DHARMAPURI l thursday l september 16, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Tatas bid to re-acquire Air India 68 years after losing it Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, on Wednesday submitted a financial bid to acquire the loss-making carrier SpiceJet Also in the race, say reports Cabinet to clear the winning bid If the bid by Tata Sons, the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate, is successful, it will mark the return of Air India to Tatas. The Tata Group founded Air India as Tata Airlines in October 1932 but lost it after the government nationalised the airline in 1953. SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh has also bid for the airline in his personal capacity, reports said ■ ■ The bid offering the highest price above the reserve price would be accepted. The winning bid will be examined by the transaction advisor before the recommendation is sent to the Cabinet Govt plans to sell 100% of its stake in AI, including AI’s 100% stake in AI Express Ltd and 50% in Air India SATS Airport Services Wednesday was the last day for putting in financial bids to buy air india CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Reforms, relief for bleeding telecom firms 100% FDI through automatic route; 4-year moratorium on all government dues; non-telecom revenues out of AGR J o n at h a n A n a n da @ Chennai THE Centre on Wednesday opened up the telecom sector to 100% foreign direct investment through the automatic route and announced a slew of measures to lift the distressed industry. These include a four-year moratorium on government dues such as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum payments, besides rationaisation of spectrum charges. The government also tweaked the definition of AGR to confine it to telecom revenues, seeking to ease the `1.52 lakh crore burden on telcos caused by a 2019 Supreme Court order that held that the existing definition of AGR included nontelecom revenues. The moratorium on AGR dues provides an annual cash flow breather of around `14,000 crore for the industry, while the break on spectrum dues gives another `32,000 crore of annual cash flow relief, according to rating agency ICRA. Companies opting for moratorium need to pay interest on the amount and such firms will have the option to pay this interest by way of equity. Guidelines for the same will be finalised by the finance ministry . The relief on AGR and statutory dues will have a big impact on freeing up the telecom industry’s cash flow. Upcoming AGR due payments had placed serious financial constraints on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, which were struggling to arrange large-scale capital expenditure required for network upgradation and expansion. AGR dues of cash-strapped Vodafone Idea amounted to `58,000 crore and for Airtel, it `26,058 crore incentive scheme for auto sector The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Production Linked Incentive scheme for the auto sector to promote advance automotive technologies, including clean energy vehicles, with incentives worth `26,058 crore over a five-year period | P10 ngt panel to probe illegal sand mining TN Coastal Zone Management Authority, Chennai District Collector, Superintending EnThe Southern Bench of the gineer from the Public Works National Green Tribunal on Department (PWD), and the Wednesday constituted a com- City Police Commissioner or mittee to look into the illegal another officer recommended sand mining from the Cooum by him. The committee shall river close to the Marina submit a report before Ocin Chennai. The tributober 8. nal was hearing a petiThe committee is to express investigate whether tion that cited TNIE’s exclusive report on impact sand was mined illethe mining taking gally, who used the place in the heart of the sand, what action has city . been initiated, and also to The bench of judicial mem- assess the environmental imber Justice K Ramakrishnan pact of such an operation in and expert member K Saty- the area. The PWD, State agopal said the committee Coastal Management Authorwill have a senior official from ity and the Collector have also , the regional office of the Min- been asked to submit indeistry of Environment and pendent reports. Forest, a senior official of the continued on: p5 express read AICTE bars intake to 6 TN colleges N i r u pa m a V i s w a n at h a n @ Chennai The September 7 TNIE story highlighted illegal sand mining off Marina beach ‘Severe degradation to coastal ecosystem’ The NGT tribunal was hearing a petition filed by MR Thiyagarajan, president of Meenava Thanthai KR Selvaraj Kumar Meenava Nala Sangam. Thiyagarajan stated the largescale illegal mining of sand from the area had caused severe degradation to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and to the coastal ecosystem, thereby posing a risk to the fishing community’s livelihood. The petitioner had cited the TNIE report highlighting the issue Will TN get to host