TRAI recommendations should be rejected: Star

New Delhi: Leading television (TV) broadcaster Star India today hit out at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for 'shocking' recommendations for direct-to-home (DTH) tariff, saying that this would wreak havoc in the industry and that it would seek rejection of the same legally, reports PTI.

"The way they (recommendations) are at the moment, it should be outrightly rejected...We will ask the apex body IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation) for challenging it in court," Star India head Uday Shankar told PTI.

He charged that the recommendations not only deprived the consumer of choosing a channel but also failed to address the revenue leakage through under-declaration by cable operators and theft.

TRAI had last week fixed the wholesale tariff to be paid to broadcasters for TV channels by DTH and IPTV (internet protocol television) service providers and cable operators in conditional access system (CAS) areas at 35% of the corresponding rates for normal cable operators.

"Current TRAI recommendations will weaken the broadcast sector in the short-term and much more in the long run," Mr Shankar said.

Besides, TRAI had recently submitted before the Supreme Court that the maximum monthly bill for cable TV should be at Rs250 per month, which includes the basic package and more than 20 pay channels and the minimum at Rs100 for up to 30 free-to-air channels.

Mr Shankar said the regulator has failed to address the larger issue of under-declaration of subscribers by local cable operators and theft that is affecting the entire broadcast industry.

"There is nothing (in the TRAI recommendations) that talks about fixing under-declaration...It was one opportunity that TRAI had of addressing the issue of under-declaration and theft, which it has lost," he said.

Besides, Mr Shankar said TRAI recommendation has deprived consumers, who are willing to pay more for niche channels, of choice.

"If I want to watch a western classical channel and I'm willing to pay for it, then why should I not get it? The consumer choice has been completely disregarded," he said.

On the issue of wholesale tariff for channel signals to DTH, IPTV and CAS cable operators, Mr Shankar said: "What is the logic of 35%? It gives the impression that there is an exact science there, whereas it's a completely random thing."

Earlier it was at 50%, which was always designed as a temporary measure, he added. 

Mr Shankar said that while TRAI did have discussions with various stakeholders, the decision by the regulator has shocked the broadcasting industry.

"We were completely taken aback by the recommendations. It has come as a shock," he said.


Retail MF investors bet on long-term investments, but institutions do not

Domestic institutions have the least patience in mutual funds, while retail investors seem to be more hopeful over long-term returns in these instruments

Retail investors continue to remain invested in equity mutual funds (MFs) for much longer stretches than domestic institutional investors (DIIs), who rush in and out to make a quick buck. According to an insightful research report for CAMS done by Boston Consulting Group, around 40% of DII exposure towards equity MF schemes was for a period of up to one year.

By contrast, retail investors having investments of less than Rs1 lakh had the most long-term faith in equity funds.

As of March 2010, 58% of investors had remained invested for more than two years in a fund while 21% of investors remained invested for a period of up to two years.

As on March 2010, banks and financial institutions held Rs745.91 crore in equity schemes for a period of up to one year. "Domestic institutions invest in equity only for a short-term period when they have surplus liquidity and believe that markets are likely to go up. They don't stay invested for the long term," said Arvind Chari, senior fund manager, Fixed Income, Quantum Mutual Fund.

High net-worth individuals (HNIs) had an even shorter view. HNIs (defined as people investing Rs5 lakh or above) had total investments worth Rs7,034.33 crore, which was held for a period of 6-12 months, the highest amount (in this period) when compared to other class of investors. The portfolios of HNIs are usually relocated as per market movements, as they have access to sophisticated investment advice - or so they think. Small investors usually have more investments in equity-linked savings schemes (ELSS) and systematic investment plans (SIPs) which are normally of longer durations. ELSS lock-in is for a period of three years. These schemes are popular among retail investors who wish to avail of the tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income-Tax Act, subject to a limit of up to Rs1 lakh a financial year.

But the assets under management (AUM) share of ELSS schemes still remains low at Rs24,868 crore (or 4% of the Rs6.30 lakh crore combined AUM of all scheme types).

According to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI), retail investors held Rs88,415.81 crore (62.57%) for more than two years in equity schemes which was the highest tenure for holding investments in these financial instruments as compared to other categories of investors like banks, corporates, FIIs and HNIs. The total share of retail investors in equity funds was 66.71% at Rs1,33,298 crore (as of March 2010) with more than 4 crore folios or investor accounts.



jignesh n vyas

7 years ago

I strart my only mf business 2004. my investor retail . my old clint investment till today . my all investment are long term. Today i advice sip to all my clint. After entry load ben it is difficult to chage retail investor. Retail investor are long term.

India's perishable goods import touch Rs17,400 crore in 2009-10

New Delhi: India imported over Rs17,400 crore worth perishable goods such as meat, edible oils and fruits in 2009-10 fiscal, reports PTI.

The total import of perishable goods such as meat, fruits, vegetable oil and other items in the country stood at Rs17,419.33 crore in 2009-10 fiscal, minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya M Scindia said while responding to a written query in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

When asked about the impact of import of such items on the domestic market he said, "The government closely monitors the economic developments in the country and internationally on a continuous basis, and need based measures are taken, from time to time, keeping in view the financial and overall economic implications."

The minister said there has been no import of rice and wheat during 2009-10 fiscal for central pool stocks on government account.


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