Nation
Sidhu takes on BJP but mum on joining AAP
Former BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday said he gave up his Rajya Sabha seat as he was repeatedly asked to stay away from Punjab which he was not prepared to do.
 
Addressing a crowded press conference here, Sidhu, however, declined to spell out his political future and ducked questions on whether he planned to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
 
"I resigned from the Rajya Sabha because I was told to not turn towards Punjab and stay away from Punjab... Why should I stay away from Punjab and on whose wishes?" a visibly angry Sidhu asked.
 
Saying he believed in "rashtra dharma", the cricketer-turned-politician said: "How could I ignore my roots and betray my homeland? Should I stay away from Punjab just to cater to personal interests of some people?"
 
Sidhu, who was not allowed by the Bharatiya Janata Party to contest from Amritsar in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, did not take the name of any political party or leader in his nearly 10-minute media address that was punctuated by Urdu couplets. 
 
Ever since Sidhu submitted his resignation from the Rajya Sabha on July 18, the opening day of Parliament's monsoon session, there has been intense speculation that he might team up with the AAP, which has emerged as a major player in Punjab ahead of assembly elections due next year.
 
While AAP leaders have hinted that Sidhu would campaign for it, the Congress has repeatedly urged him to join it. On its part, the BJP has not expelled Sidhu or his wife.
 
Sidhu said he had been elected to the Lok Sabha from Amritsar thrice since 2004 and pointed out that in 2009 he was the lone BJP victor in 51 Lok Sabha constituencies in northern India.
 
He claimed he was offered a Lok Sabha seat by the BJP from Kurukshetra in Haryana and west Delhi but he refused to contest from outside Punjab. He made it clear that he could not be placated by a Rajya Sabha berth.
 
Taking no names, Sidhu said: "This was not the first time I was being told to stay away from Punjab... This is for the third or fourth time." 
 
"What is my mistake?" asked the former BJP MP who has had repeated run-ins with Punjab's ruling Akali Dal, a BJP ally.
 
The former India cricket opener, now a popular TV personality, said no party was "above or bigger than Punjab". 
 
"The people of Amritsar have given me so much affection and respect. I cannot betray their trust."
 
Pressed by journalists to say if he was joining the AAP as its chief ministerial candidate, he replied: "That's not the issue. You will see Sidhu wherever Punjab's interests lie."
 
When journalists persisted, he replied in English: "I only want to serve Punjab and Amritsar. That's all."
 
After Sidhu's press conference, the Congress reiterated that he was welcome to join the party. "For every secular nationalist person, Congress is the party," party leader Pratap Singh Bajwa said.
 
The AAP made no formal reaction, but Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Sidhu would have spoken against drugs if he went to Punjab. BJP prevented him. Who was BJP trying to protect? Shocking."
 
R.P. Singh of BJP demanded to know why Sidhu accepted a Rajya Sabha seat if he was so cut up with the party and why he was leaning towards Kejriwal after having criticized him in the past.
 
The Akali Dal said it played no role in the BJP's decision not to nominate him from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat in 2014 but quickly added that his chances of winning were slim.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

User

One lakh and counting: Online petition to RBI on ATM transaction limits
An online petition requesting Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Dr Raghuram Rajan to direct banks to increase number of free transactions and limits on cash withdrawal at automatic teller machines (ATMs) has got a huge response. As on 25 July 2016, the petition, started by Satej Neelavar about two months ago, was signed by over 1.05 lakh people.  
 
In the petition hosted at Change.org, Neelavar says, "Every transaction after the free transaction limit is charged at Rs20 per transaction. The concept of metro and non-metro transactions makes it even worse. We do not have the option of using ATM cards everywhere. A lot of transactions are made in cash, and we need to draw cash from ATMs for this. Charging customers so much is ridiculous.”
 
This particular petition talks about a charge of Rs700 for withdrawals and it is not clear whether they were from the petitioners own bank or from ATMs of other banks. However, the larger issue is one which Moneylife Foundation too had taken up with the RBI.  The Foundation submitted two memorandums to RBI protesting against its attempts to penalise savers. The first was in February 2013 on its plan to “Dis-incentivise Cheque Usage” through punitive levies and charges; the second was in January 2014 against the move to restrict usage. Both have been ignored in favour of bankers’ lobby. (see the Memorandums )
 
Moneylife Foundation sent a memorandum to RBI about banks wanting to charge for more than three withdrawals a month from third-party ATMs (Read: “Usage of ATMs-Rationalisation of number of free transactions”). 
 
The Moneylife Foundation memorandum stated, "The setting up of ATMs by banks is to reduce not only the pressure on their counters, but also to reduce cost of operations through automation. By levying charges for use of ATMs beyond a certain number, banks are scuttling the optimum utilization of technology, thus depriving the benefits of technology to bank customers."
 
Replying to this, the central bank said, "...in order to ensure that customers are not unduly inconvenienced, we have mandated a certain number of transactions to be provided free of charges and have also prescribed the maximum fee that the bank may decide to levy, as per its Board approved policy."
 
