Pakistan to remain in FATF's grey list till Feb next year
Pakistan will remain in the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey list till February 2020. The task force has directed Pakistan to take extra measures to completely eradicate terror financing and money laundering, as per reports on Wednesday.
The FATF, on Tuesday, reviewed the measures taken by Islamabad to control money laundering and terror financing. The Paris-based task force will take the final decision on Pakistan's position in February 2020.
The FATF has not made any formal announcements so far and is likely to announce the same on Friday, October 18 - the last day of FATF's ongoing session.
However, Pakistan's finance ministry spokesperson Omar Hameed Khan denied the reports, saying "it is not true and nothing before October 18 (can be confirmed)".
As per a report on Pakistani news site, Dawn News, the FATF has decided to give Pakistan a respite of four months to help the country implement the remaining recommendations of the task force. The daily also mentioned that China, Turkey and Malaysia also "appreciated" Pakistan's effort to this end. The three countries had earlier voted in favour of Pakistan that prevented it from making it to the black list.
At the Tuesday meeting of the FATF, Pakistan's Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar elaborated on the country's positive performance in 20 of the 27 parameters to check terror financing.
India, on the other hand, had recommended blacklisting Pakistan in the meeting. India said that Islamabad permitted Hafiz Saeed to withdraw funds from his frozen accounts.
The FATF meeting is being attended by representatives from 205 countries, the IMF, the UN, the World Bank and other organisations.
Pakistan was placed on the grey list in June last year. It was given a plan of action to complete by October 2019. If Pakistan continues to remain on the grey list, the country's financial position is only set to get more precarious.
Online funds transfer through NEFT to be now available 24x7: RBI
The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Friday said that the online money transfer through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) will be available 24x7 from now onwards.
Presently, the facility is available till 7:45 pm on all working days except 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
"In order to facilitate smooth settlement of these transactions in the accounts of the banks maintained with RBI, it has been decided that the Reserve Bank will extend the collateralised liquidity support, which is currently available till 7.45 pm on NEFT working days, round the clock," the RBI announced in its Monetary Policy Review meet.
The apex bank also said that round-the-clock NEFT facility will strengthen the fund management system of banks. The move is likely to reform the retail payments system in India.
In line with industry expectations, the central bank's MPC on Friday cut the key repo rate by 25 basis points to 5.15 per cent -- its fifth straight cut this year -- and maintained its 'accommodative' stance.
Repo rate is the interest rate at which the RBI lends money to banks. The repo rate cut is a great incentive for borrowers as all new floating rate loans are supposed to be linked to any of the four external benchmarks prescribed by the RBI from October 1.
In its August MPC meet, the RBI had surprised everyone by going for a 35-basis-point cut to 5.40 per cent.
The apex bank's decision to cut the repo rate further seems to be in sync with the government's recent measures, including a reduction in the corporate tax, to promote credit offtake to boost economic activity during the festive season amid the ongoing slowdown.
Soon, Mumbai-Pune In 35 Minutes. World's First Hyperloop Project Is A Go
In an impetus to the dream journey between Mumbai and Pune in under 35 minutes, the Maharashtra government has approved the Virgin Hyperloop One-DP World consortium as the "Original Project Proponent" (OPP) for the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project -- a move that will generate jobs and over $36 billion in various socio-economic benefits.
According to Virgin Hyperloop One, the state government -- one of the first proponents of hyperloop technology in the world -- has deemed hyperloop a public infrastructure project, setting it up to be the first hyperloop project in the world.
DP World (DPW), a global trade leader and a major ports and logistics operator in India, is set to invest $500 million to complete phase 1 of the project, which will certify this new technology for passenger operations.
"Maharashtra will create the first hyperloop transportation system in the world and a global hyperloop supply chain starting from Pune. Maharashtra and India are at the forefront of hyperloop infrastructure building now and this is a moment of pride for our people," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in a statement late on Wednesday.
The hyperloop project will link central Pune with Mumbai in under 35 minutes, as opposed to the current over 3.5-hour journey by road.
"The project will create hundreds of thousands of new high-tech jobs, generate over $36 billion in wider socio-economic benefits, and create new hyperloop component and manufacturing opportunities for Maharashtra to export to the rest of the world," said Virgin Hyperloop One.
