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Business & Economy

Petrol nears Rs 90/litre in Mumbai, over Rs 85 in Chennai

File photo of a petrol pump
File photo of a petrol pump
Continuing their upward movement, prices of petrol and diesel scaled new highs on Tuesday, with petrol nearing Rs 90 per litre in Mumbai and crossing Rs 84 in Kolkata.
 
Petrol was selling at record Rs 89.54 per litre in Mumbai, 10 paise up from its previous high, the data from Indian Oil Corp's website showed.
 
Prices in Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai also touched unprecedented levels of Rs 82.16, Rs 84.01 and Rs 85.41 per litre respectively, up from Monday's Rs 82.06, Rs 83.91 and Rs 85.31 per litre.
 
The cost of transportation fuel has been on the rise since August 1, largely because of high crude oil prices and falling rupee. Depreciation in the Indian rupee against the US dollar makes the import of crude oil expensive as transaction is done in dollars.
 
Sector experts feel that high excise duty in the country also aided the high prices.
 
In line with petrol, diesel prices also scaled new highs on Tuesday. 
 
In Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, diesel prices touched fresh highs of Rs 73.87, Rs 78.42 and Rs 78.10, up from the previous levels of Rs 73.78, Rs 78.33 and Rs 78 per litre.
 
In Kolkata, the fuel was sold at Rs 75.72, against Monday's Rs 75.63 per litre. The highest-ever diesel price in the city is Rs 75.82, recorded on September 11.
 
IANS
 
 

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Prabhu urges G-20 Members to focus on services for enhancing global trade

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Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has urged G-20 to change the narrative on trade by focusing on the potential of Services for enhancing global trade, keeping in view that the sector contributes more than 50% to the world GDP.
 
Mr Prabhu led the Indian delegation for the G-20 Trade Ministers Meeting (TMM) held at Mar del Plata, Argentina on September 14. The G-20 TMM was represented by Ministers/Vice Ministers of G20 countries, 8 guest countries and 7 Heads/Deputy Heads of International Organisations such as WTO, ITC, OECD, World Bank, IMF, CAF and IADB.
 
As Argentina is the President of G-20 this year, Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie and Minister for Production and Labour Dante Sica jointly chaired the sessions. The overall objective of the Argentine Presidency of G-20 is ‘Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development’.
 
The programme of the G-20 TMM included a breakfast meeting to facilitate free exchange of views on the current global trade developments and three plenary sessions on specific topics of the agenda on current international trade developments, trade and investment aspects of Agro-Food Global Value Chains (GVCs) and trade and investment aspects of the New Industrial Revolution (NIR).
 
Mr Prabhu participated in all the sessions including the breakfast meeting. The Ministers held a shared view that the global trade and economic situation was at a critical stage due to the ongoing trade tensions, driven largely by protectionist and unilateral measures by some countries and resolved to collectively work towards enhancing confidence in international trade through dialogue and collaborations. 
 
He underlined that as developing countries and LDCs suffer consequential collateral damage due to trade conflicts, resolution of differences through dialogue between the parties should be promoted.
 
Endorsing India's commitment to the rule-based multilateral trading system, Mr Prabhu called for collective action for revitalising WTO without undermining its core principles of special and differential treatment, consensus building, inclusiveness and transparency.
 
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The Ministers recognised the importance of Agro-Food GVCs for enhancing global food security. Mr. Prabhu underlined the relevance of keeping in focus realisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 targets relating to removal of hunger, alleviation of poverty, empowerment of women, employment generation, without losing sight of the plight of millions of small and marginal farmers in developing countries and LDCs.
 
He also drew attention to the need for tackling non-tariff barriers in the form of SPS measures that are more trade distorting than tariffs. He urged G-20 to support the transfer of technology, research, promote agri-services and responsible investment in agribusinesses with an aim of encouraging greater value addition for MSMEs.
 
On the New Industrial Revolution, the Ministers acknowledged the central role of digital technologies. Mr Prabhu drew the attention to the need for minimising technology disruptions and promoting distributive gains for the collective good of all countries.
 
In this regard, he urged the G-20 to work towards closing gaps in the digital divide within and across nations through capacity building measures, technology adaptation and meaningful investments to give primacy to protection and promotion of domestic entrepreneurs with an aim to job creation for millions of youth. He underlined the need for a holistic approach to the NIR, one that is inclusive and development oriented.
 
Mr Prabhu held 24 bilateral meetings with his counterpart Ministers and Heads of delegation on the sidelines of the G-20 TMM with whom he exchanged views on ways to reform WTO and strengthen bilateral relations.
 
The G-20 TMM deliberations will feed into the G-20 Leaders Declaration which will be adopted at the G-20 Summit on 30 November – 1 December 2018 in Buenos Aires in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to participate.
 
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Trade tensions, rupee depress equity indices; banking stocks down

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Latest global trade protectionist measures, along with high crude oil prices and a depreciation in rupee's value, dragged the Indian equity market in the red for a second consecutive session on Tuesday.
 
