The Mint Report 23 April 2010

The Mint Report 23 April 2010

The battle over Ulips is now likely to be fought in the Supreme Court. Market regulator Sebi and insurance regulator IRDA have been fighting over which of them gets to regulate Ulips. Mint has learnt they’ve decided to take their dispute straight to the Supreme Court. The two regulators had earlier planned to file a joint application with a high court. But after two public interest litigations they decided to go straight to the top. The Ulips over which they’re sparring behave like both investments and life insurance.

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Sebi and IRDA are not the only organisations going to the apex court. A tussle over railway tracks has set off a Supreme Court battle between the Competition Commission of India and the Competition Appellate Tribunal, usually known as Compat.

It all began when the company Jindal Steel and Power went to the CCI claiming that its rival SAIL had bagged a railways deal that was uncompetitive. The CCI decided there was a prima facie case and started an investigation. But SAIL responded by appealing to Compat, which stayed the CCI’s investigation. That in turn prompted the CCI to appeal to the Supreme Court against Compat’s intervention.

Food inflation has sped up again. India’s food price index went up 17.65% in the year to the 10 April. The previous week the index increased 17.22%. Thursday’s figures come just a day before the India Meteorological Department prepares to announce its monsoon forecast for the coming year. Reports earlier this month have indicated weather officials expect normal rainfall in 2010, something that could ease India’s food prices.