Tamil conference yet again? T M u r u g a n a n d h a m @ Chennai The preliminary work in organising the 11th World Tamil Conference (WTC), that has been on informally for the past several months, is expected to gain momentum with the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) scheduling its formal meeting on September 22 in Chennai. DMK spokesperson KS Radhakrishnan, who is also coordinator of the IATR, has brought it to the notice of Chief Minister MK Stalin that his government could have the privilege of conducting this conference, wherein hundreds of scholars from across the globe would take part. Also, Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture, Thangam Thennarasu, had said the CM is keen on conducting the next WTC in TN. Stalin’s father, M Karunanidhi, was eager to conduct the event in the State when he was CM in 2010 but was unable to do so. Stalin is likely to take a decision on this soon. Sources said the IATR has received requests from many countries, including France, South Africa, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, among others to conduct the 11th WTC. Interestingly, the Union Ministry of Culture, too, has sought permission to conduct the next WTC and proposed an Indian Institute of Technology complex as the venue for the same. The meeting is likely to consider these requests. P5 was `43,000 crore. Reliance Jio only had to pay `190 crore as AGR dues by virtue of being a late entrant to the market. Among the other reforms announced by Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw are an 80% reduction in bank guarantees against licence fees. From now on, there will be no need to produce multiple bank guarantees to secure licences, he said. Interest rates and penalties on delayed statutory payments have also been cut, while the tenure of spectrum licences for future auctions has been raised from 20 to 30 years. With the enhanced FDI limit, the Centre expects to attract fresh investment in the sector. Jab-o-meter Take your shot Sep 14 54,72,356 doses Sep 15 57,10,380 doses Total doses 76,49,36,158 NATIONWIDE sep 14 sep 15 Fresh cases 25,404 27,176 Recoveries 32,127 38,012 Deaths 339 284 tamil nadu sept 14 sep 15 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,591 1,537 27 1,658 1,542 29 Chennai: The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has debarred six institutions in Tamil Nadu from admitting students this year after they were found violating the council’s norms. Among the institutes, five are engineering colleges (two in Kancheepuram and one each in Coimbatore, Tiruchy, and Vellore districts), and one polytechnic in Pudukkottai. The AICTE has stopped admission in 34 institutions across the country. “This year, we did not conduct a surprise inspection and took action on colleges against which we received complaints.” P4 Cherry-picking names for tribunals angers SC this,” the CJI asked. ITAT appointments, too, were on simiThe Supreme Cour t on lar lines, the bench said. Wednesday came down heav“As part of SCSC for NCLT, ily on the Centre for cherry- I interviewed 534 candidates picking names recommended for judicial post and 400-odd by the Search and Selection for technical. Out of that we Committees (SCSCs) for fill- chose 11 for judicial and 10 for ing up tribunal vacancies, technical. Of the judicial adding it will hold its members, they selected hand for now on haulfour and picked up ing the government three others from the up for contempt. waitlist. Same with While the Centre technical members. claimed it had notified We travelled across the 84 appointments in country for this... But three different tribuit seems to be a waste Time sought n a l s — N at i o n a l of time,” the CJI “What is the Company Law Triburued. sanctity of the nal (NCLT), Armed Venugopal defendprocess if govt Fo r c e s T r i b u n a l ed the government, has the last (AFT) and Income citing a provision unTax Appellate Tribu- word?” the bench der the new Act. Jusasked. The A-G nal (ITAT) — on Septice Chandrachud resaid, “Please tember 12, a special minded him that he have it after a bench led by Chief was relying on a proweek. We’ll Justice of India N V vision struck down reconsider nonRamana and comby the SC in July. prising justices D Y acceptance list.” When Justice Rao Chandrachud and L emphasised the govN Rao took a swipe at it. ernment couldn’t have picked The SCSC recommended 11 up people from the list prejudicial members and 10 tech- pared for later-day vacancies, nical members for NCLT. But the A-G said the government the appointment letters sug- was well within its rights to do gest some members were so. cherry-picked. “We cannot igVenugopal cited the The nore selected candidates and Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021, to go to waitlist. What type of se- assert the Centre’s dominance lection and appointment is over such appointments. K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi
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