“Govt Will Soon Issue Regulatory Guidelines for Retirement Homes,” says Hardeep Sing Puri
“We had taken note of Moneylife Foundation’s Report on Retirement Homes and had completed consultation process. In few days, I am going to write to chief ministers of all states and soon we will issue guidelines for retirement homes in India,” says Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (Independent Charge). He was speaking at the 9th Anniversary of Moneylife Foundation at Mumbai. 
 
He said, “We are happy to use the Report and follow up notes shared by Sucheta Dalal, Founder-Trustee of Moneylife Foundation and carried out due process. The process has not gone past draft and consultation. Since property matters are state subject, soon I will be writing to CMs of all states with our guidelines.” (Read: Regulation of Retirement Homes under Consideration)
 
 
While taking about urban landscape and heritage, Mr Puri said, “Indian cities suffered due to earlier policies that were focussed more on rural civilisation, though cities have been the backbone for the our economy for centuries. When India became an independent country, 17% of our population of 300 million lived in urban areas. As per the 2011 Census, 31% of a 1.25 billion population lives in urban areas. The rate at which we are urbanising, there will be 600 million people living in urban spaces by 2031. India’s gross domestic product (GDP) from agriculture is just 13%-14%, while the same from urban areas is almost 60%. Most of India lives in rural areas but the contribution of agriculture to the GDP is very small. This in other words mean, people from the rural areas leaving their shelters behind and are picking up their bags and heading to wherever there are economic opportunities. Now, there is a choice. You can have 600 million people living in dire conditions or you can have planned urbanisation.”
 
Citing examples of Ujjain, Dwarka and other historical cities, Mr Puri says we have been building Smart Cities for thousands of years—our forts, palaces, the technology used to keep them cool. “Where all of this has gone? What we did wrong? Especially, after Independence what we had done to at least maintain our heritage in planning and development of cities,” he asked.
 
He says, "We were not smart enough to realise the potential of what urbanisation could bring about, one of the most significant new development that took place recently is the embracing of urbanisation. This government is investing and spending more in cities than has ever been done in this country.”
 
Focusing on the ultimate aim for improving the ease of living, and consequently the quality of life for each and every city-dweller of India, the minister said that all initiatives by the government, the missions and programmes are aimed in that direction. The investments required in urban areas for a 20-year period between 2012-13 and 2031-32 is estimated to be Rs39 lakh crore.
 
The 90 "smart cities" selected so far have indicated a total investment of Rs1.9 lakh crore in their proposals. The central government would be giving financial support to the smart cities mission to the extent of Rs48,000 crore over five years - that is Rs100 crore per city per year for development of 100 cities throughout the year.
 
Mr Puri also highlighted importance of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. AMRUT scheme focuses on establishing infrastructure that could ensure adequate robust sewage networks and water supply for urban transformation by implementing urban revival projects.
 
 
Talking about Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), the minister said, “It has been 70 years since Independence and we did not have an independent regulator before (RERA). Nowhere in the world have I come across a situation where a sector as big as the real estate does not have a regulator. For eight years this legislation was lying around.”
 
“Since realty is a state subject, implementation of RERA is their responsibility. So RERA is not successful in all states and some states, including very progressive in other matters, are lagging behind in bringing transparency in real estate regulation. However, we are receiving very good response of MahaRERA,” Mr Puri says.
 
Replying to questions after his speech, the union minister also highlighted the importance of public transport. He says, “We are focussing more and more on moving vehicles. Cars are moving but not people. There is no decision making in public transportation. For example, we have been requesting the Delhi government to buy new buses for public transportation, but they are not taking the decision. We feel people should be given choice and for that public transportation plays and important role.”
 
 
During the program, Mr Puri also released Moneylife Foundation's "Study Report on Reverse Mortgage". The study report is supported by Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC). Two bankers, Shrinivas Marathe and Pradeep Bhave did the research for the Study.
 