Sector-wise, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in the interest sensitive stocks like banking, auto and capital goods.
 
Index-wise, the wider NSE Nifty50 provisionally closed at 11,278.90 points, lower by 98.85 points or 0.87 per cent from the previous close of 11,377.75 points.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 37,660.19 points, provisionally closed at 37,290.67 points, lower by 294.84 points or 0.78 per cent from the previous close of 37,585.51 points.
 
It touched a high of 37,745.44 points and a low of 37,242.85 during the day's trade.
 
"Carrying on from Monday, markets continued to dive on Tuesday to close in the red for the second consecutive session. The Nifty had in fact opened on a positive note, but selling soon resumed and pulled the index lower," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
 
"The weakness came on the back of rising global trade tensions after (US President Donald) Trump said he will impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, escalating the trade conflict."
 
According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services: "Selling pressure increased on the bourses due to spike in oil prices led by factors like implication of US sanction on Iran and supply constraints.
 
"Domestic triggers failed to add momentum despite ease in inflation, government policies to contain CAD and consolidation in PSUBs. This situation will ease once the global bond and currency market stabilise which is currently under pressure given the chaos over oil and Fed rate hike."
 
On the currency front, the Indian rupee closed at 72.98, weakening 47 paise from its previous close of 72.51 per greenback.
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,143.73 crore and domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 264.66 crore.
 
Sector-wise, only FMCG stocks on the BSE ended in the green, gaining 102.11 points. 
 
On the other hand, the S&P BSE banking index lost 510.20 points, the auto index was down 353.54 points and the capital goods ended 250.56 points lower from its previous close.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Hindustan Unilever, up 3.87 per cent at Rs 1,666.15; Yes Bank, up 1.43 per cent at Rs 323.15; Wipro, up 1.02 per cent at Rs 332.50; ONGC, up 0.93 per cent at Rs 173.35; and ITC, up 0.23 per cent at Rs 302.60 per share.
 
The losers were State Bank of India, down 4.06 per cent at Rs 274; Tata Motors, down 3.36 per cent at Rs 251.45; Bajaj Auto, down 2.84 at Rs 2,775.90; Axis Bank, down 2.81 per cent at Rs 608.45; Tata Motors(DVR),down 2.45 per cent at Rs 137.55 per share.
 
IANS
 

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Muzzafarnagar to get CNG, PNG supplies in 2019

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The public sector Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) today said it would implement a city gas distribution (CGD) project in Muzzafarnagar in 2019 with the aim of providing supplies of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG) in the district in the Uttar Pradesh.
 
The announcement in this regard was made by Muzzafarnagar Lok Sabha member Sanjiv Balyan at a function in the town today.
 
 
Mr. Kapil Dev Aggarwal, MLA and Mr. Rajeev Sharma, District Magistrate, Muzzafarnagar were present on the occasion.
 
Also present were Mr.  E. S. Ranganathan, Managing Director, IGL; Mr. Rajiv Sikka, Director (Commercial), IGL, industry representatives, prominent figures from the city and senior officials from the district administration and IGL, a press release from the company said.
 
IGL is the largest CNG distribution company of the country and it was authorized just a few ago back by Petroleum & Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) after the 9th round of bidding to lay CGD network in the geographical area comprising Muzzafarnagar, Shamli and parts of Meerut districts.
 
Mr. Ranganathan said the process of planning of the project has already started and a Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being prepared. He said IGL was aiming to start the supply of CNG in the city by setting up its first CNG filling station within a period of one year, subject to receipt of permissions from statutory authorities. He also announced the plans of IGL to bring the convenience of piped gas to the city and the plans to connect the first kitchen in the city with PNG supply within a year.
 
Subsequently, the project will be executed to provide a comfortable fuelling experience to the residents of the region. As per Minimum Work Programme (MWP) commitment given by IGL to PNGRB, there are plans to set up at least five CNG filling stations and provide PNG connections to over 10,500 domestic kitchens of the region within next two years. Simultaneously, various commercial outlets such as hotels, restaurants etc. along with the industrial units in the region will also be connected by pipeline network to provide convenience of PNG.
 
IGL, a joint venture of GAIL (India) Ltd and BPCL, currently distributes CNG and PNG in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Rewari.
 
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Global trade tensions dent rupee; closes at 72.98

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The latest global trade protectionist measures, along with high crude oil prices, dragged the Indian rupee to a fresh low of 72.98 per US dollar on Tuesday.
 
At 5 p. m., the rupee closed at 72.98 per greenback from its previous close of 72.51 per dollar. 
 
It had opened at 72.60 per US dollar at the Inter-Bank Foreign Exchange Market and remained range bound. 
 
However, the Indian currency's slide commenced from 4.45 p.m. onwards as it touched 72.96 breaching its previous intra-day record low of 72.91 made on September 12.
 
