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922 cr for toll operators; ATM operations demand compensation too

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New Delhi, December 31: After toll operators, ATM operators too are also planning to ask government for compensation.

During 50 day demonetisation window ATM industry is estimated to have lost hundreds of crore as banks continued to keep the machines dry off cash.

“If the government can compensate toll operators for loss due to demonetisation, they should do the same for ATM operators,” said Navroz Dastur, MD, NCR India to ET on Saturday. Dastur is the largest ATM manufacturer in the country.

V Balasubramanian, president (transaction processing and ATM service), FSS, said, “More than 60% of ATMs in the country operate on a per-transaction basis. Given the drop in volumes, the industry bore a loss of Rs 475-500 crore in November. We expect the same for December. While our revenues are zero, our costs have tripled. We ran additional shifts, we reconfigured all ATMs in minimum time.”

Post demonetisation banks said that they preferred to dispense money through over the counter. Even on the 50 th day of noteban only 40 % ATMs were cash filled. Also, ATMs are receiving cash upto only 10 % of their pre denomentation levels. But even when there is no cash in the machine to be dispensed, operators continue to incur operational costs other than cash-related ones.

Another point of contention for ATM operators was the discrimination banks show while filling up ATMs. “Even when banks do refill ATMs, they give priority to ATMs owned by them, which is unfair as both the managed ATMs and network ATMs are the same brand,” said Mamallan. A senior official at Hitachi, said that ATMs are operating at less than a tenth of their note-dispensing capacity.

NHAI to shell out 922 crore for toll loss to private operators

Earlier in the week the media reports suggested that National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will shell out whopping Rs 922 crore to private highway operators for the toll revenue loss they incurred due to suspending toll collection from November 9 to December 2. The compensation is computed as per average daily collection in October. The total compensation comes out be Rs 1,212 crore for all 317 toll plazas, wherein public-privatepartnership (PPP) loss is estimated around Rs 922 crore.

The proposal was moved by NHAI to compensate private highway operators and “to boost the confidence of private investors”. However the proposal is pending for the approval from the Cabinet committee on economic affairs to get the fund to be released. The NHAI proposal says that the compensation payment has arisen solely on account of the government decision.

Wefornews Bureau

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Cabinet nod to amend Specific Relief Act for ease of business

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Ravi Shankar Prasad( Law Minister)

New Delhi, Dec 15: In a move to further ease procedures for doing business in the country, the cabinet on Friday approved a bill proposing to amend the Specific Relief Act, 1963, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced here.

Briefing reporters here after a cabinet meeting, the Minister said that with the concerned bill slated to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament, he was unable to elaborate any further on the proposed legislation apart that it was for “ease of doing business.”

“Among the significant decisions, the cabinet approved the proposal to introduce amendments to the Specific Relief Act, 1963, as part of ease of doing business,” Prasad said.

“The Specific Relief Act, 1963, is being changed substantially..being modernised for promoting growth and investment,” he added.

The government has been contemplating amendments to the Specific Relief Act to limit the compensation and relief that courts can give in cases involving execution of infrastructure and development projects.

According to official sources here, the proposed changes seek to introduce guidelines for reducing the discretion granted to courts and tribunals while granting performance and injunctive relief.

The government constituted a five-member expert committee last year, to review the Act and suggest changes needed to remove bottlenecks in execution of contract-based infrastructure development, public private partnerships and other public projects.

In its report, the committee recommended changes in the law to limit the powers of courts to award relief.
“Any publi” work must progress without interruption. This requires consideration whether a court’s intervent’on in public works should be minimal. The role of courts in this exercise is to interfere to the minimum extent so that public works projects will not be impeded or stalled,” the committee “aid in its report.

IANS

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CBEC hikes customs duty on mobile phones, TVs and other electronic items

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New Delhi, Dec 15: The Ministry of Finance on Friday increased customs duty on import of mobile phones and other electronic devices such as televisions, mobile projectors, microwave and water heaters.

In a notification issued by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), the customs duty on certain sections of mobile phones has been raised from 10% to 15%.

While customs duty on television sets has been scaled up to 15 per cent from the existing 10 per cent.

Similarly, the customs duty on monitors, microwave ovens, projectors has been doubled to 20 per cent, as per the notification.

The Custom duty on push button telephones or mobile phones has been raised to 15 per cent from nil.

The changes will impact tech and electronic titans such as Apple, Sony which have been planing to set up manufacturing units in India.

WeForNews 

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Manish Dawar to become Vodafone India CFO

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New Delhi, Dec 15: Vodafone India on Friday announced that Manish Dawar will take over as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with effect from January 1, 2018.

Based in Mumbai, he will report to Sunil Sood, Managing Director & CEO, Vodafone India.

Dawar will take over from Thomas Reisten.

Manish joins Vodafone from Den Networks Limited where he was Group CFO.

IANS

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