Here are a few remedial steps that can be taken by a bank customer to address the menace of counterfeit money
Yesterday (http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/8523.html) we dwelt on how customers are being short-changed when it comes to the issue of fake currency notes. One thing is clear from all these anecdotes and correspondence - everybody is aware of the problem of fake currency, but nobody wants to bring out a solution with accountability. It does also appear that one reason for this is that where 100% checking is done at the time of dispensing currency, an accountability trail will be established, and the banks don't seem to want that.
Fair enough, if banks wish to be of the opinion that it is not their responsibility to ensure that counterfeit currency notes are not brought into the system, then at least the concerned regulator should start implementing strict rules on the subject.
But since nobody seems to want to go in for cheap and immediate solutions, here are a few things that you can do.
1) If receiving currency from tellers, then insist that the currency notes are checked on a fake-currency detecting machine, in front of you. If your bank branch does not have one, then put it down in writing, demanding one, and send the note to the branch manager. If even a few of us do this at various bank branches every day, the message will get across.
Issue a 'self' cheque for a small amount, Rs1,000 will be enough, and put it through the encashment process. Take the token, or let the teller 'pass' the self cheque, and then do not accept the cash unless it is checked. Leave the cheque behind or take the token home, and see what happens next. The bank manager will come to your house and will have to file a report on why he had to do so.
2) If receiving currency from ATMs, then please be aware that some, very few, new ATMs have a facility for detecting fake currency. You may have to use your own resources to find out which ones. But here too, make a small withdrawal, as usual, and then write a letter demanding that the said ATM should be provided with the facility to check for fake currency notes. Quote the transaction, and start a correspondence, and then wait for a response. The bank will have to respond.
It is amply clear that in the attempt to resolve this contentious issue, there are many parameters - but the most important one is that truth and accountability should not be the first victims. Please start insisting on your rights - unless all of us do not ask our banks to provide for currency-checking machines, we will not see the truth or accountability.
It starts with us. And we owe this effort to those people who are stuck fighting legal cases for being in possession of one fake note because some bank somewhere did not accept its responsibility. Do write in with your experiences on this issue.
New Delhi: Annual food inflation fell for the second straight week, to 10.05% for the week ended 14th August, as prices of vegetables like potato and onion declined, reports PTI.
Food inflation had softened to 10.35% for the week ended 7th August against 11.40% in the previous week.
On a yearly basis, potato became cheaper by over 50%, while vegetables overall saw a decline of 14.23%. Onion prices also fell by 7.29%, official data released today showed.
Cereal prices, however, rose by 7.10%, driven mainly by higher prices of pulses, rice and wheat compared to the same period last year.
While pulses became dearer by nearly 16%, prices of rice and wheat rose by 7.72% and 7.61%, respectively, during the week under review on a yearly basis.
Among other food items, milk prices soared by 18.22% during the week over the same period last year, and fruits became dearer by 15.24%.
Fuel inflation for the week ended 14th August was 12.57%, unchanged from the previous week's reading.
The overall inflation, as measured by the wholesale price index (WPI) and factors in the rate of change in prices of manufactured goods, fell to single-digits after a gap of five months to 9.97% in July.
If you watch the commercial through the eyes of the brand’s key target audiences, it’s a sure winner
Makers of Kurkure are on to a good thing. They have positioned the brand as the 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun…' of snacks, and that I think is a super idea, given the market segment - the 'Hindu Undivided Families' - are the brand targets. Now while I am clearly not the target market for Kurkure (I couldn't sit through Sooraj Bharjatya's elaborate marriage video beyond five minutes), I admire the brand's clear focus.
'Kurkure: Spend Time with Family' is the core message. The idea is that because people are so busy with their professional lives and other activities, there's just no time left to spend with the family. And what better than munching together on Kurkure to make that happen. This may sound quite ludicrous to many of us, but will not to the HAHK fans, take my word for it! The new TVC once again features brand ambassador Juhi Chawla. The actress plays the role of a marriage head priestess. The entire khandaan anxiously awaits the arrival of the baraat. And when finally the loud noises are heard, they all rush down to welcome the groom and his brigade. But it's only the lonely groom on his ghodi, blaring out shaadi music through his stereo player. Much to everyone's shock. Ms Head Priestess Chawla arrives and admonishes the loner. And preaches this is what happens when you don't spend time with the family. That they aren't by your side when you need them the most. Enter Kurkure. And of course the full baraat arrives, accompanied by a large hansta khelta entourage.
Yes, when I watch the commercial through the eyes of the brand's key target audiences, it's a sure winner. All the ingredients are in place: Noise, wedding, baraat, large families, humour, shor sharaba, the works. Mr Bharjatya and young Karan Johar would be proud of this commercial.
So while the ad has nothing in it for me, I enjoyed it immensely. And more importantly, I appreciate the makers of Kurkure for being so very crystal clear on their audiences. This is a very good lesson for marketers of consumer products who try to please everyone, and succeed with no one in the end.
As an aside, personally speaking, I think the best way to spend time with family is over beer and tangdi kebabs. But then makers of Kurkure, quite rightly so, would give two hoots for my deviant lifestyle! Just as well!