According to analysts, concerns over a rise in inflation rate, growing protectionism in global trade and an outflow of foreign funds from the country's equity market have had an adverse impact on the Indian currency.
 
IANS
 

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Equity indices end in red for second straight session

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The key Indian equity indices provisionally closed in the negative territory for the second successive day on Tuesday, with the S&P BSE Sensex losing close to 300 points.
 
The NSE Nifty50 also dropped nearly 100 points to end below the 11,300 mark, after global markets fell on the announcement of fresh US tariffs on Chinese imports.
 
Sector-wise, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking, auto and capital goods counters.
 
At 3.30 p.m., the wider NSE Nifty50 provisionally closed at 11,278.90 points, lower by 98.85 points or 0.87 per cent from the previous close of 11,377.75 points.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 38,027.81 points, provisionally closed at 37,290.67 points, lower by 294.84 points or 0.78 per cent from the previous close of 37,585.51 points.
 
It touched a high of 37,745.44 points and a low of 37,242.85 points during the day's trade.
 
IANS

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Indian equity indices open in green

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The key Indian equity market indices opened in positive territory on Tuesday.
 
Healthy buying activity was witnessed in healthcare, consumer durables, oil and gas stocks.
 
Globally, however, investor sentiments were subdued owing to the ongoing US-China trade tension, which limited the gains in the domestic market.
 
At 9.28 a.m., the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange, traded at 11,406.10 points, higher by 28.35 points or 0.25 per cent from its previous close of 11,377.75 points.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex which had opened at 37,660.19 points, traded at 37,691.56 points, higher by 106.05 points, or 0.28 per cent from its previous close of 37,585.51 points.
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 37,745.44 points and a low of 37,532.29 points.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Indian ride-sharing major Ola to launch services in New Zealand

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Indian ride-sharing major Ola said here today that it planned to launch its services in New Zealand soon.
 
"Ola ... plans to enter New Zealand to provide both drivers and passengers a fair and safe way to get around Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington," a statement from the company said.
 
Founded in 2011, Ola enables smart transportation to over 125 million users in India, Australia and the UK. Through its platform, Ola serves as many as a billion rides annually, it said.
 
The company said it had appointed Brian Dewil as Country Manager for New Zealand to built its presence locally.
 
"Brian is a proven business leader with over 15 years’ of experience working in the technology and start-up industry. He previously founded UrbanSherpa, a firm that disrupted the local courier market and, before his newly appointed role at Ola, he was the Co-Founder and Director of Horizon Robotics, where he implemented robotic technologies to reimagine the way physical goods are transported and delivered," the release said.
 
Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO at Ola, said, “We see a real opportunity in New Zealand to provide a fair alternative in the rideshare space for both customers and drivers. We  invested in understanding the New Zealand customer and devised the right strategy to meet their transport needs”
 
“We are the rideshare brand that cares and are looking forward to creating high quality transport experiences for both passengers and drivers in New Zealand," he said.
 
Ola’s planned foray into New Zealand follows its launch in Australia in February 2018 and the United Kingdom in August 2018. Today, Ola operates in seven major cities across Australia and has close to 50,000 registered drivers who have completed millions of rides, the release added.
 
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Govt. exempts interest on rupee denominated bonds from tax

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The Government has decided that interest payable by an Indian company or a business trust to a non-resident, including a foreign company, in respect of Rupee Denominated Bond issued outside India during the period from 17th September, 2018 to 31st March, 2019 shall be exempt from tax.
 
"Consequently, no tax shall be deducted on the payment of interest in respect of the said Bond under Section 194LC of the Act," an official press release has said.
 
"Legislative amendments in this regard shall be proposed in due course," it said.
 
The interest on such bonds issued outside India before the 1st of July, 2020, was earlier liable for concessional rate of tax of 5%. Consequently, Section 194LC of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (the Act) provides for the deduction of tax at a lower rate of five percent on the said interest payment.
 
The latest decision follows the review of the state of the economy on September 14 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, after that meeting, announced a multi-pronged strategy to contain the current account deficit (CAD) and augment the foreign exchange inflow. 
 
"In this background, Low Cost Foreign Borrowings through Off-shore Rupee Denominated Bond have been further incentivised to increase the foreign exchange inflow," the release added.
 
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Piyush Goyal inaugurates first ever India Tourism Mart 2018

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Union Minister for Railways and Coal Piyush Goyal inaugurated ITM 2018, the first-ever India Tourism Mart saying that unless the infrastructure and fundamentals are set up, India would not be able to come up as a well sought after tourist destination.
 
The India Tourism Mart is being organized by the Ministry of Tourism from September 16-18, in partnership with the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) and with the support of State /UT Governments.
 
Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons and his Morocco counterpart Mohamed Sajid were present at the function along with the Secretary, senior officials of Tourism Ministry and Chairman/members of FAITH besides delegates from India and across the world.
 
