Basic Political Developments

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Basic Political Developments





  • Pro-Telangana activists are planning for a power shutdown in Hyderabad next week.




  • Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday said he would support Modi's bid for becoming Prime Minister.




  • The state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) joined the indefinite general strike for a separate Telangana state.




  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday that the Bharatiya Janata Party has not officially declared anyone as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the next Lok Sabha polls.




  • Top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are expected to make an appearance at the venue and lend their support to ‘Sadbhavana Mission’ of Gujarat Chief Minister on Monday.




  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that work on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project should be halted.




  • Ram Jethmalani today made a u-turn and named before a Delhi court that Congress leader Ahmed Patel as the source for the money in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.



National Economic Trends




Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions





  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been selected by Deutsche Bank as a strategic partner for their production management transformation initiative.



  • GVK will pay 1.26 billion dollars to acquire a majority stake in coal assets owned by Australia's Hancock Group.





  • Mercator Lines Ltd expects to acquire a coal mine in Indonesia in the next one week for around $30 million and plans to list its coal division overseas.




  • The government has asked Coal mine firms to furnish a status report on progress made on these delayed projects in the July-September quarter.




  • Reliance Infrastructure-led BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd plans collaboration with US-based Lighting Science Group to offer LED bulbs to customers at discounted rates.




  • GTL Infra is attracting interest from international private equity players like TPG Capital and Farallon Capital.

Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)





  • Reliance Industries has strongly defended its decision to impose a marketing margin over-and-above the government-approved sale price for KG-D6 gas.

Militant Activity/Terrorism (Particularly in Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida, Chennai, Coimbatore)





  • A forest guard was shot dead by suspected Maoists in Buden area of Orissa's Bargarh district today.




  • Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao will arrive in Kolkata on Monday and is expected to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about dialogue with Maoists.




  • Maoists active in eight states are dead against construction of roads and empowering women self-help groups (SHGs).



  • The Hindutva face of terror has been bared. Desperate for leads into the whereabouts of 11 rightwing militants who are on the run, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has now made their photographs public. The fugitives are wanted for major blasts, including those in Goa, at Ajmer Sharif and Mecca Masjid and on Samjhauta Express.



Labor/Social Unrest




Full Text

Basic Political Developments



TRS plans power shutdown in Hyderabad

http://www.rediff.com/news/report/trs-plans-power-shutdown-in-hyderabad/20110919.htm

The battle for a separate state is expected to get uglier in Andhra Pradesh with pro-Telangana activists planning a power shutdown in Hyderabad next week.
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which is leading the agitation, has been meeting with electricity board officials to plan the shutdown.
According to TRS general secretary Subhash Reddy, there will be a power cut in Hyderabad next week onwards. This is one of the many protests before a rail roko movement starts from September 24.
Electricity board officials from Telangana region will hold a meeting on Tuesday to chalk out this programme. But the entire Telanagana region will not suffer a power black-out as it will be confined only to Hyderabad.
"We have decided not to implement this programme in the rest of Telangana since this could affect the lives of farmers. They need electricity to earn their livelihoods and we do not want that to get affected," said Reddy.
He added that their next plan is to urge auto-rickshaw drivers to stay off the roads and continue with such protests till the Centre takes a decision on the issue.
Speaking on the possibility of a tie-up with the Congress, Reddy said that it was not on the cards right now and was unlikely till the Telangana bill is passed in Parliament.
He added that the TRS would not lose its stronghold if the Congress decided in favour of a separate state, as the supporters of Telangana knew which outfit had spearheaded the movement. He also rubbished claims that the TRS was cozying up to Jaganmohan Reddy.

"It is clear that he will support only a unified Andhra Pradesh. There is no question of us getting closer to him," he said.

