Letter from the Editor

In July 2013, Moneylife received an email from Nilesh Prabhu about the TNT India rip-off. For the next few weeks, we kept asking for different documents to verify his claims. Unlike various complainants, Mr Prabhu used various avenues to prove his case successfully. Mr Prabhu, the David, had fought the arbitration himself, to save lawyer’s fees, and still beat the Goliath, TNT. His complaint to ministry of road transport ensured that TNT India not only paid the penalty, but was also forced to register as a common carrier. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) investigated; but, for reasons best known to it, is hiding the report and has not acted against TNT. The answer to Mr Prabhu’s first appeal under the Right to Information Act (RTI) clearly states that the report contains information that would harm the competitive position of TNT India. But, is it right for IRDA to let consumers get fleeced? It’s time the world finds out the absurd arguments made by TNT; we provide them in our Cover Story exposé.


While IRDA is non-cooperative on the TNT saga, Sucheta writes about the effectiveness and responsiveness of another regulator—the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). She outlines the elements required for an effective regulator and measures RBI on several parameters. In her Crosshairs section, she writes about the irrelevance of AGMs, the funny ways companies treat retail shareholders, the shareholders’ own trivial involvement in AGMs and a new trend—activists shareholders raising issues on environment, ecology and resource conservation at AGMs.


Moneylife Foundation, for the first time, held a seminar on fixed-income savings titled “High Returns, Safe Capital”. Do you know all the different avenues to benefit from? The nuances of different categories of savers are discussed in detail for those who missed the seminar.


Moneylife Foundation also held a round-table meeting to discuss issues relating to the controversial biometric UID-enabled ATMs. The discussion saw animated participants exchange insights and ideas. It culminated in activists collectively submitting a memorandum to RBI which has sought clarity on costs and security for users of banking services. 


Competition Commission to recover penalties from Aamir Khan, eight others

While publishing a list of these defaulters, the CCI said these penalties, totalling Rs2.17 crore, are pending for up to over two years

Fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Tuesday said it will initiate recovery proceedings against actor Aamir Khan, two film producers' associations and six others for failing to pay penalties imposed on them.


CCI, while publishing a list of these defaulters, said these penalties, totalling Rs2.17 crore, are pending for up to over two years despite there being no appeal filed or appeal having been dismissed.


Pending penalty against Aamir Khan stood at Rs1 lakh only, which was imposed as part of an order passed against 27 film producers on 25 May 2011, in a case related to anti-competition practices by film makers.


This order was passed pursuant to a complaint filed with the CCI by FICCI-Multiplex Association of India (MAI).


Besides Aamir Khan, CCI said “appropriate action” against eight other entities would also be taken. These include IATA Agents Association of India, Telangana Telugu Film Distributors Association, Film Distributors Association, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce.


Among the nine entities, the All India Organisation of Chemists & Druggists has to pay the highest penalty of little over Rs1.47 crore, according to the regulator.


CCI, which keeps a check on any unfair trade practices at the market place, said it has decided to take suitable and appropriate steps to recover unpaid penalties from parties that have been imposed under the Competition Act, 2002.


“CCI could initiate prosecution under Section 42(3) of the Competition Act for not complying with the orders of the Commission and follow—up reference to Income Tax Department could be made for action on recovery certificates already issued to these entities,” it added.


MF distributors allowed to use BSE infrastructure

For an individual, BSE has set minimum tangible assets worth Rs1 lakh. Also, it  would charge a one-time fee of Rs15,000 for membership

Following directives from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the BSE on Tuesday allowed mutual fund (MF) distributors to use its infrastructure for purchase and redemption of mutual fund units directly from asset management companies (AMCs) on behalf of their clients.


In a circular, BSE said that an entity seeking to register itself as MF distributor on its mutual fund platform in a move to use the Exchange’s infrastructure is required to have a networth of at least Rs1 lakh on the basis of audited balance sheet of the latest financial year.


For an individual, the exchange has set minimum tangible assets worth Rs1 lakh. Also, the exchange would charge a one-time fee of Rs15,000 for membership. MF distributors would not handle payout and pay-in of funds as well as units on behalf of investor.


“The pay-in will be directly received by recognised Clearing Corporation and payout will be directly made to investor’s account.


“In the same manner, units shall be credited and debited directly from the demat account of the investors by the Clearing Corporation,” BSE said.


Earlier this month, SEBI had cleared the proposal to allow MF distributors to use the infrastructure of recognised exchanges for purchase and redemption of mutual fund units directly from AMCs on behalf of their clients. This would be in addition to the existing channels of MF distribution.


The move is aimed at leveraging the stock exchange platform, which would eventually help MF distributors to improve their reach.


This facility would be available only for a MF distributor registered with Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI) and those who have been permitted by the stock exchange concerned would be eligible for this purpose.


The stock exchange would grant permission on a request made by a AMFI-registered MF distributor on the basis of criteria, including fee and code of conduct, among others, as laid down by it.


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