Consumer Issues
Airtel's extra charges for VoIP services under govt scanner
The government is looking into Airtel's separate charges for internet browsing and using VoIP apps like Skype and Viber 
 
Bharti Airtel, the country's largest mobile operator is reportedly under the government scanner over is decision to hike charges for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) apps, like Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts.
 
Speaking with reporters, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Minister for Information and Communication has said that the Ministry will look into the Airtel VoIP tariff hike and the government would come back with structured response.
 
On Wednesday, Airtel had announced higher tariffs for using popular internet services to make voice calls to family and friends abroad. The company decided to increase internet charges by nearly 16 times more than the ordinary data pack rates. 
 
Under its terms and conditions, Airtel said, "All Internet/data packs or plans (through which customer can avail discounted rate) shall only be valid for internet browsing and will exclude VoIP (Both incoming/ Outgoing). VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4paisa/10 KB (3G service) and 10paisa/ 10 KB (2G service)."
 

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Bankers Brought Rating Agencies ‘To Their Knees’ On Tobacco Bonds

Wall Street pressed S&P, Moody’s and Fitch to assign more favorable credit ratings to their deals and bragged that the raters complied. Now many of the bonds are headed for default.

 

When the economy nosedived in 2008, it didn’t take long to find the crucial trigger. Wall Street banks had peddled billions of dollars in toxic securities after packing them with subprime mortgages that were sure to default.

 

Behind the bankers’ actions, however, stood a less-visible part of the finance industry that also came under fire. The big credit-rating firms – S&P, Moody’s and Fitch – routinely blessed the securities as safe investments. Two U.S. investigations found that raters compromised their independence under pressure from banks and the lure of profits, becoming, as the government’s official inquiry panel put it, “essential cogs in the wheel of financial destruction.”

 

Now there is evidence the raters also may have succumbed to pressure from the bankers in another area: The sale of billions of dollars in bonds by states and municipalities looking to quickly cash in on the massive 1998 legal settlement with Big Tobacco.

 

Read Full Story Here :

 

Courtesy : ProPublica.org

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