# [Must Read] Basic Concepts of Economics

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1. What is a Repo Rate?

A: Repo rate is the rate at which our banks borrow rupees from RBI. Whenever the banks have any shortage of funds they can borrow it from RBI. A reduction in the repo rate will help banks to get money at a cheaper rate. When the repo rate increases, borrowing from RBI becomes more expensive.

1. What is Reverse Repo Rate?

A: This is exact opposite of Repo rate. Reverse Repo rate is the rate at which Reserve Bank of India (RBI) borrows money from banks. RBI uses this tool when it feels there is too much money floating in the banking system. Banks are always happy to lend money to RBI since their money is in safe hands with a good interest. An increase in Reverse repo rate can cause the banks to transfer more funds to RBI due to this attractive interest rates.

1. What is CRR Rate?

A: Cash reserve Ratio (CRR) is the amount of funds that the banks have to keep with RBI. If RBI decides to increase the percent of this, the available amount with the banks comes down. RBI is using this method (increase of CRR rate), to drain out the excessive money from the banks.

1. What is SLR Rate?

A: SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) is the amount a commercial bank needs to maintain in the form of cash, or gold or govt. approved securities (Bonds) before providing credit to its customers.
SLR rate is determined and maintained by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) in order to control the expansion of bank credit. SLR is determined as the percentage of total demand and percentage of time liabilities. Time Liabilities are the liabilities a commercial bank liable to pay to the customers on their anytime demand. SLR is used to control inflation and propel growth. Through SLR rate tuning the money supply in the system can be controlled efficiently.

1. What is Bank Rate?

A: Bank rate, also referred to as the discount rate, is the rate of interest which a central bank charges on the loans and advances that it extends to commercial banks and other financial intermediaries. Changes in the bank rate are often used by central banks to control the money supply.

1. What is Inflation?

A: Inflation is as an increase in the price of bunch of Goods and services that projects the Indian economy. An increase in inflation figures occurs when there is an increase in the average level of prices in Goods and services. Inflation happens when there are fewer Goods and more buyers; this will result in increase in the price of Goods, since there is more demand and less supply of the goods.

1. What is Deflation?

A: Deflation is the continuous decrease in prices of goods and services. Deflation occurs when the inflation rate becomes negative (below zero) and stays there for a longer period.

1. What is PLR?

A: The Prime Interest Rate is the interest rate charged by banks to their most creditworthy customers (usually the most prominent and stable business customers). The rate is almost always the same amongst major banks. Adjustments to the prime rate are made by banks at the same time; although, the prime rate does not adjust on any regular basis. The Prime Rate is usually adjusted at the same time and in correlation to the adjustments of the Fed Funds Rate. The rates reported below are based upon the prime rates on the first day of each respective month. Some banks use the name “Reference Rate” or “Base Lending Rate” to refer to their Prime Lending Rate.

1. What is Deposit Rate?

A: Interest Rates paid by a depository institution on the cash on deposit.
Policy Rates:
· Bank Rate: 6.00%
· Repo Rate: 5.25%
· Reverse Repo Rate: 3.75%
Reserve Ratios:
· CRR: 6.00%
· SLR: 25.0%
Lending/Deposit Rates:
· PLR: 11.00%-12.00%.
· Deposit Rate: 6.00%-7.50%.
. Savings Bank rate: 3.5%.
Note: Rates as on 14-05-10.

1. What is FII?

A: FII (Foreign Institutional Investor) used to denote an investor, mostly in the form of an institution. An institution established outside India, which proposes to invest in Indian market, in other words buying Indian stocks. FII’s generally buy in large volumes which has an impact on the stock markets. Institutional Investors includes pension funds, mutual funds, Insurance Companies, Banks, etc.

1. What is FDI?

A: FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) occurs with the purchase of the “physical assets or a significant amount of ownership (stock) of a company in another country in order to gain a measure of management control” (Or) A foreign company having a stake in a Indian Company.

