CBI registers FIR against former DG (hydrocarbons) VK Sibal

CBI sources said there were several alleged discrepancies by Mr Sibal in carrying out works and favouring leading private players and foreign consultants involved in oil and gas explorations

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today registered a first information report (FIR) against former director general (DG) of hydrocarbons VK Sibal for allegedly favouring a private firm in carrying out speculative seismic exploration and searched his premises in Noida, reports PTI.

Agency sources said there were several alleged discrepancies in carrying out works and favouring leading private players and foreign consultants involved in oil and gas explorations.

There is clear evidence against Mr Sibal, they alleged.

The DGH, under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, is mandated to carry out a geophysical survey with any company to upgrade the available data on potential of hydrocarbons in the country, with the purpose of attracting domestic and international firms to explore and develop oil and gas fields.

Mr Sibal was director general of hydrocarbons between 2004 and 2009.

The Central Vigilance Commission had found alleged discrepancies in different works carried out by Mr Sibal and recommended a CBI probe.

Shares of Reliance Industries were down 3.59% to Rs865.35 a piece in post-noon trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.

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Maruti Suzuki sales down 8.8% in June

The passenger carmaker reported a 3.8% decline in domestic sales to 70,020 units while exports declined by 32.7% to 10,278 units last month

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India (MS), the country’s largest carmaker today reported an 8.8% decline in total sales to 80,298 units in June from 88,091 units in the same month last year, reports PTI.

The passenger carmaker reported a 3.8% decline in sales in the domestic market to 70,020 units last month from 72,812 units in June 2010, MSI said in a statement.

MSI’s exports also declined by 32.7% to 10,278 units from 15,279 units in the year-ago period, the company added.

Sales of the company’s once bread-and-butter M800 model declined by 12.8% to 1,823 units from 2,090 units in June 2010, the statement said.

On the positive side, the A2 segment (comprising Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz) witnessed a 2.4% increase in sales to 52,599 units from 51,418 units in the same month a year ago.

A3 segment sales (consisting of SX4 and DZiRE) declined by a huge 60.4% to 3,199 units from 8,081 units in the corresponding period a year ago, the company said.

During the month, the company suffered a 13-day long strike at its Manesar plant, where it mainly produces the Swift, DZire and SX4. The firm suffered a production loss of 12,600 units due to the strike.

Last month, the company sold 32 units of its Kizashi luxury sedan, which was launched in February 2011.

MSI’s total passenger car sales were down 6.4% to 57,653 units in June from 61,589 units in the same month of 2010, it added.

For the quarter April-June, MSI’s total sales were down 0.6% to around 2.82 lakh units. While domestic sales for the three-month period rose 3.2% to about 2.51 lakh units, exports were down 23.7% to 30,843 units.

The company’s stock was trading 2.33% lower at Rs1,131.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange in noon trade.

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Exports jump 56.9% to $25.9 billion in May

During April-May, exports increased by 45.28% to $49.7 billion, while imports grew by 33.3 %to $73.7 billion. The trade deficit during the first two months of the current fiscal stood at $23.9 billion

New Delhi: India’s exports grew by an impressive 56.9% year-on-year to $25.9 billion in May, mainly on account of a rise in demand from Western markets like the US and Europe, reports PTI.

Imports also surged by 54.08% to $40.9 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $14.9 billion, as per official data released by the commerce ministry today.

Commenting on the numbers, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said, “This is the highest imports figure in the last four years.”

In May this year, crude oil imports grew by 18.57% to $10.1 billion from $8.5 billion in the same month last year. Non-oil imports also went up by 71% to $30.7 billion in the month under the review from $17.9 billion in the same period last fiscal.

During April-May, exports increased by 45.28% to $49.7 billion, while imports grew by 33.3 %to $73.7 billion. The trade deficit during the first two months of the current fiscal stood at $23.9 billion.

During 2010-11, India’s total merchandise exports aggregated $246 billion, growing by an impressive 37.55%. Imports in the last fiscal stood at $350 billion, down by 21.6% while the trade deficit was $104 billion.

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