The letter from AVSN Murthy under the caption “Why charge for debit cards?” caught my attention. I had complained through your esteemed magazine, in July 2013 (which you had duly published), that charging for debit card was unjustifiable, especially for senior citizens who use debit cards only occasionally. I had suggested that, at the most, the bank could charge at the time of issue (one-time charge) and not for the next 10 years. There was no response.
When I updated my Canara Bank passbook (Lokhandwala Branch, Mumbai), I found that a sum of Rs112/- had been debited from my account on 4 July 2013 even though I had never used the debit card. I am a senior citizen who has no regular income and, therefore, regular withdrawal through debit card does not arise at all.
Hence, I returned my debit card to the bank on 4 October 2013. The bank charged again Rs165/- for cancellation of the debit card. I had to shell out a total of rupees Rs277/- for nothing. I entirely agree with Mr Murthy and request the governor RBI to advise banks to withdraw their ill-conceived idea of charging for debit cards.
Venkatesh Sharma, by email
I am a regular reader of Moneylife; this is the first time writing you. I don’t know how to express my gratitude for giving us the summary of the ‘wonder book’, Good Medicine by Holford. I wish I could have bought it at once. Thanks Mr Holford for creating awareness among the masses.
Manohar Bhai Mehta, by email
Expectations and hopes
Narendra Modi has, indeed, earned a political mandate to recalibrate the system to fulfil his promise. Speculation is rife about the likely shape and structure of the Modi administration. As a virtual outsider to Delhi’s charmed power circles, Mr Modi comes with a distinct advantage: he, or his style of functioning, at once, make him less predictable and, consequently, less vulnerable. Not only does Mr Modi have a mind of his own, he also prefers to keep his own counsel. And he has the numbers to back him. It is a foregone conclusion that entities, such as a coordination committee or the National Advisory Council (NAC), will not mean much.
These are some of the characteristics that will define the Modi administration. He will restore the primacy of the prime minister’s office (PMO). Mr Modi’s PMO will not only drive policy but also monitor implementation.
• Talented bureaucrats will be rewarded with good assignments. Performance will define the index.
•Members of the Cabinet, unlike those of UPA, will be accountable; so they should be ready for performance audit. In Gujarat, Mr Modi demonstrated his hands-on approach to administration and the tendency to hire technocrats as advisors.
•The discretionary powers of the political office will be severely curtailed. He will push for digitisation of government records and processes. Even all paperwork related to projects and clearances will be digitised—not only will this ensure transparency but will also decentralise government decision making, precluding the need for constant engagement with the concerned Cabinet minister.
Will he encourage a coterie? No harm having a close confidant like Amit Shah. Encouraging coteries and palace intrigues is dangerous.
Let there be a real, and big, break from the past.
S Hariharan, by email
Excellent financial magazine
At the outset, I would like to congratulate Moneylife magazine for its excellent unbiased analysis of various issues affecting common man in their daily life. While I subscribe to many financial magazines, I prefer Moneylife. I am really happy to share with you that I have made reasonably good profit by going through your Stocks Street Beat pages. I have even recommended this magazine to many of my friends.
If possible, please provide a list of 10 good companies every time, for every segment, like mid-cap, small-cap and large-cap, as it will enable us to take an informed decision regarding purchase and sale.
DH Subramaniam, by email
I liked the articles!
The article titled “A world without medicines” by Dr BM Hegde (Moneylife, 12 June 2014) is informative. Some medicines, and some edible oil companies, are falsely propagating that their medicine reduces cholesterol, or their oil has less or no cholesterol (the root cause of heart ailments). This is abundantly clear from Dr Hegde’s article.
I also liked the article “You be the Judge”, written by Bapoo Malcolm, on the subject of ‘Arbitration’. Most of the time, we feel that arbitration saves time in case of disputes. This is not true, as is clear from advocate Malcolm’s article. As he has said, arbitration is good, when the dispute is related to a matter which is technical in nature; and an arbitrator who has technical knowledge should also have legal knowledge to give correct arbitration ‘award’ to the dispute, which, in 90% of the cases, does not take place.
I liked both the articles for their in-depth knowledge and their presentation in a language that a common man can understand.
Shirish S Shanbhag, by email
Non receipt of I-T refunds
This is with reference to the Moneylife Cover Story, “Tax Torture”(1 May 2014 ). In August 2011, I received a letter under the caption “Intimation u/s 245 of the I.T. Act, 1961” conveying that while a refund was found to be due, since a few demands were not met, the proposed refund amount was being adjusted.
On receipt of the letter, I looked into my papers and found that all the demands pertaining to four assessment years between 1998-99 and 2007-08, referred to in the letter, were paid. I wrote back enclosing copies of the respective challans on the same day, to which I have neither received any reply nor the refund amount. I am a retired senior Central government officer aged about 80 years. In such a situation we are helpless.
BK Mitra, by email
Maximum offer price?
This is with regard to “As the market hits all-time highs, where are the IPOs?” by Yogesh Sapkale. Balance of greed of promoters and the interest of IPO investor is the need of hour. Independent regulatory framework for IPO pricing (say, a maximum offer price which cannot be exceeded) should be framed. This will go a long way in protecting investors. Mindless imitation of the US market (which is mature and where strict penalties for siphoning of IPO money are in place) cannot be the guiding principle for allowing the pricing by the promoter and the investment banker.
This is with regard to “A World without Medicines” by Prof BM Hegde. This article has put the traditional villain—cholesterol—in an entirely different light. Thanks Prof Hegde!
This is with regard to “Level-playing Field for Government Banks?” by Sucheta Dalal. Nayak committee recommendations are worth implementing. These public sector banks will not be able to come out of the morass they are in. I am sure Dr Raghuram Rajan and Arun Jaitely will ensure that Nayak committee recommendations are adopted.
This is with regard to “Achche Din for Savers?”
I agree with Ameet Patel that reforms are needed in taxation, but excise and service tax are taxes on value generation/ creation. Why do we need archaic, colonial laws that inhibit productive activity of value creation? Abolish excise and service tax to reduce impediments to economic prosperity.
Very good article
This is with regard to “Debit card annual fees: Why most customers shouldn’t be charged” by Puneetkumar Pattar. A very good article. I had the same experience with HDFC Bank where my ATM card was forcefully converted to a debit card. I’m being charged for the debit card. However, ICICI Bank does provide an ATM Card.