Money & Banking
11 payment banks get in-principle approval
The list includes Reliance, Post Office and two telecom companies 
 
RBI (Reserve Bank of India) has given in principle approval to 11 applicants for payment banks under the guidelines for Licensing of payments banks issued on 27 November 2014.
The list includes:
  1. Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited
  2. Airtel M Commerce Services Limited
  3. Cholamandalam Distribution Services Limited
  4. Department of Posts
  5. Fino PayTech Limited
  6. National Securities Depository Limited
  7. Reliance Industries Limited
  8. Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi (Sun Pharma)
  9. Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm)
  10. Tech Mahindra Limited
  11. Vodafone m-pesa Limited
After announcing the monetary policy on 4th August, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Dr Raghuram Rajan had said that the Reserve Bank had received recommendations from the external advisory committees and it would announce the names of companies that have won the first lot of licences for payments and small finance banks by the end of this month.
 
About 41 companies had applied for the permit, the RBI said, adding, "some of the entities which did not qualify in this round could well be successful in future rounds."
 
Payments banks can accept deposits of up to Rs1 lakh and can offer current and savings account deposits. They can also issue debit cards and offer internet banking. But they are not allowed to lend or issue credit cards.

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When Airtel doesn't even spare a District Collector!
The mobile operator collected excess charges from senior government officer Praveen Gedam, who at present is Municipal Commissioner at Nashik. Consumer Forum asked Airtel to pay Rs60,000 as compensation and refund Rs71,156 with interest to Dr Gedam    
 
The majority of mobile subscribers would tell you how the service provider takes them for a ride every time, like vanishing balance in prepaid account or unnecessary or unsubscribed for value added services (VAS) being added into their cost. And these mobile operators do not even spare top ranking government officials. Unfortunately, for Bharti Airtel, the officer turned out to be a vigilant one, who fought against the wrong billing and received justice in the District Consumer Forum.
 
The case relates with Dr Praveen Gedam, who at present is doing fantastic work as Municipal Commissioner at Nashik for the Kumbh Mela. While serving as Chief Executive of Latur Zilla Parishad at Latur, Dr Gedam, procured a new number and SIM card from Airtel. As suggested by the Airtel representative, he subscribed for Rs199 per month plan that included a talk time of 200 minutes and 199 free SMSes. The free calling service was provided under the closed user group (CUG) scheme. Dr Gedam also took an additional package of Rs99 per month that gave him free 200 SMSes per day. After this limit, the company told him any additional SMSes would be charged at 30 paisa per message. 
 
Dr Gedam continued this mobile connection even after his transfer as District Collector of Osmanabad and then as Director, GSDA, Pune (with additional charge of Deputy Director General, YASHADA, Pune). All these are posts kept him extremely busy in his official work having virtually no time for other things.
 
On 24 April 2014, to his utter shock, Dr Gedam received a bill of Rs5,980.96 from Airtel for his mobile number. When he checked previous bills, he found that the service provider has taken undue benefit and charged him much more than agreed upon. Several times, Dr Gedam spoke with the Customer Service Centre of Airtel. He also sent several emails to the company, but there was no satisfactory reply. 
 
When he sent a legal notice, the company said there was nothing wrong in its billing. In fact, even after several attempts, Airtel failed to provide any satisfactory explanation to Dr Gedam and suddenly on 4 July 2014, disconnected his connection. Due to this he had to face several issues in his official duty, especially during the famous Pandharpur Yatra. Under protest, on 5 July 2014, Mr Gedam paid his bill and his connection was restored by Airtel.
 
The Airtel representative at its Customer Service Centre told Dr Gedam that due to some new guideline issued by TRAI, his package was limited to 100 free SMS per day, after which he was charged 50 paisa per SMS. The company, however, failed to share with him a copy of the guideline issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
 
In his complaint before the District Consumer Forum, Solapur, Dr Gedam, said, "In any case, this change in plan or this guideline was never intimated/ communicated to complainant-consumer (Mr Gedam) by any means and/ or mode, nor did the complainant give his consent to change the mutually agreed upon plan in any way at any time. Indeed, the bills that are being sent to complainant till this date continues to mention 200 free SMS per day. In view of this, the reasoning given by the call centre for charging all SMS over 100th SMS on a given day is not acceptable and valid."
 
Later on 25 January 2012, TRAI revised its guidelines and increased the limit for sending number of SMS to 200 per day. "This also means, Airtel was legally bound not to allow delivery of 201st SMS from any mobile on a given day," Dr Gedam contended.
 
