Under the Retail Direct scheme, people can invest in central government securities, treasury bills, state development loans and sovereign gold bonds through a portal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch on Friday two crucial customer-centric initiatives of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to enable retail investors to directly invest in government securities for the first time, and to improve the grievance redress mechanism for resolving customer complaints against banks and other entities regulated by the central bank.
Under the Retail Direct scheme, people can invest in central government securities, treasury bills, state development loans and sovereign gold bonds through a portal. It will propel India into the league of a few country that currently offer such a facility. “Investors will be able to easily open and maintain their government securities account online with the RBI, free of cost,” the PMO said.
The second initiative, the Integrated Ombudsman scheme, aims at bolstering the grievance redress mechanism for resolving customer complaints against entities regulated by the RBI, such as banks, NBFCs and non-bank payment system participants. This scheme will be based on ‘One Nation-One Ombudsman’ with one portal, one email, and one address for the customers to lodge their complaints. At present, RBI has three separate ombudsmen — for banks, NBFCs and digital payments. These are operated from 22 RBI ombudsman offices across the country. These will be integrated into one centralised scheme to make the grievance redress mechanism simpler and much more effective.
Customers will be able to lodge complaints, submit documents, track status, and give feedback through a single email address under the new scheme. There will also be a multi-lingual toll-free number that will provide all relevant information on grievance redress. This mechanism will continue to be free for customers. The complaints that are not covered under the ombudsman scheme will continued to be addressed by the Customer Education and Protection Cells located in the 30 regional offices of the RBI.
As for the Retail Direct scheme, people can access the online portal to open securities accounts with the central bank, bid in primary auctions and buy and sell the papers. No fee will be charged for any service. The payment for transactions can be made by them through internet-banking and the UPI, using their savings bank accounts. Investor support facility will be made available via telephone, email as well as online. Providing transaction and balance statement, nomination facility, pledge/lien and gift transactions, etc, will be available.