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Power distribution companies of Delhi, UP, Bihar, J&K persistent defaulters of Hydro CPSEs: CAG report

This is despite the fact that hydro power is sold much cheaper than thermal power as the latter requires continuous supply of coal.

A recent report from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has named power distribution companies of Delhi, among others from UP, Bihar and J&K, as persistent defaulters of Hydro Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE). The report, likely to be presented in the parliament in the next few days, comes after a draft CAG report in August had indicted three power discoms of Delhi of inflating dues worth Rs 8,000 crore.The report, a copy of which is with dna, states that the Delhi discoms BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) along with Uttar Pradesh Power Company Limited, Power Distribution Department, J&K and Bihar State Electricity Board have failed to clear dues of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVN)and Tehri Hydro Power Complex (THDC), which has compounded to a whopping Rs 4112.49 crore in 2014-15, as against Rs 397.95 crore in 2009-10.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is despite the fact that hydro power is sold much cheaper than thermal power as the latter requires continuous supply of coal. The average market price of hydro power is Rs 2.25 to Rs2.50 per unit as against the average price of thermal power which ranges from Rs 3.80 to Rs 4.50 or even more.The CAG report also states that Delhi’s three discoms namely BRPL, BYPL and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL) had not executed fresh agreements with hydropower CPSEs like NHPC, SJVN and THDC (only for BYPL) even though Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had allocated the power generated from them to the discoms.The report warns that the power supply situation in the capital could take a serious hit if the Hydro CPSEs execute the provisions of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Regulations of Power Supply), 2010, which empowers them to reduce the power drawing schedule of defaulting beneficiaries in the light of the dues to be recovered from discoms/State Electricity Boards.Defending their stance, a spokesperson from BSES said they are owed Rs 10,000 crore by both its discoms which the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) had also admitted in its affidavit to the Supreme Court.”With the true-up for FY 14 and FY15, total money owed to BSES discoms is around Rs. 20,000 crore. When these amounts are cleared, dues to power utilities will be paid appropriately,” the spokesperson said.Talking about the delay in execution of fresh agreements with the hydro CPSEs, the spokesperson informed that some Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) have recently expired, hence and that the BSES discoms are in discussions for their renewal on terms and conditions that would be beneficial for the Delhi consumers. “As per regulation, DERC approval is required for extension of PPAs on merit,” the spokesperson said.Similarly, a statement from TPDDL stated, “TPDDL continues to procure power from the stations of SJVNL and NHPC on the same terms and conditions as were present in the PPAs signed by erstwhile DVB/DTL. TPDDL has been pursuing SJVNL/NHPC for signing of supplementary agreement on same terms and conditions and their response/ signing of PPA is still awaited.”In the last few years, the cumulative dues of all the three Delhi discoms have compounded to nearly 30,000 crore. They suffered a big blow in September when the DERC in September refusing to hike power tariff rates till March 2016.In financial year 2014-15, the revenue gap for BRPL stands at Rs1,507crore, while in 2013-14, it stood at Rs837 crore. For BYPL, the revenue gap amount for 2014-15 stands at Rs1,020 crore and for 2013-14, it was Rs1,126 crore.According to industry experts on power, Delhi gets nearly 100% of its power from Central and State power generating stations like NTPC, which turns out to be more expensive as compared to other cities.“The cost of buying power for Delhi’s discoms has increased by around 300% while around 85% of the total discom cost is for purchasing power. After their privatisation, the discoms are unable to buy power at a lower rate, because of the long-term PPAs with power generators. Even DERC has not increased power tariff resulting in increased regulatory assets for the discoms,” a power expert said.Sources said the only option that can be availed by the debt-ridden discoms is the latest UDAY scheme announced by the central government that is aimed at easing the financial crunch faced discoms all over the country.Former power secretary Anil Razdan said it is important for discoms to carry out 100 per cent metering and reduce AT&C (aggregate technical and commercial) losses to decrease their revenue losses.

DERC asked to prepare guidelines for raids on consumers: Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain

Responding to several complaints of MLAs that power companies raid consumers late in the night and early in the morning, Jain said the government has got to know about this issue.

Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain.
File Photo
PTI
Delhi Power Minister Satyendra ​Jain on Tuesday said that the government has asked the state’s power regulatory body to prepare detailed guidelines for electricity companies for raiding suspected consumers’ residence.Responding to several complaints of MLAs that power companies raid consumers late in the night and early in the morning, Jain said the government has got to know about this issue.”Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has been asked to prepare guidelines for power companies regarding schedule of raids on the residence of suspected consumers involved in wrongdoings,” Jain told the House.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP MLA Anil Kumar Bajpai moved a Calling Attention Motion towards installation of electricity meters. Bajpai said that government should allow people to install their own electricity meters.Jain said that there is already a provision under which anyone can install own electricity meters, adding that most people don’t know about this rule.

Congress mocks Ramdev’s Patanjali noodles, says Noodle Asana requires no regulations

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Chairperson Ashish Bahuguna said no approval or licence has been granted to Patanjali for its instant noodles

Taking a dig at Yoga guru Ramdev, Congress on Wednesday said that he has developed a new asana called “Noodle Asana” which allows him to produce noodles without any regulation.The remarks made by party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi came in the wake of reports that the instant noodles brand launched by Ramdev has not obtained mandatory product approvals from the Food Safety and Regulatory Authority of India. “There is a new asana – Noodle Asana….The power of Noodle Asana: You automatically produce noodles without any regulation. This asana allows you to avoid all law,” he said at the AICC briefing.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though the Patanjali Atta Noodles packets display an FSSAI licence number, Central food safety regulator said that yoga guru Baba Ramdev-promoted FMCG venture did not have approval for its newly-launched instant noodles. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Chairperson Ashish Bahuguna said no approval or licence has been granted to Patanjali for its instant noodles. Singhvi further attacked Ramdev, saying that everyone should learn this “powerful” asana as it has magical powers to break all laws with impunity.

