Short Eats: July 1

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Jul. 1 – Short Eats – a roundup of small tasty bites of Indian news straight from the nation’s dailies.

Power Tariffs set to Increase in Bangalore
Power tariffs are set to rise by as much as 20 percent for all categories of consumers in Bangalore if the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) approves a proposal submitted by the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation (KPTC) and five electricity supply companies on Tuesday. The Times of India reported that the city has no choice but to revise the power tariff to make up for a heavy loss of funds due to an untenable power purchase agreements worth Rs 3,000 crore, made by the state government to mitigate the power crisis during summer and prior to Lok Sabha polls.

Sea Bridge Naming Upsets Oppn Party
The naming of India’s first sea bridge in Mumbai after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi upset several opposition parties in the state. The move to name the sea link between the main island and its suburbs after Gandhi came in response to a surprise proposal by agriculture minister Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Criticizing the decision, Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Bharat Raut said it was a long-standing demand of the Sena to name the sea bridge after revolutionary leader Veer Savarkar.

Time Limit Considered for Taj Tourists
The Archeological Survey of India is considering rationing the viewing time allowed on a single ticket to India´s most famous tourist attraction, the Taj Mahal. An average 2.5 million tourists are estimated to visit the 17th century Moghul monument annually. The inflow of tourists during the peak season between October to March can be staggering —ranging from 25,000 to 30,000 domestic tourists per day in addition to 8,000 to 10,000 of foreign tourists.

After Recession, Indian Capital Markets to See First IPO
Indian Financial Market soon to see its first Initial Public Offering after a long recession struggle. Adani Power Ltd, power project Company based in Gujarat will shortly launch its IPO in the third week of July, 2009 after the passing of the much awaited budget. The Company intends to raise Rs 2,200 crore through the IPO by offloading 33.7 crore equity shares and after the IPO promoter Adani Enterprises will hold a stake of about 73.5 percent in the power firm. The current major plans of the Company are implementation of two thermal power plants in Gujarat amounting to generate 6600 MW of electricity. For this purpose the company proposes its debt financing of Rs 22,000 crore through Sate Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC).

Indian government may allow FDI in coal mining sector
A positive sign for foreign direct investment in coal mining sector for foreign and domestic private companies has been indicated by the Indian government. The Government of India is planning to open the mining sector for private companies with an intention of reducing the gap between demand and supply of coal. At present only state-owned companies like Coal India Ltd (CIL) are allowed to mine coal in India but private companies are allowed only to mine only for their captive consumption.