Are there ways to reduce interest rate on your loans, credit card? First be a good borrower
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Are there ways to reduce interest rate on your loans, credit card? First be a good borrower

You get a loan for almost everything under the sun these days. And the happy news now is that the loans are getting cheaper as the interest rates in the economy is on the decline. Earlier in this months the Reserve Bank of India cut its policy rate by 25 basis points. Much  before that the banks had already started reducing rates offered for savings and fixed deposits. And now a further reduction in loan rate is a given. But, historically banks are known to pass on the lower rate benefit to acquire new customers while the existing borrowers simply stick on higher rate. Today we bring you three financial strategies to lower your interest rate on credit card, home loan and personal loan. There’s no doubt that credit card is the most expensive debt that one can have. It can reach to as much as 40 percent per annum. So what can you do? First try and negotiate a lower rate. This will work only if you have been a good borrower. The associate you speak on phone mostly has no authority, and may resist even taking your request. So make sure you ask the associate to forward the request to the respective department head. But then it is always better to visit the bank and make a formal request on paper. You can present your case better. It will take a couple of days before you get the answer. If your current lender is not willing to lower your interest rate, then think of switching to another card using the balance transfer facility, wherein you can transfer outstanding balance from one credit card to another. When you do a balance transfer, usually you pay a much lower interest rate on the card on which the balance is transferred. So that way, you will be able to manage or pay the monthly dues with some ease. Usually, you can do two types of balance transfers. One is the “fixed duration” option and the other is the “lifetime duration” option. The fixed duration option is a limited period offer. Here, usually you will have to pay your dues within 3-12 months. During this period, the bank offers you a lower interest rate around 0.80 percent per month or 9 percent per annum. In the lifetime option, you get a lifetime to pay back the dues. But the interest charged isn’t as low as the fixed rate option. It will be slightly less than what you pay on your regular credit card --around 1-2 percent per month or 12-24 percent per annum. However, most of the banks give limited period offer. To use the facility, you will need to give details of your current card to the new bank and do some paperwork. After the bank verifies the details and if everything is in place, it will send you a demand draft within two weeks. The draft will be for the transferred amount in favour of the old credit card bank. Remember, balance transfer is a temporary solution. It will help you lower your interest rate, but you should be careful using credit cards in the first place. Home loan When it comes to home loan, you better roll up your sleeve and start getting into bargain mode. As mentioned earlier, negotiate with your current lender for a lower rate. In short, re-negotiate your current deal. If you've been a good borrower and have been regular in servicing your EMIs, the bank might just give you a lower rate right away. To make a substantial amount of saving you will need to ensure that the new lender offers you at least 100-150 basis points lower rate. That way, you would be able to save larger sum on your loan. Suppose your outstanding loan amount is, say, Rs 50 lakh and you have 15 years left to service it at 10.15 percent per anum rate. If the new bank is ready to give you 9 percent rate, the total interest cost of remaining loan would be cheaper by Rs 6,25,803. That indeed is a big saving. If you switch at the beginning of the loan tenor, you pay a higher amount towards the interest component, while towards the end of the loan, you pay higher amount toward the principal part. You get a better deal when you switch during the initial years of the loan. One more thing to remember, if you had taken the loan after April 2016, you are already on MCLR or marginal cost of funds based lending rate. But if you had taken the loan before April 2016, you are still stuck on base rate. In that case, consider switching your loan to MCLR as it aims to be more real time, due to a pre-determined reset clause. Personal loan When it comes to a personal loan, ask your bank for a lower rate. Chances of that happening are slim to none, considering most personal loans are fixed rate loans. You could consider switching to another lender. If you want to transfer the balance to another lender, you have to pay a pre-closure fee of 2-5 percent of the outstanding amount. This could make the transfer a very expensive ordeal. An alternative way to get a lower rate is taking a loan against an asset (as they are cheaper) and paying off the personal loan. But remember it depends on specific cases. One way to reduce the outflow is to increase the EMI and reduce the tenure. This will make the total cost of the loan smaller. Of course, check if your lender allows you to do so. However, banks usually every trick possible on the customer to not lower interest rate on personal loans.
0 0 3 17 August, 2017 Alternative, Business Top more
Nokia 8 With Dual Zeiss ‘Bothie’ Camera Launched: Click to know the Price, Specifications and India Release
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Nokia 8 With Dual Zeiss ‘Bothie’ Camera Launched: Click to know the Price, Specifications and India Release

