Governments

Usher in transparency, not price controls

Hon’ble Supreme Court has asked the Union Health Ministry to coordinate with the states to roll out of a common pricing structure for hospital services across the country. This is impractical for many reasons – Real estate prices – which is a significant part of the cost of hospital services – vary widely from location to location, the quality of equipment and personnel also vary widely making availability of hospitalisation services within a standard price range impractical. Harsh’s article in Business Standard on how enforcing transparency on pricing of hospital services might be a better first step towards achieving the goal of similar pricing across the country. Disclosure : Harsh is not connected to the medical services industry/hospital sector in any manner.

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Simplifying nominations can boost financialisation

Indian securities market regulator SEBI has recently sought public comments on a consultation paper that seeks to comprehensively revamp the entire process of transferring assets to the nominees on the death of the investor. It seeks to remove hurdles and standardise the process so that the transfer to nominees can happen in a few weeks (the dream is the transfer happening in a few days of applying and God willing even that will happen eventually as the system stabilises). The paper also deals with providing access to the investor themselves in case of their incapacitation (unfortunately many such cases are coming up as longevity of Indians increase due to advances in medical science) . This is a giant step towards making Investments in Indian securities market convenient and easy and will aid in spurring the ongoing process of financialisation of household investment assets.

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Unclaimed assets: Create searchable databases

Give a gift worth lakhs to your loved ones this new year without costing a penny to you. Visit iepf.gov.in, click on “Search unpaid/unclaimed amount” under the “Services” tab, and enter their names in the search box and discover unclaimed shares in their name on the #IEPF website. The probability of discovering lost treasures for your loved ones is much higher if they are born before 1970.
IEPF has recently changed its search functionality to display potential unclaimed amounts/shares based on the inputted name without requiring any more information. Unclaimed shares/dividends worth Rs. 52,000 crores are with IEPF. Similarly large amounts (bank deposits – Rs. 35,000 crores), Insurance-Rs. 25,000 crores, Inactive/unclaimed Mutual Funds (Rs. 18,000 crores) , Provident fund/Small saving schemes (amounts unknown) exist throughout the financial sector. The Finance minister has already announced an integrated portal to ease the process of searching and claiming such amounts.

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Unified death reporting is the need of the hour

A loved one has passed away. You are the nominee in all the mutual funds and shares owned by the deceased. You dread the multiple trips and the time to be spent and efforts required to follow different rules at each of the 7 MFs in which the loved one had investments & the 2 Depository participants where the shares were held. Now Imagine this. You submit the death certificate and the PAN of the deceased at one of the MFs. Within a week all the 7 MFs and both the DPs reach out to you proactively on their own with the details of the standard forms and steps required to get the assets transmitted to your name. If that sounds like Fantasy – it will be true starting on January 1, 2024 – many thanks to a path breaking circular issued by SEBI. No comparable mechanism exists anywhere else in the world Thanks to the white paper – written by Pramod Rao (in his personal capacity) – foreword by Mr K V Kamath – inputs & published by ARIA. Read Harsh’s article in Business Standard for more..

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Appeal to ‘slow mind’ to wean investors off F&O

Can you solve this puzzle : A bat and a ball together cost ₹ 1,100.
The bat costs ₹ 1,000 more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?

If your answer was ₹ 100, that´s incorrect.
The right answer is ₹ 50.
Nobel Laureate and behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman cites this example in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, to introduce the concept of the ´fast mind´ (which provides intuitive answers without conscious deliberation), and the ´slow mind´ (which is supposed to deliberate and endorse or reject the fast mind´s intuitive answers).
The fast mind´s immediate answers can be frequently wrong.
The slow mind is lazy and prone to biases.
Yet, with the right training, the slow mind can be tutored to amend the fast mind´s intuitive answers.
So what does this interesting puzzle have to do with weaning Individual Indian investors away from speculating in Futures & Options ? Read Harsh’s article in Business standard to know more..

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Restrictions on foreign spends erode Brand India

The 20% deposit requirement imposed on overseas remittances inhibits all citizens from spending or investing overseas. The sweeping inhibitory measure is supposedly to catch a few wrong doers who abuse the Liberalised Remittance Scheme who anyways could , with a little dilligence, be identified from the mass of data that the department has. Harsh’s article in Business Standard on the long term costs of inhibiting/restricting our ordinary citizens from spending and/or investing overseas and the impact such measures have on our aspiration to be a Super power.

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Podcast – How AA ecosystem can improve reach of investment advice

Harsh’s Podcast and article on AccountAggregator system and how it can help the #InvestmentAdvisory profession shed the tag of being an elitist profession and start catering to the needs of the every Indian who can benefit from the #Fiduciary advise. #AA will bring down the cost and time of collecting authentic data based on client consent and lead to the democratisation of #Investment advice.

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High pension recipients can get short-changed in bailouts

Do not transfer large sums of money from your tax free Employee Provident Fund to the Employee Pension Account in the hope of getting a large pension in the future. As per the EPFOs own calculations the deficit was Rs. 15,000 crores as on March 31, 2017. The deficit position for the years ended March 31, 2018 and 2019 has not been released by the government but is likely to be much higher. Even the calculation of the deficit figure has not been made for the last 4 years. A pension fund that has not even calculated its liability is a scary place to invest your hard earned tax free Employee Provident Fund money. Those people depending on government bailout should be aware of the precedents whenever governments have stepped in to protect pensioners – those entitled to larger pensions inevitably get shortchanged in the process”.

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