Parsvnath Developers buys 38 acres land from Railways for Rs1,651.5 crore

Parsvnath Developers Ltd said it has brought 38 acres of land worth Rs1,651.5 crore from the railways in Delhi through competitive bidding. The developer will invest additional Rs1000 crore in developing the plot.

The company said it will develop luxury housing, commercial space and other civic amenities on the land had has partnered with private equity firm Red Fort Capital.

"The total developable area in this project will be about 5 million sq ft, of which 0.5 million sq ft would be Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA). We will invest another Rs1,000 crore on the construction. Financial closure has been completed for this project," Parsvnath Developers said.

The entire project, which will be primarily housing, is expected to be completed over 10 years.

On Friday, Parsvnath Developers shares ended 2.1% down at Rs64 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex also declined 2.1% to 20,156 points.


'Mystery charges' in your mobile bill? You are not alone

In the US, every sixth mobile user gets some ‘mystery charges’ in his/her bill. In India, we can say, billing ‘mystery charges’ and thus duping every subscriber have become ‘birthright’ of mobile operators, both old and new entrants.

Every month, a number of post-paid subscribers are billed some 'dubious' amount under the pretext of various charges. Take for example, a Bengaluru-based IT expert, found a sudden rise in his monthly bill from Bharti Airtel. After enquiring, he found out that the company forgot to bill him in previous months due to technical error in their systems and hence want him to pay it now.

(Read more..Airtel calls for 'dues' that it says it forgot to bill earlier However, Airtel is not the only one who is asking subscribers to pay some 'mystery charges', many other mobile services provider (MSPs) are also doing the same. Unfortunately, in India, there is no remedy to overcome this duping from the MSPs.

"In India, about 95% of total mobile subscribers use pre-paid connection and they never receive any kind of account statement from the MSPs. As per the guidelines, for an amount of Rs50 and above, the MSPs are required to provide a detailed statement to a pre-paid subscriber, if asked. However, either they don't provide it or even if they do, the statement does not give details like balance in account, call duration, SMS data or active VAS and its charges," said Achintya Mukherjee, honorary joint secretary, Bombay Telephone Users Association.

Mr Mukherjee said after writing to his MSP Reliance Communication for over six months, finally they provided him a statement for his pre-paid connection, which just have a list of numbers called and nothing else. Even, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) failed to lay down any specific format for the account statement to be given to pre-paid subscribers, he added.

In the US, more than 30 million (3 crore) mobile subscribers told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they found 'surprise charges' on their phone bills. This means one out of every six US mobile phone subscriber is receiving bills with 'mystery charges'. After getting caught, Verizon Wireless, a mobile services provider had to pay $25 million, the largest voluntary fine in FCC history, for charging their subscribers with millions of bogus 'mystery charges'.

Now the FCC has proposed new rules that will make it mandatory for all mobile carriers to send a text or voicemail to users if they are about to go over their monthly usage for voice, data or SMS. No wonder, MSPs are fighting tooth and nail either to block the new rules or water it down.

The European Union already requires cellular companies to send these kinds of heads-up alerts to customers approaching their usage limits.

However, no such rules or guidelines exist in India to regulate 'mystery charges' in mobile bills. To start with, every MSP in India will ask you to pay the bill first and then ask for reimbursement or waiver in next bill.

Secondly, you can try calling the customer service number of times, only to get more frustrated, since they will not understand what you are saying or your call will get disconnected automatically. If you insist on talking with anyone senior, then they will keep you on hold for many more minutes and in case you manages to speak with somebody senior, he will promise to look into the matter and revert, which never happens.

After this episode with the MSP, you may want to complaint to the regulator, the TRAI If you are lucky or are able to persuade the concerned person from TRAI, they may notice your complaint. What follows is a typical to procedures that rules our government offices. TRAI will send your complaint to the concerned MSP, the MSP will send a routine reply and the matter rests.

According to Mr Mukherjee, beyond playing the postman's role, TRAI has rarely come through meaningfully. "They (the TRAI) have telecom experts as advisors but each has a restricted role and even more important, little pro-active role or capacity to be so," he added.

The question remains, what a subscriber, who is billed 'mystery charges' every month should do. Not much, we can say. You can write to the concerned customer care, nodal officer and even to TRAI, but whether they will acknowledge the error and rectify the same, there is no assurance.

A few days ago, Dr KC Chakrabarty, deputy governor, Reserve Bank of India, while speaking at a banking seminar said that technology has the potential to extend, in a cost effective manner, the penetrative reach of services and products to a large section of the excluded society. However, technological advances failed to reduce the transaction cost for retail customers, he said.

This is true not only for banking services but also to every other service, including mobile. However, in case of mobile services, network (signal) availability, value added services (VAS) and last but not least, various charges that a subscriber needs to pay or which gets deducted automatically from his pre-paid account have become constant headache.

Compared with other MSPs, Tata Teleservices comes out with something innovative. Any subscriber of Tata Indicom, can visit their website and post his/her grievances directly to the company's managing director and head of operations.

