Consumer Issues
NCDRC asks Oriental Insurance to pay Rs1.85 lakh to accident victim
While asking the insurer to pay the accident victim's claim, the National Commission also directed Dabur India to pay an interest at 9% on Rs1.85 lakh and Rs8,000 as cost to its insured employee
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has asked Oriental Insurance Company Ltd to pay Rs1.85lakh to an accident victim. The Commission also directed Dabur India Ltd to pay an interst of 9% per annum on Rs1.85 lakh and also Rs8,000 as cost to the victim, who was insured employee of the company.
In an order issued on 12 May 2014, the National Commission said, “Sufficient documents had already been given to the insurance company for deciding the claim and they could have made payment on the basis of those documents. The act and conduct of the insurance company in demanding more documents was not justified and amounted to deficiency in service.” 
The 10-year old case relates to Harpreet Singh Oberoi, an insured employee of Dabur, who met with an accident in 2004. However, since Oriental Insurance did not make any settlement regarding the accident expenses of Rs1.85 lakh, Oberoi filed a complaint before the District Forum.
In its order on 17 July 2007, the District Forum said, “The Insurance Company should pay the claim amount of Rs1.85 lakh to the complainant (Oberoi), while the employer (Dabur India) should pay 9% interest per annum on the amount of the claim and Rs5,000 as compensation for non-supply of documents in time and Rs3,000 as cost of litigation.” 
Aggrieved by this judgement, Oriental Insurance filed an appeal before the State Commission arguing deficiency in service was on part of  Dabur India, which, the insurer alleged did not supply requisite claim documents in time. 
The State Consumer Commission, while maintaining interest and cost as per the District Forum's order, said, “The insurance company and the employer, Dabur India would be jointly and severally pay the entire amount of Rs1.85 lakh to Oberoi”.
Dabur India then approached NCDRC seeking restoration of order issued by the District Forum. “District Forum held that the insurance company was liable to make payment of claim of Rs1.85 lakh. Payment of interest on the amount claimed and some compensation by the petitioner (Dabur India) and the said direction was not challenged by the petitioner (Dabur India) and hence, it has attained finality,” the National Commission said in its order on 12 May 2014. 
Confirming with the District Forum, the NCDRC said, “The insurance company was liable to make payment of claim of Rs1.85 lakh. They also held that for failure of Petitioner (Dabur India) in not supplying the documents, they were liable to pay interest on the said amount at 9% per annum, Rs5,000 as compensation and Rs3,000 as cost of litigation.” 
While setting aside the State Commission judgement, the NCDRC accepted and restored the order issued by the District forum. 
Complainant:                                   Harpreet Singh Oberoi 
Petitiioners/Opposite Parties:      1. Dabur India Ltd. 
                                                              2. Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. (Chandigarh, Mumbai, Jalander)


Top three reform ideas for Modi government
Strengthening the industrial base, reducing redtape and a focus on infrastructure should be the top focus areas
There is a sense of euphoria all around. And this is not at all ill-founded. After around 30 years, we have a government in power, which has absolute majority. A government which has all that it takes to perform and do what it wants to do for the nation. While the nation waits for delivery and looks forward to “Acche din aane wale hai”, there are certain areas in our economy, which need more attention than ever before. There is basically a need to work on structural change in the economy and also ensure that hitherto neglected areas of the economy get their due attention. While economic reforms were started in 1991 and gave the Indian economy a new shape, the government now needs to focus on a new set of reforms required to provide necessary impetus to Indian economy. So what is that needs to be worked at in terms of priority. 
Here is a potential list of that:
Industrial sector needs to be the backbone of the economy: In the process of economic growth in India, we have moved from being an agrarian society to the service based economy. Some industries never got the place that they should have in an economy. This is in spite of the fact that industries were looked upon as temples of modern India and as long back as in the 2nd five year plan, a robust industrial policy was laid down to improve performance of the industrial sector. Industrial sector remained broadly in control of public sector undertakings (PSUs). When our economy was opened up in 1991, the service sector started growing very fast and industry remained a laggard.
This is what differentiates us from China. In China, contribution of GDP in the economy is as high as 45% while in India, it is less than 20%. Much of the growth in China has come from manufacturing, which is part of industries. India also needs to provide the necessary push to industries and it would be great if small and medium industries are promoted that are largely employment intensive. There has been inertia on policy front often referred to as policy paralysis even in context of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Government needs to formulate a completely new policy with respect to MSMEs. It needs to start with the change in the definition of MSMEs. MSMEs were defined in the 2006 Act and with increased costs and changing business dynamics the definition does not make sense in the current environment. Also, we need to move from a subsidy based approach to the creation of a business environment which provides opportunity to produce and sell products in domestic as well as international markets.
Manufacturing needs to be promoted for the triple benefit that it can provide i.e. employment, exports and overall economic growth. The kind of emphasis that has laid on information technology sector in India, if we can channelise same kind of efforts for our industries it will work wonders.
Unshackle business from red tapism: While we had a series of reforms in the past, business environment in India is still not conducive for new businesses to prosper. Red tapism is still in place. A simple yet puzzling question? There are businesses which require no pollution certificate as clearance requirement though such businesses are not even remotely connected with any activity that can cause pollution? Instances like this are just tip of the ice-berg. In terms of ease of doing business, India still lags behind in the world. The date below shows this:

