Land acquisition for Posco resumes

Paradip (Orissa): Land acquisition for the Rs51,000 crore Posco steel project near here in Jagatsinghpur district resumed today after a day's halt following opposition to it, reports PTI.

"Acquisition of land in some areas under Gada Kujang gram panchayat was resumed with the consent of the affected people," Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Paradip, Saroj K Choudhury said.

The acquisition resumed after talks with local people and betel vines of only cultivators who willingly accepted the compensation package were being acquired, Choudhury said. Over 12 betel vines were demolished at Bhuyanpal and cultivators handed over compensation, Choudhury said.

"Work progressed smoothly with the cooperation of the villagers. There was no opposition," the ADM said. So far around 34 betel vines raised on government land have been acquired.

Around 60 personnel and officials in four teams were engaged in the land acquisition process, officials said. The acquired betel vines were being demolished with bulldozers.

The district administration halted land acquisition yesterday after villagers opposed to it staged a road blockade, preventing officials from entering the area.

Members of the pro-Posco outfit, United Action Committee (UAC) headed by Anadi Rout, who had put up the road blockade yesterday, offered no resistance today, officials said.

UAC appeared to have agreed to allow land acquisition following talks with district administration and elected representatives from the area, with its demand for modification of the method of measuring betel vines apparently being considered by the administration, the sources said.

Yesterday, the UAC had split, with 22 members forming a new group, 'Bhitamati Surakshya Manch' opposing the project.

The new outfit, headed by headed by Nuagaon gram panchayat sarpanch Bhaskar Swain, said it would work to safeguard the interest of the people.


Suzuki income up sevenfold on robust Maruti sales

Tokyo/New Delhi : Japanese car giant Suzuki Motor Corp on Tuesday reported an over seven-fold jump in net income to 15.16 billion yen (about Rs814 crore) for the quarter ended 30 th June, mainly driven by subsidiary Maruti Suzuki India Ltd's (MSI) performance in India, reports PTI.

The company had reported a net income of 2.14 billion yen (about Rs115 crore) in the corresponding quarter last year, the company said in a statement.

Net sales during April-June period increased by 13.7% to 656.28 billion yen (about Rs35,240 crore) from 577.14 billion yen (about Rs30,995 crore) in the year-ago period, it added.

"Overseas sales exceeded that of the same period of the previous fiscal year because of sales increase in India by release of the new 'WagonR' in addition to favourable sales of the 'Swift'," the company said.

However, MSI experienced a 20.25% fall in net profit at Rs465.36 crore for the quarter ended June 30. It was the first time in five quarters that the company reported a decline in its net profit after record breaking numbers in the 2009-10 fiscal.

This was despite an increase in MSI's total income by 26.78% to Rs8,231.53 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal from Rs6,493 crore in the year-ago period.


Top RIL officials appear before CBI court

Chennai : Top officials of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), including Manoj Modi and Shankar Adawal, on Tuesday appeared before a special CBI Court in Chennai in connection with a case relating to alleged masking of international calls as local by erstwhile Reliance Infocomm Ltd, reports PTI.

The court later adjourned the case to 8th September. The case, in which Reliance Infocomm and its then top officials were alleged to have caused revenue losses to the exchequer by masking of calls, relates to a time when the company was part of unified Reliance Industries group led by Mukesh Ambani.

Reliance Infocomm was rechristened as Reliance Communications Ltd after it was transferred from Mukesh to younger brother Anil Ambani as part of family settlement in 2005.

Mr Modi, a top lieutenant of RIL chief Mukesh Ambani, and five officials of erstwhile Reliance Infocomm, were summoned by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to appear before the court on 3rd August.

"CBI has filed the case against Reliance Infocomm ... The cases were adjourned to September 8," Senior Advocate B Kumar representing Reliance Infocomm told reporters.    

To a query whether all those summoned, including Manoj Modi who was a director of Reliance Infocomm and Akhil Gupta, the then chief executive for business development were present, he said, "They did appear".

Shankar Adaval, president for corporate affairs, Pankaj Pawar, head of regulatory, and two other officials KR Raja and BD Khurana were also present for the hearing, he said.

"There is no loss cost and every cost has been repaid," he said on whether there was any loss to the exchequer.

In its FIR registered in August 2006, CBI had named Reliance Infocomm, represented by then board of directors, Mr Modi, Mr Gupta, Mr Adaval, Mr Panwar and unknown others.

The chargesheet said the accused persons intentionally tampered with the working of the telegraph network of the company and presented calls directly in the local network with a dishonest intention of defrauding the central government.

It may be recalled that Reliance Infocomm had under protest paid a fine of Rs150 crore imposed by telecom tribunal TDSAT in 2005 in this connection.

According to CBI, the company had masked incoming international calls as local ones through one of the three gateways- Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai. The calls were put on the Public System Telephone Network as local.    

According to the chargesheet, the company transmitted over 7.52 crore minutes of international long distance calls with manipulated CLI during May 2004 to September 2004, evading Access Deficit Charges to the tune of Rs32 crore.


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