|Thursday, April 13, 2000,
Record contracts for oil
& gas search
Alfa Laval targets 210
Levy sugar price raised by 60
Scheme for jewellery launched
Reliance Ind fixes buy-back at Rs
Record contracts for oil & gas
NEW DELHI, April 12 Indias search for oil and gas got a major boost today with the Government handing over 22 exploration blocks spread over the coastal region in West Bengal to Gujarat to private and public sector companies.
Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) for 22 exploratory blocks under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was signed between the Ministry of Petroleum and the private and public sector companies here in the presence of the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Ram Naik. Contracts for three exploration blocks under the old exploration policy was also signed today.
Mr Naik said the signing of such a large number of PSCs for exploration blocks on a single day was a record of sorts in the world. The estimated investment in the 22 blocks was about $ 240 million in the first phase of exploration, which is the minimum work commitment from the companies and the total estimated expenditure in all the three exploration phases was about $ 1.8 billion.
The 22 blocks awarded to the various bidders today include seven deep water blocks, 14 shallow water blocks and one onland block. The deep water blocks have been offered for the first time, opening up a new vista for exploration in the country.
The PSCs signed today include 12 blocks with the Reliance Industries Limited, Niko Resources Limited consortium, five blocks with ONGC, two blocks with ONGC-IOC consortium, one block with ONGC-GAIL consortium, one block with Oil India Limited and one block with Cairn Energy Indian Private Limited.
The need for exploring more oil and gas reserves in the country has arisen as presently there is a large outgo of foreign exchange to meet the essential requirements of petroleum products. In the year 1999-2000, Indias expenditure on imports of crude oil and petro products was to the tune of Rs 57,000 crore ($ 13 billion).
Mr Naik said that the PSCs had been signed within three months of the bids being awarded to the various companies, which was also a record of sorts. He said previously the process of negotiation of production sharing contracts used to be a protracted one, lasting years.
The Union Government had awarded 25 blocks under NELP on January 1, 2000. Though PSCs for 22 blocks had been signed, the contracts for the remaining three blocks with the consortium of GAIL and OAO Gazprom, Russia, Mosbacher Energy USA, Energy Equity, Australia and Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd and Geoenpro Petroleum Ltd, Geopetrol International, France and Enpro India Ltd are yet to be finalised as the companies had sought extension of time.
Mr Naik said the Government has undertaken steps to identify the blocks for second round of NELP. The bids would be invited in the third quarter of this financial year after reviewing the experience of first offer and completion of necessary activities preceding invitation of bids.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Santosh Gangwar, said the country had some of the best scientific and technical talent in the field of hydrocarbon exploration and production today. The country can benefit from such an endowment in the most fruitful manner through creation of a vibrant oil and gas sector engaged in accretion of hydrocarbon reserves and faster augmentation of petroleum production.
Another Minister of
State in the Petroleum Ministry, Mr E. Ponnuswamy, said
India had a hydrocarbon resource potential of about 28
billion tonnes of oil and equivalent gas distributed over
26 sedimentary basins, including the deepwater areas.
While the efforts of the two national oil
companies, ONGC and OIL, for the last four and a half
decades have resulted in establishment of 6.5 billion
tonnes of inplace oil and gas in six of these basins, we
need to actualise the necessary reserves as rapidly as
BERLIN, April 12 Against the backdrop of declining German investments in India, Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has set out to convince investors in this country that bureaucratic hurdles would be cleared to facilitate capital flow.
Sinha, who is on a three-day visit to Germany from April 10 to 12, underscored Germanys importance as a major source of investment for India at an investment promotion roadshow here. He hinted that the Indian government was willing to further relax its policies even in areas which mandated certain limits for foreign direct investments.
Responding to a recurring German complaint about the inadequate infrastructure that precluded development in India, Sinha said the speed with which the second generation of reforms were being pushed should make India an attractive destination.
Sinha, who is accompanied by a large delegation of senior officials and entrepreneurs, said he was very pleased with the overwhelming response he had received in Berlin. He said he had excellent discussions with German Economics Minister Werner Mueller and some leading industrialists who came in large numbers to attend the India Business Conference in Berlin.
On familiar terrain in Germany Sinha was Consul General in Frankfurt during the 1970s the Finance Minister lauded this countrys role as a true partner of India.
Sinhas high-pitched offensive to court Germans is understandable in view of the lukewarm interest shown by German industry in India as an investment site despite the economic liberalisation. There has been a significant drop in German investment in India in recent years and pundits are forecasting that the level will stagnate or decline further in the current year.
This is a shame because the declining investments in India come at a time when German companies are, in fact, investing more overseas, a German banker who has been closely following Sinhas visit told India Abroad News Service on condition of anonymity.
Germany has slipped to number nine in the 1999 list of the top 15 foreign investors in India. Germany ranked fifth in 1997 and 1996. German investments amounted to Rs. 8.53 billion during the 1998-99 fiscal period while Rs. 35.6 billion was committed by investors in the U.S., which is the top investor.
Tarun Das, Director General of CII who is a member of Sinhas entourage, said domestic pressure to first invest in the development of eastern Germany and East Europe, the slowdown in economic growth in recent years and Germanys traditional interest in other investment sites had contributed to the drop in capital flow from this country to India.
