- Recently, the Prime Minister has launched the integrated ombudsman scheme.
- In 2019 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had launched the Complaint Management System (CMS) in order to improve the customer experience in the grievance redressal process of banking services.
- The PM has also launched the RBI’s Retail Direct Scheme.
- A government official who deals with complaints made by ordinary people against public organizations. This concept of Ombudsman arrived from Sweden.
- It means an officer appointed by the Legislature to handle complaints against a service or administrative authority.
In India an Ombudsman is appointed to resolve grievances in the following sectors.
- Insurance Ombudsman
- Income Tax Ombudsman
- Banking Ombudsman
- The first ombudsman scheme was rolled out in the 1990s. The system was always viewed as an issue by consumers.
- One of the primary concerns was the lack of maintainable grounds on which the consumer could challenge the actions of a regulated entity at the ombudsman or a rejection of the complaint on technical grounds, resulting in a preference for the consumer court notwithstanding the extended timelines for redressal.
- The move to integrate the systems (banking, NBFC, and digital payments) and expand the grounds for complaints is expected to see a positive response from consumers.
- The Scheme defines ‘deficiency in service’ as the ground for filing a complaint, with a specified list of exclusions.
- Therefore, the complaints would no longer be rejected simply on account of “not covered under the grounds listed in the scheme”.
- The scheme is jurisdiction neutral and a centralised receipt and processing centre has been set-up in Chandigarh for initial handling of complaints in any language.
- RBI had created a provision for the use of Artificial Intelligence tools so that banks and investigating agencies could coordinate in a better way in the fastest time possible.
- The bank customers will be able to file complaints, submit documents, track status, and give feedback through a single email address.
- There will also be a multilingual toll-free number that will provide all relevant information on grievance redress.
- The regulated entity will not have any right to appeal in cases where an award is issued by the ombudsman against it for not furnishing satisfactory and timely information.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT