The Mint Report for 14 June 2010

The Mint Report for 14 June 2010

Government figures released on Monday show India’s wholesale inflation shot up 10.6% in May, beating all forecasts. In April the index had gone up about 9.6%.

Reacting to the inflation numbers, the finance ministry’s chief economic advisor, Kaushik Basu said that while food inflation was stabilizing, prices of other items like raw materials were going up.

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Anil Ambani is disconnecting Reliance Infratel. On Monday his company, Reliance Communications announced it was hiving off its telecom tower company as a separate entity. The company said separating Reliance Infratel would help attract investors. It also expects the sale to reduce RCom’s overall debt. Currently, RCom owns 95% of Infratel. In all, Infratel owns some 54,000 telecom towers nationwide.

A new auction for oil and gas blocks is expected to start in October. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons is preparing for a 9th round of the new exploration and licensing policy or Nelp. Mint has learnt that the directorate has demarcated areas up for grabs and has turned in its proposals to the petroleum ministry. After the disappointing eighth round of Nelp, the government plans to reduce the number of blocks it auctions. It has tried, but failed, to attract big companies like British Petroleum and Exxon Mobil.