Daily News Podcast: Cabinet gives nod for new telecom policy : Bulletin: Business Today
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Daily News Podcast: Cabinet gives nod for new telecom policy

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September 27, 2018

Cabinet gives nod for new telecom policy; clears path for spectrum price, licence fee review
The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the new telecom policy that sets an ambitious target of attracting $100 billion investments and creating 40 lakh jobs in the currently debt-ridden sector by 2022 and paves the way for introducing new technologies such as 5G and IoT (Internet of things). Under the new policy, termed the National Digital Communications Policy 2018, the government plans to optimally price spectrum, review levies such as license fees and spectrum usage charges (SUC) as well as M&A rules to ease exits while also taking a fresh look at spectrum sharing, leasing and trading guidelines.

Verdict out: Aadhaar is constitutionally valid
The ambitious public scheme Aadhaar that uses biometric data to generate unique identification numbers for citizens, has been pronounced constitutionally valid by the Supreme Court. For a record 38 days, the top court heard some 27 petitions. The petitions had called Aadhaar a violation of the right to privacy. Aadhaar means unique, and it's better to be unique than being the best, the court said. It struck down the national security exception in the Aadhaar Act as well as Section 57, which permits private entities to avail Aadhaar data. The court said it isn't mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts or mobile numbers and that telecom service providers can't seek Aadhaar linking, and upheld the passing of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha.

Govt hikes customs duty on refrigerators, ACs, aviation fuel
To curb imports amid falling rupee and widening current account deficit (CAD), the government on Wednesday hiked customs duty on goods ranging from refrigerators and air conditioners (ACs) to aviation fuel. The 19 'non-essential items' on which import tariffs have been hiked include washing machines less than 10 Kg, speakers, car tyres, cut and polished diamond, gemstone, plastics used in Tableware, kitchenware and other household items, suitcase, travel bags, etc.

Cabinet clears Rs 5,500 crore package for sugar industry
In third incentive package for sugar mills in four months, the Union government Wednesday announced a Rs 5,500 crore package for the sugar industry, including over two-fold jump in production aid to cane growers and transport subsidy to mills for exports. All measures aim at helping the cash-starved mills clear Rs 13,000 crore they owe currently to farmers before the 2019 general elections.

India to have most stringent car safety norms by 2023
India will soon have the most stringent car safety norms, some of them surpassing even the US by 2023, a senior government official said on Wednesday. For one, from October all new cars will have pedestrian safety feature including new design of the bonnet to reduce impact on pedestrians during accidents. Indian roads are the most dangerous in the world and 1,40,000 people die due to accidents every year. Yet, road safety measures, in general, and for vehicles, in particular, have lagged global standards.

Arun Jaitley hints at new law after SC bars private companies from using Aadhaar data
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while hailing the Aadhaar verdict, indicated that the provision which allowed private entities to use UIDAI data needs to be backed by law. The Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. The Finance Minister lauded the SC verdict on Aadhaar as historic, adding that the concept of Aadhaar has been accepted after judicial review and the government welcomes the apex court's decision.

PNB to seek Rs 5,431-crore capital infusion from government
Punjab National Bank (PNB) has said it plans to seek Rs 5,431 crore capital support from the government a day after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured state-owned banks of all support from the government. The meeting of the bank's board will take place today for considering infusion of Rs 5,431 crore by the government by way of preferential issue of equity share and fixing date of extra-ordinary general meeting (EGM) for obtaining shareholders' approval in this regard, PNB said

Compiled by Rashi Bisaria
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