Will support Modi for Prime Minster's job: Raj Thackeray

http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/worldnews-70221.html

Ahmedabad, Sep 19 : Lauding Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his three-day fast for promoting communal harmony, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday said he would support Modi's bid for becoming Prime Minister.
Taking to reporters here, Thackeray said: "I will support Narendra Modi for becoming Prime Minister. This country needs a good governance and a good leader."
"The fast of Narendra Modi is entirely different from the reasons being quoted by other people. Public of the country have to deicide whom to elect as their Prime Minster," he added.
Asked about the 'Sadbhavana Mission', Thackeray said: "Sadbhavana is there in everyone's mind, but it also depends on your counterpart's nature."
"Few relations are beyond politics and, if we see them in that regard, then it would be great," he added.
Modi began a "harmony fast" on Saturday to soften his image as a hardliner blamed for religious riots that claimed thousands of lives.
The fast is seen as a bid by Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to launch him as a national leader as the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government appears to be losing popularity over inflation and corruption scams.
Seizing the moment after the Supreme Court referred to a lower court a case in which Modi was accused of complicity in the 2002 violence, the BJP and Modi are using the fast to depict him as a conciliator with a strong economy record.

Modi, who celebrated his 61st birthday on Saturday, said 11 percent annual growth showed Gujarat had recovered from the riots that killed more than 1,000 people and was now peaceful.

After leading Gujarat for the past decade, there has been speculation Modi would seek a greater role in national politics as the contender for the Prime Minister's post in the next general elections.
Telangana strike paralyses transport services

http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/telangana-strike-paralyses-transport-services-134739

Hyderabad: Road transport services in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region came to a grinding halt on Monday as employees of the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) joined the indefinite general strike for a separate Telangana state.
Over 54,000 RTC employees stayed off work and blocked state and national highways, snapping road links with other regions and also neighbouring states.

Sporadic incidents of violence marked the road blockades called by Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to intensify the stir.


Protesters damaged over a dozen private vehicles in Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar districts, while hundreds of activists of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and other groups squatted on roads connecting Telangana to coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema regions and also to Karnataka and Maharashtra.
The protests, which included erecting walls on the roads and staging cultural programs, led to massive traffic jams, paralysing the movement of people and goods to and from Andhra and Rayalaseema to Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana.
About 10,000 buses went off the roads in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana as RTC employees joined the strike, officials said.
The strike by government employees, teachers and workers of state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Ltd continued for the seventh day on Monday, crippling the administration, closing down schools and bringing coal production to a halt.

Lawyers are also boycotting the courts while doctors in government-run hospitals are staging protests for a separate state. Electricity department's employees have also joined the strike by not collecting the bills.

In Hyderabad, the RTC strike paralysed the city bus services. Students and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destinations.
The usually busy Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) wore a deserted look as all the 3,000 buses to various parts of the state were cancelled.
RTC managing director Prasada Rao said the corporation was making alternate arrangements to operate buses. "RTC will suffer Rs.7 crore loss in a single day (Monday)," he said.
Hundreds of policemen and paramilitary personnel were deployed at bus stations as the RTC management was using the services of retired drivers and ex-servicemen.
In an attempt to minimise inconvenience to people, the transport department has allowed private vehicle operators to run their services across the region. Seven-seater auto-rickshaws, which are not allowed to ply on Hyderabad city roads on normal days, are being permitted to operate.
The railways are operating additional local trains in Hyderabad and also to various destinations in the state.
"The movement has intensified and it will continue till we achieve our goal," said TRS leader Harish Rao while leading the road blockade at Kodada in Nalgonda district, blocking all vehicles coming from coastal Andhra region.
Rao warned that if the central government further delays formation of Telangana state, they would lay siege to Hyderabad next month and bring trains and even flights to a halt.
Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on Telangana-Maharashtra border in Adilabad district, Telangana-Rayalaseema border in Mahabubnagar district, Telangana-Andhra border in Nalgonda district and Telangana-Maharashtra border in Medak district.

Protesters clashed with police at several places and damaged over a dozen private vehicles. Police also arrested those blocking traffic but at most of the places, the protesters outnumbered the policemen.

