Consumer Issues
Mirach Capital is Sahara's white knight, to pump in $2 billion
According to reports, Mirach Capital, funded largely by a wealthy Indian family, has decided to lend about $2 billion to Sahara group
 
Miami-based Mirach Capital, an investors group funded largely by a wealthy Indian family has decided to lend about $2 billion to Sahara group, say reports. 
 
"Mirach Cap has decided to take over Sahara's $882 million loan from Bank of China and extend $650 million to the Subrata Roy-led group," say a report from Moneycontrol.
 
Saransh Sharma, chief executive of Mirach Capital also told CNBC-TV18 that "the debt fund’s exposure is not so much to Sahara as to three hotels, which are the 'Monalisas' of the industry." He said Sahara’s assets have been neglected due to stress and litigation, adding he sees great opportunity and expects a turnaround in the company.
 
Out of the total $2 billion funding, the rest would go to the bail of Sahara group chief, who is in jail since March 2014.
 
Mirach Cap has already made it clear that their end goal is to own The Plaza, as well as two other hotels that Sahara currently owns. It includes Grosvenor House in London and one premium property in New York that would be taken over by Mirach Cap in the case of default. 
 
Earlier in December, Sahara sold a big land parcel at the outskirts of the national capital for Rs1,211 crore to Gurgaon-based developer M3M India Ltd.
 
Sahara was allowed by the Supreme Court, to sell four properties in order to raise about Rs2,710 crore out of the total of Rs10,000 crore needed to  secure the release of its chief, Subrata Roy.
 
Roy, who was sent to jail on 4 March 2014 in a case involving alleged non-refund of over Rs20,000 crore with interest to depositors, was asked by the court to pay Rs10,000 crore to get bail, out of which Rs5,000 crore should be paid in cash and rest of the amount in bank guarantee.

User

CBDT asks I-T dept to finish probe in 'HSBC list' by March

CBDT has asked the I-T department to specifically focus on cases getting "time barred by 31st March" so that legal requests could be sent abroad to US, UK, Switzerland and Gulf countries

 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked officials from the Income Tax (I-T) department to quickly gather all foreign-based evidences in 'HSBC list' cases and render final action by March-end. This will put investigations against black money holders in Swiss bank accounts, known as the HSBC list, on a fast track. 
 
The latest development relates to the disclosure of names by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money in the HSBC's bank branch in Geneva, provided by the French government to India few years back, in which names of 628 Indians had figured with a total amount of Rs4,479 crore being held in them.
 
"All I-T investigation units have been asked to process foreign requests for exchange of information on these cases by 15th February. These cases are getting time-barred with the end of the current financial year on 31st March. The CBDT has issued latest directives to speed up probe in these cases and quickly send them across to foreign shores," sources privy to the development said.
 
They said the CBDT, the apex policy making body of the I-T department, decided to fasten these cases as the probe against these black money holders will not hold legal value after 31 March 2015 as that it is the upper limit stipulated under law to prosecute and initiate legal action in these cases which pertain to 2007-08 fiscal.
 
Sources said the exclusive Exchange of Information (EOI) unit under the foreign tax wing of the CBDT has asked the I-T department to specifically focus on cases getting "time barred by 31st March" so that legal requests could be sent abroad to countries like the US, UK, Switzerland and Gulf.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had earlier said that proceedings in these cases will be completed by March 31, 2015.
 
The SIT headed by retired Supreme Court judge MB Shah along with Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat had also stated in their last report submitted to the apex court in December last that these cases will be brought to their logical and legal conclusion by the said deadline.
 

User

How to get rid of telemarketers
Still receiving marketing calls and SMS? File a complaint against them either by calling a toll free number or via SMS. The penalty they face is strong.
 
After the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, it was expected that mobile subscribers will not receive unsolicited commercial communication (unwanted calls/SMS) from telemarketers from 27 September 2011 onwards. But the menace still continues and mobile users are being harassed by unwanted calls and SMS, albeit at lower frequency.
 
However, there is a small difference. Earlier, we used to receive calls or SMS from numbers that we could identify (after few calls). Now they are originating mostly from personal mobile numbers. For example, earlier we used to receive calls from numbers like 012466005000 (representation only) or similar such numbers. However, these days it can be any mobile number. And since most of the times, it is an unknown number; users are fooled into receiving the call or reading the message.
 
On its part, the TRAI has created the National Customer Preference Register (NCPR) that keeps records of subscriber preferences for receiving commercial communication. Under NCPR, there are two categories, fully blocked and partially blocked. If you do not want to receive any unwanted calls or SMS, then send an SMS START 0 to 1909. At present there are seven preferences to choose from for partially blocking unwanted calls or SMS. The user can opt to receive such communication based on her choice by sending a SMS for example START 4 to 1909 to receive messages on health products.
 
If despite registering for fully blocked category if you are receiving unwanted calls and messages, then you can file complaint against the telemarketer. You can also file complaint, if you are receiving such communication from categories other than you allowed. This is quite simple and easy. 
 
