The Mint report for 7 December 2009

The Mint report for 7 December 2009

New Delhi: There’s a new twist in the Satyam fraud case. On Monday the CBI accused Price Waterhouse auditors of intentionally failing to apply appropriate audit standards to Satyam. It said that this allowed Satyam’s founder B. Ramalinga Raju and others to carry out their accounting fraud. The Indian arm of Price Waterhouse Cooper said it has not received the charge sheet detailing the claims.

Technoprom’s controversial contract with NTPC will not be cancelled right away. The government has put a cancellation on hold because Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is currently on a visit to Moscow. Technoprom is demanding an extra 1,700 crores for its NTPC contract, blaming higher steel prices for the increase. NTPC is unwilling to pay the extra money. Technoprom is also under investigation for allegedly making payoffs to secure its NTPC order.

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Selling fuel is proving costly for Indian Oil Corporation. The company says it is losing Rs94 crore everyday from its sales of petrol, diesel, LPG and kerosene. It estimates total losses for the fiscal year at Rs26,490 crore. Government-run oil companies like IOC are required to sell fuel below actual cost with the government making up the difference through bonds.

Reliance Industries may get most of its revenues from its hydrocarbons business, but the company is also quietly going after opportunities in solar power. A division of the company has received global safety and quality certifications for about 20 photovoltaic modules. The modules are assemblies of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. Testing and certification help confirm the reliability of Reliance’s product and enables it to access funds.

India’s retail sector could see healthy growth in the coming year. Industry body Assocham says the sector is going to grow 5.5% to $410 billion by 2010. It says India has the largest number of retail outlets in the world, most of them in the unorganized sector. But Assocham also says more than one hundred malls totaling more than 30 million square feet will come up in India by 2010.

Bharat Electronics Limited or BEL says it has orders for radars that are worth Rs4,600 crore over the next two to two and a half years. Radars form about a quarter of BEL’s business.