BJP has not projected anyone as PM: Nitish

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article2467679.ece?homepage=true

The Bharatiya Janata Party has not officially declared anyone as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the next Lok Sabha polls and the Janata Dal (United) being a key National Democratic Alliance partner would officially be informed of any decision on the issue, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday refusing to be drawn into any controversy.
“It will be improper for the JD(U) to react to any report ... JD(U) is an NDA ally and will be informed the moment such a decision is taken by the senior partner,” Mr. Kumar, also a key JD(U) leader, said on the sidelines of his weekly Janata Darbar (meeting with people).
“The JD(U) will react or make any comment only when a formal decision for projection of a Prime Ministerial candidate is taken by the BJP... No official formal decision has been taken by the BJP on the issue,” he said adding the BJP had not even internally made such an announcement.
On Mr. Modi’s fast, he said every individual, political leader or Chief Minister had the freedom to organise a personal or public programme of his choice in a State.
“It doesn’t require unnecessary comment,” he said refusing to be drawn into controversy over reports suggesting that Mr. Modi might be a strong contender for the post.
The JD(U) has an alliance with the BJP in Bihar. “But there is no alliance with BJP in the State you mentioned,” he told reporters.
Mr. Kumar’s remarks comes a day after JD(U) spokesperson Shivanand Tiwari hit out at Mr. Modi saying a person who “failed to follow Rajdharma” with 5 crore people of a State won’t be able to do “justice” with 125 crore people of the country.

“Modi has failed to discharge Rajdharma in Gujarat... when he can’t do justice with 5 crore people of a State, how will he be able to deliver justice to 125 crore of the country,” Mr. Tiwari had stated.

Mr. Kumar said he had time and again made it clear that he was not in the race for Prime Ministership.
“I don’t harbour any ambition of becoming Prime Minister ... I don’t have any dream of becoming Prime Minister,” he said.
“My sole ambition is dedicated for Bihar... I have to respect people’s mandate for Bihar... I am physically and mentally utilising my full capacity for Bihar as I know serving Bihar is a great service to the nation,” Mr. Kumar added.
Top BJP leaders to visit venue as Modi’s fast ends today

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2467402.ece?homepage=true

As Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s 72-hour fast entered the third and final day on Monday, top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders are expected to make an appearance at the venue and lend their support to his ‘Sadbhavana Mission’
Among the most prominent BJP leaders, who are expected to arrive at the Gujarat University Convention Centre in Ahmedabad, include Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu, party MP and actor Hema Malini, national spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman and Maharashtra Navnirman Seva (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
Mr. Modi is likely to end his fast at around 5.30 pm today.
At 10.30 am, Mr. Modi and people at the venue observed a minute of silence for the victims of the earthquake that hit Sikkim and several areas in the eastern and northern parts of the country yesterday.
After yesterday’s incident of baton-charging by police on the crowd that had come to visit the Chief Minister, Gujarat Revenue Minister and close aide of Mr. Modi, Anandi Patel has taken on the task of supervising the security arrangements at the entrance gate.

Mr. Patel was seen at the main entrance, instructing police officers and discussing security arrangements with them.

“Today being the concluding day of Modi’s three-day long fast, a huge crowd is expected, besides VIP dignitaries from across the country,” a BJP member said.
Halt Koodankulam nuclear project: Jayalalithaa

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/tamil-nadu/article2467517.ece?homepage=true



Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that work on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project be halted till the fears of the people in the area are allayed, accusing the Centre of “abdicating” its responsibilities.
With the fast by over 100 locals in the area against the project entering the ninth day on Monday, the AIADMK supremo dashed off a strongly-worded letter to the Prime Minister saying work on the project should not go on till the issue of addressing their concerns is settled.
Amid mounting protests against the project, Ms. Jayalalithaa’s missive came three days after she sought to allay the fears of local population that the Indo-Russian joint venture in Tirunelveli district has adequate safety parameters and appealed to agitators to end their fast.
She said the plant was safeguarded even from a tsunami and was located in a zone not prone to earthquakes.
With barely three months left for the commissioning of the first of the two 1x1000 MWe reactors set up at the coastal village of Koodankulam District, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the scope and magnitude of the issue was creating a fear psychosis among people and villages surrounding the project area.
“I request you to kindly issue suitable instructions to the concerned authorities that further work on this project may be halted, until this issue is settled,” she said.

