3G spectrum auction postponed again

Telecom firms will have to wait longer before they can roll out 3G services as the government has yet again postponed the spectrum auction

In a surprise move, the government has postponed to the next fiscal the auction of spectrum for 3G telephony which was expected to bring in Rs35,000 crore to the exchequer, reports PTI.

The government has been putting off the auction of 3G spectrum for some time now. The postponement of the auction again to 2010-11 is likely to have some adverse impact on the government's finances and the fiscal deficit which is pegged at 6.8% of GDP.

According to senior officials in the Department of Telecom, law minister Veerappa Moily, who is a member of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM), has opined that the auction should he held when the spectrum is available.

Telecom minister A Raja could not be contacted immediately for his comments. Officials, however, said that the auction is expected to take place in August-September this year. It is pertinent to mention that the ministry of defence had agreed to vacate the spectrum only during the middle of this year.

The EGoM, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, had decided to allow four private telecom firms to bid for the next-generation mobile telephone services (3G) and had made a provision for garnering up to Rs35,000 crore from the sale of airwaves in the current fiscal.


Can makemytrip.com make its customer’s day?

Travel website makemytrip.com has come out with an ad that states that it is the ‘fastest’ in booking tatkal tickets. How can the portal make such a claim?

Makemytrip.com is actively advertising on the Web that it will be able to provide its customers with tatkal tickets at a much ‘faster’ rate than other online travel agents. ”Beat the tatkal queues with the fastest tatkal booking at MakeMyTrip!,” the ad states. But how can a travel agent proclaim this, when tatkal bookings can happen only two days before the train departs? Second, any customer can go to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) website and book his ticket two days before a train’s departure. Many other travel websites also let you book tatkal tickets in advance (as per the stipulated period). So what’s behind makemytrip.com’s ‘fastest tatkal‘ claim?

According to the current scheme, tatkal booking opens at 8 am two days in advance from the actual date of the journey. For example, if you were to leave for Delhi on the 30th of this month, then you can book your tickets only on the 28th, from 8 am onwards.

The tatkal system accepts both manual bookings and Internet bookings. One would presume that Internet bookings would have more takers; however, according to a railway official and a few travel agents, most tatkal tickets are booked manually at railway counters. Travel agents have their representatives at booking counters queuing up before 8 am to manually purchase tickets.

With regard to makemytrip.com’s claim, SS Gupta, chief public relation officer (Mumbai division), Western Railways, said: “They are putting up false advertisements.”

According to Abhishek Agarwal, makemytrip.com’s deputy manager, the system provided for their customers on the website is more user-friendly and easy to operate, helping consumers to easily get their tickets. “Our website is more easily operational for a traveller to get his ticket much faster, than other websites,” he claimed.

“The idea is to save on time (while booking your tickets); everything is within the purview of the rules and regulations of the Indian Railways,” another employee from makemytrip.com said, preferring anonymity.

“We have done a good job at optimising the code at makemytrip.com’s website and we have written the code such that the dependency on network latency is less. That is why our speed is much faster,” he claimed.

However, this isn’t the case. We checked the IRCTC website, which provides a different system, but is as easily accessible as makemytrip.com. The only disadvantage may be the fact that the consumer may have to know the train number or train name while booking. However, when a traveller is preparing for his journey, he would always have these details.

Regarding the travel portal’s claim at being the ‘fastest’, we have also sent a query to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). However, the entity still has to reply.




6 years ago

Makemytrip allows tatkal booking only from9 am, wheras booking actually opens at 8. Maybe irctc has put a clause, and they are not able to do it,but makemytrip should have let us know it instead of just displaying a message "Tatkal bookings will open only at 9". Pretty indecent of them. I have used makemytrip a lot of times, and this has really stumped me.


7 years ago

while your outrage at the claim is justified as a layman, as a reporter one would expect you to do some research, check how much time the sight actually takes and then publish. why are you misusing this website to push ahead your impulsive (and rather childish) predilections ?