"Due to poor financial literacy and extremely high property prices in India (relative to the income levels), millions of savers are likely to retire with a large chunk of their savings locked up in the apartments that they live in. They may not be poor in terms of net worth, but would not have the cash required to meet the rising cost of retirement living. In other words, they would be asset rich but cash poor. This is where Reverse Mortgage Reverse Mortgage is useful," the study report says.
 
 
A reverse mortgage is a type of home loan for older homeowners that requires no monthly mortgage payments but gives them a monthly payment instead. 
 
The study report includes the demand and supply scenario, analysis of the currently available reverse mortgage products, analysis of the present regulatory framework, misconceptions about the scheme and incentives required to make reverse mortgage a popular product for both customers and banks, and how reverse mortgage schemes can be made affordable and popular among borrowers and lenders.
 
 
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    COMMENTS

    R Balakrishnan

    10 months ago

    Kudos to Sucheta and Debashish . Awesome energy and persistence.

    Optimising your financial borrowings
    “Whether we should borrow is a question for every individual. It is not a question restricted to individuals who have no other resources available,” says DG Kale, retired CGM from Reserve Bank of India. Even a person with resources can go for borrowing, because it entirely depends on the efficiency with which capital is allocated. He was giving a talk on “Optimising your Borrowings” at Moneylife Foundation and he firmly believes that the decision to borrow entirely depends on how carefully one has planned their finances. 
     
    When speaking about finances of a particular individual there are essentially two clear portions - one is the absolute numbers and the other is the non financial aspect, based on which an individual is assessed. Mr Kale informed in his talk, that this is part and parcel of a standarised “assessment” that takes place with banks, credit or loan agencies. One of the foremost things to consider when thinking about borrowing from a financial institution, is the psychological self and determining how much one knows about oneself. Mr Kale is of the belief, that starting here would allow a person to understand how the opposing party might assess them in the loan application process. It is important to note that the other person would be looking at an individual impersonally, only looking at the financial numbers that one has provided. Based on those numbers, an analysis is done to determine how a particular individual would behave in the future. 
     
     
    It may be surprise to many, that these days even the social media profile of the applicant is taken under consideration when a the applicant is assessed. Mr Kale says, “The more number of friends you have, the less you can depend on them. Fewer the friends, higher the level of dependence. That is the psychology of finance.” He means, those that chase numbers on social media i.e. focus more on the number of friends, are likely to have lesser number of people they can depend on in times of a financial crisis. Although it has not been scientifically proven, Mr Kale is of the opinion that if your friends on social media have bad credit ratings and make poor financial choices, then you tend to follow them down the same path. 
     
    Any person assessing an application for loans or credit cards would also take a look at the applicant’s payment history on utility bills. They are looking at this data to determine whether a person has defaulted on such bills or has an outstanding dues for the last 6 months. Mr Kale’s advice for those wanting to be good borrowers and maintain a decent credit rating is never default on any utility bill payments. One way to ensure this is to setup up automated debits for all utility bill payments. 
     
     
    He also discussed the need of a credit card and whether it is truly essential for any particular person. His advice if a person wants to opt for a credit card, is to stick with just one credit card rather than having multiple cards. The assessor when considering your application will take the combined max limit of all your cards under assessment. Regardless of whether the person under consideration uses all cards to the max, the assessor will assume the max limit is reached on all cards every month and this in turn puts the applicant at a disadvantage
     
    Furthermore, the limit on a credit card should be no more than 3 months expenditure of the cardholder. It is important to note, that this expenditure is not the salary of a person but is rather the total expenses a person incurs over a period of 3 months. Mr Kale suggests that a person should consider the first month as the average usage amount on a card, the second month as the outstanding amount to be paid and the third month should be used as a buffer. A person should also try their best to pay EMIs of other loans through their credit cards. This way your CIBIL score will be reinforced from both sides - your loan and your credit card.
     