Ramdev Baba’s Patanjali noodles does not have mandatory food safety approval, say reports

New Delhi: The Patanjali brand of instant noodles brand launched by Baba Ramdev has not obtained mandatory product approvals from the Food Safety and Regulatory Authority of India, reports The Indian Express. The Patanjali Atta Noodles packets reportedly display an “FSSAI licence number”. Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali formally launched its wholewheat instant noodles just a week after product leader Nestle’s Maggi came back to retail shelves after a five-month ban imposed by the food-safety regulator. The product has been priced at Rs 15.

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With the launch, Patanjali has entered another major food segment to take on multinational firms — such as Tropicana’s fruit juices, Kellogg’s muesli and cornflakes, Mondelez “Cadbury” India’s Bournvita — not to mention well established cosmetics and home grown ayurvedic brands.

Last month, Patanjali — which had a turnover of around Rs.1,200 crore in 2014 with a projection of Rs.2,000 crore this year — had announced a pact with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group to sell its noodles through Big Bazaar and Nilgiri’s supermarkets across 240 cities.

IANS

Supreme Court sticks to its ruling on making Aadhaar non-mandatory

The bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar made it clear that all applications seeking “modification, clarification and relaxation” of its August 11 interim order will be heard by the constitution bench itself.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to modify its August 11 order that restricts the use of the Aadhaar card only to LPG and Public Distribution System schemes. With this other government bodies like the RBI, SEBI and some states cannot avail of the card for their social welfare schemes. The SC subsequently referred the issue to a constitution bench at least of five judges.The bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar made it clear that all applications seeking “modification, clarification and relaxation” of its August 11 interim order will be heard by the constitution bench itself.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, Pension Fund Regulatory Authority and states like Gujarat and Jharkhand had recently moved the court and pleaded strongly for voluntary use of Aadhaar cards for providing benefits of various schemes, other than PDS and LPG, at the doorsteps of the aged and the weaker sections.However, the pleas for relaxation of the August 11 order restricting the use of Aadhaar cards for PDS scheme and LPG distribution scheme, was opposed by those petitioners on whose PILs the apex court had said these cards will not be mandatory for availing benefits of welfare schemes.Earlier, the Supreme Court, while terming Aadhaar as optional, had barred the authorities from sharing personal biometric data collected for enrolment under the scheme.It had also passed a slew of directions for the Centre till the matter was finally decided by a larger bench.The bench was hearing a batch of pleas against decisions of some states to make Aadhaar cards compulsory for a range of activities including payment of salary, provident fund disbursement, marriage and property registration.The Centre’s counsel is likely to mention as Thursday for urgent hearing of the case.—With inputs from Agencies

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa seeks PM Modi’s intervention to resume Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant

With its wind season drawing to a close and no clear indication of when Unit-I of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) would recommence operations, Tamil Nadu government today sought Central intervention in this matter.

With its wind season drawing to a close and no clear indication of when Unit-I of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) would recommence operations, Tamil Nadu government today sought Central intervention in this matter.Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that KNPP Unit-I had started commercial operations on December 31, 2014, and that it had been shut down for the past 90 days for maintenance activities.”The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is yet to clearly indicate when the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant Unit-I will recommence production. As the wind season for Tamil Nadu has drawn to a close, it is crucial for the Kudankulam Unit-I to resume power generation immediately,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I, therefore, request you to kindly instruct the concerned officials in the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited to immediately take necessary action to recommence power generation in Kudankulam Unit-I,” she told Modi in a letter.Further, she said her government had been informed that Kudankulam Unit-II was undergoing final stages of commissioning activities and awaiting approval from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board for full commercial production.”I request you to kindly instruct the concerned officials to expedite the commercial operation of Kudankulam Unit-II, so that another 563 MW of power can be added to the Tamil Nadu Grid at the earliest,” she told the Prime Minister.Tamil Nadu has been allotted 563 of the 1000 mw from Unit-I.

OROP impact will taper off gradually if replaced with NPS pronto

The BJP-led NDA did a grave mistake in its first innings — 1999 to 2004. It did the most sensible thing in respect of pension to civilians — those joining government service on or after 1 January 2004 will have to become members of New Pension Scheme (NPS). That was a brilliant move in as much as the burgeoning pension burden of the government was staunched in one stroke at least prospectively in respect of new recruits.

Ex-servicemen during protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTIEx-servicemen during protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

Ex-servicemen during protest for One Rank One Pension at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI

For the old employees it is still defined benefit plan whereas for the new recruits it is defined contribution plan. Defined benefit is free lunch. Defined contribution posits 10 percent contribution by the employee with a matching contribution from the employer. The government thus has come to limit and cap its downside risks unlike in respect of old employees for whom its liability is open-ended and indeterminate. It was a brilliant move in that the old employees, who were organized into a strong union, predictably did not take up cudgels for the new recruits.

Indian Railways, which is the largest employer in the world, would be a major beneficiary of NPS when the deleterious impact of defined benefit pension tapers off with pre-2004 recruits retiring.

It is a tad curious that the government of the day then did not deem it necessary to rope in the armed forces personnel as well into the NPS. Intuitively the Indian armed forces employs as many as the Indian Railways does if not more, and bringing it under the NPS financial discipline would have achieved two purposes simultaneously — reduce the future pension bill in respect of the new recruits besides preparing the ground for tough negotiations with the veterans on OROP.

For those not initiated with the subject, one rank one pension or OROP in its rudimentary form posits that two persons retiring from the same rank will get the same pension provided their duration of service was also the same. Thus a veteran colonel who hung his boots long ago will get the same pension as his colonel son who retired recently provided they put in the same number of years of service. Once granted to armed forces personnel, the civilian government employees can also be counted upon to make a clamor for OROP. The armed forces personnel say their case is different because often they do short term service and in any case retire much before the civilian counterparts do but if the rationale of OROP is conceded for armed forces, the government will be at its wits’ end arguing with the civilian counterparts on such nuanced grounds. Be that as it may.