“It is unfortunate to see that the Centre is abdicating its responsibilities. The Prime Minister should have sent a high-level team to allay the fears and misgivings of people in Koodankulam area,” she added.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was “surprising” to note that till date no responsible Minister or concerned higher authorities from the Union Government have visited the people or even attempted to assuage their misgivings.
Hitting out at Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan, she said it was naturally expected that the Union Minister, hailing from the State, would have made an attempt to visit these people.
Instead, Natarajan said her ministry has nothing to do with it and the subject comes under the purview of the Atomic Energy Commission, thereby “abdicating her duties as a Minister and absolving herself of any responsibility”, Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
“Her remark that the Government officers would take care of the issue is callous in the extreme,” she added.
The letter to Dr. Singh came amidst growing support to the protestors, including by opposition DMDK and MDMK.
Pointing out that AEC was directly under Dr. Singh’s control, she urged him to send concerned competent authorities to hold discussions with people, address the fears and convince them.
“Since nobody from the Government of India has so far deemed it fit to visit Koodankulam, I propose to send an all party delegation led by O. Panneerselvam, Minister for Finance, Government of Tamil Nadu, along with representatives of the people to call on you,” she said.
The Chief Minister said the last few days have been very agonising for the people of Koodankulam as they are under great apprehension in the wake of the Fukushima (Japan) disaster and other similar calamities.
“It is only natural that the people living here fear for the safety of their families and for themselves,” she said, adding that this issue was disturbing the normal life of the people.

The local population and fishermen in and around Koodankulam have been agitating against the project and intensified the protests in recent weeks. Around 100 persons are on an indefinite fast for the past nine days demanding that the project be shelved.

Ms. Jayalalithaa’s demand for halting work comes just days after she deputed a Ministerial team to dispel fears about the plant and persuade the core group of protesters to give up their fast.
She also renewed her appeal to the protesters to give up the fast taking into account steps taken by her government.
Cash-for-vote scam: Ram Jethmalani names Ahmed Patel as bribe giver

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/cash-for-vote-scam-ram-jethmalani-names-ahmed-patel-as-bribe-giver/articleshow/10039909.cms

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's counsel Ram Jethmalani today made a u-turn and named before a Delhi court Congress leader Ahmed Patel as the source for the money in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.
Arguing for the bail to former Samajwadi Party leader, the senior advocate named Patel, changing his earlier statement that the money could have come from BJP since L K Advani had said that his party had conducted a sting operation.
Jethmalani told Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that the bribe was paid at the Le Meridien Hotel here.
"The place of receipt of the bribe was not Amar Singh's home, but Le Meridien Hotel. The person to pay the bribe was not Mr Amar Singh but obviously Mr Ahmad Patel, an MP and a very influential member of the party whose government was to be saved," said Jethmalani.
Terming Patel as the "bribe giver", Jethmalani said, "I am not suggesting that Patel, on this piece of evidence, should be convicted but if you are influencing MPs of other parties on behalf of your party, then you are the bribe giver."
Earlier on September 12, while arguing for interim bail for Amar Singh, Jethmalani had said that the money produced in Lok Sabha during the cash-for-vote scam was "likely to be from the BJP".

"If the money was waved (in Lok Sabha) by the BJP MPs, then the source of the money is likely to be from the BJP. I am not prejudicing anybody's case.

"There is no allegation that Amar Singh arranged the money," Jethmalani had told the court on that day.