Nokia 8 has finally been launched, marking an end to the countless leaks and giving us the first true flagship Nokia Android phone to take on the likes of iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8 (and the upcoming iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8). The Nokia 8 camera was at the front and centre of the London launch event; in fact, this is the first device developed by HMD Global after signing a partnership with Carl Zeiss last month. The 13-megapixel dual rear sensors as well as the 13-megapixel front camera of the Nokia phone both support the (unfortunately named) "bothie" functionality. Other Nokia 8 specifications to look forward to include the Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB internal storage, and support for Android O.

Nokia 8 price in India, launch date, and design

The Nokia 8 will be available "globally" in early September, priced at equivalent of EUR 599 (approximately Rs. 45,000). An HMD Global representative told Gadgets 360 the Nokia 8 India launch will be in early October, and the Nokia 8 price in India will be known closer to launch.

The unibody Nokia 8 is built out of 6000-series aluminium and it will be available in glossy Polished Copper and Polished Blue colours, as well as matte Tempered Blue and Steel finishes. The Nokia 8 is IP54 rated, which means it is splash-proof.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global explained that the Nokia 8 is fitted with an elaborate heat management solution: a copper pipe that runs from the upper right corner of the device to the lower left has liquid evaporating in the middle, and condensing on the edges. A graphite shield enables heat transfer to the aluminium unibody and its eventual dissipation to the air.

Nokia 8 cameras

The Nokia 8 comes with dual 13-megapixel f/2.0 RGB and monochrome sensors at the back, and while that setup has been seen on several other phones, HMD is betting big on "bothies" - the ability to capture images and videos from front and rear cameras at the same time.

Apart from capturing still images from both sensors at the same time and fusing them into a single picture, the Camera app on the Nokia 8 will let you stream these 'bothies' as full-HD live videos to Facebook and YouTube. HMD says it worked closely with Qualcomm to enable Dual-Sight video streaming on the Nokia 8, while minimising the thermal impact of the processing required.

HMD is also leveraging its relationship with Nokia to bring some technology from the latter's 360 VR camera to the Nokia 8. The smartphone comes with high dynamic range microphones, which enables it to record surround sound using Nokia Ozo Audio algorithms. HMD says its software encoding will preserve the virtual surround sound even when users share these videos on social media.

At this stage, Nokia 8’s Dual-Sight streaming and Ozo Audio recording features will be available only via the stock Camera app on the phone and won’t be opened up to third-party apps.

The front camera is the same 13-megapixel RGB shooter seen on the rear, and both front and rear cameras are capable of recording 4K video on their own. The Nokia 8 rear camera comes with laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash.

Nokia 8 specifications and Android O promise

As for other key Nokia 8 specifications, there's the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (four 2.45GHz Kyro cores and four 1.8GHz Kyro cores), which powers nearly all other Android flagships of this generation. There is just one variant - with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, though the phone will release in single SIM and hybrid dual SIM options, depending upon the markets. It comes with support for microSD cards of up to 256GB capacity and a 3090mAh battery.

The Nokia 8 has a 5.3-inch 2K LCD display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It features USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone is just 4.6mm thick at the edges, and 7.9mm thick at the height of its camera module. It was rumoured that the Nokia 8 might ship with Android O out of the box, and while an HMD Global representative confirmed that the company is in advanced stages of testing Android O build for the Nokia 8, the smartphone will ship with Android 7.1.1 out of the box.

