Companies & Sectors
SC wants private airlines on less lucrative routes in Himachal, northeast

The court was hearing a petition by national carrier Air India challenging the Himachal Pradesh High Court's December 7, 2015 order asking it to commence flights on a trial basis connecting Shimla and Delhi

 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the government policy allowing private airlines to fly to lucrative destinations without putting them under the obligation of catering to less economical routes like Himachal Pradesh and the northeast.
 
"If you are giving a private operator (permission) to fly to Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, can't you ask them to fly to Himachal Pradesh, northeastern states, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands," asked the bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi.
 
Describing as "bluff" the government's position that it has framed the guidelines and was strictly adhering to them, the bench mockingly observed that the economic interest of private operators was being taken care of without any concern for air routes like Himachal Pradesh and the northeastern states.
 
Describing it as "largesse" to the private airlines without "insisting on corresponding obligations to cater to less lucrative routes", the court said: "We will go into the system."
 
The court also mentioned a petition by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy questioning the agreement between India and the UAE allegedly permitting Etihad Airways to carry 36,670 more passengers over and above the permitted number of 13,330 passengers per week.
 
The agreement between India and Abu Dhabi was signed in April 2013 and another agreement between Jet Airways and Etihad was signed in December 2013. Swamy had in 2013 challenged the Jet-Etihad deal and its approval by the government.
 
As Additional Solicitor General P.S. Patwalia, appearing for Air India, told the court that Shimla was a small airport with all its accompanied difficulties, the court said it was not going to be carried away by all this and it would bring out some more skeletons.
 
Reminding Patwalia that in the course of the last hearing on March 15, 2016, he had said, "we will do something", the court said: "We thought you will come back and tell us that this group will operate flights" to Shimla airport.
 
With the court leaving no doubt about its intentions, Patwalia said he has "understood the sentiments of the court" and would convey the same to the right quarters as the court directed the next hearing on April 21.
 
The court was hearing a petition by national carrier Air India challenging the Himachal Pradesh High Court's December 7, 2015 order asking it to commence flights on a trial basis connecting Shimla and Delhi.
 
The national carrier had earlier told the court that a flight connecting Shimla with Delhi was not economical as there were 12-15 one-way passengers only.
 
The apex court had on December 16, 2015, ordered status quo, thereby putting on hold the December 7 high court direction to Air India.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Param

1 year ago

what's next? asking dominos to promise 30-min delivery even to a village 50 km from the food joint?

why not let businesses run with pre-defined rules that do not change on whims of individuals or institutions?

if connecting unconnected cities was a pre-requisite for any airline to operate, why does it need a court order to enforce it?

Param

1 year ago

what's next? asking dominos to promise 30-min delivery even to a village 50 km from the food joint?

why not let businesses run with pre-defined rules that do not change on whims of individuals or institutions?

if connecting unconnected cities was a pre-requisite for any airline to operate, why does it need a court order to enforce it?

SC to examine if defaulters' names can be made public

Farmers are committing suicide for their inability to repay small loans

 

The Supreme Court will examine if the Reserve Bank of India and the central government could take shelter behind the confidentiality clause in the RBI Act and other statutes for holding back names of loan defaulters and the total quantum of money in default.
 
The court decided to examine whether this information could be made public, as it noted that rich people take loans for running their empires and on their failure to repay them, go for loans restructuring by BFIR while farmers are committing suicide for their inability to repay small loans.
 
Expressing serious concern after going through the confidential report submitted by the RBI, a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice R. Banumathi said that the amount of total default is "very large" and wondered whether the information can be made public.
 
The RBI had furnished the information in pursuance to the court's February 16 order seeking to know about debtors in default of payment of amounts more than Rs.500 crore, along with an affidavit in a sealed cover.
 
The court asked counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for petitioner, NGO CPIL to frame the questions relating to the issue that would be addressed by the court on the next hearing.
 
For "clarity and focused hearing," the court asked Bhushan, "you can formulate the issues and we will hear them." It issued notice to the finance ministry and Indian Banks Association ahead of the next hearing on April 26.
 
