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Tuesday,18-January-2022

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Fuel prices: Mumbai Congress protest near Nirmala’s program venue

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The Mumbai Congress on Sunday staged a noisy protest flaying the rising fuel prices and runaway inflation which has burdened the masses owing to the policies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre.

The protest was held near the Swaminarayan Temple in Dadar where Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrived to address Mumbai’s corporate, business leaders, industrialists and industry associations first time after presenting the Union Budget 2021-2022.

Leading the demonstrators comprising party leaders, ministers, legislators and ward heads, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) President Bhai Jagtap said that in the 65 years of Congress rule at the centre, the prices of petrol had come up to only Rs 65, but in just seven years, the BJP allowed it to shoot up to Rs 94 now.

Similarly, cooking gas prices which were barely Rs 390 in 2014 have not nearly double to Rs 719, destroying domestic budgets and playing havoc with the common people, he said.

Jagtap and other leaders requested the Mumbai Police to permit a five-member delegation to meet Sitharaman to discuss the budget, but they were refused.

“The BJP claims this budget is very good But its good only for the corporates and industrial houses It’s a disaster for the common Indian,” Jagtap said.

Congress Working President Charan Singh Sapra alleged that the ‘arth-mantri’s (finance minister’s) budget was a ‘vyarth-budget’ (waste) which was only intended for the rich.

Other prominent leaders who joined the agitation included Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad, former minister Arif Naseem Khan, ex-city president Eknath Gaikwad, party leaders Bhushan Patil, Ajanta Yadav, Sandesh Kondwilkar, Ashok Jadhav and hundreds of other activists from across Mumbai.

Sitharaman addressed her first post-budget meeting of corporate leaders and industry associations in the country’s commercial capital on the salient aspects of this year’s Budget and is later likely to interact with the media.

Business

Tata Motors to raise passenger vehicle prices

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Automobile manufacturer Tata Motors will marginally increase the price of its passenger vehicles from Wednesday (January 19).

According to the company, there will be an average increase of 0.9 per cent, depending on the variant and model.

“At the same time, the company has also taken a reduction of up to Rs 10,000 on specific variants, in response to feedback from customers.

“While the company is absorbing a significant portion of the increased costs, the steep rise in overall input costs has compelled it to pass on some proportion through this minimal price hike.”

Additionally, the company has decided to offer ‘price protection’ on Tata cars booked on or before January 18.

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GST hike deferment, PLI make textile stocks’ attractive, several Cos shares double

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Shares in textile business have witnessed a consistent uptick in the recent months due to various policy measures and on hopes of a firm outlook for the sector going ahead.

Besides, the GST council’s recent move to defer rate hike on textiles has buoyed investors’ sentiment.

In its latest GST council meeting, it was unanimously decided to defer a hike in rates on textiles from 5 per cent to 12 per cent, which was to come into effect from January 1.

The matter will be discussed again in the next council meeting.

The deferment came as several states flagged higher tax rates on textile products to be put on hold.

The decision by the Council gave a breathing space to the industry.

Accordingly, stocks of several textile firms zoomed.

Till date, shares of Bhilwara Spinners, Nitin Spinners and Nahar Spinning Mills have seen a sharp rally.

The shares of Bhilwara Spinners, Nitin Spinners and Nahar Spinning Mills companies rose 252 per cent, 316 per cent, 711 per cent, respectively, over the past one-year period.

Notably, much of the rally in the textile stocks was due Centre’s production-linked incentive (PLI) schemes in the key manufacturing sectors, which included the textiles sector.

On September 8, 2021, the Union Cabinet had cleared the PLI scheme for the textile sector with an estimated budget outlay of Rs 10,683 crore.

The Centre, through the scheme, aims to provide a big fillip to the man-made fibres and technical textiles segments by promoting industries that invest in the production of some select textile categories.

Consequently, shares Of companies such as Alok Industries rose 40 per cent, Trident 333 per cent, KPR Mill 315 per cent, Arvind 195 per cent, Welspun India 134 per cent, Gokaldas Exports 344 per cent, Lux Industries 147 per cent, Filatex India 109 per cent, and Ambika Cotton Mills 105 per cent during the period.

In addition, analysts said that the stock price movement is likely to continue in the near future.

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Ford India closure: Compensation talks on with workers

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A couple of rounds of talks on the compensation to be paid to the workers have been held between the representatives of Ford India Private Ltd’s workers and the management, said a worker union leader.

He said the company management wants to conclude the talks and arrive at a settlement by February 2022.

“Couple of rounds of talks have been held with the workers in Chennai. We have given our charter of demands and the management said it has to be negotiated,” the Chennai plant union official told IANS preferring anonymity.

According to him, talks with the workers in the Gujarat plant have also started.

“We have asked for compensation for completed and remaining years of service. The company is not agreeable for the same. The management has not indicated as to the compensation they are willing to pay to the workers,” the union official said.

Majority of the workers are young and have about 25 years of service remaining before they retire and the compensation calculated on that basis will be a sizeable sum, is the management’s view.

However, the parent company will be infusing funds in dollars and as per the exchange rate between dollar and the rupee the outgo for Ford India will not be much, the worker leader said.

Last September, Ford India announced its decision to wind down vehicle assembly in Sanand in Gujarat by the fourth quarter of 2021, and vehicle and engine manufacturing in Chennai by the second quarter of 2022.

Ford India has four plants in the country — vehicle and engine plants in Chennai and Sanand.

Ford’s ‘quit India’ decision will result in an uncertain future for about 5,300 employees — workers and staff, the officials said last year.

The Chennai plant has about 2,700 associates (permanent workers) and about 600 staff.

“In Sanand, the number of workers will be about 2,000,” Sanand workers’ union General Secretary Nayan Kateshiya had told IANS.

Ford India had said more than 500 employees at the Sanand engine plant, which produces engines for export, and about 100 employees supporting parts distribution and customer service, also will continue to support Ford’s business in India.

According to Ford India, about 4,000 employees are expected to be affected by its decision.

The workers at Ford India want the prospective buyer of the car plants to hire them.

Meanwhile, Ford India has declared a holiday for majority workers till January 27.

About 100-200 workers have been asked to report for work to make the spares for the aftermarket, the union leader said.

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