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Manmohan to roll out mobile number portability today

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Manmohan to roll out mobile number portability today

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will formally announce a nationwide roll-out of the much-awaited mobile number portability (MNP) service on Thursday. This facility will allow mobile subscribers to switch operators without changing their phone numbers, thus forcing telecom companies to improve efficiency of their networks, offer competitive tariffs and more value-added services.

“I think it is a great step forward for the consumer, as it enhances choice and brings in more competition, because the more efficient you are as a service provider, the more likely that consumers will choose you,” Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told journalists here on Wednesday.

Due to technical reasons and laxity on the part of telecom operators, the MNP missed at least three deadlines last year. However, it was introduced in Haryana as a test case in November 2010. In the meantime, private operators had already begun a major marketing campaign, creating awareness of the service in order to woo mobile users.

How much churning will happen in the mobile space due to MNP, only time will tell; but it will definitely put pressure on mobile operators to offer better and more value-added services not only to woo customers but also to retain their existing customers. Some operators could further slash their tariffs to attract customers. Mobile operators such as Idea Cellular, Vodafone Essar, Uninor, Reliance Communications, Airtel and Aircel are all geared to introduce the MNP to give a boost to their subscriber base.

“Idea is ready to enable the MNP on its network and has made substantial investment in network, technology and processes to allow mobile subscribers to switch network and move to Idea, post MNP. Idea has also launched an MNP helpline to guide mobile subscribers on various aspects and procedures of number portability. The mobile users across all 22 circles can call up the toll-free number and register their requests for porting on the Idea network,” Idea Cellular said in a statement.

According to CDMA operator Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL) president and Chief Executive Officer Vsevolod Rozanov: “I think tariffs will go down further especially if we speak about the post-paid customer base, where we are likely to see the average revenue per user going down. In the pre-paid segment, I doubt a significant change in their tariffs or profitability.” The SSTL offers services under the brand MTS.

Source: The Hindu

Onion, tomato prices drop marginally in Delhi

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Onion, tomato prices drop marginally in Delhi

The sliding wholesale prices of onion pushed down its retail rate by Rs 10 a kg in Delhi and Mumbai on Wednesday, providing some relief to the consumers who had been moved to tears due to its skyrocketing cost.

Onion prices dropped to Rs 30-50 a kg in retail in the national capital and Mumbai from Rs 40-60 a kg on Tuesday, traders said.

But, Kolkata and Chennai were not so lucky where the vegetable maintained Tuesday's level of Rs 45-60 per kg in retail, they said.

Retail price of tomato, which has entered into a contest offlate with onion, also lowered by Rs 10 a kg in Delhi and Kolkata.

It was available at Rs 40-50 a kg in Delhi and at Rs 20-30 a kg in the Eastern metropol on Wednesday.

However, in Chennai, the retail price of the vegetable increased by Rs 5 a kg at Rs 45 a kg since Tuesday, a report said.

Drop in onion prices in Delhi and Mumbai is attributed to sliding rates in wholesale markets in the past one week.

Cost of bulk purchase of onions has come down by about Rs 18 a kg in Delhi's Azadpur market (Asia's biggest fruits & vegetables wholesale market) since 13th January, when it had zoomed to Rs 50 a kg.

Onion was being sold at Rs 12-32 a kg in Azadpur market on Wednesday, General Secretary Onion Merchants Association Rajendra Sharma said.

The cost of onions also relented in other major cities.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry data on retail prices of some essential commodities revealed that onion sold at Rs 34 a kg in Patna, while it was available at Rs 45 a kg in Lucknow, Rs 33 a kg in Hyderabad and Rs 44 a kg in Bangalore on Wednesday.

It, however, remained expensive in Shimla and Itanagar at Rs 60 a kg respectively, it said.

General Secretary of Azadpur based Tomato Merchants Association, Subhash Chugh said supply of the crop picked up on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, out of the 200 tonnes of onion to be imported from Pakistan, 180 tonnes had reached Mundra port in Gujarat on last Friday. The stock has now reached Delhi, official sources said.

While, a portion of the imported onion from the neighbouring country was made available to agri-cooperative Nafed, the remaining were auctioned in the Azadpur market at a rate of 26.90 per kg, the sources added.

Source: DDI News

NPS: Advantages of being a IRA compliant subscriber and features of Tier-II account

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Date 7th Dec 2010

The Pr. AO(NPS)
(All 37 Pr.AOs)

Sub: NPS: Advantages of being a IRA compliant subscriber and features of Tier-II account.

Please find enclosed write-up on the merits of IRA compliance as well as the features of Tier-II account received from the NSDL Mumbai vide letter No AS/KV/SB/201022434 dated 12-10-2010. The other write up is related to Tier-II account under the New Pension Scheme wherein details such as interfacing entity for Tier-II account, opening a Tier-II account, NPS architecture of Tier-II account, transactions in Tier-II account, and charges for Tier-II account have been mentioned. Copies of the write-ups which are self explanatory, may be forwarded to the DDOs mapped with the PAOs under your jurisdiction for information of all the subscribers.


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