Bridge demand, supply gap in power for sustained growth: PM

Tirupati: Laying the foundation stone of a Rs6,000 crore power equipment manufacturing plant near here, prime minister Manmohan Singh today said the nation needs to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity for sustained economic growth, reports PTI.

"Availability of affordable power is of critical importance to development of agriculture and industries," Mr Singh said.

Stressing upon the need to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity, he said that it was the "only way to achieve higher rates of economic growth on sustainable basis."

India has installed capacity of over 1.62 lakh MW, and the power deficit is about 13%-14%. The government plans to add over 78,000 MW by March 2012, the end of the current 11th Plan Period.

The new plant, NTPC BHEL Power Projects Pvt Ltd (NBPPL), will go on stream in 2014-15 and produce equipment to support 5,000 MW of power generation capacity, Mr Singh said after laying the foundation stone at Mannavaram near here.

This will be India's first integrated plant that will manufacture turbines, generators and boilers.

India has ambitious power generation capacity addition targets in the 11th (2007-12) and 12th (2012-17) Five Year Plan periods, Mr Singh said, adding that large additional capacity targets mean big demand for power equipment.

"I'm very happy that our public sector has come forward to take lead in manufacturing power equipment to help us achieve our target in power sector," he said.

NBPPL is a 50:50 joint venture between state-owner power generator NTPC Ltd and equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL).

Mr Singh said the joint venture brings together vast experience and expertise of NTPC and BHEL.

"It will provide direct employment to 6,000 men and women and indirect employment to another 25,000 people," he said, adding, "I greatly appreciate the vision of Andhra Pradesh to have large industrial hub around this plant."

Mr Singh added, "I'm sure that this innovative manufacturing plant will go a long way in improving economic condition of people of this backward area."

NBPPL chairman and managing director C P Singh said the JV would help meet huge emerging demand for setting up of new power projects in the country.


India's telecom sector most favourite among foreign investors

New Delhi: India attracted $891 million (Rs4,023 crore) foreign direct investment (FDI) in the telecommunications segment in the first two months of the current fiscal, the highest among all sectors, reports PTI.

The telecommunications sector, including radio paging, cellular mobile, basic telephone services, had attracted $612 million (Rs3,055 crore) during April-May 2009-10.

It was followed by services sector that attracted $587 million investment, metallurgical industries ($461 million) and power ($313 million) in that order during the period.

The country managed to attract $4.42 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) during April-May 2010-11, while it was $4.43 billion in the year ago month, according to the latest official data.

The highest FDI of $1.29 billion came from Mauritius followed by Singapore ($854 million), Japan ($369 million) and the Netherlands ($298 million) in April-May 2010-11.

The government is making sustained efforts to make the FDI policy regime more attractive and investor friendly, with a view to attract investments from all major investing countries.

The government had floated discussion papers for public comments to liberalise FDI in multi-brand retail and defence sector.

The FDI for 2009-10 at $25.88 billion was lower by 5% from $27.33 billion in the previous fiscal.


Herd on the street: Kingfisher Airlines, GMR Infrastructure and Mcleod Russel

What’s buzzing in these stocks right now

Kingfisher Airlines: The stock has risen sharply in the last 10 sessions or so from around Rs54 to around Rs61 mainly after its announcement to immediately raise up to $250 million through Global Depository Receipts to reduce its debt and and a further Rs5 billion through a domestic offering. Kingfisher's total debt is Rs60 billion as of 31 March 2010. However, there are a lot of rumours flying around this stock. One is that British Airways is likely to take a stake in this company.

Another is that about 13 of its aircraft are grounded because of some technical problems. United Breweries (Holdings) recently decided to convert Rs6.5 billion (which it had given as loans to Kingfisher) into preference shares.

GMR Infrastructure: The Bengaluru-based infrastructure company which is into airports, energy and roads has been in the news of late because it deferred plans to raise Rs50 billion (the buzz in the market was it was finding few takers). GMR Infrastructure's debt is about Rs180 billion, about 2x equity. It is looking at exiting its 50% stake in InterGen, a US-based utility, which it bought in 2008 for $1.1 billion. There were reports that Tata Power had made an offer to buy that stake for $1 billion-$1.2 billion. The latest buzz in the stock is that it is planning to monetise its airport land. The GMR Group operates the Hyderabad International Airport and Delhi International Airport and has around 5,700 acres of land at these two airports.

Mcleod Russel: After trending down for several sessions, the stock is up today on a 1:1 bonus buzz. However, it seems unlikely because its board meeting is already over and done with. Moneylife had reported in this section on 9 July 2010 that the stock is likely to rise on shortage in tea production and a subsequent rise in prices.
Since then, the stock moved up from Rs210 to as high as Rs265, before coming off to the current market price of Rs236. In its June quarter, its selling price was stable at Rs140/kg, operating profit was 60% lower at Rs142 million, sales quantity was marginally higher at 8.7 million kg but crop was 2.5 million kg lower at 17.7 million kg. It exports for the quarter also dipped sharply to 1 million kg against 1.82 million kg y-o-y. The company said in a communication after its results that weather conditions in Kenya and Sri Lanka have improved and this may lead to a revival in global tea production.


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