Citizens' Issues
Quantum of land losers' consent may go up in Land Acquisition Bill

Sources said Sonia Gandhi is not in favour of the GoM's proposal that consent of two-third of 'land losers' and instead supports earlier proposal which asks for 80% land losers' consent 

New Delhi: The Land Bill finalised by the Group of Ministers (GoM) is expected to undergo some more changes, particularly on the percentage of land losers' consent required for acquiring land, apparently at the insistence of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, reports PTI.
The draft bill will go to the Union Cabinet where these changes could be made, sources said.
The Cabinet would decide whether consent of 67% or 80% of owners is needed for acquiring land for private projects, they said.
Sources said Sonia Gandhi was not in favour of the GoM's proposal that consent of two-third of "land losers" (from whom land would be purchased) would be needed for acquiring land for public-private-partnership and private projects.
She supports the earlier proposal which says that 80% land losers' consent be needed before land could be acquired, they said and added that the issue will now be decided by the Union Cabinet.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar-led GoM had to overcome sharp differences on this issue before clearing the long-delayed controversial Bill in its third meeting on 16th October.
The government had constituted the GoM about a month ago after some ministers voiced strong reservations against certain provisions of the Bill at the Cabinet meeting.
The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 was introduced in Parliament in September last year and was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee which submitted its recommendations in May.
The Bill has been hanging fire even though the National Advisory Council headed by Gandhi has been pushing for the law and has framed its broad contours.


Kingfisher offers three instalments of dues to staff before Diwali

While the Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines is offering up to three instalments of salary dues before Diwali, the striking employees insisted on a written assurance alleging that the management had earlier backtracked

Mumbai/New Delhi: A fresh bid was made on Monday by Kingfisher Airlines to resolve the 23-day-old impasse with its striking employees by offering up to three instalments of their salary dues before Diwali but the protesters insisted on a written assurance alleging that the management had earlier backtracked, reports PTI.
The offer was made to the employees’ representatives, who have been demanding payment of pending salary dues of at least four out of seven months before they resume work, held a meeting with management representatives at the Kingfisher House in Mumbai.
"There has been no written communication from the management in this regard. We don't know about any such offer," a pilot, who was part of the meeting, told PTI when asked whether the management had offered to clear two-three instalments of salary dues before Diwali in November.
"We cannot trust their words. They have gone back on their verbal promises earlier. We need a clear-cut written assurance," he said.
Airline sources, however, said such an offer was made to the employees during the discussions today.
The agitating staffs has already planned to hold demonstrations and other protest actions, especially during the upcoming Formula One motor race in which UB Group chief and Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya is involved.
The meeting came in the backdrop of the airline losing its license to fly with aviation regulator DGCA suspending it last Friday, capping three weeks of lockout in the beleaguered carrier.
Ahead of the talks, a company spokesperson had said, "it is our endeavour to restart operations at the earliest and we assure you we are working towards achieving this." 
"We have in any case always maintained that once the issues with the employees are resolved, we will first present our resumption plan to DGCA for review, before resuming operations," he had said.


United India defies CIC order; hiding inefficiencies leading to denial of cashless

United India Insurance was told by a CIC order to put data on policy issue date and transfer date to TPAs on its website. It has not done this for over two months. Does it need high-tech to give such basic information or was it is busy developing M-Power, the app which helps its get premium through mobile phones?

United India Insurance Company (UIIC) has not complied with the Central Information Commission (CIC) June 2012 order to start putting information on policy issue date and transfer date to TPAs (third party administrators) from 16 August 2012. As this order is not for retroactive data, there should not be any difficulty to conform. Yet, UIIC has scuttled the issue by saying that the information will be available only when they have implemented Comprehensive Online Real-Time Environment (CORE) software. Is UIIC deliberately not putting the obligated data as it will point to the ongoing bungling of the UIIC promised cashless feature?


As per the Right to Information (RTI) reply to Dr Anshu Agrawal, there can be a one-two month delay in giving policy renewal information by the branch office to the TPA. It means that the cashless feature is denied to customer during this period even after policy is renewed. When a customer pays premium for mediclaim policy, there is very less chance of a cheque bouncing. Why is customer penalised for inexplicable inefficiencies of UIIC? While UIIC has developed M-Power, a mobile application for ease in premium payment, why has it not taken any steps for really helping the customers?

Read – United India Insurance uses mobile tech for collecting premiums but in other ways it is in a pre-computer era! 

At the 28 August 2012 CIC hearing, UIIC Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) told Information Commissioner following important points:


  1. It is the practise that the representative of the TPA visits the branch office on a weekly basis to obtain the information of the mediclaim policies (new and renewed) which are in-force.
  2. During the past one year, the company is in the process of putting in place CORE software, which is likely to take a few more months.
  3. During the interim, the CPIO will suggest to the senior management to operationalise a simple system whereby the bank would electronically transfer data to the insurance company as soon as the premium is credited to the account of the company and this information would further be electronically transmitted to the TPA thereby eliminating any unnecessary time lag in putting into force the mediclaim policy by the TPA with consequent benefits to the insured.


It’s bizarre that the TPA has to physically visit branch office once in a week to get updates on policy renewal or purchase. Even more astonishing is that a simple solution of electronic data transfers between bank to UIIC and then to TPA needed activists like Dr Agrawal to knock on CIC doors. It opened a UIIC Pandora’s Box.


Hapless policyholders end up with cashless denial just because UIIC is living in pre-computer age of manually getting cheque credited information from bank and making the TPA show up at the branch doors to get policy renewal information. Not to talk about the delays in TPAs putting this updated information on their computer systems. Till that happens, the policyholder is told that you are not our customer; you will not get cashless and we cannot even take hospitalisation intimation. In short, we may not pay your reimbursement claim as we did not take your hospitalisation intimation.


It will have to been seen when the self-revelation of UIIC is actually implemented. UIIC needs to empower the customer with quickly doing what they said at CIC hearing and not just offering M-Power mobile application for premium collection.


Read - CIC asks United India Insurance to disclose information that may help close a loophole – I

Read - United India CPIO defies CIC order, gives irrelevant data to RTI petitioner




5 years ago

It’s not UIIC, all other PSU General insurance cos sail in the same boat.Renewal data is not updated with TPAs for months even sometime till next renewal is due. For policies which are couple of years Old and regularly renewed in stipulated due dates, TPA’s asks policy holder for copies/proof of ALL previous year's details. Situation is worse when an insurance co. has changed its TPA.

End sufferer is POLICY HOLDER.I will appreciate if some more policy holders/agents can share above mentioned facts in order to revamp efficiency of these insurance companies and hold them accountable.

At times even IRDA and ombudsman favors TPA and insurance cos. for disputes generated due to above mentioned in-efficiency of insurance cos. and TPAs.

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