It is time that government takes measures to ensure that business can flourish easily in India. It is important to note that the government cannot directly provide employment to a large number of people itself, it needs to create environment which will promote job growth.
Focus on key infrastructure projects: There is a lot that needs to be done on infrastructure front. Some of the areas that need big attention are railways, road and power sector. Let us compare ourselves with the emerging economies of the world. Here is how our railways look in comparison to China and Korea.
Time has come when a mega infrastructure development plan is drawn which focuses on power generation, railways and roads as priority areas. Most of the states in eastern part of the country are chronically power deficient and that is what is preventing prospering of business in these areas. The investments required in these areas will be huge as well as time consuming. This can be taken as public-private partnership model. 
While there is a lot that needs to be done, it is important we focus on areas which help long term and sustainable growth creation in the country. An employment based growth where the benefits are enjoyed by all is what government needs to focus on. In other words, economic growth won’t be sufficient we also need economic development.
(Vivek Sharma has worked for 17 years in the stock market, debt market and banking. He is a post graduate in Economics and MBA in Finance. He writes on personal finance and economics and is invited as an expert on personal finance shows.) 



Abhijit Gosavi

3 years ago

Research shows that towns/villages connected via good roads see a gradual increase in employment and decline in poverty. The same is true of availability of electricity, water, and sanitation. While the incremental impact of infrastructure is not very high in developed nations, for those nations lacking basic infrastructure, the impact can be tremendous.

It takes a few years to build roads, and hence that work should start immediately. High speed trains is also a great idea, but roads offer higher capacity and produce great flexibility in supply chain development.


Dhanaji Kenjle

In Reply to Abhijit Gosavi 3 years ago

Mr Abhijit Gosavi is right in his views. In fact in most countries where autocratic, single family or a dictator ruled, one of the weapons used in such countries to keep people from mobilising was...lack of telephones, lack of roads and lack of newspapers.

Capt Kenjle

Gun violence in America
ProPublica reporter Lois Beckett examines how gun violence research has become the "political third rail" - leaving us in the dark on some of the most basic facts about gun injuries in America
While we have clear data on murders from gun violence, no one seems to know how many Americans are shot – and survive – every year. In fact, the government’s own numbers seem to conflict on the matter.
How can this be? And why has no one tried to resolve the difference?
ProPublica’s Lois Beckett explains that doctors and researchers have been pushing for clear numbers on gun injuries since 1989. “But what’s happened over that time is the politics of gun research, the politics of guns in America, are so divided and so fierce that even the effort to count the number of people injured by guns is incredibly political,” she says.

The CDC learned this lesson the hard way back in the mid-90s when it began funding more studies of firearm injuries – including a small study that found it was more dangerous to have a gun in the home for self-protection than it was to not have a gun at all.
Gun rights advocates believed this study – and other public health research on guns – was “laying the groundwork for the government to take away Americans’ second amendment rights, take away their guns. And that one study, and the fear that that was what research was doing, ended up torpedoing a lot of other CDC efforts,” Beckett says, including its early attempts to measure firearm injuries.
In 1996, Congress restricted the CDC from funding any research advocating gun control – an interesting measure since CDC researchers can't use their funding to advocate or lobby in general, Beckett notes.
Congress even tried to take $2.6 million of the CDC’s budget away – sending a clear political message to the CDC that conducting gun research comes at a high price. Gun violence research had essentially become the “political third rail.”
Listen to this podcast on SoundCloud, iTunes and Stitcher. You can also read more of ProPublica’s reporting on guns on our series page.


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