Retirement
Retirement years: Safe & smart saving to take care of your silver innings
Moneylife Foundation is conducting ‘Safe and Smart Savings to take care of your retirement years’, a free seminar on Saturday in Nerul, Navi Mumbai for people, especially senior citizens 
 
Every other day, we read about people being financially duped. Senior citizens, who may have some funds with them saved for their retirement days, are often easy target for fraudsters. Moneylife has written about several such cases in the past. Remember, Mangelal Sharma, a 79-year old, who was persuaded to withdraw Rs7 lakh from his fixed deposit and invest in DWS's mutual fund that had a five-year lock in period, when needed the money for his wife treatment? Similarly, Solapur-based Arving Injamuri, aged 65 in 2012 was mis-sold highest NAV ULIPs and paid Rs7.5 lakh, he had received as retirement dues. But more about Mr Sharma and Mr Injamuri later.
 
There are several such examples, where senior citizens are sold numerous insurance policies under the pretext of regular and guaranteed high returns every month. To help people avoid such mistakes and understand safe and smart savings that would take care of their silver innings, Moneylife Foundation is conducting a special seminar on Saturday, 28th November at Nerul in Navi Mumbai.
 
With better medical facilities, we have to prepare to live on our savings for at least 20 years after we turn 60. Most people do not think that far ahead and plan. This seminar will help such people in understanding importance of safe and smart financial planning and investment. 
 
During the seminar, Sucheta Dalal, Moneylife's Managing Editor and Founder-Trustee of Moneylife Foundation will talk about dos and don'ts while dealing with banks and how to take care of fixed deposits. She will also help attendees understand and be safe from insurance fraud; email and advance free scams. Ms Dalal will then explain the risk and benefits about retirement homes besides informing on Wills, nominations, guarantees and credit details.
 
Debashis Basu, Editor & Publisher of Moneylife as well as Founder-Trustee of Moneylife Foundation will conduct the second session of the seminar. He will give an overview on products that one needs to beat inflation and ensure regular income in retirement. He will also explain insurance, taxation, realty and gold, equity and mutual funds and how to make own choices about safe investment products.
 
This free seminar will be held at SIES College of Management Studies (SIESCOMS) in Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Vidyapuram, Sector V, Nerul. 
 
Since registration is a must, those interested in attending this Seminar can do it either online (here is the link http://www.moneylife.in/event/115.html) or call on 022-49205000. Registration can also be done through call, SMS or WhatsApp message on +91-7045156415, with name, and email ID. And share the details of this seminar with your friends.
 
Coming back to Mr Sharma, who after a strong campaign by Moneylife through website and social media, received all his money back . Mr Injamuri, who retired as a ticket checker from the Railways, also received his entire money along with an interest of Rs1.75 lakh from the insurer, when Moneylife took up the issue with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA). (Read: Reliance Life ULIP mis-selling: Justice served). Most people are not so fortunate. It is almost impossible to get your money back from financial companies. It is better to be forewarned and know all the dos and don’ts of dealing with money as seniors. 

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Nifty, Sensex on the cusp of a sharp move - Tuesday closing report
Nifty will decline sharply if it closes below 7,750 
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex are in no- man’s land and that Nifty is likely to rally if its closes above 7,900. The major indices in the Indian stock markets were range bound during Tuesday’s trading and closed with small losses of upto 0.42%. The trends of the major indices during the day’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The upcoming winter session of parliament and derivatives expiry subdued Indian equity markets on Tuesday. The government needs to get the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill passed in the upcoming session to meet the 1 April 2016, roll-out deadline. The US Fed held an 'unscheduled' meet on Monday. The meet precedes the Federal Reserve policy meet in December, when a rate hike is expected to be announced. The US central bank has given signs that it might go in for a series of gradual rate hikes starting from December. However, in the short term, higher interest rates in the US are expected to lead away FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) from emerging markets such as India. 
 
The price of the OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at $38.18 a barrel on Monday, compared to $38.37 last Friday, the organisation's secretariat said.
 
Japanese life insurer Nippon Life Insurance will increase its stake in Reliance Life Insurance to 49%  by acquiring 23% stake from Reliance Capital for Rs2,265 crore, the two groups said. In line with the new shareholding structure, the name of the company will also be changed to Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Company Ltd. 
 
Admitting that there were still a number of regulatory and taxation issues in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday tried to hard sell the country's business potential to Singapore's corporate community and assured that he will do the hand-holding when they come to India. "In the past few months, the interest of foreign investors in India has gone up tremendously. However, there were a number of regulatory and taxation issues which were adversely impacting on their sentiments. We have taken very decisive steps to remove many of the long-pending concerns," Modi said. He was addressing the Singaporean business community at the India-Singapore Economic Convention here in the city-state. Referring that IMF chief Christine Lagarde has recently said that India is a bright spot in the global economy, Modi said: "I did not want to wait for that brightness to reach to you on its own. Hence, I am here. I am here to invite you to India in a bigger way. I have also come to assure you that I am there to carefully hold your hands."
 
