Troubled carrier Air India is carrying out a fiscal revamp that could make it eligible for more government money. It’s now restructuring its borrowings in a way that could reduce its interest costs by one third. Mint has learnt that the debt plan involves getting a government guarantee to help Air India negotiate interest rates and replace some existing loans with new ones that have lower rates. An Air India official has told Mint the airline expects the process to save Rs750 crore in interest costs every year. Until recently, Air India’s borrowings stood at Rs16,000 crore on an equity capital of Rs145 crore. The government has already infused Rs945 crore into Air India.
Wockhardt said its deal to sell it nutritional business to the health company Abbott has been terminated. The deal is estimated to have been worth Rs650 crore. Abbott says the agreement fell through because Wockhardt could not resolve some of its debt restructuring issues.
Maruti’s car sales accelerated last month. Sales went up 11% to more than 95,000 units in March. Its annual sales for 2009-10 went up 28.55% to over 10,18,000 units.
While car sales have gone up, overall manufacturing output has slowed down in March. The Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 57.8 in March compared to 58.5 in February. February’s figure was the highest seen since June of 2008. Any figure above 50 on the index indicates a gain.
Food inflation is once again increasing at a faster rate. India’s food price index rose 16.35% in the period to 20 March compared to the previous year. The previous week the index went up 16.22%.
Fuel prices also went up during the period. The fuel price index climbed 12.75% in the year to 20 March. Fuel prices have gone up because of new duties and an increase in global crude prices.