New Delhi: The inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) was facing a media boycott on Thursday after the influential Indian Newspaper Society (INS) joined calls for “offending” accreditation conditions to be lifted.
The country’s media has protested loudly over IPL’s decision to ban websites from covering matches and to prohibit international and local news agencies from supplying photographs to online clients.
“The accreditation terms failed to address the issues of intellectual property rights belonging to the media as well as issues of press freedom,” INS president Bahubali Shah said in a statement.
“The Indian Newspaper Society hopes a serious attempt will be made by the Indian Premier League to remove offending terms and conditions for media accreditation.
“In the absence of remedial action by the Indian Premier League, members of the Indian Newspaper Society will be forced to take an adverse view on the question of coverage of IPL matches.”
The Twenty20 competition, promoted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and featuring stars from around the world, opens on 18 April. The deadline for accreditation was Thursday.
The London-based international News Media Coalition (NMC) called the accreditation terms “a serious and unprecedented curtailment of the freedom of the press to fully report events of public interest.”
NMC focuses on the threat from excessive controls on the flow of news to the public, and is supported by newspapers, agencies and press freedom bodies around the world.
The Indian Premier League tournament lines up eight teams bought by franchises who selected their players via a multi-million dollar auction last month.
The tournament marks the first time that international cricketers will put aside national allegiances to play for privately-owned and city-based teams.
Global Vectra plans overseas expansion
Mumbai: Dedicated offshore air logistics support company Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd is planning to expand its operations to overseas markets including West Asia, Africa and South-East Asia.
Mumbai-based Global Vectra, which has until now restricted its services to the Indian market with clients including Reliance Industries Ltd and British Gas Exploration and Production India Ltd, is exploring joint venture opportunities with overseas oil companies, Indian companies operating abroad and foreign helicopter companies.
Chief executive officer Allan Brown said the rates for helicopters deployed for offshore operations abroad are at least 15 to 20% higher compared with India.
“Besides entering overseas operations, we are also starting onshore services such as offering helicopters for tourism, corporate travels and geo-physical services,” Brown added.
The company is also talking to tourism departments of various states and private companies to chalk out heli-tourism plans.
Global Vectra chairman S.J.S. Saighal said the company is expecting a revenue mix of 75:25 from offshore and onshore operations by 2010. The company, which currently has 22 choppers, is set to acquire two more soon. By the end of this year, the company will have 29 copters. P.R. Sanjai
GHIAL names Nair new chief executive
Hyderabad:GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, has appointed P.S. Nair as its new chief executive officer.
Nair is a former board member of Airports Authority of India (AAI). Nair brings with him more than 32 years of experience in airport operations, infrastructure planning and development, GHIAL said in a statement.
During his tenure at AAI, Nair was airport director at Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai and New Delhi airports. Nair had also played a significant role as member of several committees and task forces appointed by both AAI and the ministry of civil aviation, the statement added. C.R. Sukumar
NTPC posts modest 3.85% jump in profits
New Delhi: The country’s largest power generation company NTPC Ltd on Thursday reported a 3.85% growth in net profit for 2007-08 compared with the previous year. The company’s net profit was considerably lower than the 15.57% jump it had posted in 2006-07 as it added only 1,740MW of capacity in 2007-08, compared with 3,155MW in 2006-07.
“Our tariff has gone up to Rs1.84 per unit. As fuel costs have gone up, there has been an increase of 9 paise per unit. The unavailability of gas has also affected the performance of our gas based stations,” T. Sankaralingam, chairman and managing director of the company told reporters.
NTPC’s net profit was Rs7,129.30 crore compared with Rs6864.70 crore a year ago. The company’s turnover was up 14% at Rs 37,004.6 crore. The figures are provisional and have not been audited, NTPC said. Shubhranshu Patnaik, an executive director at audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said, “NTPC is still making profit due to the assured return on equity of 14%. If the company is able to secure adequate gas supplies, the numbers will improve.” Utpal Bhaskar
Gridstone Research raises $10 mn
Bangalore: Financial information and search company Gridstone Research has raised $10 million (Rs40 crore) in a second round of funding from Helion Venture Partners, along with Charles River Ventures and Maverick Capital.
The break-up of the investment was not disclosed. San Mateo, California-based Gridstone sells a research platform for financial analysts that combines financial data and powerful search technology.
In India, the firm has an office in Mumbai. Gridstone said the funds raised will be used to further product development and to expand the sales force. Deepti Chaudhary
Govt unveils new National Mineral Policy
New Delhi: The government has unveiled the new National Mineral Policy (for non-fuel, non-coal minerals) replacing the existing policy of 1993.
“Despite 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) allowed in the (old) policy, India did not attract FDI. This policy aims at changing that,” said Sis Ram Ola, Union minister for mines.
The new policy aims to allow seamless transition to companies, which have reconnaissance licence, to obtain a prospecting and eventually a mining licence. It will also allow companies to just conduct reconnaissance and sell the data. The state governments will be allowed to give preference to companies setting up manufacturing plants in the states. The policy also proposes a local area development fund, with contribution from the company, for the development of the area around the mine. It is envisaged that the people affected by the mining project will be necessarily made the stakeholders in the project. Udit Misra