NPS is regulated by the statutory regulator called Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) which has worsted the employees’ provident fund trust, another government authority, this one for managing another retirement benefit, provident fund by earning superior returns for the employees.

Under NPS, fund managers from the private sector are entrusted with the job of managing the wealth of the employees. Ten percent of salary contributed both by the employer and employee each is handed over to the fund manager who invests in the various instruments. For government employees, the maximum they can opt to invest in equity, the riskiest of market investments, is 15 percent of their corpus whereas for other citizens who voluntarily subscribe to NPS, equity investments can be as high as 50 percent. On retirement, pension is paid out of the accumulation in an employee’s account though he has the option to take as much as 60 percent of his accumulation as a lump sum withdrawal on retirement.

The harried Modi government would do well to honour its commitments to the armed forces personnel with regard to OROP; otherwise it would be pilloried for taking them for granted and using them as vote bank. Over a period of time, the deleterious financial impact of OROP will taper off what with new recruits having to settle for NPS like their civilian counterparts. In other words, NPS could be the antidote for OROP at least insofar as government pension financial liability to new recruits is concerned.

Need to keep electricity rates ‘affordable’: Piyush Goyal

Lauding regulator CERC’s role in the rise of the power sector, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday stressed the need for keeping electricity affordable while protecting interests of both developers and consumers.

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Lauding regulator CERC’s role in the rise of the power sector, Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday stressed the need for keeping electricity affordable while protecting interests of both developers and consumers.”The CERC has acted as a benchmark regulator in the country. The regulator has to act as a bridge between developers and consumers… simultaneously balancing the interest of both parties,” Goyal said at the CERC’s foundation day.He further said that regulators in India have contributed immensely in this regard. He narrated five principles of proportionality, consistency, accountability, transparency and targeting for better productivity.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goyal underlined the need for fast decision making and keeping power affordable. Rajya Sabha member MJ Akbar in his annual day lecture, emphasised the role of electricity in enhancing productivity of work, creating jobs, eliminating poverty and democratisation of knowledge.CERC Chairman Gireesh Pradhan said the institute has contributed to the growth and development of power sector over the years.On the occasion, Goyal also inaugurated the modified website of CERC. The website with a new look is aimed at improving user interface and providing better access to information to the masses.The minister also unveiled new logo of CERC along with the website. The new logo was designed by National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad to symbolise the changing face of CERC in the country from merely being a “tariff setter” to a “facilitator of development” of power sector and the market.The existing logo of CERC was designed in late 1990s which basically focussed on CERC role of being fair and impartial regulator balancing the interest of generators of power and the consumers. The CERC was established in 1998 under Electricity Regulatory Commission (ERC) Act, 1998. Its main objective is to monitor power tariff regulations in the country.

Telecom companies not meeting standards on call drop issue, says TRAI

New Delhi: Amid growing concerns over the call drop issue, sectoral regulator TRAI has said that most of the telecom companies in Delhi and Mumbai are not meeting the prescribed standards.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) further said that only Bharti Airtel in Mumbai and Tata Teleservices in Delhi met the laid-down quality of service (QoS) benchmarks for call drop rate, which as per norms should be less than 2 per cent.

TRAI on Tuesday released findings of the audit of quality of service being provided by telecom operators. The service quality audit was done by an agency through independent drive tests in the two cities in June and July.

Representational image. ThinkStock

Representational image. ThinkStock

In Mumbai, Idea has a call drop rate of 5.56 per cent, Tata has 5.51 per cent, Vodafone has 4.83 per cent, Aircel has 3.19 per cent, Reliance has 2.29 per cent. Only Airtel meets the benchmark with a call drop rate of 0.97 per cent.

The situation is not very different in Delhi with Reliance having a call drop rate of 17.29 per cent, Airtel 8.04 per cent, Aircel 5.18 per cent, Vodafone 4.28 per cent and Idea 2.84 per cent. Tata is meeting the benchmark with call drop rate of 0.84 per cent.

“The drive test results revealed that most of operators are not meeting the benchmarks of network related parameters. They failed to achieve the benchmarks due to high block call rate, high drop call rate, low call setup success rate and poor Rx quality,” TRAI said.

However, TRAI said this result reflects only the network conditions on the route followed by the test vehicles and as determined during the day and time of the drive test.

Doing some tough-talks on call drops, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had asked mobile operators to walk the extra mile to reinforce their systems as they have enough spectrum to provide services without interruption.

The government has also asked TRAI to suggest a disincentive mechanism to tackle the problem.

TRAI said it is evaluating the need for a consultation paper on ‘Regulatory Framework on Call Drops’, based on available information and facts.

“Given the adverse impact of call drops on the consumers, the telecom service providers (TSPs) were advised to take initiatives and improve their performance, including exploring suitable compensation for call drops,” TRAI said.

The regulator said operators have claimed that main reasons for frequent call drops include limited spectrum, delay in allocation of spectrum and changeover of frequencies.

The telcos also said sealing of towers also contribute to call drops. During the last six months, around 801 sites in Mumbai and 523 sites in Delhi were shut-down.