The subscriber can file complaint either by dialling 1909 (toll free) or sending SMS. When you dial the toll free number, you can either register the complaint through the customer care executive or through the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS).
 
For this method, you would be required to provide particulars of the telemarketer, the telephone/ mobile number from which you received the call/SMS, date and time and a brief description of the call or SMS. After this, you will get a unique complaint number.
 
For registering the complaint via SMS, you need to send a SMS to 1909 (toll free) in the specified format.
 
"the unsolicited commercial communication, XXXXXXXXXX, dd/mm/yy"

Where XXXXXXXXXX – is the telephone number or header of the SMS, from which the unsolicited commercial communication has originated.
 
Here you would receive the complaint number via SMS. In both cases, you would be informed within seven days on the action taken on your complaint. You can also check registration status of your complaint through this link http://www.nccptrai.gov.in/nccpregistry/UccSearch.misc
 
Important thing to keep in mind is the complaint has to be registered from the telephone number on which unsolicited commercial communication has been received and the complaint must be made within three days of receipt of the unsolicited commercial communication.
 
According to the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Thirteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2013, if the telemarketer is found to be not registered with the NCPR, then the service provider (mobile operator) is liable to pay financial disincentives of Rs5,000 on each complaint.
 
In addition, if the unwanted call or SMS contains reference to another telephone number or an entity like bank, insurance company or builder for which the commercial transaction is solicited, then telecom resources issued to the subscriber or entity is discontinued across all service provides after receiving a complaint, after serving notices each on the first and second complaint. 
 
For example, if you received marketing call from XYZ Bank or ABC Insurance Co, from numbers that are not registered as telemarketers, then your complaint and its follow up may lead to disconnection of all telephone/mobile connections provided to XYZ Bank or ABC Insurance across the country. 
 
If your issue is not resolved, then you may want to use the Right to Information (RTI) Act. File an application under the RTI and ask for daily progress, name and designations of officers who handled your complaint, the time frame to resolve such complaints, and the action taken on officials, who have failed to resolve the complaint within the stipulated time.
 
Another way to get rid of the telemarketers is to use an application on your smartphone. For example, TrueCaller and SPC (Super Private Conversation). TrueCaller allows the user to identify unknown callers and also block spam or unwanted calls. In addition, you also can mark a call as spam and report that helps other users of TrueCaller to avoid such calls. Only disadvantage is you will have to share you phone book with the app. TrueCaller is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.
 
SPC is an app for Android platform that blocks SMS and calls from unknown sources through a blacklist. In addition, the user can move private conversation to a private place inside the mobile device. The app is simple and easy to use and block unwanted SMS and calls.
 
Although, you can file a complaint against a telemarketer if you receive unwanted call or SMS, there is no respite from such communication on instant messengers like WhatsApp.  Although, you can block such number in WhatsApp, you need to open and read the message before knowing the identity of the sender. 
 
At present there are over 90 crore mobile subscribers in India. Low tariffs and direct reach to consumers has made SMS and direct calling as one of the most cost effective ways of selling services and products. However, telemarketing had brought with it serious issues of invasion of privacy and has become a major irritant to customers. Although, this is has come down tremendously, there still are some telemarketers, who are troubling subscribers through unwanted calls and SMS. However, you can now file complaint against such telecallers and teach them a lesson for disturbing you with their unwanted calls/SMS.

User

COMMENTS

Awadhesh

2 years ago

does not work. fake article,

Aarmin Banaji

2 years ago

The former got posted before I could add - Would appreciate the author writing again, with details a landline subscriber should follow to avoid this invasion of privacy.

Aarmin Banaji

2 years ago

Like all things being regulated by any government, this entire exercise is a joke.

The article does not even mention the plight of a landline subscriber and the path to any redressal.

Devang Vyas

2 years ago

I complained many times in past but received no response. I am thinking to use your RTI tip in future.

Thanks for article.

Parimal Shah

2 years ago

The approach of the TRAI is against the principle of natural justice right from the beginning.

Why should the onus be on a subscriber to register for DND instead of the other way round -
a subscriber may register for receiving commercial calls or sms if interested.

The approach was and is really 'Andher Nagri and Gandu raja"!

-Parimal

Suketu Shah

2 years ago

Super piece.Wl implement it imm.

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

Tks Yogeshji for full details.

Simple Indian

2 years ago

Thanks for posting an elaborate procedure for the same, but pity it doesn't work at all. Have sent SMS with "COMP TEL NO...." dozens of times but only got some general response after a month or so stating that after "investigations" no issue with comp tel no. This just doesn't work.
Also, while Telecom operators are given 7 days to action on "START 0" or any other option, subscribers can't change preference for next 90 days. If all it takes is 7 days to activate or deactivate a NCPR preference, why should subscriber wait for 90 days to change preferences ? This seems a scam and TRAI seems hand-in-glove with telecom operators in such guidelines which are not customer-friendly.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)