Mr Goyal, referring to the Tourism Ministry’s ambitious goal of US$100 billion foreign tourist arrival (FTA) receipts/year within 5 years, said the present government has been developing infrastructure including 24-hour power supply, promoting renewable energy forms and improving connectivity to the remotest destinations.
 
The Government’s cleanliness drive, the Swachhta Abhiyan, will also ensure India becoming a preferred destination for international tourists. Mentioning the income multiplier effect in tourism, the Minister said that the sector generates a number of employment opportunities in formal and informal sectors and can change the destiny of the country.
 
The Railway Minister added that the youth of the country can be entrepreneurs, service providers, interpreters etc. in the sector. "India, with its varied features, has tremendous potential and we just need to leverage it,” he added.
 
Mr Alphons announced that ITM will be an annual event hereafter in line with other International Tourism Marts and it will be held in the month of September. The Minister said India was so vast that there will be something new for everyone to see and experience in this country with its varied geography, culture, traditions, architectural marvels, religions.
 
Visiting the country has become easier with the new e-visa regime which is now open to 166 countries.
 
India Tourism Mart (ITM) is being held for the first time and the Tourism industry stakeholders are coming together for such a large scale event with Ministry’s support. FAITH is the apex organization of all the important trade and hospitality associations of the country with all the 10 major Tourist organizations like FHRAI, HAI, IATO being involved in this mega event and India Convention Promotion Board (ICPB) is coordinating the whole event. 
 
The objective of the event is to create an annual Global  Tourism Mart for India in line with major international travel marts being held in countries across the world. The Mart provides a platform for all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries to interact and transact business opportunities.
 
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The ITM 2018 has a participation of around 225 hosted international buyers and Media personnel across the world such as North America, West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, CIS countries etc. 
 
The international delegates from overseas markets will interact with Indian seller delegates and the buyers will include current buyers who are already marketing India as a tourist destination as well as potential buyers who are not marketing India as a tourist destination at present but have shown an interest in the country.
 
The event also provides an opportunity to the buyers to see the world-class tourism facilities available in the country such as Airports, Hotels, Tourist destinations, upcoming facilities,  MICE  facilities,  possibility in the field of adventure tourism and other niche products.
 
Around 225 stalls have been provided to the sellers to enable them to interact with the buyers.  These include pavilion for States & Union Territories to showcase their unique tourism destinations and products. The B2B meetings between buyer and seller delegates are being held during these 3 days.
 
The FAITH and State Governments is also offering a pre and post event FAM trips (Familiarization trips) for the buyer delegates from overseas.
 
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Petrol nears Rs 90/litre in Mumbai, over Rs 82 in Delhi

File photo of a petrol pump
File photo of a petrol pump
Domestic fuel prices continued to scale new heights on Monday, with the price of petrol nearing the psychological Rs 90 a litre-mark in Mumbai with the fuel selling at Rs 89.44 under the dynamic pricing regime.
 
As per rates released daily by state-run Indian Oil Corp, the depreciating rupee and expensive crude oil further pushed petrol and diesel to new record highs on Monday.
 
Petrol in Delhi, which is cheapest among the four metros due to lower taxes, crossed Rs 82 on Monday, rising to Rs 82.06 per litre, while it increased in Kolkata and Chennai to Rs 83.91 and Rs 85.31, respectively.
 
Similarly, diesel prices rose on Monday in Delhi and Kolkata to Rs 73.78 and Rs 75.63 per litre, respectively, and climbed to Rs 78 and Rs 78.33 per litre in Chennai and Mumbai, respectively. 
 
Fuel prices in the country have been rising almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 and have been on record levels for over two weeks now. 
 
Sector experts say a weak rupee and high excise duty are major factors for the rise in fuel prices. 
 
Inflationary risks along with broadly negative global cues depressed the Indian rupee to a new low of 72.91 against the US dollar.
 
Also, high global crude oil cost has become a major concern for the country, which imports over 80 per cent of its oil requirements. The UK Brent crude oil price hovers around $78 per barrel.
 
Since the start of the calendar year, the petrol price in Delhi has gone up by over 15 per cent from Rs 69.97 on January 1, 2018. The hike in diesel price has been even more steep. It has gone up by more than 22 per cent since January 1 when it cost Rs 59.70.
 
Last week, the West Bengal government reduced the excise on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre each. 
 
The Karnataka government announced on Monday that petrol and diesel will be cheaper by Rs 2 per litre each across the state from Tuesday following the reduction in cess on these fuels.
 
As per the country's pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the rupee.
 
IANS
 

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Centre proposes merger of Dena Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bank of Baroda

The government on Monday proposed the merger of three state-run banks - Dena Bank, Vijaya Bank and the Bank of Baroda - into an amalgamated entity and has directed their respective boards to consider the proposal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced.

