• The government has amended insurance ombudsman rules.
• As per the new rules insurance brokers are now covered under ombudsman rules.
• Policyholders are now allowed to file online complaints.
• The scope of complaints has been enlarged to ombudsmen from only disputes earlier to deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers, and other intermediaries.
• The ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings.
About Insurance Ombudsman:
• The Insurance Ombudsman scheme was created by the Government of India for individual policyholders to have their complaints settled out of the court system in a cost-effective, efficient, and impartial way.
• Any person who has a grievance against an insurer, may himself or through his legal heirs, nominee or assignee, make a complaint in writing to the Insurance ombudsman.
• One can approach the Ombudsman with a complaint only if he has first approached the insurance company with the complaint and they have either rejected it or not resolved it to the satisfaction or not responded to it at all for 30 days
• Another condition is that the value of the claim including expenses claimed should not be above Rs 30 lakhs.
Appointment of Ombudsman:
• The Ombudsman is a person in the insurance industry, civil or judicial services, and is appointed by the insurance council.
• The serving term of the Insurance Ombudsman is three years.
• The Ombudsman will act as a mediator and arrive at a fair recommendation based on the facts of the dispute
• If you accept this as a full and final settlement, the Ombudsman will inform the company which should comply with the terms in 15 days.
• If a settlement by recommendation does not work, the Ombudsman will pass an award within 3 months of receiving all the requirements from the complainant and which will be binding on the insurance company
• Once the Award is passed the Insurer shall comply with the award within 30 days of the receipt of the award and intimate the compliance of the same to the Ombudsman.
• The Registrar-General of India (RGI) is preparing to conduct field trials of the first phase of the Census and the National Population Register (NPR) using a mobile application in all the States and Union Territories.
• The app will contain questionnaires on house listing and housing census and the NPR.
What is National Population Register (NPR)?
• It is a Register of usual residents of the country.
• It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State, and National levels.
• This is being done under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
• It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
• The objective of this exercise is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.
• The NPR was first collected in 2010 and then updated in 2015.
Who is a usual resident?
• A usual resident is defined for NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.
Registrar General of India:
• Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India was founded in 1961 by the Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs.
• This was done for arranging, conducting, and analyzing the results of the demographic surveys of India including Census of India and Linguistic Survey of India.
• The position of Registrar is usually held by a civil servant holding the rank of Joint Secretary.
• The U.S. Department of Commerce is preparing to tax aluminum sheet exporters from 18 countries including India after determining that they had benefited from subsidies and dumping.
• The US International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent body, must approve the final decision by April 15 to impose anti-dumping or countervailing duties.
What is Dumping?
• In international trade practice, dumping happens when a country or a firm exports an item at a price lower than the price of that product in its domestic market.
• Dumping impacts the price of the product in the importing country and it hits margins and profits of local manufacturing firms.
What is anti-dumping duty?
• Anti-dumping duty is imposed to rectify the situation arising out of the dumping of goods and its trade distortive effect.
• According to global trade norms, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime, a country is allowed to impose tariffs on such dumped products to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers.
Difference between CVD and Anti Dumping Duty:
• Anti-dumping duty is different from countervailing duty.
• The latter is imposed to counter the negative impact of import subsidies to protect domestic producers.
• Countervailing Duties (CVDs) are tariffs levied on imported goods to offset subsidies made to producers of these goods in the exporting country.
• CVDs are meant to level the playing field between domestic producers of a product and foreign producers of the same product who can afford to sell it at a lower price because of the subsidy they receive from their government.