2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 440,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 19 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Survey on Health Hazards in Cosmetic Products

We at Consumer Education & Research Center (CERC) are working on a project on “Health Hazards in Cosmetic Products”.

As you may be aware, the Indian cosmetics Industry is estimated at Rs. 150 billion and is expected to grow at over 10% annually but the cosmetics industry as a whole has not kept pace with safety innovations due to a weak regulatory system that encourages ignorance about chemical hazards. There are various harmful chemicals present in cosmetics, of which several test findings have shown the presence of heavy metals. Moreover, cosmetics are used almost on a daily basis; hence even minute amounts of chemicals which are applied regularly will cause a cumulative effect.

We are conducting a research survey on cosmetics.  The objective of the survey is to analyze the general prevailing rules as well as to understand regulations concerning cosmetics safety in India. Survey will also reveal the present status of the level of awareness of the health hazards in the cosmetic products. It will also help us to understand the common consumer’s concern with respect to safety and a thorough understanding of the product safety issues for the cosmetic sector.

A gentle reminder to kindly respond to our earlier survey on cosmetic product safety.


This survey questionnaire (Part II) deals with specific categories of cosmetics under study; namely kajal, eyeliner, lipstick, hair dye and nail polish.

We would be obliged if you could send us your completed questionnaire latest by December 19, 2014.

Kindly find a questionnaire at the links given below.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

Anindita Mehta

DGM – Laboratory

Consumer Education & Research Center

ASCI upholds complaint against Bajaj Allianz false advertising

Ensure your LPG Subsidy in Bank and Prevent its Misuse



Launched in 54 districts on 15.11.2014 and To Be Launched in Rest of India on 01.01.2015

If you had joined the previous PAHAL (DBTL) scheme and had got the advance/subsidy in your Bank Account then – You don’t have to do anything again.

PAHAL (DBTL) Beneficiaries (in Cr.) 03.92, Cash Given (in Rs. Cr.) 5748.62

About the PAHAL (DBTL) Scheme

  • Consumers will need a bank account to join the scheme and receive LPG subsidy
  • Consumers will also get one time permanent advance in their bank account prior to buying the first market priced LPG cylinder
  • Consumers will receive subsidy in their bank account as per their entitlement of subsidized cylinders
  • Till consumers join the scheme they will get cylinders at:
    • Subsidized price for 3 months w.e.f 15.11.2014 till 14.02.2015
    • Market price for next 3 months, but the subsidy due will be given to them if they join the scheme within these 3 months i,e till 14.05.2015
  • W.e.f 15.05.2015 all LPG consumers will get cylinders at market price and only those who join the scheme will receive one time permanent advance & subsidy from the date of joining
  • To join the scheme and receive subsidy, consumers should use, Option 1 if they have Adhaar andOption 2 if they don’t have Aadhaar:
If you have Aadhaar Click Here
Primary Option 1 – Aadhaar based cash Transfer
If you don’t have Aadhaar Click Here
Secondary Option 2 – Non Aadhaar based cash Transfer

http://petroleum.nic.in/dbt/index_option1.php                     http://petroleum.nic.in/dbt/index_option2.php

Ensure that your TDS reaches the income-tax department

If not, an assessee might be charged interest for not paying TDS on time

There are several instances of taxpayers getting notices from the I-T department for no fault of theirs. Notices might be sent if TDS hasn’t been deducted, or if the TDS has been deducted but not paid to the I-T department on time.

If a bank doesn’t deduct TDS on fixed deposits, or does this after the end of the financial year, the onus is on the taxpayer to show he/she doesn’t intend to avoid tax, that it was merely an error. One of the ways to go about this is showing the interest income while filing tax returns and paying taxes. In case this isn’t done, you could file a revised return. But ensure you revise the tax return before the end of the next assessment year, says Rakesh Nangia, of Nangia and Company, chartered accountants.

However, if the interest income is being declared on a cash basis, the assessee can carry forward the TDS by the bank and clam credit in the year in which the income is taxed. In case the fixed deposit is for five years, you could carry forward the TDS and pay it in the last year, when it matures.

Click Here for the full story from Business Standard

An Indian bank to wreck a world wonder?!

Dear friends across India,

India’s coal king Adani wants to turn the delicate Great Barrier Reef into a major shipping lane.But if we act fast we can sink his dirty coal complex by getting theState Bank of India to turn down his 6000 crore lifeline:


Industrialist Gautam Adani is asking our biggest public sector bank for a loan of 6000 crores to turn one of the world’s ecological treasures into a major coal shipping lane. But if we act fast we can block this dirty deal and keep the Great Barrier Reef safe.