National Economic Trends




Business, Energy or Environmental regulations or discussions



TCS bags contract from Deutsche Bank

http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/worldnews-70131.html

New Delhi, Sep 19 : Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been selected by Deutsche Bank as a strategic partner for their production management transformation initiative, within their capital markets business unit, the software development firm announced Monday.TCS bags contract from Deutsche Bank
New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been selected by Deutsche Bank as a strategic partner for their production management transformation initiative, within their capital markets business unit, the software development firm announced Monday.
"To achieve this transformation, TCS will deliver a global service desk, service operations and all other ITIL (IT infrastructure library) services to the bank at locations across seven countries -- USA, UK, Germany, Hungary, Philippines, Singapore and India," the company said in a statement.
The firm said it is a five-year, multimillion dollar contract, but did not divulge any further financial details.
TCS will partner with Deutsche Bank to transform to an ITIL aligned model, aimed at significantly improving service delivery through this framework of best practices.

"Our extensive experience in IT transformation initiatives, industry-leading domain capabilities in financial services and long-term partnership approach allow us to offer superior value to Deutsche Bank as they look to leverage their strong market position," said Ramanamurthy Magapu, TCS banking industry solutions unit head.

At the Bombay Stock Exchange the shares of the company were 1.02 percent lower to trade at Rs.1,018.70.
India's GVK to pay USD 1.26bn for acquiring majority stake in Australian mines

http://www.newkerala.com/news/2011/worldnews-70179.html

Canberra, Sept 19 : Indian infrastructure giant GVK will pay 1.26 billion dollars to acquire a majority stake in coal assets owned by Australia's Hancock Group.
Hyderabad-based GVK will take a 79 percent stake in two mines and own a third, as well as a port and rail project, the BBC reports.
GVK, which is controlled by Indian billionaire GV Krishna Reddy, currently owns airports, power plants and other infrastructure projects in India.
The group said in a statement that it would acquire a 79 percent stake in the Alpha and Alpha West coal mines in the Galilee Basin in Queensland, and would have full ownership of Kevin's Corner coal mine and the rail and port project connecting the coal mines.
Reddy said in a statement that this acquisition would build a strong resource business for the company.
"We will now be able to increase the capacity of our coal power business with an assured in-house supply of raw material," he added.
According to the report, production is due to start in 2014 and is expected to bring in over 30 million tons per year of thermal coal.
The company said that at full production the mines are expected to produce nearly 84 million tons per year.

Mercator eyes Indonesia mine buy, overseas IPO for unit

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/transportation/shipping-/-transport/mercator-eyes-indonesia-mine-buy-overseas-ipo-for-unit/articleshow/10039087.cms

MUMBAI: Mercator Lines Ltd, India's second largest private shipping firm, expects to acquire a coal mine in Indonesia in the next one week for around $30 million and plans to list its coal division overseas, a top official said.

"The likely resources (of the new coal mine) are about 60 million tonnes. The deal value will be roughly be in the region of $25-$30 million, Managing Director Atul Agarwal told Reuters on Monday.
Coal Min seeks status report on captive blocks from firms

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/indl-goods-/-svs/metals-mining/coal-min-seeks-status-report-on-captive-blocks-from-firms/articleshow/10040002.cms

NEW DELHI: Having already issued a warning to coal block allottees that have failed to develop mines awarded to them in a timely fashion, the government has now asked these firms to furnish a status report on progress made on these delayed projects in the July-September quarter.
"You are requested to send detailed information for the quarter ending September, 2011, in respect of allocated coal/lignite blocks and associated end-use projects, along with the reasons for delays in implementation of the coal/lignite project, to this office by September 30," the Coal Ministry said on its website.
In May, the coal ministry took a decision to deallocate 14 coal blocks and one lignite block and issued warnings in respect to 29 coal and three lignite mine allottees, asking the concerned companies to commence production in time.
The companies whose coal blocks were deallocated include NTPC, Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation, Bhatia International, Shree Bhaidyanath Ayurved Bhavan, Jharkhand State Electricity Board, Damodar Valley Corporation and Gondawana Ispat Ltd, among others.
Warning letters were also issued to firms like NTPC, Utkal Coal Ltd, Damodar Valley Corporation, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, warning them to either begin production from the blocks or be stripped of their mining rights.

