Citizens' Issues
Competition Commission rejects plea on insecticides import

The informant has also not submitted any material to show that insecticide importers and manufacturers are charging exorbitant prices either due to any anti-competitive agreement, the CCI said while rejecting the plea

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has dismissed a plea against the Agriculture Ministry that alleged existing registration norms for importing insecticides create monopoly of existing players in that segment, reports PTI.

 

The CCI said the material submitted before it does not provide the basis for a prime facie opinion to refer the case to its Director General for investigation. Hence, the matter is closed, it said in an order.

 

No violations of Section 3 (related to anti-competitive agreements) and Section 4 (regarding abuse of market position) under Competition Act 2002 were found, it added.

 

The case was filed against the Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperation, Agriculture Commissioner and Chairman of the Registration Committee and Secretary of Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee.

 

The Commission said the informant -- Saurabh Bhargava from Madhya Pradesh -- was aggrieved by the rules with regard to registration of insecticides for importing into India.

 

According to the order, the informant said the conditions prescribed for grant of registration certificate were onerous and created monopoly in respect of the existing entrants.

 

Further, the informant said it was difficult for new entrants to get themselves registered. As a result, there was monopoly in the market and exorbitant prices were being charged by insecticide importers and manufacturers.

 

"The informant has also not submitted any material to show that insecticide importers and manufacturers are charging exorbitant prices either due to any anti-competitive agreement between them or any dominant player amongst them is abusing its dominance in the relevant market," the order said.

 

The Commission noted that the impugned conditions prescribed for grant of registration certificate cannot be termed either as anti-competitive agreement or as abuse of dominant position.

 

As per the order, the three entities cannot be termed either as enterprises or as being participants in the market under consideration.

 

"The question of violation of Sections 3 or 4 of the Act, therefore, does not arise.

 

"The opposite parties are primarily responsible for administration of The Insecticides Act, 1968 and rules framed thereunder, including the related technical and procedural responsibilities and, as such, their activities would normally not be covered under the Competition Act, 2002 unless there are strong grounds to suggest otherwise," it added.

 

In an dissenting order on the issue, Commission Member R Prasad said there exists a "prima facie case" that deserves to be investigated further.

 

"After carefully considering the entire material on record, I am of the view that there exists a prima facie case of anti-competitive effect due to the conduct of the opposite parties and there is a need on the part of the Commission to intervene to correct the situation for the welfare of the consumers," Prasad said in his dissenting order.

 

As per this order, the anti-competitive situation is arising due to the interpretation of the relevant section of the Insecticides Act and unless the parties' activities are set right, the market would not see benefits of competition.

 

"... I am of the opinion that there exists a prima facie case in the matter and deserve to be sent for investigation by the DG," the dissenting order noted.

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ED issues fresh show cause notice to BCCI over IPL-2 contracts

PL-2 was held in South Africa after the venue was shifted from India. There have been allegations of ill-gotten money flowing into the T-20 tournament from foreign tax heavens

 
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a show cause notice to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), for alleged foreign exchange violations in acceptance of deposits of Rs60 crore for award of contract for conducting the second season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), reports PTI.
 
ED sources said investigation has revealed that the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) contraventions were committed by BCCI in accepting deposits of Rs20 crore from Emerging Media Sporting Holdings Ltd, UK (bidding for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals) and Rs40 crore from MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pvt Ltd (bidding for TV broadcast contract).
 
The notices have been issued to former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, BCCI president N Srinivasan, former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah and the HDFC Bank.
 
In addition to imposition of penalties, the show cause notice also proposes confiscation of these deposits of Rs60 crore. IPL-2 was held in South Africa after the venue was shifted from India.
 
There have been allegations of ill-gotten money flowing into the T-20 tournament from foreign tax heavens.
 
Earlier, Minister of State for Finance SS Palanimanickam had told the Lok Sabha last Wednesday that ED had issued 12 show cause notices to BCCI and its officials for contraventions of foreign exchange laws involving Rs1,423.20 crore.
 
He had said 11 show cause notices involving an amount of Rs1,317.20 crore in the year 2011, and one notice involving Rs106 crore in the 2012 had been issued by the anti-money laundering agency in this regard.
 

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Tata Steel to raise funds for Odisha project

Tata Steel is setting up a six million tonnes per annum greenfield facility at Kalinganagar in Odisha in two equal phases with an investment of about Rs34,500 crore

 
New Delhi: Tata Steel needs to raise money for its ongoing expansions in Odisha, reports PTI quoting a top company official.
 
"We will obviously need to raise money because of our ongoing expansions in Odisha, but we have not finalised our plans," Tata Steel Managing Director HM Nerurkar told reporters on the sidelines of an award giving ceremony in the capital.
 
Tata Steel is putting up a six million tonnes per annum (mtpa) greenfield facility at Kalinganagar in Odisha in two equal phases with around Rs34,500 crore investment.
 
It has spent Rs3,700 crore up to March 2012 in the project, which was proposed to be funded through a 65:35 debt-equity ratio.
 
Tata Steel had earlier said that the first phase of the Odisha plant with 3 mtpa capacity would be implemented by 2014.
 
The steel maker has 6.8 mtpa steel-making capacity at the lone domestic facility at Jamshedpur. Overall, it has a total 27 mtpa capacity including operations in the UK and the Netherlands. It is expanding capacity of its Jamshedpur plant by three mtpa through brown-field expansion.
 
"It is for sure that we have not scaled down our modernisation plans and obviously we will require the funds to carry those out," he added.
 
Nerurkar said Tata Steel India would continue its effort on improving the performance. However, with difficult market conditions in Europe, it has taken various initiatives to reduce cost, rationalise the portfolio.
 
"I am sure these are challenging times and is not something that is going to pass tomorrow. But, we will fight it out and I am sure our colleagues in Europe will ensure that the situation changes," he added.
 
On steel demand, Nerurkar said, "If you take economic growth as seven per cent, then the industry should grow at eight per cent. I hope infrastructure scrtor sees growth on the ground, so that there is a fillip to the steel industry".
 

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