"One of the fastest ways of getting [Android] O will be to get our new flagship," HMD Global's Sarvikas added.

0 0 4 17 August, 2017 Business Top more
Here Is The Most Expensive New Car Ever : The Rolls-Royce Sweptail. Click to see the pictures
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Here Is The Most Expensive New Car Ever : The Rolls-Royce Sweptail. Click to see the pictures

The Rolls-Royce Sweptail, a one-off coupe designed for a specific customer who likely has unfathomable amounts of cash, could be the most expensive new car ever sold at a reported $12.8 million. The car has been in the works since 2013, and, in all of its wildly expensive glory, is kind of strange looking. The Telegraph reports that the car cost around £10 million, or just over $12.8 million at current exchange rates. The outlet also reports that it’s the most expensive new car—forget about auctions or privately sold cars—ever sold, which would sound about right since the average Bugatti Chiron slots in at just under $3 million. But remember that if you have the money, a manufacturer will do just about anything for you. Dip your expensive, performance-oriented supercar in solid gold, if you want. McLaren even offers “almost limitless customization” on its 720S, except for T-tops. You won’t get any of those. The point is, the number that determines the “most expensive new car ever sold” is murky no matter how you look at it. The Telegraph is also one of the few outlets reporting the $12.8-million price, while GQ said Rolls-Royce “refused to give ... a figure, or even a hint of one.” The Sweptail buyer, described in a Rolls-Royce press release as a “connoisseur and collector of distinctive, one-off items including super-yachts and private aircraft”—like all of us, of course—went to the company and asked for a car inspired by the Rolls-Royces of the 1920s and 1930s. He asked for a coach-built coupe with a glass roof, and Rolls-Royce showed the car off at the Concorso d’Eleganza in Italy this weekend. Here’s a description of the influences on its design, written with such grossly exaggerated elegance that it’s almost hard to translate into the language of us common folk:
The grandeur, scale, flamboyance and drama of the 1925 Phantom I Round Door built by Jonckheere; the svelte tapering glasshouse, dramatic dash to axle proportion and up-sweep of the rear departure angle of the 1934 Phantom II Streamline Saloon by Park Ward; the elegantly falling waist-rail, swept tail coachwork of the 1934 Gurney Nutting Phantom II Two Door Light Saloon, and the flowing roofline, rising departure angle, and again the swept tail coachwork of the 1934 Park Ward 20/25 Limousine Coupé were all considered by today’s Rolls-Royce designers in the creation of this very distinctive motor car.
We may not ever know how much the Sweptail cost its owner, but we do know what it looks like. Below are some photos and a video of the car, so you can feel thoroughly poor and unworthy on this fine Saturday. Enjoy yourselves.  
0 0 6 17 August, 2017 Alternative, Business Top more
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 burst into flames in owner’s pocket
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Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 burst into flames in owner’s pocket

