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TRAI slaps fine on Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, others for not meeting service quality

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi:Regulator TRAI has imposed penalties on major telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular (now merged), for slipping on various service quality benchmarks for the March quarter, according to multiple sources.
The fines cover various parameters and service areas, and all the operators are in the process of making the payment, sources told PTI.
About Rs 34 lakh fine has been imposed for March 2018 quarter on Reliance Jio, the aggressive player whose offerings since 2016 have shaken the market and triggered a bruising tariff war among operators.
The penalty on the Mukesh Ambani-led firm is on account of Trai-defined service quality parameters, including Point of Interconnect congestion, accessibility of call centres or customer care, and percentage of calls answered by operators (voice to voice) in a set timeframe.
An e-mail sent to Reliance Jio seeking its response on the penalty did not elicit a response.
Maintaining its watch on service quality in the sector, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had tightened the rules and asked players to abide by its new quality of service (QoS) benchmarks from October 1, 2017.
The latest assessment reflects how the operators have fared between January and March 2018 on Trai’s new service quality benchmarks.
Bharti Airtel – which was the largest telecom operator in the country till the merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular shuffled the pecking order late last month – has been fined to the tune of about Rs 11 lakh for the three months to March, as per sources.
Its penalties are on account of norms relating to metering and billing (postpaid), accessibility of call centre and customer care, percentage of calls answered by operators within defined timeframe parameters.
The fine imposed on Idea Cellular is about Rs 12.5 lakh for the March quarter.
The penalties pertain to various circles on parametres like call drops, percentage of calls answered by operators within a set timeframe, and requests for closure of services complied within seven days.
In case of Vodafone, the March quarter penalties stood at only about Rs 4 lakh on issues like metering and billing (pre-paid), time taken to comply with request for termination or closure of service, and percentage of calls answered by operators within a timeframe.
While Bharti Airtel declined to comment, Idea Cellular and Vodafone did not respond to e-mails queries on the issue.
Trai chairman RS Sharma had earlier told PTI that the regulator is in the final stage of imposing penalty on operators which have not met service quality norms for the March quarter, but had not given details.
Trai has been maintaining that it does not wish to name specific operators or penalties slapped on them for not meeting the service quality criteria. Accordingly, it has never published this information either on its website or through a statement.
As per the new quality of service benchmarks of Trai, now call drops are measured at mobile tower level instead of telecom circle level. Trai was of the view that average calculated at circle level may hide many issues.


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MPC to meet six times during 2019-20: RBI

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Mumbai: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which decides on key interest rates, will meet six times during the next financial year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.

The first meeting of the six-member MPC to decide on the first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2019-20 will be held from April 2 to 4.

The policy will be announced on April 4. Headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, the committee also includes two representatives from the central bank and three external members.

 

The external members are Indian Statistical Institute professor Chetan Ghate, Delhi School of Economics Director Pami Dua and Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad professor Ravindra H Dholakia.

According to the schedule provided by the RBI, the second meeting of the MPC in the next fiscal will be held on June 3, 4 and 6; third meeting (August 5-7); fourth meeting (October 1, 3 and 4); fifth meeting (December 3-5) and sixth meeting (February 4-6, 2020).

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SBI raises Rs 1,251 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds

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New Delhi: The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said it has raised Rs 1,251.30 crore by issuing Basel III-compliant bonds.

“The Committee of Directors for Capital Raising at its meeting held today on 22 March 2019 deliberated and accorded approval to allot 12,513 non-convertible, taxable, perpetual, subordinated, unsecured Basel lll-compliant additional tier-I bonds, for inclusion in additional tier-I capital of the bank…aggregating to Rs 1,251.30 crore,” SBI said in a regulatory filing.

The bonds with a face value of Rs 10 lakh each bears a coupon rate of 9.45 per cent per anum payable annually with call option after 5 years or any anniversary date thereafter, it said. The bonds were subscribed on Friday, it added.

 

State Bank of India (SBI) also said the central board of the bank at its meeting held has accorded its approval for extension of validity period for raising equity capital of up to Rs 20,000 crore from market by way of follow-on public offer, qualified institutional placement, preferential allotment, rights issue or any other mode or a combination of these till March 31, 2020.

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Sebi fines 4 entities Rs 27 lakh for fraudulent trading in BSE stock options

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New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi imposed a total penalty of Rs 27 lakh on four entities for indulging in fraudulent trade in illiquid stock options segment of BSE.

Umapati Oil Mill and Ginning Factory, Yudhbir Chhibbar, Kasturbhai Mayabhai Pvt Ltd and Vimladevi Shyamsunder Khetan are the four entities, according to Sebi’s separate orders.

fter observing a large-scale reversal of trades in the BSE’s illiquid stock options segment, Sebi conducted a probe from April 2014 to September 2015.

 

Following the probe, the regulator found that the trades executed by the entities were not genuine as they were reversed within few seconds with same counter parties with significant difference in price, resulting in profit to the entities.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said it was a deliberate attempt to deal in such a fashion and not a mere coincidence.

The trades executed by the entities were not genuine and created an appearance of artificial trading volumes, thereby violating PFUTP (Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices) regulations, Sebi noted.

Accordingly, a fine of Rs 8.7 lakh and Rs 8.4 lakh were imposed on Yudhbir Chhibbar and Vimladevi, respectively while a penalty of Rs 5 lakh each was levied on Umapati Oil Mill and Kasturbhai Mayabhai Pvt Ltd, totalling Rs 27.1 lakh.

In a separate order, Sebi imposed a total fine of Rs 6 lakh on four promoters of Artech Power Products for delayed disclosures to exchanges regarding their change in the shareholding in the company.

Ranjith Vijayan, I V Vijayan, Repsy Vijayan and Resmi Vijayan are the four promoters, according to Sebi’s order.

The promoters have deprived the vital information to the public by non-disclosure /delayed disclosure as mandated by the Takeover Regulations, Sebi noted.

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