Citizens' Issues
'Freedom 251': Money to be refunded this week, says top official

According to Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha, the money -- safe and being kept in an escrow account with a bank -- will positively reach the respective accounts this week

 

Noida-based Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd, makers of the controversial world's cheapest smartphone which has promised to return money to 30,000 customers who pre-booked the Rs.251 (less that $4) device on the first day of the sale, said on Monday that the refund will reach their accounts any time this week.
 
According to Ringing Bells president Ashok Chadha, the money -- safe and being kept in an escrow account with a bank -- will positively reach the respective accounts this week.
 
"To refund the money that was facilitated by payment gateways CCAvenue and PayU Biz, we had given a letter to the respective bank later last week. Now the only hiccup is what we call procedural delay and I hope that people will get back their money this week," Chadha told IANS.
 
Ringing Bells had received 30,000 orders on the first day and the rest of the customers for first 25 lakh handsets were to be selected on first-come-first-served basis as the company received a mammoth over seven crore registrations before the payment gateway crashed.
 
Mohit Goel, managing director of Ringing Bells, has also reiterated that money of all 30,000 customers is safe and is being refunded and the company will now accept cash on delivery (COD) only.
 
According to Chadha, "Freedom 251" customers will be required to make payment only when the smartphone is delivered to them.
 
"The company has decided that we will, henceforth, offer 'cash on delivery' mode of payments for those who have placed an order for the 'Freedom 251' smartphone. This will ensure further transparency and clear any misgivings," Chadha told IANS.
 
On its future course of action, Chadha said the company will soon interact with the people and various stakeholders.
 
The company plans to give 25 lakh handsets in the first phase before June 30.
 
"Our humble beginning to provide a high-tech gadget that will benefit all in the hinterlands and bridge the huge gap that clearly exists between the metros and semi-urban/rural areas is in keeping with the government's initiatives," Chadha added.
 
Taking the world by surprise, Ringing Bells launched "Freedom 251" smartphone that, it said, has been developed "with immense support" from the government.
 
A top government official clarified last week that the government has nothing to do with the "Freedom 251" smartphone.
 
"This is not a government project. 'Make in India' team has nothing to do with this," wrote Amitabh Kant, secretary of the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), in a Twitter post.
 
Congress MP Pramod Tiwari also said the scheme of giving smartphones at Rs.251 was the "biggest scam of the millennium" during the BJP regime.
 
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.
 
 
 

User

US stocks decline after China cuts bank reserve ratio

The move of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the first of its kind this year, aims to ensure reasonably ample liquidity in the financial system.

 

US stocks ended lower on Monday after volatile trading, as China's central bank announced a cut in its reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for commercial banks by 0.5 percentage points.
 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 123.47 points, or 0.74 percent, to 16,516.50. The S&P 500 lost 15.82 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,932.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 32.52 points, or 0.71 percent, to 4,557.95, Xinhua reported.
 
The move of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the first of its kind this year, aims to "ensure reasonably ample liquidity in the financial system; guide a stable and appropriate growth in credit; and create a favourable financial environment for supply-side structural reform," said China's central bank Monday in a statement.
 
Chinese shares ended sharply lower on Monday before the PBOC's announcement. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index plunged 2.86 percent to close at 2,687.98 points.
 
In Europe, German benchmark DAX index at Frankfurt Stock Exchange inched down 0.19 percent, while French benchmark index CAC 40 rose 0.90 percent. The CBOE Volatility Index, often referred to as Wall Street's fear gauge, rose 3.74 percent to end at 20.55.
 
In other markets, oil prices saw a rise after the PBOC announced to lower its reserve requirement ratio to support the economy.
 
The US dollar decreased against most major peers as the housing data from the country came out negative.
 
In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.0883 dollars from 1.0928 dollars in the previous session, while the dollar bought 112.83 Japanese yen, lower than 113.91 yen of the previous session.
 
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Monday as the G20 meeting ended with no tangible plan for growth, giving support to the precious metal.

 

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.

 

 

User

Central government may list/divest only the top general insurers: Experts

The central government owns seven general insurers - GIC, New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and Agriculture Insurance Company of India

 

The central government may list not more than two of six general insurance companies owned by it or may divest its holding, said industry experts on Monday referring to union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's announcements in his 2016-17 budget speech.
 
Presenting the budget, Jaitley said: "Public shareholding in government owned companies is a means of ensuring higher levels of transparency and accountability. To promote this objective, the general insurance companies owned by the government will be listed in the stock exchanges."
 
The central government owns seven general insurers - GIC, New India Assurance, National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company, United India Insurance Company, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and Agriculture Insurance Company of India.
 
Jaitley did not reveal any names.
 
However, industry experts told IANS that the government might be looking at General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC), the national re-insurer, and New India Assurance Company Ltd and would probably ask Life Insurance Corporation of India to buy out its divested stakes.
 
Jaitley did not mention the names of the companies that the government is looking at listing, there are speculations as to the probable candidates.
 
A senior official in a government owned insurer told IANS that there were discussions on listing of the general insurers. It is also speculated that GIC and the country's largest general insurer could be the possible candidates for listing/divestment.
 
"Insurance Amendment Act 2015 amended General Insurance Business Nationalisation Act and introduced a new section 10B providing that GIC and the public sector general insurers may raise their capital for increasing their business in rural and social sectors, to meet solvency margin and such other purposes as the Central Government may empower," K.K. Srinivasan, former member, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), told IANS.
 
He said the amendment also clarified that the shareholding of the central government shall not be less than 51 percent anytime, thus setting the stage for partial divestment of GIC and other general insurers.
 
"With continued underwriting losses, the PSUs have been resorting to sale of investments to show profits and pay dividends to government. But this cannot last long since the PSUs will run of their stock of age old investments acquired at low prices sooner or later and the new investments will yield very little on sale," Srinivasan said.
 
Thus from the government viewpoint, the listing of PSU insurers in the Stock Exchanges and gradually divesting government holdings is a smart move.
 
Srinivasan however said the question is who will buy and at what prices the government owned insurers would fetch in the stock market.
 
He said all the insurers do not command equal respect.
 
As on now, New India and United India may have relatively better valuations than Oriental, National and others, Srinivasan said.
 
"The most likely scenario is for the government to nudge LIC or direct LIC to buy stakes in the public sector insurers using the absolute powers that the government has under (section 21 and 43 amongst others) of the LIC Act, till the market becomes favourable," he said.
 
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.
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)