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Sahara's OFCD scheme: Public issue without going public

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Vodafone contests DoT on fee for extra spectrum, 3G roaming

“...Any suggestion or action on the part of DoT or TRAI to charge one-time fee on 2G spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz is legally untenable as the consideration has already been paid and is being paid in form of higher spectrum usage charges,” TV Ramachandran, resident director regulatory affairs and government relations of Vodafone India, told reporters

New Delhi: British telecom firm Vodafone’s Indian arm on Monday contested the proposal of a one-time charge for extra spectrum held by service providers beyond the contracted limit of 6.2 Mhz, saying this is in violation of the contract, reports PTI.

“...Any suggestion or action on the part of the Department of Telecom (DoT) or the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to charge one-time fee on second generation (2G) spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz is legally untenable as the consideration has already been paid and is being paid in form of higher spectrum usage charges,” TV Ramachandran, resident director regulatory affairs and government relations of Vodafone India, told reporters.

Meanwhile, on the contentious issue of roaming pact among leading service providers to offer 3G mobile services, the company seems to have hardened its stand by stating that they are ready to return the 3G spectrum to the government and will take back the money if the roaming pact is not allowed.

“Department of Telecom cannot go back on permission for 3G roaming. We are open to returning spectrum if 3G roaming pact among the service providers is not allowed,” he said.

“A licensee may enter into mutual commercial agreements for intra service area roaming facilities with other licensed cellular mobile telephone service licensees/unified access service licensees. Further, TRAI can also prescribe tariffs or charges for such facilities within the provisions of TRAI Act, 1997 as amended from time to time,” he said quoting the License Amendment of 12 June 2008.

However, the company continued to be bullish about business in India and hoped that there would be regulatory clarity on all issues.

“In terms of business in India we are very bullish on the market and we are also hopeful that regulatory clarity on some of the issues will be there by the department,” Vodafone India strategy director Samaresh Parida said.

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RBI allows banks, NBFCs to float infra debt funds

Banks and NBFCs will now be able to sponsor IDFs, which can be set up either as Mutual Funds (MFs) or NBFCs, as per the guidelines issued by the RBI on Monday

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday issued guidelines on Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs) paying the way for banks and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to float such funds, a move that will help in garnering long-term resources for the infrastructure sector, reports PTI.

Banks and NBFCs will now be able to sponsor IDFs, which can be set up either as Mutual Funds (MFs) or NBFCs.

“Scheduled commercial banks would be allowed to act as sponsors to IDF-MFs and IDF-NBFCs with prior approval from RBI,” the central bank’s guidelines on setting up IDFs said.

NBFCs with a minimum Net Owned Funds (NOF) of Rs300 crore and Capital to Risk Weighted Assets (CRAR) of 15% has been allowed to set up IDF-MF.

As far as Infrastructure Finance Companies (IFCs) are concerned, they can sponsor IDF-NBFC.

In order to accelerate and enhance the flow of long-term funds to infrastructure projects, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his budget speech had announced setting up of IDFs.

A bank acting as sponsor of IDF-NBFC shall contribute a minimum equity of 30% and maximum 49% in the fund, while for IDF-MF, they would have to follow the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) norms.

Also, investment by a bank in the equity of a single IDF-MF and NBFC should not exceed 10% of its paid up share capital and reserves.

For NBFCs, their non-performing assets (NPAs) should be less than 3% of net advances, should have been in existence for at least five years and earning profits for the last three years.

The investors in IDFs would be primarily domestic and off-shore institutional investors, especially insurance and pension funds which would have long term resources.

IDF-MF would be regulated by SEBI while IDF-NBFC would be regulated by the RBI. Earlier, the SEBI had issued guidelines in this regard.

The government has said that the infrastructure sector requires an investment of $1 trillion during the 12th Five Year Plan beginning next fiscal. Of this, 50% of the funding is expected to come from the private sector.

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