Pesky calls: Tele-marketers outdo government

“You know that people are very smart now they are using the Internet to send such messages. Now, we do not have any control on the Internet. We have no jurisdiction over it. We do not even know who the person is... at the moment I do not have any solution...,” telecom minister Kapil Sibal told the media

New Delhi: Smart tele-marketers have outsmarted the government machinery by resorting to Internet-based SMSes and call services on which regulators have no control, reports PTI.

Telecom minister Kapil Sibal expressed his helplessness in controlling such Internet-based pesky calls but claimed that such communication has reduced significantly.

Replying to a question why users are still receiving such messages and calls from the Internet, he said, “Well, you know that people are very smart now they are using the Internet to send such messages. Now, we do not have any control on the Internet.”

“The Internet is a difficult thing to regulate because the server may be somewhere outside the country, you may put your calls or message through that server how will we deal with that server. We have no jurisdiction over it. We do not even know who the person is... at the moment I do not have any solution...,” he said while addressing the Economic Editors Conference here.

On the issue of restricting SMSes to 100 per day per SIM, the minister said he got representations from a few young persons from Mumbai and also from private employers and expressed concerns.

“...I conveyed that to the chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that some people have complained. I think we have to evolve... TRAI will have to evolve this policy in the context of the experience of users. So I am sure TRAI will look at it,” he said.

It is in TRAI’s jurisdiction to look at it and come to (conclusion), Sibal said. He added that there are some glitches in the implementation of regulations and “I am sure TRAI will look into this.”

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India’s first IDF likely in next 2 months: Economic Affairs Secretary

Economic affairs secretary R Gopalan, who is on a two-day visit to promote the IDF in Singapore, said the fund could be launched within the next two months, and for now the fund was going through the initial process of establishment

Singapore: Economic affairs secretary R Gopalan on Thursday said he expects India’s first Infrastructure Development Fund (IDF) in the next two months and the size of the fund is estimated at $3 billion, reports PTI.

While discussing the IDF with Singapore investors here, Mr Gopalan said that it was early to state the size of the first IDF but it could be as much as $3 billion.

Mr Gopalan, who is on a two-day visit to promote IDF here, said the fund could be launched within the next two months, and for now the fund was going through the initial process of establishment.

The decision to set up IDFs follows an announcement by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee for 2011-12, with a view to accelerating and enhancing flow of long-term debt for funding the ambitious programme of infrastructure development in the country.

The IDFs could be in the form of a mutual fund or non-banking financial company (NBFC). While the IDF-Mutual Fund would be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the RBI will be in-charge of the IDF-NBFC.

Mr Gopalan said once the first fund is established with Indian investors’ participation, other similar funds would be followed on with participation from foreign investors.

Mr Gopalan said the Singapore visit was an ongoing campaign to explain the concept of the fund, with other Indian government officials doing so on their regular visits to international financial centres.

On the impact of European crisis on India, he said it would not have an extreme impact on the Indian economy.

Mr Gopalan arrived Thursday morning in Singapore to promote the fund and held a series of meetings with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Singapore-based financial institutions and banks.

He would call on deputy prime minister and finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, meet with top management of the state investor Temasek Holdings and continue meeting Singapore-based financial and investments on Friday.

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RBI to hike rates by another 25 bps hike on Tuesday: RBS survey

“An overwhelming majority of 67% of the respondents to the RBS poll are sure of a 25 basis points hike in the repo rate, and then the RBI will pause till March,” said RBS India managing director & head, markets, Ramit Bhasin

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to go in for another round of rate hike of 0.25% when it meets on Tuesday, and then will pause till March, says a poll by the British lender RBS.

The 10th edition of RBS Clients’ Survey, which is the third this fiscal, covered 103 local market participants, including corporates, banks, insurers and mutual funds among others, reports PTI.

“...An overwhelming majority of 67% are sure of a 25 basis points (bps) hike in the repo rate, and then the RBI will pause till March,” said RBS India managing director & head, markets, Ramit Bhasin.

However, 30% of the polled expected the central bank to pause this time around. None expected any change in cash reserve ratio (CRR), which is pegged at 6% for almost two years now.

RBI governor Duvvuri Subbarao will unveil the second quarter monetary policy on 25th October; it is widely expected that he will go for yet another round of tightening.

The central bank has increased its key short-term policy rates a record 12 times since March 2010 to contain runaway inflation that has remained at elevated levels despite the government’s discomfort. Core inflation stood at 9.72% in September.

Interestingly, a majority of the industry believes that the country is near the end of the tightening cycle. They also expect the repo rates to be stable at 8.5% in December and March.

On the strength of rupee, majority of those surveyed believed the local unit was likely to trade over 50 against the dollar in the near term, given the weak fundamentals of the economy.

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