India needs to allow Iran to open accounts in banks other than UCO Bank and from all the major port cities, which would result in increased trade between the two countries
It may be recalled that Iran signed on 24 November 2013 an accord with US and European Union (world powers, really), agreeing to curtail its nuclear ambition in exchange for as much as $7 billion in relief from sanctions, and reassuring them that the Iranian nuclear programme has been set up only for peaceful purposes.
Iran had reiterated that it is only refining uranium to fuel a planned network of nuclear power plants, though the world knows that the same material can also be processed to provide fissile core of an atomic bomb, if it was "enriched" more! However, true to its word, Iran has been playing by the book and even the recent visit of the UN Inspectors to the Gchine mine in Southern Iran was with the assistance and cooperation of the Iranian Atomic Organisation.
The sanction, as we had stated earlier, did not very clearly spell out the procedures in case of insurance cover for vessels carrying Iranian cargo to and from that country. Two Iranian ship underwriters (Kish P & I Club and Moallem Insurance Co) have been given six months extension by the Director General of Shipping (DGS) from 28th December 2013, while asking for a Rs2,300 crore bank guarantee in rupees to pay for damages in the event of a mishap occurring in the Indian waters. Iran has sought some more time to resolve this issue.
At the moment, the National Iranian Tanker companies like Hafiz Darya Shipping Lines and Safiran Payam Darya Shipping Lines carry crude to India. Iranian supplies of crude fell to 13.3 million tonnes (mt) in 2013 against 18.1 mt in the previous year and is likely to touch only 11 mt by March 2014.
Recently, while attending and event organised by the Federation of AP Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Gholam Reza Ansari, the Iranian Ambassador met press persons, on the sidelines, and expressed the Iranian desire and the urgent need to operate the trade through multiple banks in the country.
At the moment, Iran maintains a rupee account with UCO Bank in Kolkata from where Indian exporters are paid against their shipments of various goods. With the relaxed condition of the sanction, Iran feels that trade will increase and to facilitate easy payments to exporters in India, it needs to operate from more banks in addition to UCO Bank in Kolkata. This is not an unfair or impractical demand, and the Ministry of Finance must immediately permit the opening of accounts with banks of their choice operating from all the major port cities like Mumbai, Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Vishakapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata, in addition to other cities that they may choose. In any case, almost all banks are government-owned, and Ministry should not waste time in meeting this reasonable request.
Agricultural products like basmati rice, soya, tea etc have found a good market in Iran besides engineering and pharmaceutical items. Trade visits to Iran are a must and when the government of India are willing to consider subsidy for Shipping Corporation of India to ply to Yangoon (Myanmar), there should be no reason for them to shy away to visit Iranian ports. Only 8% of Indian vessels out of 1,150 ships go to Iran. This must be increased.
If necessary, it must take the lead in providing sovereign guarantee for Indian vessels to ply, until sanctions are relaxed and normalcy is restored.
In the meantime, why not the Indian government take the lead in offering long or medium term credit facilities to build the 165 km railway line between Rasht in Iran and Astara in Azerbaijan? This will also help India to trade even more with CIS countries.
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also 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.)
Health and personal care category continues to lead with the highest number of complaints received by ASCI during November 2013
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) under the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has banned as many as 57 advertisements out of 65 complaints it received across segments during November 2013. The banned ads are from prominent companies like Hindustan Unilever (HUL)'s Pepsodent Germi Check+ Expert Protection Pro Complete Toothbrush and CloseUp Deep Action Toothpaste, Marico Ltd's Nihar Shanti Amla Hair Oil, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd's Revital, 99acres.com's ‘no Muslim is allowed’ ad, as well as Pizza Hut, Bisleri Vedica, Mcvitie’s Digestive Biscuit, Surya Salt, V-Guard water heaters, Maruti Alto, TVS Star City and Future Bazaar ad by Big Bazaar; they range from FMCGs to autos, personal accessories to alcohol, and education to media.
“...the Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 57 out of 65 ads it received. Health & personal care category continue to lead with the highest number of complaints received,” ASCI said in a release.
Here are the ads that were banned by ASCI during November…
HEALTH AND PERSONAL CARE
The CCC found the following claims in health and personal care product or service ads of 44 advertisers, released in the press to be either misleading or false or not adequately/ scientifically substantiated and hence violating ASCI’s Code. Some of the health care products or services ads also contravened provisions of the Drug & Magic Remedies Act.