Further while checking previous bills, he found that since May 2012, Airtel unilaterally changed rate of SMS to Re1 (for local) and Rs1.50 for national SMS from 30 paisa for both types of messages, as agreed upon while procuring the connection. 
 
Dr Gedam said, he received an email on 24 May 2012 from Airtel, but no change was mentioned in the email or in any SMS. "Airtel introduced this only in second page of itemised bill.  "Usually no consumer goes into details of how many calls/ SMS he has sent during last month and knowing this very well, the change in rates were mentioned in the itemised billing file only, that too not on its first page but hidden somewhere else. There is another reason that this mischief by company did not come to the notice of the consumer at that time because the number of SMS over and above 200 per day were far and few and overall increase in the bills was not much for so many months after change of rates. Therefore, there was no reason to be alerted by any increase in the bills. Actually, for most of the months, even after changes in rates are done in this fashion, the bill has increased only marginally or not at all, thereby not making the consumer aware of any such unilateral and illegal increase in the rates by the company," Dr Gedam said in his complaint.
 
What was more shocking in this episode was, the company claimed (and billed) that on 17 April 2014, Dr Gedam sent as many as 1,451 SMSes taking his monthly messages to a whopping 9,360 SMSes in that billing month. Since, Dr Gedam was using an old Nokia handset; it was not possible for him to send multiple SMSes in single stroke. In addition, his 201st SMS should have been blocked by Airtel, as per the TRAI guidelines.
 
Dr Gedam said he was denied the facility of free 200 SMS per day and for days like the one mentioned above, he was charged Re1 or Rs1.50 per SMS.
 
During the hearing before the District Consumer Forum, Airtel contended that as per the Telecom Consumer and Redressal of Grievances Regulation, 2012 and Section 7-B of the Telegraph Act, 1885, the consumer should have approached the Tribunal instead of the Forum. However, this contention was rejected by the Forum. 
 
After going through the documents, the Forum said from May 2012, Airtel changed the subscription plan of Dr Gedam, and failed to provide any supporting document to show that the consumer was intimated. 
 
While holding Airtel responsible for making one-sided changes in subscription plan and disconnecting Dr Gedam's mobile connection without prior intimation at a time when he was serving as a responsible senior government official, the Consumer Forum asked the mobile company to pay Rs50,000 as compensation, refund Rs71,156 excess charges with 9% interest from 30 July 2014 and Rs10,000 as cost.
 

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COMMENTS

arun adalja

1 year ago

do not keep balance money with airtel otherwise they will eat away your money by any means.i have balance money in my dth account and I went abroad now they are asking me even if you do not use they will take that balance money.

manoharlalsharma

1 year ago

Atal Pension Yojana made more attractive but It can be ABOLISH as in the case of millenior bonds issued by IFCI in PUBLIC at Rs/-10,000/-

manoharlalsharma

1 year ago

Atal Pension Yojana made more attractive but It can be ABOLISH as in the case of millenior bonds issued by IFCI in PUBLIC at Rs/-10,000/-

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to manoharlalsharma 1 year ago

Mr Manoharlal Sharma, what you wanted to say here?

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is one of the worst pension scheme of the Central Government.

There are two stages in this APY.
First stage is corpus building stage. In this stage, person joins between the age 18 and 40 years.
Second stage is Pension getting stage, which starts when investor attains 60 years of age.

In Corpus building stage, which is for a period of 42 years to 20 years, depending upon when you join, at age 18 years or 40 years.
Whatever the age at which you join, your corpus is built at 8% per annum interest.

Second stage which starts at 60 years for all, continues in your life time, gives you pension at rate 7% per annum intertest, on the corpus built over the years. It is very poor interest rate.

Following are the worst qualities of this scheme.
You can build up your pension, maximum of Rs.5000 per month. Even a person of age 40 joins this scheme today, after 20 years (the minimum waiting period for this pension scehme) will get pension of Rs.5000 per month, which is good enough, even for a poor family of two, to lead hand to mouth living only for one week in a month, in the year 2035.

There is no possibility of mortgaging the corpus fund of this pension scheme or partial encashment of pension (or corpus), once pension starts. No doubt, partial encashment of this petty amount of pension will lead to more difficulties to the pensioner.

I have devised income tax free pension scheme by using your Public Provident Fund Account (PPF), to get you the pension from seventh year of opening the PPF account, with erosion of the PPF a/c balance, and from the sixthteenth year of opening of your PPF A/c, without erosion of your PPF Account's balance.

