Companies & Sectors
TRAI seeks comments on differential pricing of data services
Indian telecom watchdog TRAI on Wednesday said that differential pricing of data services by various operators might potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff and sought comments/opinion from stakeholders.
 
In a consultation paper, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said some service providers were offering differential data tariff, either free or discounted, on certain contents of particular websites, applications or platforms.
 
"The objective of offering such schemes is claimed to be the desire of various service/content/platform providers to enable consumers, especially the poor, to access certain content on the Internet free of charge," the sector regulator said.
 
It said potentially, both positive and negative effects arise from an economic and regulatory perspective where reduced rates are tied to specific content.
 
"On the one hand, it appears to make overall Internet access more affordable by reducing costs of certain types of content. On the other hand, several negative effects might ensue. Differential tariffs result in classification of subscribers based on the content they want to access. This may potentially go against the principle of non-discriminatory tariff," it added.
 
The consultation paper sought comments from industry stakeholders on whether the telecom service providers should be allowed to have differential pricing for data usage for accessing different websites, applications or platforms.
 
It also asked if differential pricing for data usage was permitted and the measures to be adopted to ensure that the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, affordable Internet access, competition and market entry and innovation were addressed.
 
Finally, it sought opinion on whether there were alternate methods, technologies or business models, other than differentiated tariff plans, available to achieve the objective of providing free Internet access to consumers.
 
The stakeholders could give their comments by December 30 and counter-comments by January 7, 2016.
 
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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'Single woman driving car to be exempted from new traffic rule'
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that in the proposed scheme of things to limit cars with odd and even numbers on alternate days, any car carrying a patient or being driven by single women would be exempted.
 
Speaking after meeting union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Kejriwal said he received a positive response from the central government over the Delhi government's traffic controlling scheme.
 
"He (Rajnath Singh) said the central government and Delhi Police will cooperate," Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting.
 
Stating that the discussions included the point that certain exemptions would be required, he said: "If there is a patient in a car, it will be exempted, if a single woman is driving, it will also be exempted. If there is an emergency... he (Rajnath Singh) flagged out some issues and we said we will sort it. The response was positive."
 
Kejriwal said he also discussed about the Delhi government's plan to put CCTV cameras across the city.
 
"We said we want CCTVs in whole of Delhi, but for that we need help of Delhi Police because the feed will go to Delhi Police... we need police cooperation."
 
"We said there is nothing in the tussle (between Delhi Police and government), we must sit together and chart a course," he said.
 
On Tuesday, Delhi PWD Minister met union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari who assured him support.
 
Meanwhile, the Delhi Dialogue Commission held a day-long consultation with over a dozen providers to enable and expand ride-sharing, carpooling, and shuttle services for the citizens of Delhi.
 
A review meeting on the road rationing is slated on Thursday which will be chaired by Kejriwal.
 
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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ONGC suffered Rs.8,000 crore loss for poor rig management: CAG
India's official auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), on Wednesday censured state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) for poor planning in hiring and use of drilling rigs that resulted in a loss of Rs.7,995 crore.
 
In a report tabled in parliament, the CAG said ONGC's non-productive time or idling time of rigs ranged between 19 and 23 percent over 2010-14.
 
"The bulk of idling time costing Rs.6,418 crore was due to factors which could have been controlled by the company," CAG said.
 
The company also did not adhere to safety procedures and continued drilling and testing operations even after an anchor of its rig, Sagar Vijay, had broken, the report said.
 
A second anchor of the rig snapped, which caused drifting of the rig from its location, owing to which the well had to be closed and abandoned, it said.
 
Consequently, an expenditure of Rs.1,577.27 crore incurred by ONGC on drilling at the original location, and drilling of a relief well by using another rig proved avoidable.
 
"The insurer did not honour the claim of ONGC on the ground that the latter had not followed recognised safe operating practice," the report said.
 
Failure on the part of the company led to a situation wherein rigs were being operated with outdated and obsolete equipment, the official auditor said.
 
"The Annual Rig Deployment Plans (RDPs) had an in-built inefficiency," it said.
 
Whereas there was no uniformity in preparation of annual RDPs among the assets and basins of ONGC, the company failed to decide a policy on acquisition of new offshore rigs for over a decade -- from 2002 to 2015.
 
The CAG said four of six ONGC-owned offshore rigs have outlived their economic usable life of 30 years.
 
It asked ONGC to ensure that the plans - five year plan, annual plan, rig requirement plan, rig deployment plan - are complete and consistent with one another and are complied with.
 
The situation where one out of every three wells drilled is un-planned needs to be corrected, it said.
 
Besides, the company did not adhere to the repair schedule for dry dock management and major lay-up repairs of jack-up rigs which was against an efficient operational practice, the CAG said.
 
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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