Four new rules that will have an impact on your wallet

Four new rules that will have an impact on your wallet

Over the year, India saw a number of rule changes and developments in the finance sector, some enacted, and some to be effective from 2021

Representative Image. Credit: iStock

For most, 2020 has been a year unlike any. From floods to fires and then to the pandemic that has brought the world to its knees, the leap year has been nothing short of a whirlwind.

The pandemic, in particular, showcased the reeling inequalities both in India and across the world and has had huge ramifications to the way in which people deal with their finances.

Over the year, India saw a number of rule changes and developments in the finance sector, some enacted, and some to be effective from 2021. While the price of some commodities skyrocketed and continues to do so, others have plummeted. 

We take a look at five rule changes and developments in the personal finance sector ringed in this year that are set to have an impact on your wallets:

1. FASTag compulsory for all four-wheelers

FASTag, a sticker that is placed on cars and bears a Radio Frequency Identity (RFID) barcode, which was introduced in 2014 by the Ministry of Roads Transport and Highways, will be made compulsory for all vehicles from the beginning of the new year. 

Introduced to reduce the time spent at toll plazas on National Highways, FASTag will be issued by multiple government agencies, banks, and mobile payment apps. Vehicles sold after December 2017, already have factory-fitted FASTags.

Read | FASTag mandatory for vehicles from Jan 1, says Gadkari

2. RBI increases contactless credit card payment cap to ₹5,000

In a bid to bolster and popularise digital payments, the RBI last week announced that they would be increasing the payment limit on contactless credit cards up to ₹5,000 from the previous threshold of ₹2,000.

While the new limit will be effective from Jan 1, the RBI while announcing the same, also mentioned that Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) services will be extended to round the clock.

Read | RTGS to be available 24x7; limit for contactless card transactions raised to Rs 5,000 from Rs 2,000

3. Car prices set to increase in 2021 over input costs

A number of car manufacturers - Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Skoda, Volkswagen, and a few others - announced that they would hike prices over increased input costs of plastic parts and transportation caused due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read | Skoda looking to hike car prices by up to 2.5% from January 1

Other commodities like electrical appliances as well have announced their intention to up prices, most likely by 10-15%.

Read | Input cost hike likely to up TV, washing machine, fridge prices by 10% in 2021

4. Health insurance - New rules to cover mental health

It's well known now that Covid-19 has become an inflection point thus far in the 21st century, and in the wake of the pandemic, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India introduced the new insurance policy in the beginning of October their inclusion of mental health issues and Covid-19 as part of the ailments that one claim their insurance for. 

The change is one that has long been pending with the coronavirus-induced lockdown having had a negative impact on those struggling with their mental health. Therapy in India is by no means cheap, and the hope is that the insurance will help ease costs for those attending therapy.