Hindi-Chini relations: Is it bhai-bhai or bye bye?

In the last eight years when Wen Jiabao was the Chinese premier, nothing worthwhile was achieved. On the other hand, China has been asserting its rights on Indian territories as well other regions in Asia. India must be on guard before it is too late

In the last few weeks, China has been on the front pages of newspapers all over the world, mostly for wrong reasons.


The outgoing premier, Wen Jiabao, who had met Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh fourteen times in the last eight years, has reassured the latter that the new Chinese leadership will give ‘importance’ to ties with India! Jiabao will be demitting office by March next year.


It is a different story altogether that in the last eight years when Jiabao was the premier, nothing worthwhile was achieved. Though there were no border skirmishes (as such of the 1962 scale), Indian airspace was violated several times; repeated claims were made on Arunachal Pradesh and Indians from this part of the country were “treated as persons not requiring visa to visit China” and so on. Initially, they were refused visas to visit China because they were carrying Indian passports.


In fact, when Dalai Lama visited the area, there were ‘protests’ and considered this as an ‘unfriendly’ act! Now the latest documentary onslaught involves the Chinese citizens visiting India have maps of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin being shown as parts of China. It may be recalled that Aksai Chin has been illegally occupied by China.


In an immediate retaliatory move, when the Indian Embassy in Beijing issued visa to Chinese nationals visiting India, these very areas are shown as Indian territory. So far, China has not responded to this counter move! The passports of the visiting Chinese nationals will show the conflicting maps, regardless.


To complicate the situation internationally further, even the disputed areas in South China Sea, claimed by Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan, are shown in these maps as ‘Chinese’ territory.


In fact, on some of these islands, China has even started construction work! American leadership has not sent the 7th fleet to the region!


And the latest brazen move in this regard is the announcement by the Hainan Provincial authorities that they will exercise the right to inspect vessels on the South China Sea, even if they are outside the 22km international sea border!


Except for verbal protests and suitable utterances by some western spokesmen that these “unilateral actions” are ‘unacceptable’, and expect the Chinese leadership to settle the matter ‘peacefully’, as we go to the press, nothing really has happened so far....


None of the claimants like Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines or Taiwan can match China in any way.  Besides, the trade involved with China is too big a prize to lose and yet protest they must, which is what they can do at best!


Closer at home, Pakistan is a puppet and a close ally of China. And the Chinese encirclement of India is actually tightening. The all-weather port work at Baluchistan is in full swing; the Myanmar military government is heavily dependent upon Chinese support; Bangladesh has economic ties as does Sri Lanka in many ways.


Read more India and China, here.


Set against these Chinese moves, the Indian government has not been able to gather much real support from these nations.


One cannot venture even to speculate what might happen if there is a break-away situation in Baluchistan or the Taliban from Afghanistan makes sudden moves in that area. How would the Chinese react?


In any case, India must now be on guard also against the strong possibility of China trying to occupy or making intrusions in the uninhabited islands in the Andaman group.


Chinese assurances are not worth the paper they are written on—if they write!


Read more from the same writer.


(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)


How MLMs wave an annulled letter to claim legitimacy of their operations and con people

Spokespersons and promoters of MLM companies repeatedly refer to a letter from the ministry of consumer affairs (MCA) granting legitimacy and legal basis to the operations of their ‘business’. However, facts are rather different. The effect of the letter has been since nullified 

