Section of Kingfisher pilots go on strike, five flights cancelled

This is the second time in last eight days that Kingfisher Airline pilots have gone on an agitation over non-payment of their dues

New Delhi/Mumbai: A section of pilots of Kingfisher Airlines on Tuesday went on a strike over non-payment of salary and other dues for the past five months, forcing cancellation of five flights, reports PTI.

Airline officials said the pilots who did not report to work were those who operate the 70-seater ATR turboprop aircraft on short-haul routes connecting regional airports.

In Delhi, two flights each to Dharamsala and Dehradun and one flight to Shimla have been cancelled by the Vijay Mallya-owned airline since this morning.

However, the Airbus A-320 operations of Kingfisher were going on as per the normal schedule, the officials maintained.

This is the second time in last eight days that the airline's pilots have gone on an agitation over non-payment of their dues.

"A section of the airline's pilots, mainly operating ATRs, did not report for duty on the salary payment issue.

Owing to the agitation, the airline has cancelled five flights as we could not get pilots to operate the aircraft," the officials told PTI.

The number of pilots who have joined the agitation is not immediately known, they said, adding that Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal was expected to meet the agitators soon.

Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.


BofA-ML sees subdued Q1 earnings for Indian corporates; forecasts market correction

The investment bank has estimated Q1 profit at 13.7% and sales growth at 16.7%, the lowest in the last 10 quarters

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) has forecast subdued earnings for Indian corporates in the June quarter. The development could lead to a market correction, according to the global investment bank which was quoted in a Reuters report.

Overall headline profit for Q1FY13 is estimated at 13.7%, and 9.7% excluding State Bank of India (SBI), it added.

Overall sales growth is estimated at 16.7%, the lowest sales growth in the last 10 quarters, the investment bank was quoted.

Among blue-chips, SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Infosys and Tata Motors are expected to post strong numbers, while Reliance Industries, Tata Steel and Hindalco Industries would see a lower growth.

BofA-ML further stated that ICICI Bank, HCL Technologies, Apollo Tyres and Jaiprakash Hydro Power would support the market with their results whereas RIL, Idea Cellular and Larsen & Toubro would let down investors.


Finance ministry set to reply to Vodafone’s rejoinder

The Inter-Ministerial Group, which has sent the reply to the PM for approval, will send it to Vodafone after clearance from the PMO

New Delhi: Dismissing Vodafone's contention in the Rs20,000-crore tax case, the finance ministry has prepared a reply to the company's rejoinder which would be sent after approval of the prime minister, reports PTI.

"We did not agree with Vodafone ... The Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) on Vodafone has prepared reply of Vodafone's rejoinder. The reply will be sent to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) first. After approval of the PMO, it will be sent to Vodafone," a senior official said after the meeting of IMG.

The government had earlier formed the IMG to look into the arbitration notice send by the telecom major under the India-Netherlands bilateral investment protection agreement (BIPA).

The government has already replied to the initial notice arguing that tax matters are not covered under the BIPA. Following this, the British telecom major sent the rejoinder seeking an assurance that the retrospective tax amendments would not apply to acquisition of Hutchinson's stake in Hutch-Essar in 2007.

The notice to the rejoinder, which has been prepared by the IMG, will have to be approved by prime minister Manmohan Singh, who had taken over the finance portfolio following the exit of Pranab Mukherjee.

Following amendment to the Income-Tax Act with retrospective effect, Vodafone may be asked to pay Rs20,000 crore tax, interest and penalty for its 2007 acquisition despite wining the tax case in the Supreme Court.


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