Team Life Care Co, an authorised corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, is carrying on a multi-level marketing scheme under a sister entity called TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd, in open violation of the law
Peddlers of multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes in insurance products are coming up with new ways to cover up their shady activities. One such company is Team Life Care Co India Pvt Ltd, a corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Ltd.
Team Life Care Co (India) has a website (see here) in which it lists down all the Bajaj Allianz products that it sells. However, Team Life Care Co (India) seems to be running a mirror website in a company called TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd (see here) where it lists down an elaborate and bizarre MLM scheme.
Section (41) of the Insurance Act (1938), clearly says that “a licensed agent, whether individual or corporate, can’t appoint a sub-agent and pass on a commission to another person or entity. Any passing of commission by an agent is construed as rebating and is prohibited under the Act.”
Moneylife contacted both Team Life Care Co and TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd. Soumya Nair from Team Life Care Co confirmed that TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd was an outfit that it was running. Saurabh Dahayat from TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd also confirmed that it was a part of Team Life Care Co. Both Ms Nair and Mr Dahayat confirmed that both these entities share a common managing director, one Mr Jagannath (initials or first name not available).
When Moneylife contacted Mr Dahayat from TLC on how the MLM scheme operates and the relationship between the two entities, he said, “Team Life Care is an operations department of TLC where you get a login ID and all your queries are cleared. You have to draw a demand draft (DD) on the name of TLC Insurance. You have to issue one DD in favour of Bajaj Allianz and the other for TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd. Both companies are a part of one group. Our managing director is (the) same. You have to work for TLC Insurance (for the MLM scheme).”
Here is a clear case of a company which is running a legitimate insurance agent business, but which has a mirror entity which is engaging in an MLM insurance scheme, expressly prohibited under the Insurance Act.
If you take a look at the websites of both these companies, you would notice that they carry a common logo (see above links).
Santosh Balan, head, (Corporate Communications) from Bajaj Allianz sent us this email: “We wish to inform you that Team Life Care Co (India) Ltd is a Corporate Agent of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance and they solicit business through approved specified persons only. All our agents are strictly advised to follow all regulations and procedures while soliciting business. If we find anyone violating any norm or regulations, we would take strict action against them.”
However, Mr Balan also added, “The two entities mentioned in your mail are distinct and are two different companies.”
The question is, why is Team Life Care Co operating an MLM scheme through another entity (TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd)? As we mentioned earlier, both companies have confirmed to us (over the telephone) that they are related to each other and share a common managing director.
What's more, the entity running the MLM scheme, TLC Insurance (India) Pvt Ltd, has a number of 'testimonials' in its website which point to various court orders and attestations from legal luminaries confirming that the MLM scheme that it is running is a legitimate business.
Moneylife is not in a position to confirm the legitimacy (or otherwise) of these various court orders and testimonials that TLC Insurance (India) is carrying on its website.
But if MLM schemes are expressly prohibited under the Act, how can a company run such a scheme under such a guise?
When we contacted the regulator, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, an official told Moneylife (on conditions of anonymity), “Only licensed individuals (are) allowed at the point of sale, and sharing of commission is not allowed.”
The State-run oil companies currently sell petrol at a loss of Rs6.68 per litre, while the loss is Rs5.81 a litre on diesel, Rs18.42 per litre on PDS kerosene and Rs265.27 per 14.2-kg LPG cylinder
State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) are collectively losing Rs265 crore per day on selling fuel below cost and may end the fiscal with a Rs87,440 crore revenue loss, reports PTI.
“International crude oil prices have firmed up in April and retailers are losing a little less than Rs 265 crore per day on selling petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene,” an industry official said.
IOC, BPCL and HPCL currently sell petrol at a loss of Rs6.68 per litre, while the loss is Rs5.81 a litre on diesel, Rs18.42 per litre on PDS kerosene and Rs265.27 per 14.2-kg LPG cylinder.
The official said that the three fuel retailers lost Rs47,960 crore on selling fuel below cost in the 2009-10 fiscal.
“This fiscal, under-recoveries (revenue loss) are expected to widen to Rs87,440 crore,” he said.
The government has not yet said how it will make up for the projected losses for this fiscal.
“There is an agreed formula to share under-recoveries for 2009-10, but there is no word for the current year,” the official said.
For FY’10, losses on petrol and diesel are to be met by upstream firms like ONGC and the government was supposed to shoulder the under-recovery on cooking fuel. However, the government has not kept its part of the deal.
Of the Rs29,353 crore revenue loss in the April-December period, upstream firms contributed Rs8,364 crore to cover for the entire shortfall on petrol and diesel. But in the case of the Rs20,989 crore loss on LPG and kerosene in the first nine months, the finance ministry has provided only Rs12,000 crore.
Besides the Rs8,989 crore uncovered amount in the April-December period, about Rs12,000 crore of revenue loss on LPG and kerosene in the January-March quarter remains uncovered.
The official said that IOC, BPCL and HPCL have received Rs12,000 crore to make up for part of the losses on LPG and kerosene in 2009-10.
IOC got Rs7,100.18 crore, BPCL Rs2,370.77 crore and HPCL Rs2,529.05 crore.
Scattered buying by stockists and jewellery fabricators for the marriage season and reports of firming global trends boosted gold prices
Gold prices today rose marginally by Rs15, snapping their three-day losing streak in the bullion market on fresh buying by stockists and jewellery fabricators, reports PTI.
Standard gold and ornaments recovered by Rs15 each to Rs17,025 per 10 gram and Rs16,875 per 10 gram, respectively. Sovereign closed flat at Rs14,050 per piece of 8 gram.
Silver, however, dropped by Rs50 to Rs28,050 per kg on poor industrial demand.
Market analysts said that scattered buying by stockists and jewellery fabricators for the marriage season and reports of firming global trends boosted gold prices.
In the global market, which normally sets the price trend on the domestic front, gold rose by $4 to $1,158.80 an ounce in New York, last evening.
Silver ready dropped by Rs50 to Rs28,050 per kg and weekly-based delivery shed Rs5 at Rs27,865 per kg.
Silver coins continued to trade around the previous level of Rs33,600 for buying and Rs33,700 for selling of 100 pieces.