1. What is IPO?

A: IPO is Initial Public Offering. This is the first offering of shares to the general public from a company wishes to list on the stock exchanges.

1. What is Disinvestment?

A: The Selling of the government stake in public sector undertakings.

1. What is Fiscal Deficit?

A: It is the difference between the government’s total receipts (excluding borrowings) and total expenditure. Fiscal deficit in 2009-10 is proposed at 6.8% of GDP.

1. What is Revenue deficit?

A: It defines that, where the net amount received (by taxes & other forms) fails to meet the predicted net amount to be received by the government. Revenue deficit in 2009-10 is proposed at 4.8% of GDP.

1. What is GDP?

A: The Gross Domestic Product or GDP is a measure of all of the services and goods produced in a country over a specific period; classically a year. GDP during 2008-09 is 6.7%.

1. What is GNP?

A: Gross National Product is measured as GDP plus income of residents from investments made abroad minus income earned by foreigners in domestic market.

1. What is National Income?

A: National Income is the money value of all goods and services produced in a country during the year.

1. What is Per Capita Income?

A: The national income of a country, or region, divided by its population. Per capita income is often used to measure a country’s standard of living.Per capita income during 2008-09 estimated by CSO: Rs.25, 494.

1. What is Vote on Account?

A: A vote-on account is basically a statement ,where the government presents an estimate of a sum required to meet the expenditure that it incurs during the first three to four months of an election financial year until a new government is in place, to keep the machinery running.

1. Difference between Vote on Account and Interim Budget?

A: Vote-on-account deals only with the expenditure side of the government’s budget, an interim Budget is a complete set of accounts, including both expenditure and receipts.

1. What is SDR?

A: The SDR (Special Drawing Rights) is an artificial currency created by the IMF in 1969. SDRs are allocated to member countries and can be fully converted into international currencies so they serve as a supplement to the official foreign reserves of member countries. Its value is based on a basket of key international currencies (U.S. dollar, euro, yen and pound sterling).

1. What is SEZ?

A: SEZ means Special Economic Zone is the one of the part of government’s policies in India. A special Economic zone is a geographical region that economic laws which are more liberal than the usual economic laws in the country. The basic motto behind this is to increase foreign investment, development of infrastructure, job opportunities and increase the income level of the people.

1. What is corporate governance?

The way in which a company is governed and how it deals with the various interests of its customers, shareholders, employees and society at large. Corporate governance is the set of processes, customs, policies, laws, and institutions affecting the way a corporation (or company) is directed, administered or controlled.Is defined as the general set of customs, regulations, habits, and laws that determine to what end a firm should be run.

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25. Functions of RBI?

The Reserve Bank of India is the central bank of India, was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. The Reserve Bank of India was set up on the recommendations of the Hilton Young Commission. The commission submitted its report in the year 1926, though the bank was not set up for nine years.To regulate the issue of Bank Notes and keeping of reserves with a view to securing monetary stability in India and generally to operate the currency and credit system of the country to its advantage.” Banker to the Government: performs merchant banking function for the central and the state governments; also acts as their banker.Banker to banks: maintains banking accounts of all scheduled banks.

1. What is monetary policy?

A Monetary policy is the process by which the government, central bank, of a country controls (i) the supply of money, (ii) availability of money, and (iii) cost of money or rate of interest, in order to attain a set of objectives oriented towards the growth and stability of the economy.

1. What is Fiscal Policy?

Fiscal policy is the use of government spending and revenue collection to influence the economy. These policies affect tax rates, interest rates and government spending, in an effort to control the economy. Fiscal policy is an additional method to determine public revenue and public expenditure.

28.What is Core Banking Solutions?

Core banking is a general term used to describe the services provided by a group of networked bank branches. Bank customers may access their funds and other simple transactions from any of the member branch offices. It will cut down time, working simultaneously on different issues and increasing efficiency. The platform where communication technology and information technology are merged to suit core needs of banking is known as Core Banking Solutions.

