In your interest.
Online Personal Finance Magazine
No beating about the bush.
“If you regularly check your credit history, you could spot mistakes if any, and you can contact your bank, or lender, to correct them,” said Mohan Jayaraman, MD, Experian Credit Information Company of India Pvt Ltd speaking at a seminar on financial literacy held by Moneylife Foundation in Goa. But more important than looking for mistakes, one should look at the number of credit enquiries been made, said Mr Jayaraman. An enquiry shows the names of the credit institutions that have performed a search on you based on your credit/loan application. Multiple enquiries may affect your credit score; therefore, one should avoid applying for a loan to multiple financial institutions.
Another important reason for reviewing your report regularly is to check if there are any enquiries which are not made by you. Such enquires may indicate that someone may have forged your documents and applied for a loan. By reviewing your credit report regularly, you could prevent identity theft.
Participants in the Moneylife Foundation’s event addressed by the Chief Election Commissioner share how big the problem of a wrong voters’ list is
“Keeping an accurate voters’ list is something we see as one of the most difficult tasks. Dead and bogus voters populate the voters list,” admitted Dr SY Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), speaking at a seminar organised by Moneylife Foundation and V Citizens Action Network (VCAN) on Tuesday.
While answering to a question raised by Mrs Indrani Malkani, trustee of VCAN, about the voters’ list being highly inflated due to non-deletion of names of deceased persons, Dr Quraishi said, “It is indeed a serious problem. But Election Commission (EC) has to manage the entire country with only 600 staff. And there are lots of responsibilities that we have to take care of.”
Mrs Malkani had pointed out that there are many names in the voters’ lists of people who were no more. However, though it is the duty of the family members to notify the authorities of births and deaths, many do not do so. She said, “The state of Maharashtra has issued a circular, which says that co-operative housing societies must assist the booth level officers (BLOs) in making an accurate voters’ list.” Praful Vora, spokesperson for India Against Corruption, also highlighted the issue of bogus voters.
Dr Quraishi agreed and said that in Uttar Pradesh, the EC identified 53 lakh deceased voters whose names were still in the lists, and had them removed. Similarly, 83 lakh missing voters were identified; who had shifted to other states, but there was no way to ensure whether they would be coming back or not.
“These dead or missing voters are very dangerous, because they leave room for bogus voters,” Dr Quraishi said. He explained how keeping photo records of voters not only made voters lists more accurate but also stopped people from voting multiple times.
However, he said that civil society organisations must participate in the process and assist the government to maintain accurate electoral rolls.
In Manipur, the number of voters has gone down because the EC now uses face recognition software to identify voters, which kept bogus voters at bay. In the recently concluded polls, Dr Quraishi hinted that re-polling may occur in some booths were proxy-voting had been reported.
However, the Chief Election Commissioner also said that people should come out and vote, because absent voters often leave ground for bogus voters. “When you do not vote, the turnout is less; this makes it easier for criminal voters to win. They then deploy their agents who vote in the place of these absentee voters,” Dr Quraishi said. Indeed, if one eliminates the bogus voters from the list, the voter turnout is not too bad in India.
Jewellers at some places are still on strike against the increase in duties in the Budget 2012-13. However, some industry experts feel that since the market and consumers have adjusted with the hike, there is no need to continue with the strike
The three-day strike of the jewellery industry has now become an indefinite strike in certain areas. The jewellers are protesting against the Budget proposals announced by the finance minister which they claim will make buying gold and silver dearer for the consumer.
To control the current account deficit (CAD) partly caused by the imports of gold and other precious metals in the first three quarters of this fiscal, the finance minister has proposed additional duties to limit the imports of gold and silver. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed to increase import duty on gold to 4%, increase excise duty on branded and non-branded jewellery by 1%, 2% tax on cash sales of over Rs2 lakh, while removing the 1% excise duty on branded silver jewellery.
According to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) this has put the entire jewellery industry of India and the 3.5 million people it directly employs under great uncertainty. The jewellers are demanding a roll back of excise duty. The jewellers are alleging that jewellery will out of reach for the aam admi. The new measures will encourage black market or smuggling. Jewellers are alleging that too much of unnecessary paper work would be involved.
“The strike is against the announcements, such as increase in custom duties, imposing excise duty, made in the recent Union Budget. All the jewellers are united to fight and safeguard the interest of the customers who cannot fight with the government. For instance before the Budget, for buying one kilogram of gold one had to pay duties of around Rs80,000-Rsd90,000. But after budget it rose to whopping Rs1.7 lakh. The jewellers will pass on this additional cost to the customer. But the buyers have to shell out extra money. Because of this we expect the imports to come down significantly” says Karan Vasa, associate vice president, RiddiSiddhi Bullions Ltd.
However, some people feel that after the Budget the market has adjusted to the prices by passing the hike on to consumers and there is no need for the strike. Mukul Sonawala, former president of the Bombay Bullions Association, said, “In my view such strike is not required. Post budgetary announcements, the prices have been adjusted in the local market. Retailers and wholesalers will pass on the cost to the customers. But the cost itself comes to just 0.3% which the customers will bear. In my view that (the increase in cost) is little. People who want to buy gold will buy in any case.”
Measures announced in Budget 2012-13: