CCI okays Tata Power's buyout of BP stake in solar JV

“The proposed acquisition of further 51% of the equity share capital of Tata BP Solar and other securities, if any, by Tata Power is not likely to create any adverse competition concern...” CCI said while approving the buyout

The Competition Commission of India has approved the proposal of Tata Power to acquire remaining 51% stake in Tata BP Solar from joint venture partner BP Alternative Energy Holdings.

In an order, the CCI noted that TPCL (Tata Power) and TBCL (Tata BP Solar) are not engaged in production, supply, distribution, storage, sale or trade of “similar or identical or substitutable goods or provision of services”.
 
“The proposed acquisition of further 51% of the equity share capital of TBSL and other securities, if any, by TPCL is not likely to create any adverse competition concern... The Commission hereby approves the proposed combination under Section(1) of section 31 of the Act,” it said.

The CCI further said that while TBSL is concentrated mainly on the manufacturing and development of solar energy related business, like solar modules and solar cells, TPCL is engaged in generation, transmission and distribution, and trading of power.

“Their individual or combined share in the markets involving engagement at different stages or levels of production chain is also not substantial,” CCI noted.

In December last year, Tata Power had announced it would acquire the remaining 51% stake in the joint venture. On completion of transaction, Tata Power will own 100% of the company, it had said. Tata Power and BP have agreed that the company will continue to enjoy access to certain BP technology until 2013. The company and BP will enter into a technology agreement to give effect to this understanding, Tata Power had said.

Tata Power’s shares closed at Rs113.40 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1.52% up from the previous close.

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Wipro Infotech completes Rs1,182 crore e-governance project

The Panchdeep project aims at improving the healthcare services provided to ESIC’s customers through online facilities to employers and insured people for registration, payment of premiums and disbursement of cash benefits.

Wipro Infotech, IT arm of Wipro, has successfully completed the digitisation of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation’s (ESIC) operations, one of the biggest e-governance projects in the country. Wipro Infotech had bagged the Rs1,182 crore six-and-a-half-year project ‘Panchdeep’ in March 2009.

“We are honoured to have been part of ESIC’s initiative in taking quality healthcare to the masses,” Wipro senior vice-president and business head, India, Middle East and Africa, Anand Sankaran said at an ESIC function.

The Panchdeep project aims at improving the healthcare services provided to ESIC’s customers through online facilities to employers and insured people for registration, payment of premiums and disbursement of cash benefits.

Under the project, Wipro has set up a unified information system automating all internal and external processes of ESIC. Apart from installing hardware, Wipro has also provided specialised software solution and data centre facilities for covering over 2,000 locations across the country.

Minister for communications and IT, Kapil Sibal, unveiled a commemorative stamp, while finance minister Pranab Mukherjee released a book titled “ESIC Sparkling Diamond” on the occasion.

Wipro’s shares closed at Rs437.55 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 0.76% down from the previous close.

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Ministers’ group discusses impact of court order on 2G licences

The group met to discuss future course of action including legal options available for the government, following the apex court’s 2nd February decision of cancelling 122 licences issued to mobile phone companies in 2008

New Delhi: An informal group of ministers, including finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and telecom minister Kapil Sibal, today met for the second time in as many weeks to discuss fallout of the Supreme Court order quashing 122 telecom licences, reports PTI.

The meeting, also attended by Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar, was however inconclusive due to the absence of law minister Salman Khurshid and attorney general GE Vahanvati, sources said.

The group met to discuss future course of action including legal options available for the government, following the apex court’s 2nd February decision of cancelling 122 licences issued to mobile phone companies in 2008.

The government has already sought the attorney general’s opinion on filing a review petition and the ministers were supposed to deliberate on the issue at today’s meeting.

Mr Sibal, however, refused to comment on the deliberations.

“If anything happens, we will let you know,” Mr Chandrashekhar told reporters here.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh had on 11th February discussed the fallouts of the Supreme Court ruling with the senior ministers.

Mr Sibal had last week stated that the government was studying the implications of the judgement as it had impact on other sectors as well.

“I have been saying this repeatedly that the impact of the judgement is far-reaching. It has implications not only on the (telecom) sector but on other sectors as well,” Mr Sibal had told PTI.

The apex court, cancelling licences allocated by the then telecom minister A Raja, had stated that auction was the best way for allocation of scarce natural resources. The court had also defined natural resources as both renewable and non-renewable.

Mr Sibal had said that after the government studies the implications of the judgement, it would take a view on the way how it should proceed.

Today’s meeting also assumes significance as two foreign companies—Bahrain Telecom and Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat—have announced their exit from India.

Another operator Loop has written to the prime minister, asking the government to return the licence fee paid by the company along with interest.

This is expected to put pressure on the government as the operators are waiting for clarity on rules to safeguard the multi-crore investments made by these players.

Another operator Telenor has, however, re-iterated its commitment to continue operations in the country, although as part of a new venture.

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