5th January, 4 pm: Hon. Minister Hardeep Singh Puri To Launch RERA Report, in the presence of Mr Deepak Parekh and Mr Gautam Chatterjee
Wish you all a very Happy and Safe New Year. Having set up Moneylife Foundation in February 2010, this year as we begin our journey into the next decade. Despite the devastating disruption caused by one virulent virus that continues to mutate, we look forward to 2021 with great hope that normalcy will return once we have a vaccine to protect us. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a vaccine to protect us from financial frauds and losses as well? There is none on the horizon. But Covid has taught us some valuable lessons. We have all learnt to deal with constraints and adapt, while technology helped to keep us connected, ensuring that we continue working and in fact, expand our reach in unimaginable ways in the past few months.
At the start of our second decade, as we reflect on our achievements, failures and learnings, let me begin by reminding you once again to block the date, 5th January, for the online launch of our Report on'Efficacy of RERA Regulation from the Consumer Perspective'with Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon. Minister of State (I/C) Housing & Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation.
This is a unique opportunity to hear industry stalwarts --Deepak Parekh, Chairman HDFC Ltd., and Gautam Chatterjee, ex-Chairman MahaRERA who have both solidly backed this statute that has made the purchase of real estate much safer for Indians. You will also have an opportunity to hear from stalwarts of the real estate industry who will be joining us that day. We look forward to a really stimulating discussion.
Decades ago, it was the vision of HDFC’s founder Mr HT Parekh that made it possible for middle class Indians to own a house. He helped us get a loan despite all the laundry list of problems with the industry. Mr Gautam Chatterjee as the first chairman of MahaRERA has done for the realty regulator and the realty statute what G V Ramakrishna did for the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). He showed the industry that MahaRERA and the RERA were here to stay and messing with it would be at the cost of builders, brokers and other intermediaries who duped people.
We are delighted that the Hon. Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will release the RERA report, because he has had a unique connection with our extensive work over the years about making property ownership safer and a more viable nest egg for all of us. Our first report was on Retirement homes. As India catches up with the world, we believe that more and more Indians will be looking to spend their final years in retirement homes with people who share their interests and with all the support services managed for them. Mr Puri not only agreed with our findings, but also set up a committee that has formulated regulations for retirement homes. We were interrupted by Covid, but hope to persuade various states to adopt them, like the RERA act.
Our next report was on Reverse Mortagage. Various studies show that the biggest investment for most Indians is in the roof over their head. Reverse mortgage allows senior citizens to draw down the value of this investment if they run out of cash, while continuing to live in their homes until the end of their days. Although India has Reverse Mortgage products, they are extremely unattractive. Our report is about the work needed on this front. This report was released by Mr Puri in February 2019.
The RERA report, to be released on 5th January, has studied the efficacy of the RERA regulation from the consumer perspective. My colleague Maya M has done the bulk of research and writing on this report and we are very grateful for all the support she received from the best in the realty industry, including top realty consultants, advocates, researchers, and activists.
All three research reports were supported by HDFC Ltd.
You can join this programme live on YouTube or Facebook or directly join on Webex:
Reflecting on our past, we are first and foremost thankful to all of your extremely valued donations, which have kept us strong, independent and unbiased. This is key to an organisation whose advocacy and grievance redress efforts invariably rile policy makers and regulators.
We spent the first few years of Moneylife Foundation building on our identity as a non-partisan provider of financial literacy, conducting our flagship 'Safe and Smart' series of seminars across the country. The video recordings of these sessions are available on our YouTube Channel.
In our later years, realising the importance of one to one counseling, we introduced our Legal and Credit Helplines amongst others, and then the 'Daily Clinics' to provide our members with direct access to expert advice and handholding from domain expects. The pandemic forced us to put a hold on our evening Daily Clinic counseling sessions, but our helplines have continued to run strong in the past year and have answered over 325 queries due to the dedication of our counselors who offered their expertise and help very generously.
Our efforts to promote transparency were strengthened with the inauguration of Right to Information (RTI) Centre, with the support of Dinesh Thakur and the Thakur Foundation. Thanks to the involvement and support of amazing information commissioners and activists over the years, helping us educate common citizens on the power of the RTI Act.