Complaints against the following ads were UPHELD –
1. Ambic Ayurved: NavPaurush Powder/Capsules claims that it ‘increases hunger, weight, strength & helps in producing new blood’, ‘helps in bringing shine on the skin and increases stamina.’
2. Amba Health Clinic: Claims to treat diseases such as vitiligo, infertility, diabetes etc.
3. Anmol Ayur Clinic: Claims that they provide ‘prompt and successful treatment of oldest of the drunkard's drinking habit/ tobacco consumption /drugs etc. and every type of addiction.’
4. Ayurvedik Vikas Sansthan: Claims that ‘Energic-31 is the best health enhancer Ayurvedic medicine, which is helpful to get rid of the unfitness of all t organs, all types of weaknesses, pains, tiredness, laziness, increases longevity power, immunity power, and efficiency.’ It is equally effective for both ladies and gents.
5. Chaitanya Hospital: The hospital advertisement claims that they are the ‘1st users of Lensx Laser Femto Second Cataract Surgery in Kerala’.
6. Dhanvantari Super Speciality Ayurvedic Hospital & Panch Center: Claims they provide ‘complete treatment of psoriasis, eczema, white spots, pimples and any type of skin disease’, ‘complete and successful treatment of infertility, getting an issue, women's illness, P.C.O.D, less sperms, sexual weakness etc’, ‘complete treatment of any type of illness in one and only Ayurvedic hospital with complete facilities.’
7. Dr RP Kakkar Clinic: Claims to be the ‘contact for the most successful treatment of poor erection, oligo spermia’, one can ‘get permanent benefit.
8. Shree Kalyan Ayurvedashram: Claims that ‘within 5-6 hours of treatment white spots will reduce and will appear as normal skin complexion.’
9. Dr. Nigam’s Good Health Pvt. Ltd (Dr. Nigam’s Hair Multiplication): Claims that it is ‘Nations No.1 hair treatment clinic’.
10. Dr.Ashwini’s Obesity & Homoeo Health Care Centre: Claims that one can ‘fight obesity with India's first obesity research clinic.
11. Dr.Amrapali’s Trim N Tone: Claims that they ‘use LIPO laser to remove fat and reduce inches without surgery or pain. Also claims of helping them lose 8 kgs in just 45 days.
12. Dr Bhurani Multi Speciality Homoeo Clinic: Claims that they provide a ‘successful treatment without operation by medicines. (Diseases mentioned are vitiligo, baldness, obesity, stones)
13. Detox: Detox Hospital: Claims that they give ‘Single session of Detox = 600 calories, Burnt = 10 km walk.’ ‘They provide world's best detox procedures. Just sit, dip and sip to detox’, ‘go Detox - removes toxins, burns calories, weight loss, reduces cellulite, improves blood circulation, reduces joint pains & muscular aches, relieves stress, kills allergies.
14. Dr. Care Cosmetics: Syor Powder claims that it is ‘helpful in increasing memory power’, ‘completely Ayurvedic chocolate flavour’, ‘books lag behind when compared to memory power.’
15. The Himalaya Drug Company: Himalaya Sparkling White Toothpaste claims that it is ‘India’s first toothpaste with no chemical bleach’. Pack claims that they guarantee ‘whiter teeth in just 2 weeks.’
16. Dr. Sheetal’s Slim Express: The advertisement claims that the technique used is medically proven technology backed by scientific research.
17. Dr.Sheetals Slim Express: The advertisement is about weight loss and how visceral fat increases risk of heart disease. The advertisement claims that there are satisfactory results in 90% of the cases.
18. Future Planner Enterprises: Ret Radifree Gold claims that it ‘blocks up to 97% electromagnetic radiation’, ‘Tested! Proven! C.I.E.M.S. & C.F.B.S.’, ‘It provides solution for the side effects of mobile radiation -Headache, low memory, impotency, brain tumour, tiredness etc.’
19. GTM Teleshopping Pvt. Ltd: Brain Smart: Claims the product improves the capacity of Human Brain / Mental condition.
20. Hindustan Unilever Ltd: Pepsodent Germi Check + Expert Protection Pro Complete Toothbrush claims that they are ‘100% proven interdental cleaning. Further they also claims to provide complete cleaning (“Purisafai”).
21. Hindustan Unilever Ltd: New Close Up Deep Action Toothpaste: The Claim was not substantiated ‘Confidence of Fresh breath till 12 hours, presenting new Close-up Deep Action’.
