Companies & Sectors
Jio charges COAI with bias, association says internal matter
Reliance Jio on Sunday said the regulations of Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) are overwhelmingly biased and lopsided, framed to subserve the vested interests of the three incumbent dominant operators -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. It, accordingly, sought their complete overhaul. The association countered, saying it was an internal matter, but not before calling Jio a 'back door' operator.
 
In a letter to COAI Chairman Gopal Vittal and Director General Rajan S. Mathews, Jio said incumbent players command 68 per cent of the total votes in the association and that quorum in any executive council meeting is based on voting power, rather than number of members.
 
"It is imminently clear from the above that the entire decision making power and authority rests only with the incumbent dominant operators. The other core members have been reduced to a nullity and their presence or not will always be inconsequential," the letter said.
 
These regulations, the letter said, make the regulations abysmally fall foul of competition law, especially by extending absolute control on decisions to incumbent dominant operators.
 
In a statement later, the association said the issues raised by one of its members is an internal matter, also adding Jio's conduct is not becoming of a member when appropriate forums are available within the association.
 
The Jio letter said that the decision-making process of the association is replete with instances of sending out communications in utter disregard to fairness, accountability and transparency, even as issues are taken up towards which there is no mandate or power vested in its charter.
 
Among various examples, the company said the association conveyed its position to the authorities on the issue of interconnection between the networks of Reliance Jio and the incumbent players -- without seeking the views of Reliance Jio.
 
"As a matter of fact, on a specific occasion, the association had the audacity to send a mail (containing a draft letter purportedly supposed to be sent to the Government) to Reliance Jio to seek its views whereas the letter had already been sent to the Government even before the mail was sent to Reliance Jio."
 
The letter said as a public body, the association must work for the benefit of all of its members and the consumers, with legally- and morally-sound policies and representation, while encouraging fair competition in the market.
 
"In the light of the above, it is high time that COAI Regulations are amended to fall in line with (i) fundamental democratic principles namely, reasonableness, fairness, accountability and transparency, adequate representation to all members, etc., and (ii) to be compliant with all applicable laws, including principles of equity.
 
"Reliance Jio seeks a thorough overhaul and amendment of Cellular Operators' Association regulations and process by appointing a committee consisting of three retired Hon'ble Judges of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India to make sure that both fall in line with fundamental democratic principles of reasonableness, fairness, accountability and transparency including with provisions for adequate measures to prevent any abuse in future."
 
In its rebuttal, the association said Jio's letter represents many misrepresentations, and misinterpretations of law, which will be suitably responded to after careful review and deliberation among members. It wondered why the company was raising the issues as something new.
 
"Despite repeated and grave provocations from Reliance Jio, COAI wishes to state that Reliance Jio, which entered the sector as a back door operator, was welcomed by COAI as a full member," it said.
 
"Reliance Jio is labelling the established and well performing operators who have served the cause of digital India for long years as incumbent dominant operators. This is slanderous, mischievous and suggests that the existing leading members are a cohort bent upon blocking entry of new operators on the basis of bald allegations," the association statement said.
 
"None of the half a dozen new operators who have entered in the last five years have ever accused Cellular Operators' Association of India or in fact labeled the leading operators as incumbent dominant operators. Despite repeated and grave provocations from Reliance Jio, COAI wishes to state that Reliance Jio which entered the sector as a back door operator was welcomed by COAI as a full member," the statement said.
 
"The members of COAI will review the letter submitted by Reliance Jio and do what they believe is in the best interest of the country, the customers and the Association. The association will continue to work for a stable, predictable regulatory environment which is conducive to the orderly growth of the sector for a connected and fully empowered Digital India."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Australian immigration officers strike at airports, ports
Australia's Immigration and Border Force officials on Monday commenced a two-week long strike in airports and cruise ship ports across the country protesting against a long-running dispute with the government over pay rise, authorities said.
 
Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) had previously said a strike would not occur if the government agreed to a 12.5 per cent pay rise, but the union's national secretary Nadine Flood said workers were fed-up with the government's reluctance to discuss the pay rise, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
"These workers are trying to get the government to take this seriously and give us someone to sit down with and resolve this longstanding mess," Flood said.
 
"Under Prime Minister Turnbull they haven't talked to us in a year."
 