However, there is no justification forthcoming either from RBI or the banks. A majority of customers only need basic banking services, which, by the banks' own definition, includes ATM services. In fact, no-frills accounts permit only ATM transactions. However, banks now claim that ATM charges are also too high and low-value transactions are lossmaking, without explaining or proving that drawing money from the bank branch is less expensive than drawing money electronically. For example, for banks it would be more costly to allow customers withdraw money at their branch, than using ATM, considering the limitation in banking hours, and manpower. 
 
According to RBI data, as on March 2016, there were nearly two lakh ATMs (including on-site and off-site) installed by banks across the country. Out of this 53,523 ATMs are installed in metros, 57,569 in urban areas, 53,476 in semi-urban and 34,384 in rural areas. 
 
Moneylife Foundation also shared customer feedback that they were forced to use private bank ATMs because those of their banks often did not work. The Foundation even offered to create a phone-based app to report such incidents. There was no response from the RBI on this initiative. 
 
A few days back, SS Mundra, the Deputy Governor of RBI said that the central bank surveyed 4,000 ATMs across the country and found that a third of them were not working at that point of time. Here, again, he makes no mention about penalties for this or a rollback of charges that are being extracted from consumers. 
 
Earlier, there were no charges for using own bank ATM for transactions. However, on 14 August 2014, the RBI issued a very anti-consumer directive restricting the free usage of ATMs despite protests by consumer organisations and depositors. In response to feedback and a memorandum from Moneylife Foundation on why these charges are unfair, the RBI ignored all the issues raised on behalf of consumers except the one about non-functioning ATMs. 
 
Moneylife Foundation had pointed out that there is no system in our country to report non-functioning and 'out of order’ ATMs that we as customers see almost every time we want to use it. This makes people to hop around and use other bank's ATM that is working. Another crucial issue is the restriction on money withdrawal. If someone needs, let’s say Rs25,000, but the ATM has withdrawal limit of Rs10,000. In this case, the person would end up making all three permitted transactions there only. 
 
Under the new rules, bank customers are entitled to five free ATM transactions at own bank and these would include non-financial transactions to check account balance or ask for a chequebook. Further, anything beyond three transactions at another bank’s ATM located in six metros (Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata) will be charged Rs20 per transaction. Those in smaller towns and holders of no-frills accounts will continue to have five free transactions. 
 
RBI's former Deputy Governor and Moneylife Foundation's Trustee, Dr KC Chakraborty had said at that time, “It is ridiculous that banks are charging customers for withdrawing money and that too from their own ATMs—it never happens anywhere.” 
 
Nowhere in the world are customers charged for withdrawing money from their own accounts, while the bank earns revenue on their deposits. Banks provide this service to customers because of the spread that they earn between the interest paid to depositors and the rate at which they lend money. The spread has to cover transaction charges.
 
If banks want to start charging on transaction basis, then the spread that they earn on depositors money has to come down. The transaction charges are all the more illogical because in India, the spread on savings bank is one of the highest in the world. In fact, in India, even generally, spread is one of the highest. So in India, banks cannot charge for transactions. But then the bank customers are not organised like the banks’ own cartel and thus get penalised for withdrawing own money.
 
Some private banks have gone a step further and introduced an account management charge on the grounds that a few basic services are being provided free of cost; others argue that these charges are not levied to premium customers with large deposits. Neither the RBI nor the banks will address the fact that the Indian banking industry enjoys a huge float on customers’ funds maintained in savings banks at 4% while lending rates are upward of 9%.
 

User

COMMENTS

B. Yerram Raju

4 months ago

Among the complaints on ATMs according to Banking Ombudsman Report, the largest in Hyderabad Region of RBI are from the biggest bank of the nation growing bigger. Most of its ATMs are archaic and takes more than 5-10 minutes for a single withdrawal that is restricted to Rs.15000 and with one's maximum limit per day at Rs.40000 he has to draw three times and exhaust in one go the free hits!! Some of the ATMs even threw up bad notes too!!

B. Yerram Raju

4 months ago

Among the complaints on ATMs according to Banking Ombudsman Report, the largest in Hyderabad Region of RBI are from the biggest bank of the nation growing bigger. Most of its ATMs are archaic and takes more than 5-10 minutes for a single withdrawal that is restricted to Rs.15000 and with one's maximum limit per day at Rs.40000 he has to draw three times and exhaust in one go the free hits!! Some of the ATMs even threw up bad notes too!!

