Economy News-Daily Digest: 6 Key Updates

1. Under pressure from the RBI and the Finance Ministry’s Department of Financial Services (DFS), following multiple seizures of high-value notes and arrests of employees, several banks have asked hundreds of chartered accountants engaged in the concurrent audit of their branches to carry out additional checks, and report deviations and irregularities. These checks will include, for the first time, monitoring of CCTV footage of each branch to red-flag suspicious activities since the demonetisation policy was announced on November 8. While a number of banks had informed their auditing firms about the broader scope of the scrutiny days after the demonetisation move, successive guidelines and instructions from the RBI and the DFS have led to a more elaborate to-do list for these auditing firms over the last fortnight.

2. Former Central Board of Direct Taxes chairperson Sudhir Chandra, who headed a high-level committee to tackle the black money menace back in 2011, has said that the Income Tax department will find it challenging to scrutinise all cash deposits in bank accounts, following the demonetisation of high-value currency notes.

3. Bankers and former central bank officials assert there is virtually no scope for the figures on deposits of withdrawn high-value banknotes released by the RBI to be inaccurate on account of ‘double counting’.

4. Disney has launched ‘Hour of Code’ campaign in India for teaching computer programming to school children through online tutorial featuring characters from Disney movie ‘Moana’. The entertainment firm is teaching coding to school children in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra through its free online tutorial to help the kids imbibe technological skills at an early age. In its third edition globally, Disney has brought its programme to India this year to teach students aged 8 years and above the basics of coding. In partnership with Next Education, the programme is being taken to over 700 private and public schools across Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra as it aims to reach out to a million students in India. The Hour of Code campaign was started by Code.org in 2013 and has over millions of students participating globally now. Its partners include some of the biggest names from the technology industry including Microsoft and Google.

5. Bitcoin emerged as a better bet this year than every major foreign-exchange trade, stock index and commodity contract. The electronic coin that trades and is regulated like oil and gold surged 79% since the start of 2016 to $778, its highest level since early 2014. That’s four times the gains posted by Russia’s ruble and Brazil’s real, the world’s top two hard currencies.

6. YES has partnered with Ola to provide cash-on-demand at customer’s doorstep. Customers will be able to use the Ola app to book a cab and opt for ‘cash at their doorsteps’ that will be enabled using Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines powered by YES Bank. The service will be available across 10 cities-Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Jaipur.

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