Citizens' Issues
KBC-6 to go on air by August-end or September, Big B remains as host

With 'the power of knowledge' as the central theme, the makers of KBC announced `Sirf Gyaan Hi Aapko Aapka Haq Dila Sakta Hai' as the communication theme for the sixth season.

Mumbai: The makers of the popular game show featuring Amitabh Bachchan, `Kaun Banega Crorepati' (KBC), are back with sixth season, likely to start in September or August-end, reports PTI.
KBC is the Indian version of the UK game show `Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'. It was first aired in 2000, and marked Bachchan's TV debut.
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan tried to fill his shoes in the third edition, but the Big B later returned to anchor the fourth and fifth seasons.
With 'the power of knowledge' as the central theme, the makers of the show announced `Sirf Gyaan Hi Aapko Aapka Haq Dila Sakta Hai' as the communication theme for the sixth season.
"The challenge was how we should take the philosophy to the next level. We came up with `Gyaan hi aapko aapka...' because it is a great factor to empower people. One of the most important parts of the show is how do we democratize the entire KBC," said Danish Khan, Senior Vice President & Marketing head, SET.
Bachchan underwent an abdominal surgery in February and was advised rest for sometime. There were reports that he might not host the show, but he is back.
"There is nobody like Mr Bachchan. His appeal transcends across all age groups. He can relate and connect with people of all backgrounds. His command over the language - both Hindi, English and many other local languages, his humility and sincerity are the factors that drive his popularity," Khan said.
The show will be aired on prime time on Sony.
"We can't tell the exact slot as we are brainstorming the right time. But certainly it will be a prime time slot," he said.


IRDA wants kirana shops, chemists to sell micro insurance

IRDA wants to allow individual owners of kirana shops, fair price shops, medical shops, petrol pumps and individual PCO operators to be categorize as micro insurance agents

New Delhi: To promote penetration of insurance in the country, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has proposed to rope in kirana shopowners, chemists shops and petrol pump operators to sell micro insurance products, reports PTI.
Micro insurance products are schemes with low ticket size and targeted towards rural and urban poor.
"In order to broadbase the micro insurance business there is a case to expand the micro insurance agency base by adding few more distribution partners or Individuals," IRDA said in an exposure draft on Micro Insurance Regulations.
The IRDA proposes to allow individual owners of kirana shops, fair price shops, medical shops, petrol pumps, individual public call office (PCO) operators to be categorize as micro insurance agents.
"Since, these individuals have a physical presence and standing in these specific market segments as those of the existing Standalone Micro Insurance Agents, it is considered that they stand on similar footing along with standalone micro insurance agents," the IRDA said.
Currently some entities like non-government organisations (NGOs), Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and Self help Groups (SHGs) currently work as micro insurance agent.
District Cooperative banks, Regional Rural Banks, primary Agricultural Cooperative societies, individual agents too work as micro insurance agents.
It said that the intent of regulation in the sector is yet to take off since the notification of the Micro Insurance regulations in November, 2005.
For the year ending March 2011, 36.50 lakh new policies were issues by collecting Rs130.40 crore of new business under individual life insurance business. In respect of group policies, micro insurance covered 1.53 crore lives and garnered Rs155.22 crore premium.


MCX-SX should use the mantra “How to win investors and influence FIIs” to succeed

MCX-SX should take innovative steps that will help in doubling the present market turnover which will not only benefit the investors but create a new benchmark for other stock exchanges to emulate
The MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) having got the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) clearance for setting up a third all-India stock exchange in the country must be preparing to launch its capital market operations shortly. It is said, “two’s company, three‘s a crowd”. Only time will tell if the third exchange will result in too much of a crowd in the capital market.

But MCX-SX must not lose sight of the fact that it can succeed only if it proves itself daringly different from the existing stock exchanges and do something unique to win investors’ confidence and influence FIIs, and make a mark in this “dog-eat-dog world” of capital market.


Here are a few innovations that the MCX-SX should consider introducing not only for the benefit of the investors, but also from the angle of giving a new orientation to the capital market dealings in our country.

Speed-up settlement system
The most important innovation that is required in the stock market today is how to speed up the operations of the settlement system. In April 2003, when SEBI introduced T+2 rolling settlement system in both the stock exchanges, there were apprehensions about its success, as it was felt that the banking system in the country was not prepared then for the speedy transfer of funds from one account to another even on the next day. And without the availability of funds in the account of brokers for no fault of theirs, settlement might get delayed and investors may not get the payments on the stipulated date. But fortunately, there have not been any noticeable mishaps in the market and the settlements have been smooth in both the stock exchanges for the last ten years.

