‘Decision on NIB in two weeks’

Despite opposition from the environment ministry, the finance ministry on Thursday said it is hopeful that a decision on the proposed National Investment Board (NIB) to clear large infrastructure projects would be taken over the next two to three weeks.

The proposal has also found with commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma, who said that the proposal would have a positive impact.

"For the major projects, monitoring and oversight of the government at the highest level is desirable," Sharma said at the World Economic Forum, meeting here.

Economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram expressed confidence that it would be cleared by the Cabinet soon. "We hope that in another 2-3 weeks we will have a decision on it," he said.

Sharma added that the government will soon clear the proposal of Swedish home furnishing major IKEA, which has sought approval to invest Rs 10,500 crore to set up retail stores in the country.

Call rate hike needed: Airtel

Telecom market leader Bharti Airtel said the industry will need to raise tariffs as margins of operators are getting hurt at the current rate but ruled itself out to be the first to take the step. "The current tariffs do not even cover marginal costs. Do we need to increase prices? The answer is yes," Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor said on the sidelines of the WEF meeting here.

SC seeks answers on 2G auction

The Supreme Court on Thursday also sought to know from the Centre why it was not auctioning all the spectrum, linked to 122 mobile network licenses cancelled by the court in February.

The court's poser came on a petition by Idea Cellular seeking direction to the Centre to put up the entire "freed up" spectrum of 514.8 MHz for sale.

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