Cruising Credai

Updated: Nov 18 2005, 05:30am hrs
When the real estate industry markets its developments, the thrust is on how firm the ground beneath is and how well their structures can withstand the shocks if the earth moves. But the same industry has opted for something other than terra firma as a venue for discussing core issues related to the functioning of the sector.

The Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (Credai) will hold its annual convention, Natcon 2006, on the high seas, aboard a luxury cruise liner, Star Cruise. Delegates to the conference will spend between Rs 22,000 and Rs 1.10 lakh each for a berth on the conference cruise. And options range between state rooms, oceanview executive suites with a porthole or window and a deluxe oceanview suite.

While the discussion topics cover a gamut of issues such as FDI in real estate, IT and township development and venture funds, the distractions range from golf driving ranges to twin hot tubs, bars, disco, et al.

Head wire

A primary objective in creating Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) was to create a level-playing field between state and private telecom operators. But, even today BSNL gets more favoured treatment. The department of telecom circulated the draft new telecom policy (NTP), 2005, with a copy to BSNL. So, even before others got to know about the policy formally, BSNLs director (planning) got the full draft well in advance. Agreed, BSNL is a state-owned company. But, why should it alone be involved in policy-making

Growing up

Following the increased visibility and global respect of India, the countrys relationship with the US has changed to a much more equal footing. When US treasury secretary John Snow came here recently, finance minister P Chidambaram was overheard telling him we were gravely concerned with the US fiscal deficit and trusted they would be acting to address that concern. Traditionally, it was the US which would give that sort of grave advice to us.

Earlier, the US plan was for Mr Snow to visit Pakistan as well. After being told the visit would be welcome if it wasnt so tied, the Pak part was dropped.