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Fueling Inflation: Petrol, diesel prices set to rise as Crude to range around $95-125

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Hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, along with sustained demand, is expected to keep global crude oil prices in the range of $95-to-$125 per barrel in the short term.

Consequently, the geo-political crisis-led global hike in crude oil prices is expected to push India’s domestic prices of petrol and diesel by Rs 15-22 per litre.

It is widely expected that the OMCs will revise the current prices on or after March 7, which is the last day of voting in the ongoing state assembly elections.

However, an excise duty cut may dampen the impact on petrol and diesel prices to an extent, but not entirely.

At present, India imports 85 per cent of its crude oil needs.

Besides, the cascading effect of higher fuel cost will trigger a general inflationary trend.

Already, India’s main inflation gauge — Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which denotes retail inflation, has crossed the target range of the Reserve Bank of India in January.

The rise was blamed on high commodities costs.

As per industry calculations, a 10 per cent rise in crude oil prices adds nearly about 10 basis points in CPI inflation.

Lately, the crisis as well as fears of lower supplies have pushed Brent crude oil price to 10-year-high level of nearly $120 per barrel.

On Friday, the Brent-indexed crude oil stood at $113.76 per barrel from a 10-year high of $119.84 per barrel a day before.

Currently, Russia is the third largest producer of crude oil in the world.

It is feared that sanctions against Russia will curtail global supplies and stifle growth.

“The fear of lower supplies with sanctions on Russia has weighed on upcoming supply from Iran. Crude oil prices may keep form trading range next week capping upside at $130 and support at $95 per barrel,” said Tapan Patel, Senior Analyst (Commodities), HDFC Securities.

“The higher oil prices has raised market expectations that govt of India may hike fuel prices post UP elections, expecting rise by Rs 10-15 per litre.”

Kshitij Purohit, Lead of Commodities and Currencies CapitalVia Global Research, said: “Brent Oil has challenged the $120 mark, but we are ready for a retracement at this moment.

“For the following week, it could trade in the $117 to $106 range.”

In addition, IIFL Securities VP, Research, Anuj Gupta said: “We expect the crude oil prices to range from $108 to $116 per barrel. Some price correction may take place on the back of positive outcome on the Iran nuclear deal.

“However, any escalations in tensions will push crude prices higher.”

Business

Google Play introduces UPI Autopay payment in India

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Google announced on Tuesday that it is introducing UPI Autopay as a payment option for subscription-based purchases on Google Play in India.

Introduced under UPI 2.0 by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), UPI Autopay helps customers make recurring payments using any UPI application that supports the feature.

“With the introduction of UPI Autopay on the platform, we aim to extend the convenience of UPI to subscription-based purchases, helping many more people access helpful and delightful services – while enabling local developers to grow their subscription-based businesses on Google Play,” Saurabh Agarwal, Head of Google Play Retail & Payments Activation – India, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand said in a statement.

Moreover, UPI Autopay makes setting up subscriptions easy.

Users need to simply tap on the payment method in the cart, select “Pay with UPI,” and then approve the purchase in their supported UPI app after selecting a subscription plan to purchase.

Google Play helps consumers transact safely and seamlessly in more than 170 markets, according to the report.

Also, the platform supports over 300 local payment methods in over 60 countries, removing complexities associated with finding and integrating local payments.

UPI is one such payment option, introduced on the Play Store in India in 2019.

In India, UPI has transformed the mobile payment framework, and on Google Play as well, many people are enjoying and using apps that take advantage of UPI-based transactions, the statement added.

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Invest Karnataka 2022 paved way for Rs 9.82 lakh cr investment: CM Bommai

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced at the concluding ceremony of the 3-day Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Bengaluru that “investments totaling about Rs 9.82 lakh have been committed in diverse sectors in the state.” Bommai thanked the participants in the event and investors.

Addressing the gathering, the CM said, “This GIM is different from other such Investor Meets as this has been organised during challenging times and has succeeded in showing us the way forward. What Karnataka thinks today, India thinks tomorrow. We will work with the investors shoulder to shoulder to make all these investments fructify on the ground.”

Thanking all the investors and delegates who participated in the GIM 2022, Karnataka Large and Medium Industries Minister, Murugesh Nirani, said “Invest Karnataka has laid a strong foundation for the development of Karnataka in the next five years. I am happy that we have met the core objective of this GIM, which is to bring in investments in diverse sectors and create jobs, and take industries beyond Bengaluru.”

The valedictory session was also attended by Bhagwanth Khuba, Union Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy, Chemicals & Fertilizers.

Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually on Wednesday, the event culminated on Friday with the valedictory session in which Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai re-assured investors from all across the world of sustained support by his government.

Among top industrialists, Chairman of Jindal Group, Sajjan Jindal; Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd, Vikram S. Kirloskar; Chairman, Wipro, Rishad Premji; Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, Rajan Bharti Mittal; CEO, Adani Ports and SEZ, Karan Adani and MD, Sterlite Power, Pratik Agarwal shared their experience in Karnataka and expressed continued interest in the state.

The Global Investors Meet witnessed 30+ immersive sessions spread across three days. These sessions were a mix of innovative formats such as panel discussions, fireside chats, and TED-style talks.

In addition to the speaker sessions, a number of networking events, cultural performances, business exhibitions (with 300+ exhibitors), and country sessions ran parallelly across the 3 days. The country sessions were hosted by partner countries — France, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

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Unfortunately, there is no choice: Musk on Twitter layoffs

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Elon Musk on Saturday said that there is no choice other than brutally firing half of Twitter’s workforce as the company is losing over $4 million a day.

After axing nearly 3,800 employees across the globe, including in India, the new Twitter CEO said that he has given three months of severance to everyone who has been asked to go.

“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day,” Musk tweeted.

“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50 per cent more than legally required,” he added.

Musk has laid off people across the departments at Twitter, eliminating several teams across the globe.

He also said that Twitter has seen a massive drop in revenue as activist groups are putting undue pressure on its advertisers.

“Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged. In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline below our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press,” he posted.

“Twitter will not censor accurate information about anything,” said Musk.

On charging $8 for the Blue subscription service, he said: “Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8.”

The company lost $270 million in the April-June period after revenue slipped 1 per cent to $1.18 billion, reflecting advertising industry headwinds.

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