New Delhi: The government today admitted to cost overruns to the tune of Rs50,295 crore in 268 of 578 ongoing projects, but did not give details of the timeframe for implementation, reports PTI.
As of April this year, cost overruns in these 268 projects touched Rs50,295 crore, minister of state for statistics and programme implementation (MOSPI) Sriprakash Jaiswal said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The projects in question were all worth above Rs150 crore.
The main reason for cost and time overrun include delay in procurement of equipment, law and order problems, inadequate infrastructure and rise in input cost, Mr Jaiswal said.
The cost overrun of these projects is 16.5% of their original approved costs, the statement said.
Last Month, Mr Jaiswal had said in a reply to the same house that of 631 ongoing projects, costing Rs100 crore and above being monitored by MOSPI, as many as 327 delayed projects reported a total cost overrun of Rs52,213 crore till March end this year.
It was stated in the reply last month that the cost overrun of these projects was 15.8% of their original approved costs.
New Delhi: Telecom minister A Raja today dismissed allegations of corruption in allotment of second generation (2G) spectrum in 2008 saying the government followed the policies of previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime and the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), reports PTI.
"Since 1999, 2G spectrum was never auctioned...even in the latest report of TRAI it did not recommend the auction route to maintain level playing field between two sets of operators-(pre-2008 and post-2008)," Mr Raja told in Lok Sabha during Question Hour.
M Thambidurai (AIADMK) alleged that in view nearly Rs70,000 crore collection from auction of third generation (3G) spectrum, it is clear that the exchequer has lost Rs1 lakh crore by giving 2G spectrum at throw away prices in 2008.
He also demanded a discussion on the issue.
"Allegations and counter allegations are common in public life," Mr Raja shouted back and said spectrum has been allocated as per the rules.
He informed the house that 3G spectrum has been auctioned and the process was completed on 19 May, 2010.
The minister said that as committed earlier, the 3G spectrum would be distributed to all successful bidders on 1st September for launching services on commercial basis.
Two telecom PSUs-Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL)-were allotted 3G spectrum in advance on condition that they would pay equal to highest bid amount.
MTNL has already launched 3G services in both cities of its operations (Delhi and Mumbai) and BSNL is operational in 463 cities, the minister said.
He also said that tariffs are fixed by the operators and as in case of 2G mobile services, tariffs for 3G would also come down as and when the operators start their operations.
On the difference between two services (2G and 3G), Mr Raja said 2G is primarily for voice services while 3G would be used for video and data transfer services.
New Delhi: The food ministry has allowed mills to complete the sale of July quota of sugar in open market till this month-end, reports PTI quoting sugar industry bodies.
The government sets a target for millers to sell sugar, known as non-levy sugar, in open market every month. In July, the aim was to sell 14.50 lakh tonnes of sugar.
"We have got an extension till 31st August to complete the sale of sugar quota released for the month of July," Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) deputy director general M N Rao told PTI.
"Mills have got a month's extra time to sell the July quota," National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) managing director Vinay Kumar said.
Recently, industry bodies ISMA and NFCSF had demanded that the mills should be allowed to sell the July non-levy quota in August, citing poor demand from bulk consumers like ice-cream and beverage companies.
Millers could not sell the entire July quota of sugar within the stipulated time owing to poor offtake from bulk consumers, who account for 60% of the country's annual sugar demand of 23 million tonnes.
Bulk consumers are meeting their sugar demand through imports after the government had imposed stock-holding limit to curb rising prices of sweetener that touched nearly Rs50 per kg in mid-January
The government had imposed stock-holding limit on bulk users asking them not to store sugar that meets more than 15 days of their requirement.
Retail prices of sugar have declined by about 36% in last seven months on account of improved availability situation owing to higher domestic output as well as imports.
India's sugar output is estimated to touch 19.5 million tonnes in 2009-10 marketing year ending September.