India On The Path Of Reforms

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SC CANCELS 2G LICENCES/A RAJA GETS BAIL In a major decision that brought spilling implication on the corporate sector, the Supreme Court cancelled 122 2G spectrum licences granted by former telecom minister A Raja on the ground that they were issued in a “totally arbitrary and unconstitutional” manner. The licences were given by Raja for over Rs 9,000 crore, while 3G auctions for a smaller number of licences had fetched the government a sum of Rs 69,000 crores. The apex court left it to the trial court to decide on the demand for investigation of the alleged role of Chidambaram into the 2G spectrum allocation scam but refused to give direction to CBI on the issue. The main accused in the spectrum scam A Raja, was granted bail by a special CBI court after spending nearly 15 months in the Jail. Raja is the last of the 12 accused to get bail.

AIR INDIA PILOTS` STRIKE Air India pilots’ strike, which saw a large section of pilots unwilling to cooperate with airlines’ management, is termed as the longest running pilots` strike in the last 40 years. The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) pilots went on an indefinite strike from May 5 onwards to protest against airline management’s decision to allow colleagues from the former Indian Airlines to be trained on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The union of the AI pilots, Indian Pilots` Guild, was de-recognised by the airline when they went on strike. After much negotiations and talks between the two parties, the pilots called off their 58-day long strike after the court asked the pilots to stop protesting and the management to sympathetically consider reinstating the 101 sacked pilots. It had directed that the report of conciliation proceedings be submitted to it by July. Reinstated IPG said all 434 of their colleagues’ submitted affidavits to the court and its copies to Air India that they were willing and ready to resume duty, as directed by the court. The estimated loss due to the strike has exceeded Rs 750 crore.

MARUTI MAYHEM Maruti`s Manesar plant violence has been one of the worst company violence in the country and the company’s worst-ever since it began operations in India in 1983. Workers rioted at the Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar and started a fire that killed company`s General Manager of Human Resources and injured 100 managers, including two Japanese expatriates in June. The wreckage was a fallout between management and workers over salary and allowances issue. A special investigation team (SIT) probing the violence at Maruti`s Manesar plant chargesheeted 145 workers, while 149 were arrested. The company also laid off 547 blacklisted workers. The company lost tens of millions of dollars following a one-month shutdown post the deadly riot. The Maruti Mayhem has rattled corporate India and shone a light on outdated and rigid labour laws in a country where cheap labour drives manufacturing and draws foreign investment.

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