RBI has promoted three seniors as EDs and reshuffled existing ones to take over newly assigned responsibilities. Dr Deepali Pant Joshi has also been re-assigned to head the Department of Currency Management among other duties
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has promoted three of its senior officers as new executive directors (ED). It has also reshuffled some EDs' responsibilities. The three newly promoted EDs are Dr MD Patra, KK Vohra and G Mahalingam. “One promotion is in lieu of an existing vacancy and the other two are against additional vacancies,” RBI said in a release.
Dr Deepali Pant Joshi, who was previously heading the Consumer Education and Protection Department and spoke on the issue of consumer issues at the recently concluded MR Pai Awards, has now been shifted to handle the Department of Currency Management, Legal department, Premises Department and as the First Appellate Authority for Right to Information (RTI) Act matters.
The duties assigned to EDs according to the latest re-shuffle are as follows:
1. Financial Stability Unit
2. Inspection Department
3. Risk Monitoring Department
P Vijaya Bhaskar
1. Internal Debt Management Department
2. Department of External Investments and Operations
3. Department of Government and Bank Accounts
1. Department of Information Technology
2. Department of Payment and Settlement Systems
3. Foreign Exchange Department
4. Financial Markets Regulation Department (including Market Intelligence)
1. Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation
Dr (Smt) Deepali Pant Joshi
1. Department of Currency Management
2. Legal Department
3. Premises Department
4. Right to Information Act (First Appellate Authority)
1. Department of Banking Regulation
2. Department of Co-operative Banking Regulation
3. Department of Non-Banking Regulation
1. Consumer Education and Protection Department
2. Financial Inclusion and Development Department
3. Secretary’s Department
1. Department of Banking Supervision
2. Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision
3. Department of Non-Banking Supervision
While special paper for printing currency notes may be produced in India soon, how about introducing polymer currency notes, which are not easily counterfeited?
In 2010, the foundation stone was laid in Mysore by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd, (SPMCIL) to make special paper for printing currency notes indigenously. This is a joint venture between Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd, which is a unit of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) subsidiary, and SPMCIL. Why should this organisation be a "private limited" company? It is still not clear! Anyway, this facility is likely to become operational by the end of this year, once power supply is made available, and all other essential equipment is in place.
In the past, this speciality paper designed for printing currency notes was being imported from Japan and Australia. Full details of the quantity that will be made in this plant and whether this will be a total import substitution effort has not been made public.
However, it is most likely that even after the initial trials are successful and printed currency is "market tested", it would be months, may be even a couple of years more before we can think of import substitution. This will definitely reduce our imports to some extent, as the bill for this alone is estimated to be around Rs1,200 crore to Rs1,600 crore per year.
The question of counterfeit fake Indian currency notes in circulation has been a growing menace and a threat to our economy, adding to our woes in inflation. Also, from time to time, crores of fake notes, in higher denominations like Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes have been smuggled across the Indo-Pak border.
It is high time, India planned for a switch over to polymer currency notes, which has been successfully introduced in more than 25 countries. Australia, the pioneer, has been using this for almost 30 years now!
In fact, officials of the Reserve Bank of India, like the retired Deputy Governor, Dr KC Chakrabarty, have stated that trials were being conducted in selected towns like Bhubaneshwar, Kochi, Jaipur, Mysore and Shimla with smaller denomination like Rs10.
These press reports appeared as early as May 2013. There has been complete silence after this and fake currencies continue to be seized on a regular basis by vigilant security forces. Both the Finance Ministry and the RBI have not made any clear-cut statement on this issue.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been talking about unearthing "black money" from overseas sources. But, what about the black money, running into crores, that is stashed inside the country itself, in the form of currency notes? Only a planned introduction of high denomination polymer currency notes and demonetizing the old notes would help to resolve this problem. Polymer currency notes are not easily counterfeited and next year, United Kingdom also plans to go in for the same! What are we waiting for?
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also 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.)
Three companies warned by federal regulators about advertising claims that products can treat deadly virus
Federal officials have sent warning letters to several companies who are marketing products online as treatments for Ebola.
The letters come on the heels of consumer complaints to government regulators about the products, and as fear of the deadly disease spreads with the Centers for Disease Control confirming Tuesday the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States.
There are no vaccines or drugs approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of Ebola, which has killed more than 3,000 people in West Africa, according to figures from the World Health Organization.
“When there is a public concern, there’s usually at least a handful of marketers that will try and take advantage of those public fears,” Rich Clelan, assistant director of the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, said on Monday.
The FDA issued a warning this summer to consumers to beware of products sold online that claim to prevent or treat the virus. In the warning, the agency noted that “there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products specifically for Ebola available for purchase on the Internet.” It also said:
Unfortunately, during outbreak situations, fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure a disease all too often appear on the market.
Last week, the FTC and FDA sent a joint warning letter to New-Jersey based Natural Solutions Foundation over Ebola treatment claims, and the FDA issued warning letters to two Utah-based companies, Young Living and doTERRA International, for unapproved Ebola treatment claims about their essential oil products.
The letter states that Young Living made the online claim that viruses like Ebola “are no match” for its essential oils, and also gave treatment advice on essentialsurvival.org (a site that has since been censored): “If I were exposed to Ebola or had reason to believe I could be sick with it, I would use some of these oils every 10 minutes for a few hours, then cut back to every hour for the rest of the first day.”
Online treatment claims that the FDA found in violation of its drug policy on doTERRA’s websites included one on www.anytimeessentials.com that stated that one of the “primary uses” of an oregano product was for the Ebola virus. But it appears that doTERRA also got the message from the FDA. Here’s what that same website looks like on Oct. 1.
Natural Solutions Foundation touts the medical benefits of Nano Silver, an experimental drug that had been approved for use on some Ebola patients in West Africa, according to a Wall Street Journal report in August.
“Nano Silver leaves the beneficial bacteria and the healthy cells of the patient unaffected but it does kill every pathogen against which it has been tested,” Rima Laibow, one of the two people to whom the Natural Solutions Foundation letter is addressed, said in a video that officials cite as making the unapproved drug claims in violation of Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Natural Solutions Foundation told TINA.org that it intended to respond in a few days with a plan “to be in compliance with the law.”
However, a scathing retort posted online by the other person to whom the joint FDA-FTC letter is addressed, suggests that the company relished a chance to go to court. Ralph Fucetola, a retired lawyer and trustee at Natural Solutions, wrote:
Nutrients are not drugs! … Supporting the immune system is not “treating” disease. Traditional Natural Remedies do not need FDA approval! In fact, FDA has NO LEGAL AUTHORITY to attempt to approve such things. … FDA has been itching to ban silver and other Natural Remedies for decades because they are cheap, effective, compete successfully with antibiotics, and are safe for everyone. And now they’re giving us a chance to take them to Court! YES! This is the opportunity for which the health freedom movement has been waiting.
Clelan, of the FTC, said it’s “an ongoing process” to weed out companies making Ebola treatment claims. A TINA.org search found other sites also making treatment claims.
Clelan said the FTC could move quicker to bring action than the FDA. He said his agency could file its own complaint, whereas the FDA would have to go through the Department of Justice. That’s why, he said, the two agencies are working together on this initiative.