- Larsen & Toubro has given a guidance of 15-20 per cent growth in order book for 2012-13.
Rahul Khullar, commerce secretary until last week, will on Monday take over as chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
He replaces JS Sarma, who retired on May 13, and whose tenure was marked by controversy over a Supreme Court-mandated auction of spectrum and a much higher base price for the same.
Khullar will have a three-year tenure and one of the first orders of business for him will be to sort out the various claims over the new auction prices. While telecom operators say that the new prices would lead to doubling of prices for consumers, Sarma had insisted there would be no impact.
Khullar is a 1975 officer of the Indian Administrative Service, who has earlier served as secretary to Dr Manmohan Singh when he was finance minister and carried out India’s first round of economic reforms in the early ‘90s.
For the TRAI position, Khullar beat out R P Singh, former secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Defence Production Secretary Shekhar Agarwal, Fertiliser Secretary Ajay Bhattacharya, Former DoT Member (Technology) Chandra Prakash, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Subodh Kumar, former secretary (Defence Finance) Indu Liberhan and Vijayalakshmi K Gupta.
The commerce secretary is known for his blunt talk, and has not been shy of criticizing India’s economic performance, especially on the exports front. "We will be lucky if we can achieve 10-15 per cent growth in exports this year (FY-13)," Rahul Khullar told reporters earlier this year after exports rose 21 per cent in 2011-12.
He has also spoken out openly against the United States’ movement in the Doha round of trade talks. Last year, Khullar had said that there was nothing “hold your breath for” over trade talks with the US and that he didn’t see the type of progress on negotiations needed to close gaps.
As secretary of trade and commerce, he has also been a key interlocutor in talks with Iran over oil imports, which could attract sanctions for India as well. Earlier this year, the US left India out of a list of countries that were exempt from sanctions because of the volume of oil purchases from Iran, which is India’s second largest supplier of crude.