Investor Issues
Activists invoke RTI to find out the status of RBI’s report on customer service

Committee chairman M Damodaran has not released the report despite it being ready. The query seeks to know the expected date of the release and the time-frame for implementation of recommendations

After a long wait of more than a year, during which many people submitted their recommendations to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) committee on customer services, there is still no sign of the report. Now, an activist has evoked the Right to Information (RTI) Act to find out the status of the report. M Damodaran, chairman of the committee on customer services, has, despite repeated assurances, been sitting on the report.

Mumbai-based activists have filed an RTI query with the RBI to get details of the report. The RTI query, a copy of which is available with Moneylife, seeks details such as the number of responses received from the public/NGOs, the time-frame of the submission of the report, the date on which the chairman signed the report, the expected date of release of the report in the public domain, and time-frame for implementation of recommendations. The activist has also sought the date/s when each individual member of the committee signed the report.

In a circular dated 16 June 2010, the RBI had invited suggestions to be submitted to the Damodaran committee on customer services by 15 July 2010.

Mumbai-based chartered accountant Nagesh Kini, who is one of the people who made submissions to the committee, told Moneylife: "Last year, as the per the RBI circular, I made my submissions to the Damodaran committee. The suggestions related mainly to the issues faced by senior citizens. I don't know how many of them have been incorporated in the report since it has not yet been released."

The committee was constituted in June last year to review the system of customer service and grievance redressal by banks. The committee was expected to undertake a strict review of the existing system of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and customer service in banks, including the approach, attitude and fair treatment to customers in retail, small and pensioners segments. The committee was also asked to evaluate the existing system of grievance redressal mechanism prevalent in banks, the structure and efficacy, and recommend measures for expeditious resolution of complaints.

The report was expected to be released in mid-February, but it has not yet been released. Moneylife has repeatedly written about the report on customer services and that its release has been delayed for unexplained reasons. (Read, "The curious case of the Damodaran Committee's report on customer services: Why is it still in limbo?")

According to sources, "The report on customer services by the RBI has described solutions to resolve customer issues. The report is believed to be pro-consumer. But the report, despite being ready, has not been released for reasons best known to Mr Damodaran. Even the committee members are unaware of the release date." (Read, "RBI report on customer services expected to be 'pro-consumer' ")  



nagesh kini

4 years ago

Being the one managed to get the RBI to put into public domain the Damodaran , now I'd like to know from the RBI the status of implementation of each of the Committee's recommendations.

Sundaram BNP Paribas expands into new geographies

Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance will open offices in Bhubaneshwar and Nashik

Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance is in the process of opening 15 new offices across the country as part of plans to expand into new geographies.

The company has opened an office in Kolkata to enter into the eastern region and in the coming quarter, it will open offices in Bhubaneshwar and Nashik, stepping up its presence in Orissa and the Maharashtra region, a company statement said.

The company said it was also setting up new offices in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi, among other territories.

Sundaram Home Finance recently opened up four offices in tier II cities in Andhra Pradesh and two offices in Karnataka, it said.

Sundaram BNP Paribas Home Finance is a 50.1:49.9 joint venture between Sundaram Finance and BNP Paribas.

“While expanding into new geographies and establishing our presence in select national markets is part of the growth strategy for this year, we will continue to strengthen our presence in the Southern market. We expect Tier-II and III towns in the South to be the major growth drivers for the business over the next 12 months,” Sundaram BNP Paribas home finance vice-president and head (finance) G Sundararajan said.


Housing prices may go up by 5%-10% with rising interest rates

The hike in repo and reverse repo rates would result in an increase in interest rates for builders and the same would be passed on to home buyers

Housing prices may rise by 5%-10% in the next 3-6 months as the cost of funds for developers is expected to increase following the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to raise key policy rates by 25 basis points.

“Property prices are bound to go up in next 3-6 months by 5%-10% across the country,” Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) chairman Pradeep Jain told PTI.

Jain, who is also the chairman of Parsvnath Developers, said the hike in repo and reverse repo rates would result in an increase in interest rates for builders and the same would be passed on to home buyers.

He, however, said demand would not be hit despite the expected rise in interest rates on home loans. “People will continue to buy knowing that housing prices would go up further,” he said.

Instead of demand, Jain said supply would be affected, as the increase in interest rates would impact the liquidity situation of small developers.

Asked about impact of the hike in repo and reverse repo rates on the realty sector, DLF Group Executive Director Rajeev Talwar said, “The constant increase in interest rates over the last one year would definitely have an impact,” and suggested that the government initiate reforms to boost the supply of housing.

The Reserve Bank, for the tenth time since March, 2010, raised the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5% and the reverse repo rate by a similar margin to 6.5% today.

Echoing similar views, Credai president Lalit Kumar Jain said, “Any increase in the rate of interest will be counter-productive and my fear is that it will give rise to inflation instead of curbing it.”

“... The cost of funding from the developers’ point of view would also shoot up. This will be passed on to the customer, who is already under stress,” Jain, who heads Mumbai-based Kumar Urban Development Ltd, said.

Raheja Developers chairman and managing director Naveen Raheja said: “As the cost of money goes up, the cost of construction and production will also go up. This will lead to further inflationary pressures.”

The need is to increase supply so that demand pressures can be eased and consequently, the prices are curtailed, he added.


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