New Mines Bill provisions need “fine-tuning”: Corp affairs ministry

The clause in the new Mines Bill provides that “where a holder of mining lease is a company, at least one share will be issued for consideration other than cash to each affected family by mining related operations and such shares shall be non-transferable”

New Delhi: The ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has suggested “fine-tuning” of the new mines law that provides for coal miners to share 26% of net profits and an amount equivalent to royalty by others, reports PTI.

Questioning a clause in the new bill that provides for issuing at least one share of the mining company to each affected family that will be non-transferable, the MCA in a letter to a parliamentary panel has said that under the Act shares of public limited, private limited and listed companies are transferable.

“Under the Companies Act, 1956, a window for transfer/sale of shares ought to be provided to the shareholders, with adequate safeguards for protecting the rights of affected families, it said to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Coal and Steel, which is examining the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill.

“Thus, the clause 43 (3) need to be fine-tuned in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956,” it added.

The clause in the new Mines Bill provides that “where a holder of mining lease is a company, at least one share will be issued for consideration other than cash to each affected family by mining related operations and such shares shall be non-transferable.”

The MMDR Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 12th December, was referred to the Committee for in-depth scrutiny and the government is hopeful that once the committee gives its report by March-end, the new bill will be passed in the upcoming Budget session.

The bill proposes to set up a district development fund, where the money accumulated from the 26% profit sharing by coal miners and an amount equivalent to 100% of royalty for others, will be deposited and spent on local population and area development.

Also, the MCA has advocated for allowing limited liability partnership (LLP) for grant of mineral concession.

It may be seen from Clause 5 that a citizen of India, a company under the Companies Act, 1956 or a registered firm under the Partnership Act are eligible for grant of mineral concessions, the letter said.

It, however, added that “LLP, a new form of business entity has not been allowed to participate ... LLP too need to be included.”

The Cabinet had approved the long-pending controversial draft bill on 30th September last year. It will replace the 54-year-old legislation governing the sector, as it was felt that the existing laws have not provided a fair deal to those affected by the mining projects and the leases were not given in transparent manners.

The Cabinet gave its nod after a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, set up to address inter-ministerial differences, could reach a consensus after marathon sessions.

Major players and industry bodies had opposed the profit sharing clause in the bill.

The new law will govern the sector that includes globally significant resources of over 60 metallic and non-metallic minerals.

India ranks among the top five nations as far as coal and iron ore reserves are concerned.


TRAI says no withdrawal requests for MNP after 24 hours

A mobile subscriber who has applied for MNP will not be allowed to withdraw his request after 24 hours. This will help subscribers who are often denied porting by mobile operator for sundry reasons

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked donor operators (DO) not to entertain subscribers’ pleas for withdrawing their mobile number portability (MNP) requests. The move follows the regulator’s observation of a high cancellation rate in MNP requests by these operators. Experts have welcomed the move emphasising the need to streamline process for MNP and feel that now onwards subscribers would also think twice before applying for portability.

MNP allows customer to ports out from an existing provider, known as DO, to new a service provider, known as recipient operator (RO), while retaining the same mobile number.

According to the recent notification, if a customer wants to withdraw his porting request, he can approach the RO within 24 hours filing the request.
TRAI’s direction says that, “The authority... hereby directs all cellular mobile telephone service providers and unified access service providers, acting as donor operators, not to entertain any request from the subscriber for cancellation or withdrawal of porting request and not to reject a porting request except on the grounds mentioned under Section 12 of the Telecommunications Mobile Number Portability Regulations.”
Experts point out that DO, in order to retain their customers, often delay in implementing the MNP request. Achintya Mukherjee, secretary, Bombay Telephone Users Association (BTUA), says, “This is good a move as DOs always lure the porting out customers by promising to resolve all their issues. But once the subscribers agrees to stay and cancels his MNP request, the DOs, ignores him as has been observed in many cases in the past. ROs, in my view, are always happy to receive more subscribers. In fact subscribers only wants to port out if they are unhappy with the services. It may be beneficial for them but they need to be sure of porting out.”
Speaking with Moneylife, Rajan Matthews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India, said that, “The regulator explaining the original MNP regulation has now made it clear that the DO cannot entertain the MNP cancellation or withdrawal request. However, the customer has a choice to withdraw his/her MNP request by approaching the receipting operator (RO) within 24 hours. The entire process of MNP needs to be streamlined. We are constantly in touch with the regulator and the service providers. In the end, we want the customer to be benefited.”
TRAI has clarified that DOs cannot reject the MNP request except in some cases such as where there is outstanding payment due from the subscribers, if the MNP application is made within 90 days of activating new mobile connection, mismatch of unique porting number or if the subscriber has not complied with the exit clause in the contractual agreement.