PTI

Power tariff hiked for domestic users

Industry, commercial rates cut to boost ‘Make in Maharashtra’ * Average hike is 2.44% for Mahavitaran consumers, 5.2% for RInfra and 3.92% for Tata Power from June 1

The Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) has allowed three major power distribution companies – Tata Power, Reliance Infrastructure and Mahavitaran – to increase their tariff with effect from June 1. As per the MERC order issued on Friday night, the average increase in the tariff is 2.44 percent for Mahavitaran consumers, 5.2 percent for RInfra and 3.92 percent for Tata Power. However, tariff for industries and commercial consumers has been cut by an average 7-10 percent with an aim to boost growth of industries, service and hospitality sector and thereby generating employments in Maharashtra.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The commission has taken note of views expressed by industries and business houses that tariff for commercial users is higher in Maharashtra in comparison with the neighbouring states. “Electricity charges play an important role in competitiveness of industry. With significant increase in availability of power in the state and with projected revenue surplus, the commission has reduced the energy charges for industry by 7-10 percent.The commission hopes this will play a catalyst role in state’s industrial growth,”states the order of MERC, a quasi judicial tribunal. “Tariff for high transmission commercial has been reduced by 7-10%. At the same time tariff for low-end commercial category (below 20 kW) has been marginally increased by 1%. The commission hopes these lower tariffs will be helpful for growth of service and hospitality sector, thereby creating employments.” For RInfra consumers in Mumbai, the new tariffs are Rs 4.79 (earlier tariff Rs 4.61) for up to 100 units, Rs 6.54 (Rs 6.31) for up to 300 units, Rs 8.26 (Rs 7.43) for up to 500 units and Rs 10.08 (Rs 9.25) for residents consuming more than 500 units. For Mahavitaran, which distributes power from Bhandup to Thane and across Maharashtra, the new tariffs are Rs 3.76 (Rs 3.86) for consumers using up to 100 units, Rs 7.21 (Rs 7.20) for up to 300 units, Rs 9.95 (Rs 9.50) for up to 500 units and Rs 11.31 (Rs 10.33) for residents consuming more than 500 units.MERC has allowed a reduction in tariff of Tata Power consumers using electricity up to 300 units. The revised revised tariffs are Rs 2.05 (Rs 2.62) for consumers using up to 100 units, Rs 4.21 (Rs 4.56) for up to 300 units, Rs 8.42 (Rs 8.19) for up to 500 units and Rs 10.63 (Rs 10.27) for residents consuming more than 500 units. The state discoms have proposed the revised tariffs before MERC in the month of February seeking a revision from April 1. The commission evaluated the accounts and proposed plans of the three companies and conducted extensive public hearing before passing an order which is little delayed. “Mumbai has three major power distribution companies. All three have different cost of supply, consumer mix and consumption mix wheeling charges. Hence, different tariffs for the same category of consumers depending on the licenses areas,” MERC said in its order. All agri connectionsto be metered in 3 yrsMahavitaran has been directed to complete the metering plan for conversion of unmetered agriculture connections within a period of three years. The commission has noted that MSEDCL has large numbers of unmetered agriculture connections, which is in violation of Section 55 of the Electricity Act, 2003 and also leads to heavy losses. For metered connections, a nominal hike by Rs0.06 per kWh. For unmetered connections, the increase is Rs20-22 per month for each connection. Reduced tariff for RlysThe tariff for railway reduced by 10% – from Rs 9.37 to Rs 8.46 per unitFor BPL consumers: RInfra, TPC and Mahavitaran will have to pay per unit Rs 2.72, Rs 1.41 and 87 paise respectively.Advts & hoardings: Reduced from Rs23.15 to Rs17Temporary supply for religious functions: No change (Rs3.71)

Complete transition to digital cable TV by 2016 end: TRAI

There will be complete transition to Digital Cable TV by next year end as the process of digitisation was in full swing, a senior Telecom Regulatory Authority of India official said on Wednesday.

There will be complete transition to Digital Cable TV by next year end as the process of digitisation was in full swing, a senior Telecom Regulatory Authority of India official said on Wednesday.The digitisation can provide various value added services including broadband for the consumers, Dr Sibichen K Mathew, Adviser and Regional Head Bengaluru and Hyderabad (in-charge), TRAI, said.He was here to create awareness among telecom consumers about their rights and privileges and explained about the role and functions of Regional Office of TRAI and initiatives taken for consumer protection.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Research Officer, V Sudhakar Reddy, gave details on the complaint redressal mechanism, mobile number portability and steps taken by TRAI on unsolicited communication and value added services.

Allow private players, have independent regulator: Railway Panel

New Delhi: In series of far-reaching suggestions, a high-level panel has recommended entry of private players and setting up an independent regulator in the Indian Railways among other proposals in its report submitted to the government on Friday.

Set up to propose ways to revamp Railways, the Bibek Debroy Committee, formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last September, also stressed on the need for the national carrier to hive off from operations like running schools and hospitals.

AFP ImageAFP Image

AFP Image

In its final report to the Railway Board, the Committee noted that if the roadmap suggested by it was implemented in next five years, there would be no need for a separate Railway Budget.

The panel headed by Niti Aayog member said it is not recommending privatisation of Railways by means of sale of equity but endorses private entry with the provision of an independent regulator.

For open access of other players, it has recommended separation of track construction operation, train operation and rolling stock production units under separate entities.

The over 300-page report said that private sector participation in Railways has been unsubstantial as compared to other sectors like roads, civil aviation and telecom.

The committee said one of the primary reasons is that a single organisation is dealing with policy making, operations and regulations.

Seeking to provide the private sector a level playing field, the report has recommended setting up of a Railway Regulatory Authority of India — a statutory, quasi-judicial, independent body with a separate budget.

The regulator will be mandated to fix freight rates, resolve disputes and set technical standards.

Pointing out the core role of the Indian Railways is to run trains, the report said operations like running schools and hospitals should be hived off.

It said Railway employees can be provided subsidy in sending their children to kendriya vidyalayas. It also recommended subsidies in private hospitals based on CGHS framework.

On the issue of Railway Protection Force, it said it too should be delinked from Railways’ principal task of running trains.

PTI

No need to panic: No radioactive leakage in Delhi’s IGI airport, confirms AERB

New Delhi: A radiation scare at the Indira Gandhi International Airport forced suspension of cargo operations but nuclear regulator and Delhi authorities said there was no leak of radioactive substance from a consignment unloaded from a Turkish Airlines plane.

The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) found that an “organic liquid” from another consignment had spilled over the cargo containing nuclear medicine and it was initially thought that the leakage was from that package.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“After conducting the probe at the site, we can confirm that there is no radioactive leakage. The leakage on the consignment was a spill-over from another consignment. It is some organic liquid. This resulted in wetness (of the Turkish consignment),” AERB Vice-Chairman R Bhattacharya told PTI.

