Collection of seat allotment letter from the choice locking centre and Deposition of fee (Rs.10000/- or Rs.4000/- as applicable) as acceptance of seat by 5 PM on next day. The details of fee and its refund etc. are given in Information Brochure.

 Step 4: Reporting at the allotted Institution as per given schedule.

Reporting Date for Document Verification: Detailed Document Verification Schedule to be announced on website soon

Reporting Time for Document Verification: 8.00 A.M. to 12.00 Noon

Name of Document Verification / Choice Locking Centre: To be notified on website soon

Reporting Date / Time for Choice Locking : To be declared on website http://www.upsee.nic.in / www.mtu.ac.in

Candidates are advised to regularly visit our website http://www.upsee.nic.in / http://www.mtu.ac.in for obtaining information regarding counseling schedule, notifications, Institute-wise / branch-wise vacancy position, eligibility criteria for admission to various programmes and other details.

 

Note: Dual merit is awarded for the candidates who have claimed for Rural Weightage. Such candidates are called as per the merit awarded with rural weightage. If a candidate fails to submit the certificate number 7 at the time of counseling, he will be considered for counseling, at the merit rank awarded without rural weightage as per the counseling schedule.