Reliance plea spurned

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a Reliance Airport Developers petition challenging award of contracts to upgrade Delhi and Mumbai airports, providing a well-earned breather for the government that had fast-tracked the modernisation process. Judges T S Thakur and B N Chaturvedi dismissed all the grounds on which RAD had challenged the decision to award the contracts to the Hyderabad-based GMR and GVK consortia. The bench also ruled that the government was well within its power to make last minute changes in tender conditions. — AFP

Sino-Taiwan trade ties

TAIPEI: Taiwan will seriously consider implementing the trade incentives rival China proposed at an economic forum held earlier this month, Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Friday. The incentives were announced by China after a two-day trade forum in Beijing. It includes tariff cuts on imports of fruit and fish from Taiwan, opening the door for larger number of Chinese tourists to visit the island, and permitting Taiwanese firms to operate profit-making medicals on mainland. — AFP

ATM malfunction

SHANGHAI: A seven-hour malfunction in China’s national electronic payment system left millions of people without cash and caused large financial losses. China UnionPay, wh-ich is responsible for all credit card and ATM transactions around the nation, said the breakdown occurred at Thursday. The outage had caused well over $120 million in losses. ATM and credit card transactions were estimated at $2.7 billion a day. — AFP

Venezuelan spending

CARACAS: Crude exports will finance $2.5 billion of president Hugo Chavez’s social programmes this year. Crude sales by state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela will largely defray the spending. Chavez launc-hed these programmes after an April 2002 coup, in which he was removed from power for two days. Venezuela’s poor are treated to better health care and education, as well as housing and orphanages, as part of what he calls a ‘socialist revolution’. — AFP