Govt bets on spectrum auction to plug fiscal hole
Volatile markets have already begun to impact the government’s stake sale plans. Many public sector companies, including BHEL and SAIL also bowed out of plans to launch follow-on public offers fearing poor investor interest.
Officials said that the Rs 4,000-crore SAIL divestment proposal was not considered by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs as steel minister Beni Prasad Verma was in Tokyo while steel secretary DRS Prasad was not in town. “It did not seem prudent to take up the issue when the minister was not present,” an official said.
In 2010-11 too, windfall revenue from 3G auction had helped the Centre lower the fiscal deficit from 5.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent after earning Rs 1,08,000 crore from 3G and BWA auction against the budgeted Rs 35,000 crore.
Union Cabinet defers Forward Contract Bill
The Union Cabinet on Thursday deferred the much-awaited Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill amid lack of consensus on the proposed legislation that will give more powers to the commodity regulator FMC.
“The FCRA (Amendment) Bill has been deferred,” food minister KV Thomas said, without citing any reason. Sources said that the Trinamool Congress had expressed reservations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the last minute that led to deferring of the Bill.
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