New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has collected documents from the ministry of corporate affairs about companies which were granted spectrum allegedly in an arbitrary fashion between September 2007 and January 2008, reports PTI.
According to CBI sources, the MCA documents deal with the shareholding of the company and the investments brought in the firms from abroad.
The documents include list of shareholders and whether there was any set of directors during the time of grant of Spectrum who could have influenced the issuance of licences.
Among the companies whose documents were taken for examination included Reliance Communications, Etisalat-DB led by D Balwaa, Loop Telecom and Unitech-owned Uninor.
E-mail requests sent to these companies for reaction remained unanswered.
The CBI had searched some of these companies last year in connection with the spectrum issue and claimed to have seized documents related to alleged irregularities in allocation of second generation (2G) spectrum to some of the new players.
The CBI registered a case against unknown Department of Telecom (DoT) officials and unknown private persons and companies charging them with criminal conspiracy and corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act last year.
Ever since the licences were issued in 2008, there has been widespread criticism and claims that there could have been loss of thousands of crores to the exchequer on account of irregularities.
The CBI had searched offices of Wireless Planning Cell (WPC), the department responsible for allocating spectrum, and the office of Deputy Director General (Access Services) of the telecom ministry to probe the allegations of connivance of officials with private companies in allocation of spectrum.
"It has been alleged that there had been serious irregularities in the award of Unified Access Services Licences to private companies.
"As per information received, there was criminal conspiracy between certain officials of DoT and private persons and companies in order to award licences to these companies by putting a cap on the number of applicants against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendations," CBI said in its first information report (FIR).
It also said the licences had been awarded to private companies on first-come-first-serve basis on the rates of 2001 without any competitive bidding.
New Delhi: Air traffic continued on its growth path in October with the number of passengers carried by domestic airlines increasing by over seven lakh while Jet Airways and its no-frill subsidiary JetLite gained a market share of more than 26%, reports PTI.
The total domestic passengers carried by scheduled Indian airlines last month was 46.17 lakh, compared to 39.11 lakh in September, official air traffic figures released today said.
While Jet Airways and JetLite together carried 12.13 lakh, it was followed by Kingfisher-Kingfisher Red combine with 8.77 lakh and Air India (Domestic) with 8.16 lakh.
As in the past, no-frill carrier IndiGo flew 7.75 lakh passengers in October, Spice Jet carried 6.30 lakh and GoAir 3.06 lakh, the figures showed.
In the market share for October, Jet-JetLite combine bagged 26.2%, Kingfisher 19%, Air India (Domestic) 17.7%, IndiGo 16.8%, SpiceJet 13.6% and GoAir 6.6%.
No-frill airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet led the way in seat factor, or the average percentage of seats per aircraft filled during a flight, recording 86.1% and 84.4% respectively while Air India (Domestic) was the lowest at 70.8%, the figures showed.
The interbank mobile payment service enables bank customers to make most payments using their mobile phone handsets. Seven banks have adopted the system and several more are joining up
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on Monday launched its much-awaited interbank mobile payment service (IMPS), which has the potential to change the payments scenario in the country. According to bankers, this system could revolutionise the retail payments process and even overtake the number of payment transactions carried out through cards and the internet.
Shyamala Gopinath, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said, "We have permitted about 40 banks to offer mobile payments to their customers. The IMPS has the potential to change retail payment scenario in the country."
Although, at present, IMPS is restricted to interbank transactions, it can be used by anyone and anywhere to make a payment. For example, one can pay the grocery bill to the shop owner through mobile, provided both are registered IMPS users with their respective banks. Similarly, one can pay a taxi fare to the taxi driver, directly through IMPS. So, IMPS paves the way for all kinds of payments through banks, from a mobile handset.
At present, Axis Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Union Bank of India and Yes Bank offer IMPS to customers. Seven other banks are in the process of going live with the service and some 20 banks are at an early stage of adopting IMPS, said AP Hota, managing director and chief executive, NPCI.
In India, there are more than 60 crore mobile phone subscribers, but there are less than 20 crore 'active' bank accounts. Although on record there are about 31 crore savings bank accounts, many of them are either multiple accounts or they are not operational. IMPS could help revive these accounts.
NCPI and the banks enrolled for IMPS currently offer this service free of cost. However, after March 2011 NPCI proposes to charge banks at 25 paise per transaction. It will be up to the banks to decide whether to charge customers for this service, said M Balakrishnan, chief operating officer of NPCI.
He said NPCI has provided a centralised switching system for banks and it is up to the banks to provide a mobile-based application or SMS option for using IMPS. As of now, most of the banks enrolled for IMPS are providing a Java-based mobile application for end customers. Those who do not have Java-based application in the handsets could use the SMS option.
According to RBI guidelines, a customer can transact up to Rs50,000 a day through IMPS, provided he/she is using end-to-end encryption (provided by the bank). Transactions up to Rs1,000 a day can be facilitated by banks without end-to-end encryption.