Concerned about Anna Hazare’s condition on the ninth day of his hunger protest, government says it is ready to work with the Gandhian on a new anti-corruption law. The 74-year-old asserts that he could continue his fast for another nine days
New Delhi: Appealing to Anna Hazare to end his fast, the government today said it has forwarded the Jan Lokpal Bill to the Parliament’s Standing Committee for consideration and it is up to it to take a decision. “We have forwarded the Jan Lokpal Bill to the Standing Committee for its consideration. It is for the Committee to decide,” minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy told the Rajya Sabha.
Winding up a short duration discussion on the issue of corruption, the minister said that the government has an "open mind" on the Jan Lokpal Bill. On the issue of the inclusion of the prime minister under the ambit of the proposed legislation, Mr Narayanasamy said Manmohan Singh himself was open to the idea, reports PTI.
Appealing to Mr Hazare to end his nine-day-old fast, the minister said the Gandhian should help the government work out a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. But he emphasised that parliament is supreme. "Parliament and the rule of law should be upheld by the government," he said.
The minister said that the Lokpal Bill alone could not end corruption and that the government was in the process of bringing in several other legislations to tackle the problem.
Meanwhile, in an apparent response to the concerns expressed about his condition, Mr Hazare said today that he could carry on his fast for another nine days. "My fast has entered the ninth day. Nothing will happen to me. I can fast for another nine days. We will fight together," he told a gathering at Ramlila Maidan. His statement was received with loud applause and cheers by the people gathered around.
Doctors have advised that Mr Hazare be hospitalised, even as he has turned down any medical help and refused to take intravenous drip. "I am receiving energy from the enthusiasm of the crowd. Some people have spoiled the country, we will all together re -build the country," Mr Hazare said.
In parliament, commerce and industries minister Anand Sharma said that though people have the fundamental right to "dissent", they cannot be allowed to "subvert" the Constitution. "Democracy should not be replaced by a lynching mob," Mr Sharma said in the Rajya Sabha, apparently referring to the agitation in front of the houses of members of parliament and ministers by participants in the movement for a strong anti-corruption law.
The government, he said, is aware of the public anger against corruption and is addressing the issue within the constitutional framework after following due process and procedures. But, he said, "Parliament is supreme and efforts to denigrate its prestige will not be tolerated."
Rajaram Bojji, former managing director of Konkan Railway and inventor of anti-collision device, says stealing has been the norm with the Indian Railway’s Research Designs and Standards Organisation
The Indian Railways is reported to have started working on a new Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) that will cover all trains, and even railway stations and signals on the network. However, Rajaram Bojji, former managing director of the Konkan Railway who invented and patented an Anti-Collision Device (ACD), says that that the TCAS is a copy of the ACD with a different name because the Railways does not want to give credit to the Konkan Railway.
"This is a two-year-old specification which they drew up," explains Mr Bojji. "It is just a copy of the ACD to which they have given a different name so they don't have to give any credit to the Konkan Railway."
The technical authority of the Indian Railways, officially called the Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), has said it is working on a train collision avoidance system that would cover everything, from railway stations and signalling systems, to the type of train, as compared to the ACD or the auxiliary warning system that works only on individual trains and locomotives.
RDSO has also asked technically skilled firms to help them to work on the device. But Mr Bojji told Moneylife, "They won't have any success because no company wants to get into this scheme, knowing the way the RDSO and Indian Railways is treating the ACD developers, the Konkan Railway and its private partner. Stealing is the usual norm with RDSO."
Mr Bojji had issued a public notice in 2000, when a similar attempt was made by the Indian Railways, warning that anyone who took up the RDSO specification, which happens to be a copy of the Konkan Railway's ACD, would be liable for prosecution.
"After I have left (the service) they are back at the same game, avoiding the patented deviation count theory, but substantially copying all the functionality of the ACD. And they have given it a new name, calling it the Train Collision Avoidance System, with specifications that are practically the same as the ACD."
Last week, the Mumbai Mirror newspaper quoted a railway official as saying that trains running at speeds up to 160 km per hour (that is every single train of the Indian Railways) would be covered by the TCAS.
"The most important part would be audio and visual warning to train drivers if any train in their section is reversing. If the train reverses for more than 50 metres, it (will) be automatically stopped by the TCAS. It is a boon as certain accidents have happened because the incoming train would not detect the reversing train in time," a railway official is reported to have said. The report did not name the official.