29 ·What is bank and its features and types?

A bank is a financial organization where people deposit their money to keep it safe.Banks play an important role in the financial system and the economy. As a key component of the financial system, banks allocate funds from savers to borrowers in an efficient manner.

i. Regional Rural Banks were established with an objective to ensure sufficient
institutional credit for agriculture and other rural sectors. The RRBs mobilize
financial resources from rural / semi-urban areas and grant loans and advances
mostly to small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers and rural artisans.
The area of operation of RRBs is limited to the area as notified by GoI covering
one or more districts in the State.

ii. Banking services for individual customers is known as retail banking.

iii. A bank that deals mostly in but international finance, long-term loans for
companies and underwriting. Merchant banks do not provide regular banking
services to the general public.

iv. Online banking (or Internet banking) allows customers to conduct financial
transactions on a secure website operated by their retail or virtual bank.

v. Mobile Banking is a service that allows you to do banking transactions on your
mobile phone without making a call , using the SMS facility. Is a term used for
performing balance checks, account transactions, payments etc. via a mobile
device such as a mobile phone.

vi. Traditional banking is the normal bank accounts we have. Like, put your money in the bank and they act as a security and you will get only the normal interests (decided by RBI in our case, FED bank in US).

vii. Investment banking is entirely different. Here, people who are having so much
money (money in excess which will yield only less interest if in Banks) will invest
their money and get higher returns. For example, If i have more money instead of
taking the pain of investing in share market, buying properties etc. I will give to
investment banks and they will do the money management and give me higher
returns when compared to traditional banks.

30 ·What is E-Governance?

E-Governance is the public sector’s use of information and communication technologies with the aim of improving information and service delivery, encouraging citizen participation in the decision-making process and making government more accountable,transparent and effective.

31·What is Right to information Act?

The Right to Information act is a law enacted by the Parliament of India giving citizens of India access to records of the Central Government and State overnments.The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir – which is covered under a State-level law. This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 13 October 2005.

32· Credit Rating Agencies in India?

The credit rating agencies in India mainly include ICRA and CRISIL. ICRA wasformerly referred to the Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited. Their main function is to grade the different sector and companies in terms of performance and offer solutions for up gradation. The credit rating agencies in India mainly include ICRA and CRISIL(Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited)

33· What is Cheque?

Cheque is a negotiable instrument instructing a Bank to pay a specific amount from a specified account held in the maker/depositor’s name with that Bank.A bill of exchange drawn on a specified banker and payable on demand.“Written order directing a bank to pay money”.

34· What is demand Draft?

A demand draft is an instrument used for effecting transfer of money. It is a Negotiable Instrument. Cheque and Demand-Draft both are used for Transfer of money. You can 100% trust a DD. It is a banker’s check. A check may be dishonored for lack of funds a DD can not. Cheque is written by an individual and Demand draft is issued by a bank. People believe banks more than individuals.

35· What is a NBFC?

A non-banking financial company (NBFC) is a company registered under the
Companies Act, 1956 and is engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stock/bonds/debentures/securities issued by government, but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, sale/purchase/construction of immovable property.

NBFCs are doing functions akin to that of banks; however there are a few differences:

(i) A NBFC cannot accept demand deposits (demand deposits are funds deposited at a depository institution that are payable on demand — immediately or within a very short period — like your current or savings accounts.)
(ii) it is not a part of the payment and settlement system and as such cannot issue cheques to its customers; and
(iii) Deposit insurance facility of DICGC is not available for NBFC depositors unlike in case of banks.

36· Difference between banking & Finance?

Finance is generally related to all types of financial, this could be accounting, insurances and policies. Whereas banking is everything that happens in a bank only.The term Banking and Finance are two very different terms but are often associated together. These two terms are often used to denote services that a bank and other financial institutions provide to its customers.

37· What is NASSCOM ?

