The New Year rolled in with several changes for people across the country, from the odd-even traffic rationing in Delhi to the mandatory use of PAN for more transactions and strict enforcement of dress codes in Tamil Nadu temples .
2016 began with the implementation of new measures introduced by the Centre and various state governments -- some to curb the menace of black money , others to check pollution.
We list here five reasons why January is different for you.
Odd-even traffic rationing: The ambitious odd-even road space rationing has begun on a trial basis as part of Delhi government’s attempts to cut smog in the world’s most polluted capital.
Very few even-numbered cars were seen on the roads on Friday with traffic police challaning offenders and Aam Aadmi Party volunteers apreading awareness.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who carpooled with his cabinet colleagues, said he was “overwhelmed” by the response to the traffic rationing measure.
Under the scheme, which will be in effect till January 15, private cars having odd registration numbers will be allowed to ply on odd dates and those with even numbers on even dates.
200 teams of traffic police, 66 enforcement teams of transport department and 40 teams of sub-divisional magistrates were deployed across the city. An additional 3,000 buses were deployed and the Delhi Metro ran 70 extra trips.
“Delhi will show the way to the rest of the country,” Kejriwal said.
PAN mandatory in more transactions: Quoting the Permanent Account Number or PAN has been made mandatory for cash transactions, like hotel bills, exceeding Rs 50,000, in a bid to check the menace of black money. It’s also mandatory for any transaction of over Rs. 2 lakh, regardless of whether it is in cash or through card or cheque.
To reduce bank accounts with forged details, the government has made PAN mandatory for all kinds of bank accounts except those under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. PAN is to be quoted for term deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 or Rs 5 lakh in a year with banks, post offices and NBFCs.
PAN will also be mandatory on purchase of immovable property of over Rs 10 lakh.
Dress code in TN temples: Devotees visiting temples in Tamil Nadu have to strictly follow a dress code which does not allow them to wear skirts, jeans, leggings and lungis.
This follows a notification from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR &CE) department which controls most of the major shrines in the state. The department has directed that the attire should be according to the agamas, traditions and customs of each temple
The notification cited a recent high court verdict which indicated men can wear formal pants and shirts and dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth and women can wear a sari or a half sari or churidar with upper cloth.
HR & CE officials pointed out that such restrictions were nothing new and that individual temples were already displaying boards specifying dress codes.
Free roaming for MTNL users: Subscribers of state-run telecom firm MTNL can avail of free incoming calls while roaming across the country starting from Friday.
Earlier, MTNL users have to pay roaming charges for incoming calls outside Delhi and Mumbai, where the company operates. Another telecom PSU, BSNL announced such a scheme - free incoming calls on roaming -- last June.
The government under National Telecom Policy 2012 has set a goal to achieve free roaming gradually.
Car prices up: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country’s biggest car maker, is raising prices of its cars by up to 20,000 rupees from January 1 to offset cost increases and unfavourable foreign exchange rates.
The is after its nearest rival, Hyundai Motor, raised prices by Rs 4,000 to Rs 30,000. Honda Motor, Renault, Nissan Motor, Toyota Motor, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW had also indicated that they would raise prices.
The price hikes are coming at a local market is showing an uptrend, with sales rising at a healthy pace in the past few months.