ED will soon attach properties worth Rs230 crore in 2G scam case

The properties will be attached under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and will be termed as 'proceeds of crime' under the Act, ED sources said

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon attach more than Rs230 crore worth of properties in connection with the alleged bribe money which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has said was paid illegally to Kalaignar TV in the second generation (2G) spectrum scam, reports PTI.

The directorate has identified various properties in this regard and formal orders will be issued soon. The properties are in the names of various entities, ED sources said.

The properties will be attached under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and will be termed as 'proceeds of crime' under the Act, they said.

This would be the first attachment order in the 2G case, and the action is expected to be followed by the properties of various telecom firms involved in the case.

The CBI charge-sheet had alleged that bribe money of Rs200 crore had been channelised from Shahid Balwa's DB Realty to DMK-run Kalaignar TV through a 'circuitous route' via Cineyug Films and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd for grant of licence to Mr Balwa's Swan Telecom promoter.

The CBI, in its first charge-sheet, has alleged that Mr Balwa along with other co-accused in the case entered into a conspiracy for manipulating the procedure for allocation of spectrum with the aim of favouring companies like Swan Telecom and Unitech Group.

DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar are already in Tihar Jail in the 2G case.

User

Moneylife survey indicates that 74% of respondents have suffered call drops and poor network reception during roaming from one telecom circle to another

The survey also revealed that 58% are unhappy with their current service provider and a majority of users have a common complaint against all providers for not having a proper redressal mechanism in place and not acknowledging the issues faced by subscribers

Highlights of  the survey

  • 58% out of 518 respondents are unhappy with their current mobile service provider
  • 35% agreed that there is sudden spurt in the number of promotional calls while on roaming
  •  18% of respondents are being charged for rejecting or not picking promotional calls
  •  66% agreed that they cannot choose the network on their choice manually while on roaming.
  •  74% users agreed that they have faced the problem of call drops
  •  Only 10% used mobile number portability

So you thought that 3G was the best thing to happen to mankind since sliced bread? Think again. A Moneylife survey on telecom services has thrown up some shockers—58% out of 518 respondents are unhappy with their mobile service provider. A majority of the respondents were Vodafone users, followed by Airtel and BSNL.

What's more, 3G users who have availed of roaming services are being inundated with unsubscribed charges, call drops... and a whole host of complaints. And 3G has been touted as technology that will change the face of mobile telephony and ensure high-speed Internet connectivity over a cell-phone. Forget hi-tech facilities, 3G service providers have been found lacking even in providing basic facilities.

The survey also proved that there is a sudden spurt in the number of promotional calls—and charges levied for receiving such calls—while roaming. A total of 35% of the respondents have agreed that this is a major problem; 42% have not faced this problem so far. In some cases, users complain that a balance is deducted even if they have not receiving, or rejected incoming calls. "Roaming charge of Rs90 was deducted for answering a promotional call," said one respondent.

The survey also indicated that 18% of respondents are being charged for rejecting or not picking promotional calls, while 37% denied this was happening and 44% were unaware if they are being charged while roaming across different telecom circles. Around 30% also agreed that they were charged for receiving promotional SMS messages.

Telecom companies are also charging users under the pretext of offering some kind of value-added service—such as GPRS facility—which the user has not subscribed for. "Without demanding, they charge under different heads like ringtones, MMS live, messages and calls made to the customer care service centre," said a respondent. Another reply says, "They (service providers) ignore the Do Not Disturb registry and charge money by sending various types of SMS (messages) as per their wish."

Many users complain that charges applied on roaming are non-transparent, and telecom providers refuse to acknowledge these complaints. "Roaming rates are substantially higher and non-transparent," said one reply. Another respondent suggested, "(I) don't know what Reliance charged me for. It deducted the whole balance from my account and when I enquired, it said I had made a call and refused to give full details regarding the call."

It is also learnt that while the users are on roaming, the service provider automatically changes according to the telecom circle, without giving the user the option of manually selecting the network of their choice. According to our survey, 340 out of 518 respondents (around 66%) have agreed to this.

Call drop rates and poor network reception are other major issues faced while the roaming facility is activated. A total of 74% users agreed that they have faced this problem—only 20% said they haven't faced this issue. "Call drops take place not only while roaming, but even between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai (on the home network)."

When asked about other issues faced during roaming, numerous replies suggest that poor 3G network and call drops were the major issue. On an average, users have a common complaint against service providers for not having a proper redressal mechanism in place and acknowledging the issues faced by subscribers.  
According to the survey result, only 10% of the 518 respondents have used mobile number portability. A majority of them have shifted to Vodafone and Airtel, from their current service provider. 44% replied that they are satisfied with the new service.

User

COMMENTS

A Banerjee

5 years ago

I have BSNL and Vodafone mobile connections, both with perennial call drop problems. Vodafone is the extreme, in my opinion, totally unmindful of the inconvenience of the users.

UTI MF customers can now purchase units using debit cards

UTI MF is offering its investors an option to invest by using their Visa-enabled debit cards and SBI debit cards

UTI Mutual Fund said it has partnered with online payment gateway Visa Cards to enable its customers to purchase MF units using debit cards.

"UTI MF is now offering its investors an option to invest by using their Visa-enabled debit cards and SBI debit cards," UTI MF said in a statement. "The facility of investing through debit cards will further ease the process of transacting in mutual fund units," UTI AMC group president and chief marketing officer Jaideep Bhattacharya said.

So far UTI MF offered its investors an online investment facility, which enabled them to purchase, redeem, switch units and register for systematic investment plans using the internet banking platform. UTI MF shareholders include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Life Insurance Corporation of India.  

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, banks in more than 200 countries enabling them to use digital currency instead of cash and checks.

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