The authorities at the airport had cordoned off the cargo area and all the staff have been evacuated. The cargo operations were also suspended as a precautionary measure.

The matter came to light when a pair of loaders felt irritation while handling containers that arrived on board a Turkish Airlines craft at 4.35 am. Leakage was observed from four of the 10 containers of 13 kg each that were imported from Turkey.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was called in to check the substance, sources said.

District magistrate of New Delhi Sanjay Kumar also confirmed that there was no leakage of radioactive material at the airport.

“It has been officially declared that there was no radioactive substance leak. A box containing a liquid was placed above the container having the radioactive material.

“The box got damaged and the liquid got spilled over the container having the radioactive material. The is no need to panic,” Kumar said.

PTI

Radioactive leak: Substance a nuclear medicine, says AERB

It is a localised leak and our team has to open the cargo to know more about it,” AERB Vice-Chairman R Bhattacharya said

IGI airport

The radioactive substance, which leaked at the cargo complex of IGI Airport here, is sodium iodide, a nuclear medicine, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) on Friday said. Sources in the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said the radioactive substance is a “permissible” one and “tolerable” to the human body. “Our team is already at the site and the area has been cordoned off. The substance is Sodium Iodide 131, which is a nuclear medicine. It is a localised leak and our team has to open the cargo to know more about it,” AERB Vice-Chairman R Bhattacharya said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sodium Iodide 131 is a medicine used to treat hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) and some cases of thyroid cancer. “Sodium Iodide 131 is produced by keeping Tellurium in a nuclear reactor for eight days. We also produce this medicine in India with the help of Dhruva reactor and send to 120 centres. “When the airport authorities detected leak from three packets (which had come from Turkey), they alerted the emergency response team… These three will be sent to our laboratory in Delhi where it will be disposed,” DAE Secretary RK Sinha said.After the incident, Sinha, who is also the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman, visited the spot.

Turkish Airlines denies any radioactive material on flight that landed in New Delhi

Earlier in the day, the airport authorities at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport said that a radioactive material had leaked from a medical shipment. The government further said that the leak was contained and there was no risk to passengers.

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Turkish Airlines has issued a statement claiming that flight TK716 from Istanbul to Delhi did not carry any radioactive material. In an emailed response to dna, Dr Ali Genç, SVP Media Relations Turkish Airlines said, “Upon having been informed of the mentioned situation, Turkish Airlines’s relevant cargo and technical teams have effectuated the necessary controls and radiological surveys on-board the aircraft landed back to Istanbul but no evidence has been detected. The necessary information on the incident has been made to the relevant official authorities by Turkish Airlines.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said, “The cargo package containing medical material and carried by Turkish Airlines’ TK716 Istanbul – Delhi flight has been examined by the official authorities in Delhi on suspicion of radioactive leak due to the wetness seen on the mentioned package.” Earlier in the day, the airport authorities at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport said that a radioactive material had leaked from a medical shipment. The government further said that the leak was contained and there was no risk to passengers. A Reuters report said, “The leak was found at the airport’s cargo-handling complex in a consignment of sodium iodide 131 – a radioactive liquid used in so-called nuclear medicine – that had been on board an inbound Turkish Airlines passenger flight.” “This area is far away from any of the passenger terminals and there is absolutely no risk of exposure to any passengers,” Delhi International Airport Ltd, the airport’s operator, said in a statement.”The said area has been cordoned off and as per the preliminary assessment … the material has been termed as that of low radio activity.”Sodium iodide 131 is used to treat hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancers. It emits radiation and must be handled with care to minimise inadvertent exposure to health workers and patients.The site was cordoned off by an emergency response team that included representatives of India’s National Disaster Response Force and atomic regulators.”It’s a localised leak,” R. Bhattacharya, vice-chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, told Reuters by telephone.Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was holding a news conference when news of the leak broke, said atomic experts had been immediately dispatched to the scene.”We have been getting regular updates on the situation at the airport,” he told reporters. “The leak is under control but we are leaving no stone unturned to check all possibilities of the leakage.”(With Reuters)

Net Neutrality: One million v/s four million

COAI had launched the ‘Sabka Internet, Sabka Vikas’ campaign on April 24 to ‘connect 1 billion unconnected citizens’ to the internet, and demanded ‘same rules for same services’. The campaign, that went to subscribers via an SMS programme, asked them to register their support for ‘an affordable internet’ by registering a missed call.

As the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) works out the rules and regulations governing ‘Net Neutrality’ in India, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on Monday said that about 4 million subscribers have come out in support of their version of ‘Net Neutrality’.COAI had launched the ‘Sabka Internet, Sabka Vikas’ campaign on April 24 to ‘connect 1 billion unconnected citizens’ to the internet, and demanded ‘same rules for same services’. The campaign, that went to subscribers via an SMS programme, asked them to register their support for ‘an affordable internet’ by registering a missed call.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking to dna, COAI chief Rajan Mathews said that the SMS programme went out to those who do not have access to the internet. “We chose an SMS programme to reach out to those who do not have a smart phone, and registered the support of 4 million subscribers. This information is available and auditable,” said Mathews.However, he added that the survey was not an official one. “No one will be able to get in touch with TRAI with the campaign. We gathered the views of the people to intimate their interests to TRAI, so that they can include our definition of net neutrality,” said Mathews.The people behind the ‘savetheinternet’ campaign, which sent over a million replies to TRAI in support of Net Neutrality, reacted by saying that COAI is fooling subscribers. “This is not an official campaign, and it does not even explain which side of the fence is COAI on. They are misinforming people, their definition of ‘net neutrality’ is in actuality the definition of ‘net equality’,” said Kiran Jonnalagadda, founder of Bengaluru-based startup HasGeek, who is one of the people behind the campaign. “There are more than 300 million mobile subscribers in India, and if their grassroots campaign got only 4 million pledged their support to COAI, then they have failed.”

