RBI extends remittance flexibility to exporters

“Around one-third of our exports go to advanced economies and buyers there are playing safe on account of the ongoing slowdown. RBI’s decision to extend the relaxation has a lot to do with that,” FIEO director general Ajay Sahai said

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday extended the flexibility to exporters to repatriate their remittances up to a year, in the face of difficult business environment in world’s developed markets, reports PTI.

The RBI had in June 2008, relaxed the norms for repatriation of payments to be received by exporters of goods and services. It allowed up to one year, instead of six months earlier, for such remittances.

The liberalised norms will continue till 30 September 2012, RBI said in a notification.

“It has been decided to further extend by one year—from 1 October 2011 till 30 September 2012, the relaxation with respect to the period of realisation and repatriation to India, of the amount representing the full value of goods or software exported, from six months to 12 months from the date of export...” RBI said.

Exporters welcomed the move, stating it would help them in marketing their products and services.

“Buyers are more attracted if the credit period is longer,” Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) director general Ajay Sahai said.

He said the situation in major economies like the US and European Union is difficult.

“Around one-third of our exports go to advanced economies and buyers there are playing safe on account of the ongoing slowdown. RBI’s decision to extend the relaxation has a lot to do with that,” Mr Sahai said.

India’s merchandise exports aggregated $246 billion 11 and services, comprising mainly of IT and IT-enabled jobs shipped were valued at $131 billion in 2010-11.

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COAI defends 3G roaming agreement, says it is as per licence

COAI said the roaming arrangements have helped subscribers of operators who have not received 3G spectrum to enjoy high speed data services and also to meet the objectives of encouraging efficient spectrum utilisation and promoting broadband penetration to citizens

New Delhi: Under scrutiny for entering into illegal roaming agreement for third generation (3G) mobile services, Cellular Operators Association (COAI)—the lobby of GSM operators—on Tuesday said that any changes in it would deprive users of enjoying seamless high-speed data services, reports PTI.

In July this year, in an effort to reduce cost and offer pan-India 3G services, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular had entered into roaming agreement to serve their respective customers in circles in which they (operators) had failed to get 3G spectrum in the auction last year.

This would help operators offer 3G services to customers in circles where they cannot build their own 3G network as they do not have the licence.

Airtel, Aircel and RCom each owns 3G spectrum licence in 13 of the 22 telecom circles, while Vodafone has it in 10 circles and Idea and the Tatas in nine circles.

COAI has written to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman JS Sarma saying prior to the 3G/BWA auctions, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had made it clear that “3G/BWA auction is for grant of spectrum and not for grant of licence to provide 3G or BWA services”.

Telecom regulator TRAI had sought information from service providers on their bilateral agreements for entering into 3G roaming pacts, to ensure that there is no violation of licence terms and conditions.

The DoT had also raised doubts over 3G roaming pacts of companies, which are not having 3G services on pan-India basis.

In an internal note, the DoT had clarified that a UASL (unified access service licence) licencee cannot offer 3G services, declare a tariff plan or acquire customers in a circle it hasn’t been allocated 3G spectrum in.

COAI has contended that a Unified Access Service (UAS) License is technology neutral access service license which allows the provision of all type of access services.

DoT in its note had said under the licence conditions, a licencee providing services has to have its own network. “At present, mandatory roaming or MVNOs are not part of the government’s telecom policy,” it had added.

The lobby said the roaming arrangements have helped subscribers of operators who have not received 3G spectrum to enjoy high speed data services and also to meet the objectives of encouraging efficient spectrum utilisation and promoting broadband penetration to citizens.

This has also resulted in additional revenue from the roaming subscriber and additional revenue share for the government as well.

COAI said any disallowance of intra-circle roaming will be substantial reversal of DoT’s stated position on the issue and a “reinterpretation of the fundamental nature of the technology neutral UASL structure”.

It has requested also TRAI to share a copy of its report which has been submitted to the DoT.

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COMMENTS

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5 years ago

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SBI to get capital infusion by March: Chaudhuri

“Whether it would be a rights issue, preferential or QIP route... it is still not decided. But one thing has been confirmed through the finance secretary that the bank would be adequately capitalised by 2012,” SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri said

Ahmedabad: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday said the finance ministry has given an assurance that the bank would be adequately capitalised by March 2012, but it has not yet decided on the route it will take for the same, reports PTI.

“Whether it would be a rights issue, preferential or QIP route... it is still not decided,” SBI chairman Pratip Chaudhuri told reporters here.

“But one thing has been confirmed through the finance secretary that the bank would be adequately capitalised by 2012,” he said.

The government is the largest shareholder of the SBI with an equity stake of 59.4%.

“Our issue is that the government has to take a call what level of ownership it wants to maintain in the bank. If it wants to have 59.4% stake in SBI, then it would be a rights issue,” he added.

“If it (the stake) is to be raised from the level of 59.4%, then it would be a preferential issue and if it has to be lowered, then it has to be through a QIP issue,” Mr Chaudhuri said.

SBI had reported a Tier-I capital adequacy ratio of 7.60% as of June 2011 against the suggested level of 8%.

It is said that such a low Tier-I capital ratio provides an insufficient cushion to support growth and to absorb potentially higher credit costs arising from deteriorating asset quality.

“Our tier-I capital had dropped to 7.6% against desired requirement of 8%...

“We need to grow and in doing that we need to increase our tier-I and the government of India is convinced,” he said while replying to a query on the necessity for re-capitalisation.

“We have presented all our options to the government, but it has its own process of decision making,” he said.

SBI had raised over Rs16,000 crore through a rights issue in 2008. The government’s contribution was in the form of bonds to the bank instead of cash.

The government of India proposes to provide a sum of Rs6,000 crore to enable the public sector banks to maintain a minimum Tier I Capital to Risk Weighted Asset Ratio (CRAR) at 8% this fiscal.

Last year, the capital infusion budget of the government was Rs20,157 crore.

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COMMENTS

VINOD

5 years ago

Its really amazing to know that FM/RBI are saying that SBI needs funds infusion and the process is on. But nobody is bothered as to why this infusion is required?? Is there any rational behind this..will anybody justify the move first??

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