BSES Rajdhani ties up with US-based Lighting Science Group

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/power/bses-rajdhani-ties-up-with-us-based-lighting-science-group/articleshow/10040139.cms

NEW DELHI: Reliance Infrastructure-led BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd plans collaboration with US-based Lighting Science Group to offer LED bulbs to customers at discounted rates.

BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd that distributes power in south and west Delhi has signed a preliminary agreement to explore avenues for distributing the energy efficient bulbs.

"The scope of the association will also involve conducting field trials of various LED based lighting options, including street lights at select locations and making LED products available at competitive prices for BRPL customers of South and West Delhi", BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd chief executive officer Gopal Saxena said.
"Partnering with BRPL to demonstrate the benefits of LED technology will ensure rapid adoption of this technology that will enable efficient usage of power infrastructure for growth while saving money for the consumers", said Lighting Science Group chief executive officer Jim Haworth.
Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs consume significantly less electricity than conventional incandescent bulbs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps. Average life span of a LED is around 50,000 hours against 8,000 hours of a CFL and 1,000 hours for an incandescent bulb.
"Using a 60 watt incandescent bulb for 8 hours a day, will consume 14 units and on the other hand, a 7 watt LED will consume just about 1.7 units of electricity per month," Saxena said.
TPG Capital, Farallon Capital in talks to buy GTL Infrastructure

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/banking/finance/tpg-capital-farallon-capital-in-talks-to-buy-gtl-infrastructure/articleshow/10040045.cms

GTL Infra is attracting interest from international private equity players like TPG Capital and Farallon Capital, sources with direct knowledge said. Viom has in the past also shown interest in buying GTL Infra.
Sources said, a PE-led consortium of telecom players is more likely to drive the deal considering the cash crunch in the telecom sector.

Private Equity sources said consolidation is important for survival in the telecom tower space and without which PE players will not be able to come on this deal. Hectic discussions are going on between the banks and the interested parties for working out the best possible combination.

Expected valuation for the company is around Rs 10,500 crores from the sell side but suitors find it expensive considering that there are more telecom towers which are up for sale like Reliance Infratel.
GTL Infra is undergoing Rs 10,000 crores Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR), the company has a total debt of Rs 12,000 crores on it's books. 22 lenders including SBI, ICICI Bank, Union Bank, Canara Bank, IOB are lenders to the company.

Activity in the Oil and Gas sector (including regulatory)



Reliance defends levy of marketing margin on KG-D6 gas

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/energy/oil-gas/reliance-defends-levy-of-marketing-margin-on-kg-d6-gas/articleshow/10040241.cms

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries has strongly defended its decision to impose a marketing margin over-and-above the government-approved sale price for KG-D6 gas, saying the levy was to cover for the risk and cost associated with marketing of gas.
Responding to upstream oil and gas production regulator DGH reopening the issue, RIL Executive Director P M S Prasad on August 24 wrote to Oil Secretary G C Chaturvedi saying the $ 0.135 per million British thermal units marketing margin is a cost levied beyond the gas delivery flange and as such, is not regulated by the Production Sharing Contract (PSC).

The PSC governs fixation of price of gas at the 'delivery point', the point at which an upstream operator transfers custody of gas to a marketing and transportation agency. That point for eastern offshore KG-D6 gas is Kakinada, in Andhra Pradesh, and the government had in 2007 approved a gas price of $ 4.205 per mmBtu at the delivery point.

