Citizens' Issues
Government warns of fraud in the name of Beti Bachao scheme
Issuing a stern warning against spurious schemes being floated in the name of 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' scheme, the central government has advised people against falling into the trap of such frauds.
 
"It has come to our notice that certain unauthorised sites, organisations, NGOs, and individuals are distributing illegal forms in the name of cash incentive under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme," the Union Women and Child Development Ministry said in a statement here on Tuesday.
 
"It is a completely nonexistent thing in the ministry. It appears to us that people are being charged for these forms. The police are investigating the matter," an official from the ministry told IANS.
 
"Even if they are not being charged, people should report to the police. Why should they share any sensitive information about a girl child with anyone, who is running something unauthorised in the name of this scheme," he said.
 
The ministry has taken up this matter with the government authorities of states, namely in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Bihar.
 
"However, it has come to our notice that the fraud in the name of BBBP is taking place in Delhi also. The matter has been reported from different parts of Delhi, particularly in Tikri, Bhatti Khurd, Dakshinpuri Extension, Sangam Vihar, Sanjay Colony, Sarita Vihar, Adarsh Nagar and JJ Colony," the statement said.
 
It pointed out that the scheme has no provision for individual cash transfer by the government.
 
It said that the scheme's focus is on issues of women's empowerment over a life cycle continuum. It is not a DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) scheme.
 
"BBBP focuses on challenging mindsets and deep rooted patriarchy in the societal system, strict enforcement of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act that was enacted in 1994 to stop female foeticides and arrest the declining sex ratio in India," the ministry stated.
 
It emphasised that the fraud being perpetuated in name of the scheme is a very serious matter. "If any such incident comes to your knowledge, please report it to the nearest police station and the concerned district collector or district magistrate." 
 
The ministry has advised that no personal details should be shared in this regard and no one should subscribe to such "fraudulent scheme".
 
The case has also been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), keeping in view the public interest and gravity of the matter.
 
 
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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Press Council issue notices to Tata Sons' unit and TopsGroup in photo-journalist assault case
The Press Council of India (PCI) has issued notice to the Associate Building Company, a subsidiary of Tata Sons, as well as security agency TopsGroup, to appear as respondents before it in a case of assault on several photo-journalists in front of Tatas' south Mumbai headquarters, also known as Bombay House. 
 
The Council also reprimanded the MRA Marg Police Station for not including the role of the Tata Group and its executives in the report submitted to the PCI on the investigation carried out so far by the police. The police registered FIRs against several security guards and arrested six of them. They have since then been released on bail.
 
An Inquiry Committee of the media watchdog was hearing a complaint last Tuesday by the Mumbai Press Club against the assault by private security men hired by the Tatas, through the agency TopsGroup, on dozens of press photographers. 
 
While guards employed by the TopsGroup were involved in the assault on 3 November 2016, the Bombay House building for which security was being provided is owned by the Tata Sons subsidiary. 
 
On that day, during the face-off between former chairman of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry and the board of Tata Sons, a large crowd of photographers had gathered in front of Bombay House to click pictures of Mistry and various other executives. After escorting Mistry inside the Tata HQ, a posse of private guards, without provocation, turned their ire on the lensmen and assaulted several of them. Three of them - Atul Kamble of Mid-day, Arijit Sen of Hindustan Times and SL Shantakumar of Times of India - were seriously injured and had to be admitted to St George's Hospital for treatment. Many had their equipment smashed.
 
K Amarnath, a senior leader of Indian Journalists Union (IJU), who represented the unions, the Mumbai Press Club and the press photographers, said the matter was serious since some of the photographers, especially Kamble, have suffered injuries that may cripple their professional life forever.
 
Deposing before the Press Council on last Tuesday, Kamble stated that he was pinned down on the floor by several security men and kicked on his arms repeatedly. He has since had corrective surgery at the Sports Med, a speciality clinic, and continues to wear a sling, and is not able to carry out normal professional operations. He also continues to be under medical observation, and it is not known whether he will gain partial or full recovery. Kamble told the Press Council panel that though he is reporting for work and carrying out back-end operations, he is not able to lift or operate a camera normally.
 

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SBI to shut down 47% of associate banks' offices post-merger
State Bank of India (SBI), which will see five associate banks merge into it on April 1, has decided to shut down almost half the offices of these banks, including the head offices of three of them. This process will start from April 24.
 
"Out of the five head offices of the associate banks, we will retain only two. Three head offices of the associate banks will be unbound along with 27 zonal offices, 81 regional offices and 11 network offices of the associate banks," SBI Managing Director Dinesh Kumar Khara told IANS in an interview.
 