To know about this scheme, please Email me on:
[email protected]

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

1 year ago

Very few customers do such fight for private telecom service providers' illegal squeezing in billing their customers.

Dr.Gedam, an IAS Officer, is eligible to get his full telephone bill (whatever be its cost) reimbursed from the Government. Instead of doing this easy method, he proved himself a role model to all other subscribers of private telecom service providers by fighting and willing in Consumer Forum.

To redress the Grievances of Government's MTNL or BSNL subscribers, respective Department is arranging Telephone Adalat once in three months. However, these private telecom service providers do not hold this adalats, and one have to take up their grievances to Consumer Forum, which is the right place for all the telephone service providers, including MTNL & BSNL.

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

Three cheers for Dr. Gedam.

If an independent body like Better Business Bureau in USA can be formed in India, it would help the consumers a lot.

S.S.A.Zaidi

1 year ago

All service providers should realize now that they cant get away with impunity for their dishonesty .
zaidi

S.S.A.Zaidi

1 year ago

All service providers should realize now that they cant get away with impunity for their dishonesty .
zaidi

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

Kudos to Dr Gedam for taking his case to logical end even though he is too busy with his official responsibility,this is case with most operators I share my case here in January I took Rs 96 recharge for sms pack for 90 days and 996 sms.On 6th day I was charged Rs 22 when I complained to IDEA next day PRO said charges are correctly levied and you can make only 100 sms per day when I asked to show the above condition he could not elaborate.Next day again another PRO called and she accepted their fault and credited Rs 22 back to mu account after she was told that matter will be taken with TRAI. This way they cheat many petty callers who cannot afford time to take up this issue with companies.And thus cheating goes on unalterably.

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Vaibhav Dhoka 1 year ago

Congratulations, Mr. Dhoka. Very few private telephone service users like you, complain to get their right.
Even TRAI accepts complaint by Email against any telecom service provider.

India Needs To Decouple
India should evolve its own strategy which protects our interest, says Prof R Vaidyanathan, at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation
 
“The India story is just starting and we need to look at every pothole as an opportunity,” says Dr R Vaidyanathan, professor of finance, IIM-Bangalore and dean, Centre of Economic Studies at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF). He was speaking on “Coming Global Economic Crisis: Will India Go Down?” at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai.
 
Addressing a packed hall, Prof Vaidyanathan—rated one of the most popular teachers among all IIMs—brought alive a host of current economic issues by punctuating his talk with innumerable asides that had the audience in splits. He said: “With global economic power increasingly shifting to the East, India is well poised to emerge as the most favoured destination of foreign investment.” For this he said, “We need reforms, not just in share market, retrospective taxes but also at the state level… We need to do away with numerous restrictions and taxes and provide more credit to the unorganised sector. We also need to close down many useless Central ministries, like education, agriculture and information & broadcasting; and have only 8-10 ministries at the Centre.”
 
Busting several myths about global and Indian economy, the ‘teacher who is interested in learning’ said that the growth of our economy is domestic demand-driven and powered by domestic household savings and not due to FIIs’ (foreign institutional investors) or foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. “Non-corporate sectors, which are community-oriented and family-driven, are the engines of growth in India. But a blind adoption of foreign methodology and definitions has led to the government ignoring the real engine of growth—the unincorporated sector. This sector survives, despite lack of access to formal funding, extortion and harassment from multiple government agencies as well as the police and without access to any form of social security. Yet, they, and individuals, toil and put away money in various assets, giving India’s economy the security of a high savings rate,” Prof Vaidyanathan added.
 
Talking about the Greek crisis, Prof Vaidyanathan said, “The European countries are calling their economic problems as a global crisis, for past several decades. At the most, we can call Greek crisis an Anglo-Saxon crisis. No way is it a global crisis.” The debt-driven model of growth in the West leaves those countries vulnerable to such crises from time to time. The West will take more than 80 quarters to recover,” said he. “In this scenario, it is better for India to be more de-coupled.”
 
According to Prof Vaidyanathan, India must evolve its own strategy which protects its interests. He added that we also need to focus on tax havens in search of the lost and last dollar. It is estimated that nearly $18 trillion is in tax havens and the G-20 countries are trying to regulate or get back this money. Indian money in tax havens is estimated to be between $500 billion and $1.5 trillion.
 
Prof Vaidyanathan’s talk on the economy covered a wide spectrum of issues—the nature of the domestic economy, the role of foreign funds, structure of domestic savings, role of gold, the need to fund non-corporate sector, market and access and political linkages. 

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