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Government clears 20 FDI proposals worth Rs1,935 crore

The government today approved 20 foreign direct investment proposals following recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. However, decision on 23 proposals including that of Rossell Aviation and Alliance Data Pte, Singapore, was deferred and 10 were rejected

New Delhi: The government today approved 20 foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals, including that of Sterlite Grid, Equitas Micro Finance and TV Vision, envisaging total investment of Rs1,935.24 crore, reports PTI.

The proposals were cleared following recommendations of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB).

The government cleared Sterlite Grid’s Rs1,150 crore proposal to act as an investment company. Besides, the board also cleared proposal of Equitas Micro Finance involving foreign investment of Rs230 crore.

TV Vision’s proposal to induct foreign investment worth Rs200 crore by way of issue of equity shares though an initial public offer (IPO) for “undertaking the business of broadcasting a non-news and current affairs TV channel” has also been cleared, an official release said.

However, decision on 23 proposals including that of Rossell Aviation and Alliance Data Pte, Singapore, was deferred and 10 were rejected, it said.

Meanwhile, one proposal relating to G4S Security Services was withdrawn and another of MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions was noted.

With regard to a proposal by Omnimedia SL to undertake the business of publishing and printing of scientific journals and circulation of its digital version, which did not involve any fresh flow of money, the applicant was told to approach the ministry of information and broadcasting.

The proposal of Mauritius-based Funderburk 2 Mauritius seeking induction of foreign equity worth Rs13.75 crore to subscribe to equity shares of an Indian company engaged in multi-commodity exchange for derivatives markets was also cleared.

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Kingfisher plans to resolve the lapses, discrepancies

The DGCA, which found all Indian carriers were neglecting safety due to widespread sickness in the industry, made it clear that no airline would be allowed to take a “short-cut” on the safety front

New Delhi: After a rap from the aviation regulator for neglecting safety issues, Kingfisher Airlines on Monday submitted a detailed response to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) giving time-bound plans to resolve the lapses and discrepancies identified, reports PTI.

As civil aviation minister Ajit Singh asserted that there would be no compromise on aviation safety, Kingfisher officials submitted the airline’s response at the DGCA headquarters here, but no details were available.

A long list of discrepancies and violations by various airlines, including Kingfisher, had come to light in a financial audit carried out by DGCA which directed them to resolve all issues in a time-bound manner.

The DGCA asked the carriers to respond to the findings this week and take urgent action to rectify the situation.

“The civil aviation ministry will not tolerate any violation of safety norms. There will be no compromise on air safety,” the minister told reporters here.

“Basically, you need more training for pilots and crew.

All airlines have to do that. But this business has grown so fast in the last few years that some delays are taking place,” Mr Singh said in response to questions.

Pointing out the lapses and violations by Kingfisher, the financial surveillance report had said “a reasonable case exists for withdrawal of their airline operator permit as their financial stress is likely to impinge on safety.”

It had also come down heavily on Air India Express, saying “a prima facie case exists for restricting their operations in view of safety issues.”

Among various issues, Kingfisher was asked to submit a plan on recovery of its flights and recapitalisation of the airline by Monday. The airline has cancelled 157 flights in this winter out of a total of over 400 allotted to it.

Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal had earlier told PTI that the DGCA had carried out two safety audits of Kingfisher in the past three months and there were “no significant findings”.

Twenty of the 64-aircraft fleet of the Vijay Mallya-owned airline are grounded for a “multitude of reasons”, including want of engines, spares or reconfiguration of seats, he said.

The DGCA, which found all Indian carriers were neglecting safety due to widespread sickness in the industry, made it clear that no airline would be allowed to take a “short-cut” on the safety front.

Apart from cancellation of flying permits, the report suggested steps like slashing of flights or asking the carriers to fly a lesser number of aircraft which they can properly maintain.

On receipt of responses by all airlines by this weekend, the DGCA would study their plans on how they would go about resolving the problems identified in the financial surveillance, which was carried out for the first time.

Issues like maintenance of aircraft, shortage of commanders, pilots and cabin crew, lack of adequate training, scarcity of aircraft engines, components and crucial spares, were found in the study.

It was also found that while IndiGo did not report incidents which compromised safety, cargo carrier Blue Dart does not have the technology for two-way communication with its planes. Alliance Air appointed a non-pilot as the chief operations officer, thus flouting mandatory norms. All Indian carriers faced severe shortage of aviation safety officials.

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