Consumer Issues
'Consumer protection bill to redress grievances of online shoppers'
New Delhi : Taking cognisance of rising complaints of online and teleshopping buyers, the new Consumer Protection Bill, expected to be passed in the coming session of parliament, has all the essential features to protect the interest of online consumers, an official said here on Wednesday.
 
"The bill covers transactions through all modes, including offline, online, through electronic means, teleshopping, or other multi-level marketing," an official of the food and consumer affairs ministry told IANS on condition of anonymity.
 
He said the ministry is also mulling setting up a committee of experts to suggest measures to strengthen consumer protection, especially for those who trade on e-commerce.
 
The consumer affairs ministry is also seized of growing complaints against delay and non-delivery of assured (or advertised) products to online and teleshopping buyers, the official said.
 
"The government is more than keen to address the grievances of online and teleshopping buyers. The Consumer Protection Bill (introduced in Lok Sabha on August 10, 2015) seeks to widen the ambit and modernise the law on consumer protection due to evolving changes in the markets," said the official.
 
The draft law, which also seeks to recommend adequate penalty for erring manufacturers and traders, is being examined by a parliamentary panel.
 
The proposed law will also seek to ensure protection of consumers against marketing of goods and services which are hazardous to life and property.
 
The consumers will have the right to be informed of the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and the price of goods or services.
 
Among a number of steps envisaged to be undertaken, a Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set up to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers, the official said.
 
The issue of grievances of e-commerce buyers, especially on delivery of sub-standard items, figured prominently at a meeting of Central Consumer Protection Council, an advisory body of the ministry, here on Tuesday.
 
The meeting was attended, among others, by Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
 
"The suggestions of an expert committee that will study e-commerce trade and related issues is expected to submit its report by the first week of May. The recommendation of the committee will be examined by the minister and top officials, and then if necessary incorporated while framing rules for the new Consumer Protection Act," the official said.
 
The parliamentary standing committee on Food, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution headed by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) member J.C. Divakar Reddy is also examining the bill.
 
The food ministry is likely to take up with Delhi Jal Board the purity standards of water supplied in the capital.
 
The ministry has, meanwhile, urged consumers to complain if packaged drinking water is sold above maximum retail price at places like five-star hotels, malls and cinema halls and even airports.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Veeraputhiran Balasubramoniam

10 months ago

First of all there is no Consumer protection in INDIA for the regular purchase . first let the government create a system for tracking these regular purchase. Then they can add Online issues to this same tracking mechanism

India’s first property title law comes up in Rajasthan; to ease land acquisition: report
The new law allows the state to stand as a guarantor for land titles and provide compensation in case of issues of defective title, which will ease land acquisition and project costs, says India Ratings in a report
 
The Rajasthan Urban Land (Certification of Titles) Act, 2016, passed by the state Legislative Assembly this month, will significantly smoothen the land acquisition process in urban areas, says India Ratings and Research Pvt Ltd (Ind-Ra). 
 
Rajasthan is the first state in India to enact a law on property titles, where the state will stand as a guarantor for land titles and provide compensation in case of issues of defective title. Ind-Ra says it believes that the adoption of similar laws by other states can meaningfully shorten the time taken for acquisition of urban land for infrastructure creation by public bodies or for real estate development by private players and bring down overall project cost.
 
The Act provides for the state government to stand as a guarantor for the permanent certificate of title issued for urban land by the Certification Authority after perusal of documents. The Act also provides for compensation to any person who enters in to a transaction on the basis of a permanent certificate of title, in case the title later turns out to be defective. These provisions will lead to clarity in land titles and will reduce legal challenges, thus reducing the effective cost of land and shortening execution timelines.
 
The Act is a marked improvement over the current situation where the land title is authenticated based on a series of documents of successive transfers, without any guarantee of the actual title and the buyer's investment is exposed to the risk of complete loss, in case the title later turns out to be defective. Given the uncertainty as to land title, buyers go through a long process to authenticate the titles, but often end up facing legal challenges, thus delaying the execution of projects and locking up capital.
 
This titling reform by Rajasthan comes at a time when the government has embarked on a mission to push for urbanisation with various schemes namely, development of smart cities, the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and housing for all, Ind-Ra says.
 
Under the Act, the state government will set up an Urban Land Title Certification Authority, which will seek all the documents from the landowners, and will verify it against the records held by the state. The Authority will then issue a provisional certificate of title for a period of two years without guarantee and follow it up with a permanent certificate of title to which the government shall stand guarantor.

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COMMENTS

manoharlalsharma

10 months ago

land title the most sought by developers to reduce time in searching and to make easy funding by investors the first state and it should be adopted by all INDIA basis.

Are Indian banks ready for the upcoming ‘Uberization’?
Existing banks and new challengers would increasingly engage, target and segment consumers on the new battleground – transactions, says a research report
 
With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issuing differentiated licenses, the competitive landscape for incumbent banks is changing like never before. The two biggest classic competitive advantages for incumbent banks that acted as entry barriers for challengers are redundant. Just as Uber with zero-ownership of cabs emerged as a global leader in ‘cab sharing’, it is now possible for challenger 'banks' to compete with incumbents without capital, like peer-to-peer (P2P) lending or without physical presence payment technologies. The ‘Uber’ moment for Indian banks is upon us says Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd (MOSL) wondering if the incumbents are ready for this.
 
