The telecom industry could see a big shake-up. On Tuesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or Trai announced its recommendations on spectrum allocation. Trai suggests charging a one-time fee for telecom operators that already have more than 6.2 Mhz of spectrum. It also advises the government not to auction any more 2G spectrum for now because there’s too little to go around. Trai’s recommendations will become policy only when they get approval from the department of telecommunications.
Some of the telecom industry’s big players lost no time attacking Trai’s ideas. On Wednesday, Bharti Airtel attacked its recommendations on spectrum fees, calling them shocking. If they’re accepted, Trai’s suggestions are likely to make holding on to existing spectrum a lot more expensive.
Bad loans are taking their toll on State Bank of India. India’s largest lender saw its net profit fall 32% in the fourth quarter to Rs1,867 crore. Its provisions for bad loans were Rs2,187 crore for the period. On the positive side, net interest income went up 39% to Rs6,722 crore. Net interest income is the difference between interest earned and interest paid.
Does Bt cotton have more enemies? On Friday, the magazine Science published the results of a decade-long study in China. It reports that some parasites are a lot more prevalent in Bt cotton crops than in traditional ones. But the study also points out that these parasites do little harm. More than 90% of India’s cotton crop consists of genetically modified Bt plants.