Mumbai: The Union government borrowed Rs10,903 crore from the Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, in the last week of August, according to the weekly statistical supplement released by the central bank on Friday. This is the first time the government has borrowed funds from RBI since 3 August 2007. The government had borrowed Rs31,643 crore last year to bridge the temporary mismatch between its expenditure and income.
Meanwhile, India’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by about $6.5 billion (Rs29,770 crore) to $288.81 billion in the week ended 5 September as RBI has aggressively been selling dollars to stem depreciation of the local currency against the greenback.
— Staff Writer
Refiners likely to lose Rs1.62 trillion on fuel
New Delhi: State-run refiners including Indian Oil Corp. Ltd may lose as much as Rs1.62 trillion this year on selling fuels below cost, the oil ministry’s senior-most official said.
No decision has been taken to review fuel prices, R.S. Pandey, secretary to the oil ministry, said on Friday. He said there’s no shortage of cooking gas in the country.
Sebi names 5 banks for IPO payment process
Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, on Friday approved the applications of five more banks, including Axis Bank Ltd, to carry out the new initial public offering, or IPO, payment process.
IDBI Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, and Bank of Baroda are the others approved to carry out the process, named application supported by blocked amount, or ASBA.
Sebi in July introduced ASBA to reduce the IPO listing period from 21 days to 7 days, and hasten the refund process. Under this, the application money for share issues will remain in an investor’s bank account until the allotment is finalized by the issuing company.
— Khushboo Narayan
Rajan Bhalla quits as Mint publisher
New Delhi:HT Media Ltd named Vivek Khanna, its head of business excellence, to the additional role of publisher of Mint. Khanna takes over from Rajan Bhalla who is leaving HT Media for an unspecified non-media role, according to an internal announcement from HT Media chief executive Rajiv Verma.
In related changes, Mint’s marketing head Sandeep Bhushan has been named chief operating officer of the paper and will oversee all business operations, reporting to Khanna. Rashmi Chugh, who heads Mint’s website, Livemint.com, will work with Bhushan on revenue generating activities and now report to Mint editor Raju Narisetti on all content and product development functions. Mint started publishing in February 2007 and has a circulation of 120,000 across five cities. HT Media also publishes ‘Hindustan Times’ and ‘Hindustan’.
— Staff Writer
GMR Infra plans to enter shipping business
New Delhi: The GMR group holding company, GMR Infrastructure Ltd plans to enter the shipping business on the back of its coalmine acquisitions in South Africa and Indonesia to reduce the cost of transporting imported coal to its coastal thermal power projects being planned in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
“We are exploring options to enter the shipping business to transport coal from our overseas coal mines to our power projects in India. We will firm up our shipping plans within a year,” said Avinash R. Shah, executive vice-president at GMR Energy Ltd. He did not disclose the details of coal mine acquisitions.
GMR Energy, a unit of GMR Infrastructure, plans coastal power projects having a total capacity of 3,500MW. A similar model is being adopted by Reliance Power Ltd and Tata Power Ltd.
The size of the market for imported coal that goes into power generation in India is around 20 million tonnes per annum and is expected to double by 2012. GMR Energy has an operating capacity of 800MW and has another 3700MW under development. The company also plans to invest around Rs10,000 crore to develop 3,000MW of nuclear capacity and get listed within the next two years.
“We plan to have a 10,000MW capacity within next seven years. This includes the proposed nuclear capacity,” Shah added.
— Utpal Bhaskar
April-August customs, excise collections rise
New Delhi: India’s collection of indirect taxes from customs and excise duties rose 10.5% in the first five months of FY09 to Rs93,860 crore, the finance ministry said in a release on Friday.
India raised Rs47,730 crore from customs duties in the five-month period, 18% more than a year earlier. It collected Rs46,120 crore from excise taxes, or 3.7% more, the ministry said.