The court decided to address the larger issue as it noted that its concern is not that RBI is a regulator only and is meant to be a watchdog. 
 
As the court asked Bhushan to frame the issues, it, in a pointed question asked senior counsel Jaideep Gupta, appearing for the RBI, if not the names of the defaulters, whether the total amount in default could be made public.
 
"You say that amount that are in default are large. What steps you are taking for recovering them, we will like to hear on that," it said.
 
However, Gupta told the court that "these are aggregate figures (and their disclosure) will have an impact on the economy".
 
Section 45E of the Reserve Bank of India Act prohibits disclosure of any information relating to the creditors, saying: "(1) Any credit information contained in any statement submitted by a banking company under section 45C or furnished by the Bank to any banking company under section 45D, shall be treated as confidential and shall not, except for the purposes of this Chapter, be published or otherwise disclosed."
 
As Gupta stressed that under the RBI Act commercial confidentiality had to be maintained, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the government, also cited the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005 and the Public Financial Institutions (Obligation as To Fidelity and Secrecy) Act, 1983, to buttress the argument of maintaining the commercial confidentiality of the borrowers in default.
 
As RBI's counsel tried to flag issues in support of apex bank's resistance to share information on debtors including that of fiduciary relationship, Bhushan said that the apex court by its December 16, 2015 verdict had addressed all these pleas and had rejected them.
 
In this judgment, a bench of Justice M.Y.Eqbal (since retired) and Justice C. Nagappan, while reminding the apex bank of its statutory duty, had said: "RBI is clearly not in any fiduciary relationship with any bank. RBI has no legal duty to maximize the benefit of any public sector or private sector bank, and thus there is no relationship of 'trust' between them. RBI has a statutory duty to uphold the interest of the public at large, the depositors, the country's economy and the banking sector."
 
The court is hearing a public interest litigation citing loans given by HUDCO in 2003 to some companies with questionable track records. The court has been told that there is a circle where the mortgaged assets of a defaulting company again go back to it when those assets are auctioned to recover the bad loans. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Online shopping top reason for accessing internet: Survey

In the survey, 98% respondents voted for online shopping, 96% for social networking, and 95% for banking, emailing and booking tickets

 

Online shopping is the top reason for Indians to access internet followed by social networking, said a joint survey by American Express and Nielsen on Tuesday aimed at gaining consumer insights on online buying habits.
 
Titled "Understanding Online Consumers", the survey undertaken in six cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad - discovered banking, booking tickets and emailing quickly followed shopping and connecting with friends to access the internet.
 
In the survey, 98% respondents voted for online shopping, 96% for social networking, and 95% for banking, emailing and booking tickets.
 
According to the survey, the main drivers for online transaction include ease of paying online (51% respondents), safety and security (43%) and faster processing (39%).
 
Cash back offers (40 percent), discount coupons (38%) and cheaper prices (36%) are the other major pull factors for virtual shopping, the survey said.
 
"With a booming e-commerce and e-services market, brands have become price-competitive, 60% of respondents cited that they get enticed to shop online during discount days," it said.
 
Growing inclination to pay utility bills online is another trend found by the survey.
 
"Three out of four people pay their utility bills online. Tech-savvy youth (age group 18-30 years) aptly targeted by online recharge and utility bill payment platforms, show higher adoption rates (81%) for online utility bill payments," said the survey.
 
Delhi and Bengaluru (81%) lead in online utility bill payments followed by Jaipur (75%) and Ahmedabad (72%) and Mumbai (69%).
 
Plastic money also beat hard cash as the preferred mode of payment for shopping. "70 percent Indian consumers prefer online shopping with cards over cash on delivery; quick and safe refunds being the key reason for their preference," said the survey.
 
Women are more active in the virtual shopping landscape, leading online transactions above men, with 74% of the female respondents use plastic money for online transactions.
 
"Women are using credit and debit cards to shop on their mobiles (98%) and book flights online (56%). Women participants (98%) also have higher penetration of mobile apps as compared to men (81%)," the statement added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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