Companies & Sectors
Uday will help wipe out discoms' losses by 2019: Goyal
Power Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday that the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojana (Uday) approved by the union cabinet will help wipe out the accumulated losses of state electricity distribution companies (discoms) by 2019.
 
"A clear road map has been drawn to solve the present crisis of discoms," he said at the opening of the conference of state power ministers here, while referring to the discoms debt restructuring plan cleared by the cabinet in New Delhi on Thursday.
 
With the losses of electricity distribution companies in India touching a staggering Rs.3.8 trillion ($58 billion), the cabinet on Thursday approved a major restructuring and revival package for the sector, with both checks and incentives, to remove what is considered the weakest link in the government's ambitious plan of power for all by 2022.
 
Announcing the cabinet decision to reporters on Thursday, the minister said the Uday package includes steps to reduce the interest burden of discoms by as much as 600 basis points, by converting 75 percent of their debt into state governments bonds. These bonds, he added, will bear the same interest as that for government securities, plus 50 basis points.
 
Goyal assured the power ministers of states and union territories gathered here that apprehensions regarding the proposed amendments to the Electricity Act would be addressed.
 
Referring to India's renewable energy plan target for installed solar power capacity of 100 gigawatt (GW) by 2022, Goyal said the target could be achieved earlier with cooperation of the states.
 
"I am confident that we can achieve the renewable energy targets, not necessarily six-and-half years from now but possibly even in four-and-half years from now, if we all work together as a team," he said.
 
India has pledged to improve emissions intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35 percent by 2030 below 2005 levels.
 
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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Select three information commissioners in six weeks: Delhi HC
With the Central Information Commission facing a huge pendency of cases, the Delhi High Court on Friday directed the centre to finalise the selection of three central information commissioners within six weeks.
 
"The selection process that has already been commenced vide notifications dated February 25, 2014, and July 16, 2014, shall be finalised within six weeks from today (Friday) and the three vacancies of information commissioners existing as of today shall be filled up from amongst the 553 applications received in reference of the said two notifications," a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw said.
 
"The selection process pursuant to the circular dated September 9, 2015, shall be confined for selection and appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner in the vacancy that would arise with effect from December 2, 2015, and one information commissioner which is likely to arise with effect from December 2, 2015.
 
"The tenure of Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Vijai Sharma will be completed on December 1, 2015, and in case one of the serving information commissioners is appointed as the CIC in the vacancy that would arise from December 2, one more vacancy of the IC is likely to arise," said the bench.
 
The court order came on a public suit filed by Right to Information activists R.K. Jain, Lokesh Batra and Subhash Chandra Agarwal. 
 
The petitioners contended that the Central Information Commission was created as a statutory body to decide appeals and complaints against public authorities for non-compliance of the RTI Act. 
 
The commission's proper functioning was essential for the proper implementation of the RTI Act, argued Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the petitioners. He said the government had attempted to stifle the functioning of the transparency law by failing to do its statutory duty to make appointments.
 
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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No bail till CBI probe over: SC to Matang Sinh
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to grant bail to former union minister Matang Sinh, one of the accused in Saradha chit-fund scam, saying he will have to wait till the CBI investigation into the case gets over.
 
Declining bail to Sinh, the apex court bench comprising Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice V. Gopala Gowda said he could make a fresh plea for bail after investigation on his involvement was over.
 
"He is a very well-connected man," the bench said as senior counsel Harin Rawal, appearing for Sinh, told the court that he (Sinh) was not involved in the Saradha chit-fund scam.
 
"Home secretary of the government of India loses his job and you say that he is not well-connected," Justice Thakur said as Rawal sought to dispel the court's impression saying: "No, he is not at all well-connected."
 
Former union home secretary Anil Goswami was removed from his coveted post after it surfaced that he had allegedly tried to stall Sinh's arrest by the CBI over his alleged involvement in the Saradha chit-fund scam.
 
Sinh was the minister of state for parliamentary affairs from 1991-96 in the then prime minister P.V. Narasmiha Rao's government.
 
"Let the investigation be over," the court said as Rawal told the court that eight accused in the case have already been granted bail.
 
Besides other provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Sinh has been charged with conspiracy and cheating.
 
Rawal told the court that his client had nothing to do with the chit-fund scam that left thousands of investors paupers and he has not been booked under the Prize Chits & Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act, 1978.
 
Rawal said Sinh was not named in the FIR, first charge sheet and supplementary charge sheet. His name only figured in the second supplementary charge sheet.
 
The only allegation against Sinh is that he had sold some of his shares from one of his own companies to Saradha group of companies. 
 
He said Sinh was under restraint from Company Law Board not to part with the share of this company.
 
The senior counsel said Sinh further sold some shares of his other companies to the companies belonging to the Saradha group and the CBI has alleged that money he received in lieu of the transfer of those shares was the one that the accused in Saradha chit fund scam had collected from the common investors.
 
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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