But the DGH wants the $ 0.135 per mmBtu levy added to the gas sale price and profits for RIL and the government to be calculated thereafter. Currently, profits are calculated by deducting capital and the operating cost from the gas sales price only.
Prasad, however, said the PSC does not provide for such a move, as the marketing and transportation cost cannot be recovered from revenues earned from sale of oil or gas.
Section 3.2 (iii) of the PSC states that "costs of marketing or transportation of petroleum beyond the delivery point are not cost-recoverable. Both marketing and transport costs are clearly recognised as being distinct from the sale price at the delivery point and kept outside the PSC for purposes of cost recovery," he wrote.
He said any attempt to include the margin as part of the price of gas approved under the PSC "will have the effect of making all marketing costs as well as ensuing risks and liabilities cost-recoverable under the PSC."
Moreover, such inclusion can be done only after amendment of the present PSC.
The marketing margin is to cover for cost of employees involved in marketing and sales, related infrastructure and all legal and operational expenses that occur beyond the delivery point, as defined in the PSC.
It also covers the credit risk of buyers, litigation costs and penalties such as ship-or-pay reimbursement to transporters and levies for supplying off-spec gas.
"Any costs associated with these risks are at the moment not chargeable to the PSC for the purpose of cost-recovery and are not being claimed as such by" RIL, he added.
He pointed to state-run ONGC and GAIL charging a marketing margin on government-administered gas, called APM gas, as well as on the produce from the Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields.

Militant Activity/Terrorism (Particularly in Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida, Chennai, Coimbatore)


Forest guard killed by Maoists in Bargarh

http://zeenews.india.com/news/orissa/forest-guard-killed-by-maoists-in-bargarh_732366.html


Bargarh Bargarh: A forest guard was shot dead by suspected Maoists in Buden area of Orissa's Bargarh district early today, police said.
Guard Narayan Duan (34) was taken away by a group of rebels from his house at forested Jaipur village under Buden police station area, about 100 km from here, in the wee hours, police said.
As the ultras melted into the forest afterwards, Narayan's bullet-riddled body was spotted by the villagers lying under a banyan tree on the outskirts, Forest Ranger (Padampur), Amrish Pradhan said.
The reason behind the murder of Narayan, posted at Jaipur beat office under Padampur, was not clear, Superintendent of Police, Bargarh, S Thangkapan said.
Withdrawal of forces a must for talks with Maoists’

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/withdrawal-of-forces-a-must-for-talks-with-maoists/848501/

Anna: Parallel govt dangerousFight against terror and PakKasab’s birthday How safe is knee replacement?
In an attempt to further the dialogue between the state government and the Naxals in Junglemahal, Maoist ideologue Varavara Rao will arrive in Kolkata on Monday and is expected to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“I will remind the chief minister about the promise she had made before elections. She had then promised to withdraw joint security forces from Junglemahal and release all the political prisoners,” Rao told The Indian Express over phone and added that not much progress has been made in on these fronts by the state government.

He termed the two issues as pre requisite conditions for developing conducive atmosphere for talks with the Maoist. Other conditions like declaration of the ceasefire and lifting up of the ban on CPI(Maoist) are also necessary, he added.

Rao is scheduled to visit West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts affected by the Left wing extemism.
Naxals oppose development schemes of government

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/naxals-oppose-devlopment-plans-of-government/1/151846.html

Maoist rebels active in eight states are dead against construction of roads and empowering women self-help groups (SHGs) while they rarely derail other flagship development schemes of the government.
A recent concept paper on Naxalite movement prepared by the Union rural development ministry says construction of good roads means making the affected zones accessible to police and that is why the rebels are "resolutely opposed to it". "They have also prohibited formation of SHGs under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) for the possible reason that they (Maoists) are unable to act against women groups and their own organisation gets undermined," the paper said.
Women and youth are the main support base of the movement.
In case of the roads, however, contractors in some places have managed to get their way by payment of a "percentage" of the cost as levy. "There are also instances where the Naxalites have buried explosives below the roads to be used for detonation at the time of police movement," the paper points out.
In particular, the rebels have displayed an attitude of "tolerance" towards Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Indira Awaas Yojana (IAY), National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and extension of social security benefits.
The Maoist movement is on the decline in places where the implementation of development programmes have been thorough. Central Bihar districts, which used to be a hotbed of leftwing extremism, is an example of this.

