Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Jan. 29

TO support credit cardholders seeking redressal of their disputes pertaining to bills and outstanding dues with bankers, the Credit Cardholders Association of India is planning to set up control rooms in various State capitals. Disclosing this at a press conference here on Saturday, the Association General Secretary, Mr C.V. Giddappa, said that a control room was already set up in Bangalore and the one at Hyderabad would be launched on February 1.

"These control rooms will provide the necessary advice on redressal to the credit cardholders, who are being harassed by bankers through illegal means such as recovery agents taking law into their hands. These control rooms will also help the credit cardholders in amicably settling their payment disputes with the bankers," Mr Giddappa said. Taking the help of Banking Ombudsmen appointed under the revised scheme, the association proposes to organise open forums and bring the issuing banks and credit cardholders onto a single platform.

Though the RBI has come out with clear guidelines and ground rules for the credit card issuing banks, the association has found out that banks have frequently resorted to illegal methods in recovering dues from the credit cardholders.

"These include making threatening calls to cardholders and their family members, engaging the services of anti-social elements such as goons for recovery, and even wrongfully confining the cardholders for several hours," Mr Giddappa said. Stating that the association would be taking them to the notice of RBI for immediate action, he said all contracts involving finance are of a civil nature and the implementation of the terms of such a contract would have to be through civil remedy.

"Further, we have obtained positive response from the Life Insurance Corporation for launching a `Swadeshi Credit Card' with low interest rate of less than 12 per cent per annum. We were told that LIC is currently in talks with Corporation Bank for launching the co-braded credit card," Mr Giddappa said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 30, 2006)
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