Citizens' Issues
Pan masala ads featuring celebrities violates ASCI code
ASCI says it will investigate advertisements by pan masala brands featuring celebrities as these would be in violation of its code of self-regulation in advertising content
 
Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) says advertisements by Pan Masala brands featuring celebrities are in violation of its Code of Self-Regulation and the Council will investigate such advertisements.
 
"We would like to educate the consumers and the advertisers that while products like Pan Masala and Supari are not banned for sale or from advertising by law, the ASCI code does not permit the use of celebrities in advertisements of products which by law require health warning on its pack or cannot be purchased or used by minors. Complaints against such advertisements have been received by ASCI and are being looked into. ASCI will approach the concerned advertisers to take necessary corrective action post decision by our Consumer Complaints Council," says Shweta Purandare, Secretary General, ASCI, in a release.
 
Recently, the Health Department of Delhi Government, taking cognizance of the serious health consequences of pan masalas and the significant influence their advertisements featuring celebrities, which have an negative influence on minors made.  The Health Department also made an appeal to celebrities not to appear in such products' ads.
 
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Rules and Regulation, the statutory warnings like 'Chewing of Pan Masala is injurious to health' and 'Chewing of Supari is injurious to health' are mandatory to be printed on the pack as well as for the advertisements. 
 
The Council said, it has been observed that large number of Pan Masala brands are in potential contravention of the advertising codes under ASCI's Chapter III (To safeguard against the indiscriminate use of Advertising in situations or of the Promotion of Products which are regarded as Hazardous or Harmful to society or to individuals, particularly minors, to a degree or of a type which is Unacceptable to Society at Large). 
 
More specifically, Clause 2 (e) under Chapter III states:
Advertisements should not feature personalities from the field of sports, music and cinema for products which, by law, either require a health warning in their advertising or cannot be purchased by minors.
 
It is important that the advertisers as well as celebrities are aware of this clause of ASCI code and sensitized to this issue so that they can advertise in a responsible manner, the self-regulating body said.
 

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When Govt prints, circulates and burns faulty notes worth Rs30,000 crore
The Nashik Security Press has reportedly burnt 30 crore currency notes of Rs1,000 denomination that had no security thread!
 
The Nashik unit of Indian Security Press (ISP), owned by state-run Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL), has reportedly burnt 30 crore faulty notes with a denomination of Rs1,000. This has led to the suspension of five employees, including a manager and deputy manager at SPMCIL's Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) unit. 
 
According to reports, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through the Government of India (GoI) had placed an order with the Press to print 50 crore notes of Rs1,000 denomination. After receiving paper with security features from SPMCIL's paper mill, the ISP printed about 30 crore notes. The RBI, after receiving these notes from the ISP, distributed about 20 crore notes to several banks. 
 
However, some people complained to RBI about the missing security thread in these new notes. Few also pointed out the upside down watermark image of Mahatma Gandhi on these notes. The Rs1,000 currency notes have a readable, windowed security thread, alternately visible on the obverse with the inscriptions ‘Bharat’ (in Hindi), ‘1000’ and ‘RBI’, but totally embedded on the reverse.
 
The RBI then reported this matter to SMPMCIL, whose chairman and managing director MS Rana, set up a three-member enquiry committee.
 
The Committee headed by TR Gowda, former general manager of ISP's Nashik unit and current in-charge of Hoshangabad unit of SPMCIL, submitted its report. This was followed by suspension of two officials, SR Vajpayee, manager and Ravindra Singh, deputy manager of SMPCIL's Hoshangabad unit. Three employees from ISP, Nashik were also suspended while six supervisors were issued a show cause notice, media reports say.
 
However, Press Majdoor Sangh, the employee union at Nashik, went on an agitation. On Tuesday, the union, detained Sandeep Jain, general manager of ISP, Nashik for the entire day. According to the union, no employee from Nashik is responsible for printing of faulty currency notes, as there was a fault with the security paper itself. However, the action was taken at the Finance Ministry-level and not at ISP-level, Jain had reportedly told the union leaders.
 
In an email reply, an official from RBI, said the matter relates with CNP Nashik, which can provide the answers. The CNP NAshik is not under the central bank's control, the official added.
 
RBI along with the Indian government is responsible for the design, production and overall management of the nation's currency, with an aim to ensure adequate supply of clean and genuine notes.
 
There are four printing presses that print and supply currency notes to the RBI. These are located at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, Nashik in Maharashtra, Mysore in Karnataka, and Salboni in West Bengal. The Dewas and Nashik units are owned by SPMCIL, while Mysore and Salboni presses are owned by Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the RBI.
 
The Indian government mints coins, which are distributed by the RBI.

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COMMENTS

Dr Anantha K Ramdas

10 months ago

Interesting comments on the faulty notes and crores spent in "burning" these notes.

