Consumer Issues
KYC pains for NRIs and PIOs
Banks needs to computerise data of NRIs and PIOs, which will indicate, well in advance when the applicant's overseas passport expires; whether or not he holds any other valid documents, like driving license
 
A few months ago, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the know your customer (KYC) guidelines,  (DBOD.AML.BC No: 44/14.01.001/2014-15 dated 21 October 2014), which makes it mandatory for banks to periodically update its customer identity data.
 
This particular circular refers only to non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs), who may have also obtained the Overseas Citizen of India Card, after securing foreign nationality, and yet, has very close links back with India. This could be through their investments, or kith and kin living there and their own elderly parents living in India. Such a move to obtain the information and keep a track of such NRIs would be of national advantage, in the long run.
 
The requirement, as per this circular, is proof of one being an NRI or PIO and is given by providing a copy of the valid passport and visa, if holding an Indian passport; for a person of Indian origin, holding, a foreign passport, but holding an OCI card, copy of the same would be needed. However, the rules stipulate that these should be attested by the Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad, or a Notary Public, or any branch of an Indian scheduled commercial bank having an overseas branch in the country of residence of the applicant. To obtain this attestation, it is natural for the applicant to produce the original document for verification!
 
Additional proof of identity and address are also required by supporting documentary evidence. This would be for the NRI or OCI who has "returned" back to India, and is living in the country, on his/ her own, and/or with his/ her family.
 
In addition to the above, customer updation requires the current personal details, such as the address location, phone numbers, mobile phone numbers, email address, passport and visa details (if still holding the NRI status, but with the Indian passport etc.), Pan Card data, with a supporting passport photo.
 
The question is that the above needs must also ensure that the Banks are organised to computerise the data, which will indicate, well in advance when the applicant's overseas passport expires; whether or not he holds any other valid documents, such as the Drivers' license (both domestic and foreign, if any).  Many NRIs, who have residences back in India also have Voter's ID Cards, besides having PAN cards. All these need to be incorporated into the system, and the upgrading must be done at the Bank where the applicant operates. Instead of having to produce tonnes of attested documents, RBI must permit, and the Banks should accept, a self-certified statement if there are any changes, with an undertaking that the revised, renewed document, like the passport, will be provided should be enough, which should be actually given within an agreed time frame.
 
The NRIs/OCIs, in comparison to rest of the Indians at home, are a minority. It will be an enormous and Herculean task if the Banks are expected to obtain this sort of information from every single customer that they may have, for the rest of Indians!  

(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.)

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COMMENTS

vasanti

2 years ago

Valuable insight. Thank you!

Rail Budget: What’s in It for You?
Lots, if the government is really serious
 
Suresh Prabhu, presenting his first Railway Budget, refrained from populist measures, like announcing new trains, and left passenger fares untouched. Interestingly, unlike his predecessors, Mr Prabhu refrained from announcing any new train, but assured members of Parliament (MPs) that he would review their requests before announcing any new train.
 
However, Mr Prabhu announced a slew of measures for passengers, like mobile app for complaints, water-vending machines at major stations, CCTV cameras in some long-distance trains and EMUs (Electric Multiple Units). Indian Railways will introduce ‘Operation Five Minutes’ to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes. Provision of modified ‘hot-buttons’, coin-vending machines and ‘single destination teller’ windows will drastically reduce the transaction time. For the differently-abled travellers, a special initiative is being launched whereby they can purchase concessional e-tickets after one-time registration.
 
To make travel on Indian Railways a happier experience, Mr Prabhu has given a thrust to cleanliness, while proposing a new department for keeping stations and trains clean under Swachh Rail-Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. New toilets will be built at 650 additional stations; online booking of disposable bed-rolls will be made available. A 24X7 helpline number 138 and a toll-free number 182 for security-related complaints have also been proposed by the Railway minister in his budget.
 
 
In addition, passengers would receive an ‘SMS Alert’ informing them in advance of the updated arrival and departure time of trains at starting or destination stations.
 
The Railways has approached the National Institute of Design (NID) to design user-friendly ladders for climbing upper berths. Railways is also launching a programme to improve design, quality and cleanliness of bed linen within the next six months. The facility of online booking of disposable bed-rolls at select stations is being extended to all passengers through the IRCTC portal on payment basis.
 
 
There would be more numbers of lower berths for senior citizens. Besides, TTEs (Travelling Ticket Examiner) will now be instructed to help senior citizens, pregnant women and differently-abled persons in obtaining lower berths and middle bay of coaches would be reserved for women and senior citizens, the minister added.
 
Railways would also introduce e-catering, under which passengers will have freedom to select their meals from an array of choices, including local cuisine. At present e-catering is available in 108 trains and, based on passenger response, it would be expanded to more trains. Railways is also setting up base kitchens in specified divisions that would be run by agencies for serving quality food to passengers.
 
Indian Railways’ Delhi Division is taking up a project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains on licence-fee basis. Depending on the response, the facility will be extended on all Shatabdi trains.
 
Mobile phone charging facilities would be provided in general class coaches and the number of charging facilities would be increased in sleeper class coaches.

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Govt eyeing over Rs80,000 crore from spectrum auction
Most of the spectrum put up for auction is currently held by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom and their licences expire in 2015-16
 
The much awaited spectrum auction, where eight companies are bidding to acquire airwaves in four bands, started on Wednesday.
 
The auction is the biggest ever sale of 2G and 3G airwaves which may fetch the Government over Rs82,000 crore.
 
A total of 380.75 MHz of spectrum in three bands — the premium 900 MHz band, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz — has been put on sale besides 5 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band across 17 of 22 telecom areas in the country.
 
Based on the reserve price, the Government is estimated to garner over Rs82,000 crore.
 
Most of the spectrum put up for auction is currently held by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Telecom. Their licences expire in 2015-16.
 
Mobile licences for Idea Cellular’s nine circles, six circles of Airtel and seven circles each of Vodafone and Reliance Telecom are coming up for renewal.
 
Overall, there are 29 licences in 18 service areas which will expire in 2015-16. These licences hold 184 MHz spectrum in the 900 MHz band and 34.2 MHz in 1,800 MHz band.
 
It is mandatory for these companies to bid for spectrum if they have to continue offering mobile and other telecom services as their permit is expiring.
 
The Government had raked in Rs62,162 crore from the last spectrum auction held in February 2014. 
 

 

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COMMENTS

Mayank Khanna

2 years ago

Thats the only good news I have read so far today. May be this time government can use this money in development of India.

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