The Mint report for 7 October 2010

The Mint report for 7 October 2010

New Delhi: An Indian company is in the running for a bid to clean up the oil slick in the deserts of Kuwait. OTBL, which is a joint venture between energy firm ONGC and the institute Teri will compete with 13 other companies for the contract, which is worth $3 billion. Meanwhile OTBL also plans to bid for yet another contract, this one worth $2.5 billion. At the heart of the company’s strategy is a bacterium that eats up the oil in the sands. The contract will be awarded to the winner bidder by Kuwait Oil.

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Divisions within the government are delaying a decision on airport charges. Mint has learnt that civil aviation ministry and the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority can’t agree on how to calculate the charges. AERA prefers the so-called single till model of charges instead of the dual till model. The civil aviation ministry on the other hand has indicated it prefers a third system—the hybrid till. In the single till system all major services ranging from aircraft maintenance to shops in the terminal are charged together. In the dual-till, they’re calculated separately and end up costing airlines more. The hybrid till system meanwhile, seeks a middle path between the two.

Food inflation has slowed down. The food price index rose 16.24% in the week to 25 September. The previous week it had gone up 16.44%. A fall in the prices of wheat and pulses has led the slowdown in food inflation. Floods across northern India had spiked up prices last month.