Citizens' Issues
Internet failure leads to fuel crisis in Tripura
Internet connectivity failure has led to a transport fuel crisis in Tripura for the past five days, forcing the state government to seek intervention of Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
 
"Hundreds of oil tankers from Guwahati have been stranded in IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) depot in Dharmanagar, the entry point to Tripura by road from Assam," a Tripura food department official said.
 
"As the internet connectivity is down, the IOCL officials are unable to get clearances online from their authorities in Guwahati," the official said.
 
"In absence of clearances from the IOCL authorities, the hundreds of oil tankers, carrying petrol and diesel, are unable to move to different parts of Tripura including capital city Agartala, 200 km from Dharmanagar," he said.
 
Tripura Food and Civil Supplies Minister Bhanulal Saha in an urgent letter to Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan requested him to intervene in the matter and resolve the problem.

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Nifty, Sensex looking weak – Tuesday closing report
A close below 8450 will pull the market down sharply
 
We had mentioned in Monday’s closing report that a close below 8,500 on NSE’s CNX Nifty may lead to a strong decline. The 50-stock index opened marginally higher but made a quick move into the negative. It stayed in the red for almost the entire session. The Nifty broke the 8,500 support but recovered and closed marginally in the red.
 
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which opened at 28,225.04 points, closed at 28,071.93 points -- down 115.13 points or 0.41% from the previous day's close at 28,187.06 points.
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its third monetary policy review, kept the repurchase rate, or its short-term lending rate, unchanged at 7.25%. Accordingly, the reverse repo rate, or the short-term borrowing rate, was unchanged at 6.25%. The cash reserve ratio (CRR), or the liquid money banks have to compulsorily hold, stood unchanged at 4%.
 
The decision to maintain the status-quo disappointed investors, as a general consensus had appeared that showed that the current review might be the last chance that RBI had to cut rates in this calendar year.
 
Markets are doubtful over the RBI's ability for a future easing of the monetary policy in the hindsight that inflation might spiral up again and the US Fed's decision on its own rates is coming up in September.
 
Sector-wise, healthy buying was observed in metal, automobile and banking stocks. However, consumer durables, oil and gas, information technology (IT), capital goods and technology, entertainment and media (TECK) sectors came under selling pressure. 
 
The S&P BSE metal index zoomed by 230.82 points, the automobile index rose 193.07 points and the banking index went up 103.12 points.
 
The S&P BSE consumer durables index declined by 86.33 points, followed by the oil and gas index which receded by 68.23 points, IT index decreased by 65.22 points, capital goods index fell by 64.39 points and the TECK index was lower by 40.25 points.
 
Major Sensex gainers during Tuesday's trade were Tata Steel, up 3.39% at Rs.256.40; Hindalco Inds, up 3.36% at Rs.109.30; Coal India, up 2.82% at Rs.442.85; State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.54% at Rs.288.20; and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), up 2.18% at Rs.1,362.85.
 
The major Sensex losers were Hero MotoCorp, down 2.73% at Rs.2,624.25; Gail, down 2.53% at Rs.345.10, ONGC, down 2.40% at Rs.266.90; Wipro, down 2.16% at Rs.558.20; and Tata Motors, down 1.85% at Rs.380.95.
 
The top gainers and losers in the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
Among the Asian markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.14% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng inched down by 0.02%. China's Shanghai Composite Index was higher by 3.69%. European markets are trading down and US pre-market futures is weak.
 

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Telecom ministry: Wrong claims, bad maths
At the end of a year since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office, the telecommunications ministry sent out a series of tweets, putting forward its achievements. Here are three problems we found with the claims.
 
We emailed our findings to the ministry last week, requesting comment. There was no response.
 
1. Tele-density: 4.2 percent growth fastest ever. Compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of national tele-density for four-year period between 2008 and 2012 is 31.6 percent.
 
Claim: National tele-density increased fastest (4.3 percent) over 11 months to reach 79.9 percent. Subscriber base in rural areas rose 4.5 percent over the past 11 months to reach 48.9 percent.
 
Check revealed: Between 2008 and 2012, overall tele-density increased from 26.2 percent to 78.7 percent. The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for this four-year period is 31.6 percent, according to tele-density data from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The average year-on-year increase in percentage-points terms, for the same duration 2008-2013, is 13 percent. Therefore, terming a 4.2 percent increase during 2014-15 (or a CAGR of 5.6 percent) as "fastest" is factually incorrect.
 
Similarly, rural tele-density grew at a year-on-year rate of around 7.5 percent between 2008 and 2012 in average percentage-points terms. The CAGR of rural tele-density for the four years is 42.7 percent. During 2014-15, rural tele-density grew in percentage-points terms by 4.4 percent (or a CAGR of 10 percent).
 
2. "Unprecedented" growth in broadband subscribers: Yes, but by private companies
 
Claim: An "unprecedented" 52 percent growth in broadband subscribers in 10 months.
 
Check revealed: The increase in broadband subscribers between 2014 and 2015 is around 63 percent (and not 52 percent). The increase is primarily driven by more than 80 percent growth in wireless broadband. The increase in wireline broadband subscribers is 4.4 percent.
 
The wireline broadband subscription of state-owned BSNL declined during 2014-15 whereas MTNL added only 10,000 broadband connections during the same time period.
 
Wireless broadband subscription increased during 2014-15 primarily because of more than 90 percent growth in the subscription base of private players like Bharti, Idea and Vodafone put together. State-owned BSNL registered around 30 percent growth in wireless broadband.
 
3. Increase in subscribers of both BSNL & MTNL: No, subscribers declined
 
Claim: BSNL and MTNL added 4.7 million and 0.2 million subscribers respectively during 2014-15.
 
Check revealed: In both landline and wireless categories, BSNL's subscription base declined by more than two million and 17 million during 2014-15, according to TRAI data.
 
During the same period, MTNL registered a moderate increase of subscription base; around 0.02 million in landline and 0.14 million in wireless category. The claim is factually incorrect.

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

It is naive of the ministry to pat itself on the back for results which on fact checking turn out to be inaccurate. In the past, such claims went unchallenged but this will not fly any more. With all the modern data crunching available to it and the people who scrutinize it, the telecommunications ministry should be more accurate in its claims and avoid egg on its face.

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