22. Hans Herbal Overseas: Hans Snow claims that it is a ‘reliable brand for more than 5 crore people for 40 years.’
23. Indian Fowrazin: The advertisement is selling a very high priced herbal remedy – Claim misleading as long time was not specific “only 12kg are produced per year” (thereby justifying the very high price of US$3000 per 50 grams) is false. Medical claims for the product have no basis in research (lowers cholesterol; improves sexual health and performance; reduces cancer risk; antidote to mild poisons; anti-oxidant properties).
24. Jolly Pharma: Jolly Fat Go claims that ‘dieting and exercise did not work well, then proceed to & try Jolly Fat-Go Slim capsules and Anticellulite oil to keep your body slim, smart and fit.’ ‘It corrects body metabolism, equally effective on boys-girls and men-women’. ‘Take 2 Jolly Fat go capsules early in the morning on an empty stomach; and 2 capsules in the evening two hours before dinner along with lukewarm water. Metabolism will eventually burn the excess fat and convert it into energy’.
25. Jay Shree Pharmaceuticals: Pilora Powder /Cream claims that one can ‘get relief from piles -hernia in 1 day’, it is‘100% Ayurvedic’, provides ‘immediate relief from unbearable pain in anal region, inflammation-itching, fissure- bleeding-sitting problems etc.’
26. Jay Shree Pharmaceuticals: Fat Kill Capsules & Oil claims that one can ‘experience the change in 30 days’, ‘Take a three month course and get an attractive figure.’
27. Mellitus Capsules: Cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of diabetes in human beings.
28. Marico Ltd: Nihar Shanti Amla Hair Oil claims to ‘keep hair black for a long time.’
29. Nirog Clinic: Claims that they provide ‘permanent treatment of STDs, impotency caused due to sugar, childlessness, premature ejaculation, nil sperms, small organ and tardiness, piles, stone, obesity, excessive weakness, joint pain, hair problems etc.’
30. Oma Health & Beauty Clinic: Claims that they provide ‘guaranteed 5 kg weight loss in just Rs3,999’ and ‘guaranteed 10 kg weight loss in just Rs7,499’.
31. Omega Hospital: The advertisement states that ‘breast cancer can be cured’.
32. Pratiraj Herbal Pharmacy: Navjeevan Hair Oil claims that it is a ‘successful medicine for baldness’, ‘a patent Ayurvedic medicine made by herbs which is chemical free, colour less, odour less’.
33. Springs: Claims that they help ‘lose 10 kgs in 24 hours’.
34. Shathayu Ayurveda: Claims that they help ‘lose 6 Kgs in just 25 days.’
35. Tara Homeopathy Clinic: Claims that they ‘provide guarantee card of treatment with 100% in all types of hair treatment’.
36. Slim Care Herbal Products: Slim Fast Capsule/Powder claims that one can ‘get rid of obesity’, ‘no dieting’, ‘no side effect’ and is ‘100% herbal’.
37. Shankar Nursing Home: Claims that one can get ‘permanent treatment of stones without operation, without getting admitted, by laser machine and get discharged in 2 hours.’
38. Roojssel’s Slimming Beauty and Hair Clinic: Claims that one can ‘lose weight by lipo laser which gives a perfect figure.’
39. Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd: Revital claims that the ‘21 day money back guarantee challenge.’
40. Shape & Glow: Claims that one can ‘get perfect figure by lipo laser.’ Advertisement also claims that they provide ‘5 muscle toner, body firming, tummy trims, hip trims and figure correction.’
41. Sanjeevan School for Perfect Eyesight: Natural Vision Improvement Centre claims cure for colour blindness.’
42. Sri Sanjeevini Solutions: Claims that it is ‘India's No.1’. ‘The Cold Laser Medicine Cures: migraine, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, knee pain, foot pain, numbness, psoriasis, varicose blood, diabetes, stress. Helps to get rid of smoking & drinking, sexual problem, fat, ulcer, gangrene, psoriasis, Varicose, operation marks etc’.
43. The Body Care Slimming & Beauty Clinic for Men and Women: Claims that they help ‘lose 10 kgs weight in 24 hrs’. The ad claims ‘6-8 cms and 1 kg loss permanently (in Marathi).’