But Das sounded upbeat about future relations. I am very pleased with the response we had...German industry is itself keen to check this downward trend in trade and investment, he told IANS.
Das said the German side was excited about cooperation in sectors such as information technology (IT), biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, energy and manufacturing.
Sinha and Das, along with other leading figures in the visiting delegation, also took part in the 14th meeting of the Indo-German Joint Economic Commission here. The two sides agreed to work more closely on matters of trade, the WTO and other issues of mutual interest. They also agreed to set up a new working group on IT, given the strong interest in Germany to hire IT experts from India. India has suggested that German companies deal directly with Indian IT firms.
Germany has also
promised to look into Indian concerns over the attitude
of the European Union, which recently slapped
anti-dumping levies on its products a
move described by New Delhi as protectionist.
However, Das emphasised that Germany has been very
helpful in softening the EU stand on anti-dumping
which could have been even more severe
without Berlins intervention. IANS
NEW DELHI, April 12 (PTI) The MRTPC has issued a contempt notice against Vandana Luthra, owner of Vandana Luthra Curls and Curves Pvt Ltd (VLCC), for allegedly violating an undertaking submitted before the commission on advertisements.
Issuing the contempt notice, MRTPC member Sardar Ali gave four weeks time to Luthra to file a reply to the contempt application filed by one Giriraj Kumar.
Kumar in his application had alleged that VLCC violated the undertaking submitted by them in the commission.
However, VLCC Media Manager Ritika Anand told PTI that the company did not violate the undertaking which restrained VLCC from advertising about its pigmentation treatment.
The management of the company state that the complainant made an application containing false and frivolous allegations against VLCC, VLCC said in a statement.
The case has been listed for May 25, 2000 for the next hearing.
The MRTPC had issued an ex-parte interim order against VLCC in November last year restraining it from advertising about its treatment for obesity.
The complainant said he
had failed to get relief despite treatment from VLCC for
which he was lured by advertisements. He also contended
that the treatment involving use of ultra violet rays was
damaging to the body.
targets 210 crore turnover
CHANDIGARH, April 12 Alfa Laval (India) Limited (ALIL), a part of $ 2-billion Alfa Laval AB, of Sweden based at Pune, with a turnover of about Rs 185 crore, is supplying key components and machinery to various sectors of industries, like refining, deodorising and bleaching equipments for edible oils, spray dryer and evaporators for dairy, chemical and environment industry, complete brewery plants for the beer industry, etc.
Key players in the country are SBCH, Nestle, Jagatjit, Pepsi, ABC, Pioneer Agro, Markfed, Modern Dairies etc. ALIL has shown a net profit of Rs 21 crore for the year ended December 1999 and paid 90 per cent dividend said Mr Satish Tandon MD, Alfa Laval here today.
Mr Tondon was in the city along with Mr C.R. Bakhshi, Air India Commercial Manager (NI), for the first Alfa Laval/Air India tournament at Golf Club tomorrow. For the first time in the city, the two companies are mixing business with pleasure and the response from the participants has been overwhelming.
The company targets a
turnover of Rs 210 crore for the year 2000. It plans to
export its products to Bangladesh and E. Africa also. To
give exposure, the company plans to send 60 to 70 of its
employees with their spouse abroad every year. By 2004
all of its 280 employees will have the trip, said Mr
NEW DELHI, April 12 (PTI) The Government has increased the price of sugar procured by it from the mills for supply through the public distribution system (PDS) by 60 paise a kg to Rs 11.10 a kg for the 1999-2000 sugar season (October-September), official sources said today.
The decision to raise the levy sugar price is in line with the government decision to hike the Central Issue Price (CIP) of sugar under PDS by Re 1 to Rs 13 a kg.
Domestic sugar mills which mandatorily supply 30 per cent of their total produce to the Government for PDS requirement will now receive an all-India average ex-factory price of Rs 1,110 a quintal for sugar supplied to the Centre during the current season as against Rs 10,52 a quintal last year.
While the Government had increased the levy sugar prices by 29 paise in 1998-99, the decision to pass on only 60 paise from the Re 1 increase in CIP will help the Government bring down its subsidy burden on sugar by about Rs 500 crore to just Rs 200 crore, the sources said.
Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, while announcing the increase in CIP of sugar in his Budget speech had said the increase was being effected to match the rise in levy sugar price being announced by the Government year after year.
NEW DELHI, April 12 The Bureau of Indian Standards today launched a scheme for certifying the purity of gold jewellery in India.
Launching the scheme, the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Mr Shanta Kumar, said the hallmarking of gold jewellery by BIS would help protect the consumer with regard to the purity of gold and prevent adulteration.
Certification of purity of gold jewellery would be in accordance with the Indian Standard IS:1417 grades of gold and gold alloys which is equivalent to the international standard.
MUMBAI, April 12 (PTI) Reliance Industries Ltds board today approved buy-back of equity shares up to a maximum price of Rs 303 per share for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 1,100 crore.
The issue would be the largest ever share buy-back in India, the company said in a release after its board meeting here today.
Aditya Birla Group
company, Indo Gulf Corporation Limited declared a
dividend of Rs 2.20 per equity share and a 10.75 per cent
dividend on preference shares on the back of a 29 per
cent increase in net profit at Rs 212.21 crore for the
year ending March 31, 2000 over the same period last
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