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Friday,03-December-2021

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Divestment not on the basis of profit or loss: Government

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Anurag-Thakur

Amid questions raised over stake sale in profit-making PSUs, the government on Tuesday said in Rajya Sabha that the criteria for disinvestment were not profit or loss.

In oral reply to a question from Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur said that the criteria for disinvestment have been fixed by Niti Aayog and it is not on the basis of profit or loss.

The Minister said that the criteria have been decided on the basis of national security, sovereign functions, market imperfections and public purpose.

“The government follows the policy of disinvestment, strategic disinvestment of CPSEs, which are not in priority sector,” Thakur said in the Upper House.

The Modi government has given in-principle approval for disinvestment of about 28 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) which include profit-making companies like fuel refiner and retailer BPCL and Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR).

As per the disinvestment plan, the government has decided to sell majority stake along with management control in various companies.

Going whole hog on disinvestment, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month approved sale of government’s 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL.

Strategic disinvestment of Shipping Corporation of India Ltd along with transfer of management control to a strategic buyer was also cleared with the CCEA approving stake sale of 63.75 per cent in the company.

Besides, employees unions of sale-bound CPSEs, some of the opposition leaders have expressed reservations over mega disinvestment exercise especially those of profit-making companies.

The government has defended the move saying disinvestment would unlock resources of the CPSEs which would be used to finance the social sector and developmental programmes benefiting the public. Further, the unlocked resources would form part of the budget and the usage would come to scrutiny of the public.

Business

India’s Nov exports rise over 26%, imports over 57%

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India’s merchandise exports in November rose to $29.88 billion, higher by 26.49 per cent on a year-on-year basis, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.

Exports in November 2020 stood at $23.62 billion.

According to the data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, last month’s exports rose by 15.93 per cent over November 2019.

“Value of non-petroleum exports in November 2021 was $26.06 billion, registering a positive growth of 18.1 per cent over non-petroleum exports of $22.06 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 18.69 per cent over non-petroleum exports of $21.95 billion in November 2019.”

The value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports rose to $23.66 billion, registering a positive growth of 22.16 per cent over November 2020.

As per the data, India’s merchandise imports last month increased by 57.18 per cent to $53.15 billion over $33.81 billion in November 2020 and 37.96 per cent over $38.52 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2019.

“Value of non-petroleum imports was $38.47 billion in November 2021 with a positive growth of 39.9 per cent over non-petroleum imports of $27.5 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 40.12 per cent over non-petroleum imports of $27.45 billion in November 2019.”

“Value of non-oil, non-GJ (gold, silver & Precious metals) imports was $32.02 billion in November 2021 with a positive growth of 41.53 per cent over non-oil and non-GJ imports of $22.63 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 42.72 per cent over non-oil and non-GJ imports of $22.44 billion in November 2019.”

Consequently, India’s trade deficit last month widened by 128.30 per cent YoY to $23.27 billion from $10.19 billion while it increased by 82.48 per cent when compared to $12.75 billion reported for November 2019.

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Fuel prices remain static barring Delhi

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Barring Delhi, the prices of diesel and petrol remained unchanged across major Indian cities on Thursday.

Accordingly, diesel and petrol prices in Delhi stood at Rs 86.67 per litre and Rs 95.41 per litre, respectively.

Notably, prices of petrol in Delhi had been static at Rs 103.97 per litre since the past one month.

Prices have fallen in Delhi as it reduced the value added tax on the fuel from 30 per cent to 19.40 per cent. This decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday.

In the financial capital Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at Rs 109.98 and Rs 94.14 respectively.

Prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 104.67 and Rs 89.79 respectively.

In Chennai too, the prices of the two auto fuels remained constant at Rs 101.40 and Rs 91.43 respectively.

Across the country as well, the prices largely remained unchanged on Thursday, but the retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.

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Equity indices extend gains, Power Grid top gainer

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) extended gains from the previous session in early trade on Thursday.

At 9.30 a.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 57,992 points, up 0.5 per cent.

It opened at 57,781 points from the previous close of 57,684 points.

Till now it touched a low of 57,680 points.

Besides, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 17,183 points after closing at 17,166 on Wednesday.

It traded at 17,264 points, up 0.6 per cent during the early-morning trade session.

Power Grid, Adani Green, BPCL, Mahindra and Mahindra, and IOCL were some of the top gainers during the early trade, the exchange data showed.

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