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Mining crisis: Goa Chamber urges RBI to restructure business loans

Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry is in discussion with senior RBI officials for restructuring of loans of businessmen from the state who had borrowed money to buy trucks and barges, which are now lying idle due to ban on transportation and extraction of ore

Panaji: The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is in talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) urging restructuring of loans of businessmen from the state who had borrowed money to buy trucks and barges, to ferry ore, reports PTI.


GCCI President Manguirish Pai Raikar told PTI that he has been in discussion with senior RBI officials in this regard in the wake of current crisis in the mining industry.


The mining operations in the state have come to halt after Supreme Court's verdict banning transportation and extraction of ore.


The apex court has asked Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) to probe the illegalities in iron ore mining sector as pointed out by the Justice M B Shah Commission.


"We are hopeful...we would be trying to get some solution for restructuring of loans," said Raikar adding that GCCI has already sent a written request to the RBI.


The GCCI is trying to work out alternate cargo for the trucks and barges which are left jobless due to mining halt.


Raikar said Food Corporation of India (FCI) has already declared Mormugao Port Trust as a hub for export of wheat, which will help trucks and barges to carry the cargo.


"At the same time we are also thinking of alternative measures for bringing in additional cargo and getting barges involved in movement of internal cargo," he added.


The GCCI President said there are no exports of pharma products happening from the MPT as there is no certainty of availability of containers at the port.


"Although there is one container cargo ship docking at MPT, there is no certainty that it will come on a particular day. Pharma companies don't take any risk and instead channelise it through Jawaharlal Nehru Port trust (Mumbai)," Raikar said.


The exports of pharmaceutical of about Rs7000-8000 crore is happening through JNPT, Raikar pointed out.


He said companies like Shreyas Shipping and Bengal Tiger Liners are in talks with the MPT and GCCI to make Goa port a port of call.


"They would also connect us to Gujarat as well as South Cochin. By November end or December we are hopeful that the container cargo would be diverted. MPT is a mono commodity port where almost 80% of export is of iron, which is being lost now due to halt in mining," he added.


You are in queue - Airtel tells RAW on tapping of phones

Intelligence agency RAW complained to the DoT about the 'unacceptable' approach by Bharti Airtel of not following their instructions for intercepting some telephone numbers

New Delhi: A barrage of requests by security agencies to Bharti Airtel for telephone tapping led it to say a polite no even to the India's premier external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), reports PTI.


The request by RAW to Bharti Airtel for lawful interception of some telephone numbers came even as the telecom company was flooded with similar pleas by several agencies.


A letter from Arun K Sinha, a joint secretary-rank officer in RAW, complained to the Department of Telecom (DoT) about the "unacceptable" approach of the telecom service provider of not following the instruction with regard to interception of some telephone numbers.


Though the telecom company replied that the targeted telephone numbers will be put on tapping "once (they) get the space", RAW protested saying "this is an unacceptable situation in the context of our national security."


The telecom company was not only directed to comply with the demand of the RAW, which it eventually did on priority basis, but it was also asked to explain the circumstances after which they furnished a reply to the intelligence agency.


When contacted, Bharti Airtel spokesperson said "as a policy, we do not comment on matters related to national security."


Over 9,500 phones are being lawfully tapped in various states out of which nearly 4,500 phones were intercepted during the month of August whereas more than 5,000 phones were already being tapped.


Out of this, RAW is monitoring only 10 phones.


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