"Support for hyperloop transportation systems is mounting across the world and India has led the charge to bring hyperloop to fruition since the early stages of development," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at DP World and Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop One.
"To be named OPP is an incredible vote of confidence in our ability to deliver this advanced technology to the people of India and enhance their lives," he added.
There are approximately 75 million passenger journeys between Mumbai and Pune annually, which is expected to skyrocket to 130 million by 2026.
Virgin Hyperloop One's system can meet this growing demand by supporting as many as 200 million passengers annually.
"This is history in the making. The race is on to host the first hyperloop transportation system in the world, and the announcement puts India firmly in the lead," said Jay Walder, CEO at Virgin Hyperloop One.
"Once commercialised, it will transform the Pune-Mumbai corridor into a mega-economic region, moving people and cargo between these two centres in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.
"This process creates a blueprint for a hyperloop network spanning the entire nation. We would like to thank the government of India, the state of Maharashtra and the partnering agencies for getting the project from vision to reality," said Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director of India and Middle East, Virgin Hyperloop One.
Virgin Hyperloop One has projects underway in Missouri, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, the Midwest, India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge browser has elaborate privacy settings, Internet Explorer mode
Microsoft’s next generation Edge browser for PC, which has been designed from scratch using Google’s Chromium Open Source project, is finally here. It is available to developers through the Dev and Canary channel preview build.
More details on the upcoming features were announced and previewed at the ongoing Build Developer Conference (June 6-8) in Seattle yesterday. Amongst them is an Internet Explorer mode, which integrates the old browser with the new through a tab.?The idea is to allow businesses to run legacy web apps specific to Internet Explorer on the new Edge. While Edge is the primary browser for Windows 10, Internet Explorer continues to be used by many for the older web apps.
Microsoft has clubbed the privacy options in the new Edge browser in three categories — unrestricted, balanced, and strict — for users’ ease so they don’t have to go through all privacy settings manually. It allows users to choose the level of privacy in the “privacy dashboard" and the rest of the settings will be configured accordingly.
Another highlight of the new browser is Collections, which is basically a new way in which users can collect, organise and share content from one tab to another and with the Office apps. This feature is still in early stages of development and will not be a part of the preview build.
A major advantage of the new browser for the developer community is that now they won’t have to rewrite apps built for Chromium-based web browsers for Edge HTML. It is one of the reasons why Microsoft decided to shift the Edge browser to Chromium OS in December.
SBI forgot to set password for user information, data leaked
The data leak case of India's largest bank State Bank of India has emerged. According to a report by American Tech Website TechCrunch, the bank's server was without the password. For this reason information of millions of customers can be accessed. This bank's server is in the Mumbai based data center.
This data center has 2 months of data stored in SBI Quick. SBI Quick is a system whereby the basic information pertaining to account holders to the account holder and the basic information related to the account is given. Due to not being secure, it has been easy to access.
According to reports, it is unclear how long this server is open and unprotected. A security researcher found the server open and TechCrunch reported it first. However, the security researcher who has highlighted this weakness of the State Bank of India has laid the condition of not disclosing the name.
Through the SBI Quick, the customers of the bank get the information about the missed calls and text messages. BAL has to send the keyword so that the bank identifies the registered mobile number of the customers and sends information to that number. Account balance and last five transaction details are available. Apart from this, ATM card blocks can also be made under this service.
TechCrunch has confirmed that back and text messages have been leaked, in which there are millions of message stores every day. Since no password was set in the database, all text messages in the cascators have been seen which are real time. These include the customer's phone numbers, bank balances and recent transactions.
These databases also have the portiographic account numbers of the customers. According to the report, this database access has also received information that the bank has sent approximately 3 million text messages only on Monday. This database has a daily archive of millions of text messages which is up to December i.e. anyone can view the financial information of these customers.
Without a password, the database can be quite dangerous for the sensitive information of the customer. Because it can access the information of the customers by accessing it, a hacker can collect them for doing wrong or fraud. The same can be easier for companies that advertise this database. Because the phone numbers of the customers are also given here.
State Bank of India has not yet issued any statement on this report. However, the State Bank of India has secured the database overnight.