The Redmi Note 4, one of Xiaomi's top-selling phones in India, is under scanner one more time after it allegedly burst into flames when it was kept in a pocket of a user in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The phone allegedly exploded in the owner's, identified as Bhavana Suryakiran, pocket while he was riding his bike over the weekend. Images doing the rounds of the Internet show a burnt Redmi Note 4, as well as an injured Bhavana, allegedly showing the burnt marks he sustained from it. Xiaomi has already taken note of the situation and is investigating the matter. "We take such matters seriously as customer safety is of utmost importance for Xiaomi. All of our devices go through stringent quality tests," a Xiaomi spokesperson said in an email statement, adding that the company was now in the process of procuring the damaged unit for further investigation. According to a report in a Telugu news website, Bhavana had purchased the Redmi Note 4 from Flipkart some 20 days ago. The report adds that Bhavana is also looking to take legal action against Xiaomi for selling a defective unit. This is not the first time that Xiaomi has come under fire for such an issue. Only recently, a video doing the rounds of the Internet seemed to suggest that a phone -- said to be a Redmi Note 4 -- exploded and caught fire as soon as a technician at a shop -- said to be one Poorvika Mobile Store in Bengaluru -- tried to take the SIM tray out to insert the owner's SIM card into it. It was also said that Xiaomi India had failed to pay heed to the issue and that the owner -- one Arjun -- had also gone on to file a formal complaint against the company. However, Xiaomi India, following an investigation into the matter, then said the video doing the rounds of the Internet had nothing to do with a Redmi Note 4 and that it was fake. Neither was the phone in the video a Redmi Note 4 nor there was any store called Poorvika Mobile Store in the video. It did, however, accept the fact that a Redmi Note 4 did explode in Bengaluru, but not in the way it was being reported. Xiaomi said that Arjun had purchased a Redmi Note 4 from a Poorvika store in Bengaluru on June 1, 2017. His phone was damaged at his home on July 17, 2017, following which he took the phone to the aforementioned Poorvika store on the same day. The device was taken back almost immediately after being reported as faulty, and it was later found that the mishap happened due to customer-induced damage. Still, Xiaomi India replaced the customer's damaged unit with a brand new Redmi Note 4 on July 24, 2017. The company, in addition, advised customers to only use Xiaomi authorised chargers and accessories. However, according to Xiaomi, someone used the incident to create a fake video, showing that the Redmi Note 4 had exploded and tried to malign the name of the brand.
0 0 7 16 August, 2017 Business Top more
Pay this huge amount as fine if you buy vegetables in a plastic bag in Delhi
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Pay this huge amount as fine if you buy vegetables in a plastic bag in Delhi

The next time you readily take a plastic bag from the grocery store to carry your stuff in Delhi, make sure you also have Rs. 5,000 with you. Because that’s the price you’ll now pay for it. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday imposed an interim ban on plastic bags thinner than 50 microns, which is less than an average human hair. The thinner the plastic, the more harmful it is for the environment. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar, announced whoever is found in possession of these plastic bags will be fined Rs. 5,000 as an environmental compensation. Plastic bags clog sewers, choke and kill animals and are a major source of environmental pollution as they are not biodegradable. To eliminate their usage, within a week, the entire stock of plastic bags will be seized by the Delhi government, it has been ordered. Last year, disposable plastic was banned in the city to reduce dumped waste. But in June this year, the NGT criticised the government over its continued use despite the prohibition. Now, it has ordered the government to impose a strict ban on plastic and file a status report on its implementation. “These bags have zero reusable value and that’s why environmentalists were insisting upon ending its use,” Rajesh Mittal, a member of the Plastic Manufacturing Association said.
0 0 13 14 August, 2017 Alternative, Business Top more
Spot in Advance ! Bengaluru to Get Smart Parking With App
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Spot in Advance ! Bengaluru to Get Smart Parking With App

There will soon be Smart Parking systems in Bengaluru, assisted by an app that will put an end to parking woes. Being introduced by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the systems will be in the heart of the city. From finding a parking system, to letting you know if there are any empty spots – the app will do it all. But that’s not it, you can even book a spot in advance. According to the Bangalore Mirror, in the central business district, the city’s first automated on-street pay-parking facility will be implemented in 85 places. Through the electronic sensors being installed in every parking spot, the time of entry and exit of a vehicle can be monitored, while CCTV cameras record any illegal entry. There will also be automatic ticket vending machines at each parking spot.
You just have to drop your ticket in the machine, which will then calculate the duration for which the vehicle was parked, and accordingly charge the fees or penalty. Parking fees can also be paid using a debit or credit card. The Smart Parking system will cover around 9,000 vehicles – 3,000 cars and 6,000 bikes – with three different parking packages for each. Roads will be divided according to these packages, namely A, B and C. The hourly parking fees will be different for both bikes and cars in each package.
0 0 20 14 August, 2017 Business, Business Top more
Trai Chairman : Trai website will soon display telcos tariff plans
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Trai Chairman : Trai website will soon display telcos tariff plans