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian chamber of commerce is a consortium that serves as an interface to the Indian software industry and Indian BPO industry. Maintaining close interaction with the Government of India in formulating National IT policies with specific focus on IT software and services maintaining a state of the art information database of IT software and services related activities for use of both the software developers as well as interested companies overseas. Mr. Som Mittal – President. Chairman-Pramod Bhasin.

38· What is ASSOCHAM?

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), India’s premier apex chamber covers a membership of over 2 lakh companies and professionals across the country. It was established in 1920 by promoter chambers, representing all regions of India. As an apex industry body, ASSOCHAM represents the interests of industry and trade, interfaces with Government on policy issues and interacts with counterpart international organizations to promote bilateral economic issues. President-Swati Piramal.

39· What is NABARD?

NABARD was established by an act of Parliament on 12 July 1982 to implement the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act 1981. It replaced the Agricultural Credit Department (ACD) and Rural Planning and Credit Cell (RPCC) of Reserve Bank of India, and Agricultural Refinance and Development Corporation (ARDC). It is one of the premiere agency to provide credit in rural areas. NABARD is set up as an apex Development Bank with a mandate for facilitating credit flow for promotion and development of agriculture, small-scale industries, cottage and village industries, handicrafts and other rural crafts.

40· What is SIDBI?

The Small Industries Development Bank of India is a state-run bank aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium scale industries in India. Set up in 1990 through an act of parliament, it was incorporated initially as a wholly owned subsidiary of Industrial Development Bank of India.

41· What is SENSEX and NIFTY?

SENSEX is the short term for the words “Sensitive Index” and is associated with the Bombay (Mumbai) Stock Exchange (BSE). The SENSEX was first formed on 1-1-1986 and used the market capitalization of the 30 most traded stocks of BSE. Where as NSE has 50 most traded stocks of NSE.SENSEX IS THE INDEX OF BSE. AND NIFTY IS THE INDEX OF NSE.BOTH WILL SHOW DAILY TRADING MARKS. Sensex and Nifty both are an “index”. An index is basically an indicator it indicates whether most of the stocks have gone up or most of the stocks have gone down.

42· What is SEBI?

SEBI is the regulator for the Securities Market in India. Originally set up by the
Government of India in 1988, it acquired statutory form in 1992 with SEBI Act 1992 being passed by the Indian Parliament. Chaired by C B Bhave.

43· What is Mutual funds?

Mutual funds are investment companies that pool money from investors at large and offer to sell and buy back its shares on a continuous basis and use the capital thus raised to invest in securities of different companies. The mutual fund will have a fund manager that trades the pooled money on a regular basis. The net proceeds or losses are then typically distributed to the investors annually.

44· What is Asset Management Companies?

A company that invests its clients’ pooled fund into securities that match its declared financial objectives. Asset management companies provide investors with more diversification and investing options than they would have by themselves. Mutual funds, hedge funds and pension plans are all run by asset management companies. These companies earn income by charging service fees to their clients.

45· What are non-perfoming assets?

Non-performing assets, also called non-performing loans, are loans,made by a bank or finance company, on which repayments or interest payments are not being made on time. A debt obligation where the borrower has not paid any previously agreed upon interest and principal repayments to the designated lender for an extended period of time. The nonperforming asset is therefore not yielding any income to the lender in the form of principal and interest payments.

46· What is Recession?

A true economic recession can only be confirmed if GDP (Gross Domestic Product)growth is negative for a period of two or more consecutive quarters.

47· What is foreign exchange reservers?

Foreign exchange reserves (also called Forex reserves) in a strict sense are only the foreign currency deposits and bonds held by central banks and monetary authorities.However, the term in popular usage commonly includes foreign exchange and gold,SDRs and IMF reserve positions.

1. National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)

Transfer of funds initiated by electronic means such as an electronic terminal, telephone, computer, or ATM. The NEFT facilitates the process of fund transfer within the same bank or inter-bank transfers. The minimum amount that can be transferred is as low as Rs 100.