Real estate bill: BJP attacks Rahul Gandhi’s politics of ‘tokenism’

“Has Rahul Gandhi ever visited farmers in his own constituency Amethi, who have been affected by unseasonal rains and hail storm?” asked Ravi Shankar Prasad.

PTI
BJP today hit back at Rahul Gandhi for attacking the government over the real estate bill, saying politics is a serious matter and and cannot be done through “rent a cause” or “tokenism”.Accusing Rahul of raising an issue and then “vanishing”, BJP asked whether he has visited hail-affected farmers in his own constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.BJP also took a dig at the Congress Vice President saying his knowledge on real estate comes from within the family and named his brother-in-law Robert Vadra.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Politics and service to the nation are serious matters. They cannot be done through ‘rent a cause’ and ‘tokenism’. You cannot just disappear for 56 days while Parliament is on. You come one day, raise an issue and then vanish,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.He said Rahul has the right to go anywhere and meet anyone, “but I have one question for him. Has Rahul Gandhi ever visited farmers in his own constituency Amethi, who have been affected by unseasonal rains and hail storm.”Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party are unfortunately giving misleading statements without checking the factual position. If they want, they can discuss the merits and demerits of the bill in Parliament instead of misleading people outside.”Defending the new bill, he said it has been brought forward after consultations with consumers, industry and experts and takes care of consumer interests.BJP Spokesperson Sambit Patra defended the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Bill and said Rahul’s knowledge of real estate probably comes from his brother-in-law Robert Vadra. “Rahul Gandhi acquires his knowledge of real estate probably from within his family–Mr Robert Vadra and is speaking in favour of the fly-by-night operators,” he said.Firing yet another salvo at Narendra Modi government, Rahul accused it of diluting provisions of real estate bill, making the legislation pro-builders from being pro-buyers and met several NCR flat buyers. Naqvi said the Real Estate bill is “consumer-friendly and pro-people” and will put an end to such exploitation of common people at the hands of builders. He said after the report of Standing Committee that looked into the bill in February 2014, government initiated a dialogue with various stake-holders and there is no scope for any exploitation or manipulation in it now. “There is a provision to set up a Regulatory Authority at both central and state levels to take care of any frauds,” he said.Patra said the bill was brought after extensive consultations and termed it as a “pioneering initiative” of the Modi government, keeping in view the ‘Housing for All by 2022’ target and addresses concerns of consumers and prepares a ground for quick redressal of disputes and timely completion of projects.

Hackers take down TRAI website after it releases personal data of users online

“TRAI down! F*** you http://trai.gov.in for releasing email IDs publicly and helping spammers. You will be hacked soon!” tweeted the handle hours after the data was put online on the TRAI website. An hour later, it tweeted: “So those who still think that #TRAi can “handle” the Internet, we just proved you wrong. They just got trolled by bunch of kids.#Incompetence”

The website of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday was attacked by hackers group AnonOpsIndia (@opindia_revenge) after publicly shared the personals details of millions of Indians who had sent in emails to TRAI for their views on net neutrality.”TRAI down! F*** you http://trai.gov.in for releasing email IDs publicly and helping spammers. You will be hacked soon!” tweeted the handle hours after the data was put online on the TRAI website. An hour later, it tweeted: “So those who still think that #TRAi can “handle” the Internet, we just proved you wrong. They just got trolled by bunch of kids.#Incompetence”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>TRAI had, in the later part of March this year, invited suggestions on Net Neutrality by industry people, organisations, stakeholders and consumers. The complicated consultation paper, and the manner in which the regulatory board released the it led to a heated debate online.Net Neutrality supporters joined ranks to come up with a concerted effort to send in suggestions to TRAI to counter efforts by internet service providers (ISPs) to give out preferential treatment to some websites over others for a fee. Eventually, a million net subscribers sent in their suggestions, along with responses by ISPs like Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, and industry bodies like the COAI, ASSOCHAM etc.Lawyer Apar Gupta, one of the people behind the savetheinternet.in campaign, said that in the absence of privacy laws, there will no legal implications. “This will however, lead to inconveniences of all kinds. More than the revelation, the problem is that they put out the information in a list,” said Gupta. “This will allow spammers to aggregate and market the data. User information should not be kept in such a form to enable harvests.”BJD MP Tathagat Satpathy, a vocal supporter of Net Neutrality, said that he was shocked. “It is really surprising, not to say despicable, that TRAI released the personal data of so many people who have sent in their suggestions which were in reply to a questionnaire posted by TRAI itself. This is an unnecessary exercise,” said Satpathy. Sensitive data sharedOn Monday, the regulatory board had publicly shared sensitive data like email, phone numbers, addresses etc of respondents who had sent in the data as part of the email. Currently, TRAI is waiting for counter-comments to come in till May 8, after which it will put forward its recommendations to the government. The telecom ministry will, thereafter, come up with its implementation.

Save the internet! AIB’s new video on why life will be hell without net neutrality

The debate over net neutrality became a huge bone of contention when telecom major Bharti Airtel announced that it will launch ‘Airtel Zero’ that will give smartphone users free access to select internet sites or some organizations apps. So for instance, Flipkart, which is part of Airtel Zero, can be accessed by Airtel subscribers for free and they would not have to pay for data charges. Later it was revealed that those companies will be paying for the data consumed by the consumers across the country. Critics argue that this alters the nature of the Internet as a leveler where big players like Flipkart and smaller companies have equal access to consumers.

Courtesy: FacebookCourtesy: Facebook

Courtesy: Facebook

Net neutrality means when a service provider sells you data they don’t get to choose how the data is used. The idea is that the Internet Service Provider, from whom you buy your internet pack, can’t under control how exactly you use it. It is up to you and only you, how you wish to spend the 1GB 3G data pack you bought from your Internet Service Provider.So a service provider like Airel cannot discriminate, in terms of price or speed, between traffic from website A and website B. By discriminating between traffic to Flipkart/any of the business entities that sign onto their Airtel Zero platform and those that do not, Airtel is rigging what is now an equal playing field.

