Moneylife Foundation’s Open House with Its New Trustees: How Financial Consumers Get a Raw Deal

A lively 90-minute interaction between the Foundation’s three new trustees and a packed audience


Moneylife Foundation held an Open House on 19 November 2014 on various issues that affect financial consumers. On the discussion panel were its three newest trustees, former chief election commissioner, TS Krishnamurthy; former RBI deputy governor, Dr KC Chakrabarty; and COO at Flipkart payment gateway, Siddharth Das. Also present on the stage was three-time Member of Parliament, and Congress Party leader Sanjay Nirupam.


Sucheta Dalal began by briefly introducing the four panellists and turning over the proceedings to the house immediately.


Moneylife Foundation members kicked off the discussion by asking why India allows so many entities other than banks and financial companies (builders, manufacturing companies, jewellers and chit funds) to accept public deposits. Dr Chakrabarty replied, “The first thing we must do is to define deposit. Globally, regulation is activity-wise; in India it is institution-wise. We have neither a definition of deposits nor is jurisdiction activity-wise. Globally, ‘deposit-taking’ is the regulated activity. This is the root cause of the multiple regulators and overlapping jurisdictions.”


Ms Dalal raised the issue of company deposits where investors lose huge sums of money.


To this, Mr Krishnamurthy, who was earlier the secretary, department of company affairs, said: “I was party to a discussion where I said company deposits should be regulated only by RBI, the department of company affairs (DCA) cannot regulate them because DCA does not perform audits,” he said.


On the widespread issue with cooperative bank failures, Dr Chakrabarty said, “You will be shocked to know that majority of rural cooperative banks are not even licensed. My suggestion would be that for 0.5% or 1% interest more, don’t put money in these banks.”


Moving on to an issue of the payment systems, Yogesh Sapkale asked Siddharth Das about why the immediate payment service (IMPS) and mobile money are not taking off. Mr Das gave a detailed response on how the ecosystem works and the possible future routes to solving the problems faced today. “India has the best interbank payment system in the world and, as with all new systems, there are teething problems. With IMPS, there are problems because of the way the system is built, but these problems are getting resolved,” he said.


In the course of the questions and answers, issues ranging from banking regulation, free ATM usage, cooperative banks, corporate defaults, interest rates, lending practices, black money, and many other issues were discussed. Towards the end of the programme, Sanjay Nirupam suggested that there is no harm in RBI making a little effort to connect with the customers and become a little more customer-friendly.


Phil Hughes, the maverick batsman from Australia, is no more

News of Hughes's death brought a fresh wave of tributes on social media, with past and present players conveying their shock and grief


Phillip Hughes, the maverick batsman from Australia, died in hospital in Sydney on Thursday, two days after he was struck on the head by a ball during a domestic match.


Governing body Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed the 25-year-old had lost his fight for life, casting a pall over a cricket-mad nation, which is co-hosting the World Cup early next year. CA on its Twitter feed said, "We are extremely sad to announce that Phillip Hughes has passed away at the age of 25."


Hughes will forever be remembered as one of Australian cricket's free spirits.


A pugnacious left-hander brimming with self-confidence, his life was tragically cut short when he was hit on the head by a ball and never regained consciousness.


The Australian flag was lowered to half-mast over the Sydney Cricket Ground where Hughes suffered the horrific injury on Tuesday when batting for state side South Australia.


He was struck on the head by a short-pitched delivery from New South Wales paceman Sean Abbott, a devastating blow that experts compared to the trauma suffered by car crash victims.


The violent manner of his death has shaken the cricket community, and the world of sport, to its core.


A very sad day for the world of cricket. So sorry for Phillip Hughes and his family. Spare a thought for Sean Abbott.

Ian Botham (@BeefyBotham)


After being treated at the stadium, Hughes, who played 26 tests and 25 one-day internationals, was rushed to hospital to have emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.


No no no no no. RIP Phillip Hughes

Adam Gilchrist (@gilly381)


Such terrible news with the passing of Phil Hughes. Our deepest sympathies to his family.

Glenn McGrath (@glennmcgrath11)


#PhilHughes was hit below the helmet grill. Just an inch.

@ICC should not only make it mandatory to wear a helmet but also modify its shape

Phil Hughes @MaonBilli


Saddest day in cricket fraternity. Rest in peace mate and Sean Abbott stay strong #PhilHughes

Rohit Sharma @ImRo45


Coal scam: CBI submits Hindalco case diary in sealed cover

Two days after the Special Court directed to furnish the case diary of the matter, the CBI submitted two bundles of documents in a sealed cover


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday filed case diary and crime files in a sealed cover in a coal block allocation case related to Hindalco before a special court, complying with its order.


The court has now fixed the matter for consideration of CBI’s closure report filed in the case for 12th December.


Two days after the court had directed it to furnish the case diary of the matter the CBI submitted two bundles of documents in a sealed cover before the court.


“In compliance of the court’s order, we are filing the crime folder as well as the case diary,” senior Public Prosecutor VK Sharma told special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar.


The judge said, “Investigating officer (IO) states that he has brought both the case diary and crime files in a sealed cover. He is further being told to assist the court in looking into the relevant papers. The matter is now adjourned for consideration on 12th December.”


During the brief hearing, the Court said if there is still any clarification to be sought in the matter, it will ask the agency and then pass order on the closure report.


The Court was hearing a case in which an FIR was lodged against industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, former Coal Secretary PC Parakh and others relating to the allocation of Talabira II and III coal blocks in Odisha in 2005 to Hindalco. CBI had later on filed a closure report in the case.


During the hearing on 25th November, CBI had come in for some tough questioning from the court which had asked why the agency did not question former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was also holding the coal portfolio between 2005 and 2009.


The court’s observations came after CBI submitted that though initially it felt Singh’s examination was required, later it was found to be not necessary.


At the end of the hearing, the court had summoned the case diary and crime files in a sealed cover and had posted the matter for today.


Former Prime Minister Singh held the portfolio of the coal ministry when Birla’s firm Hindalco was allocated coal blocks in Orissa’s Talabira II & III in 2005.


We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.

To continue

Sign Up or Sign In


To continue

Sign Up or Sign In



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)