There’s another twist to India’s much-awaited 3G spectrum auction. The government has now decided to auction only three slots of 3G spectrum instead of four. Under the new plan, even parts of India that previously had less spectrum to auction, like Rajasthan and Delhi, will now have three slots to put on the block.
Analysts say the government is unlikely to overall lose revenue because of this uniformity. Last year, an empowered group of ministers had earlier decided on auctioning four slots and raising Rs25,000 crore in the process.
Reliance Industries Limited has once again raised cash for what could be a move to acquire the bankrupt petrochemicals company LyondellBasell. On Monday, RIL sold 33 million treasury shares, raising $763 million in the process. In September it sold shares worth $660 million and last week it raised another $577 million. Also last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that RIL had increased its offer price for controlling stake in LyondellBasell to $13.5 billion from the earlier $12 billion.
New government data shows India’s exports shot upwards last month. Overseas shipments in December increased 18.2% to reach $14.6 billion, the highest it has been at in 14 months.
The rise in exports has been aided by government stimulus packages put in place to combat 2008’s downturn. In the period between September of 2008 and April of 2009 alone, the government deployed stimulus measures worth more than 12% of India’s GDP.
The government is trying to address opposition to the new genetically modified crop, Bt Brinjal. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh plans to hold public meetings all across India with scientists, farmers’ organisations and others opposed to the use of the crop. Government regulators approved the use of Bt Brinjal last yea