Arun Jaitley (File photo: IANS)
Arun Jaitley (File photo: IANS)
The government on Monday proposed the merger of three state-run banks - Dena Bank, Vijaya Bank and the Bank of Baroda - into an amalgamated entity and has directed their respective boards to consider the proposal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced. 
 
This is the second such exercise in the last 18 months
 
"The Alternative Mechanism made the decision today and it has been proposed to the individual bank boards to take a decision. Boards would meet and after consultation take appropriate action," Jaitley said.
 
"This will hopefully create another mega bank which will be sustainable. The amalgamated entity would increase banking operations and its ability to go for further consolidation." 
 
In the previous such mega merger, five associate banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank became part of the state-run State Bank of India on April 1, 2017, making the country's largest lender among the world's top 50 banks.
 
Besides the Finance Minister, the Alternative Mechanism includes Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal.
 
Noting that one of the banks proposed in this merger was under the Reserve Bank of India's Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework on account of its massive accumulated non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, Jaitley said: "The consolidated entity's capacity to absorb a weaker bank guided our decision to propose this merger to the boards."
 
"No employee would face adverse service conditions due to the merger," he added. 
 
According to Finance Ministry officials here, the proposed merger would lead to the creation of the country's third largest banking entity in the country.
 
IANS
 

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Renovated Unit-2 of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station attains criticality

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The 220 MW second unit of Kakrapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS-2) attained criticality (initiation of controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction in the reactor) at 0222 hours today after completion of renovation and modernisation (R&M) works.
 
The R&M works included En Masse Coolant Channel Replacement (EMCCR), En Masse Feeder Replacement (EMFR) and other safety upgrades. 
 
"This task was completed about three and half months ahead of schedule," an official press release said here.
 
"In this endeavor, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Nuclear Fuel Complex (manufacturer of coolant channels), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and various vendors/contractors rose to the occasion for this achievement," it said.
 
According to the release, the approach to criticality was undertaken after meeting all the stipulated regulatory requirements. This will be followed by conduct of various tests, connection to the grid and increase in power level to full power as per laid down procedures and regulatory clearances.
 
KAPS, located in Surat district of Gujarat, comprises two units of indigenous 220 MW pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) (KAPS-1&2) which commenced commercial operation in 1993 and 1995, respectively.
 
Two more units of 700 MW PHWRs (KAPP-3&4) are under construction at the site.
 
NPCIL operates twenty two nuclear power reactors (including RAPS-1 of 100 MW owned by DAE) with a capacity of 6780 MW and has eight reactors with a capacity of 6200 MW under construction. Work has also been initiated on twelve more reactors (9000 MW) accorded administrative approval and financial sanction by the Government.
 
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Petrol, diesel to be cheaper by Rs 2 in Karnataka

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Petrol and diesel will be cheaper by Rs 2 per litre across Karnataka from Tuesday following a reduction in state cess, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said on Monday.
 
"The sales tax levied by the state on petrol and diesel is 32 per cent and 21 per cent respectively, which has been reduced by 3.25 per cent and 3.27 per cent respectively," the statement added.
 
"... the fuel price will thus decrease by Rs 2 per litre," the CMO tweeted.
 
Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy also announced the relief at a public event at Kalaburagi, about 620 km from here.
 
Petrol price in Bengaluru is Rs 84.74 per litre and diesel Rs 76.16 per litre, according to the Indian Oil Corp. The average prices of petrol and diesel across the state are Rs 84.80 and Rs 76.21 per litre respectively.
 
Bengaluru has lakhs of vehicles, including 45-50 lakh two-wheelers and 20-25 lakh cars and other four-wheelers. 
 
Andhra Pradesh had earlier announced reduction in petrol and diesel prices by Rs 2 per litre. Rajasthan reduced the fuel prices by around Rs 2.50 by cutting Value Added Tax by 4 per cent. West Bengal too had reduced the price by Re 1.
 
IANS
 

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Sensex plunges over 500 points on weak global cues

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The key Indian equity indices provisionally closed deep in the red on Monday, as the S&P BSE Sensex lost more than 500 points and the NSE Nifty50 slipped by around 140 points amidst negative global cues on concerns over the US-China trade war escalating.
 
Sector-wise, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking, consumer durables and auto counters.
 
At 3.30 p.m., the wider NSE Nifty50 provisionally closed at 11,377.75 points, lower by 137.45 points or 1.19 per cent from the previous close of 11,515.20 points.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 38,027.81 points, provisionally closed at 37,585.51 points, lower by 505.13 points or 1.33 per cent from the previous close of 38,090.64 points.
 
It touched a high of 38,027.81 points and a low of 37,548.93 points during the day's trade.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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BHEL's first 6,000 HP electric locomotive flagged off

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today expanded its footprint in the transportation segment with the flagging off of its first 6,000 HP electric locomotive (Type WAG-9H). 
 
