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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Telecom Tariffs In India Lowest In World
Telecom tariffs in India are one of the cheapest in the world and the subscribers here pay less than users in the United States and Australia, Parliament was informed yesterday. Indian subscribers pay lower rates for calls made to other networks compared to users in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China, Australia and the US, the Minister said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. "As per the ITU World Telecommunications/ ICT indicators 2013, telecom tariffs in India are one of the lowest in the world," he added. However, a comparative chart showed that an Indian pre-paid customer pays peak rate of USD 0.015 for a minute-long call to subscriber of same service provider, while the same in Sri Lanka is USD 0.009 a minute.

Govt To Scrap Allocation Of CBM Block Given To GEECL
The government will cancel award of a coal-bed methane (CBM) block in Tamil Nadu to Great Eastern Energy Corp Ltd (GEECL) for not fulfilling contractual requirements, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said yesterday. GEECL was awarded block MG-CBM-2008/IV for extraction of gas lying below coal seams, called CBM, under the fourth round of CBM block auction in 2010. The production sharing contract (PSC) for the block was signed on July 29, 2010. "The contractor (GEECL) has not submitted the requisite documents viz bank guarantee, financial performance guarantee etc as required under the contract till date despite notice issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas," he said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here.

Cos Garner Rs 2,538 Crore Via Preferential Issues In Jan
Fund mobilisation by listed firms through preferential allotments of shares surged four-fold to Rs 2,538 crore during January over the preceding month. Companies had garnered Rs 606 crore through issuance of shares to their respective promoters and shareholders on preferential basis during December, latest data compiled by capital markets regulator Sebi showed. In January, the total number preferential issues stood at 26 that amounted to Rs 2,538 crore. In December, 21 such issues were seen. With the January figures, the funds mopped up through preferential route for first ten months of the current fiscal stood at Rs 25,679 crore from as many as 374 issues.

Half Of Large Infra Projects Face Cost, Time Overrun
More than half of the big infrastructure projects related to road transport and highways, power and railways are into cost and time overrun, the government informed Parliament yesterday. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation is monitoring 710 projects, including 510 projects of road transport and highways, power and railways sector. "Of these 510 projects, 100 projects were showing time overruns and 175 projects were showing cost overruns with respect to their original project implementation schedules," Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation V K Singh said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The Ministry monitors the central sector infrastructure projects costing Rs 150 crore and above on the basis of information furnished by project implementing agencies.

India Not Mulling Ban On Steel Imports From China
India is not contemplating ban on steel imports from China even as inward shipment from the world's largest steel producing nation has nearly trebled to over 2.9 million tonnes during the April-January period. Minister of State for Steel and Mines Vishnu Deo Sai answered in the negative to a question in Rajya Sabha on whether government was contemplating a ban on steel imports from China to give respite to Indian producers. He added that the government, however, ensures that only quality steel is imported in the country. The Minister also said since steel is a deregulated sector, the role of the government was limited to a just be a facilitator in the growth of the industry. "Government lays down policy guidelines and the decisions regarding enhancement of production capacity is taken by the entrepreneurs based on assessment of prevailing and expected market/economic conditions," Sai said. Earlier this week, in a written reply to Lok Sabha, Sai had said India's steel imports from China during April-January period of current fiscal rose to 2.9 MT against 1.08 MT in the entire 2013-14.

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