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The entity will enable a single-window clearance for hotel projects to boost tourism
The approval to form the proposed Hospitality Development Promotion Board (HDPB), which is expected to facilitate easier clearance for hotel projects, is likely to come over the next few months, a senior government official said today, reports PTI.
“The committee of secretaries has given the approval (for HDPB). The draft for this will be sent to the Cabinet and approval is expected in the next few months,” said Sujit Banerjee, tourism secretary.
The formation of HDPB is expected to enable a single-window clearance for hotel projects in the country and thus help to boost the tourism industry.
Mr Banerjee said that the country would require around 1,50,000 hotel rooms by 2013 to support the revival in the tourism sector.
Out of this, nearly 1,00,000 rooms are expected to come up in the budget segment, he said, adding that tourist flows into the country have picked up over the past few months.
Replying to a query, Mr Banerjee said around 70% of the hotel infrastructure required for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games has been completed.
Stake sale to take place in two tranches of 10% each; Centre’s stake to fall to 69%
The government today approved a 20% disinvestment in Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) that would fetch a total of Rs16,000 crore, reports PTI.
Following the two-tranche disinvestment, the government and the company would get Rs8,000 crore each, home minister P Chidambaram told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
Post disinvestment, the government's equity will fall to 69% from 85.82% currently.
The stake sale will take place in two tranches of 10%, Mr Chidambaram said, adding that each time 5% will be through follow-on public offers (FPOs) and another 5% through sale of government equity.
SAIL shares were trading at Rs248.25, down by 2.67% on the BSE.
RBI’s recent circular on cheque alterations—which can result in dishonoured cheques—may contravene certain sections of the Negotiable Instruments Act, say legal experts
Banking regulator Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) circular which stipulates that clearing bank branches can return a cheque if it contains any alterations (despite the issuer countersigning amendments) except the date, may end up in a legal tussle.
Yesterday, Moneylife had reported on how the RBI has issued a new circular which stipulates that banks can return cheques that alter anything other than the date. (See here).
In its circular dated 22 February 2010, RBI states, “No changes/corrections should be carried out on the cheques (other than for date validation purposes, if required). For any change in the payee’s name, courtesy amount (amount in figures) or legal amount (amount in words), etc., fresh cheque forms should be used by customers.” If there are any alterations on the cheque, except the date, customers will have to issue a fresh cheque. RBI believes that this move would help banks to identify and control fraudulent alterations.
But according to experts, the new circular possibly violates the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
Legal experts say that in order to implement the circular, the Act has to be amended.
“RBI’s directions are contrary to Section 87 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. Amendments to the Act are necessary to enforce this notification of RBI. The notification cannot override the Act,” said a corporate lawyer, preferring anonymity.
If a cheque is presented to a bank with material alteration without the consent of the person who has issued it, the cheque can be dishonoured.
“If the cheque bounces despite the consent (of the issuer, if he makes any amendment attested with his signature) then it would be a violation of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and bankers can face litigation. One cannot issue terms and conditions which contradict the law,” adds the lawyer.