Telecom subscribers will be able to soon check tariff plans of different operators on the regulators website, improving transparency over rates, Trai Chairman RS Sharma has said. Going further, Trai is mulling allowing export or use of that data to enable people to build tariff-comparison apps and products, just as one sees for insurance or airline fares. The regulator has recently asked all operators to start filing their tariffs in electronic form along with physical submission, and intends to do away with the physical filing entirely, albeit in a phased manner. As per some estimates, nearly 24,000 rates are filed in a year by telecom companies -- the number includes tariff plans for all operators for various circle as well as special tariff vouchers. "We will not only have transparent tariff display on the Trai site, we will also probably enable machine-readable data which can be exported, so people can build applications on top of it. We will provide APIs (code that enables two software programs to talk)," Sharma said. The export of data will allow app makers to build products based on the tariff information displayed on Trai site. "...so more applications can be built on top of that. For example, in insurance, there are apps which say which policy is the best. One can also do a comparison for airfares. Similarly, people should be able to build apps on top of it (tariff data) to suggest to consumers the best plan to buy in an area," Sharma said. Asked about the timeline for enabling export of data for the apps, he said: "We will do it pretty soon. Now, we are asking them (telcos) to submit data online which will reduce their workload also." Online filing of tariffs by telcos will mean more convenience and efficiencies in the system. "They (telcos) have to do a lot of paper submission, online filing will make life easier for everyone," he added. Sharma noted that complaints about people-specific (customised) tariffs recently had also prompted the regulator to reiterate its stance on transparency and non-discriminatory framework to the telecom operators. Earlier this year, Reliance Jio had charged incumbent operators of lining up customised retention offers for subscribers wanting to shift out of their network. Jio had then alleged that such offers being presented to customers "surreptitiously" on one-to-one basis, are also not being openly publicised on websites of incumbent telcos.
0 0 7 14 August, 2017 Business Top more
Snapdeal and various other e-commerce firms gets notice for selling wildlife items online
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Snapdeal and various other e-commerce firms gets notice for selling wildlife items online

Strike Force has served notice to e-commerce firms  Snapdeal, India Mart, Wish and Buy and Craft Comparison for allegedly selling wildlife products on their portals. The notices were served to the e-commerce companies last week after their names surfaced during an investigation of seizure of wildlife related items in Indore, a state public relations department official said. The companies were told to remove all such content and to submit a clarification as to why action should not be initiated against them, the official said. The official said the force had confiscated items 'hatthajodi' and 'siyar-singhi' (used in black magic) made out of wild animals' limbs from the premises of a company called, Shubh Bhakti in Indore's Vijay Nagar in June this year. The company owners - Sumit Sharma and Firoz Ali - were arrested and a case was registered against them under the Wild Life Protection Act. During interrogation, the accused confessed that they sold these wild life related items through portals Snapdeal, India Mart, Wish and Buy, and Craft Comparison. Initially, the accused tired to cover up the issue by claiming that the items are not related to wildlife, and are made up of roots of plants. However, a forensic examination confirmed that the products were wildlife items, the official said. During interrogation, the accused disclosed that they were into trading of puja (worship) materials and are also into sale of wildlife related items, she said. They also told police that superstitious people believe that possession of 'hattha-jodi' will make them win court cases, help them become rich, child birth, business growth and saw it as solution to every problem.
0 0 10 14 August, 2017 Business Top more
Reliance JioPhone testing to begin tomorrow
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Reliance JioPhone testing to begin tomorrow

