The Mint report for 18 March 2010

The Mint report for 18 March 2010

New Delhi: The Indian government’s new visa rules have claimed a casualty. Indiabulls Power has cancelled a Rs3,000 crore contract awarded to Chinese power generation company Sepco for a project in Maharashtra. The move came after it became clear Sepco couldn’t meet the project deadlines because of visa problems. Government rules for work visas don’t allow more than 40 foreigners to work on an electricity generation project at a given time. Indiabulls has now given the order for the project to BHEL.

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India’s four big private phone companies have submitted their applications for bidding for 3G spectrum. Bharti Aritel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, and Tata Teleservices have given their applications to the department of telecommunications. India’s 3G spectrum auction has been delayed for more than two years and is now expected to start on 9 April.

Food prices may finally be starting up ease. The food price index rose 16.3% in the week ending 6 March compared to a year earlier. That’s lower than the previous week, when the index climbed 17.8%.

While food prices may be moderating, prices of fuel have gone up. India’s fuel price index shot up 12.68% in the week ending 6 March. The previous week it had gone up 11.38%.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor says it has revised its outlook for India from stable to negative. But it also says it expects India’s fiscal position to improve over the next few years and its economy to grow.