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Cabinet clears Rs 552-crore trade prop

New Delhi, Dec. 2: The Union cabinet today approved a Rs 552-crore modified market access initiative (MAI) scheme to meet the objectives set out by the export and import policy and to capture a minimum 1 per cent of global trade by the end of the Tenth Five Year Plan (March 2007).

The scheme will provide assistance for extensive market study, survey of the potential markets through leading marketing consultants, display of selected products in identified centres in focus countries by setting up showrooms and display counters in international department stores.

It also provides for intensive and sustained publicity campaigns in focus markets by engaging top advertising agents and promotion of branded products, quality upgradation and product development initiatives to meet specific requirements of the target market.

The cabinet also approved additional activities, components to be covered for assistance under the modified MAI. It will provide assistance for registration, testing charges abroad for pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, agro-chemicals and engineering products.

Power transmission

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the setting up of a power transmission system in the western region to evacuate 1980 MW power from National Thermal Power Corporation power station to be set up in Sipat in Chhattisgarh.

The project, with an estimated cost of Rs 1672.98 crore, would be completed within 38 months. The power station will have a generating capacity of 1980 MW (3x660 MW) when completed.

The CCEA also approved the construction of a new broad gauge rail line from Jiribam in Manipur to Imphal covering 97.9 kilometres at an estimated cost of Rs 727.56 crore.

Oil, gas blocks

PTI adds: The CCEA today awarded bulk of the 21 oil and gas exploration blocks to state-run ONGC in the fourth round of new exploration licensing policy.

ONGC, along with partners, won 15 blocks while private sector Reliance Industries Ltd could manage only one.

With this, 91 blocks have been awarded in the four rounds of bidding under NELP, entailing a combined investment of Rs 19,050 crore, official sources said. A minimum investment of Rs 2010 crore has been committed in the first exploratory phase in the 21 blocks awarded in NELP-IV.

The total investment in three phases of exploration, development and production in these blocks comes to Rs 5100 crore.

Cairn Energy of the UK won a Ganga Valley onland block on its own and an onshore block in Cambay basin in Gujarat in partnership with ONGC. The other big names in fray — British energy firm BG Group, Canadian Niko Resources and Russia’s Zarubezneftgaz drew blank.

Reliance Industries, which teamed up with Hardy Oil of the UK to bid for eight of the 12 deepwater blocks on offer, could manage only the NEC-DWN-2002/1 deepsea block, they added.

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