TRAI report on linking 2G spectrum price with 3G in 2-3 weeks

New Delhi: Telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said it would give recommendations on one-time charge for extra second generation (2G) spectrum held by operators and linking it with the third generation (3G) prices, in two-three weeks, reports PTI.

TRAI had proposed the process for linking 3G spectrum price with 2G spectrum in order to give level playing field to all operators.

"When we gave our recommendations to the government in May 2010, we had said that we are studying the issue (linking 2G price with 3G price). We have not asked for any extension.

We expect to give recommendations in two-three week," TRAI chairman J S Sarma said here.

Most of the incumbent GSM operators have strongly opposed any move to link 2G spectrum price with that of 3G and have also refused to give any one-time charge for extra spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz.

The operators have said that all spectrum allocations have been made as per the policy and there is no extra spectrum with the operators.

On the media report of Solicitor General's Gopal Subramanium comment that the telecom ministry can change the term and conditions of existing licences and the TRAI's recommendations are not binding on the government, Mr Sarma said, "I have seen it in the media today I don't know what the opinion is about so I don't want to comment on that.

"It's the question of the Act there are certain provisions in the Act and one goes by those provisions."

On the amendment in the TRAI Act, Mr Sarma said, "The issue of amendment in the Act is under consideration by the government. They have recently referred to us for our comments. We are considering the matter. We will tell the government what amendment we require. The regulator will continue to be guided by the provisions of TRAI Act 1997."

The proposed amendment bill is to remove the inconsistency in the qualifications of the chairperson and other members of TRAI.


PM advisory panel favours RBI action to curb inflation

New Delhi: Ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review on Tuesday, the Prime Minister's economic panel today pitched for tightening of money supply as the current inflation rate at over 10% is double than the comfort level and can hurt high economic growth in the medium-term, reports PTI.

Describing inflation as source of major concern for quite some time, the PM's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) chairman, C Rangarajan, told reporters that inflation would start coming down only by August-September and stands at 7%-8% in December, before declining to 6.5% by this fiscal end.

As such, the PMEAC's projection of inflation in its Economic Outlook for 2010-11 was a percentage point higher than 5.5% projected by the RBI. Mr Rangarajan attributed this to the impact of fuel price hike on inflation.

"A bias towards (monetary) tightening is necessary," Mr Rangarajan said.

He said if the RBI does not take strong monetary action to contain inflation, it can opt for a series of "baby steps" after 27th July monetary review.

"Evidence on the funds flow side, as well as on the output side, clearly shows a strong economic recovery. In the backdrop of inflation rates that are more than twice the comfort-zone, it is important that monetary policy completes the process of exit and move towards a bias on tightening," Mr Rangarajan said.

He said controlling high inflation is essential for sustainable growth in the medium-term.

It is widely expected that RBI in its 27th July monetary policy review will raise short-term key rates — repo and reverse repo — to tame inflation that has been in double digits for a fifth month in a row at 10.55% in June.

However, the former RBI governor refused to go into specifics that he will prescribe for RBI to take in its 27th July monetary review.

The Reserve Bank has already started tightening money supply to tame inflation that has been in double digits for the fifth month in a row. Earlier this month, it raised its short-term lending and borrowing rates (repo and reverse repo) by 25 basis points.

This is a reverse of RBI's stance of easing money supply after the collapse of US financial services major Lehman Brothers deepened global financial crisis in September 2008.

Mr Rangarajan said inflation is triggered by food prices.

To control food inflation, he prescribed release of foodgrains through the public distribution system (PDS) in a manner to dampen these prices and continuation of import of wheat, rice and sugar on zero customs duty.

Even after a decline, food inflation stood at 12.47% during the week ended 10th July.


EU asks India to further open its economy to FDI

New Delhi: The European Union (EU) today asked India to further open its economy for foreign investments even as the country has taken tentative steps towards liberalising foreign direct investments (FDI) in sensitive defence and multi-brand retail sectors.

"We would like India to further open its economy to EU investments," the head of the delegation of the EU to India, Daniele Smadja, said at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) function here.

She said that the 27-member economic bloc has an open regime for FDI and the EU want to take it forward with India.

"We are ready to commit to full openness towards Indian investment...," Smadja said.

The EU accounted for 27% of FDI India received in 2009. The Netherlands, Germany and the UK are the main investors.

The ambassador said the proposed comprehensive free trade agreement between India and EU would bring more predictability in the bilateral investment relations.

"Concluding the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations will send clear signal of engagement on both sides...we need to seize this opportunity," she said.

She added the negotiations for the trade pact are likely to be completed this year.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, investment policy will be developed and managed at the European level giving the EU a strengthened negotiating hand.

"We will therefore be able to integrate both investment liberalisation and investment protection to our talks with India, which will make the agreement more comprehensive...," she added.

The EU is the largest investor in India but the biggest outlet for Indian investments abroad.

Tata's deal with Corus, Tata Motor's acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover and Arcelor's acquisition by Mittal are some of the major bilateral investments.

India remained in the list of top ten countries in 2009 to have the highest FDI in the world. In 2009, the country received FDI worth $34.6 billion, while the outward FDI was $14.9 billion, an UNCTAD report said.

The country has taken several steps including simplification of it foreign investment policy to attract FDI.

Recently, the industry ministry has started debate to open sensitive defence and multi-brand retail sectors to foreign investors. While 26% FDI is allowed in defence, India does not permit it in multi-brand sector that employs about 33 million people.



Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

Even the EU is asking India to relax her stringent rules so that FDI can help India to develop.
when are we going to leave EASTINDIA COMPANY SYNDROM and be pragmatic like China.
Do we really wish to become one of sub Sahara countries because we are caught in the past.
time to think big and prove that we are capable to develop.

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