Regulations
RBI most known regulator among Indians: Survey

About 74% of those who know these regulatory agencies have reported benefiting directly or indirectly from their regulations, says the survey

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the most known regulator followed by electricity and telecom sectoral watchdogs, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), reports PTI quoting a study by CUTS International.

 

"Awareness regarding regulatory bodies is limited to recognition of their names and knowledge about their basic mandate," according to the study prepared by CUTS International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with support of the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

 

Geography-wise, the awareness regarding regulatory agencies is highest in northern and western region as compared to other three regions, it said.

 

The study also observed that "about 74% of those who know these regulatory agencies have reported benefiting directly or indirectly from their regulations, while the remaining 26% respondents do not agree to this".

 

The survey "State of Indian Consumers 2012' conducted in 22 states and union territories with a sample size of 11,499 highlighted that among eight regulators, RBI was widely known among people with 40% respondents saying they recognise at least the name of the regulator.

 

The next in terms of people's awareness were the TRAI (27%), CERC (26%), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority-PFRDA(25%), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority-IRDA (24%).

 

The least known regulators were Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (16% each) and Forward Markets Commission-FMC (8%), the study revealed.

 

On awareness about government laws that seek to protect consumers, the study said, only about 20% were aware of the Consumer Protection Act or had heard about the act.

 

Awareness regarding consumer protection and related acts is highest in southern region as compared to other regions, it added.

 

"It is the best known act followed by Weights and Measures Act and Food Safety and Standards Act. Legal Metrology Act, Contract Act and Competition Act are the most uncommon acts recognised by least number of respondents," the study said.

 

The purpose of the study was to understand the real status of the common consumers at grassroots with regard to level of awareness and in terms of realising the basic consumer rights, it added.

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ED attaches property, bank accounts of doctor, CA in Delhi

ED unravelled a maze of dubious and false transactions done by the doctor to allegedly defraud a number of financial organisations in the national capital region on the pretext of building a hospital in Ghaziabad with the help of the CA

 
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties and bank accounts of a doctor and a Chartered Accountant for allegedly laundering and defrauding on a Rs6.5 crore loan taken from the State Bank of India (SBI), reports PTI.
 
The order, under the stringent provisions of the money laundering Act, has been issued by the Delhi zone office after the ED unravelled a maze of dubious and false transactions done by the doctor to allegedly defraud a number of financial organisations in the national capital region (NCR) on the pretext of building a hospital in Ghaziabad, near Delhi.
 
According to the ED, which registered a case under the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA) last year, it took over the case from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had earlier filed a forgery case in this regard after the doctor had taken a land for developing a project called Raghubir Hospital Pvt Ltd and had applied for project loan of Rs20 crore from SBI by submitting "forged proforma invoices and receipts." 
 
The doctor, according to ED, applied for the loan with the help a CA and subsequently the State Bank of India (Nehru place branch) sanctioned him a term loan of Rs6.5 crore in 2006.
 
This loan amount, the ED attachment order sent to various banks involved in the case said, was "misappropriated (by the doctor) by submitting fictitious documents, bills towards purported supply of material and medical equipments" through non-existent suppliers.
 
The ED found that the doctor "defrauded the bank by siphoning a sum of Rs4.92 crore by withdrawing the money in cash or transfer to other accounts" including payments made to an insurance company and a bank against re-payment of loan he had taken from them and to the CA for providing services to get the loan on "fictitious documents." 
 
The agency, in its 22-page order, stated that the CA garnered "proceeds of crime" of Rs70 lakh from the doctor for helping him in the deal and he subsequently utilised this money to purchase property and deposited the rest of the amount in his account in ICICI bank in Nehru place.
 
The ED attachment ensures that the freezed properties cannot be used by the accused and he cannot take any benefits from these assets, but the order can be challenged by the accused at the adjudicating authority of the PMLA which is a quasi-judicial body.
 
Amongst the attached immovable properties are the doctor's house and hospital building located in Ghaziabad (against the Rs6.5 crore SBI loan), office property of the CA and his account in ICICI bank.
 