UNESCO says the project puts the Reef in danger and eight leading international banks have backed away. But Adani has a lot of clout and he’s calling on the State Bank of India to extend a massive loan. The Bank’s Chairwoman has staked her reputation on cracking down on “bad loans” — and a huge national outcry can persuade her to scrutinise and stop this crazy coal project.

Public pressure has changed other banks’ minds, so let’s turn up the heat on the SBI. Add your name now to say no to this reckless loan — when a million people sign we’ll prep a dossier outlining its financial and environmental risks, and deliver it to Chairwoman Bhattacharya with a media blitz:


The wild coal rush that Adani’s project symbolizes, is toxic for the planet. Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, and to get the coal to India, Adani would need to expand a shipping lane right through the Reef — the largest living organism on Earth and home to thousands of protected species. To make matters worse, after international lenders like Citigroup and Deutsche Bank shunned the project, Adani has turned to our tax-payer owned SBI hoping for a sweet deal.

Some argue that India needs coal to pull people out of poverty, but our own coal minister just announced that India should be able to phase out coal imports in the next three years, long before the Australian mine is ever completed! The State Bank of India is under fire in the press and from the political opposition for making such promises to Adani who has strong connections with PM Modi. India’s banking regulator has slammed “crony capitalism” for killing India’s economic growth. If we come together now we can show SBI’s Board that we don’t want our money backing this loan.

A recent national poll showed 69% of Indians are against this project. As the head of India’s largest state-backed bank the Chairwoman will have to listen to public opinion. A massive petition, a flood of messages, ads, and reports can encourage the Board to turn Adani down. Add your voice now:


Time and again this year our community has shown it can rise to the challenge of making our climate safe for future generations. We’ve been fighting for the Great Barrier Reef for a long time so let’s ensure we unite again to save it from this catastrophic coal complex.

With hope and determination,
Danny, Nick, David, Alex, Oli, Alaphia, Nic, Ravi and the whole Avaaz team

Adani’s Australian project gets $1 billion SBI loan (The Times of India)

Adani group’s Great Barrier Reef project in troubled waters (Forbes)

India could bankroll Adani group’s delayed Australian coal mine (IB Times)

National Stock Exchange of India quizzes Adani on loan for Galilee Basin coal project (Sydney Morning Herald)

SBI’s $1 billion loan to Adani makes no sense, here’s why (firstbiz)

India rejects Galilee Basin Coal (Market Forces)

Crony capitalism hampers economic growth: RBI governor Raghuram Rajan (Economic Times)

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani finds a saviour in the Modi government (Forbes)

Support the Avaaz Community!
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that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Recycle your waste in Mumbai – and get Rewards !

Wasteplus is a waste management company, that specializes in reduction of waste to landfill. That means that instead of sending waste to landfill, we sort and recycle as much as possible before sending your waste to landfill. we try to recover as much as possible.

“Did you know that up to 90% of “waste” can be recycled?”

Waste plus is the largest and the first company of its kind in the Mumbai trying to recycle DRY waste from Households, Commercial set ups and schools .In return we give rewards, which they achieved due to recycling. We believe in the value of relationships, and strive to maintain a healthy balance in our relationships with our clients, staff and recyclers.

Click Here to visit their website for more

The Truth about New India Assurance’s top-up policy

Newspapers have claimed that New India Assurance’s newly launched top-up policy is the cheapest. These articles assert that you can even do cosmetic surgery and claim the amount over the deductible, for expenses covered by mediclaim. Here is the truth

New India Assurance (NIA) has launched a top-up plan, which is being hailed by few newspapers like the Times of India (ToI) and Economic Times (ET) as the cheapest product available. This is incorrect. The NIA top-up plan is not the cheapest and it is more expensive than super top-up products which are a better option.

The ToI article states – A unique aspect of NIA’s cover is that for the threshold limit to be reached, all hospitalization expenses are taken into account irrespective of whether the expenses would qualify as an insurance claim. This means that the insured can spend Rs5 lakh on a cosmetic surgery (which is not covered under mediclaim) and recover any additional health expense (covered under mediclaim) under the top-up plan. This is absolutely incorrect information. Moneylife wrote about the discrepancies to New India Assurance, but there was no response till the writing of this article. In fact, there is no health insurance product that covers cosmetic surgery.

Click Here for the full story