Looking Forward Into the Next Decade
Going forward, we need volunteers who understand and can guide people on insurance products and help in class action lawsuits. If you would like to give back to society, the vast expertise that you have gained in your active life and feel that you can contribute to the work that Moneylife Foundation does in such areas, please do send us an email at [email protected]
If you like what we do, please spread the word about our work and encourage your friends and relatives to become Moneylife Foundation Members and subscribe to our newsletters and videos on our YouTube channel. The membership and subscriptions are all free. You may also like to contribute to this effort with a donation to Moneylife Foundation.
It has been an unusual, and as you are already aware Moneylife Foundation has been conducting webinars over the past few months on topics that concern us the most in these difficult times. For those who are unable to join on Zoom, our webinars are always live streamed through our YouTube and Facebook channels, so you can watch us live. A video recording is also uploaded on our YouTube channel a few days after the session.
"Technology & RTI: Learn How One Can Enhance the Other" with Rahul Singh, State Information Commissioner, Madhya Pradesh January 2021 Invitation links and details will be shared in the next few days!
Please follow our newsletters and social media channels for some exciting discussions and events planned in the coming days, which may be announced at short notice. As always, we look forward to your active feedback on issues that you would like us to discuss, and we will do our best to make it happen. Please do write to us at [email protected]
Programmes in December
The key highlight of our programmes in December was the 3rd Annual RTI Lecture, which was delivered by former Chief Justice of India, M N Venkatachaliah on the topic Is Our Judiciary Delivering on Its Promise of Sentinel on the Qui Vive. In an hour long lecture, Justice Venkatachaliah covered a wide range of subjects while discussing the objectives of the judiciary in a modern democracy. The lecture was followed by thoughts shared by Advocate Indira Jaising and former Supreme Court Judge Justice A K Sikri. If you missed this important webinar, you can read more about it here and can also watch a recording on our YouTube channel.
With growing demand from investors in our telegram groups of Anugrah and Karvy, we conducted three webinars this month as an effort to provide such investors the access to knowledge from officials of Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL), the National Securities and Depositories Limited (NSDL) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
We had Mr Nitin Ambure, Vice President, Operations at CDSL and Mr Farokh Patel, Vice President, Audit, Inspection and Compliance at CDSL, discuss the procedures you need to follow when your broker defaults. You can read more about this webinar here and also watch a recording on our YouTube channel.
This webinar was soon followed by a session with officials from NSE, Ms Nisha Subhash, Senior VP ISC, and her colleagues Mr Janardhan Gujaran, Mr Gokul Swaminathan and Ms Dinaz Shroff, who explained how an investor can apply for relief under the Investor Protection Fund. This was another important webinar which you can read about here and also refer to the video recording on our YouTube channel.
Our third webinar this month for investors' benefit, was conducted with Mr Amit Jindal, Vice President at NSDL and Mr Vishal Gajjar, assistant vice-president at the NSDL, as they discussed procedures you need to follow when your broker defaults, from a NSDL perspective. You can read about this session here and also watch the video recording on our YouTube channel.
Moneylife TV & Helplines
With the outbreak of covid-19, our physical events and daily clinics for this month have been suspended for the safety and benefit of all those involved. However, in this lockdown period you can still take advantage of our numerous videos of past seminars and workshops which are always available on our YouTube Channel Moneylife TV and Moneylife News Bites.
Although counselling on various issues from our experts is not possible in-person, you are welcome to email on [email protected] with your details. We shall forward your mail to the expert for guidance and do our best to get your query resolved.
Also, Moneylife Foundation is now on Telegram and Instagram, so do follow us on these channels to stay updated on our activities and events.
Founder-Trustee, Moneylife Foundation
Trustees: TS Krishnamurthy, Dr KC Chakrabarty, Walter Vieira, Sucheta Dalal, Debashis Basu.
Moneylife Foundation is registered with the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai, is an Affiliate member of OECD's International Network on Financial Education, is a Supporter Member of Consumers International, Development Partner of Advocates for International Development (A4ID), and is a winner of the 10th MR Pai Memorial Award.
Donations are eligible for tax benefits under Sec 80G of the Income Tax 1961 (50% tax exemption) and MLF is registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.