Spokespersons and dealers of multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes or network marketing  schemes respond to questions about their legitimacy by brandishing a 2003 letter issued by the then secretary, ministry of corporate affairs (MCA). What they omit to mention is that the letter was subsequently annulled following complaints about its misuse. This means, the letter used by these scamsters is no more valid.
The letter says, “...the provisions of PCMCSB Act [Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978] are not applicable to ‘companies dealing with distribution of goods’ including multi level/net work marketing companies”. MLM and pyramid companies immediately used this letter as a sort of approval by the government of their dubious activities to ensnare people into what is essentially a losing proposition that only enriches a small percentage of people who promote these schemes. 
Soon after, the ministry began to receive references from the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) at the ministry of finance about the misuse of the letter by MLM, network-marketing companies. The MCA issued another letter (F NO 21/(22)/IT/2001 dated 23 September 2003), which in effect annulled the earlier one. 
The second letter said, “Subsequent feedback/response have showed that companies using pyramid structured marketing techniques to sell their products putting forth their schemes based on the clarification issued vide DO letter of even no dated the 31 March 2003 claiming that their activities also do not fall within the provisions of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.  It is clarified that this Department's clarification of even number dated 31 March 2003 does not cover pyramid structured marketing schemes. That area also does not fall within the purview of this Department”. 
In fact, both the mischievous letter that seemed to grant legitimacy to MLM schemes as well as the subsequent clarification both are badly worded and vague. What is worse, having issued a clarification based on specific complaints, the ministry does not seem to have found it fit to follow it up with action to stop or ban the proliferation of Ponzi schemes. So much so that a decade later, experts who have tried to warn people about Ponzi schemes say, “we can’t help it if your country is overrun by such schemes”. 
At the same time, unnamed government officials continue to pass the buck. Only yesterday, government officials told the Indian Express that they had asked ‘states’ to initiate action to ban MLM and Ponzi schemes. This is precisely what the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been doing for several years. It responds to complaints about Ponzi schemes by writing to chief secretaries of states to initiate action. 
The Indian Express, quoting unnamed government sources reported on Monday, 3rd December that – “An inter-ministerial committee comprising the Reserve Bank of India, and ministries of consumer affairs, corporate affairs, finance and law, was formed to look into the matter. It suggested setting up of a central agency to oversee MLM schemes and also proposed to filter and block websites above a certain number of subscribers to curb such schemes”. This report is however not in the public domain. 
The newspaper goes on to quote the source as saying, “In fact, we are working on bringing in these companies under the Companies Act. This is possible under Section 583 of the Act where such unregistered companies will be considered deemed registered, thereby bringing them under the MCA’s purview”. Ironically, this is in direct contrast to the newspaper’s initial assertion that state governments would be asked to impose a ban on MLMs and pyramids.
To add to the confusion and obfuscation, the report goes on to point out that the MCA has circulated The State Money Circulation Scheme (Banning), 2012 which had the state police as the nodal authority. This again contradicts the claim that the MCA is looking at a central legislation. This strange contradiction and obfuscation is only an indicator of the enormous influence that pyramid companies and their associations have on politicians and bureaucrats. 
It is important to remember that in 2003, the very same year that the MCA issued a dubious circular that appeared to legitimise pyramids and MLMs, minister Jaipal Reddy had initiated a detailed discussion in Parliament and demanded a new and strong central legislation to prevent people from being lured to invest in such schemes. 
This only shows how deeply compromised bureaucrats and politicians are only pretending to be serious about checking the proliferation of pyramid and MLM companies, while in fact muddying the regulatory environment to allow them to operate unhindered, as they are doing today. This works well for the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, since many of its regional political allies are funded by promoters of such shady finance companies. 
To read about MLMs and ponzy schemes, click here.



Sandeep Patel

4 years ago

Our govt needs to act fast ...

some action is required to curb the Qnet menace

Mushtaq Ahmad Sofi

4 years ago

a good step towards mlm industry

CERS makes Oriental Insurance reimburse mediclaim worth Rs1.17 lakh

Claims rejection is common in health insurance. Here is another example of CERS coming to rescue of a mediclaim policyholder and ensuring that the insurance company pays the claim

Mediclaim products now include several day-care procedures, but it still remains synonymous of reimbursement only if there is hospitalization. Chirag Sanghavi, with the help of Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), had to fight his way to ensure justice by proving that hospitalization was indeed necessary and hence Oriental Insurance Company should pay the claim.


The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad (Additional), has directed Oriental Insurance to pay its valid health insurance policyholder Chirag Sanghavi Rs1.17 lakh, part of it with interest, for the expenses incurred by him on his medical treatment. The amount includes compensation of Rs10,000 for his mental agony and Rs2,000 towards the litigation cost. CERS, a co-litigant with Sanghavi, was also awarded Rs2,000 towards cost.


Sanghavi had been suffering from Crohn's disease and, on 22-23 September 2005, had been treated at the local Dr Jivraj Mehta Hospital. Only the previous month he had purchased a medical insurance policy from Oriental Insurance. But he did not make any claim since, as per the conditions, the company was not liable to pay any cost for treatment taken during the first six months of the policy.


On 5 August 2006 Sanghavi renewed the policy for another year. On 2-3 September 2006, he had to undergo treatment once again. This time, he was given Remicade-IV injection and was hospitalised for one day. On release, he claimed reimbursement of the total cost of Rs1,50,299. The insurance company settled only part of the claim, i.e. Rs44,826, saying the treatment did not require hospitalisation and so the entire cost was not payable.


Sanghavi made a representation to the company that in the opinion of the doctor who had treated him, hospitalisation was required as the dose of the injection might lead to certain side effects. But the company declined to agree. Sanghavi approached CERS, which filed a complaint in the consumer forum seeking reimbursement of the deducted amount along with interest, compensation for the mental agony faced by the complainant and the cost.


The insurer cited the opinion of a doctor from a third party administrator (TPA) that since no side effects had been noticed when Sanghavi had been treated for the first time, hospitalisation was not required during the second time. CERS quoted the doctor who had actually treated the patient that no-reaction during the first course of treatment did not necessarily eliminate the risk involved when the procedure was repeated a second time and, therefore, hospitalisation was absolutely necessary in this particular case.


The forum observed that the opinion of the doctor treating the patient was more important than that of the doctor serving a TPA. The forum ordered the insurance company to pay Rs1,05,473 from 29 June 2007 at 4% interest. It also directed the company to pay Sanghavi Rs10,000 for mental agony faced by him and Rs2,000 each to him and CERS towards the litigation cost.




4 years ago

any excuse is good excuse for the insurer to toss the insured.
representation is ignored to shy away from responsibility
hon.courts become TPA in deciding the claim.
no objection by fora so far.
public money is wasted by legal fees 7 interest payment over & above penalty + claim amount.
MOU between TPA & Co has a BONUS CLAUSE IN FAVOR OF TPA for REDUCTION OF CLAIM PAYMENT .payment in hon.court is one of the reasons for raised premium over & above inefficiency

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