Change in validity period for cheques
Now all cheques, bank drafts and pay orders will have validity of three months with effect from April 1, 2012. This is applicable across all banks in India.The validity period has been reduced from six months to three months
Small savings at higher rates
The government raised interest rates on National Savings Certificate (NSC), Public Provident Fund and Post Office Deposits by 20-50 basis points. Interest rates on three-year term deposits to 8.4% from 8% and on five-year term deposit from 8.3% to 8.5% are now applicable.
Lesser loan against gold pledge
RBI lowered the Loan-to-Value(LTV) ratio to 60% for loans granted against gold jewellery. This means that now you would get lesser amounts of loan against gold pledged.
Insurance premium raised
Increased insurance premiums for private cars with engine capacity from below 1000cc to above 1500cc become applicable, while for two wheelers below 75 cc to above 350 ccthe premium rates become applicable.
Tax on education loan expanded
Now tax on education has been expanded to cover all fields of studies (including vocational studies) pursued after passing the Senior Secondary Examination or its equivalent from any school, board or university recognized by the Central Government or State Government or local authority or by any other authority authorized by the Central Government or State Government or local authority to do so. Earlier it was only for for any graduate or post-graduate course in engineering, medicine, management or for post-graduate course in applied sciences or pure sciences including mathematics and statistics.
Health expenses now covers insurance for parents for the purposes of tax benefits.
Sum assured amount raised
Now to cover insurance benefits under section 80 C the amount insured needs to be at least 10 times the premium.