The company says: "We pledge to address every bill dispute within 72 hours failing which we will compensate our customers with Rs25/- for every additional day taken to resolve the complaint."

The company also compensate its subscribers for call drops and allows registration of a call back if they does not answer you call within 90 seconds. For any VAS, it offers free trial.

Unfortunately, Tata Indicom does not have any answer or solution to block unsolicited commercial calls or messages. The writer has been trying for the same since past 4-5 years, and has written to every concerned official from Tata Indicom without any luck yet.

Hope someday in future we may have the same rules, regulations that are followed in the US and the EU, which may give some respite to end users.



airtel presence

6 years ago

Dear Customer,

This is to inform you that your concern has been noted and our team is eager to resolve it. In order to get to the resolution, we need to get in touch with you and gather more details about the concern. However, we are restricted by the absence of your contact details in your original complaint. Please do write to us at [email protected] with your contact details (address and landline or mobile phone number).

We assure you that we are committed to resolving the issue to your satisfaction.

Rakesh Kumar
Airtel Customer Service Team



In Reply to airtel presence 6 years ago

@Airtel Customer Service Team ....Thanks for waking up. But before writing the story we had sent an email to you and those in Bharti Airtel's corporate communications dept. Till date there is no reply. So first learn to reply or atleast acknowledge the mails you receive and then go and post your problem solving comments.


7 years ago

the writer is an idiot... the writer has a problem with getting unsolicited calls messages.. then the telecom service provider is not to blame... if you have given away your number to some real esate agent.. sales promoter.. then its ur blunder.. not the telecom service providers mistake that u are getting unsolicited calls etc...



In Reply to rony 7 years ago

@Rony...working for Wipro does not label you as 'wise'.. Either you don't know how the telecom companies operate for selling bulk SMS services or you are acting as dumb.


7 years ago

Without my request, the Airtel is charging Rs10/- every week with a message "you have been renewed for Yahoo zone subscription service. You have been charged Rs.10/- ". When I try to contact Airtel officials on their contact No.121 etc., I get only recorded replies which test my patience and waste lot of my time. Later by pressing one of the digits, I opted them to stop "Airtel Live service " whereafter I got a message that they have stopped. But whom to ask for the debits made so far ? They have just robbed me ! Day light robbery !


7 years ago

Can Mr C.B Bhave take any action against this as he says that he is alsways a customer supporter.He can olny do something that kills common people..Nothing more than that.In every span of life on every thing in life every body has to pay charge on any thing in the world.The only thing where no charge is applied is MF buying......

Bhatt defends teaser rates; to take a call late next month

Mumbai: The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) today said teaser rate home loans are the "best product and the most sought-after" in the market today, a comment that comes on the heels of RBI expressing concerns over such offerings, reports PTI.

"This is the best home loan product... in terms of affordability, in terms of friskiness, this is the best product we have in the market today," SBI chairman Om Prakash Bhatt told reporters on the sidelines of a banking event organised by the Indian Merchants Chamber here.

Refusing to term this cheaper loan as teaser rate as a special product, Mr Bhatt further said that the product offers the best and the most affordable payment option to a borrower.

He said the product would remain in force so long as it remains relevant and commercially viable to the market.

Under the teaser rates home loan scheme, banks lend at lower rates in the first few years which are subsequently raised.

As late as the last monetary policy review and the half-yearly macroeconomic report, the apex bank had raised concerns over the teaser rates. But even at the customary post-policy press meet, Mr Bhatt had insisted that this special loan scheme was the need of the hour.

According to bankers, its a win-win product as in an easy liquidity scenario and serious credit crunch (when the product was first launched being goaded by the government in the wake of the global financial crisis) it fetches them higher interest rates while for the borrower, it gives cheaper money and helps in repayment as his incomes increase as the years go by.

In the second quarterly review of the credit policy on 2nd November, the RBI sounded concerns over building up of asset bubbles in the realty sector as a result of excessive borrowing and increased the mandatory provisioning for teaser loans by five times to 2%.

RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao had said on the policy day that "the real estate prices have reached or even surpassed pre-crisis levels."

Downplaying fears of asset bubbles, he said, "We thought that we must rein in loose practices in most of the housing sector."

Speaking to reporters today, Mr Bhatt said that as per the practice, SBI will take a call on whether to continue with the teaser rates scheme or not by the end of the current quarter (end December).

Conceding that the liquidity situation is different now from 2009 when the product was first launched, Mr Bhatt added, "The situation has changed (from when the teaser schemes were launched) but it has not changed so as to warrant that this is an unwanted, or an unprofitable or a risky product. It is a very much a desired product by the people and very risk free."

To a pointed question on whether the bank will discontinue this loan scheme from the next quarter, he refused to give a straight answer and said, "It will remain in force so long as this remains relevant and commercially viable."

All the major lenders, including SBI, mortgage lender HDFC and Indiabulls, among others currently offer teaser home loan rates.


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