Companies & Sectors
India exploring JV opportunity to produce urea in Iran
A consortium consisting RCF and other state-owned companies is planning a joint venture with a suitable partner in Iran, so that the entire production of urea-ammonia can be underwritten for supplies, back to India
 
In the past few months, we have been crying hoarse for India to set up fertilizer plants as joint ventures in some of the Middle Eastern countries, particularly Iran, because of the abundant availability of gas as a feeder stock. Urea plants in Qatar and Sultanate of Oman, which have been supplying urea, have assisted India in meeting its needs, which includes a shortfall of about 8 million tonnes every year.
 
The announcement by the government that a high-level delegation will visit Iran shortly to explore such a joint venture possibility is to be welcomed whole-heartedly. India’s urea needs are in the region of 29/30 million tonnes, while the domestic production has been around 22 million tonnes, necessitating the import of the balance.  It may be recalled that, due to the withdrawal of subsidy for the urea plants, in the South, which depended on naphtha as feed stock, and subsequent reinstatement, there was a public outcry. To overcome the shortage, urea had to be imported.  Gas supplies in the country have been erratic due to fall in production, and the coal bed methane supplies have also been unsatisfactory.
 
In the circumstances, it is gratifying to note that a Consortium consisting of state-owned companies like Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer Corp and Gujarat State Fertilizer Corp are planning a joint venture with a suitable partner in Iran, so that the entire production of urea-ammonia can be underwritten for supplies, back to India.  This, in the long run, would work out cheaper than importing the gas.
 
The details of the delegation to Iran to discuss the issue have not yet been announced.  However, it is safe to assume that this will be probably led by the Fertilizer Ministry and supported by the three Indian partners, mentioned above.  It is well known that Iran has also been keen to increase its trade with India.  When the discussions show signs of more than one such plant being set up, India should take this opportunity to plan accordingly.
 
It may be recalled that, in the last 14 years no new fertilizer plants have come up in the country and the government had also made it clear that they have no intention of underwriting the entire production.
 
Urea has been highly subsidised and at the same time, the government has also not been willing to let the manufacturers decide the marketable price.
 
In any case, the government has been working on a national fertilizer policy, but so far, this has not been announced.  Gas production continues to be erratic and it will take a few years more before the recently discovered gas reserves can be commercially tapped and supplied.  Imports will have to continue and such a joint venture, in Iran, to produce urea and supply to India, should be welcomed.
 
Time is of essence, and efforts ought to be made to ensure expeditious moves to set up the plant and make it operational. It is hoped that the Indian delegation can be sent well in time before the Iranian Nav Roz (New Year) which is a couple of months from now!  
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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Online Frauds? Get fast justice from the Cyber Crime Court
Under the IT Act, state IT secretary is the adjudicating officer, to adjudicate matters in respect of contraventions, like online frauds and order compensation of up to Rs1 crore to the complainant
 
Maharashtra's principal secretary for Information Technology (IT) department, Rakesh Aggarwal, in a recent case, directed six banks, one mobile operator and a card company to pay Rs1.06 crore compensation to victims of online frauds who have been duped over past two years.
 
According to a report in The Times of India, the order for compensation was issued by the state government's equivalent of a Cyber Crime Court, which is presided over by the principal secretary in charge of information technology. "The principle secretary, Rakesh Aggarwal, functions as adjudication officer under Section 45 of the IT Act 2000. The banks that have been ordered to pay compensation include Central Bank of India, Royal Bank of Scotland, Punjab National Bank, IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, State Bank of India. Other institutions who have been directed to pay are Vodafone and SBI Cards," the report says.
 
Customers duped in online frauds often find that there is no easy remedy available. This is despite, the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) making it clear that in electronic fraud, the onus of proving that the customer participated in the fraud or compromised the user ID and password will shift to the bank. 
 
Even the Damodaran Committee on Customer Services in Bank, in 2011, had recommended the same changes. Dr KC Chakrabarty, the then deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), too had emphatically said that banks cannot push the burden of proof on the customer and, if they could not find suitable insurance cover to mitigate their risk, they may want to reconsider offering Internet banking at all.
 
With the historic ruling of the Cyber Crime Court, it now becomes important for everyone who is duped in online fraud to know about the Court and its jurisdiction.
 
What is the Cyber Crime Court?
The Information Technology Act, 2000, specifies the acts, which are punishable under the Act. Under the Act, the State IT Secretary is the adjudicating officer, to adjudicate matters in respect of contraventions to the Chapter IX of the IT Act (http://www.deity.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/downloads/itact2000/itbill2000.pdf ) and the matter or matters or places or area/areas in the State in which claim for injury or damage does not exceed Rs5 crore.
 