Can somebody recommend a suitable, reliable astrologer with track records to the RBI that they must now expedite the issue of polymer currency notes to replace the paper currency, by consulting him?

We have been talking of polymer currency notes; how in selected cities Rs 10 notes were being "market tested"; how these will outlast paper currency notes by several years; how more than 25 countries have benefited by this switch over and yet we have no firm commitment from Government when they will make the change. On the top of this, fake/counterfeit currency notes made in Pakistan have been smuggled into the country and trying the very best to ruin our economy.

Sacking a few guys just won't do; put them in jail for their lifetime and find out the left-out moles in the security press!

MG Warrier

10 months ago

I agree with Jayaram's view. Media headlines including here, which mention notes worth Rs30,000 crore sends out a wrong alarm. It looks, the defective 'printed paper' was destroyed. Lapses need to be looked into, which reportedly the press is doing. The paper becomes 'currency' only when it is issued from RBI.

REPLY

Akshay Kini

In Reply to MG Warrier 10 months ago

If it was only security paper I wonder how banks reported the descripency. Once the RBI sends it to banks it is currency.

MG Warrier

In Reply to Akshay Kini 10 months ago

From what I read in this story, I quote "The Nashik unit of Indian Security Press (ISP), owned by state-run Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL), has reportedly burnt 30 crore faulty notes with a denomination of Rs1,000. This has led to the suspension of five employees, including a manager and deputy manager at SPMCIL's Hoshangabad (Madhya Pradesh) unit."
my understanding is that what was burnt had not reached RBI from the press. I have not separately verified facts. If you have, please share information.

P Jayaram

10 months ago

Granted, the paper received was faulty, the matter should have been found out during the incoming inspection of the faulty paper.Serious oversight and quality lapse. Procedures need to be strengthened.

Innovating with Algo Lending
Profit motive and competition funnels funding to the unfunded better than government 'schemes', as this example of a finance company shows
 
The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) College of Agricultural Banking has announced a case study competition for bankers to find innovative ways of lending to the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) segment. The objective of sensitising bankers and getting them to think innovatively is laudable; but RBI officials would probably learn more about innovative lending by speaking to their own regulated entities in the private sector. 
 
Last week, I was talking to the head of a rapidly growing finance company with a massive year-on-year growth in loans to first-time borrowers. He told me about the big increase in loans to micro-borrowers that included hawkers, small shopkeepers and non-salaried individuals, who were shut out of the formal borrowing system. Typically, these were loans of Rs30,000 to Rs1 lakh with tenure of about 12 months. He called it ‘algo lending’.
 
His lending is based on evolving a proprietary model that minimises the risk of default, having identified the common characteristics of borrowers trying to fudge while taking a loan, or more likely to default. Simply put, he arrived at these characteristics by first giving loans to a bunch of people, profiling them under numerous parameters, and then studying their repayment patterns. This model, based on the law of probability, works better when more data of borrowing and repayment continues to be added. 
 
Some of the findings are material for further research by those keen on financial inclusion and its cost. For instance, the company discovered that borrowing through equated-monthly instalments (EMIs) for high-end, large-screen televisions are a cover for un-banked persons to get a formal loan. The shopkeeper colludes with the borrower to create loan records for EMI payments, but no TV is sold. Instead, the borrower gets the cash and the shopkeeper a nice commission. While many borrowers diligently pay back their loans, some default. The trick is to minimise the risk on such loans. By matching income and social profiles of the borrowers, the company found that, often, when the customer was trying to buy an unusually large television, it represented a financing deal and could be weeded out. 
 
Another tiny scam that the company discovered was that borrowers tried to use the same know your customer (KYC) data with two different identities, and a minor misspelling of the name (Rajiv or Rajeev). This would, often, fly under the radar of the lending agency as a typographical error, allowing the person to avail two separate loans. A de-duplication effort, as well as a scan for past record flags such cases. 
 
A trick by those who have a previous loan default to avoid detection by credit bureau records is to apply for a new PAN card and submit it with fresh loan applications. The company had to develop a way to flag such cases through its algorithm. Their data analysis showed that a fresh PAN, obtained by people who were 45+, was a red flag. 
 
Yet another finding, that is being analysed, is the distance between the borrower and his place of work with that of the lending organisation. When a borrower sought out a lender, whose office was far away, it raised a red flag. The work being done by this finance company, and its success at keeping bad loans to the minimum, only proves that profit is the best driver of high-quality research, innovation, as well as risk-taking—something that will not be possible through case study contests or government-mandated programmes.
 

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COMMENTS

Anil Mattoo

1 week ago

Algo lending can act as a boon to bankers . Banks are flushed with NPA's in Govt sponsored schemes and same can be avoided using this tool,but same needs to be analysed .

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