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COMMENTS

nagesh kini

4 years ago

I'm not surprised.
Transgressions by professionals like doctors and CA's are given a go bye, just because their Regulators like the MCI and ICAI are lax toothless watch dogs that neither bark nor bite.
Surely in this racket are also lawyers who would have vetted the documents and the bank officials who ought to have carried their due diligence. They also should be investigated.

nagesh kini

4 years ago

I'm not surprised.
Transgressions by professionals like doctors and CA's are given a go bye, just because their Regulators like the MCI and ICAI are lax toothless watch dogs that neither bark nor bite.
Surely in this racket are also lawyers who would have vetted the documents and the bank officials who ought to have carried their due diligence. They also should be investigated.

The ‘power’ struggle continues: Is there a workable formula?

Power generating companies presently require an estimated 300 million tonnes annually while Coal India can supply 65% of this need. The former are demanding that imported coal be made available at a subsidized price, but will they provide power at a ‘cheap’ rate?

 
The ‘power’ struggle between coal and power ministry officials may come to an end soon when the revised Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) are signed by all the concerned parties. The new or improved versions of the FSAs are likely to be signed by the middle of next month, according to information available in the media.
 
The major problem that still remains as a stumbling block is the issue of agreement over pooling of prices of imported coal as the independent directors of Coal India feel that the miner would incur losses of some Rs3,000 crore by implementing the proposal for pool pricing. This is not ‘correct’ as per the Central Electricity Authority!
 
There is therefore the urgent need to overcome this impasse as import of coal will have to continue for a long time to come since the demand is rising and the indigenous producer is unable to mine enough of coal as many of the allocated coal blocks have made little or no progress.
 
What can India do to augment coal supplies? Read here.
 
The Inter-Ministerial Group will continue its work starting sometime next week on the coal de-allocation process! In fact, it is well-known that obtaining of both state and MOEF (ministry of environment & forest) clearances have been a nightmare and despite the out-of-turn coal block allocation years ago, only one has been operating, with all others stuck up for clearances.
 
Imports, necessitated by shortfall in indigenous supply, have been the order of the day. And, under the FSAs, 80% supplies are ‘guaranteed’ under penalty clauses but failure to supply may adversely affect the final supplies to power producers who envisage a production of 60,000 MW. It remains to be seen how the FSAs really work and one can only hope that this the paper guarantee works.
 
The power generating companies, at the moment, require an estimated 300 million tonnes annually and Coal India can supply 65% of this need. So, to meet the full requirement of the needs of power companies alone, a little more than 100 million tonnes of coal will have to be imported by Coal India. In reality, it may be more than this.
 
Is the coal issue put in cold storage? Click link to read the article.
 
In the overall picture, during the current Plan Period, 2012-17, annually there will be an estimated import requirement of 200 million tonnes per year, about half of which will have to be allocated for power generating companies. And these companies are demanding that this shortfall be met by imports alone and be made available at the subsidized price! By the same token, are these companies willing to make available ‘power’ at a ‘cheap’ price to the aam aadmi?  Good question, but no answer!
 
Adding fuel to fire, there is a growing demand by some of the coal producing states, such as Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha that by having coal blocks located in their states, they ‘need’ to get electricity at concessional rates!
 
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is not in favour of such a demand being met. Such a demand, if ever met, will have far-reaching implications on the economy and cannot and should not be entertained.
 
As far as the issue of pooling of prices of imported coal is concerned, why not base the price on the actual quantity of imported coal being supplied at a given time?  Or, as a thumb rule, why not supply the coal on the same ratio as the indigenous to imported coal, on a quarterly actuals basis?  The only limiting factor may be the calorific value/content of coal supplied in arriving at the price factor.
 
Such a proposal, which can be worked out in detail by technocrats, may be found acceptable and equitable to one and all?
 
Please click here to read other articles by the same writer.
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce and was associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US. He can be contacted at anantha_ramdas@yahoo.com.)
 

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