Consumer Issues
Get your car insured through mobile phone

With the launch of “Policy on the go” by Cholamandalam MS, car insurance has virtually landed on your palm, without you having to forage for it

“Policy on the go”, is a mobile application that you can download on your mobile and get instant quotes generated once you input all the factors asked for. The e-policy will be issued to you online as soon as the cheque gets realised and the documents and on-ground verification is in place.


The launch will necessarily reduce the time taken to get policies issued. You can do it on your own without the involvement of any sales agent. Besides, sales agents can also use the technology to help you get policies instantly. It reduces paper work as well as the other hassles and errors associated to it.


Almost all the other companies do offer online insurance plans for vehicles. Other websites also offer a comparison of policies that are most suitable to you on basis of what factors you input that govern your choice. But Cholamandalam MS is the first company to have gone a step further for ease of access by introducing the mobile application.


Online policies are different from the offline ones in the sense of the process by which the application is generated. Once the application gets confirmed, the process of verification of documents is initiated and a personal verification of the vehicle by the surveyors takes place. Once that is completed, the e-policy gets issued to you and gets delivered into your mail box, followed by the hard copy which could take anything between five to 10 days to get issued. The electronic copy is a valid proof of the policy, in case an event takes place before the hard copy gets issued, since it is digitally signed by the issuer.


The other good thing is, since it reduces the time and the resources required to complete the process, it reduces the costs for the company and the benefit might be passed on to the consumer. For that, we will have to wait and watch.


Over 6,000 kg rotten laddoos disposed of at Shirdi Sai Baba temple

On 25th August, devotees complained that the prasad laddoos made at the Shirdi Sai temple smelled foul and tasted bitter


Shirdi: Over 6,000 kgs of 'laddoos' (sweets) at the Sai Baba temple that had rotten were disposed of by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) team in Shirdi, reports PTI quoting official sources.
On 25th August, devotees complained that the prasad laddoos made at the temple smelled foul and tasted bitter. They had questioned the quality of ghee (clarified butter) used for making prasad.
Following the complaints, committee members of the temple trust, including Ahmednagar-based district judge Jayant Kulkarni and Collector Sanjeev Kumar had also found that the laddoos tasted foul and hinted at action against the ghee manufacturer and supplier.
Late last night, FDA officials disposed of a stock of 6,796 kg laddoos worth Rs8.15 lakh in a pit near the Sai Baba Trust, sources said.
The FDA team collected samples of ghee used for preparing prasad at the shrine, which would be sent for testing, sources said.


Rural India consumption growth outpaces urban areas: CRISIL

Given the large size of India’s rural population, the value of goods and services consumed has always been greater in rural India, but urban India had narrowed the differential during most of the last decade by growing at a faster pace

For the first time since economic reforms began two decades ago, consumption in rural India is growing faster than in cities fuelled by rise in household incomes due to more non-farm job opportunities, says a study conducted by CRISIL.


Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, additional spending by rural India was Rs3.75 lakh crore, significantly higher than Rs2.9 lakh crore by urbanites, according to the study by ratings agency CRISIL.

"Underpinning this growth in rural consumption is a strong increase in rural incomes due to rising non-farm employment opportunities and the government's rural focus through employment generation schemes," says Roopa Kudva, managing director and CEO, CRISIL.

For sustaining the rural boom, it is critical to substitute short-term income boosters such as government sponsored employment guarantee schemes with durable job opportunities in rural areas, the study noted.


National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) data shows that from 2004-05 to 2009-10 rural construction jobs rose by 88%, while the number of people employed in agriculture fell from 24.9 crore to 22.9 crore, CRISIL said.


Besides, it added, migrants from villages to urban areas, who benefitted from job opportunities in infrastructure and construction projects, increased remittances to their families in rural India, boosting consumption.


In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that intra-state rural-urban migration rose in the second half of the last decade as job opportunities were created in urban areas by infrastructure and construction projects. Consequently, remittances to families in rural India would have boosted consumption. NSSO data suggests that nearly 72% of male migrants (seeking work) from rural areas to other parts of India sent remittances in 2007-08, the study said.


The study said a notable phenomenon in rural consumption is a shift from necessities to discretionary goods. About one in every two rural households now has a mobile phone. Even in India’s poorest states such as Bihar and Orissa, one in three rural households has a mobile phone. Nearly 42% of rural households owned a television in 2009-10, up from 26% five years earlier. Similarly, 14% of rural households had a two-wheeler in 2009-10, twice that in 2004-05, although penetration still remains well below the urban household penetration level of 33% in 2009-10. In fact, more than half of India’s stock of consumer durables such as television sets, electric fans and two-wheelers is now in rural India, CRISIL said.

Although social sector schemes have had a positive impact, the pressure on public finances will make it difficult to significantly hike such spending in future.  Dharmakirti Joshi, senior

director and chief economist, CRISIL, said, “To keep the rural growth story intact, the private sector will have to play a larger role, so that India can productively harness the rising working age population in rural areas. Government policies will be vital in enabling the private sector to create rural jobs.”


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