Domestic airlines begin displaying route fare

New Delhi: Complying with the directives of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), domestic airlines on Tuesday said they have started publishing different fare levels for each route, reports PTI.

The DGCA had on Monday directed all Indian carriers to show route-wise and date-wise airfares on their websites by Wednesday evening and ensure transparency so that flyers do not feel cheated by high ticket prices.

The decision to display route-wise airfares was taken after a meeting held on Tuesday, a Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) release said here.

Airline including Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetLite, Kingfisher Airlines, Paramount Airways and SpiceJet are the members of FIA.

According to the decision taken by the companies, on the first day of each month, airlines will furnish a copy of the tariff they would charge, route-wise, across their network, to DGCA and also provide the same information on their websites, the statement added.

Over the past few weeks, fares charged by domestic airlines have come under sharp criticism.

All FIA members have decided that they will make available the fare-related information in a consumer-friendly format, the release said.

The websites of FIA members will display tariff sheets indicating the range of fares on all routes. The new format will enable passengers to see online the various fares offered by each member airline on every single route, it added.

Expressing willingness to work closely with government, FIA also urged the civil aviation ministry to have a “rational and progressive look” at the current taxation levels on aviation turbine fuel, airport charges and efficiencies in air traffic management.

“Any lowering of costs of operations for the airlines will enable airlines to continue to offer low fares to the travelling public,” it added.


Wednesday’s Market Preview: Soft-to-flat opening on the cards

The Indian market is likely to witness a soft-to-flat opening on weak global cues. The US markets closed almost unchanged on Tuesday amid reports that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued notices to hedge funds and other investment firms in its probe against insider trading. Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade tracking Wall Street that closed flat and on concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery. The SGX Nifty was down 35.50 points to 5,984.50 from its Tuesday’s close of 6,020.

The market opened flat yesterday, tracking the Asian markets which were weak in early trade. Financial stocks traded lower as banks announced hikes in deposit rates, which will put pressure on their interest margins. Selling in heavy-weights also contributed to the indices trading lower. Southward movement continued with the indices touching their day's low in noon trade. Recovery attempts were thwarted by bouts of profit-taking keeping the market in the red and ensuring a steady close for the third straight day. The Sensex settled 46.67 points (0.23%) lower at 19,934.64, below its psychological level. The Nifty closed at 5,976.55, a fall of 15.70 points (0.26%) over its previous close.

The US markets witnessed a lacklustre close on Tuesday following news that the US SEC has sent over a dozen of notices to hedge funds and other financial institutions to probe insider trading and on concerns that the extension of tax cuts could widen the budget deficit. Meanwhile, credit borrowing rose by $3.38 billion in October after increasing a revised $1.23 billion in September, the Federal Reserve said in Washington. Non-revolving loans rose for a third month as federal government education-related lending jumped an unadjusted $31.8 billion.

The Dow shed 3.03 points (0.03%) to 11,359.16. The S&P 500 rose 0.63 points (0.05%) to 1,223.75. The Nasdaq added 3.57 points (0.14%) to 2,598.49.

Markets in Asia were mixed in early trade on Wednesday taking cues from its US peers that ended flat overnight. Worries that China will hike interest rates over the weekend also cut risk appetite. Japanese core machinery orders in October fell to a seasonally-adjusted 1.4% on-month, lower than analysts’ estimates, suggesting that demand might not rise as expected.

The Shanghai Composite declined 0.20%, the Hang Seng fell 0.42%, the Straits Times shed 0.08%, the Seoul Composite was down 0.07% and the Taiwan Weighted lost 0.09%. On the other hand, the Jakarta Composite gained 0.64%, the KLSE Composite rose 0.41% and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.69% in early trade. The SGX Nifty was down 35.50 points to 5,984.50 from its Tuesday’s close of 6,020.

The levy of prepayment penalty by banks on home loans is not against competition laws, the Competition Commission of India has ruled.

Hearing a complaint filed by one Neeraj Malhotra against such charge levied by Deutsche Post Bank Home Finance Ltd, a majority decision given by four members of the Commission on 2nd December said that banks and housing finance companies have not violated Section 3 and 4 relating to anti-competitive practices and abuse of dominant position.


SEBI makes unusual call against broker

Finding stock broker Deepak Jhunjhunwala guilty of indulging in price rigging and manipulation in Twenty First Century (India), market regulator bars him from taking up any new assignment for a month; will not clarify what this means

In an unusual order against a stock broker, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has banned broker Deepak Jhunjhunwala from taking up "any new assignment" for a period of one month for indulging in price rigging and manipulation of shares of Twenty First Century (India) Limited (TFC).

The SEBI investigation has found that Mr Jhunjhunwala had indulged in various cross-deals while trading for his clients, which created artificial volume and price rise in the scrip of TFC. However, the market regulator has failed to clarify the meaning of "new assignment" in its order. After all, Jhunjhunwala seems to run a brokerage business and does not appear to be an employer or a consultant.

Normally, a broker found guilty of stock price manipulation and other such unfair trade practices is banned from undertaking any trading activity for a certain period of time. However, this order to abstain from undertaking any new assignment is a rare and confusing call from the regulator. Moneylife sent an email query to SEBI seeking clarification on the matter, but received no reply till the time of writing.

SEBI conducted investigations regarding buying, selling and dealing in the shares of TFC from November 2001 to April 2002. SEBI investigations revealed that there was a significant rise in both the price and volume of the scrip of TFC during this period. It was trading at Rs2.50 in November 2001 and went up to Rs53 on 12 January 2002, a massive jump of about 2000% in two months! Subsequently, the price came down to Rs3.50 on 30 April 2002. SEBI found that the rise in price of the stock was not supported by any improvement in the fundamentals or any corporate action by TFC.

The investigation further revealed that the trading was concentrated between top 10 brokers who had the scrip. Data provided by CSE, revealed that the trades were structured in nature and the brokers trading in the scrip were engaged in cross-deals for their clients. These cross-deals were about 90% to 97% of the total trades entered by these brokers, among them Deepak Jhunjhunwala.

Based on these findings, SEBI initiated inquiry proceedings against Deepak Jhunjunwala under regulation 5(1) of the inquiry regulations, through an order on 11 March 2008. The inquiry officer submitted his report recommending a prohibition to take up any new assignment for a period of one month to Mr Jhunjhunwala for violating the provisions of regulation 4(a) and (d) of SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices Relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 1995. The broker apparently admitted to having encouraged the sale and purchase of securities with the object of generating brokerage.

Looking at the facts and circumstances of the case, SEBI found that "Mr Jhunjhunwala had dealt in the scrip of TFC in a manner detrimental to interest of investors. Such acts may threaten the market integrity and orderly development of the market and call for regulatory intervention to protect the interest of investors."



Sushil Maheshwari

6 years ago

The rigging of TFC happened a decade back in 2001-02. Sebi investigation took almost 10 years to find the manipulation. What about the small investors who had probably lost their money in this scip due to the price rigging. Will SEBI compensate the loosers or ask the broker to compensate them. If not what is the purpose of putting a ban for a month.

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