The airline has refused to provide information, asks for review of CIC order in view of ‘severe competitive market’
Moneylife has written about Central Information Commission (CIC) order on Air India for disclosing information about rolling out bigger jets for VIPs. Read http://www.moneylife.in/article/air-india-must-disclose-details-of-planes-rolled-out-for-vips/22766.html Air India, however, looks reluctant to provide details of travels of former civil aviation minister Praful Patel’s family. It has asked for a review by the decision by the same CIC, something that is not possible under the RTI Act.
While a review cannot be sought under RTI Act after a CIC hearing, a court stay order can be obtained. But neither did Air India give the information within the stipulated days, nor did it get a stay order from any court. In the review petition, CPIO at Air India has avoided mentioning the CIC dictat of revealing names of person(s) responsible for the decision of rolling our bigger jets on 25 April 2010 and 28 April 2010 to accommodate the in-laws of Mr Patel’s daughter for their trip to the Maldives.
The review petition reads, “The company, keeping in view its commercial interests, follows the practice of not disclosing the travel particulars of its valued passengers. Such information available to us not only in a fiduciary relationship But also amounts to invasion of privacy of an individual. The information therefore is denied in terms of Section 8(1)(d) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005. In the view of the severe competitive market, we request the Honourable Commission to review the decision on this particular point.”
RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal has complained to the Central Information Commissioner Ms Sushma Singh, who had delivered the order to Air India about disclosing all information related to the matter. “Air India has now sought review of your verdict on this point. But firstly the RTI Act does not have any provision of review of verdicts by Honourable Central Information Commission itself. Secondly exemptions under section 8(1)(d) and (j) of RTI Act tried to be again claimed in review, were discussed in length at time of hearing of the petition,” he wrote to the CIC.
Mr Agrawal has asked the CIC to reject the Air India review petition, and asked for penal action against the CPIO. “It is unfair that Air India may hide serious irregularities of its Union minister by openly defying CIC verdict. Strict-most action should be taken against concerned ones at Air India especially at a time when the national carrier has been made a loss-creating a ‘white elephant’ by political rulers and officers dancing to their tune even after orders of the transparency watchdog,” says Mr Agrawal.
IRDA has approved a product whose brochure does not mention critical information of premium waiver in case of death of policyholder. While the company’s intent may not be in doubt, ambiguity is not good for insurer and the insured
Aegon Religare recently launched Educare, a traditional child plan. The product brochure does not mention about who pays future premium in case of death of the policyholder. While the insurer intends to offer waiver of premium (WoP), why does the brochure omit such an important line? Such elusiveness may be unintentional, but it is not in right spirit. It will only add to the confusion in case of any dispute. Strangely, the press release and website clearly specifies WoP and future premiums are waived respectively. The product brochure is important document as it is approved by Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).
Here is Aegon Religare response—“Educare Plan offers two ‘death benefit’ options the policyholder can select. If you refer to the payouts offered in both the options, one of them reads as—Guaranteed payouts as per the schedule above. This means that the policy continues as the premium is waived off by Aegon Religare Life Insurance. It is phrased differently to explain the same feature.”
But guaranteed payouts as per the schedule does not mention anything about who will pay the premium. It just specifies the guaranteed payment schedule in the last four years of the policy term. It is like saying we will take you from source to your destination, but the question is who will pay for the journey? It has to be explicitly stated and not as an implicit connection of dots.”
According to one broking firm, “Aegon Religare Educare does not mention anything about the future premium being waived both in option1 and option2 explicitly. However this may not be the intent. They have death benefits clearly defined in both the options.”
It can’t be assumed that every child plan will offer WoP and vice-versa not all plans which offer WoP is a child plan. There is no standardisation and every insurer drafts its brochure in its own way. As long as it clearly states important points, it is good customer service.
Reliance child plan, SBI Life Scholar II and ICICI Pru Smart Kid clearly state WoP in the brochure. Kotak Child Edu plan and Kotak Child Future plan states—No need to pay future premiums. Bajaj Allianz Childgain specifies “Premium waiver benefit”. There can be other flavours, too. IDBI Federal Childsurance Dreambuilder states—If either of parents dies, all future premiums are waived and invested as lump-sum in the plan.
Let’s hope Aegon Religare EduCare product gives a decent bonus to help save for child education. The plan gives guaranteed lump sum payouts during the last four policy years. It pays 50%, 25%, 25% and 20% of sum assured plus any declared bonus. The annual premium for a 30 year old person paying premium for 16 years (20 year policy term) and sum assured of Rs5 lakh is Rs44,590. It means you will pay premium of over Rs7 lakh for getting Rs6 lakh at end of 20 years. The only thing that will save you is bonus, which is non-guaranteed. Will you really be saving for child education?
Traditional child plans are popular due to secured returns, even if they are low. This is due to the appeal that parents are setting aside money for safe investment as well as covering the risk in case of their absence.
The objective of these services will be to assist industries, traders and farmers in financing their capital requirements at all stages of the supply chain, ranging from pre-harvesting to the marketing and export stages
UCO Bank has entered into a strategic partnership with National Collateral Management Services Limited (NCMSL), a major agri-infrastructure player, for collateral management and warehousing services. The objective of these services will be to assist industries, traders and farmers in financing their capital requirements at all stages of the supply chain, ranging from pre-harvesting to the marketing and export stages. UCO Bank will also avail of their premium services such as working capital financing in commodity-based industries, especially agro-based industries.
Arun Kaul, Chairman and Managing Director UCO Bank said, “UCO Bank has had a continued focus on the emerging sectors of the Indian economy, especially Food & Agribusiness and Agri Infrastructure. I am sure that this partnership with NCMSL will further deliver value to all our stakeholders, and is in accordance with the Bank’s Development Banking philosophy. Given the excellent and demonstrated track record of NCMSL, this partnership will enable us to mitigate credit risk for our Commodity Finance product offerings.”
Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director & CEO, NCMSL said, “We are confident that this arrangement will result in substantial new business across India, and especially in West Bengal. This new arrangement with UCO Bank will provide an opportunity to field functionaries to extend finance against warehouse receipts. Our warehouses spread across the country issue credible and reliable warehouse receipts.”
UCO BANK, through its various initiatives, has consistently highlighted the need to create Agri-Infrastructure to achieve food security and minimize food wastages by promoting Public-Private Partnership.
NCMSL is a national level institution, and has IFFCO as its key shareholder. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Rabo Equity are also major shareholders. Other shareholders include Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, Punjab National Bank, HDFC Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, YES BANK, NCDEX and HAFED. The Company provides risk management solutions in the areas of commodity and inventories.