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India, Singapore sign strategic partnership, 9 deals
India and Singapore signed a joint declaration on strategic partnership and nine bilateral accords on Tuesday, the second day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to this city state.
 
Modi and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong signed the joint declaration on strategic partnership to elevate bilateral relations to a “strategic partnership to deepen and broaden engagement in existing areas of cooperation and catalyse new ones ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to economic, cultural and people to people contact”, an official statement said.
 
“The strategic partnership is also a framework to contribute to greater regional stability and growth,” it added.
 
Besides this, two agreements on defence cooperation and loan of artifacts from India to Singapore, two executive programme/operationalisation documents on arts and culture, and white-shipping, and five memorandums of agreement (MoUs) on cyber security, civil aviation, knowledge exchange in the field of planning, urban planning, and combating drug trafficking were also signed.
 
The agreement on defence cooperation enhances cooperation in the field by providing for defence ministers’ dialogue, joint exercises between armed forces, and cooperation between defence industries to identify areas of co-production and co-development, the statement said.
 
The second agreement “extends the loan of Indian artifacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore”.
 
The operationalisation document on arts and culture is on an “executive programme on cooperation in the fields of the arts, heritage, archives and library” between the Indian and Singaporean governments for the years 2015-2018.
 
The second operationalisation document has been signed following the technical agreement on sharing white-shipping or commercial shipping information about movement of cargo ships between the Indian and Singapore navies signed on July 21, 2015.
 
“Following the signing of technical agreement between the two navies on sharing white-shipping information in July 2015, both navies have established a two-way linkage. This has enhanced bilateral cooperation in the area of maritime security,” the statement said.
 
The MoU on cyber security was signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT), 
 
“The MoU promotes closer cooperation and exchange of information pertaining to cyber security between the computer emergency response teams of the two countries by establishment of a broader framework for future dialogue; exchange of information on cyber-attacks; research collaboration in smart technologies; exchange of information on prevalent cyber security policies and best practices as well as professional exchanges,” the statement said.
 
The MoU on civil aviation “facilitates mutual cooperation in a number of mutually agreed areas of civil aviation services and airport management beginning with Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports”.
 
The third MoU promotes knowledge and information exchange in areas such as urban planning, waste water management, solid waste management and public-private partnerships between India's NITI Aayog and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE). 
 
The MoU on combating drug “facilitates and enhances cooperation by exchange of information on trends in the illicit manufacture and those arrested on drug trafficking charges and establishes direct contact points” between the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore.
 
“Capacity building, skill upgrading and knowledge development are also identified as areas of cooperation,” the statement said.
 
The fifth MoU was signed between the Town and Country Planning Organisation of India and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise in Capacity Building in the field of urban planning and governance.
 
It provides for participation of government officials from India in capacity-building programmes in areas such as urban planning and management.
 
The documents were signed following bilateral talks between Modi and Lee here.
 
After the signing of the documents, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two prime ministers noted the importance of culture between the two countries and encouraged more exhibitions, exchanges and interactions.
 
Modi and Lee noted their shared interest in furthering cooperation in the areas of science and technology, particularly in space, biomedicine and ayurveda, the spokesperson added.
 
The two prime ministers also released two postal stamps showing Rashtrapati Bhavan and Istana, the Singaporean presidential palace, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. 
 
Earlier on Tuesday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Istana following which he met Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.
 
Modi arrived in Singapore from Malaysia on Monday on a bilateral visit in the second and last leg of his four-day visit to southeast Asia. 
 
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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Axis Children's Gift Fund – Trying to capitalise on an old fad
Most child plan mutual fund schemes, with over a 10 year track record, have barely attracted investors. Some have either been merged or relaunched 
 
Axis Mutual Fund recently launched its 19th mutual fund scheme—Axis Children's Gift Fund. This is the first open-ended balanced scheme launched by the fund house.  This child plan scheme is targeted at individuals who wish to invest for their child’s financial goals like higher education etc. The fund house expects to raise Rs600-700 crore through this scheme. This seems to be very ambitious, as most child plan mutual fund schemes of the past have failed to garner much assets.
 
