The Mint Report for 1 February 2010

The Mint Report for 1 February 2010

New Delhi: India may have wanted to set up a $10 billion NTPC power plant in Iran that could supply power to India, but that plan has run into trouble for the same reason the India-Iran gas pipeline project fell apart. As with the pipeline project, India is concerned about the situation in Pakistan, the country through which the power will have to be transmitted. Both government officials and officials at power companies have indicated to Mint that the future of the project is uncertain.

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And Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has warned that rising prosperity is going to put India’s food supply under greater pressure. Singh stressed that the country would have to increase its farm productivity to cope with the increasing demand. Food prices in India have shot up ever since last year’s floods and poor monsoons.

India’s car companies announced their monthly sales volumes on Monday, with numbers that indicate some of them are overtaking previous records. The country’s largest car company, Maruti Suzuki reported its highest-ever monthly sales, with total sales for January jumping 33.3% to almost 96,000 units. Its domestic sales also reached a record high, shooting up 21% to just over 81,000 units.

Hyundai Motor India also reported impressive figures. Total sales rose 41.6% to nearly 53,000 units in January, while domestic sales grew 40.85% to nearly 30,000 vehicles. Hyundai Motor India is the country’s second largest carmaker.

India’s manufacturing output may have risen faster than it has in the last 17 months. The Purchasing Managers’ Index reached 57.6 in January, which is higher than December’s reading of 55.6. Any figure above 50 indicates an increase in factory production. The index is compiled by HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics.

IVRCL Infrastructure and Projects says it has won a road projects that’s worth Rs1,125 crore. The project will involve laying nearly 55 kilometres of roads in Tamil Nadu using the build, operate, transfer model.