Any account linked to another account in the same bank where funds can be transferred electronically between accounts and carry out other specified services as well.

1. Travellers’ Cheque

Cheques issued by a bank and function as cash but are protected against loss or theft when travelling.

1. Balance Transfer

Balance transfer is an option included under credit card payments and is useful for persons holding more than one card. On availing this facility, the cardholder can transfer the balance amount outstanding on card one to card two and vice versa, if he/she is not able to make full payment that is due on a particular card.

In any case, the payment due date is only delayed but the payment has to be made at the scheduled time as stated in card two. Balance transfer facility is useful in reducing the interest outgo (on card one) and extending the payment due date on the original card.

1. Banking Ombudsman

Banking Ombudsman is an unbiased forum formed to resolve complaints registered by bank customers with respect to the services provided by banks. The RBI introduced this scheme under Section 35A of Banking Regulation Act, 1949. In case one has not been satisfactorily serviced by their bank, they should first register a complaint with the bank customer service department.

If they are not happy with the bank’s response, then they can approach the banking ombudsman for an unbiased resolution.

1. Cashback

The term ‘cashback’ is used with reference to credit cards. Cashback means giving back some portion of money (spent by the cardholder through the credit card) to the cardholder himself. The cashback is made in terms of points earned; for example, the bank may say one point will be earned for every Rs 100 spent by the cardholder and at the end of the year, the money worth of the points earned (say Rs 1 for 1 point) will be credited back into the cardholder’s account.

1. Collateral

A borrower needs to provide some kind of security to the bank in case of high ticket loans (except home loans where the property is the security). Such security is called ‘collateral’.

In case the borrower fails to repay the loan, the bank has the authority to attach the collateral to the loan and claim its dues.

1. Documentation/Processing Fee

Bank requires certain documents from the borrower to look into his creditworthiness and charges a fee for the same. These charges are known as documentation charges.

Processing Fee is charged by the bank upon sanctioning of loan to the borrower.

1. Floating Rate

An interest rate that is referenced to a market rate and is revised as per the change in the interest rates in the economy. When interest rates in the economy rise, floating rates rise and vice versa.

1. MICR Code

MICR stands for Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. MICR Code comprises 9 digits given at the bottom (right side) of the cheque number. It is a unique code and varies between each bank branch.

MICR Code is required for cheque clearance. MICR Code is different from the IFSC code, which is also mentioned on a cheque.

1. No-frills Account

This account is a basic savings account provided by banks to make banking simpler and more accessible for all customers. In a no-frills account, you do not have to maintain minimum balance and enjoy basic banking facilities such as electronic funds transfer (EFT), netbanking, free cheque book issuance.

1. Electronic Clearing Service (ECS)

It is a service provided by the banks to facilitate direct debit from your bank account towards an investment account (such as a mutual fund SIP) and/or paying regular loan EMIs.

One can give a standing instruction (SI) to the bank to transfer the specified amount every month for a specified period. Alternatively, you can direct a one-time transfer of funds through NEFT/RTGS (explained next).

1. RTGS

The RTGS or Real Time Gross Settlement System facilitates fund transfer within same bank or inter-bank transfers, but unlike NEFT, RTGS ensures the fund transfer fast and smooth in ‘real-time’ for a nominal fee.

The minimum transfer amount is higher than NEFT (usually Rs 2 lakh and above).

1. IFSC

IFSC code is useful in bank fund transfers and cheque clearance. It is an 11 character code assigned by RBI to identify every bank branch uniquely. The first part is the first 4 alphabet characters representing the bank. Next character is 0 (zero) and is reserved for future use. The last 6 characters is the branch code.

1. KYC

KYC or Know Your Customer norms are imposed by RBI on banks and other financial institutions to ensure that the correct identity of the banks’ customers is established and to ensure that banks deal only in legitimate banking operations and not in money laundering or frauds.

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