Moneylife Events
One needs to file strong RTI application in financial sector, says Krishnaraj Rao

For financial sectors, one should collect all available information from public domain and after studying it in details should only file a strong RTI application, says Mr Rao

“The banking sector is one of the most derelict in terms of their services. In my experience, they run away from Right to Information (RTI). This also may be the reason why they attract so many RTI applications,” said Krishnaraj Rao, speaking at an event organised by Moneylife Foundation.

The session on RTI, seventh on the subject organised by the Foundation, focused on the sector of banking and finance along with regulatory bodies like the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the pension regulator, capital markets, the stock exchanges (BSE, NSE, MCX-SX and USE) and banks.
 
Mr Rao, a well known RTI activist says, “Private banks are exempted under RTI, while nationalised banks think that their job is to keep the information secret. Co-operative banks have a hazy and confusing position on shelling out information under RTI. This all leads to people wanting to know the truth.”
 
Apart from lucidly explaining the RTI Act, Mr Rao also helped people with framing questions in an RTI application, and also briefed about the kind of information that should be asked and how carefully it should be worded. He also cautioned on wrongly framed questions that can lead to rejection of the RTI application.
 
For instance, on query on usage of RTI on finding out why private banks are charging for closing the account, Mr Rao said that these banks are exempted under RTI and RBI has a policy of forbearance, and has given a freedom to banks for deciding charges and interest. In such case, he explained, one should seek all the manuals, circulars from the RBI on subject of forbearance. But before that one should make a complaint and then create awareness on the subject and then leverage this with an RTI. This will lead to class action and accordingly the regulator can be approached, Mr Rao explained.
 
On the subject of forex cheques taking a lot of time for clearance, a question was poised on how the amount is debited from drawee’s account from the scanned copy immediately, but is not credited, leaving banks to sit on the float and earn on it. Mr Rao said it would be a good case for an RTI application and one should ask different questions through various applications before approaching higher authorities to resolve the issue.
 
According to Mr Rao, a lot of RTI applications, despite getting a reply, are left for no use. But the act of filing an RTI itself is like a show-cause notice for that particular department and it helps in keeping a check on the system, he added.
 
Mr Rao cleared all the doubts of people wishing to file an RTI and appealed to the people to first use the information available in the public domain and then make a strong application. He also gave reference few RTI websites like www.rtiindia.org and other groups.

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COMMENTS

P M Ravindran

6 years ago

Good going Krish! Hope at least some from the audience will start using RTI Act and assert citizen oversight over public servants!

Moneylife Foundation seminar on ‘How to be Safe and Smart with your Money’

Moneylife Foundation continues its successful series of seminars on financial literacy. The 101st workshop on ‘How to be Safe and Smart with your Money’ informed participants to avoid schemes that deceive investors and how to invest money in a manner that would give maximum returns

Moneylife Foundation conducted yet another successful, informative and highly interactive seminar on ‘How to be Safe and Smart with your Money’ on Tuesday (10 January 2012). The event, which again witnessed a packed audience, was held at the Moneylife Knowledge Centre.

Sucheta Dalal, managing editor of Moneylife, advised the audience to stay away from schemes that promise extraordinary returns. There are various chain marketing schemes which operate at every level in the country and cheat even the poorest of people. Ms Dalal warned that companies like Amway, Tupperware, Herbalife are also examples of pyramid schemes. According to research, less than half the people are able to sell and make money and end up blaming themselves and not the company.

Ms Dalal cautioned the participants to stay away from plantation schemes, art funds and realty companies offering high returns on deposits. Any scheme offering 3% mare than deposit rate should be scrutinised. She also spoke about the various internet scams that are usually after your money or your identity.
Ms Dalal also emphasised on how one should not lose money to banks. Relationship managers usually work only to earn themselves fat commissions from your investments. Thus most “relationship managers” resort to mis-selling or hard selling a product. In order to be safe one should have all communication documented. Ms Dalal also touched up on area related to credit cards, insurance and credit scores.

Debashis Basu, editor, Moneylife, spelt out the various ways in which one can be smart with money—and presented to the audience the best ways in which one can invest safely. The participants were taken through a four-stage process to investing. Unlike durables there are much more intricacies in a financial product that one needs to pay attention to.

Mr Basu also touched upon five key planning concepts by which investors can plan their investments. Examples were shown on how one could use the power of compounding to their benefit. Inflation is the permanent risk and is difficult for one to avoid. The only way to overcome inflation is by smart investing. One should also understand the risk in various asset classes. The risk involved in various asset classes was explained and how much returns these assets are expected to generate was informed to the participants. How a mix of these assets could be used for different investment horizons to keep you money safe was also discussed.

This seminar on ‘How to be Safe and Smart with your Money’ has been conducted by Moneylife Foundation in various locations across the country. If you have not become a member of the Foundation yet, please visit www.mlfoundation.in for more details. Membership is free of cost, and Moneylife Foundation members also get access to such informative seminars and can utilise the state-of-the-art facilities at the Moneylife Knowledge Centre.

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Make nominations and will in favour of same person says Vimal Punmiya

Speaking at Moneylife Foundation’s 100th seminar, Mr Punmiya, advised that to avoid confusions, one should make a will and nomination in favour of same person

“Many people have nominees who are not their legal heir, which later creates confusion. My advise is, make a will to clarify your wishes, and to avoid confusion, make your will and nominations in favour of one person,” said Mr Vimal...

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