Such schemes were a fad of the past. In 2001-02, four fund houses namely HDFC MF, ICICI Prudential MF, LIC Nomura MF and SBI Magnum MF, launched similar schemes oriented to child oriented goals. Apart from these four fund houses, Tata MF and UTI MF too manage similar schemes which were launched in the 1990’s. Fund houses like Peerless MF and Franklin Templeton MF have relaunched and merged their respective child plan schemes. Apart from UTI Children Career Balanced Plan which has a corpus of Rs2,795 crore, the combined corpus of remaining child plan schemes is just around Rs995 crore, despite being launched over a decade back. Clearly, it can be seen that the existing child schemes have failed to generate much interest from investors. One of the main reasons could be the cumbersome documentation process required when investing in your child’s name and then again at the time of redemption when the child attains maturity. (Read - The pains of MF redemption when your child becomes major)
 
The chid plan scheme of Axis MF will invest 40-60% of its portfolio in equity stocks, 25-55% in debt and 5-15% in arbitrage opportunities. The scheme will be benchmarked to a composite index having an equity weightage to the Nifty 50 index and CRISIL Composite Bond Fund index.
 
The scheme will offer two sub-plans— Compulsory Lock-in and No Lock In. Under the Compulsory Lock-in, the investment will be locked-in till the unitholder (being the beneficiary child) is 18 years. Investment may be redeemed after the unitholder is 18 years or three years whichever is later. In the No Lock In, the investment can be redeemed at anytime, but exit load may be applicable. If the units are redeemed within a year, an exit load of 3% will be applicable. Within one to two years, an exit load of 2% will be applicable and within two to three years, an exit load of 1% will be payable. After three years, there will be no exit load charged. 
 
The scheme will be managed by Pankaj Murarka and Kedar Karnik.
 
Additional Scheme Details
 
Minimum Initial Purchase: Rs5,000 and in multiples of Re1 
Additional Purchase: Rs100 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter
Minimum Redemption: Rs1,000 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter
 
Exit Load
3% - if Units are redeemed or switched-out upto one year from the date of allotment,
2% - if Units are redeemed or switched-out after one year and upto two years from the date of allotment
1% - if Units are redeemed or switched-out after two years and upto three years from the date of allotment
Nil - if Units are redeemed or switched-out after three years
 
Expense Ratio
Maximum total expense ratio (TER) permissible under Regulation 52 (6) (c) (i)-Upto 2.50%
Additional expenses under regulation 52 (6A) (c) - Upto 0.20%
Additional expenses for gross new inflows from specified cities - Upto 0.30% 

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‘Teach Health Insurance Company a Lesson’
This is with regard to “6 Mediclaim Blunders To Avoid” by Raj Pradhan (Moneylife, 1 October 2015). 
 
I am happy to read your magazine, where you highlighted how insurance companies are rejecting genuine claims with minor and unjustified clauses. I would also highlight my experience with Star Health Insurance, where I have escalated my concern with all the authorities but all efforts have been in vain so far.   
 
I have taken a Senior Citizen Red Carpet Insurance Policy for my mother. She was hospitalised in a non-network hospital at my native place in Rajasthan and so we had to claim all medical expenses. I made a claim in September 2014 with submission of all required documents.
 
These documents were clearly checked by their employee, Sachin, at their Vashi branch in Navi Mumbai, and he acknowledged their receipt. They had taken more than 20 days to confirm that they had received the claim at their claim help desk. Later, I received a communication from them stating that they require the same documents which I had already submitted. I had also given my consent to the insurance company that they could contact the hospital, if they require any additional document or had any query. But the insurance company was knowingly delaying my claim and not providing any justification. Later, they rejected my claim on 9 December 2014, citing that I had not submitted the required documents and so they were not able to process my claim. This is despite the fact that I had confirmed during a conference call with their grievance executive Megha Maharana and Vashi branch employee Sachin that they had received all the required documents.
 
I had escalated this issue to their nodal officer but I have not received any answer, as of now. I had also raised this with IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) and Bima Lokpal (insurance ombudsman), and I am awaiting their resolution. I believe they are just collecting money for a cause but not supporting when we require it the most. My insurance claim intimation no: CLI/2015/700002/0117627
 
Please take up this complaint on a priority and teach Star Health a lesson; they need to abide by the rules which are drawn by the insurance authority.
Manish Modi, by email
 
Star Health’s reply:
 
The claim arose in the first year of our Senior Citizen Red Carpet Policy no: P/700002/01/ 2014/018661 which was started on 20 February 2014 with a sum insured of Rs2 lakh covering Hemalata Modi, 60 years of age. The insured person has taken treatment in a non-network hospital in Rajasthan, the diagnosis being Right Foot Cellulitis. The hospital carried out the procedure of incision and drainage under local anaesthesia. Hospitalisation was between 23 and 28 August 2014. The claim was intimated on 26.8.2014 and the documents were received at our corporate office on 15.10.2014. On 23.10.2014, we advised the insured to furnish the following:
 
(a) Original discharge summary with all original investigation reports. (b) Letter from the treating doctor mentioning the probable aetiology of cellulitis, duration of DM (diabetes mellitus), other co-morbidities, if any. (c) Indoor case papers, OT notes. (d) Any previous history of hospitalisation with discharge summary, investigation reports. (e) Original receipt for the amount paid to hospital. (f) Hospital registration certificate copy.
 
