Country's largest power producer NTPC Ltd has tied up with a Singapore-based bank for a $300 million loan for funding its financial plans in this fiscal, a senior company official said today.
However, the company has not disclosed the bank name. The loan is for seven-year period.
"We need to seek Reserve Bank of India approval for this loan and after that we would immediately start drawing," NTPC director finance AK Singhal said.
Mr Singhal also noted that the company was already committed for loan amount worth Rs26,000 crore from the domestic banks which, it has not drawn yet.
On Wednesday, NTPC increased 1.14% to Rs186.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 1.68% up at 19,850 points.
Ramky Infrastructure Ltd said its fully-owned subsidiary Ramky Engineering and Consulting Services (FZC), Sharjah, has started work on the Gabon Special Economic Zone (GSEZ) in the capital city of Libreville, Gabon, West Africa.
The GSEZ-SA is a joint venture between the government of Gabon and Singapore-based OLAM, one of the world's leading commodities trading companies.
The work of developing the Rs380 crore-GSEZ was awarded to Ramky Engineering and Consulting Services (FZC). The project involves a turnkey contract for the design, engineering, procurement and construction of the zone.
On Wednesday, Ramky Infra gained 1.34% to Rs347.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex closed 1.68% up at 19,850 points.
Neither the Niira Radia tapes nor the 2G spectrum scam is of any significant interest to net surfers, according to data available. But is it likely that there are many who are inadequately informed about these issues because a majority of the media has chosen to blank out the information to protect their own?
It's a strange world. The 2G spectrum allocation scam and the Niira Radia tapes have thrown the law enforcers in a tizzy, causing serious embarrassment to the government. But amidst this entire buzz, how much of this has the public taken in? Or rather, how much has the media really offered?
It may come as a shock, but many people-some of them from eminent walks of life-are only vaguely familiar with these issues that have dominated the headlines over the past couple of weeks.
A former diplomat, with an HR consultancy in Kolkata, says he knows that Niira Radia is a corporate lobbyist and that she was in touch with some prominent people; but he was not aware that she is being investigated. A financial analyst, this journalist spoke to, had no idea how Ratan Tata was connected to Ms Radia, and he was equally vague about what the two have to do with the 2G spectrum case.
There are some more examples, which only underline the question as to why so many people appear to be ignorant about such serious issues? Besides, they are not the sought who would be satisfied with cursory page 3 and cricket stories. So, what is it that has kept them from knowing?
The answer might be the very medium that's responsible for disseminating news-the media.
In India, much of the news consumption is through TV channels and an estimated 12-15% of news consumers depend on newspapers for information. A miniscule percentage read news online. As some prominent journalists figure in the conversations with Niira Radia, most TV channels and newspapers seem to have decided to leave out the sour part. If these journalists are seen to be guilty of misdemeanour, it would lead to a drop in viewership/readership and consequently, a loss in business. So it seems that many publishing houses simply chose not to write about it.
The most disappointing revelation is from the internet where, according to Google, during the last 30 days the number of web/news searches for "Nira Radia" or "2G spectrum" have been very low-apart from Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the search volume for the rest of India has been miniscule.
Searches for "Outlook Radia" and "Open" have increased, but the volume has not been enough to generate trend results. And what have been the most searched items during the past month? "Cricket" and "Pamela Anderson"! (Outlook and Open magazines have published transcripts of some of the conversations on the Radia tapes.)
Why is it that internet users, despite the vast potential for the media and availability of the tapes online have not been looking for this news? A representative of the Internet and Mobile Association of India says, "Generally, on the internet, people go for the kind of news they like. Today, many follow their friend's recommendations and likes on Facebook and Twitter, and read only select pieces. Also, many information portals online track the readers' preferred pages, and offer them customised news content, which is more suited to readers' tastes."
Ms Radia or Mr Tata is not the issue. But when media houses and publications, for their vested interests misinform or withhold information, where does it leave the public? Without an informed citizenry there is little hope for transparency and an even narrower room for change.