The loser in the end will not just be the smaller companies, but also consumers who will find their freedom curtailed by a default monopoly of a few select Airtel partners.

As Firstpost said earlier, “if there is no net neutrality, the Internet won’t function as we’ve known it too. It will mean Internet Service Providers (ISP) will be able to charge companies like YouTube or Netflix as they consume more bandwidth, and eventually the load of the extra sum will be pushed to the consumers. Similarly, ISPs can then create slow as well as fast Internet lanes, which will mean all websites cannot be accessed at the same speed and one can do so only on paying an additional sum. For instance, currently, you have a standard data package and access all the content at the same speed, irrespective of whether its an international website or desi. Similarly, ISPs can also charge extra for the free calls you make using services like WhatsApp, Skype and others, and eventually the load of additional payable sum by the OTT players will be pushed onto consumers.”

Still confused?

Don’t worry as stand-up comedy group AIB has come out with a superb video explaining why your life will be doomed without net neutrality.

The video in essence explains how open & free internet is essential for India. “Right at this very moment, Indian telecom companies are lobbying the Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India to enact a regulation in a way that will change the way Indians are using the internet forever.” says Tanmay Bhat in the video.

The video explains how the telecom companies want to carve the internet sector and charge separately for each and every services we use.

After Flipkart pitched in to support Airtel to lobby against users with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, All India Bakchod have done the needful to ‘save’, not ‘break’ the internet!

The video pleads the viewers to click to www.savetheinternet.com to send a mail to Telecom Regulation Authority of India to stop the telecom companies from changing the face of internet in India.

TRAI has released a document and is seeking your views through 20 questions. They are asking for your suggestions, here’s your chance to make yourself heard. You can submit your answers to the TRAI before 24 April, 2015 at [email protected]

Watch their latest video on Save The Internet below:

Net neutrality gets a big thumbs up from SRK

The video already has over three lakh views Even Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan shared the video with his 12.3 million followers and paired it with the hashtag #savetheinternet which is now trending on Twitter.

Following are some of the responses to Savetheinternet on Twitter:

Simultaneously, #IndiaWantsNetNeutrality is amongst the top trending topics on Facebook.

Read more about why you should care about net neutrality here

Save your internet from Airtel! AIB on why life will be hell without net neutrality

The debate over net neutrality became a huge bone of contention when telecom major Bharti Airtel announced that it will launch ‘Airtel Zero’ that will give smartphone users free access to select internet sites or some organizations apps. So for instance, Flipkart, which is part of Airtel Zero, can be accessed by Airtel subscribers for free and they would not have to pay for data charges. Later it was revealed that those companies will be paying for the data consumed by the consumers across the country. Critics argue that this alters the nature of the Internet as a leveler where big players like Flipkart and smaller companies have equal access to consumers.

Courtesy: FacebookCourtesy: Facebook

Courtesy: Facebook

Net neutrality means when a service provider sells you data they don’t get to choose how the data is used. The idea is that the Internet Service Provider, from whom you buy your internet pack, can’t under control how exactly you use it. It is up to you and only you, how you wish to spend the 1GB 3G data pack you bought from your Internet Service Provider.So a service provider like Airel cannot discriminate, in terms of price or speed, between traffic from website A and website B. By discriminating between traffic to Flipkart/any of the business entities that sign onto their Airtel Zero platform and those that do not, Airtel is rigging what is now an equal playing field.

The loser in the end will not just be the smaller companies, but also consumers who will find their freedom curtailed by a default monopoly of a few select Airtel partners.

As Firstpost said earlier, “if there is no net neutrality, the Internet won’t function as we’ve known it too. It will mean Internet Service Providers (ISP) will be able to charge companies like YouTube or Netflix as they consume more bandwidth, and eventually the load of the extra sum will be pushed to the consumers. Similarly, ISPs can then create slow as well as fast Internet lanes, which will mean all websites cannot be accessed at the same speed and one can do so only on paying an additional sum. For instance, currently, you have a standard data package and access all the content at the same speed, irrespective of whether its an international website or desi. Similarly, ISPs can also charge extra for the free calls you make using services like WhatsApp, Skype and others, and eventually the load of additional payable sum by the OTT players will be pushed onto consumers.”

Still confused?

Don’t worry as stand-up comedy group AIB has come out with a superb video explaining why your life will be doomed without net neutrality.

The video in essence explains how open & free internet is essential for India. “Right at this very moment, Indian telecom companies are lobbying the Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India to enact a regulation in a way that will change the way Indians are using the internet forever.” says Tanmay Bhat in the video.

The video explains how the telecom companies want to carve the internet sector and charge separately for each and every services we use.

After Flipkart pitched in to support Airtel to lobby against users with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, All India Bakchod have done the needful to ‘save’, not ‘break’ the internet!

The video pleads the viewers to click to www.savetheinternet.com to send a mail to Telecom Regulation Authority of India to stop the telecom companies from changing the face of internet in India.

TRAI has released a document and is seeking your views through 20 questions. They are asking for your suggestions, here’s your chance to make yourself heard. You can submit your answers to the TRAI before 24 April, 2015 at [email protected]

Watch their latest video on Save The Internet below:

Net neutrality gets a big thumbs up from SRK

The video already has over three lakh views Even Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan shared the video with his 12.3 million followers and paired it with the hashtag #savetheinternet which is now trending on Twitter.

Following are some of the responses to Savetheinternet on Twitter:

Simultaneously, #IndiaWantsNetNeutrality is amongst the top trending topics on Facebook.

Read more about why you should care about net neutrality here

Mobile calls to be cheaper by up to 23%; SMS to cost 40% less

Mobile calls while in roaming will be cheaper by up to 23%, while sending SMSes will cost up to 40% less from May 1 as regulator TRAI has slashed ceiling tariffs.

