The CBI has arrested DMK MP and former telecom minister A Raja and his two close associates in the 2G spectrum allocation scam
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested former telecom minister A Raja and his two of his associates in connection with funding and allegedly showing favours to some telecom companies in granting 2G spectrum between October 2007 and 2008.
On Tuesday, Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, which is now being considered as significant in the wake of Mr Raja's arrest.
The CBI also arrested Mr Raja's brother K Perumal, his close aide RK Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behuria. During the first term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Mr Chandolia worked as Mr Raja's private secretary. Later, when Mr Raja became telecom minister for the second time, Mr Chandolia was appointed as Economic Advisor to the Telecom Ministry.
Earlier this morning, Mr Raja was called to the CBI office and was questioned for the fourth time. The CBI has questioned the former telecom minister on 24th and 25th of December last year and on 31st January as well.
Yesterday, the one-man panel of retired chief justice Shivaraj V Patil submitted its report on the procedures for awarding 2G licenses between 2001 and 2009 to telecom minister Kapil Sibal.
Mr Raja was forced to resign on 14th November last year in the wake of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report, which held that the spectrum allocation at undervalued prices resulted in a notional loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore to the state exchequer.
The DMK Member of Parliament (MP) was on earlier occasions questioned at length on the circumstances leading to spectrum allocation which has been criticised severely by the Central Vigilance Commission and the CAG. He was also asked about his conversations with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and the reasons of advancing the cut-off date of allocation of the spectrum in 2007.
The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G spectrum case to it by 10th February when the case will come up for further hearing. In its first information report (FIR), CBI mentioned the loss as Rs22,000 crore based on CVC findings which had referred the case to it.
The surge in the turnover is mainly driven by a rise in bullion prices, which pushed the turnover of precious metals on exchanges by nearly 70%
New Delhi: The trading turnover of all commodity exchanges in India is expected to grow by 44.24% in the current fiscal to reach Rs112 lakh crore, reports PTI quoting the market regulator Forward Market Commission (FMC).
"The overall trading turnover of commodity exchanges in the country will be more than Rs 112 lakh crore in the current fiscal," FMC chairman BC Khatua told reporters here today on the sidelines of an event organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham).
He said during the last fiscal, the commexes in the country had clocked a turnover of Rs77.64 lakh crore.
The trading turnover in commodity exchanges in the country has already crossed Rs88 lakh crore in the current fiscal in the first fortnight of January.
"We still have five fortnight periods left in the current fiscal and I am sure that it would easily cross Rs112 lakh crore," Mr Khatua said.
He, however, expressed concern over the slow growth in the trading turnover of agri-commodities in exchanges.
"We are yet to touch the trading level of 2006-07 fiscal in agri-commodities...This year also, trading in agri commodities are expected to grow by 7% only," Mr Khatua said.
According to information available on the FMC website, the turnover of commodity exchanges in the country during the first nine months of the current fiscal rose by nearly 50% to Rs82.7 lakh crore.
The surge in commex turnover during the current fiscal is mainly driven by a rise in bullion prices, which pushed the turnover of precious metals on exchanges by nearly 70% to Rs37.5 lakh crore as compared to Rs22.1 lakh crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, FMC said.
Besides, the total trade of metals other than bullions on the exchanges during April-December period also rose by 64.4% to Rs19.37 lakh crore.
Pranab Mukherjee pointed out that India had managed the situation even when crude prices touched a record $147 per barrel in July 2008
New Delhi: Concerned over a spike in crude oil prices in international markets due to turmoil in the Middle East, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the government is monitoring the situation and will manage it, reports PTI.
"Unfortunately, because of developments in the Middle East and its impact on the Arab world... (it) is causing uncertainty about production, about availability. We are watching the situation," Mr Mukherjee told reporters here.
He said the finance ministry is in constant touch with its counterparts in the petroleum ministry on the unfolding situation.
He pointed out that India had managed the situation even when crude prices touched a record $147 per barrel in July 2008.
"... At that time also, we had to manage the situation.
Government will take care of it (now)," Mr Mukherjee said.
The FM's comments come in the wake of massive protests in Egypt by demonstrators demanding the resignation of president Hosni Mubarak.
Similar protests have also erupted against the authoritarian regimes of other Arab nations like Yemen and Jordan. Last month, Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abedine ben Ali was deposed in an uprising that left 200 people dead.
The severe winter conditions in Europe and US had already pushed crude oil prices to a two-year high of over $90 per barrel in January 2011.
Crude oil prices continued to rise in Asian trade today, with Brent crude within a whisker of breaching the $102 per barrel mark as the unrest in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East continued to weigh on the investor mood, analysts said.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude for March delivery, gained 2 cents to $90.79 per barrel, while Brent North Sea crude for March delivery advanced by 25 cents to $101.99 per barrel, in Asian trade today.
In addition, the turmoil in Egypt pushed up the price of Brent crude price to an intra-day high of $102.08 per barrel yesterday, its highest level since late-September 2008.