The Mint Report for 23 March 2010

The Mint Report for 23 March 2010

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is calling for infrastructure spending to double. He says India should spend a $1 trillion in the five years to 2017 on building infrastructure. Mukherjee says the private sector will be allowed to sell special bonds to raise money for the increased spending. And he’s hoping the bonds will interest major pension funds and big companies. At present, the government estimates India needs $514 billion worth of infrastructure investment in the five years to 2012.

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Piramal Healthcare has bought the rights to an emergency contraceptive drug. The company says it has spent Rs95 crore to buy Cipla’s i-pill. The i-pill is an emergency contraceptive that’s available over the counter. Piramal says sales of the drug stand at about Rs31 crore a year.

Honda Motor says it wants to go it alone in Asia. While many of its rivals have been exploring possible tie-ups to reduce costs, Honda insists its looking for no such deal. The company says its experience shows tie-ups lead to greater inefficiencies. Car companies considering tie-ups include Volkswagen and Suzuki. Daimler and Renault-Nissan have also explored ways to share components.

Coal India Limited or CIL is hoping paying its employees will strengthen its upcoming IPO. CIL will pay its workers 5,000 crores in salary arrears. That money could encourage employees of the company to subscribe to the IPO. About 10% of the CIL equity that the government plans to sell in the IPO is reserved for the 41,000 company staff. They’re also entitled to a 5% discount on the issue price.