"However, there are such rigidities within the government system and they are so bureaucratically driven that they make integration of these programmes a difficult task," the paper said.

The ministry, headed by Jairam Ramesh, holds the "best practices" of development schemes have the potential to wean away the rural youth from the movement but there is an abject lack of a machinery to do so.
"No uniform model will work and each district will have to evolve models with intra- district variations. Evolution of such a model would depend upon the robustness of the base institutions," it added.

NIA publishes photographs of 11 rightwing militants
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/nia-publishes-photographs-of-11-rightwing-militants/1/151854.html

The Hindutva face of terror has been bared. Desperate for leads into the whereabouts of 11 rightwing militants who are on the run, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has now made their photographs public. The fugitives are wanted for major blasts, including those in Goa, at Ajmer Sharif and Mecca Masjid and on Samjhauta Express.

Some of them are also believed to have murdered RSS worker Sunil Joshi, who was himself the prime conspirator in a number of terror attacks. The NIA took over the probe of the Joshi murder case from the Madhya Pradesh Police in June. It is also investigating the Goa, Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts.

The agency has now opened a 24-hour-assistance line for any information on the wanted men.

A ministry of home affairs (MHA) official said catching the absconders could expose the links of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with Hindutva terror.

Furthermore, the alleged role played by the sangh's senior member, Indresh Kumar, in the incidents would also come to light. In a reply to Parliament on September 7, the MHA admitted that the role of the RSS had not been specifically confirmed as yet in the Samjhauta, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid investigations.

"However, some of the key accused in these cases - Swami Asimanand, Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma, who have been arrested and chargesheeted - were reportedly involved in RSS activities earlier. This was revealed during the course of the probe and also from the confessional statements of Asimanand," the home ministry told Parliament. Asimanand told the CBI that Joshi may have been killed at the behest of Indresh.

Among those whose photographs have been put out are five key accused, all from Gujarat, wanted for transporting and planting bombs at the Ajmer Sharif dargah on Joshi's directions.

Each of them - Bhavesh Patel, Mehul, Jayant Gohil, Ramesh Gohil and Suresh Nair - carries a reward of Rs 2 lakh.

Soon after the Ajmer blast on October 11, 2007, Joshi was found killed. Mehul and Jayant, who lived with Joshi, are suspected to have murdered him on December 29, 2007. Mehul is also wanted for the Best Bakery massacre in Gujarat. Catching him, the NIA emphasises, is the key to cracking the Joshi murder case and ascertaining whether he was bumped off because it was feared that he knew too much about the terror module.

The big fish who controlled the Hindutva terror machinery after Joshi's death are Ramji Kalsangre and Sandeep Dange, both from Indore. Their photographs were made public by the NIA last year and carry a reward of Rs 10 lakh each.

The duo is thought to have been deeply involved in all the major blasts linked to Hindutva terror- ists. "We believe they planted the bombs on Samjhauta Express in 2008. A massive hunt for them has not yielded results so far," an MHA official said.

Among the latest batch of photographs released now is that of another Samjhauta plotter, Amit alias Ashwini Chauhan, on whom there is a reward of Rs 2 lakh. The NIA does not know from where this man hails.

The Bureau of Immigration has also issued lookout circulars against the three men to stop them from fleeing India.

Three other terrorists on the run whose pictures have been released are the ones wanted for the Goa blast of 2009 in which two people were killed and two IEDs were defused just in time to prevent a much bigger strike.

Right-wing organisation Sanathan Sanstha was found to be behind the blasts and some of its cadre were arrested. The NIA is still hunting for three more men of this group - Jay Prakash @ Anna, Praveen Limkar and Rudra Patil.

A home ministry official confirmed Maharashtra Police had recommended to the state government to ban Sanathan Sanstha and Abhinav Bharat by including them in the Schedule of Terrorist Organisations under Section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.


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