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RIL, ONGC and Coal India may witness some action today

Oil Minister Veerappa Moily has said that Reliance Industries (RIL) will abide by its contractual obligations and accounts of its D6 block will be audited as per contract. Reliance has been opposing performance audit by CAG India because its contract with the government provides for only a financial audit. Former oil minister Jaipal Reddy had agreed that the CAG would restrict its audit to financial scrutiny as provided in the contract. The national auditor reportedly stated that it was unwilling to conduct a mere financial audit. The CAG's audit of RIL's controversial D6 fields ignited a huge controversy as the auditor criticized the oil ministry for being very lenient in enforcing contracts.

Japan's largest oil firm Inpex Corp has acquired 26 percent stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) Krishna Godavari basin deepsea block. Inpex acquired 26 per cent interest in ONGC's KG-DWN- 2004/6 block located in deepwaters of KG Basin in the Bay of Bengal. ONGC will continue as the operator of the block with a 34 percent stake. Other partners in the block include state gas utility GAIL India, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GPSC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Oil India (OIL) with 10 percent stake each.

Racing against the month-end deadline to ink the fuel supply pacts, Coal India (CIL) has shot off reminder letters to the state governments seeking their views on price-pooling mechanism. In September, CIL had asked the state governments to convey their views on price pooling of coal. West Bengal government only responded to the coal PSU and raised its objections to price-pooling of coal. To offset the impact of high import costs, the Planning Commission had stated that CIL should adopt a pooling formula on prices by combining rates of imported and domestic coal. The CIL board had earlier approved the modified fuel supply agreement (FSA) without price-pooling with 65 percent domestic coal and 15 percent imported coal at cost plus basis. So far, only 30 power companies, including Lanco and Adani have signed FSAs with CIL.

Tata Steel will add 3 million tonnes (MT) of production capacity at its Jamshedpur steel plant by 2013-14, thereby taking its total domestic steel making capacity to 10 MT. The company currently has a total capacity of 7 MT --3 MT of long and 4 MT of flat products-- at the Jamshedpur plant. Post-expansion, the company's capacity to produce flat products will increase to 7 MT, while long production capacity will remain unchanged. The company is ramping up the capacity gradually and has commissioned 1 MT flat products capacity this year. Tata Steel is also eyeing to earn revenues of about Rs 4,000 crore this year from a new product range of HR-coils, Tata Astrum, and is aiming to sell about a million tonnes of the product during the current year.

A day after UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav reviewed status of power projects, BHEL stated that it will work to its maximum capacity to assure completion of all projects executed by it in the state. The Navaratna company stated that the Chief Minister acknowledged the concerns raised by it during the meeting and had assured full support to BHEL on behalf of state government and UPRVUNL to resolve all issues on top most priority. Akhilesh Yadav had expressed concern over the delay in completion of Rs 9,000 crore projects of BHEL saying the state was facing acute power crisis and the delay will affect development of the state. BHEL conveyed that of the six new units (two each at Harduaganj, Parichha and Anpara), three have already been commissioned. Further, one more unit at Parichha is ready for commissioning since September 30 and is awaiting replacement of the failed generator transformer from UPRVUNL.

BGR Energy Systems, a leading EPC & BOP company in the industry, signed a MoU with the Government of Tamil Nadu for establishing facilities for manufacturing supercritical Boilers, Turbine and generator in technical collaboration with Hitachi Japan and Hitachi Europe. BGR Energy and Hitachi will be investing Rs 2,750 crore in establishing manufacturing facilities for BGR Boilers and BGR Turbines at two locations in Cheyyur Taluk, Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. These facilities are estimated to provide direct employment to 2400 people and indirect employment to over 10000 people. The manufacturing facilities are expected to be ready for operation in phases from the last quarter of 2013-14. BGR Energy has already secured 6X660 MW orders from NTPC for super critical boilers and 4X 800 MW orders for Turbine and Generators with an order pipeline aggregating to Rs 7,961 crore.

Taking forward its partnership with Nippon Life, Reliance Capital has begun managing the funds of Japanese financial services giant for investments in India. Nippon Life, which holds 26 percent stake each in Reliance Life Insurance and Reliance Capital Asset Management Company (RCAM), has made its first investment in RCAM equity funds as part of an expanded partnership between the two groups. Both Reliance Life and RCAM are part of Anil Ambani-led Reliance group's financial services arm Reliance Capital. Nippon Life has demonstrated strong confidence in India, and Reliance group, by investing over Rs 4500 crore in a short span of 12 months in RCAM and Reliance Life. Reliance Capital has been looking to get part of Nippon's AUM (asset under management) to India and help manage sizeable investments here by the Japanese giant.

Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) has forayed into Australia with the launch of 'Big Magic International' television channel. This marks the company's foray into the critical APAC market with a growing South Asian Diaspora, close on the heels to its successful launches in the markets of Canada and the United States. Konnec TV, Australia's DTH company, is partnering RBNL to distribute the channel in Australia. The South Asian population in Australia is about 4 lakh and makes for 2 percent of the population of the country, making it the second largest non-European group. The channel offers a mix of variety of entertainment, infotainment and business news from India. It will also feature a special weekend feature show created around the Indian business world and investments in India, along with some of the key shows from the Bloomberg TV India stable.

Workers from Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant are planning a hunger strike and other peaceful protests to force the management to take back the 548 employees sacked after this year's July's violence. These workers have formed a new provisional working committee under the aegis of the now defunct Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union (MSWU) and the new functionaries have served a notice to the Haryana government for a hunger strike at the Gurgaon deputy commissioner office on November 7 and a mass rally on Thursday. The committee, led by Iman Khan, Ramniwas, Omprakash Jat, Ktar Singh among others, also plans to submit a memorandum to Haryana Labour Minister Shiv Charan Lal Sharma to for a decisive action on the prolonged issue. The workers also want their colleagues, who were imprisoned after the July riot, to be released.

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