The BHEL-manufactured locomotive was flagged off by Mr. Ghanshyam Singh, Member Traction, Railway Board, in the presence of Mr. Atul Sobti, Chairman & Managing Director, BHEL from the company’s Jhansi plant. 
 
Directors on the board of BHEL and senior officials from Indian Railways were also present on this occasion, a press release from the company said.
 
The Indian Railways have placed an order for 30 locomotives with BHEL, the release said.
 
This is the first electric locomotive equipped with state-of-the-art IGBT based 3-phase propulsion system with regenerative braking and air-conditioned cabin & water closet, to be manufactured by BHEL, it said.
 
"BHEL is fully geared up to cater to the growing need of Indian railways by offering solutions with latest technological advancements. BHEL has created a dedicated centre for research and development in transportation technology and manufacturing facilities at Bhopal, Jhansi & Bengaluru plants. The company has a dedicated loco manufacturing facility with a capacity to manufacture about 100 locos per year and has already supplied 360 mainline electric locomotives to Indian Railways.
 
"BHEL has a share of over 50% of railways requirement for electric propulsion equipment for rolling stock. The company  is continuously making efforts to develop high technology products and the country’s first ever air-conditioned AC EMU train for the Mumbai suburban region, with state-of-art IGBT based 3-phase drive propulsion equipment by BHEL. Recently, it has completed satisfactory operation of over 100,000 kilometres in the last 8 months and another 12 rakes are slated to be inducted in the next few months to enhance passenger comfort," the release added.
 

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Sensex tanks 400 points on weak global cues; Nifty down 100 points

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Weak global markets amid the US-China trade concerns plunged the key Indian equity indices on Monday afternoon, with the S&P BSE Sensex losing around 400 points so far.
 
The wider NSE Nifty50 also lost over 100 points during the intra-day trade. Among the sectors, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in banking, consumer durables and auto stocks. 
 
Globally, market sentiments were subdued on reports that the US might announce fresh tariffs on Chinese imports.
 
At 12.50 p.m., the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 11,410.00 points, lower by 105.20 points or 0.91 per cent from the previous close.
 
The BSE Sensex, which had opened at 38,027.81 points, traded at 37,680.58 points, lower by 410.06 points or 1.08 per cent from the previous close of 38,090.64 points.
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 38,027.81 points and a low of 37,597.05 points. 
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Tata Steel, Wipro, IndusInd Bank, Power Grid and Bharti Airtel, while the major losers were HDFC, NTPC, State Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Tata Motors (DVR).
 
IANS
 

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Global cues equity indices lower; banking stocks down

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Fears over escalation in global trade protectionist measures and broadly negative Asian markets dragged the key Indian equity indices lower during the morning trade session on Monday.
 
The session saw heavy selling pressure in banking, consumer durable, capital goods and automobile counters.
 
At 9.30 a.m., the Nifty50 at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 11,418.25 points, lower by 96.95 points or 0.84 per cent from its previous close.
 
The S&P BSE Sensex which had opened at 38,027.81 points, traded at 37,781.06 points, lower by 309.58 points or 0.81 per cent from its previous close of 38,090.64 points.
 
So far, it has touched an intra-day high of 38,027.81 points and low of 37,776.57 points.
 
On September 14 -- the previous trade session -- the NSE Nifty50 closed at 11,515.20 points, higher by 145.30 points or 1.28 per cent from its previous close of 11,369.90 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer S&P BSE Sensex had made gains. It closed at 38,090.64 points, higher by 372.68 points or 0.99 per cent from its previous close of 37,717.96 points.
 
IANS
 

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Fuel prices rise unabated, petrol nears Rs 90/litre in Mumbai

File photo of a petrol pump
File photo of a petrol pump
The rise in domestic fuel prices continued unabated on Sunday, with the price of petrol nearing the psychological Rs 90 a litre mark in Mumbai and the fuel selling at Rs 89.29 under the dynamic pricing regime.
 
As per rates released daily by state-run Indian Oil Corp, the depreciating rupee and expensive crude oil further pushed petrol and diesel to new record highs on Sunday.
 
Petrol in Delhi, which is cheapest among the four metros due to lower taxes, rose to Rs 81.91 per litre on Sunday while it increased in Kolkata and Chennai to Rs 83.76 and Rs 85.15 respectively.
 
Similarly, diesel prices rose on Sunday in Delhi and Kolkata to Rs 73.72 and Rs 75.57 per litre respectively and climbed to Rs 77.94 and Rs 78.26 per litre in Chennai and Mumbai respectively. 
 
Fuel prices in the country have been going up almost daily since August 1. They fell only once on August 13 and have been on record levels for nearly two weeks now. 
 
Sector experts say a weak rupee and high excise duty are major factors for the rise in fuel prices. 
 
Inflationary risks along with broadly negative global cues depressed the Indian rupee to a new low of 72.74 on Tuesday.
 
Also, high global crude oil cost has become a major concern for the country, which imports over 80 per cent of its oil requirements. The UK Brent crude oil price hovers around $78 per barrel.
 
