Majority of the telecom stocks are trading in the red with Tata Tele and MTNL among the major losers. As per a leading financial daily, the Communications Minister has given a go-ahead for imposing a Rs 6.5 bn penalty on Bharti Airtel for providing subscriber local dialing (SLD) services in 13 regions during the period 2003-2005. SLD allows roaming customers to remain on the local network and skip roaming and STD charges. In June 2003, the Telecom Ministry had directed Bharti Airtel to stop providing SLD facility as it amounted to violation in the national routing plan. However as per Ministry officials, the company continued offering this service till 2005. This development is expected to further compound Bharti Airtel's woes as the company is already facing penalties for a host of alleged violations. The company's stock is currently down 1.6%.
Domestic pharma stocks are trading mixed with, Ipca Labs and Dishman Pharma trading firm while Cipla Ltd and Piramal Enterprises are trading weak. As per a financial daily, a US Congress member is seeking to review USFDA's (United States Food and Drugs Administration) probe into Ranbaxy. Steve Israel is a member of the US Congress. He has sent letter to the office of inspector general at the US department of health and human services asking for a complete review of the USFDA's actions during last 8 years. The letter calls to review the USFDA oversight policies and what steps can be taken by authorities to improve such events in the future. The letter also suggested for a complete review of the USFDA'S oversight of pharmaceutical drugs manufactured in foreign facilities. Earlier this month, Ranbaxy had pleaded guilty on various counts of federal and civil charges. The company had also agreed to pay a fine of US$ 500 m in order to settle the claims with the US Department of Justice. Ranbaxy was trading up by 0.12%.