Growth Idea Lab

4 months ago

Dear M.GopalKrishna, Mr. Balkrishna Gupta, Mr. N.K Padhi and Mr. Parimal Shah and Mr. Pawar.
The problem of NPA in MSME sector is similar to elephant and six blind man story.
Yes, because of asset quality review by RBI, Skeletons have tumbled out and it is probably very good in long term interest of economy, banks and entrepreneurs.
May be Mr. Gupta may be aware that from 2000 RBI has given time to time, various directives for effective handling of sick MSME units for revival but various stake holders like banks, Central and State Govt. have treated with lip sympathy and did not work in tandem.
Now RBI, in March 2015 policy have given detailed guidelines and as per my knowledge, as on today, no bank has initiated actions to implement the same. I hope all my learned friends may be able to lay hands on the same.
I think Mr. Gupta seems to be very senior banker and/or exposed to happening at higher ends of the spectrum and for Mr. Padhi, from SMA0 to various actions, it will take 17 months or more, if the unit is to be revived.
Also, in case of SARFAESI act on also, it may take 6 to 12 months.
To take physical possession of properties /security.
As I am consultant working for revival of sick MSME units in Telangana.
I have fist hand knowledge and I can claim, in the cases which I am handlings, many of or I can dare to say all of guidelines by RBI are neglected by about six banks with which I deal and in spirit, delay of decision making, peace meal information seeking and transfer of officers at branch level are few of reasons to increase the sickness in MSME.

mathai

4 months ago

npa condition is probably interpreted wrongly. no credit for 90 days in the case of a running account like an overdraft or non payment of 3 monthly instalments in the case of loans to be repaid in instalments like term loans will make the borrowal accolunt ( overdraft or term loan ) an npa . so there is no question of a borrower getting 17 months before recovery steps

Ramesh Poapt

4 months ago

Great ML! Wish you/us grand success!

KVS Krishnan

4 months ago

A couple of weeks back when I was trying to use ICICI ATM, I got electric shock through my fingers when I tried to punch PIN. And it has been there in that condition for 2/3 days I had tried using that ATM two days earlier and got similar experience. There was no security man.

Arun Adalja

4 months ago

atm transactions must be free and no charges as 50% of workload is reduced at bank.

Ravindra Shetye

4 months ago

By ATM the banks in fact save on the manpower cost required for cash withdrawal by withdrawal slip/cheque. Actually Banks should pay one % more for people using ATM and saving the overheads of staff and stationary to the Bank.

REPLY

olga tellis

In Reply to Ravindra Shetye 4 months ago

great idea. but sadly it is the other way round today. we pay them to use the atm :(

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

In Reply to Ravindra Shetye 4 months ago

Absolutely right !

Santhanam Krishnan

4 months ago

PNB ATM & BANK OF MAHARASHTRA ATM atVashi Sector 1 quite often doesn't function at crucial week ends. These are close to MGM Hospital Vashi where many people (customers of these two banks ) come for withdrawl of cash for payment to hospital/medicine purchase etc. Many times these ATMs run out of cash. We customers are forced to go to other ATMs . Who else is going to bear the charges for this inefficiency of these Banks?

REPLY

Ralph Rau

In Reply to Santhanam Krishnan 4 months ago

Suggest shift your account to HDFC or Kotak ?

Bhuveneshwar Gupta

4 months ago

'Money' is for 'Money', not for You and Me.

Akshay Kini

4 months ago

The solution is to have a US style credit union bank.
It is like a co-operative society.
The customers are share holders.

Veeresh Malik

4 months ago

I would like to help by organizing multiple Public Grievances online using a similar format.

Pradeep Kumar M Sreedharan

4 months ago

Goose buds standing- at last people voice has been found- hope it will be heard, and more voices are in line.

olga tellis

4 months ago

you are so correct. i have an account with the state bank of india and almost 6 out of 10 times the atm at the mahanagar telephone nigam limited (MTNL) at strand road, colaba 400005 is not working. this is specially so on week-ends. either the bank does not have the money to put into the atm, so it is just lazy and inefficient. it rarely works on weekends the SBI claims to be "banker to every indian". maybe ms arundhati bhattacharya should change this this catchline !!!!

'Fraudulent portals selling LED bulbs under UJALA'
The Union Ministry of Power on Monday warned the public against online vendors fraudulently selling 9W LED bulbs under the name of government schemes and even using Prime Minister Narendra Modi's images.
 
"Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is hereby alerting its consumers of fraudulent websites selling 9W LED bulbs under the name of Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) programme. These websites are not associated with the UJALA programme of EESL," a ministry statement said here on behalf of EESL.
 
It said two websites -- www.philips-led-at-10rs.in and pbs.twimg.com/media/CoGI9txWIAAybuk.jpg -- are responsible for misleading customers with promises of LED bulbs for as low as Re one.
 
The first of these two online vendors promises bulbs starting from Re one to Rs 13 for one watt to 13 watt bulbs.
 
The website also asks potential customers to share the website information with at least eight other people before proceeding to payment.
 
"EESL completely disowns and disclaims any relation with the link/URL and the contents provided by these link/URL. EESL or Prime Minister's Office does not endorse any of the claims or contents of such advertisements and these are an attempt to malign the name of EESL and Prime Minister's Office," the statement said.
 
"Further EESL will be informing the police about such fraudulent statements that are being made in the public and lodge an FIR," the statement said.
 
"We are keeping a tab on all malpractices that can harm the good efforts of EESL to provide quality products to our consumers and are taking legal routes to address such fraudulent issues. We urge consumers to purchase LED bulbs under the UJALA scheme only in the designated distribution centres," said the statement, citing EESL Managing Director Saurabh Kumar.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)