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Bids for 9 CBM blocks

New Delhi, May 23:The government today invited bids for nine coal bed methane (CBM) blocks for exploration and production of gas. The nine blocks offered under the second round of bidding for CBM blocks under the new exploration licensing policy have a combined resource of about 500 billion cubic metres of gas, petroleum minister Ram Naik said. CBM is expected to supplement conventional sources of natural gas and would help in bridging the domestic demand-supply gap, Naik added.

Customs duty

New Delhi, May 23:The government today allowed payment of customs and excise duties in the State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda. Earlier, only the Punjab National Bank had the permission to collect payment of these taxes.

Phone density

New Delhi, May 23:The continuous growth in telephone connections has helped the country touch a teledensity of 5 per 100 persons, but the digital divide continues in rural and urban areas. The teledensity has improved at a rapid pace from 3.6 in March 2001 to 4.9 in December 2002.

Lever lockout

Calcutta, May 23:Hindustan Lever Ltd today extended till June 13 the lockout at its garden reach factory. The unit employs nearly 1,150 permanent workers and 350 casual workers. The company first declared lockout at the factory on March 22, citing labour problems.


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