FICCI appoints Rajiv Kumar as secretary general

Rajiv Kumar joined FICCI as director general in October 2010

Industry body FICCI  (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) said it has appointed Rajiv Kumar as the new secretary general of the chamber.

Mr Kumar, a well-known economist and the author of several books, would succeed Amit Mitra, who has become the Finance Minister of West Bengal.
Rajiv Kumar joined FICCI as director general in October 2010.

Earlier, he was director and chief executive of an economic think-tank, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

"I see this as one of my most challenging assignments, which will not only require my total commitment, but will also serve as a substantial learning experience," Mr Kumar said.

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EGoM may meet this week to decide on diesel, LPG rates

A ministerial panel headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to deliberate on the oil ministry’s demand for a minimum Rs4 a litre hike in diesel prices and a Rs25 per cylinder increase in LPG rates to partly bridge the gulf between domestic prices and their international cost

New Delhi: A week after the steep hike in petrol prices by Rs5 a litre, the government today said a ministerial panel is likely to meet in the next few days to take a decision on raising diesel, LPG and kerosene rates, reports PTI.

An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to deliberate on the oil ministry’s demand for a minimum Rs4 a litre hike in diesel prices and a Rs25 per cylinder increase in LPG rates to partly bridge the gulf between domestic prices and their international cost.

“I think the EGoM meeting on diesel pricing will be called this week,” agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, who is also a member of the ministerial panel, told reporters on the sidelines of an ICAR-CII event here.

Asked if it was apt to hike diesel prices at a time of high inflation, Mr Pawar said, “I can’t react now as we have to assess the situation—we have see whether petroleum companies are earning or losing. We have to see how recent happenings in Gulf countries have created problems for India.”

Headline inflation stood at 8.66% in April.

The EGoM was originally scheduled to meet on 11th May, a day after polling in West Bengal ended, but the panel's meeting was postponed and no new dates have been intimated yet.

Oil companies are losing Rs18.19 on the sale of every litre of diesel at the current price of Rs37.75 per litre in Delhi.

In addition, state oil firms lose Rs29.69 per litre of kerosene and Rs329.73 per 14.2-kg domestic LPG cylinder.

Recently, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had stated that the meeting of the EGoM on diesel pricing will be held this week.

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2G scam: Cineyug director Morani denied anticipatory bail

“Proper medical facilities are available to all prisoners in case of necessity and this ground cannot be pressed now when as good facilities as are available outside are available to an undertrial in the jail itself,” the court said

New Delhi: A special court on Monday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Cineyug Films director Karim Morani, an accused in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case, reports PTI.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge, in the Delhi court, OP Saini dismissed Mr Morani's plea seeking anticipatory bail on health grounds, saying his medical condition is “normal and stable”.

The court has now directed Mr Morani to appear before it Tuesday.

“In view of the medical condition of the accused (Mr Morani) being normal and stable, I am satisfied that no case for anticipatory bail on medical ground is made out. The application is without merit and the same is dismissed,” the court said.

Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Mr Morani had submitted before the court that the medical condition of Mr Morani is not such that he should be placed under custody as he may not be able to bear the stressful environment of being placed in custody.

“I may also add that in case of need, proper medical facilities are available in Tihar Jail itself and if an undertrial/prisoner requires any further treatment, he is immediately taken to Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital or All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), as per the requirement of the situation...

“So proper medical facilities are available to all prisoners in case of necessity and this ground cannot be pressed now when as good facilities as are available outside are available to an undertrial in the jail itself,” the court said.

CBI, India’s premier investigation agency, in its second charge-sheet in the 2G case, had alleged that Swan Telecom and Dynamix Realty promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka channelled Rs200 crore to Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) family-run Kalaignar TV, through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd and Morani’s Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd.

DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar, accused in the 2G scam, are already in judicial custody after the court denied bail to them on 20th May.

Mr Luthra, while pressing for Mr Morani’s bail, had said that conspiracy was like a train and Mr Morani was just like a ‘chaiwala’ (tea vendor) who hops on to the train and hops off after carrying out his work without any idea of where the train is going and has nothing to do with it.

Countering the submissions, special public prosecutor UU Lalit had said that these are not innocent transactions of a ‘chaiwala’ who hops on to a train.

He had argued that Mr Morani was handling the finances of Cineyug when the “illegal gratification” of Rs200 crore was routed to Kalaignar TV through it.

Submitting that these were back-to-back transactions which by no means were a commercial act on the part of Cineyug, Mr Lalit had said that on 24 December 2009, Rs10 crore moved from Kusegaon Fruits to Cineyug to Kalaignar. Likewise, Rs100 crore reached KTV on 15 July 2009.

Mr Lalit had said that on merits, the man (Mr Morani), who was a conduit, is not entitled to anything.

Mr Luthra had submitted a verification report of Mr Morani’s medical records issued by the JJ Hospital in Mumbai, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, in pursuant to the court’s earlier direction.

The Department of Cardiology and Neurology of JJ Hospital report stated that his vitals were normal and he was advised to undergo follow-up checks as an outpatient.

The CBI had not opposed his plea on medical grounds but refuted his arguments that the money moved by him into Kalaignar TV was a purely commercial transaction and that he did not know that the same was meant for nefarious designs.

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