"We will keep their structure in place till April 24 and, post that, we will start dismantling the associate banks' controlling offices, which includes head offices, regional offices, zonal offices and network offices," Khara said.
 
The five associate banks that will merge with SBI are: SBBJ (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur), SBM (State Bank of Mysore), SBT (State Bank of Travancore), SBP (State Bank of Patiala) and SBH (State Bank of Hyderabad).
SBI is India's largest bank with assets of Rs 30.72 lakh crore and figures at No. 64 in the global ranking of banks (as of December 2015; December 2016 ranking is still awaited). Post-merger, with assets of approximately Rs 40 lakh crore, it will be among the top 50 banks in the world. SBI Chief Economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh told IANS that, post-merger, the bank will be at No. 45.
 
The shur-down move is to avoid overlapping offices in the same area and "we intend to remove any kind of duplicacy in the controlling structure", Khara said.
 
The five associate banks will cease to exist as legal entities and become a part of SBI from April 1, but the various merger processes will start only after April 24, once the balance sheets of the five entities are audited and added.
 
"We will have to get the balance sheets of the associate banks audited a day prior to the merger, that is, on March 31. The balance sheets of the banks will be drawn up and added; it takes 15-20 days. Soon after the audit is done, the branches will be completely merged with SBI," Khara told IANS.
 
There are currently 550 SBI offices while its associate banks have 259. The target for the number of controlling offices after the merger is 687 -- a reduction of 122 offices.
 
Employees directly affected by these shutdowns -- estimated at 1,107 -- will be redeployed, mostly in customer-interface operations, Khara said.
 
"The net result is that people in controlling functions will be available for deployment on the ground for improving reach to the consumer," he said.
 
"There are about 5-7 people in every regional office and 20-odd people in each zonal office. One regional office controls 30-40 branches, while 4-5 regional offices are controlled by one zonal office," he told IANS.
 
The associate banks have also offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to employees who do not wish to relocate. "VRS is only an option, else they will be relocated. They will have a different role," he said.
 
Along with the winding-up of these offices, a number of merger processes will come into effect simultaneously, including the data merger of the five entities.
 
"Data merger will also start from April 24 and we will finish it by May end. That is the plan of action," he said, adding that the bank had given itself six months to complete all merger-related processes.
 
"I would rather say that within a quarter all the things should be in order. Ideally, we would like to have it in one quarter, but it will not spill over beyond the second quarter," Khara said.
 
SBI says the merger will be done seamlessly as it has the experience of two earlier mergers. State Bank of Indore was merged with SBI in 2010, while State Bank of Saurashtra was merged in 2008.
 
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

B. Yerram Raju

3 months ago

Last 15 days all the top management of both the Associates and SBI are busy with meetings and meetings sorting out many, many issues and hopefully they will keep the customer in focus who for most part is forgotten by the latter save exceptions.

B. Yerram Raju

3 months ago

Consolidation needs this action. But it is necessary to inform through all modes of publicity and advise all the customers - those with and without mobile phones - through written advice by the Bank branch concerned at least fifteen days ahead notifying the exact date and the branch to which the account gets migrated. On top of this, all those customers who have cheque bearing accounts - either current or savings bank shall be given new cheque books with the branch credentials to which the accounts migrate. Since the staff would be new to customers and so are the customers new to the bank staff, customers' meets on every second and fourth Saturday at mutually convenient time as these happen to be scheduled holidays for the bank. All the credit limits on transfer naturally require fresh documentation unless the bank gives blanket validity for all the documents till their current expiry period irrespective of the status of the account. All the Associate Banks and the SBI NPA accounts should get a breather as the latter will be unable to cope with the linking new officers with the existing accounts of Associate Banks. All the AB-clients (borrowers) should also be educated on the new policies and rigour of SBI handling their accounts. All the Safe Deposit Locker holders of the transferer branch hopefully retain their old locker numbers. It is a matter for detail as to how the joint custodian operating the locker when changed would take over the AB-Lockers on Board. Merger is merger of human assets of banks with different culture although the latter are trained into the SBI systems only. All complaints shall be dealt with expeditiously by properly acknowledging them. I am sure Bank is taking due care of these aspects lest there will be a turmoil and the way the merger is handled decides the future of the Bank in terms of the trust of the customers and clients.

Gurudutt Mundkur

3 months ago

Good planning. One would believe all the Unions are on board.

Lakshminath Mocherla

3 months ago

Though Ratan may claim is a gemtleman he has proved otherwise by his actions from time to time

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