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and France-based Gfi Informatique - a value-added IT services and software vendor - on Tuesday said they have entered into a strategic partnership agreement on smart cities to meet the requirements of digital initiatives in public transportation, water, and energy. The French company will include Intelligent Urban Exchange - an advanced analytics solution developed by TCS - as part of their joint value-added capabilities to address market requirements and deliver greater benefits to smart city programmes in France. "The agreement introduces advanced analytics software capabilities to expand Gfi Informatique's approach to unite and leapfrog the digital transformation of public sectors to build new revenue streams and create a culture of more fully engaged, satisfied citizens," Seeta Hariharan, general manager and group head of TCS Digital Software and Solutions, said in a statement. Big data and domain specific advanced analytics would be combined to provide cities, utilities or transport operators with real-time actionable insights and deliver cost-effective operations across multiple intelligent city domains such as transportation, water, energy, open governance and city commerce.
 
Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar has lent his creativity to bring different emotions alive to welcome Maggi. He says it was a "big responsibility" to portray the noodle brand in the "right manner". "I have been associated with Nestle for a long time. They wanted me to do the Maggi relaunch campaign and got in touch with me. It was a big responsibility to portray this in the right manner. These are simple short films that welcome Maggi back from different people's perspective," Sircar said. Nestle India re-launched its marquee product earlier this month after a five-month long ban by India's food regulator due to alleged high levels of lead and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in the Maggi noodles. With the 'Welcome Back' campaign for Maggi noodles, Sircar returns to one of his better-known commercial associations. Having worked with Nestle India before, making popular ads with the brand, he has focused the new commercials on showing the unique connect with Maggi that Indians across age groups share. In 10-15 seconds, Maggi's impact on the lives of a mother, a college student, a café owner and many such people will be told.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the indices are given in the table below:
 
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Draft Civil Aviation Policy leaves air travellers high and dry!
The Draft Policy does not even remotely indicate anything to make air travel stress-free, trouble-free, convenient and comfortable for passengers. There is no proposal for any grievance redressal system either
 
The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) has released a draft National Civil Aviation Policy 2015 suggesting a series of steps to take flying to the masses. The policy inter-alia has proposed viability gap funding for regional routes, liberal bilateral traffic rights, self-handling airport operations and retaining the route dispersal guidelines. 
 
According to the Policy, the vision is to create an eco-system to enable 30 crore domestic tickets by 2022 and 50 crore by 2027. Similarly, international ticketing is likely to increase to 20 crore by 2027. Besides, the mission of the Policy is to provide safe, secure, affordable and sustainable air travel with access to various parts of India and the world. 
 
But the whole Policy is silent about the need to create an environment conducive for convenience and satisfaction of air travellers who have a vital role in making the lofty vision and the mission successful. With steep growth in air traffic and spreading air travel to the hinterland, number of flyers are bound to increase manifold. However, the Policy does not even remotely indicate the steps proposed to make air travel stress free, trouble free, convenient and comfortable for passengers, who suffer at the hands of airlines that treat economy class passengers like cattle. If celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar had to face the indifference and ignominy at the hands of a reputed foreign airline recently, one can imagine the fate of lesser mortals who are always at the receiving end when the aircraft movements get disrupted due to a variety of reasons. 
 
Safety of air travellers:
 
The Policy makes a very general statement with regard to aviation safety. It no doubt says that the focus will be on pre-empting and preventing incidents and safety violations will be treated with zero-tolerance. Apart from saying that the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will be authorised to impose fines and penalties depending upon the nature of violations, the Policy is silent as to how passengers will be protected in the case of incidents and accidents. Though prevention of accidents is better than cure, it is a fact that unless and until obligations of airlines are unambiguously spelt out, there is always a temptation to short change passengers. This will ensure that travellers are compensated promptly and fairly without having to fight for their rights.
 
Need for a grievance redressal mechanism for air travellers: 
 
Grievances of air travellers are not being given the attention it deserves, and there is total callousness, especially in attending to grievances of passengers. This is evident from the harassment meted out to the passengers whenever the flights are delayed or cancelled.  There are guidelines issued by the DGCA on facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights. However, general experience of air travellers is that they are observed more in breach than in compliance.
 
Surprisingly, there is no regulatory mechanism in the airline industry for travellers to get grievance redressed when there is no response to customer complaints. The present guidelines say that if the airlines fail to fulfil their obligations, passengers may complain to the statutory bodies set up under the relevant applicable laws. This means the aggrieved passenger is required to knock doors of consumer forums or civil courts to get justice. This is not only cumbersome but time consuming and most of the time result in forcing the consumer to suffer in silence. 
 
Set up an Independent Ombudsman for the airline industry:
 
What is, therefore, required is a regulatory mechanism to attend to grievances of air passengers to provide justice quickly and easily. Banking industry follow a grievance redressal machinery like Banking Ombudsman Scheme. The government should, therefore, set up an institution of independent Civil Aviation Ombudsman with offices in all metros to provide easy, trouble free and cost effective grievance redressal mechanism.  
 
The setting up of office of Ombudsman for the airline industry should be supplemented by appropriate guidelines for the airlines to provide instant compensation to travellers without their asking for any deficiency in service delivery on the lines what is done by the Telecom Regulatory Authority in the case of call drops for mobile telecom users. 
 
This will certainly provide the necessary thrust to the growth of airline industry and make the vision and the mission outlined in the draft National Civil Aviation Policy 2015 a success. 
 
 (The author is a financial analyst, writing for Moneylife under the pen-name ‘Gurpur’.)

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

1 year ago

Public is one of the important stake holder in this and as rightly highlighted must be given due consideration.

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