The Mint Report for 01 February 2011

The Mint Report for 01 February 2011

Expansion at the Dabhol power plant in Maharashtra is stuck in limbo. At issue is the Maharashtra government’s refusal to pay more for the increased capacity. Ratnagiri Gas and Power was supposed to add another 2,100MW of capacity to the plant. That’s expected to cost Rs8,820 crore and Ratnagiri wants to fund the expansion with a 70% increase in tariffs.

The Dabhol plant currently has a capacity of 1,950MW. Its operator Ratnagiri Gas is currently owned by NTPC and GAIL along with several banks and the Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

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In other news, it’s an auspicious start to 2011 for the India’s auto industry. New figures show car sales kept up a steady pace in January. Maruti Suzuki alone sold more than a 100,422 vehicles in India vehicles during the month, an increase of 23.8%. Hyundai Motor India meanwhile notched a mere 2% rise to some 30,306 units. And Tata Motors achieved similar volumes with its passenger vehicles, registering a 15% increase.

Two wheeler companies also saw robust business in January. Hero Honda’s sales jumped 20% to 4,66,524 bikes. And TVS Motor sold a 142,227 of them, a rise of 30%.

And finally, Indian markets plummeted on Tuesday, with rising inflation and interest rates turning away foreign investors. The Sensex plunged 306 points to 18,022. And the Nifty lost 89 to end trade at 5,417.

Tuesday’s losses were felt across the board. RIL, the country’s biggest company, lost 2.57% on the BSE to close at 895.65. Wipro, meanwhile, fell 2.17% to 428.95. And India Oil went down 3.48% to 324.70.