Govt seeks global expertise to check currency counterfeiting

Mumbai: The government is seeking global expertise to incorporate more security features in currency notes to combat counterfeiting, reports PTI.

The finance ministry has invited request for information (RFI) from firms to offer security features or technology for future series of bank notes.

It said the interested firms will have to submit their bids by 13th October and those shortlisted would have to make a detailed presentation before a government committee.

"The process for acquisition of security features and/or associated technology in the future series of Indian bank notes shall be done through global request for qualification (RFQ) tender and the shortlisted firms who have been security cleared shall be issued request for proposal (RFP) documents," the ministry said in a circular.

To combat the menace of currency counterfeiting, the government has set up a Directorate of Currency, which will monitor and review the efficacy of the existing security features in currency notes and study the best practices prevailing in other countries.

Incorporation of the latest security features is underway to strengthen the security of bank notes further; minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena had informed the Parliament in the Monsoon session.

A high-level committee headed by the Union home secretary and comprising officials from central agencies and the police has been constituted to monitor and draw up a comprehensive strategy to combat fake currency, he said.

The government has also nominated the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the nodal agency to monitor investigation of fake currency note cases.


ASCI appoints Rajiv Dube as chairman

Rajiv Dube has been appointed as the chairman of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Mr Dube is director (group corporate services) at Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt Ltd.


Mr Dube was unanimously appointed by ASCI’s board. He has been a member of the board of governors of the council for the past five years. Mr Dube takes charge from Dhananjay Keskar, outgoing ASCI chairman.



Shibaji Dash

7 years ago

Nice to be reminded that the ad-men at least pretend their ads should adhere to some standards.They also, among many, go about as if they have no accountability even to God or Devil.

Air India to seek Cabinet nod for strategic business units

New Delhi: In its bid to speed up a turnaround, Air India plans to seek the approval of the Union Cabinet to operationalise its six strategic business units (SBUs) when the government considers an equity infusion of Rs1,200 crore into the ailing carrier, reports PTI.

The civil aviation ministry, in a note to the Cabinet, is likely to seek approval for operationalising the SBUs relating to low cost airline, cargo, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), grounding handling, engineering and related business so as to enhance the airline's revenues.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) may take up the issue later this month when it also considers infusion of Rs1,200 crore as equity, sources said. The government had in February infused Rs800 crore as equity into the carrier.

The government is looking at equity induction in a phased manner based on the performance parameters of Air India, they said.

In 2007, when the erstwhile Air India and Indian Airlines were merged into the National Aviation Company of India Ltd (NACIL), it was decided that the six SBUs would act as separate profit centres.

The NACIL, which wants to review all agreements with its 14 unions, is also likely to seek government's nod to start re-negotiations with the unions, two of which were de-recognised following a flash strike three days after the 22nd May plane crash in Mangalore.

At present, there are 10 wage agreements signed between these unions and the management. The employees' unions say that the airline wage bill was 18% of the total turnover as against a global average of about 22% of total turnover for most international carriers.

The unions have said that the management had assured them that their views would be considered before finalising the company's turnaround plan, but the two sides are yet to have any concrete discussions on it.

The plan for financial restructuring and turnaround till 2014-15 focuses on Air India achieving a break-even in its operations by 2015.

Under it, the national carrier intends to get working capital loans through a mix of bonds guaranteed by the government with longer tenure and bullet payments. The company could also sell or lease land and building to raise working capital.

In order to beef up revenue generation, the national carrier has decided to appoint a chief strategy officer (CSO) who would report to chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav.

The CSO would be responsible for developing and managing the business transformation office (BTO) and ensure that the turnaround strategy is translated into action. The BTO would identify and track strategic initiatives through execution.

According to official estimates, Air India is expected to incur a loss of Rs5,656.62 crore in 2009-10. The airline had suffered a loss of Rs2,226.16 crore in 2007-08, which rose to Rs5,548.26 crore the following year.


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