7 years ago

To start of i think if an online tour operator is offering such a service, lets try it before passing judgment. I am of an opinion that the jurno has done a good job of getting the relevant information out to the common man that Online Tour Operators are striving hard to make a difference in services they offer in such a competitive market, lets look at it as a positive step in making thing much easier and simpler for the last minute traveler. I cant understand why my fellow netzens are being so critical in expressing their views.


7 years ago

If the claims of an Ad is not substantiated by demonstration of the claim, then every consumer has the right to complain and be redressed. I think we're arguing needlessly. Why don't we try it out and then complain. Or, if we're sure of our complaint, just go ahead and complain to the ASCI on [email protected], 022-23513982 or 1800-22-2724 (toll free).
Complaints upheld by ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) has 98% compliance by advertisers. Which means that a faulty Ad will be either modified or pulled off.
Go ahead and complain. ASCI is meant for this.


7 years ago

After I posted my comment I noticed that I am not the only one facing identical problem. Naturally this does not seem to be a system failure conveniently happening between 8 - 8.15 am. Also, this cannot happen without the authorities being involved. I request Ms. Sucheta Dalal and her investigative team to go to the root of this problem and unearth any malafide intentions in this. You will be helping people at large.


7 years ago

In the past whenever I tried booking tatkal ticket through IRCTC site exactly at 8 am two days prior, I have faced access problem which does not let me book the tickets for first few minutes say 10-15 min. By the time the most of confirmed tickets of the quota are gone and only waitlist are remaining. I strongly suspect that this could be due to some handiwork of interested parties/companies.


7 years ago

I completely agree with the above comments. I am a regular reader of Moneylife and this article is a big let down.Like the previous posts mention the tatkal services at irctc website suck and there is obviously an opportunity waiting to be tapped.I dont know how credible are the claims made my M M T are and they must definitely be taken to task if they fail to deliver on the promise.
The artcile just shows you ( the journalist) dont travel much out of town ( atleast not by train ).


7 years ago

please do a bit of research before publishing such article . Try booking a Tatkal ticket on irctc.com and cleartrip.com any day at morning 8 o'clock , you will know the difference . It takes almost 30 mins 30 mins to login and open the search page . By that time all tatkal tickets get sold.

So please make some effort before publishing a story

Rakesh Shah

7 years ago

IRCTC tatkal can never be acessed before 8.15 am. Maybe, the access to the counter clerks(read agents) is thus 15 minutes earlier than the internet booker. Within 15 minutes almost all Tatkal seats are gone. Makemytrip may take advantage of this to the benefit of the net booker!!!!.


7 years ago

To Author Aaron Rodrigues,
Premature article, seems you have never tried online tatkal booking.
Try it first then write the article. I have tried atleast 10 times, irctc stops working for tatkal ticket from 8AM to 8:15 or so, until all tatkal seats are full. Even if you are lucky you might get WL 1/2. (If you are booking tatkal on 28 for journey on 30th as per your article).
Same is the case with cleartrip and yatra. Haven't tried mmt yet!
One request to you and editor, Kindly confirm the fact if you r writing for moneylife

RBI hikes CRR by 75 basis points

While the RBI has kept key rates unchanged in its latest quarterly monetary review, it has raised CRR by 75 bps

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today increased the mandatory cash reserves of banks held by it by 75 basis points in a bid to mop up excess liquidity to combat rising inflation, reports PTI.

This 75-basis point increase in cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 5.75% is expected to suck out at least Rs36,000 crore from the system. The move from the RBI was widely expected, with food inflation rising to 17.40% for the week ended 16 January. The move is to check food inflation spreading to other sectors.

According to RBI estimates, inflation is likely to touch 8.5% by this fiscal-end from over 7% in December. Earlier in October, the apex bank had projected the rate of price rise to be at 6.5% by March-end.

However, short-term lending and borrowing rates (repo and reverse-repo) between RBI and banks were kept unchanged, leading to speculation that banks\\\' commercial lending rates may not change.

Central Bank of India executive director Arun Kaul told reporters that the CRR hike is more than market expectations and that liquidity would definitely go down and may have some impact on interest rates.

The apex bank also raised its economic growth projection to 7.5% from its earlier estimate of 6% for the current fiscal.


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