Ratanlal Purohit

5 years ago

TRAI delayed MNP at the behest of Powerful service Providers from 2008. I wrote in Keemat the house magazine of Consumer Society in

March 2008. We were late by twenty years at that time. The methodology was available. But it was delayed and then denied when implemented by powerful lobby under one pretext or the other. More than 95% customers are prepaid so what is this dues excuse. What contractual obligation cug is specially created
for this and like to prevent the customer to excercise his fundamental right to choose.
Now preventing customers to change his mind? TRAI is playing in the hands of powerful lobbies. I simply dont understand my friend Mr Achintya Mukherjee's argument. If the customer grievance is redressed and he then doesn't want to port why restrict. Is his reversal permanent that he will be taken for a ride by DO. And I am amused when COAI decides that it is in the interest of the consumer. The radiation issue is still pending. In one of the BTUA seminar Mr Rajan Mathew made the fun of WHO. He said that pickles also cause cancer, should people stop eating pickle. Thank God he didnt talk of tobacco and like.
Ratanlal Purohit

Ratanlal Purohit
Consumer Activist

A decisive break of 5,266 would see much lower levels: Monday Closing Report

To reverse the downtrend, the Nifty must close above 5,345 as a first step

The market closed lower on concerns that policy reforms would suffer a setback on the Congress party’s poor performance in the state elections, for which counting begins tomorrow. In Friday’s closing report we had mentioned that if the Nifty ends below 5,300 it may fall to 5,270. Today the Nifty closed at 5,280. If the index decisively breaks 5,266 we may see it moving further down. To reverse the downtrend, the benchmark has to close above 5,345 and then above 5,415. The NSE saw a volume of 66.38 crore shares, which is much below its 10-day average volume.
The market opened lower as the bourses in Asia were lower in morning trade as China lowered its growth estimate for 2012 at 7.5%. Uneasiness ahead of the announcement of the election results for five states that went to the polls recently also played on investors’ minds. The Nifty opened 16 points lower at 5,343 and the Sensex resumed trade at 17,598, a cut of 39 points over its previous close. The opening figure of the Sensex was its intraday high while the Nifty touched its high a short while later at 5,345.

Selling pressure in metal, banking, capital goods, consumer durables, realty and oil & gas sectors continued to keep the market in the negative. The indices witnessed a minor recovery at around 1.30pm, despite the European markets opening lower. But the gains lacked strength as the market drifted further southwards soon after.

The benchmarks touched their intraday lows in the last hour with the Nifty falling to 5,266 and the Sensex going back to 17,312. The market closed marginally above the day’s lows with the Nifty falling 79 points to 5,280 and the Sensex dropping 274 points to settle at 17,363.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was almost balanced at 504:1203.

Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index declined 1.39% and the BSE Small-cap index fell 0.95%.

With the exception of the BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods index (up 0.26%), all other sectoral gauges settled in the negative. The top losers were BSE Realty (down 3.26%); BSE Metal (down 3.06%); BSE Bankex (down 2.62%); BSE Capital Goods (down 2.47%) and BSE Consumer Durables (down 1.78%).

Tata Motors (up 2.09%); Wipro (up 1.38%); ITC (up 1.17%); ONGC (up 0.89%) and Cipla (up 0.13%) were the top Sensex gainers. The key laggards were DLF (down 5.44%); Hindalco Industries (down 5.35%); GAIL India (down 4.88%); Jindal Steel (down 3.99%) and ICICI Bank (down 3.88%).

The Nifty leaders were Reliance Infrastructure (up 5.02%); Reliance Power (up 4.93%); Tata Motors (up 2.43%); ITC (up 1.37%) and Wipro (up 1.33%). Jaiprakash Associates (down 5.71%); Hindalco Industries (down 5.55%); DLF (down 5%); GAIL (down 4.98%) and SAIL (down 4.93%) settled at the bottom of the index.

Markets in Asia settled lower following a lower 7.5% growth forecast by Chinese authorities for 2012. Analysts said that the growth estimate is the lowest in the past eight years, which is expected to impact fund raising.

The Shanghai Composite declined 0.64%; the Hang Seng dropped 1.38%; the Jakarta Composite fell 0.50%; the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.80%; the Straits Times shed 0.06%; the Seoul Composite was down 0.91% and the Taiwan Weighted tanked 1.35%. Bucking the trend, the KLSE Composite gained 0.34%. At the time of writing, the key European markets were down between 0.54% and 1.25% and the US stock futures were in the red.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs578.65 crore on Friday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs70.48 crore.

Petron Engineering Construction has received an order from GAIL (India) for gas cracking unit at Pata Petrochemical Complex - II project. The order is valued at approximately Rs192.34 crore. The stock rose 0.65% to close at Rs265 on the NSE.

Wind turbine major Suzlon’s subsidiary SEFORGE today secured a contract worth Rs367 crore for supplying equipment for wind towers over a period of three years, the company said. The Rs367 crore contract covers supply of flanges (used for wind turbine towers) for projects in India and international markets. However, Suzlon did not divulge the name of the company with which the agreement was signed. The stock tanked 3.65% to close at Rs27.70 on the NSE.

Siemens has bagged an order worth around Rs130 crore from the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) to modernize the state’s electricity distribution management system. Apart from improving reliability of the distribution network and minimizing distribution losses, the solution is a major step towards Smart Grid. The project is scheduled to be commissioned by June 2013. The stock settled at Rs765 on the NSE, down 3.46% from its previous close.


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