The brokerage in a research note says, "From a near-term perspective, we believe that the Cabinet approval for promotion of payments through digital means could accelerate the pace of digitization. We believe that digitization of government payments (G2B and G2C) is a near-term catalyst, which alongside the launch of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) can also potentially disrupt the flow of working capital funds from banks to corporate India. P2P lending could also emerge as a potential game-changer for banks on both sides of the balance sheet."
 
With just over 50% of Indians having a bank account, India suffers from one of the lowest penetration rates for banking products and services. This has driven the demand for relatively more accessible and affordable 'banking' solutions to address the vast unbanked about 50% of the population and under-banked population, the report added.
 
 
There is no doubt about the immediate near-term focus on Indian banks’ asset quality challenges both known and unknown, there is a larger force at play that impact the very existence and survival of Indian banks as we know them. While challengers like payment banks and contenders have been focused on acquiring customers through cashback offers and freebies, incumbent banks have been focused on enabling and facilitating transactions. However, analytics-based cross selling of financial products remains the Holy Grail for all service providers. "We believe that technology-enabled cross-sell is the only way for banks to clock non-linear growth in customer profitability when revenue per customer will see a disproportionate rise compared to the cost per customer," the report added.
 
 
According to MOSL, forces at play are likely to reduce cash intensity in Indian economy. "While the Indian economy continues to be dominated by cash (12% of India’s GDP and 70% of consumer payments by value), a combination of policy and consumer behaviour is seeking to reduce the economy’s dependence on cash. Given the RBI’s stated intention of reducing the share of cash transactions in the economy (policy push factor) and the consumer’s need for convenience (customer pull factor), the cash intensity of the Indian economy is expected to reduce to 40% of consumer payments in value terms by 2019." it added.
 
Digitally-enabled consumers are looking to complete the awareness-to-purchase loop on digital platforms, which is the reason for mushrooming of multiple payment systems, MOSL says, adding, with smartphone penetration in India at about 17% and rising at an exponential 45% CAGR, the digitally-enabled Indian consumer is increasingly looking to fulfil the decision-making loop on the digital platform itself. 
 
An increasing proportion of the consumer’s decision-making process, beginning with awareness followed by research, comparison, choice and ending with the eventual purchase, is beginning to migrate to the digital world. Consequently, the payments ecosystem in India has witnessed frenzied activity over the past year, with two-three digital banking apps or mobile wallets being launched every other month.
 
 
With increasing digitization of financial services, MOSL feels that transactions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would be the new battle ground in the new game, where transaction market share will determine deposit market share. It says, "Our analysis suggests a strong positive correlation between the number of non-bank transactions from a savings account, and the average balances maintained in such accounts. As this behaviour entrenches itself further, we expect incumbent banks and challengers to increasingly engage, target and segment consumers on the new battleground – transactions. We also expect 'mid-sized businesses' to be a hotly-contested segment, as banks look to build a protective 'network effect'."
 
According to MOSL, while all banks are launching their own digital platforms, non-linear benefits will only accrue to banks that are able to build superior cross-sell capabilities to monetize their customers better. "We expect the top-quartile banks to generate a RoA alpha of around 100 basis points (bp) from the current levels of 80bp over the sector average at an operating profit level over the next five years. Nearly all of this return on assets (ROA) alpha will be driven by cross-sell fee income and higher customer profitability," it added.
 
The brokerage says it has developed an industry-first, proprietary Motilal Oswal Digital Quotient (MODQ) score to identify early movers across three key categories, scale, transaction activity and product capabilities. As per MODQ analysis of 10 largest banks, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Bank among the private banks and State Bank of India (SBI) among public sector banks (PSBs) as best positioned plays on digital banking. 
 
It says, "The private sector banks have been far more successful in encouraging transaction activity levels and float, which is crucial for revenue generating opportunities. In general, we believe that the eventual winners in digital banking will be entities that master the 'small value, high volume' transactions war".
 
The evolution of the quasi-corporate private sector lenders is also worth highlighting, MOSL feels. "Axis Bank has been prolific in adding merchants but there is a lot more groundwork that needs to be done in terms of raising activity levels and digital maturity levels of its individual customers. ICICI Bank offers a host of digital choices to customers that are high on recall and customer convenience - the bank now needs to find a way to monetize these digital offerings. Yes Bank, despite being a late convert to the utility of a retail franchise, has been commendable in its pace of merchant acquisition and its use of business correspondents - however, the bank appears to be in an investment phase since activity levels are sporadic at best,” it concluded.

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COMMENTS

Gurudutt Mundkur

10 months ago

A few banks are withdrawing benefits to Senior Citizens. Is is the road to "change" and be prepared for the future of Banks?

Sudhakar Ojha

10 months ago

Only the Nimble entrepreneur style private players will be able to take advantage og the new playing fields.

May actually help PSUs by helping them shed the accounts which for them are unremunerative (and downsize) but would be a paying customer for the new setups.

manoharlalsharma

10 months ago

Smarter bankers curtailed staff first by replacing TECHNOLOGY but not EDUCATED a/c holders made elder to depend on their children for SERVICE of bills and put financial burden to buy SMART cell phones.It should be EDUCATED to GENERAL public by PRINT MEDIA.

Mahesh S Bhatt

10 months ago

Great article but somewhere security is not all addressed Mahesh

Gurudutt Mundkur

10 months ago

Indian Bank had better upgrade their technology to meet the new developments. Or else they will go the way of some private sector banks and several co-operative Banks.

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