Mobile calls while in roaming will be cheaper by up to 23%, while sending SMSes will cost up to 40% less from May 1 as regulator TRAI has slashed ceiling tariffs.However, following this TRAI order, subscribers will not be able to avail of schemes that allowed them to make calls and send SMSes while in roaming at home circle rates.”TRAI has reduced ceiling tariffs for national roaming calls and SMS and has mandated telecom service providers to offer a special roaming tariff plan. These changes will come into effect from May 1, 2015,” TRAI said in a statement today.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has cut the maximum or ceiling rate that a telecom operator can charge for STD calls on roaming to Rs 1.15 per minute from Rs 1.5. Similarly, national SMS rate has been reduced to 38 paise from Rs 1.5 per SMS. Also, an operator can charge a maximum 25 paise for each local SMS instead of the current Re 1 per SMS at present.A telecom operator can charge a maximum 80 paise per minute for a local call instead of Re 1 permitted at present.For incoming calls during roaming, a mobile customer will be required to pay a maximum of 45 paise only per minute instead of 75 paise now.On the other hand, in a blow to consumers, the regulator has removed the roaming tariff plan, RTP and RTP-FR, under which the consumer paid the same charges as his home circle or service area while in roaming.Under ‘Roaming Tariff Plan (RTP)’ clause, the charges for outgoing voice calls and outgoing SMS, both local as well as long distance (inter-circle), did not change with the location of the subscriber within the country.The ‘RTP-FR’ plan allowed the subscriber to pay same charges as his home service area for outgoing local and STD calls as well as SMS during roaming. In addition, incoming calls were free on roaming in lieu of fixed charges under RTP-FR.The regulator has mandated operators to introduce a new ‘Special Roaming Tariff Plan’, which will offer only free incoming calls on payment of a fixed charge, but do away with other features.

Delhi: AAP government hikes minimum wages of unorganised sector workers

In a major relief to workers in the unorganised sector in the national capital, the Delhi government on Wednesday announced an increase in their minimum wages.

dna Research & Archives
In a major relief to workers in the unorganised sector in the national capital, the Delhi government on Wednesday announced an increase in their minimum wages.”We have revised an unskilled worker’s minimum wage of Rs 8,632 to Rs 9,048. Similarly wages of semi-skilled, skilled and graduate workers were increased from Rs 9,542, Rs 10,478 and Rs 11,414 to Rs 10,010, Rs 10,998 and Rs 11,986 respectively,” Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai said, adding that the new minimum wage will be effective from today.”At a recent public hearing, I received complaints from workers about non-payment of notified minimum rates of wages. So we decided to start an operation under which details of licenced agencies will be collected so as to monitor their performance and to ensure benefits to contractual labourers,” Rai said, adding that the labour department will organise next public hearing of contractual labourers on April 20.Labour Minister also said that the Delhi Government was taking steps to ensure pensioner benefits to unorganised sector workers under the national pension scheme.”The scheme is called Dilli Swavalamban Yojana. As its contribution, Delhi Government gave first installment of Rs 56 lakhs to the representatives of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA),” Rai said.The scheme will give social security to domestic workers, auto and taxi drivers, anganwadi workers, helpers, BPL families, rickshaw pullers, hawkers, rag pickers, mid day meal workers etc.According to an official, eligible beneficiary contributes a minimum of Rs 1000 each year, subject to a maximum of Rs. 12000 per annum while the Delhi government contributes Rs 1000 per beneficiary per annum for 25 years.The central government also contributes Rs 1000 per beneficiary per annum for four years under this scheme.According to an official, there are around 18 government welfare schemes for construction workers but at present there were only who were registered.”It includes pension, education, death, marriage fund for the relief of construction worker by labour department. But registration of unorganised labour is less so most of them could not avail benefit of these schemes,” Rai said.To tackle this problem, the government will hold camps at around 100 labour chowks in Delhi. After registration, the construction labourers will get various benefits from the fund available with the Labour Department, Rai said.

Rajya Sabha passes Insurance Bill; Congress allows smooth passage

A controversial bill providing for raising the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49% was passed in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

Parliament on Thursday approved the NDA government’s first major economic reform measure as the long-pending bill providing for raising the FDI cap in insurance sector to 49% was passed in Rajya Sabha.Congress and some other opposition parties support Insurance Bill ensuring its smooth passage in Rajya Sabha. The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced after Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien ruled that the new bill, as passed by the Lok Sabha, could be taken up as it was a “unique and unprecedented” situation.Members from Left parties, TMC and SP were questioning how a new bill could be introduced when a similar legislation of 2008, which was scrutinised by a Select Committee of Parliament, was pending.The bill seeks to replace an ordinance issued by the government earlier, which had come under sharp attack from various quarters. It seeks to amend the Insurance Act, 1938 and the General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Act 1972 and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 1999. It provides for raising FDI cap in insurance sector from 26 % to 49 %.The bill provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years for selling policies without registration with the regulator IRDA. The legislation will also allow PSU general insurers to raise funds from the capital market and provides for increased penalty to deter multilevel marketing of insurance products.Seeking to allay apprehensions, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said the premium will not flow out of the country but will remain within the country and the interests of policy holders will be protected by the IRDA.He said more and more FDI is required in the sector to provide more coverage to people of India. Sinha also sought to allay apprehensions that state-run LIC would be hurt if foreign companies come in, saying it was a very competitive body and match global players. At the same time, he said the country needs not one, but five to 10 LICs.The Minister said large insurance companies would benefit citizens “twice” as they will be protected and also avail of better infrastructure. The law provides that 15 % of the premium should be invested in building infrastructure.Allaying concerns of members about investment by FIIs, he said investment will remain with the company irrespective of what happens in the secondary market. He also said that the Insurance regulator IRDA is being equipped to deal with complaints and claims and will also have Ombudsman.The Lower House had passed the Bill on March 4.