The stage has been set for Air India to get a fresh bout of equity from the government. The struggling airline has received a clearance from a group of ministers late on Monday. The GoM has agreed to a Rs1,200 crore equity infusion. It has also approved a payment of Rs532 crore for running rescue and VIP flights. The GoM will meet again next week to discuss Air India once again. The carrier has a cumulative loss of some Rs20,320 crore for the period from April 2007 to March 2011.
In other news, Italian energy company Eni’s latest India plans are running into roadblocks. The company is not able to explore for oil in a block in Rajasthan because of environmental concerns. About one-third of Eni’s block falls in what’s called a desert forest area. The company if still waiting for clearance from the environment ministry before it starts exploration. Eni’s Rajasthan exploration block extends across the border into Pakistan, where it’s also active. It holds a 34% stake, with ONGC and Cairn India owning similar stakes. Eni’s other Indian project in the Bay of Bengal is also in limbo because it falls in a missile testing zone.
Finally, here’s a look at the markets on Monday. Indian shares lost ground for second straight day after bad news abroad sent Asian bourses falling. The Sensex lost 55 points to 18,507. And the Nifty tumbled 14 to 5, 567.