TTSL said that COAI only pursued the interests of some older players on issues such as reduction in interconnect charges, excess spectrum charging and national numbering plans
Terming the functioning of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), a powerful lobby of GSM operators, as "undemocratic, biased, non-transparent and unethical", Tata Teleservices (TTSL) today resigned from the core membership of the association, reports PTI.
"We have found that COAI is not a transparent association and represents the views of only a few selected old players, as all powers/rights are vested in their hands," TTSL said in a letter to Mr Rajan Mathews, director general of COAI.
"By doing so, COAI along with these few older players, has become an obstacle in the growth of the Indian telecom industry," it added.
Mr Mathews could not be contacted despite several attempts as his mobile phone was switched off.
The COAI has older players like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular as its core members. Sanjay Kapoor, CEO of Bharti Airtel, was elected chairman of COAI last week.
Tatas alleged that the COAI was focussed only on the "myopic growth of a few telecom operators", without being representative of all the members.
"TTSL does not wish to continue associating with an association which just doesn't seem to be able to work in a just and equitable manner. We, hereby, formally tender our resignation as core member of COAI," it said.
Tatas did not rule out initiating legal action against the lobby of GSM operators.
Last week, the COAI had barred TTSL, along with two other operators — Loop Telecom and Etisalat — from exercising their franchise as the companies had not paid "disputed" dues.
The company had, however, asserted that it had paid all its dues, though there were some disputed amounts. It said that the voting power was concentrated in the hands of three big operators and the other 8-10 members were virtually insignificant.
"Voting rights have been placed in the hands of a few key older players and these privileges are often abused by these players for their own advantage," TTSL said in the letter.
TTSL said that COAI only pursued the interests of some older players on issues such as reduction in interconnect charges, excess spectrum charging and national numbering plans.
"Due to this undemocratic modus operandi at COAI, TTSL and some of the other newer members of COAI had to approach the regulator and licensor in many a forum... that COAI was not taking all its members' views into consideration and therefore COAI's views should be disregarded," it said.
TTSL also pointed out that while the executive committee — controlled by older operators — takes the decisions on filing cases, members are expected to pay the legal expenses even for cases that are filed against them.
Reacting to a slower-than-expected May industrial output growth at 11.5%, finance secretary Ashok Chawla said the manufacturing sector would continue to see average growth and should grow in double digits in the current fiscal
The government today said the manufacturing sector is unlikely to grow at an abnormally high rate as there are capacity constraints, reports PTI.
"Nobody should expect that the industrial manufacturing sector will continue to grow at abnormally high number for a long time to come. There are capacity constraints…," finance secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters in New Delhi.
Reacting to a slower-than-expected May industrial output growth at 11.5%, Mr Chawla said the manufacturing sector would continue to see average growth trend now and should grow in double digits in the current fiscal.
This is the eighth straight month of the industrial output clocking a double digit growth.
The manufacturing output, which constitutes around 80% of the index of industrial production (IIP), grew 12.3% in May against 1.8% in same month last year, official data released today said.
"Whatever output lag was there in the economy has been filled and the manufacturing sector is now showing the kind of average secular growth which continues to be good and would be favourable for the economy," he said.
Industrial output rose 10.4% in fiscal 2009-10, faster than the 2.8% recorded in the previous year.
The government might consider the millers' demand to export after major festivals like Diwali, as consumption of sugar is generally higher during the festive season
Sugar mills may not be allowed to fulfil their export obligation of nearly 10 lakh tonnes till Diwali in November, as the food ministry is hesitant to permit shipments fearing a price rise during the festive season, reports PTI.
"Some of the millers have approached us demanding export release order. But at the moment, we cannot allow... as the sugarcane availability and production estimate for the next season is yet to be firmed up," a senior food ministry official said.
The government might consider the millers' demand to export after major festivals like Diwali, the official said, adding that consumption of sugar is generally higher during the festive season.
Mills had imported 20.75 lakh tonnes of sugar in 2004-05 crop year (October-September) under the Advance Licence Scheme (ALS) as there was a shortfall in production then. Mills are required to export an equal quantity by March 2011.
Out of total imported sugar, export obligation of 9.67 lakh tonnes is yet to be fulfilled. Mills cannot export the sweetener without the release order from the ministry.
Sugar mills situated in southern India are mainly demanding that they should be allowed to fulfil their export obligation as there is a good demand from Southeast Asia. They have an obligation of about 6-7 lakh tonnes.
The official said that the government does not want to take any chance by allowing export of sugar as prices of the sweetener have moderated only recently, owing to an improved domestic output to 18.5 million tonnes for 2009-10 from the earlier estimate of around 16 million tonnes.
Retail sugar prices, which touched nearly Rs50 a kg in Delhi in mid-January, have come down to Rs30 per kg now.
In December last year, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had decided to extend the deadline to meet the export obligation till March 2011, considering the low production of sweetener during the current season ending September.
It also gave an option to the millers to pay customs duty as applicable during the relevant period and get exempted from the export obligation.