44. Venktesh Dal & Flour Mill: Santrupthi Diabetic Atta helps ‘control blood pressure, diabetes, obesity naturally’.
Inasra Technologies Pvt Ltd: The Facebook advertisement of Sayzilla.com displays an image which is very demeaning to woman, is sexist and objectifies women. The CCC concluded that the Facebook Ad shows an indecent depiction of a woman and objectifies women, which is likely in the light of generally prevailing standards of decency and propriety, to cause grave or widespread offence. The Ad contravened Chapter II of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
Info Edge (India) Ltd: The advertisement of website of 99acres.com clearly states ‘no Muslim is allowed’. The CCC concluded that the website advertisement claim of ‘no Muslim is allowed’ promotes discrimination based on religion and contravened Chapter III.1 (b) of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
www.surfaceinternational.com: Claims that they have been ‘providing a best industrial machine from 25 years’. The date of establishment of the company is 2006. In view of this, it is prima-facie that this company is providing wrong information / false information leading to misguiding and duping the viewers of the website. The CCC concluded that the claim was not substantiated. The internet Ad contravened Chapter I.1 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
The CCC concluded that the claims mentioned in these advertisements were not substantiated. The advertisements contravened ASCI’s Code.
The complaints were UPHELD.
1. Pizza Hut: The hoardings state that ‘Rs. 99 on any meal any day.’ This is not factually true.
2. International Pvt Ltd: Bisleri Vedica claims that it is ‘anti-acidic spring water from Himalayas.’
3. United Biscuits Pvt. Ltd: Mcvitie’s Digestive Biscuit claims that ‘Every biscuit has 'Maida' (Wheat Flour), whereas their biscuits have 'Atta' (whole wheat flour). The content of the biscuits says that it also contains 36% 'maida' (wheat flour) and only 23% 'Atta' (whole wheat flour). Hence their claim is totally misleading that their biscuit is made of 'Atta' (whole wheat flour).’
4. Saboo Sodium Chloro Ltd: Surya Salt claims that ‘Scientists believe that by consuming sambhar salt regularly you can get rid of joints pain’, ‘other than that it can protect us from stomach diseases, acidity even skins diseases and many other diseases’, ‘Surya salt has many merits. It contains right amount of Iodine, which eliminates brain diseases and helps in the mental growth of children’.
Rameshwaram Vishwa Vidyapeeth University & Kendriya Vishwavidyala University: The CCC concluded that the websites claim of the Universities being accredited by the British Accreditation Council’ was not substantiated and was misleading. The websites claims contravened Guidelines for Advertising of Educational Institutions and Programs as well as Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
V-Guard Industries Ltd: V-Guard Water Heaters TVC shows ‘a woman being stared at, touched pushed and groped in a bus. On reaching her office she is yelled at by her boss. And on her way back she is whistled at. On reaching home she has a bath using V-guard water heaters and the ad states, ‘Dho Daliye Roz ki Pareshanniyo Ko’’. This ad is promoting sexual harassment of women. The CCC viewed the TVC and concluded that the depiction of a woman shown in situations of helplessness and acceptance of sexual harassment is likely to cause grave or widespread offence. The advertisement contravened Chapter II of the ASCI Code. The complaint was UPHELD.
The CCC found following claims in TVC by 2 different advertisers violated Chapter III.3 of the ASCI Guidelines on advertisements for automotive vehicles and hence the complaints against the ads were UPHELD –
1 Maruti Suzuki India Ltd: Maruti Alto 800 TVC shows ‘a couple celebrating Diwali and when asked about the extra diya, the wife says it is for her parents who stay far away. And they travel with the diya in the car and reach the house. The wife says surprisingly the oil in the diya is intact and the husband agrees whilst looking at the dashboard’. The advertisement sends a dangerous message of carrying an oil lamp in the car. It flouts the safety rules and spreads a dangerous message.
2. TVS Star City: The TVC shows a woman pillion riding without a helmet.
Future Bazaar: The Big Bazaar TVC shows a women riding pillion without helmet. The CCC concluded that the visual of a pillion riding woman and also shown without a helmet promotes unsafe practices. The advertisement contravened the Guidelines on Advertisements for automotive Vehicles. The complaint was UPHELD.
Lal Kitab Amrit: The advertisement of the book ‘Yes I Can’ claims that this book will relieve the sorrows and misery of everyone who will buy this book. The CCC concluded that the claims made in the TVC were not substantiated, and were misleading by gross exaggeration. The advertisement contravened Chapters I.1 and I.4 of the Code. The complaint was UPHELD
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