Tatas to file review petition on SC order on 2G

“TTL had applied for the three licenses way back in June 2006 and this was kept pending for over 18 months until LOIs were finally issued in January 2008. TTL has been advised to file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking a redressal on this point,” a company statement said

New Delhi: Aggrieved by the cancellation of its three licences by the Supreme Court, Tata Teleservices (TTL) on Monday said it will file a review petition against the order as the company had applied for these licences more than 18 months before the 2008 licensing process began, reports PTI.

TTL’s three licences for Assam, North-East and Jammu & Kashmir were cancelled as part of 122 second generation (2G) licences issued by former telecom minister A Raja in January 2008 on the basis that these were illegal.

“TTL had applied for these three licenses way back in June 2006 and this was kept pending for over 18 months until Letters of Intents (LOIs) were finally issued in January 2008. TTL has been advised to file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking a redressal on this point,” a company statement said.

At the same time, the company welcomed the apex court’s judgement that spectrum, a scarce national resource, will be allotted through auctions. “It has always been our view that spectrum has value and should be paid for,” it added.

The aberrations in the policy date back to 2001 and have resulted in wrongful allocations, the beneficiaries of which were not before the court. If auction covers spectrum wrongfully-allocated since 2001 and is executed in an equitable manner, without bias in favour of selected operators or specific technologies, it should bring in greater transparency and fair-play into the telecom industry, the statement said further.

It is obvious that in the new dispensation mandated by the Supreme Court to be put in place within four months, there has to be a level-playing field consistent with the paradigm of transparency.

At the time when NTT DoCoMo invested in TTL, TTL had been in operations for over 12 years, already had 17 licences, had reached an annual turnover of Rs6,000 crore, had 3,000 employees, about 100 offices, 33 million subscribers, 60,000 km of fibre, an NLD business, 38% investments in Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) and 100% investments in its tower subsidiary.

The investment made by its strategic partner NTT DoCoMo was, therefore, not on account of these three licences but on account of TTL’s established position as one of the strong players in the telecom field, apart from its strong Tata brand.

 

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Borrowings of states likely to go up: ICRA

“Given the low anticipated inflow of National Small Savings Fund and the likely moderation in tax revenues in the current fiscal year relative to the Budget Estimate for 2011-12, it is likely that the states may borrow substantial funds through SDLs in February-March 2012,” credit ratings agency ICRA said in a report

New Delhi: State governments are likely to go for additional borrowings during the remaining two months of this fiscal on account of low inflows from small savings and moderation in tax revenue, reports PTI quoting credit ratings agency ICRA.

In a report on debt burden of states released on Monday, ICRA added that borrowings through State Development Loan (SDL are likely to remain substantial even in 2012-13.

“As compared to a gross SDL of around Rs1,03,000 crore in 2010-11, the 28 Indian states have already raised SDL of around Rs1,22,600 crore in 2011-12.

“Given the low anticipated inflow of National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) and the likely moderation in tax revenues in the current fiscal year relative to the Budget Estimate (BE) for 2011-12, it is likely that the states may borrow substantial funds through SDLs in February-March 2012,” the report said.

ICRA’s report is based on samples from six states—Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu. These are the states in which ICRA has rated the debt instruments of a number of government entities.

According to the report, in 2012-13 the anticipated easing of policy rates would result in an easing of bank deposit rates as well as the yields at which fresh SDL are contracted.

This may also result in an upswing in NSSF inflows if the rates of various schemes remain unchanged. However, this will not be enough to reduce the borrowings.

“However, with the planned reduction in the minimum share of states in the net small savings collections to 50% from 80%, the magnitude of funds to be raised by the state governments through SDL is likely to remain significant in 2012-13,” it added.

The report said that though there will be an improvement in various indicators like proportion of debt as percentage of total of revenue receipts, states’ own tax revenues, gross state domestic product (GSDP) and interest payments as a proportion of revenue receipt in the current fiscal, the situation in some states is unlikely to improve much.

“Notwithstanding some improvement in certain leverage indicators, Gujarat and Punjab are likely to remain more indebted than other states in the ICRA sample. Nevertheless, the magnitude of their debt stock at an absolute level is likely to remain smaller than other states, particularly Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh,” it said.

 

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Budget may increase tax exemption limit to Rs2 lakh

DTC, which is currently being scrutinised by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, has suggested that the income tax exemption limit be hiked to Rs2 lakh from Rs1.8 lakh at present. It also proposes that the highest personal income tax rate of 30% should apply to annual income above Rs10 lakh, as against Rs8 lakh

New Delhi: The government is likely to provide some relief to individual income tax payers in the forthcoming Budget by raising the exemption limit to Rs2 lakh, as provided in the Direct Taxes Code (DTC), and hiking the slabs for different tax brackets, reports PTI.

The possibility of lowering the tax rates, however, is remote in view of the fiscal constraints being faced by the government, sources said, adding that the government will take on board some of the key recommendations of the DTC.

DTC, which is currently being scrutinised by the Parliamentary Standing Committee, has suggested that the income tax exemption limit be hiked to Rs2 lakh from Rs1.8 lakh at present.

It also proposes that the highest personal income tax rate of 30% should apply to annual income above Rs10 lakh, as against Rs8 lakh.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee will be unveiling the Budget proposals for 2012-13 sometime around mid-March.

The industry, too, is demanding that in view of high inflation, the income tax slab should be increased although the government may retain the existing tax rates.

CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee suggested that basic exemption limit should be increased from Rs1.8 lakh to Rs2.5 lakh for individuals.

“We have suggested that the income in the range of Rs2.5 lakh to Rs6 lakh should be taxed at the rate of 10%, whereas that in the next slab up to Rs10 lakh can be taxed at the rate of 20%. Above Rs10 lakh, it should be taxed at 30%,” Mr Banerjee said.

Ficci secretary general Rajiv Kumar said the government should incentivise people to come into tax bracket.

“Given the revenue constraints, the income tax rates for individuals may not be reduced. It is, however, imperative that the peak rate of 30% for such assesses be made applicable over an income of Rs10 lakh, against Rs8 lakh at present,” Mr Kumar said.

Assocham president Dilip Modi said the Budget should provide basic exemption limit of Rs2 lakh and the tax rate of 10% should apply to persons having income above Rs2 lakh and up to Rs5 lakh.

Calling for raising the tax exemption limit, PHD Chamber secretary general Sushmita Shekhar argued that it is necessary to increase disposable income and boost demand in the economy.

“India is a consumption-led economy. Role of private sector consumption in boosting the overall economic growth is immense,” she said.

 

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