The Madras High Court has upheld that the New Tiruppur Area Development Corporation Limited is a public authority and will have to provide information under the RTI Act. The is in tune with the High Court order passed against the NSE
In yet another case of the judiciary cracking the whip on ‘private’ bodies, the Madras High Court has ruled that the New Tiruppur Area Development Corporation Limited (NTADCL) is a public authority in terms of the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it undertakes projects on a public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
Moneylife had earlier reported on the Delhi High Court decision on the National Stock Exchange (NSE)—(see here), which has brought the bourse under the ambit of the RTI Act.
In a case filed by Manthan Adhyayan Kendra (MAK), an entity involved in research on water and energy issues, the Madras High Court on 6 April 2010 ruled that NTADCL is a public authority and will have to provide the information requested under the RTI Act.
NTADCL, under concession from the Tamil Nadu government and the Tiruppur Municipality (TM), operates the Tiruppur Project. The Tamil Nadu government had privatised the water supply to Tiruppur Industrial Estate, TM and a number of neighbouring villages under the Tiruppur Project. This is one of the largest privatised water supply projects in India.
MAK had requested some information from NTADCL under the RTI Act, which it had refused stating that it is not a “public authority.”
Following this, MAK had moved the Madras High Court with the contention that NTADCL is a public authority and should provide information under the RTI Act.
The court upheld that the water supply company was a public authority for two reasons—one, that this PPP project has support from the government including funds and guarantees, so it has to be open to the RTI Act. Second, that NTADCL was delivering a public service—water and sewerage—and therefore has to be accountable under the Act. A press release on MAK’s website stated that it is likely that NTADCL will go in for further appeal.
However, if the Supreme Court upholds the Madras High Court decision, it would be a significant ruling, given that a number of private players are developing PPP projects across sectors in India. The ruling may open up more PPP project-based private companies to public scrutiny.
The central bank will come out with a discussion paper on new norms for granting banking licences to private sector companies and non-banking financial companies by July
The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday said that it will come out with a discussion paper on new norms for granting banking licences to private sector companies and non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) by July end, reports PTI.
The discussion on new banking licences will be posted on the website of the central bank for public comments, RBI governor D Subbarao said while unveiling the monetary policy for 2010-11.
"Thereafter, detailed discussions will be held with all stakeholders on the discussion paper and guidelines will be finalised based on the feedback," he said.
All applications received in this regard would be referred to an external expert group for examination and recommendations to the RBI for granting licenses, he added.
Separately, in Parliament today, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said although expressions of interest (EoIs) of some private entities have been received by the RBI, they are to be processed once the guidelines for issuing fresh banking licences to private players are finalised.
The move follows the announcement made by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Budget speech 2010-11 to grant more banking licences.
"The Indian banking system has emerged unscathed from the crisis. We need to ensure that the banking system grows in size and sophistication to meet the needs of a modern economy. Besides, there is a need to extend the geographic coverage of banks and improve access to banking services,” Mr Mukherjee had said.
The RBI was considering giving some additional banking licences to private sector players. NBFCs could also be considered, if they meet RBI's eligibility criteria, the minister had said.
The RBI's decision to tighten monetary policy may not have a negative impact on housing demand, as real-estate developers do not expect any increase in home loan rates
Real-estate developers on Tuesday said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)'s decision to tighten monetary policy would not have a negative impact on housing demand, as they do not foresee any increase in home loan rates.
“It’s a very balanced and calibrated announcement meant to control inflation. The signals from the public sector units (PSUs) as well as private banks are favourable and they expect no increase in home loan rates. This will be to the ultimate interest of homebuyers,” DLF Group executive director Rajeev Talwar told PTI. Mr Talwar said that housing demand would remain firm.
Parsvnath Developers’ chairman, Pradeep Jain, said, “I do not foresee interest rates going upwards. Therefore, there is no concern for the real estate sector.”
In a move to curb inflation, the apex bank today increased the repo and reverse repo rates by 25 bps each and the CRR also by 25 bps.
Property consultants also feel that the hike in policy rates would not have any significant impact on the housing sector, which has witnessed a revival in demand over the last one year.
“It was on expected lines. This would have a sentimental and emotional setback on residential demand, not on office or retail,” Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj country head Anuj Puri said.
However, he cautioned that a continuous increase in the repo rates would curtail the optimistic sentiment in the real-estate sector.
Knight Frank India's national director for residential agency, Anand Narayanan said, “Real estate is having a strong sentiment now. This will not have any significant impact on the buyers.”