A bank locker is an important service offering that bank depositors look for. They resent the fact that banks are not giving out lockers as a matter of service; they are sore about the conditions they impose while providing the facility. Banks, on the other hand, argue that this is not their core business and they cannot be held responsible for issues connected with lockers. To examine these issues, we had published a Cover Story in 2011. Four years later, the core issues remain unchanged. This time, our Cover Story highlights the security of bank lockers, in addition to the main issues. We conducted a survey of over 700 Moneylife members to assess customer perception regarding bank lockers. A majority already have a bank locker and are satisfied. Those, who do not, were unaware of the rules or about the rising realty costs. Many were not aware that they can take insurance cover for the valuables stored. Read all our findings in the Cover Story.
Social media users would feel more secure after the Supreme Court’s judgement scrapping Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. This draconian Section allowed the police, and everyone who could influence them, to arrest people, based on their interpretation of “grossly offensive or menacing messages.” Sucheta, in her column, discusses that this is just one of the many government-created tools of harassment.
The National Pension System (NPS) was launched in 2004. Eleven years later, even those involved in the launch of NPS seem confused about its design, marketing and taxation. Sucheta, in her Crosshairs column, highlights how D Swarup, who designed NPS has no qualms about suggesting that the first of NPS investors would be the guinea pigs for the tax department!
The government has allowed an additional tax deduction of Rs50,000 under NPS. Does it make sense to go for it? We take a look at how NPS compares with alternatives, such as public provident fund and equity mutual funds. Turn to page 24. As always, do write in with your feedback and suggestions.