Companies & Sectors
TRAI sticks to 700 MHz price, quantum recommendation for auction

The department of telecom had raised doubts over the computation of the reserve price for 700 Mhz band, noting that in a few circles, it is priced lower than 900 MHz

 

India's telecom watchdog, TRAI has maintained its recommendations on 700 MHz spectrum pricing for the upcoming auction as well as on the quantum that will be put on sale, an official statement said on Monday.
 
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's response came following the Telecom Commission's query on the pricing and quantum of 700 MHz airwaves to be put for auction in July this year. It had recommended a reserve price of Rs.1,595 crore for 700 MHz in Delhi circle.
 
The department of telecom had raised doubts over the computation of the reserve price for 700 Mhz band, noting that in a few circles, it is priced lower than 900 MHz.
 
The regulator however noted that "the 'bottom-up' approach was used in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz in view of availability of historical information or data and other spectrum bands (700/2300/2500 MHz) where historical information or data are not available, valuation and reserve price has been worked out on the basis of other spectrum bands' reserve prices and outcome of the auctions held in the past".
 
"However, in the case of 700 MHz band which is being auctioned for the first time, the authority did not have any historical data - financial as well as non-financial relating to this band. There is no denying the fact that technical propagation characteristic-wise 700 MHz is nearer to 800 and 900 MHz band than 1800 MHz band," it added.
 
"Moreover, it is also a fact that as per international trends 700 MHz band will be primarily used for LTE technology and presently 1800 MHz is the most deployed band for LTE technology. Therefore, the authority has decided to benchmark the reserve price of 700 MHz with reference to 1800 MHz band and not 800 or 900 MHz band."
 
"The authority (TRAI) therefore reiterates its recommendation on reserve price for 700 MHz band."
 
It noted that even if it is assumed that greater revenue can be generated by auctioning a part of spectrum in 700 MHz band in future, "deferring the revenue receipts now may not be of economic prudence keeping in view the impact of telecom services on the other sectors and overall GDP growth".
 
Spectrum being a scarce resource, auction of spectrum is primarily to solve the allocative problem in an open, transparent manner and "revenue maximization cannot be (and should not be) the only objective of auction where the government is an auctioneer", it said, adding that the government has to a strike a balance between its fiscal targets and its responsibility to promote and encourage growth of the telecom sector.
 
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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Holograms, barcodes to reveal fake, illicit liquor in Maharashtra

The excise department had proposed these mandatory features of hologram and barcodes to curb the menace of spurious and illegal liquor in the state

 

All liquor bottles in Maharashtra will henceforth carry a hologram and barcode to ensure the contents are genuine, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Monday.
 
A decision to this effect, which will cover country (desi) liquor, major locally manufactured brands and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), was taken by the state cabinet at a meeting presided over by Fadnavis.
 
"This will check illicit or spurious liquor sales in the markets which cuts into the excise revenue of the state," Fadnavis said.
 
The decision assumes significance in the wake of the spurious liquor tragedy of June 17 last year which claimed 106 lives -- the worst in the state's history.
 
The excise department had proposed these mandatory features of hologram and barcodes to curb the menace of spurious and illegal liquor in the state.
 
With the barcode, it would simply require a scan from a mobile phone to check the genuineness or otherwise of the liquor bottle, through a special app that will be developed.
 
The measure will also enable a 'track and trace mechanism' of the bottle right from the manufacturer to the retailer and also make public its authenticity.
 
The barcode scan will provided details of the date and place of manufacture, its route from the distillery to the wholesaler and to the local retailer, among other things.
 
Retailers shall also be required to provide special lenses to buyers to enable them to read the covert security features of the hologram that are invisible to the naked eye to confirm its authenticity.
 
To be positioned near the lid/mouth of the bottle, the polyester-based hologram -- which cannot be duplicated or reused -- would also reveal if the bottle is smuggled or not.
 
An official from the Chief Minister's Office said the move will be implemented "very soon" after the relevant formalities are completed.
 
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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PM Awas Yojana, Maharashtra order probe into cheap homes scheme
The Maple Group has invited applications from the general public offering 10,000 cheap flats to those eligible under PMAY and for Rs750,000 to those who are out of its purview
 
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and the Maharashtra government on Monday ordered a probe into a cheap housing scheme floated by a Pune developer promising a one-bedroom-hall kitchen flat for just Rs.500,000.
 
PMAY state mission director Nirmal Deshmukh (IAS) shot off a letter to the Maharashtra Housing & Area Development Authority and the PMAY State Level Nodal Agency to "take appropriate legal and criminal action at once", against the developer, Maple Group Aapla Ghar, Pune.
 
The Maple Group has invited applications from the general public offering 10,000 cheap flats to those eligible under PMAY and for Rs.750,000 to those who are out of its purview.
 
Ostensibly attempting to claim authenticity to the project, its big advertisements carried pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pune guardian minister Girish Bapat.
 
An embarrassed Bapat distanced himself from the ads and clarified that he has never heard or met the builder nor was he associated with the project in any manner.
 
On his part, state Housing Minister Prakash Mehta said the Maple Group's project "was not connected in any manner with the central or state governments" and ordered a probe.
 
Among other things, the Maple Group sought applications with Rs.1,150 non-refundable amount, a down payment of Rs.50,000 and the balance amount after possession of the cheap flats.
 
In cleverly-worded terms, the Group said "it's a Maple Shelters initiative aligned to the PMAY and not a government scheme" and listed criterias to enjoy the benefits of PMAY.
 
These included joint income of the applicant and co-applicant to be less than Rs.600,000 per annum, it should be their 'first house', one of the co-owners must be a female, they should be eligible for a bank loan under PMAY, and the allotment would take place in the presence of the chief minister, depending on his availability.
 
The applications opened on April 14 and would continue till April 25 and according to some estimates, several thousands of people have already applied under the scheme in the past five days.
 
The allotment of 10,000 flats at 14 locations in and around Pune - by a lottery system - is expected to take place on "Maharashtra Housing Day", May 1. Officially there is no such day.
 
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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