Border Force released a statement on Monday warning passengers to get to airports early, but said there were arrangements in place in case of emergency.
 
"We have contingency arrangements in place to minimise the impact of stoppages on business operations," the statement said.
 
Government senator Eric Abetz described the CPSU's demands as "unrealistic" and said a 12.5 per cent pay rise would result in the loss of more than 10,000 public sector jobs.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex trendless – Weekly closing report
We had mentioned in last week’s closing report that Nifty Sensex might head higher. The major indices were marginally up during the week. Investors were on a wait-and-watch mode regarding the US Federal Reserve’s decision on the interest rates. Once the Fed decided to leave the interest rates unchanged, the major indices rallied on Thursday. The trends of the major indices in the course of the week’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Positive global sentiments buoyed the Indian stock markets during the late-afternoon trade session on Monday. However, upcoming global events such as monetary policy announcements from major economies and profit booking at higher levels, capped gains. Buying was witnessed in metal, banking and IT stocks. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,494 advances and 1,244 declines. On the NSE, there were 786 advances, 673 declines and 85 unchanged. Initially, the benchmark indices opened on a firm note in sync with their Asian peers. However, investors were seen cautious ahead of the US Fed's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting, which was scheduled for September 20-21. Investors felt that a hike in US interest rates could potentially lead FPIs (Foreign Portfolio Investors) away from emerging markets such as India. It was also expected to dent business margins as access to capital from the US would become expensive.
 
The benchmarks opened down, on Tuesday, following negative global cues and caution ahead of major global financial events. Selling pressure was witnessed in automobile, capital goods and banking stocks. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears -- with 1,513 declines and 1,197 advances. On the NSE, on Tuesday, 548 advances, 922 declines and 85 unchanged. Besides, investors were cautious ahead of the US Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meet and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) monetary policy review announcements. Most IT stocks traded down. Banking stocks were traded with mixed sentiments, while auto stocks traded down.
 
Indian equity markets succumbed to profit booking to close the day's trade on a flat note on Wednesday. Selling pressure was witnessed in FMCG and banking stocks. The markets were largely positive as hopes of a rate-hike turned down in the US Fed meet enhanced the risk-taking appetite, according to market analysts. However, investors were not willing to push prices higher as caution still prevails ahead of the FOMC's final decision. The Bank of Japan (BoJ) decision (to keep its policy balance rates unchanged) did not have much impact on the domestic markets. Initially on Wednesday, the benchmark indices opened on a flat-to-positive note on the back of positive Asian markets. The CNX Nifty traded with firm sentiments on buying support from traders. Most IT stocks traded firm on recovery in USD/INR futures. Auto and oil-gas stocks also traded higher. On the NSE, there were 731 advances, 725 declines and 67 unchanged. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,413 advances and 1,314 declines.
 
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) unveiled its new policy framework on Wednesday, saying it will keep its negative policy rate at minus 0.1% while modifying the framework of its bond-buying programme to guide long-term rate at around 0%. The BOJ said it will continue to expand the monetary base until it achieves a 2% inflation goal.
 
Coal India Ltd (CIL), which produces 84% of country's coal output, "needs to step up to a double digit growth rate from that of around 9% achieved during 2015-16" to meet its production targets, company Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya said on Wednesday. "Coal India needs to step up to a double digit growth rate from that of around 9% achieved during FY 2016...during the first four months of FY 2017, Coal India's production growth was more than 6 million tonnes (mt) over the same period last year," he said while addressing shareholders at the company's 42nd Annual General Meeting. Coal India closed at Rs330.10, up 1.15% on the BSE over the week.
 
Indian equity markets soared on the back of positive global cues on Thursday. The key indices gained around a percentage each during the mid-afternoon trade session, as healthy buying was witnessed in stocks of banking, automobile, and capital goods. Besides, domestic cues such as the proposal to merge the general and railway budget, along with consultations to advance the budget presentation date, gave a positive momentum to the equity markets. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,695 advances and 1,044 declines. On the NSE, there were 993 advances, 471 declines and 74 unchanged.
 
On Friday, the major indices were range-bound and shed some of the gains of Thursday. Selling pressure was witnessed in banking and FMCG stocks. Axis Bank fell as much as 5.8%. The major indices closed on Friday with minor losses of 0.36%-0.40% over Thursday’s close. 

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