Family says he hung himself; police say he died under mysterious circumstances. Investigating agencies were probing his role in the 2G scam
Chennai: In a dramatic twist in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam probe, Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of former telecom minister A Raja and under investigation in the case, died in mysterious circumstances with his family claiming he committed suicide, reports PTI.
"He was brought dead to the Apollo hospital at about 1:30 pm. The family says he had hanged himself. Police is yet to verify anything. We are investigating," Chennai police commissioner T Rajendran told PTI.
Police have rushed to his house and are conducting enquiries.
When the body of 47-year-old Mr Batcha was taken to the hospital, doctors declared him "brought dead."
Hospital sources said the body would be taken to a government hospital for post-mortem.
Mr Batcha was the managing director of Greenhouse Promoters, a firm under the scanner of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The CBI along with the ED had conducted searches at his premises late last year.
Both CBI and ED were probing the possibility of his firms acting as a front for the former minister. Both the agencies have questioned him earlier in connection with the case.
Though analysts are not sure whether any further tightening of interest rate can check the price rise, the central bank seems to have few options but to hike rates
New Delhi: Amidst high food inflation, falling industry output and uncertain crude oil prices, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to raise key policy rates by 25 basis points in its mid-quarterly review tomorrow, reports PTI.
The RBI is expected to hike interest rates by 25 basis points, said State Bank of India (SBI) chief finance officer (CFO) Hemant Contractor.
Despite moderation, food inflation is still high at 9.52% on account of rising prices of essential items. At the same time, factory output grew by 3.7% in January compared to 16.7% in the same month a year ago.
"Current growth and inflation trends clearly warrant that we persist with the anti-inflationary monetary stance. Looking beyond 2010-11, the Reserve Bank expects the domestic growth momentum to stabilise," RBI governor D Subbarao had said in the last policy review announced on 25 January 2011.
"Inflation is expected to moderate from the first quarter of 2011-12, but several upside risks are already visible. The monetary stance will be determined by how these factors impact the overall inflationary scenario," the governor had said.
Wholesale price based inflation inched up to 8.31% in February, against 8.23% in January.
The central bank has raised policy rates seven times since March 2010, with a hike of 175 basis points in short-term lending (repo) rate and 225 basis points in short-term borrowing (reverse) repo rate in its bid to arrest inflation.
Though analysts are not sure whether any further tightening of interest rate can check the price rise, the central bank seems to have few options but to hike rates.
"RBI is unlikely to raise rates in the upcoming policy review," said Corporation Bank chairman and managing director Ramnath Pradeep.
It is to be noted that RBI chose not to tinker with the policy rates in its December 2010 review, even though food inflation was in double digits.
"RBI till now has clearly communicated the stance that they want to balance between growth and inflation. That's why they want to take a calibrated stance to raise rates. From that perspective, 25 basis points hike seems to be on the cards," said Standard Chartered head (research) Samiran Chakrabarty.
Echoing a similar view, Crisil chief economist DK Joshi said: "RBI may raise key policy rates by 25 basis points to arrest food inflation spreading to the manufacturing sector."
Uncertainty in the international market and in the legal framework governing SEZs are seen as the main reasons for the time extension. Besides, doubts over tax exemptions to new SEZs has led to declining interest in the tax-free enclaves as the revised DTC draft seeks to offer tax exemptions only to existing units
New Delhi: Reflecting lack of enthusiasm for the special economic zones (SEZs), over 40 developers including Parsvnath SEZ and Ranbaxy Laboratories have sought more time from the government for implementing their projects, reports PTI.
Reliance Haryana SEZ Ltd has also requested for additional time from the Board of Approval (BoA), headed by commerce secretary Rahul Khullar, the BoA agenda said.
BoA, a 19-member inter-ministerial body that deals with special economic zones (SEZs) related matters, is scheduled to meet on 25th March.
Three other promoters have approached the commerce ministry for surrendering their projects, citing global economic uncertainty as the reason.
Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation has approached the BoA for surrendering its sector specific tax free enclave at Solapur, the agenda said.
Gujarat Hydrocarbons and Power SEZ, which was planning to set up a sector specific SEZ in Gujarat sought "...withdrawal of formal approval due to uncertainty in the international market and in the legal framework governing SEZs".
According to an industry expert, uncertainty over tax exemptions to new SEZs has also led to declining interest in the tax free enclaves. Investors are very apprehensive about the new draft Direct Taxes Code (DTC).
According to the revised DTC draft, which will replace the Income Tax Act of 1961, tax exemptions for SEZs will be confined to the existing units.
The developers, who have sought more time to implement their projects, include Mangalore SEZ, Ansal IT City and Parks and IFFCO Kisan SEZ.
Reliance Haryana SEZ, which is in the process of land acquisition, has requested for extension of in-principle approval up to March 2015 stating that land acquisition is a time consuming process.
It has requested Haryana government to acquire balance land for enabling contiguous land parcel of minimum 1,000 hectares so as to start development activity.
Reliance Haryana SEZ, which is planning to set up multi-product SEZ at Gurgaon at an area of 5,000 hectare, has acquired 1,060 hectares of land.
"In this case the validity of the in-principle approval has expired on March 2009. The developer has become due (for) fifth extension. BoA is to consider granting extension...," the agenda added.
Minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia in a written reply to Rajya Sabha recently said that as much as 203 special economic zone developers have been given more time to execute their projects.
The minister had also said that 23 SEZ developers have surrendered their projects due to the impact of global economic meltdown.
The BoA would also consider four new proposals including that of Raheja Builders Pvt Ltd to set up an IT/ITeS tax-free zone in Mumbai and Sterling Port's proposal to set up port based tax-free enclave in Gujarat.
SEZs have emerged as major route for attracting investments and increasing exports. So far 582 SEZs have been formally approved of which 130 are in operation.
The SEZs contributed about 26% to the country's overall exports. Exports from these zones grew by 47% to Rs 2,23,132 crore during April-December 2010-11 over the same period last fiscal.
Shipments from SEZs increased from Rs22,840 crore in 2005-06 to Rs2,20,711 crore in 2009-10.
SEZ units are eligible for 100% tax exemption for first five years and 50% for the next five. The developers of the zones also avail 100% income tax exemption for 10 years.