Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched two initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through video-conferencing. The two schemes -- the retail direct scheme and the integrated ombudsman scheme – are aimed at deepening the debt market and improve customer grievance redressal mechanism.
The RBI Retail Direct Scheme is aimed at enhancing access to the government securities market for retail investors, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement. It offers them a new avenue for directly investing in the securities issued by the Centre and the state governments. The investors will be able to easily open and maintain their government securities accounts online with the RBI for free, it added. Leveraging technological advancements, the scheme offers a portal avenue to invest in central government securities, Treasury Bills, State Development Loans and Sovereign Gold Bonds.
The scheme places India in a list of select few countries offering such a facility.
As regards, the Reserve Bank-Integrated Ombudsman Scheme (RB-IOS), the statement said, is aimed at further improving the grievance redress mechanism for resolving customer complaints against entities regulated by the central bank. The PMO said the central theme of the scheme is based on "One Nation-One Ombudsman" with one portal, one e-mail address and one postal address for the customers to lodge their complaints.
The RBI after review decided to integrate the three Ombudsman Schemes into one and also simplified the scheme by covering all complaints involving deficiency in service by centralising the receipt and initial processing of complaints to enhance process efficiency. RBI's alternate grievance redress mechanism currently comprises of three Ombudsman schemes viz the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (BOS), launched in 1995, the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies (OS-NBFC), 2018 and the Ombudsman Scheme for Digital Transactions (OSDT), 2019.
The schemes are administered through 22 offices of RBI Ombudsman (ORBIOs). Complaints that do not fall within the ambit of the Ombudsman mechanism are handled by the Consumer Education and Protection Cells (CEPCs) functioning at 30 regional offices of RBI.
With PTI inputs