ECONOMY

Monthly Archives: APRIL 2017


Petrol, diesel at your doorstep soon; govt plans home delivery of fuel
21.04.17 - TEAM PT
Petrol, diesel at your doorstep soon; govt plans home delivery of fuel



Soon you may get your motor fuel -- petrol and diesel – delivered at home as the government is exploring the option of door to door delivery to avoid long queues at fuel pumps.
 
The Government is considering a plan for home delivery of petroleum products to consumers if they make a pre-booking to cut long queues at fuel stations, the oil ministry tweeted on Friday.

The move will reduce the frequent long wait and snaking queues at fuel stations.

The Oil ministry said that about 35 crore people comes to the petrol pumps everyday and annually about Rs 2,500 crore worth of transactions take place at fuel stations.
  
Presently, only the LPG gets delivered at home while the consumers has to go to the retail outlets to avail other petroluem products.

This comes at a time when petrol pumps have threatened to shut shops on Sunday and the government has expressed its displeasure about this move citing inconvenience to consumers.
 
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal of not using fuel for a day to help cut India's import dependence, the ministry said it was aimed at conserving fuel and not for petrol pump owners to remain shut on Sundays.
 
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan also announced that daily cashless transactions have increased from Rs 150 crore per day to Rs 400 crore after his ministry took a lead in promoting digital transactions.




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Sand mining through E-bidding auctions in Punjab; Revenue may touch Rs. 300 Cr
19.04.17 - TEAM PT
Sand mining through E-bidding auctions in Punjab; Revenue may touch Rs. 300 Cr



THE PUNJAB Cabinet on Wednesday approved fresh mine auctions through progressive e-bidding to boost the state revenue multifold, and bring greater transparency into the mining business, which had been cartelized during the previous SAD-BJP regime.
 
The decision, which will bring to an end the earlier practice of granting contracts of mines through reverse bidding process, seeks to fulfil Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s poll promise to destroy the sand mafia in the state.
 
The decision, taken by the state cabinet under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister, is expected to increase the government revenue receipt to around Rs.300 crore, according to an official spokesperson. It will also ensure uninterrupted supply of sand and bajri to the consumers at fair price, he added.
 
It was also decided at the cabinet meeting that the state government would soon implement the Integrated Mines and Minerals Management System (i3MS) to bring greater transparency into the system. The i3MS is approved by the Government of India and has been successfully tried and tested in the state of Odisha, the cabinet noted.
 
The cabinet also decided to hike the compensation to land owners from Rs.50 to Rs.60 per tonne, the spokesperson revealed.
 
The state government is already working on a new mining policy, which is expected to be formulated by the end of the month as per the directives of the Chief Minister. Captain Amarinder had on April 1 reviewed the mining operations in the state, issuing strict instructions to the concerned departments to curb illegal mining.
 
The crackdown launched on illegal mining by the Captain Amarinder government had led to a spike in the prices of sand and gravel, which will get reversed with more legal mines becoming operational following the cabinet decision, said the spokesperson.
 
Besides increasing the number of legal mines, the government is also mulling deployment of modern digging techniques and stringent enforcement of rules to ensure that illegal mining becomes unviable. The new mining policy is expected to incorporate these and several other measures to free the state of the mining cartel and make the mining operations viable and lucrative for the state exchequer.
 
As per data shared by the concerned departments, as many as 59 mines are ready for auction and production can commence in these by May 20, with another 58 pending environmental clearance and expected to become operational by mid-August.




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SAD appreciates Capt govt for adopting their idea on power exports
17.04.17 - team pt
SAD appreciates Capt govt for adopting their idea on power exports



The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today  appreciated the Congress government for deciding to take the same line on power export to Pakistan as done by the SAD-BJP government besides hard selling the good work done in the power sector during SAD-BJP rule to attract investment into the State. 

In a statement here senior SAD leaders and MPs Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Balwinder Singh Bhundur said the Congress should however know that the decision to export power to Pakistan had been taken by the SAD-BJP government which had already approached the centre for the same. "As such there is no need for the new State government to approach the centre afresh on this issue as is being asserted by the government. All it needs to do is renew talks held on this issue with the centre and take them forward to a logical conclusion", the Akali leaders said. 

Explaining the ground work which had already been done, the Akali MPs said former Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal initiated the exercise to export power to Pakistan during a meeting with Pak Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharief in 2012. The MPs said following this the Pakistan cabinet approved a proposal to purchase power from India in 2014. "Following this talks have taken place between the power ministries of both countries. Recent unwanted incidents at the border including the Pathankot terror strike have put a spanner in the works. However talks as well as power export to Pak from Amritsar as decided in the preliminary talks could be started as part of confidence building measures between both countries". 

Dhindsa and Bhundur said Punjab had reached a stage from being a power strapped State in 2007 to being power surplus now due to the efforts made by Sukhbir Badal in this regard. The leaders said not only were thermal plants set up in record time but even the transmission and distribution system had been strengthened at a cost of Rs 3,900 crore. "Punjab is the first State to have a 400 KV ring main station with GIS mapping of all 132 KV and 220 KV sub stations", they added. 