     
    During his talk, Mr Kale also discussed several other factors that affect a personal credit assessment and also discussed the method of choosing an appropriate financial institution when considering to borrow. Among the factors discussed were age, the current inflation rate and the rate of interest offered by a particular institution. There are also other fringe factors that are considered such as the presence or absence of medical insurance, profession of the applicant, family backing etc. which are then consolidated down into a single score. This score allows the assessor to determine whether the applicant would be able to repay the loan in the given amount of time.  
     
     
    Mr Kale explained the finer details of the borrowing process during his talk, which are too immense to be covered in their entirety in this report. Readers can watch the video of the session on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/MoneylifeTV/) for more in depth tips
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    How to Use Social Media for Public Good
    "Social media is a good medium to bring about positive changes in the society. Using social media for public good is more than just reputation management - it is about relationship-building. However, we must remember that social media is just a 'medium' - an agency for communication. If crime takes place offline, it can only be 'reported' online - action will have to be taken offline," says Sunchika Pandey, a consultant for the Mumbai Police's social media team. She was speaking at a special seminar organized by Moneylife Foundation on "How to Use Social Media for Public Good".  
     
     
    Ms Pandey, who was crime reporter at NDTV, delivered a clear message that the most powerful source used to "spread the word" is the one that directly connects to a larger audience which social media does efficiently if utilised properly. 
     
    She is entrusted by Mumbai Police to keep their official Twitter account sensitive and politically correct. @MumbaiPolice handle on Twitter is quite well-known for its quick wit and smart handling of complaints that it receives.
     
     
    The twitter handle of Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) has 4.64 million followers. The success of @MumbaiPolice has lead to a type of revolution with several government departments and police from various places joining Twitter and helping citizens. This also helped government to be more transparent and responsive while handling grievances.  
     
     
    Fighting misinformation is one of the biggest challenge on social media, Ms Pandey says adding, "A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. In this age of rampant misinformation, it is important to identify and stop it before it travels and causes harm. Misinformation can originate from anywhere - including the verified handles. However, this does not mean it cannot be addressed. 
     
    She shared an example of one tweet by writer Shobhaa De, who had posted a photo of a very fat person in khaki taking a nap on a chair. "A 'punny' tweet by Ms De needed some fixing - we did it for her," Ms Pandey said.
     
        
    Ms Pandey began the session talking about her journey as a journalist and a field researcher to a content marketer and finally a social media strategist. She spoke about how challenging it was a transformation it was to go from Police "force" to Police "Service. As she leads the team that handles Mumbai Police's Twitter handle, she talked in depth about how it has become important tool in changing public perception of Mumbai Police. 
     
    Ms Pandey used 'Uttar Pradesh Twitter Seva' to illustrate the power of social media in increasing response time on complaints. She talked about how women in distress in UP have used twitter to highlight a case where women on a train were being abused. The twitter handle of UP police diligently responded to their complaints and immediately arrested the culprits. She also provided an example where UP police were able to reunite families by solving a missing persons' case.  
     
     
    After a slew of examples displaying how twitter has been used by the Police in Mumbai and UP to fight crime, Ms Pandey highlighted how information on twitter should be taken with a grain of salt. "Before blindly sharing the information presented on twitter, one should consider whether it is factual or just rampant misinformation. Rumours and misinformation are a serious problem as they are readily shared by the gullible public," she said.  
     
    Ms Pandey shared several examples of how the Mumbai Police twitter handle was fighting misinformation. 
     
     
    Finally, she talked about how its important on social media to not consider the numbers - followers, and following - but by social outreach.  
     
    She insisted that twitter is a medium where just a tweet a day is not going to be help your cause. "To be effective, one should not leave their social cause mid-way but support it the whole way through by following it up with tweets," she added.  
     
    The session helped the attendees gain a better understanding of social media and the nuances of utilising this platform for initiating social change. With the world around us getting digitised rapidly, social media in the future will inevitability become an important tool to decide the success or failure of an idea. With something as powerful as social media available to everyone in the 21st century, it becomes imperative that it is utilised responsibly.     
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