At preset the T+2 settlement system is practiced more in its breach rather than in its adherence. Because, even under the automated online trading system, you do not get the payment for the shares sold on the third day of completing the deal and you get the payment only on the fourth working day. In the case of purchase of shares also, though your bank account gets debited with the amount payable on the next day, the shares are credited to your demat account only on the fourth working day. The present settlement system of T+2 is, therefore, only for the brokers, and for all investors virtually it continues to be T+3. Unfortunately SEBI has not done anything to ensure that the benefit of T+2 settlement system percolates down to the investors, who form the backbone of the capital market.

Since then, the most important development that happened in the banking industry in our country is that all public and the private sector banks have introduced core banking solutions in all their branches, and have put in place a technology for transferring funds from one account to another in any bank ad in any place in the country within a few minutes under the real time gross settlement system (RTGS).  This system has been perfected over the last two years and is the preferred mode for transfer of funds among all the institutions in our country.


It is, therefore, possible now to go the whole hog to introduce T+1 rolling settlement system in the place of the present official T+2 (but unofficial T+3) settlement system that is in vogue in both the stock exchanges now.

It is a golden opportunity for MCX-SX to commence operations on T+1 rolling settlement system, thereby stealing a march over the other two stock exchanges, which have done precious little to speed up the settlement system for the last ten years. With the technology forming the backbone of all operations, it shouldn’t be difficult for MCX-SX to go for this speedier settlement system, giving a boost to the entire stock market operations in our country.

Introduce delivery vs payment system
The second improvement required in the settlement system is the introduction of delivery vs payment system that is in vogue in the gilt-edged securities market. In the wake of the Harshad Mehta scam that happened in the securities market in early 1992 which was unearthed by the noted journalist Sucheta Dalal, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) came out with the new system of all settlement of government securities (G Secs) on the basis of delivery vs settlement, thereby totally eliminating the risk of non-delivery or non-payment in that market. In the present system followed in the capital market, it is not clear whether this system is followed, as the investors are not given the benefit of this delivery vs payment system, as they are out of funds two days before getting delivery of shares or they get funds only after two days of delivery. Also the risk of not getting payment or not getting delivery of shares is very much prevalent, though technically it may be covered by the stock exchange guarantee, invoking of which will take its own time.

The MCX-SX should therefore, devise a system whereby the investor will get delivery of shares on the same day of payment, or gets the payment for the shares sold by him on the same day of delivery. This will not only obviate the risks involved, but will considerably improve investor confidence in the market that will go a long way in drawing new investors into the market.

Reduce cost of dealings for the investor
At present there is plethora of charges levied while buying or selling shares in the stock market. There are as many as six different types of charges and taxes levied on the investor, which discourages people to deal in the stock market. Starting with brokerage, demat charges, transaction charges, securities transaction tax, stamp duty and ending with service tax, these add to a substantial amount, which is not justified when the entire operations are done through the internet, without manual intervention. The biggest share of this cost comes from the brokerage payable to broker, and this requires to be considerably reduced, having regard to the fact that the investment in the stock market is a risk investment and keeping the charges low will be the only way to attract more investors to the market.
MCX-SX should, therefore, ensure that the brokers empanelled by them should be allowed to charge only a fixed amount of brokerage for every transaction done, and not according to the value of the transaction, which is neither reasonable nor ethical under the present system of online trading done on all exchanges. This will bring down the cost for investors considerably, serving the cause of investors admirably.

SEBI should also consider bringing down the brokerage currently charged by the brokers in all the exchanges by converting ad-valorem to fixed charge per transaction, to contain the dwindling investor interest in the stock market.

If these innovative steps are taken by the stock exchange to be started by MCX, it will help in doubling the present turnover and will benefit not only the investors, but will be a step in the right direction for it to succeed and create a new benchmark for other stock exchanges to emulate.

Will MCX-SX rise up to the challenge and prove equal to the task of taking the Indian capital market to the new orbit of convenience, confidence and safety unheard of before?

(The author is a banking & financial analyst. He writes for Moneylife under the pen-name ‘Gurpur’)



Narendra Doshi

5 years ago

Very true. I hope MCX-SX will listen and also ADD a few more novelties. After all it has waited so long to get these clearances. Good luck Mr. Jignesh Shah. You have proven time and again of your forward looking solutions all these years, all over the world. It is time to do that once again.

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