Since the start of the calendar year, the petrol price in Delhi has gone up by 15.4 per cent from Rs 69.97 on January 1, 2018. The hike in diesel price has been even more steep. It has gone up by 22 per cent since January 1 when it cost Rs 59.70.
 
Earlier this week, the West Bengal government reduced the excise on petrol and diesel by Re 1 per litre each. 
 
As per the country's pricing mechanism, the domestic fuel prices depend upon the international fuel prices on a 15-day average and the value of the rupee.
 
IANS
 

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Government's measures to stop depreciation of rupee 'half-hearted': Chidambaram

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Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Saturday said the Narendra Modi government's five measures to stop further depreciation of the rupee and widening of the current account deficit (CAD) were "half-hearted and too late".
 
"Government's five 'measures' announced yesterday are half-hearted and too late. Because government was in denial," the former Finance Minister said on Twitter.
 
"The worsening of the CAD has been evident for several months; yet the government did nothing. The slide in CAD, the FPI outflow, the weakening rupee and the depletion of forex reserves were wake-up calls that were ignored," he added.
 
To stop further depreciation of the rupee and widening of CAD, the government on Friday took five measures and a broad policy decision to curb non-essential imports and increase exports.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, after holding a detailed discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the government is committed to maintain its fiscal deficit target even as it monitors the impact of external factors on the Indian economy.
 
"One broad policy decision was to address the issue of expanding current account deficit. The government will take necessary steps to cut down non-essential imports and increase exports," Jaitley told reporters after the high-level meeting.
 
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Petrol hits a record at Rs 89/litre in Mumbai

File photo of a petrol pump
File photo of a petrol pump
Fuel prices in the country hit a new benchmark on Saturday with the price of petrol in Mumbai touching Rs 89 per litre, for the first time ever.
 
It was priced at Rs 89.01 in the financial capital of the country, up from Rs 88.67 per litre on Friday, data on the Indian Oil Corp's website showed.
 
In the other key cities of Delhi and Chennai too, petrol prices climbed fresh highs of Rs 81.63 and Rs 84.85, against the previous levels of Rs 81.28 and Rs 84.49 per litre respectively.
 
Cost of the key fuel in the eastern city of Kolkata rose to Rs 83.49, from the Friday's level of Rs 83.14 per litre. The all time high in the city is Rs 83.75, recorded on Tuesday, September 11.
 
The recent surge in transportation fuel prices is largely attributed to high crude oil prices and a falling rupee. A weak rupee against the dollar makes the import of crude oil expensive.
 
The price of Brent crude oil is currently over $78 per barrel.
 
Cost of the other transportation fuel, diesel also increased on Saturday. In Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai touching fresh record levels of Rs 73.54, Rs 78.07 and Rs 77.74 per litre, against the previous levels of Rs 73.30, Rs 77.82 and Rs 77.49 per litre.
 
In Kolkata, it is 43 paise short of the record high price of Rs 75.82, hit on Tuesday. Diesel, in the West Bengal capital was priced at Rs 75.39 on Saturday, up from previous level of Rs 75.15 per litre.
 
IANS
 

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Government moves to rein in current account deficit, rupee fall

To stop further depreciation of rupee and widening of current account deficit (CAD), the government on Friday took five measures and a broad policy decision to curb non-essential imports and increase exports.

 
Govt. moves to stop depreciation of rupee, widening of CAD
 
 
To stop further depreciation of rupee and widening of current account deficit (CAD), the government on Friday took five measures and a broad policy decision to curb non-essential imports and increase exports.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, after holding a detailed discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the government is committed to maintain its fiscal deficit target even as it monitors the impact of external factors on the Indian economy.
 
"One broad policy decision was to address the issue of expanding current account deficit. The government will take necessary steps to cut down non-essential imports and increase exports," Jaitley told reporters after the high-level meeting.
 
The meeting was attended by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel and senior officers from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Finance Ministry and the RBI. 
 
"The non-essential import items would be decided in consultation with various ministries and will be announced as and when the decisions are taken in the next few days."
 
Jaitley said policy decisions by the US increased inflow of dollar in the US economy compared to other economies. The government is monitoring the impact of external factors like crude oil prices and trade wars on India despite its strong fundamentals.
 
"Due to these two factors our current account deficit has increased. We have to face this challenge," he said.
 
India's current account deficit widened to $15.8 billion, about 2.4 per cent of the country's GDP in the first quarter of this fiscal as against $15 billion in the year-ago quarter.
 
Jaitley said while other suggestions from both RBI Governor Patel and Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg will be considered in the days to come, some issues need immediate action.
 
"The aim of these five immediate decisions is to attract more foreign currency to India as we try to control the current account deficit," he said. 
 
He said the mandatory hedging condition for infrastructure loans related to External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) will be reviewed.
 
