No favouritism to Alstom: The government said that French equipment major Alstom bagged the Rs 1,600 crore contract from NHPC as its price bid was lowest and denied that there was any favouirtism. Power minister PM Sayeed said, After techno-economic evaluation of the price bids, the consortium of Alstom Power Hydraulique and Alstom Projects India was found to be the lowest bidder by NHPC.
Hire-purchase Act repealed: The Upper House on Wednesday passed a Bill to repeal the Hire-purchase Act, 1972. Tabling the Hire-purchase (Repeal) Bill, 2005, law minister Hansraj Bhardwaj said the mathematical formula provided in the Act for calculating hire-purchase charges was too mathematical for a common man to understand. The hire-purchase charges and interest rate may better be left to market conditions because loans are available from banks and FIs on borrower-friendly terms, he said. In view of this, the Hire-purchase Act, 1972 has lost its relevance. Hence, it has been decided to repeal the Act, he said.
Defence deal kickback: The government was looking into media reports alleging payment of commission on defence deals by a South African arms manufacturer, defence minister Pranab Mukherjee informed the House. Chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat rejected the notice given on the issue by RJD leader Ram Deo Bhandary saying the minister had already said he would look into the matter.
Reopening of Stilwell Road: No decision has been taken on reopening of the old Stilwell Road connecting North eastern states with Myanmar and China, the House was informed on Wednesday. Minister of state for home affairs S Raghupathy said the government was aware of economic, security and strategic considerations involved in the matter.
11 Pak cricket fans missing: Altogether 11 Pakistani nationals, who visited India to view Mohali cricket match, have not yet gone back even after the expiry of their visa period, the House was informed. Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh governments have been sensitized to trace the 11 missing Pak nationals and take immediate action for their deportation under the law, minister of state for home Sriprakash Jaiswal said.