Banking
Strike affects clearance of 21 lakh cheques worth Rs.16,000 crore
Chennai : Around 21 lakh cheques worth about Rs.16,000 crore could not be cleard on Friday owing to bankers strike against the violation of bilateral settlement by five associate banks of the State Bank of India (SBI), said a top leader of employees union.
 
According to All India Bank Employees' Association's (AIBEA) C.H.Venkatachalam, around 350,000 bankers participated in the strike across the nation which affected clearing of around 21 lakh cheques worth about Rs.16,000 crore.
 
The five associate banks of the SBI are State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, and State Bank of Travancore.
 
The strike also put several thousands of people into difficulty across the country, and they will be put to further hardship as Saturday and Sunday will be bank holidays.
 
"It is a matter of regret that the associate banks which are public sector banks and their managements do not care for the advice of the chief labour commissioner and insisted on violation of the bilateral settlement not caring for the law of the land," Venkatachalam said.
 
"While we are sorry for the unavoidable inconveniences to the banking public on account of this strike, we wish to clarify that the strike was forced on us because of the adamant approach management," he added in a statement issued here.
 
According to Venkatachalam, the management of SBI's five associate banks remained steadfast on implementing the new Career Progression Scheme (CPS) for their employees, violating the bilateral agreement with the union.
 
He said that the five banks want to abolish permanent cadres like sweepers and outsoucre their labour activity, but this cannot be done unilaterally.
 
AIBEA also perceives the uniform service conditions between SBI and its five associate banks as a further step towards merger.
 
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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In a first, French contingent to join in Republic Day parade
New Delhi : For the first time ever, a foreign contingent will participate in the Republic Day parade -- French troops will march down the Rajpath on January 26, official sources said.
 
Sources from the defence ministry said that a contingent of the French army will participate in the march.
 
The French contingent will march down the Rajpath as French President Francois Hollande will be seated as the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations this year.
 
In 2009, India participated in the Bastille Day Military Parade or 14 July Military Parade, the oldest regular military parade in the world.
 
Then President Nicolas Sarkozy invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to attend the event as the guest of honour. Soldiers including jawans of Maratha Light Infantry Regiment Centre (MLIRC) marched down the Champs Elysees to the sound of an Indian military band playing Indian martial tunes including "Saare Jahan Se Achcha".
 
This is the fifth time a French leader will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, the highest for any country. Earlier leaders from that country had presided in 1976, 1980, 1998 and 2008.
 
Defence relations between the two nations have been growing close, with the deal for buying 36 Rafale jets, which was finalised recently, being the latest feat.
 
Meanwhile, a French contingent comprising 56 personnel of 35th Infantry Regiment of 7th Armoured Brigade, which had taken part in the Afghan war, arrived in Jodhpur to take part in eight-day long counter insurgency joint exercise 'Shakti-2016'.
 
The contingent, led by Major Thibaut De Lacoste Lareymondie arrived on Thursday at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges.
 
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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TRAI gets 24 lakh comments on differential pricing paper
New Delhi : Indian telecom regulator TRAI has received 24 lakh comments from stakeholders on its consultation paper on "Differential Pricing for Data Services" where operators said pricing flexibility is a core tenet of marketing and innovation, an official statement said here on Friday.
 
The last date of submission of comments was on January 7 and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will come out with counter-comments by January 14.
 
"Majority of the comments received are template responses and many of which do not address the specific questions that were raised in the consultation paper. In view of the fact that there is quite a large number of responses and also that many of these are repetitive template responses, no useful purpose would be served by publishing all such responses," the regulator said in the statement said.
 
"Therefore, it has been decided to publish only sample copies of responses which contain identical or similar subjects/ source or contents," it added.
 
The regulator on December 9 said differential pricing of data services, an important aspect of net neutrality, by various operators might potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff and sought comments or opinions from stakeholders.
 
The regulator received comments from service providers like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Idea Cellular, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Tata Teleservices, Telewings Communications Services, Videocon and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited.
 
"Pricing flexibility is a core tenet of marketing and innovation. The differential pricing or marketing innovation is critical for the growth of data services. 
 
Customers find differential offerings, a great value proposition as these enable them to use various products or services of their choice at a much lower price. Thus, TSPs (telecom service providers) should continue to have the flexibility to offer a variety of packages to consumers," Bharti Airtel said in its comments.
 
British telecom major Vodafone India said: "The content provider may like to enter into commercial arrangements with the service providers to offer a differential tariff for its content. 
 
"Such arrangements will be a win-win for the customers, the telecom operators and content or app developers as it will help defray the costs of infrastructure build-out, ensure affordable services and high quality experience to end users, which in turn will fuel development and growth of the market."
 
Industrialist Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCOM) said: "The Authority should allow the offering of differential pricings within the scope of the existing regulations itself. Imposition of any further regulations on data services will only distort the market and could be to the detriment of the end users." 
 
The regulator said more than 13.5 lakh were comments received through [email protected]
 
"About 5.44 lakh comments have been received through [email protected]'. Most of these responses are in support of a specific product, that is, 'Free basics', even though the consultation paper had not raised any issue on such specific product without addressing the questions raised in the consultation paper," it said.
 
RCOM, the only telecom service provider offering Free Basics in India, on December 23 said its commercial launch has been put on hold after the regulator said it should not come till the ruling on differential pricing is out.
 
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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