MCHI, CREDAI calls off strike

Apart from delay in approvals, over-regulation is another cause of concern for developers, who had decided to go on a token strike on Thursday, which is now called off

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) on Wednesday said it has called off its one-day strike scheduled for tomorrow, to protest against decision deficit and policy paralysis in the state and central governments and various bodies, reports PTI.

"After our meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan yesterday, who assured us that the government was serious about our concerns, we decided to call off the strike that was scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday)," MCHI secretary Boman Irani told reportes.

A large number of realty organisations, including MCHI and Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India (Credai), had joined hands to go on a token strike on 3rd May to protest against the delays in approvals.

"We want to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the government in creating affordable housing stock. But the major hurdle is approvals. We do not expect over-night miracles to happen. The government has said it is sensitised of the issues of developers. We expect some decision in the coming weeks," he said.

During the meeting with the minister, MCHI requested formation of special committee with a mandate to meet weekly and to come up with recommendations for creating policies, rules and schemes on affordable housing within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) within 30 days.

"We request for decision on the same in the next 30 days," he said.

When asked about its stand on the establishment of a regulatory authority, MCHI vice-president Dharmesh Jain said, "Apart from delay in approvals, over-regulation is another cause of concern for developers. A regulator is acceptable if entire process of development from granting approvals to delivering is regulated by the authority. It has to look at all aspects and not just the developers."

Mr Jain further said, "For the success of the affordable housing scheme of the government, what we need is speedy approvals. Unless that does not happen, we will not be able to create volumes and therefore there cannot be any correction in prices."


Bharti net profit dips 28%; warns on regulatory framework

For FY12, Bharti's net profit fell 29.6% to Rs4,259 crore due to higher costs on account of 3G licence fee amortisation, 3G interest costs, forex fluctuation losses and tax provisions

New Delhi: India's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel on Wednesday reported 28.19% dip in net profit at Rs1,006 crore for the fourth quarter ended 31st March -- its ninth straight quarterly drop in earnings -- as high interest cost and price war hit margins, reports PTI.

During January-March, 2010-11, the company had reported net profit of Rs1,401 crore. However, it saw 15% jump in revenues at Rs18,729 crore for the fourth quarter, 2011-12, compared to Rs16,293 crore in the year-ago period.

Meanwhile, Sunil Mittal, Chairman of Bharti, which has lost market share in past year to smaller rivals in the fiercely competitive market, warned of significant implication on the future of telecom sector because of uncertainty in the regulatory framework.

"The recent regulatory developments in India will have significant implications on the future of telephony and broadband, as well as India's global competitiveness," Mittal said.

Bharti Airtel's parent Bharti Enterprises Deputy CEO and Managing Director Akhil Gupta told reporteRshere, "From our point of view, a very good and satisfactory quarter. In India, we got the growth back... As far as Africa is concerned, the upward trajectory continues, both in terms of revenues, Ebitda and the overall operations."

For the entire 2011-12, Bharti's net profit fell 29.6% at Rs4,259 crore, compared to Rs6,047 crore in 2010-11. It was down due to higher costs on account of 3G licence fee amortisation (Rs593 crore), 3G interest costs (Rs421 crore), forex fluctuation losses (Rs422 crore) and tax provisions (Rs481 crore).

Besides, during the year immense competition in India led to a tariff war affecting margins across the industry. Total revenue for the 2011-12 fiscal stood at Rs71,451 crore, as against Rs59,538 crore in 2010-11, up 20%.


ING Vysya launches multicurrency prepaid forex card with Visa

The card is currently available in five foreign currencies - USD, Pound, Euro, Australian Dollar and Japanese Yen

The ING Vysya Bank said it along with Visa has launched multicurrency prepaid forex card and it would be available in five currencies, the US dollar, pound, euro, Australian dollar and Japanese yen.

The ING Visa platinum multi currency card is a prepaid card designed to offer travellers unmatched convenience and a secure way to carry money when travelling abroad. For the first time, the Indian traveller can load five different foreign currencies on the single visa platinum prepaid card and lock in the currency exchange rates for all five currencies, the lender said in a release.


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