The Adjudicating Officer has the powers of Civil Court, which are conferred on the Cyber Appellate Tribunal under sub-section(2) of the section 58. In addition, all proceedings before the Adjudicating Officer are deemed to be judicial proceedings within the meaning of sections 193 and 228 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and to be a civil court for the purposes of sections 345 and 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr PC), 1973.
 
Chapter IX (43) defines, online frauds and compensation as: "If any person without permission of the owner or any other person who is in-charge of a computer, computer system or computer network, charges the services availed of by a person to the account of another person by tampering with or manipulating any computer, computer system, or computer network, he shall be liable to pay damages by way of compensation not exceeding Rs1 crore to the person so affected."
 
How to file a complaint for adjudication under IT Act
There is a specified format for filing complaint before the Adjudicating Officer under the IT Act. In addition, the complainant has to pay application fee of Rs50 and applicable fee based on amount of compensation.
 
 
The fee towards damages claimed by way of compensation from the contraveners, needs to be paid by a bank draft drawn in favour of "Adjudicating Officer Information Technology Act". 
 
Here is how the fee is calculated based on compensation sought… 
 
Where to submit the complaint?
For Maharashtra, the complainant has to submit his complaint to... 
Adjudicating Officer, 
c/o Directorate of Information Technology, 
7th Floor, Mantralaya, 
Madam Cama Road, 
Hutatma Rajguru Chowk, 
Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400021
 
Since the IT Act is a central Act, all states do have similar kind of arrangement and complainant can file a complaint before the Adjudicating Officer or the Cyber Crime Court in her respective state.

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COMMENTS

Devang Vyas

2 years ago

Thanks

manu Bharadwaj

2 years ago

This is a good article. Since i have personally encountered the workings of the IT court, i can say with a fair bit of confidence, that consumers like us have some hope in online fraud cases. They are progressive and very fast. Please note that it is a summary court, unline normal courts. So everything has to be in writing. We filed our case in the month of April 2014, and the case has been closed for orders. We are expecting the orders at any point in time.

Suketu Shah

2 years ago

Ache din aaye hain under BJP.All such acts to protect citizens coming in the open which was not the case under Congress.Thanks for info ML

Ralph Rau

2 years ago

Very helpful information from ML

Thanks!

Kiran Aggarwal

2 years ago

Good move !!

More fines and compensation are to be declared by this IT wing
India has a big online population .

vswami

2 years ago

Sporadic Reaction
A must mindful read ; at least for serviced to be clear in own mind as to who, in a given situation of confrontation, by service provider,such as banks,besides like others,should be regarded as the errant/culprit, hence wholly and exclusively answerable !

Blackbuck case: Supreme Court sets aside HC order on Salman Khan

Setting aside Rajasthan High Court's order keeping in suspension the conviction of Salman Khan in the blackbuck hunting case, the apex court said the HC would consider the actor's plea afresh

 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside Rajasthan High Court's order keeping in suspension the conviction of Bollywood actor Salman Khan in the blackbuck hunting case in which he was awarded five-year jail term by a trial court.
 
A bench of justices SJ Mukhopadhyay and AK Goel said that the High Court would consider his plea afresh in accordance with the law.
 
On 5th November, the bench had reserved its judgement after raising question on the Rajasthan High Court's decision staying the mega star's conviction without going into the merits of the case and just to pave the way for him to get visa to travel to the UK for professional reasons.
 
Salman had submitted that he would have faced hardship if his conviction would not have been stayed by the High Court as it adversely affected his right to travel abroad.
 
The state government had approached the apex court against the high court order, which had, on 12 November 2013 stayed his 2006 conviction in the case and paved the way for him to get a British visa.
 
Earlier, the Court, however, had agreed that age was one of the important factors in life of an actor and it would be harsh if one is not allowed to go abroad till final verdict comes.
 
Under British immigration rules, any person convicted for more than four years is not eligible for a visa. Since the actor was convicted for five years, he was denied visa by the British Embassy. The passports of Indian convicts are stamped with the word "convict."
 
Blackbuck is a protected animal and its hunting is a punishable offence.
 
Khan was convicted and sentenced to one-year and five-year prison terms in separate cases of poaching of two Chinkaras at Bhawad and one black buck at Ghoda Farm (Mathania) on the intervening night of 26-27 September 1998 and 28-29 September, 1998 respectively.
 
The actor had approached the High Court in 2007 seeking a stay on his conviction by a trial court so that he could file a fresh application for a British visa.
 
Besides Khan, actors Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were accused of poaching near Jodhpur during the shooting of the film 'Hum Saath Saath Hain'.
 

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