The leaders said it were these steps which had made Punjab a successful investment destination and attracted massive investment from top industrial houses in the country. "The State was even able to transfer the benefits of bringing efficiencies into the system by offering power at Rs five a unit to new industries. It is appreciable that the new government is trying to capitalise on these efforts and has during a recent interaction with industrialists in Mumbai highlighted the cheap and reliable power on offer in Punjab. More such efforts should be made to continue the development narrative initiated by the previous SAD-BJP government", the leaders added.




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Operation Clean Money 2.0: IT to probe 60,000 black money hoarders
14.04.17 - TEAM PT
Operation Clean Money 2.0: IT to probe 60,000 black money hoarders



The Income Tax department has identified about 60,000 individuals in the second phase of  the 'Operation Clean Money' launched today.

The operation has been launched with an aim to detect black money created post demonetisation.
 
Advanced data analytics and integration of data sources, relationship clustering and fund tracking were used to identify the individuals.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), policy-making body of the department, said it has detected undisclosed income over Rs 9,334 crore between the period of November 9, 2016 till February 28 this year.

The notes ban was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year.
 
"More than 60,000 persons, including 1,300 high-risk persons, have been identified for the investigation into claims of excessive cash sales during the demonetisation period. More than 6,000 transactions of high-value property purchase and 6,600 cases of outward remittances shall be subjected to detailed investigations (under Operation Clean Money II).

"All the cases where no response is received shall also be subjected to detailed enquiries," the CBDT said.
 
The statement added that the note ban move was clearly aimed at checking and eliminating black money that casts a long shadow of parallel economy on our real economy” and the latest operation is one of the major steps aimed to achieve this goal and also widen the tax base.
 
As part of the first phase of the 'Operation Clean Money', launched on January 31 this year, the department had sent online queries and investigated 17.92 lakh persons out of which 9.46 lakh persons have responded to the department.




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Aaj Ka Bhav Kya Hai? Petrol, diesel prices to change daily from 1 May
12.04.17 - team pt
Aaj Ka Bhav Kya Hai? Petrol, diesel prices to change daily from 1 May



‘AAJ KA kya bhav hai?’, soon you may find yourself asking this question at fuel outlets as petrol and diesel prices in some cities will now see daily change in sync with international rates, according to two officials from oil marketing companies.
 
According to a Livemint report, this will be effective 1 May in five cities including Puducherry and Visakhapatnam, Udaipur, Jamshedpur and Chandigarh as part of a pilot project.
This will be extended to other parts of the country after an assessment of consumer response.
 
Diesel and petrol prices move in tandem with the price of crude oil in most countries. In January, Mint reported that the fuel retailers plan to introduce dynamic pricing in India this year.
 
"We have been piloting dynamic pricing at a few of our retail outlets for some months now, and the response has been encouraging. This has allowed us to go ahead and introduce it formally,” an executive director from an oil marketing company said on condition of anonymity as he is not allowed to talk to reporters.
 
Currently, state-run fuel retailers—Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd (HPCL)—revise petrol and diesel prices on the 1st and 15th of every month based on average international price of the fuel in the preceding fortnight and the currency exchange rate.
 
"Due to the fortnightly revision of fuel prices, petroleum dealers were applying breaks (not lifting fuel daily) on uplifting of fuel. If the prices go up on the 1st or 15th of every month, there would be a rush to uplift products, else, the upliftment would be impacted. This would result in losses for OMCs and we wanted that this price predictability should go away. So dynamic pricing will be a good bet,” said a senior official from an oil marketing company on the condition of anonymity.
 
Shares of Indian Oil fell 0.07% to Rs408.90 on BSE, Bharat Petroleum rose 1% to Rs717.60, Hindustan Petroleum rose 1% to Rs542.45 while India’s benchmark Sensex fell 0.49% to 29,643.48 points.
 
Although state-run fuel retailers have the capability to revise petrol and diesel prices on a daily basis, what needs to be monitored is how consumers react to price volatility, industry experts say.
 
"If there is heightened volatility in global markets due to geopolitical developments, it could get reflected in domestic retail prices too. Therefore, companies are doing the right thing in testing the model in pilot projects to see how its impact and consumer response. In the medium- to long-term, daily price revision may be a good idea as is practised elsewhere,” said R.S. Butola, a former chairman of Indian Oil.
 
Indian Oil chairman B. Ashok and Hindustan Petroleum chairman and managing director M.K Surana didn’t immediately respond to phone calls seeking comment.
 
Besides, global fuel prices and currency exchange rate, central and state taxes account for a major part of the fuel prices. It accounts for half of retail petrol price and 46% of retail diesel price. The central government collected Rs64,509 crore from petrol as excise duty in 2016-17 up to end-February, 20% more than what was collected in the whole of FY16. Excise receipts from diesel jumped 36% in the same period to Rs1.37 trillion.




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