Pune Municipal Corporation not to penalize Citizens for lapses of Builders

Pune Municipal Corporation has given relief to flat owners who are paying 3 times property tax because their builders failed to obtain Completion Certificates for their buildings. They have proposed a special scheme which will allow the flat owners to complete the necessary formalities, after which they will be exempted from penalty.

Click Here for the Times of India report.


Times of India 18Nov14

‘Any Branch Banking” – For whose benefit?

While the banks have considerably benefitted from the introduction of CBS, the customers of banks have yet to reap the benefits

How banks have benefitted from introducing the core banking solution -CBS?

With the introduction of CBS, the cost of servicing customers went down considerably for banks, besides helping them to improve their capability to service a large number of accountswith minimum cost as evidenced by the following facts and figures.

Table: 1- Growth of business of all scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) and their employee position for fifteen years from 1983 to 1998 (before introduction of CBS)

As stated in the tables above, while the business of banks grew exponentially, the number of employees went up marginally, thereby saving them huge manpower expenses with attendant benefits of lower capital cost on infrastructure. The banks, however, needed to invest onhardware and software on a regular basis, but this was much less compared to the total savings in work force cost on a continuous basis year after year.
On the other hand, customer service started deteriorating slowly, and the biggest casualty of CBS is the personal relationship between banker and customer. For every hiccup in service quality, banks started blaming computers and expressed helplessness in servicing customers across the counters.

Click Here for the full story at MoneyLife

From January, expect LPG subsidy transfer in 24 hrs

Scheme Promises Transparency, Easier Redressal
The LPG subsidy scheme, which will be relaunched in Mumbai on January 1, is expected to be more consumer-friendly .
The scheme was earlier launched in June 2013 but temporarily shelved. Now, the new scheme promises more “transparency , enhancement of subsidy advance and better redressal mechanisms,“ said Bharat Petroleum’s executive director (LPG) George Paul on Friday .For example, there is a mechanism to ensure that you get the subsidy amount transferred in 24 hours and you can track the process real time. There is also a round-the-clock toll-free helpline for any assistance.

The advance money the government will put in your account will be enhanced by Rs 133–from Rs 435 to Rs 568.

For those joining the scheme now, an Aadhaar card or number is no longer a must.“Aadhaar will be a preferred mode for joining the DBTL (Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG), but if you do not have the card, you can fill up a bank mandate form and link it to the subsidy mechanism,“ he said. “We are launching the scheme in Wardha and Amaravati among 54 districts across the country from Saturday . These districts had over 95% registrations for the Aadhaar number, which is why they have been included in the first phase. In the next phase, we will cover Mumbai (80% Aadhaar registrations) and other districts.“ In Mumbai, 44% Aadhaar card owners have already linked to the system, it is learnt.

Click Here for more and how it works

Courtesy : Times of India -151114

10 Reasons to Drink Coconut Water

Coconut water is packed with nutrients that yield an array of health benefits. Here are few benefits of drinking coconut water:

1. Prevents dehydration

2. Fuels the brain and muscles

3. Is anti-aging

4. Aids Digestion

5. Supports immune function

6. Benefits the heart and urinary tract

7. Is rich in natural vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients

8. Is a low calorie drink

9. Alkalizes the body

10. Improves blood circulation

Click Here for a detailed explanation of the above

Free legal assistance for RTI users

This is a initiative which could strengthen our RTI Act significantly.

There is now legal help available for RTI users and activists who have been facing two significant problems:

  1. Threats and attacks when trying to challenge corruption and illegalities.
  2. Even when they get significant orders from the Information Commissions, these are stayed by courts. Most RTI users do not have the resources to fight these in courts. These stays continue and the information never gets revealed, or the cases are lost since the arguments for disclosure and upholding the decisions of the Information Commission may never be made before the courts.

We are lucky that Supreme Court lawyer  Colin Gonsalves heading Human Rights Law Networks (HRLN ) has agreed that RTI users are Human Rights Defenders and  offered their services without charging legal fees in such matters. This is a great step and opportunity for everyone in the country. This can help us to strengthen Right to Information and deepen our democracy.

Here is how we can use this fantastic opportunity:

  1. In case of threats or false police cases because of RTI applications approach the HRLN contact in your state. There are 24 HRNL units across the nation who can help.
  2. In case of assault approach the HRLN units and also approach the State or CentralCommission and request action as per the Central Commission’s attached resolution. RTI users should try and persuade their State commissions to pass similar resolution.
  3. When a significant order of the Information Commission is stayed, approach the HRNL unit for help. If they are convinced about the merits of the case, they will represent you in the court without charging any legal fees.

This is a great opportunity which can help RTI users and we should make proper use of it.

Please spread this note to all RTI users, email lists and organizations which use RTI.

On behalf of everyone in the RTI movement I thank Colin Gonsalves and HRLN for this outstanding offer.

Shailesh Gandhi

Attached: 1. HRLN’s units- contact details

  1. HRLN proposal
  2. CIC resolution

All my emails are in Public domain.

Tel: 91 22 26001003; 8976240798

Mera Bharat Mahaan..

Nahi Hai,

Per Yeh Dosh Mera Hai.

CIC resolution

HRLN proposal.

HRLN units

Can Landlord or Society cut off Electricity / Power ?

NO – said the Bombay High Court in a 2011 Judgement.

Justice Godbole observed that it was not contested that the Daves were in possession of the flat. “In this situation, the law is well established that a person in possession of immovable property even when his possession is wrongful, cannot be dispossessed without following due procedure prescribed by law.”
The court has observed that Daves “will be entitled to obtain an independent electricity supply and the landlord is restrained from raising any objection for such independent electricity supply.”

Click Here for the full story

Click Here for the judgement

Earth Care Awards

The Earth Care Awards is unique and is aimed at highlighting action of direct relevance to the countries in the SAARC region to tackle challenges posed by climate change. The award is for excellence in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This is in response to the recently growing consciousness about issues associated with climate change and that it is important to identify and foster locally evolved options to reduce emissions, approaches to protect land and water resources and other innovations for reducing impacts, emphasizing appropriate environmental action. The present edition of the award will focus on three important areas, signifying action by industries, collaborative action by industry and community and by individuals covering a wide range of stakeholders. The awards invite applications across its categories from countries in South Asian Region – India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Click Here for more details and the application form