Companies & Sectors
EGoM decides on roll-out obligations for telcos

Under the new proposal, for those who acquire fresh spectrum, the roll-out obligations would be to cover 10% of the blocks in the third year, 20% of the blocks in the fourth year and 30% of the blocks in the fifth year


New Delhi: A high powered ministerial panel headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday decided to make it mandatory for telecom operators who will get spectrum through auction to roll-out services in 30% of block level headquarters in five years, reports PTI.
 
The Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) also discussed the pricing of spectrum which as per the Supreme Court mandated deadline has to be auctioned by 31st August.
 
However, no decision was taken and the panel is likely to meet again on Friday.
 
"Under the new proposal, for those who acquire fresh spectrum... the roll-out obligations would be to cover 10% of the blocks in the third year, 20% of the blocks in the fourth year and 30% of the blocks in the fifth year," Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters.
 
He added the obligations apply to both existing and new players. As per existing norms, operators have to cover 10% of the district head quarters within first year of allotment of spectrum.
 
Earlier, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended that operators should cover 50% of villages having population of over 2,000 people in three years and 100% in four years from the date spectrum is allocated to them.
 
The TRAI proposal was criticised by industry with Norwegian firm Telenor even saying it would quit if network roll-out recommendation is approved.
 
Although the EGoM discussed the issue of spectrum usage charge and reserve price, no decision was taken.
 
"There was a discussion on two issues namely the spectrum usage charges and the reserve price... it will be continued on Friday morning when the group will meet again," Sibal added.
 
Sibal was asked whether the Department of Telecom (DoT) has been told to prepare a matrix of spectrum reserve price and its likely impact on tariffs and revenue to government.
 
The Minister said: "There are ongoing discussions that are taking place and hopefully a final view will be evolved after full discussion on Friday if possible".
 
Sources said DoT has been asked to prepare a matrix of various levels of reserve price and spectrum usage charge at every Rs1,000 crore difference in descending order and the impact it would have on tariffs for end-consumer and the revenue accrued to the government.
 
The same is to be presented to the EGoM in its next meeting scheduled for 20th July. The staggered payment option for telecom operators will also be discussed in this meet, sources said.
 
The inter-ministerial panel, the Telecom Commission did not favour staggered payment option.
 
Sectoral regulator Trai had recommended a minimum reserve price of over Rs3,622 crore for auction of one Mhz of spectrum in the 1800 Mhz band, amounting to over Rs18,000 crore for a pan-Indian operations in case of a new entrant, for 5 Mhz.

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Government looking at LPG subsidy cut, partial decontrol of diesel

The government is close to taking a decision on capping the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to 'econonomically not weaker' and also looking at partial decontrol of diesel prices


Bangalore: The Union government is close to taking a decision on capping the number of subsidised LPG cylinders to 'econonomically not weaker' sections to bring down the subsidies by up to Rs10,000 crore annually, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas RPN Singh said on Wednesday, reports PTI.
 
The government is also looking at partial decontrol of diesel, he said.
 
Singh said the government gives Rs36,000 crore in subsidy on LPG and a lot of people who are 'not economically weaker sections' and don't require them, take benefit, adding, the government is looking at reducing the subsidy on LPG by capping the amount (number) of cylinders given on subsidy.
 
Stating that the government is in an advanced stage of taking a decision on reducing LPG subsidies, he told reporters on the sidelines of a function: "If we cap some cylinders, which do not infringe on the right of poor people who get subsidies, I think we can save Rs8,000 crore to Rs10,000 crore just by capping the cylinders for the rich (restricting the number of subsidised cylinders for economically not weaker sections).
 
But he sounded cautious on the issue of raising prices of diesel, saying its a very delicate issue.
 
"If you try to raise the prices of diesel, it has a cascading effect on the economy. We are trying to work out a solution where it impacts the economy in the least manner but also brings down the fiscal deficit", Singh said.
 
The Minister, who earlier inaugurated the 17th refinery technology meet jointly organised by Centre for High Technology and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, ruled out absolute decontrol of diesel in the near term.
 
"It's extremely difficult for us to absolutely decontrol diesel at the moment because it would impact the economy in a very, very serious manner," he said, but added that the government is looking at partial decontrol of diesel so that the impact on the people would be of "reduced magnitude".
 
He recalled that diesel was decontrolled in 2010 but the measure has not been implemented as the price of crude oil started rising.
 
Singh said the state-run oil marketing companies are bleeding and are having a "terrible time" because of the subsidy burden. The government wants to bring down the subsidies on kerosene, LPG and diesel in a way that does not impact the people in a major manner and takes away subsidies from people who do not deserve them.
 
On prices of petrol, the Minister said his personal opinion is that it should be like in the US, where petrol prices change every day, and different companies have different prices.

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HC notice to Amitabh, Salman, Kareena and BCCI over IPL show

The PIL alleged that the entire IPL inaugural show, held at the YMCA grounds in Chennai on 3rd April was obscene and lascivious, appealing to prurient interest


Madurai: Madras High Court bench on Wednesday ordered notice to Indian cricket board chief N Srinivasan, Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor on a petition regarding alleged "uncensored and indecent" dance programmes during the IPL-V inaugural show in Chennai in April, reports PTI.
 
Justice A Selvam also ordered notice to Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla, American pop star Katy Perry, Australian cricketer and Chennai Super Kings member Douglas Bolinger and a Sony Set Max TV official.
 
Petitioner K Jebakumar, an advocate, alleged that the entire IPL inaugural show, held at the YMCA grounds in Chennai on 3rd April and attended by women and children also, was "obscene and lascivious, appealing to prurient interest." 
 
He sought a direction to the state Director General of Police to register a case on the basis of his complaint and take further action in accordance with law.
 
He claimed the inaugural programme was telecast live uncensored by Sony Set Max TV for BCCI and IPL. Photographs and video clippings of the show were published/telecast by newspapers and TV channels causing distraction to students who were taking examinations at that time, he contended.
 
The petitioner submitted the celebrities and dignitaries had committed offences under various IPC sections and also acts such as Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, Young Persons Harmful Publications Act, Foreigners Act.
 
When the petition came up for hearing, petitioner's counsel Peter Ramesh Kumar said despite a complaint lodged by his client with IGPs of Central and South Zone, no action had been taken on it.
 
"Why this inaction (on the complaint filed by the petitioner)?" the Judge asked and posted the case to 31st July.

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COMMENTS

Rajkumar Singh

4 years ago

These are the tactics played for gaining publicity.

If it was an offence, why the court or the police did not take any cognizance of the purported crime, who are the enforcers of the laws and the authorities to deal with?

Because, they know that some body, hungry for publicity, will come to enable them to have a field day.

Why has only he petitioned for the same?

Because, it is a clear route for some one to come into limelight, and that is his only business!

Rajkumar Singh

4 years ago

These are the tactics played for gaining publicity.

If it was an offence, why the court or the police did not take any cognizance of the purported crime, who are the enforcers of the laws and the authorities to deal with?

Because, they know that some body, hungry for publicity, will come to enable them to have a field day.

Why has only he petitioned for the same?

Because, it is a clear route for some one to come into limelight, and that is his only business!

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