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Nigel Griffiths: I refer the hon. Member to the statements made by my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on 15 March 2002, Official Report, columns 129698W and by my noble Friend the Lord Sainsbury of Turville in another place on 28 May 2002, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 114749.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has held since December 2001 with the Secretary of State for Defence regarding arms export licence grants to (a) India and (b) Pakistan. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received regarding her Department's arms export application process and legal criteria for such exports to (a) India and (b) Pakistan in each month from December 2001 to June 2002. 
Nigel Griffiths: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, the Department's Export Control Organisation and I have received representations regarding arms exports to India and Pakistan from a number of different sources, including Members of Parliament, exporters and the general public.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry who her Department's Green Minister is; when they (a) have attended and (b) plan to attend meetings of the Green Ministers' Committee; what the outcomes of meetings were for her Department's activities; and if she will make a statement. 
Following the General Election in June 2001, the previously informal Green Ministers Committee was upgraded to a Cabinet Sub-Committee of ENV, and it is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees.
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Mr. Wilson: At the opening of the 1,000th LPG filling station in February this year I announced LPG Boost, a £1 million DTI funded programme over two years to boost the uptake of LPG as a vehicular fuel. This programme (in conjunction with DTLR funded PowerShift) is aimed at increasing awareness of LPG in rural areas and encouraging local specialist conversion workshops. I will be making a further announcement shortly.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what licences have been granted in each of the last five years for equipment on the military list to (a) African countries, (b) Bolivia, (c) Guyana, (d) Honduras, (e) Nicaragua, (f) Laos, (g) Vietnam, (h) Myanmar and (i) Yemen, in receipt of aid; what equipment is covered under these licences; and if she will make a statement. 
Nigel Griffiths: Details of all export licences for items on the military list issued since 2 May 1997 are published by destination in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. Copies of the 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Annual Reports are available in the Libraries of the House. The 2001 Annual Report will be published soon.
However, as announced by my noble Friend yesterday during the second reading of the Enterprise Bill, we will be bringing forward express exclusions to ensure that the provisions of the Bill will not extend to registered social landlords.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the (a) statutory and (b) commercial status of Royal Mail; and to which (i) Ministers and (ii) other persons it will be accountable. 
Mr. Timms: Consignia Holdings plc is a company formed and registered under the Companies Act 1985. The shares in the company are owned by the Government. On 26 March 2001, all the property, rights and liabilities of the Post Office were transferred to this company. Consignia Holdings has one wholly owned subsidiary, Consignia plc, which is also a company formed and registered under the Companies Act 1985. This subsidiary is licensed to provide a universal postal service in the UK.
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Under the Government's reform of postal services, Consignia Holdings plc and its subsidiary have been given greater commercial freedom than that enjoyed by the Post Office. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry holds a special share in Consignia Holdings plc and the Memorandum and Articles of Association sets out the areas where the special shareholder's consent is required by the company.
As a public limited company, Consignia Holdings plc is accountable to its shareholders. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (49,999 shares) and the Treasury Solicitor (as nominee of the Treasury) (1 share).
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what limit of (a) value and (b) weight is set for Consignia's monopoly status; for how long this status extends and under which legal provision; what recent discussions she has had concerning the move to unregulated and competitive postal services; when the change to open competition will take place; and under what statutory requirements. 
Mr. Timms: Under the Postal Services Act (2000), the Postal Services Commission (known as Postcomm) was created, as an independent regulatory authority for the licensing of postal services. Postcomm administers a licensed area, broadly equivalent to the former Post Office statutory monopoly for letters weighing less than 350g and costing less than £1. In March 2001, Postcomm granted Consignia a licence to provide services in the licensed area.
Under the Act, it is for Postcomm to further the interests of users of postal services, wherever appropriate by promoting effective competition between postal operators, subject to its primary responsibility to ensure the provision of a universal postal service at a uniform tariff. Under its statutory powers Postcomm may introduce competition by issuing licenses or by recommending "further exemptions" or reductions to the licensed area.
In April 2001, Postcomm initially established an interim licensing policy pending a wideranging consultation exercise on how to introduce competition into the market. Postcomm has issued 10 other licences for niche services under this policy. Following the conclusion of its consultation Postcomm announced its decision on competition on 29 May 2002. The effect of that decision is to extend Postcomm's licensing policy to open the postal market to competition in three stages over four years. The first stage to open one third of the market will take effect from January 2003 with increased opportunities for competition in the licensed area and progression to full market opening by 1 April 2007.
Mr. Timms: The Government are committed to the maintenance of a nationwide network of post offices and placed a formal requirement on the Post Office in November 2000 to maintain the network and to prevent
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any avoidable closures of rural post offices. We are in regular contact with Post Office Limited about a range of issues relating to the future of the network.
The Government have invested £480 million in a modernisation programme to computerise the whole of the post office network. We have made available a £2 million fund to support volunteer and community initiatives to maintain or re-open post office facilities in rural areas where traditional services would otherwise close. Figures for end May 2002 showed that 64 applicationsto a value of £500,000had been assessed and approved and to that date payments of £231,000 had also been made.
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