GoM likely to take call on Cairn deal tomorrow

Earlier, the then oil minister Murli Deora was accused of delaying approval for the transaction, but he moved to the corporate affairs ministry in late January and there is still no sight of a decision

New Delhi: A ministerial panel is likely to decide tomorrow if the government should approve Cairn Energy's sale of stake in its Indian unit to mining group Vedanta Resources with conditions or without any precondition, reports PTI.

The Group of Ministers (EGoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to hold its first meeting at 1630 hours on 27th May, an oil ministry official said today.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had on 6th April asked the GoM to vet the $9.6 billion deal, but the panel has not held a single meeting in seven weeks since then.

Earlier, the then oil minister Murli Deora was accused of delaying approval for the transaction, but he moved to the corporate affairs ministry in late January and there is still no sight of a decision.

Industry sources said they were apprehensive about the prospects of the GoM arriving at any decision tomorrow as key oil ministry officials—special secretary PK Sinha and joint secretary exploration DN Narasimha Raju—who have been dealing with the subject for the past nine months, are on official tour abroad.

Oil secretary GC Chaturvedi, who came to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas only this month, is still grappling with the subject while oil minister S Jaipal Reddy is also relatively new to the job.

Sources said things have also become complicated for the GoM after Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam reaffirmed his earlier opinion that the government can impose preconditions like asking Cairn or its successor to share cess and royalty with state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the all-important Rajasthan block.

In his second opinion, which was sought by Mr Mukherjee, the SGI said, “The government is not bound to grant consent ipso facto or mechanically.”

The precondition that Cairn/Vedanta agree to cost-recovery of Rs18,000 crore in royalty that ONGC has to pay on the Rajasthan block would be “defensible on parameters of public and national interest,” the SGI said in the second opinion.

Sources said the GoM itself is split in the middle on the issue of treating royalty paid by ONGC as cost-recoverable from its revenues. While Mr Reddy has played it safe by giving an alternative to ONGC’s demand, which was originally made a month before the Cairn-Vedanta deal was announced in August last year, the law ministry and Planning Commission have backed making cost-recovery of royalty a precondition for approval.

The finance ministry is in favour of Mr Reddy’s second option of the government giving consent without any precondition and taking appropriate decisions to protect ONGC’s interests.

It remains to be seen if Mr Mukherjee will sideline the SGI opinion in approving the deal.

In his first opinion on 24th March, the SGI had categorically stated that the transfer of Cairn India shares to Vedanta should be allowed only if the latter agrees to preconditions on the deal.

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Ind-Swift Lab’s net rises 58% to Rs89 crore in FY’11

For the year ended 31 March 2011, standalone net profit of Ind-Swift Laboratories increased to Rs87.61 crore from Rs5,796 crore in the previous year

Drug maker Ind-Swift Laboratories Ltd said its consolidated net profit grew 58.69% to Rs89.47 crore in the year ended 31 March 2011, over the corresponding period a-year-ago.

The group had a consolidated net profit of Rs56.38 crore in the last fiscal, Ind-Swift Laboratories said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Referring to the robust growth, vice-chairman and managing director NR Munjal said it was due to its strong product pipeline and successful accreditation of the company’s manufacturing facilities by the Japanese and Korean Regulatory Authorities.

He further said that the company’s focus on exports to regulated and semi-regulated markets of the US, Japan and Europe had also resulted in adding to the overall growth.

The group’s consolidated total income climbed up by 32.34% to Rs1,048.52 crore in the year under review from Rs792.26 crore in the same period last year.

For the year ended 31 March 2011, standalone net profit of the company increased to Rs87.61 crore from Rs5,796 crore in the previous year.

Standalone total income of the firm rose to Rs1,031.20 crore in the year under review from Rs790.52 crore

For the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2011, its standalone net profit surged to Rs26.39 crore from Rs20,75 crore in the same period last fiscal.

Standalone total income increased to Rs305.22 crore in the three-month period under review from Rs201.27 crore in the March quarter previous year.

The board of directors at its meeting held recommended a dividend of Re1 per equity share of Rs10 each of the company.

On Thursday, Ind-Swift Laboratories ended 1.21% up at Rs50.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.11% to 18,044.64.

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PharmaRx

5 years ago

Ind-Swift Limited is a good proxy for somebody who wants to play the upside from atorvastatin generic launch in the US

Ashok Leyland wins bus order from Bangladesh

Ashok Leyland has won a $23.3 million order for supply of 290 fully-built double decker buses to Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation

Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland has won a $23.3 million order for supply of 290 fully-built double decker buses to Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation.

This represents the company’s largest single order for double decker buses from Bangladesh, a company statement said.

“Bangladesh has always remained a very important market for us. Our continued focus on this robustly growing market has helped us establish ourselves today as the second largest brand in the country’s commercial vehicle market”, Ashok Leyland managing director Vinod K Dasari said.

An agreement to this effect was signed between Ashok Leyland and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation recently, it added.

In 2010-11 Ashok Leyland’s exports grew by 72% to touch 10,306 units in which significant contribution was to Bangladesh. Over the years, more than 9,500 vehicles have been exported to Bangladesh, the statement added.

On Thursday, Ashok Leyland ended 1.21% up at Rs50.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex gained 1.11% to 18,044.64.

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