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Monday, March 27, 2017

Unfair Business Practices of Banking industry charging disproportionate service charges.

Shri S.K. Virmani, Consumer Activist associated with Jago Grahak Jago movement have been raising voice against unfair business practices of banking industry. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is silent on such unfair business practices. Discussing on CNBC Awaaz Pahredar.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Are you also paying VAT on the discounted prices offered by retailers/ brands?

An article titled "Illegal charging of VAT on discounted prices by brands/retailers" was published on 2nd July 2014 in this blog, the link of which is http://skvirmani-jagograhak.blogspot.in/2014/07/illegal-charging-of-vat-on-discounted.html

Now the Hon'able National Commission has adjudicated that the charging of VAT on the discounted prices is unfair business practices and amounts to overcharging. The brief of the judgement is as:



The addition of VAT on discounted price amounts to overcharging and unfair trade practice

National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, (NCDRC) New Delhi in Revision Petition No.3156 of 2016 of BENETTON INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED (Petitioner) Vs. RAVINDER SINGH (Respondent/Complainant) upheld the order of the State Commission and District forum directing the BENETTON INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED to pay compensation of Rs.5000/- to the complainant besides Rs.1000/- against cost of litigation.  
The respondent complainant on 11.07.2014 purchased one trouser from the petitioner opposite party vide bill no. 769-3375 dated 11.07.2014. The trouser was offered on 30% discount on MRP, which as per tag was Rs.2299/- inclusive of all taxes. The petitioner after discounting the MRP by 30% of Rs. 2299/- sold the trouser for Rs.1609/-. However, on the aforesaid discounted price, the petitioner charged 6.05% VAT amounting to Rs.97.36/-. According to the complainant, when the trouser was offered on 30% discount on the tag price, which was inclusive of taxes, the addition of VAT on discounted price amounts to overcharging and unfair trade practice. The complainant thus filed consumer complaint in the District Forum, Amritsar.
The petitioner argued the Complaint by filing written statement, while denying the allegation of over charge or unfair trade practice on its part, it was pleaded that subject trouser was offered on 30 % discount subject to payment of VAT etc. Therefore, the allegation made by the complaint that the petitioner had illegally charged VAT is without any basis.
 On the analysis of the pleadings and evidence adduced by the parties, the district forum found force in the claim of the respondent complainant. Consequently, the district forum allowed the complaint and the complaint and directed the petitioner opposite praty to refund a sun of Rs. 97.36 i.e. excess charged from the complaint in the form of VAT. The district forum also directed the opposite party to pay compensation in the form of VAT. The district forum also directed the opposite party to pay compensation of Rs. 5000/- to the complainant besides Rs.1000/- against cost of litigation.
Aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, the petitioner approached the State Commission in appeal. On appreciation of the material placed on record, the State Commission concurred with the finding of the District Forum and dismissed the appeal.
National Commission did not find any jurisdictional error or material irregularity in the impugned order which may call for interference in exercise of revisional jurisdiction. Therefore revision petition is dismissed.

Discussing issues pertaining to Legal Metrology (MRP, Under weight etc.)

Legal Metrology issues pertaining to MRP, under weight etc. - Shri S.K.Virmani associated with Jago Grahak Jago movement. Discussion on Sahara Samay

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Weather Banks charging any transaction fee for transacting through debit card a violation of RBI Regulations

Do you face any issue with Banks or the Merchants charging any additional fee as transaction fee for transacting through debit cards ? 

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued order against Pernicious practices of select banks deterring customer protection and accounting integrity vide their order No. RBI/2013-14/292 DBS.CO.PPD No. 3578/ 11.01.005/2013-14 dtd. 17th September 2013. The plain reading of the above referred order suggest that the Banks or any Merchant cannot charge any additional amount towards transaction fee for making payment through usage of debit cards. The relevant portion of the order is reproduced for ready reference of the readers so that they are able to raise their voice against unethical business practices of those banks and the merchants who are charging any transaction fee.

"4. Levying fees on debit card transactions by merchants - There are instances where merchant establishments levy fee as a percentage of the transaction vale as charges on customers who are making payments for purchase of goods and services through debit cards. Such fee are not justifiable and are not permissible as per the bilateral agreement between the acquiring bank and the merchants and therefore calls for termination of the relationship of the bank with such establishments.

5. Though many banks have appreciated our concerns and have discontinued with the above mentioned practices/ products, some of them still seem to persist with them. These practices/ products thwart the very principle of fair and transparent pricing of products which beholds customer rights and customer protection, especially, in the more vulnerable retail segment. Such practices thus violate, both in letter and spirit, various provisions of our MC on Interest Rate on Advances and therefor, you are advised to strictly desist from these practices hence forth.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Credit Card Issues 2


Credit Card Issues _ Consumer Activist Shri S.K.Virmani associated with Jago Grahak Jago movement
discussing on NDTV

Adultration in Petrol



Petroleum industry is facing acute problem on adulteration of petrol. Consumer Activist Shri S.K.Virmani associated with Jago Grahak Jago movement in India for Consumer Empowerment discussing on Zee News on the subject of Adulteration in Petrol.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Opposing Anti Consumer Practices of banks.

Recently HDFC, ICICI and Axis Bank have introduced transaction fee for deposits and withdrawal from saving bank accounts. SBI and other banks soon will be charging the same.

It is unethical business practices of the banks charging fee for deposits and withdrawal of cash from your own account. The banks say that it is to discourage the citizens from cash transactions. If that is the case so then why fee being charged for cashless transactions? Where is the cashless economy?