The insured responded by mail on 3.12.2014 taking the plea that he has submitted whatever he had and if any further information/documents are required, we should approach the doctor/hospital and obtain them. In fact, he has not disclosed the health condition of the insured which ought to have been within his knowledge, namely, duration of diabetes mellitus and other co-morbid conditions and the cause for cellulitis. In most cases, the primary cause for cellulitis is longstanding diabetes or arising out of an accidental injury. Further, in terms of the Senior Citizen Red Carpet Policy issued to the insured, any treatment arising out of a pre-existing disease/condition is not payable in the first year of the policy. Hence, the insured was asked to submit the aetiology of cellulitis and duration of diabetes mellitus. As the insured has not submitted the relevant documents in support of his claim, we had no option but to reject his claim in terms of the following condition of the policy issued to him : 
 
“The Insured Person shall obtain and furnish the Company with all original bills, receipts and other documents upon which a claim is based and shall also give the Company such additional information and assistance as the Company may require in dealing with the claim...”
 
If the insured submits the documents called for, we shall be in a position to re-open the claim and deal with it in terms of the policy. 
 
SAVE TIME AND HARASSMENT!
This is with regard to “5 Steps for an Easier Tax System” by Ameet Patel. In many countries, such as Australia, personal taxation is a breeze... every cent is in the system and refund takes two weeks! Remove the plethora of deductions that people have to claim and have a flat system of tax. Submission of documentation by salaried class is another pain. For a large country like India, the process has to be swift. A few percentage points here and there can be avoided to save time, harassment and paperwork.
Aditya Singhal, online comment
 
ABOLISH INCOME TAX!
Point number one is spot on. How much time and energy is wasted on such a small point—TDS or tax deduction at source—which is nothing but a nuisance, at the worst. The best thing is that, as Dr Subramanian Swamy states, abolish income tax (I-T) and have a 1% bank trainsaction tax. No I-T returns will then need to be filed. No I-T office required! This will improve ease of doing business, when implemented.
Suketu Shah, online comment
 
MONEY LAUNDERING? 
This is with regard to “Stock Manipulation: Viaan Industries”. Obviously, it is a money laundering operation.
Peejay Lal, online comment
 
ALERT FOR INVESTORS
This is with regard to “Ashok Leyland on a Roll in September quarter”. Thanks; this is an alert call for investors. Please do post similar reviews/observations on other stocks as and when you feel it right.
Sudharshan Katipally 
 
TEDIOUS AND TIME CONSUMING!
The article by advocate Bapoo Malcom, “Will Your Will Be Willed Away?” is quite an interesting article.
 
In India, depending on the situation and circumstances, oral Wills are allowed and valid. A Will, which is written by the testator in his own handwriting, need not be witnessed by two persons. However, after the demise of the testator, when probate has to be obtained for such special Wills, it becomes a tedious process. Even when a testator has landed property or a house in different states of India, when his probated Will from one state goes to the High Court of another state, and after it goes to district court of that state, where that real estate is situated, the Will’s probate is checked by that court, and court orders transfer of the said property in the name of legatee. 
This is a tedious time consuming and costly process.
Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag 
 
SPEEDY JUSTICE NEEDED!
This is with regard to “Collateral Damage of the 1992 Scam” by Sucheta Dalal. Unfortunately, India's judicial system has become a tool for culprits to delay matters ad-infinitum. Lack of accountability of the judiciary is creating crisis. As a remedy, it is available only to the privileged few. No government has ever done anything substantive to dispense speedy justice by strengthening the institution. 
 
Mr Bavdekar may eventually get acquitted, but he will not be compensated for the decades of torture.
Rajendra M Ganatra
 
Corrections: (1) The author of the Cover Story of Moneylife (Issue 26 November 2015), Ameet Patel, is a partner of Manohar Chowdhry & Associates and not as mentioned. (2) In Stock watch “Strong Get Stronger” Moneylife (Issue 12 November 2015), there were mistakes in calculation of the price changes. However, the names of the top 19 stocks picked for the analysis were unaffected.

 

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