In another move, the government has decided to allow manufacturing sector entities to avail ECBs up to $50 million with a minimum maturity of one year, instead of three years previously, according to him.
 
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On measures related to Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) and debt, Jaitley said the authority concerned will review the removal of exposure limit of 20 per cent of FPI's corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate group (company and related entities) and 50 per cent of any issue of corporate bonds.
 
The Finance Minister also announced two crucial decisions related to Masala bonds. These are bonds issued outside India but denominated in Indian rupees rather than the local currency.
 
"There will be exemptions from withholding tax for issuance done in this year, i.e., up to March 31, 2019. Also, there will be removal of restrictions on Indian banks' market making in Masala bonds, including restrictions on underwriting of such bonds," he said.
 
During the meeting, RBI Governor made a detailed presentation on world's economic scenario and external factors that can impact Indian economy. He said India's growth rate compared to other economies is very high and its inflation is in a moderate range.
 
"The government and Finance Ministry's top priority is to maintain the fiscal deficit and we are trying to maintain it and we are confident we will be able to maintain it," assured Jaitley. 
 
The country's fiscal deficit in the first four months of 2018-19 at Rs 5.40 lakh crore has already touched 86.5 per cent of the full year's target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore.
 
Economic Affairs Secretary Garg, who was present in the meeting, said no domestic measures on oil were discussed. 
 
IANS
 

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Ashok Leyland wins order for 200 single decker buses in Bangladesh

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Automobile manufacturer Ashok Leyland, the flagship of the Hinduja Group, today said it had won another order from Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) for the supply of 200 single decker air-conditioned buses.
 
The order includes Intercity AC buses as well as City AC buses, a press release from the company said.
 
These Completely Built-Up (CBU) units for BRTC (Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation) will be procured against a tender under Indian Line of Credit, the release said.
 
Announcing the order win, Mr. Vinod K. Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said, "We continue to serve the Bangladesh market and this repeat order, after the double-decker bus order, is a testament of the trust they have in our brand. Bangladesh continues to be one of our most important export markets. And it will continue to play a key role in our strategy of increasing our export share in total revenue.”
 
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India's YoY exports up 19.21% in August

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India's merchandise exports rose by 19.21 per cent in August to $27.84 billion from $23.36 billion during the corresponding month of last year, official data showed on Friday.
 
According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, organic and inorganic chemicals and drugs and pharmaceuticals showed a high export growth during the month under review.
 
"Cumulative value of exports for the period April-August 2018-19 was $136.09 billion as against $117.19 billion during the period April-August 2017-18, registering a positive growth of 16.13 per cent in dollar terms," the ministry said in a statement.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Rupee recovery, lower inflation push key equity indices higher

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A recovery in the Indian rupee's value along with broadly positive global cues and a slower rise in wholesale price inflation for August pushed the Indian equity indices higher on Friday.
 
Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex was up by 0.99 per cent and the NSE's Nifty5O ended 1.28 per cent up from its previous close.
 
Index-wise, the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 11,515.20 points, higher by 145.30 points or 1.28 per cent from its previous close of 11,369.90 points. 
 
The barometer S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 37,939.29 points, closed at 38,090.64 points, higher by 372.68 points or 0.99 per cent from its previous close of 37,717.96 points.
 
It touched an intra-day high of 38,125.62 points and a low of 37,859.52 points.
 
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE Mid-cap rose by 1.62 per cent and the S&P BSE Small-cap ended 1.38 per cent higher from its previous close.
 
The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,811 advances against 850 declines. The total number of stocks traded on the exchange was 2,831, with 170 ending unchanged.
 
"The gains came on the back of positive global cues. The sentiment was also buoyed after data showed inflation eased in August, thereby increasing the likelihood that the RBI will not increase interest rates in October," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
 
According to Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services: "Ease in inflation and recovery in rupee added optimism in the market."
 
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"Stability in yield and rupee will be crucial for the market momentum while investors have continued to stay cautious due to global triggers. The global peers also traded on a positive note in expectation of ease in trade tensions between US and China. Any redressal in tensions will provide enough headroom for the domestic market."
 
On the currency front, the Indian rupee closed at 71.85, recovering 34 paise from its previous close of 72.19 per greenback.
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth Rs 1,090.56 crore and domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 115.14 crore.
 
Sector-wise, all the indices closed in the green. The S&P BSE consumer durables index gained 458.43 points, the banking index gained 363.38 points and the metal index was up by 311.52 points from its previous close.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Vedanta, up 5.25 per cent at Rs 235.50; Power Grid, up 3.57 per cent at Rs 200.10; Asian Paints, up 3.04 per cent at Rs 1,331; NTPC, up 3 per cent at Rs 175; and Yes Bank, up 2.75 per cent at Rs 323.10 per share.
 
The losers were Coal India, down 1.42 per cent at Rs 277.30; Infosys, down 1.01 per cent at Rs 735.20 per share.
 
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