Nation
CAG refuses to join public debate on coal issue

In a statement, the Comptroller and Auditor General said it has been getting repeated calls from the media for reactions, but CAG Vinod Rai feels that it would be improper on his part to join a public debate on this issue

 
New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Tuesday declined to join a public debate on the controversies over its findings on the coal blocks allocation which have come under attack from Prime Minister, the Congress party and critics, reports PTI.
 
"Being a Constitutional authority, the C&AG (Vinod Rai) feels that it would be improper on his part to join a public debate on this issue. It is hereby stated that the organisation of C&AG would clarify on the report at the appropriate forum when required," an official statement from the CAG office said.
 
The statement said the CAG office has been getting repeated calls from the media for reactions to the news stories on the allocation of coal blocks and augmentation of coal production presented in Parliament on 17th August and subsequent clarifications in this regard.
 
Yesterday in Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioned the CAG findings on coal blocks allocation describing them as "disputable and flawed".
 
"The policy of allocation of coal blocks to private parties, which the CAG has criticised, was not not a new policy introduced by the UPA. The policy has existed since 1993 and previous government also allocated coal blocks in precisely the manner that the CAG has now criticised," he had said.
 
In a 32-point rebuttal of the CAG findings on the coal blocks allocations Singh said "the observations of the CAG are clearly disputable."
 

User

Parliament fails to transact business for sixth day

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha witnessed scenes of the last five days, with BJP members starting slogan shouting as soon as the Houses met, leading to adjournments

New Delhi: The Indian Parliament failed to transact any business for the sixth straight day today as  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continued to create ruckus by pressing its demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh even as other Opposition parties wanted to take up debate on Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report and other business, reports PTI.

 

With BJP being adamant on disrupting Parliament, Congress President Sonia Gandhi went into a combative mode as she told the party MPs to take on the main Opposition "aggressively" and herself led them in the Lok Sabha in doing so.

 

Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha witnessed scenes of the last five days, with BJP members starting slogan shouting as soon as the Houses met, leading to adjournments.

 

In the Lok Sabha, BJP members trooped into the Well, chanting slogans against the government and demanding resignation of the Prime Minister over the CAG report on coal block allocation.

 

However, their colleagues from NDA allies Shiv Sena, JD-U and Akali Dal did not join them in the Well but raised slogans from their seats.

 

Displaying determination to aggressively take on BJP, Gandhi led from the front by egging on her members to counter opposition's sloganeering on coal allocation issue.

 

Earlier in the morning, she had told a meeting of party MPs not to be deflected by the "intemperate Congress bashing" by the opposition and hit back.

 

Even before the Question Hour began, she was seen engaged in an animated conversation with leaders of key UPA allies -- NCP chief Sharad Pawar and NC head Farooq Abdullah.

 

Then, she walked up to Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's seat and sat with him for a chat. She wished Yadav with a "namaste" and left with a "shukriya" (thank you).

 

Gandhi's pro-activeness was visible later when the Lok Sabha met again at noon after the Question Hour was adjourned.

User

Not much joy in spectrum auctions guidelines, says Nomura

Spectrum re-farming is flagged once again and the government has stated that additional spectrum will only be made available after reserving spectrum for re-farming

 
Nomura Equity Research says that it is hard to see many positives in the spectrum auction guidelines and the only respite would be if the auctions fail altogether, which it thinks is not entirely likely. It recommends avoiding Indian telecoms altogether for now in the equity market.
 
The Department of Telecom has released the spectrum auction info-memo (information memorandum) providing key details on pricing and the process. The reserve price is Rs140 billion for 5Mhz (on 1800Mhz), and only 10Mhz of spectrum will be initially made available (in 1.25Mhz blocks). The bidding is open to existing operators (they can only bid for 2x1.25Mhz). New players who are eligible for a unified license, and operators whose licenses were recently cancelled, are also eligible and the bidding is open to them as well.
 
Importantly, spectrum re-farming is flagged once again and the government has stated that additional spectrum will only be made available after reserving spectrum for re-farming.
 
The deferred payment structure option also exists, which could likely see more competition/operators bidding in the auction, and the spectrum usage charge ranges from 3% to 8%.
 
Nomura further says that the key items to note in the auction system are as follows:
 
• Auctions will commence on 12 November 2012 for the 1800Mhz band, and the 800Mhz        
   auctions will commence two days after the completion of the 1800Mhz auctions.
 
• Competition is likely to be intense, as a minimum eight blocks of 1.25Mhz (10Mhz in    
   total) or about two licenses (for new entrants) will be auctioned in each circle. The    
   existing operators, or companies that are eligible for a unified license, and the operators
   whose licenses were recently cancelled are all eligible to bid in these auctions. The
   existing operators, however, will only be allowed to take a maximum 2x1.25Mhz each  
   (in each circle). 
 
Nomura says that re-farming is likely to be a key risk for telecom operators. The info-memo makes references to re-farming, suggesting that the government is quite serious about this proposal. Incremental spectrum (over and above 10Mhz) is made available for bidding only after reserving spectrum for re-farming against allocation in the 900 MHz band for licences expiring during 2014 to 2016.
 
Deferred payment structure also applies whereby the bidders will only have to pay 33% of the amount upfront (for 1800Mhz and 25% for 800Mhz spectrum), and then a two-year moratorium, and then the balance over 10 annual instalments, including interest.
 
Spectrum usage charge ranges from 3% (for 4.4Mhz) to 8% (for 15.2Mhz).
 
There are no restrictions on the technology to be adopted for providing services within the scope of the service license.
 
Moneylife readers may also read “SC asks Government to complete 2G spectrum auction by January 2013” (http://www.moneylife.in/article/sc-asks-government-to-complete-2g-spectrum-auction-by-january-2013/28082.html) for the initial report on the subject.
 
According to ictregulationtoolkit.org, the efficient use of wireless requires government action in the form of spectrum re-farming, the clearing of frequencies from low-value (by economic and/or social criteria) and reassignment to high-value applications. This is a complex and difficult task in that the occupants of the frequencies to be reassigned are unlikely to be pleased by the change, because of disruptions to their activities.
 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)