Regulatory uncertainty to impact future of telecom industry: Bharti

Recent regulatory developments in telecom sector will have significant implications on the future of telephony and broadband says Sunil Mittal, the chief of Bharti Airtel

New Delhi: Recent regulatory developments, which have led to huge uncertainty, could have significant implications for the future of telecom sector and impact India's global competitiveness, telecom giant Bharti Airtel's Chairman Sunil Mittal said on Wednesday.

"The recent regulatory developments in India will have significant implications on the future of telephony and broadband, as well as India's global competitiveness," Mr Mittal said in a release announcing the company's results for FY12.

Meanwhile, Bharti Enterprises deputy group CEO and MD Akhil Gupta told reporters at a conference, "This was perhaps the most disturbed year (2011-12) on the regulatory front...The uncertainty not only continues but it is huge."

Mr Gupta said the Indian government should take pro-customer and pro-industry decisions with regard to the spectrum pricing.

The comments follow the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issuing recommendations for the sale of spectrum, after the Supreme Court order that cancelled 122 licences for 2G (second-generation) telephony.

TRAI has suggested a base price of Rs3,622 crore for a megahertz (MHz) of pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences bundled with 4.4Mhz spectrum were allocated in 2008 under the then Telecom Minister of India A Raja.

According to TRAI, a minimum of 5Mhz spectrum should be allotted, which means that pan-India airwaves in 1800MHz band will cost Rs18,000 crore.

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SC allows Enrica Lexie, Italian marines and crew members to leave India

The apex court also directed the ship owner to execute a bond of Rs3 crore as a surety for the presence of crew members and the vessel whenever required by the Indian authorities

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the release of Italian merchant navy ship Enrica Lexie which was seized after two of its marines had allegedly killed two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in February this year, reports PTI.

The apex court also allowed four marines and six crew members on board it to leave Indian shores after the Italian government and the ship owner assured it that they will be available when required by Indian legal authorities.

A bench headed by Justice RM Lodha directed the ship owner to execute a bond of Rs3 crore before the registrar general of the Kerala High Court as a surety for the presence of crew members and the vessel whenever required by the Indian authorities.

The bench directed that the crew members should be made themselves available before the authorities within five weeks after receiving summons or notice.

It also directed that the vessel be brought before the legal authorities within seven weeks after receiving summons or notice.

The bench, however, made it clear that its order would not affect the right of the Kerala government to conduct the investigation and the prosecution of two marines accused of killing two fishermen.

The apex court had earlier sought the replies of the Centre and the Kerala government on Italian government's plea to quash the criminal cases against its two merchant navy personnel.

In its petition filed under Article 32, the Italian government had asserted that the Kerala Government has no locus standi to register any criminal case as the alleged offence ought to be treated under international law and covenants as India is a signatory to the UN charter.

On another petition by Enrica's owner Dolphin Tankers too, questioning the Kerala High Court's order staying the release of the vessel, the apex court had sought the replies of the Centre, the Kerala government and two relatives of the slain fishermen gunned down by two marines on 15th February.

A division bench of the Kerala High Court had earlier, while setting aside a single judge's order, stayed the release of the vessel detained off Kochi port since February.

The fishermen, allegedly killed by Italian marines in firing by them at their fishing boat off off Kollam coast were identified as Valentine Jalstine and Ajesh Binki.

Marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi have been arrested and charged with murder and lodged in the central prison in Thiruvananthapuram under judicial remand.

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COMMENTS

Guptan Veemboor

5 years ago

Why the Supreme Court has made the stipulation that the ship Enrica Lexie should be brought to the presence of any authorised legal authorities if asked to? Earlier another division bench of SC has told that the ship is in no way concerned with the crime and why it is being detained? Then why this stipulation? If the ship was chartered by the marines to come to the Indian waters or nearby and kill the fishermen then ship is the vehicle used for the crime. Here this was not a premeditated murder and the ship was not used for that exclusively? And not even the ship did smash the boat and sink it as it had happened in the case of MV Prabhu Daya. In fact this stipulation should have been made before releasing Prabhu Daya as it was the instrument used for the crime. So to me to call the ship at any time during the trial is quite illogical.

King Fisher staff to move Labour Court over salary issue

Last month a section of its employees, including pilots and engineers, had served an ultimatum to the airline management to clear their dues by 20th April or face a strike

Mumbai: Claiming that their salaries had still not been cleared, a section of Kingfisher Airlines staff including engineers and pilots is mulling the option of moving the Labour Court to expedite settlement of their dues, reports PTI.

"April has ended and with that the airline has once again accumulated salary dues of employees of four months (January-April). Unfortunately, the top management has not bothered to inform us as to when it intends to pay us. The situation is back to square one," some airline employees said here, requesting anonymity.

The pilots were considering seeking the intervention of the Labour Court in the matter and get the employees' dues cleared in an expeditious manner, they said, adding they would soon take a joint decision with other staffers on the future course of action.

Last month also, a section of its employees, including pilots and engineers, had served an ultimatum to the airline management to clear their dues by 20th April or face a strike.

The crisis was averted at the last minute after Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya wrote to them assuring payments of salaries within a week in a staggered manner.

The employees now claim that as many as 200 employees, mainly engineers, have still not been paid their December salary despite Mr Mallya's assurance.

Kingfisher Airlines has a debt burden of Rs7,057.08 crore and the financial crunch has hit its operations with airline ranking lowest in market share at 6.4% in March.

The airline has completely withdrawn from its overseas operations and is operating a vastly curtailed domestic flight schedule.

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