In October last year, Moneylife reported that the Indian Railways was testing an anti-collision system with only two of the original four devices planned for each train, ostensibly to save money, and compromising on its performance, probably to prepare the grounds for the purchase of expensive foreign technology. (Read, "Is the anti-collision device system being derailed?") . Earlier, Moneylife also reported how the Indian Railways had chosen an expensive foreign technology over India's own patented ACD system. (Read, "Rail anti-collision tech: Does the foreign TPWS trump the home-grown ACD?")
Nifty to move between 4,750 and 4,930
The market lost about 1.2% on Wednesday, snapping a two-session gain on global worries that also dampened sentiment in the rest of the Asian markets. Although the Nifty couldn't manage crossing Tuesday's high, the benchmark succeeded in staying above its previous low.
We are in a situation where Thursday's move could determine whether we will see a further fall or a weak upmove may resume. The Nifty is likely to move in a range of 4,750 and 4,930.
While the US markets closed with smart gains overnight, markets in Asia pared early gains on growth concerns in the region after Moody's downgraded Japan's sovereign debt rating by a notch to 'Aa3', citing the large budget deficit and increasing debt.
The downtrend in Asia saw the domestic market opening lower. The Nifty opened at 4,934, down 15 points from its previous close, and the Sensex resumed at 16,491, lower by seven points. IT, metal, auto, oil & gas and banking stocks were weak in early trade.
The market picked up some momentum on select buying, pushing the benchmarks into the green. The indices went on to hit their intra-day highs in the first hour of trade, with the Nifty rising to 4,962 and the Sensex touching 16,533. However, the market struggled to retain the gains amid sharp volatility that dragged the indices back into the red in the next 30 minutes.
Selling pressure resulted in the market touching its intra-day low in the first part of the session itself. At the lows, the Nifty fell to 4,897 and the Sensex was at 16,321. The indices were range-bound in subsequent trade and ended lower with all sectoral gauges in the negative. The Nifty fell 60 points to close at 4,889, while the Sensex settled at 16,285, down 213 points.
The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was 796:1117.
The broader indices outperformed the Sensex today with the BSE Mid-cap index losing 0.54% and the BSE Small-cap index falling 0.51%.
The top losers in the sectoral space were BSE Auto (down 2.31%), BSE Metal (down 2.26%), BSE Bankex (down 1.64%), BSE Capital Goods (down 1.42%) and BSE PSU (down 1.40%). There were no gainers today.
Hindustan Unilever (up 0.71%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.38%) and HDFC (up 0.12%) were the only gainers on the Sensex. The losers were led by Coal India (down 4.61%), Tata Power (down 4.51%), Tata Steel (down 4.28%), Tata Motors (down 3.90%) and Maruti Suzuki (down 3.69%).
The key gainers on the Nifty were Ranbaxy (up 1.08%), Power Grid Corporation (up 0.79%), Grasim (up 0.59%), GAIL (up 0.53%) and Kotak Bank (up 0.45%). The major losers were Tata Steel (down 4.62%), Tata Motors (down 4.40%), Axis Bank (down 4.39%), SBI (down 3.91%) and IDFC (down 3.84%).
Markets in Asia also ended in the negative, following speculation that the US Federal Reserve would refrain from announcing any new plans to prop up the sagging economy at its meeting next week. Moody's lowering the rating for Japan also weighed on the markets.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.51%, the Hang Seng tumbled 2.06%, the Jakarta Composite declined 0.89%, the Nikkei 225 slipped 1.07%, the Straits Times tanked 1.64%, the Seoul Composite fell 1.23% and the Taiwan Weighted settled down 0.63%.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares worth Rs100.34 crore. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net buyers of stocks worth Rs302.89 crore.
Bharti Airtel, India's largest private telecom operator paid Rs1,177.48 crore to the government in the April-June quarter towards licence fees and spectrum usage charges, which is more than any other service provider. It paid Rs755.22 crore in licence fees and Rs422.26 crore as spectrum charges for the quarter ended 30th June 2011, according to data compiled by telecom regulator TRAI. The stock fell by 0.46% to Rs399.75 on the NSE.
Kiri Industries, which makes dyes, has bagged a Rs100 crore per annum multi-year export order for supplies to South-East Asia. The order will allow Kiri to penetrate into one of the largest textile producers globally with its entire product range. The stock ended at Rs157, down by 0.82%, on the NSE.
At least 22 mines owned by Coal India face closure over environmental concerns in Jharkhand, potentially suffering an output loss of up to 40,000 tonnes a day, officials said on Wednesday. The mines in Jharkhand, which provide mostly coking coal for state-run Steel Authority of India, have been accused by pollution control authorities of operating without proper forest clearance permission. Coal India tumbled 5.54% to end at Rs370.65 on the NSE.