Bharti and Zain are closer to finalizing a deal. Reports say Zain’s board has approved a $9 billion sale of most of its assets in Africa to Bharti. The reports also say due diligence on the deal is complete and that sales documents will be signed in the coming days. Last week, Bharti said it had tied up $8.3 billion in loans to finance the deal.
The government plans to overhaul the way information on academic qualifications is handled. It has appointed a task force to set up a national database of academic qualifications. The database is expected to improve confidentiality, reduce fraud and make it easy to retrieve degree certificates. Members of the task force have told Mint the database will also create a new system of storing hard copies of documents. The task force is going to submit its report by the end of this month.
Economic growth could go over 8% in the last quarter of the current fiscal year. The finance ministry’s chief economic advisor, Kaushik Basu says India is likely to clock about 8.5% growth in the quarter ending 31 March. Basu also said growth is likely to exceed 8.5% in the new fiscal year.
Fuel prices could go up next month in big cites. Starting 1 April, the government says petrol prices could go up by Rs0.41 a litre and diesel prices could go up by Rs0.26 a litre. The government says the potential increase will bring prices in line with international rates. But it will also coincide with the start of new emissions norms. From 1 April, oil companies will begin selling cleaner burning Euro-IV compliant fuels in 13 major cites. Oil companies have spent an estimated Rs40,000 crore upgrading to the new fuels.
Tata Motors may have sold a record 40,000 units in February, but the company is planning to top that figure this month. It says sales in March have been helped along by customers hoping to avoid the emission norms that come into effect in April. Another factor boosting sales is the positive outlook in sectors like mining and infrastructure that use many of Tata Motors’ commercial vehicles. Suppliers have told Mint the company was planning to make more than 45,000 commercial vehicles in March compared to less than 30,000 units in the same period last year.