One day to go for Jio to begin testing of the new JioPhone. Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio will be commercially launching the new 4G feature phone next month. The USP of the device is its price tag and 4G connectivity. The company claims it is effectively free but the user still has to pay a price of Rs 1,500, which can be refunded after three years. The device was first unveiled on July 21, during the Reliance AGM. The company promised that the device will be available for testing by August 15 and users will be able to pre-book the device on August 24. Recently, a few reports also suggested that the JioPhone might be able to run a special version of WhatsApp and is in talks with the instant messaging application to make it happen. If the company succeeds in achieving this, it can pose a great threat to the entry level smartphones. Currently, other than voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls and basic internet browsing, there is hardly anything that the JioPhone user will be able to do with the fast 4G connection. One of the biggest deprivations would be the lack of basic applications like Facebook and WhatsApp. However, Reliance Jio knows that India's 200 million subscriber base of WhatsApp can increase manifold if they are able to provide a special WhatsApp application for the phone's respective operating system. JioPhone is being touted as 'India ka Smartphone' as it is aimed at the feature phone market, which is still a majority in the phone market. The company also launched exclusive data plans for the device. JioPhone will be launched for testing on 15 August, will be available for pre-booking from August 24 and will be commercially available by September this year. Dreading the monopoly Reliance Jio can have on the cheap-segment devices and customers, other telecom operators are jumping into the race with their own offerings. Idea Cellular-Vodafone is also planning to introduce a cheap 4G smartphone at Rs 2,500. Being a smartphone, the company claims that it will be able to run basic applications like Facebook, WhatsApp and Google.
0 0 7 14 August, 2017 Business Top more
Banks : Green companies may slip into red if forced to cut tariffs
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Banks : Green companies may slip into red if forced to cut tariffs

Banks have redflagged the threat of renewable energy plants becoming nonperforming assets if states continue to arm-twist project developers to cut tariffs for old contracts that were signed when costs were higher. In an August 9 letter to the secretary, ministry of power, the Indian Banks' Association has urged prompt intervention on behalf of the developers and cautioned the government that such actions by state distribution companies (discoms) would discourage domestic and foreign investors as well as lenders in the sector. 'Renegotiation of PPA Worrying ' At stake is the ambitious target to add 100 Gigawatts of solar energy capacity by 2022, which is required to fulfil India's commitments in the Paris Climate Accord, the association said. The problem arose following recent auctions for both wind and solar energy, which saw tariffs drop sharply, falling to Rs 3.46 per kwH in the case of wind in an auction conducted in February and Rs 2.44 per kwH for solar in an auction in May. Since then discoms in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Jharkhand have been trying to renegotiate earlier power purchase agreements (PPAs) they had signed - or were about to sign - seeking lower tariffs, while developers have been resisting. "After the recent auction for wind power projects, some states have started renegotiating for downward revision of tariffs," VG Kannan, chief executive at Indian Banks Association, said in the note to the government. He expressed concern at reports that state discoms were trying to renege on their commitments to solar projects awarded in the past at a higher tariff. "Such action of states could result in a larger problem as solar projects implemented in the past at higher cost are not viable at lower tariffs being discovered in recent auctions," Kannan said in the note.
"This is a worrying trend and would have serious negative consequences for several operational and viable projects as well as the sector at large. The loans taken by developers to set up capacity may become non-performing after cancellation/renegotiation of PPAs, adding to the burden on banks." The letter also referred to the Uttar Pradesh government's decision in May to cancel PPA for setting up 3,800 MW of thermal power projects in the state. Association of Power Producers director general Ashok Khurana said discoms had no legal ground to walk out of a PPA. "Nowhere in the PPA is there a provision for termination on the ground of high/low tariff approved by the regulator," he said. The Indian Banks Association said cancellation of PPAs would lead to a spate of court cases. "Cancellation/renegotiation of PPAs is contrary to the basic premise of long-term loans extended on the strength and security of the PPA at a fixed price," it added. "Banks have assessed the viability of a project at the price contracted in the PPA. If state governments backtrack on their PPA commitments, the related projects would become unviable and the underlying loans may not be serviced, rendering useful productive assets wasted."
The letter urges the ministry of power to intervene with state governments and state discoms and get them to "honour their commitments" and stop trying to renegotiate signed PPAs.
"Developers should not be pressured to voluntarily offer reduction in tariff as it affects loan payments," it said.
0 0 11 14 August, 2017 Alternative, Business Top more