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International flights to remain suspended till January 31, 2021



Centre on Wednesday extended the suspension of scheduled commercial international flight operations to and from India till January 31.

“This restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation),” an official statement said on Wednesday.

“However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on selected routes by the competent authority on a case to case basis,” it added.

At present, India has entered into ‘Air Bubble’ agreements with several countries.

This type of arrangement allows nationals of both the countries to travel in either direction.

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19.

Domestic flight services, however, resumed from May 25.


Petrol and diesel price unchanged for a week




Fuel prices in the country remained unchanged on Thursday as oil marketing companies decided to go on a pause mode and analyse the global developments on oil prices before effecting a revision.

Accordingly, pump price of petrol and diesel remained at Rs 90.40 a litre and Rs 80.73 a litre respectively, in Delhi.

The price of the two auto fuels had fallen by 16 paisa and 14 paisa per litre respectively last week on Thursday after a 15 day break when OMCs kept its prices static.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel price remained unchanged on Thursday but its retail levels varied depending on the level of local levies on respective states.

Premium petrol, however, continues to remain over Rs 100 a litre in Mumbai and several other cities across the country.

The OMCs went on price cut for the first time this year on two consecutive days – March 24 and 25 after keeping oil prices steady for past 24 days.

It again reduced the price on March 30.

Thereafter, fuel prices have remained unchanged for past 15 days before falling again on April 15.

In all, petrol prices have fallen by 77 paisa per litre while diesel by 74 paisa per litre in 2021 so far.

Earlier, petrol and diesel prices increased 26 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.46 and Rs 7.60 per litre, respectively, so far this year.

With global crude prices at around $ 65 a barrel mark, OMCs may have revise fuel prices upwards again if there is any further firming up. OMCs benchmark retail fuel prices to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products’ prices and dollar exchange rate.

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Vi Business Plus introduces new mobility offerings for enterprises




Vi Business, the enterprise arm of Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), has introduced new post-paid plans designed for businesses and working professionals.

Vi Business Plus is a mobility solution, which enables mobile workforce to connect, communicate, collaborate and do a lot more with their post-paid plans.

Starting at Rs 299, Vi Business Plus enables enterprises, small businesses, and their workforce more flexibility to connect in an efficient and secure manner, no matter where they operate from.

Going beyond voice and data, Vi Business Plans offer an array of value added benefits such as Mobile Security, Location Tracking, Data Pooling and Entertainment.

The latest post-paid offering from Vi Business comes at a time when businesses – particularly SMEs and Start-ups – are adapting to hybrid ways of working and are looking for connectivity solutions that are affordable, convenient and secure.

Commenting on the launch of Vi Business Plus, Abhijit Kishore, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited, said: “Vi Business is focused at enabling digital transformation for enterprises, SMEs and start-ups.

Flexible, secure and convenient mobility solutions have become a need of the hour for organisations and entrepreneurs alike. Vi Business Plus addresses the genuine business concerns of data security, employee safety & well being.”

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P&G commissions first in-house solar plant in India




Procter & Gamble’s manufacturing site in Hyderabad became its first site in India to house a solar plant.

This is P&G’s only the fifth manufacturing site globally to commission in-house solar plant. Spread over 16,000 square meters and comprising nearly 3,000 panels, the in-house solar plant has a capacity of one Megawatt clean energy production and will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by an estimated 1,030 tonnes annually.

According to Sachin Sharma, Plant Head, Hyderabad manufacturing site, P&G India, environmental sustainability is core to the company operations.

“Increasing our use of renewable electricity and improving energy efficiencies is a critical part of our sustainability journey. Therefore, we are taking a more deliberate approach to develop and adopt more efficient ways to operate. By commissioning our new in-house solar plant, we are making strides to advance progress against these goals.”

He pointed out that all sites of Procter & Gamble in India are zero manufacturing waste to landfill. In 2020, the company achieved 100 per cent recycling of multi-layered plastic waste.

“We are committed to reducing our footprint and are striving for more circular approaches in our supply chain. We are building partnerships with external organisations, in India, like Circulate Capital, Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and waste management organisations to find sustainable business solutions,” he said.

In 2019, P&G announced vGROWEnvironmental Sustainability Fund of Rs 200 crore to invest in sustainable solutions with partners and suppliers.

The Hyderabad site is P&G’s largest manufacturing plant in India focused on producing its fabric care brands Ariel and Tide, personal care brand Gillette and baby care brand Pampers.

P&G says as the focus on clean energy has been a key action area for the Telangana government, the company is taking a more deliberate approach to develop and adopt more efficient ways to operate.

According to a recent report by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Telangana has exceeded renewable energy target.

The installed capacity in 2017 in Telangana was 1,286.98 MW and it touched 3,291.25 MW in 2018, moved up to 3,592.09 MW in 2019 and then 3,620.75 MW in 2020.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad-based Freyr Energy has announced an equity investment of Rs 18 crore from Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures, Schneider Electric Energy Access Asia and C4D Partners.

Freyr Energy is one of India’s leading solar rooftop companies that is using technology to change the way homeowners and MSME’s transition to solar.

The company, which had raised Rs 27 crore in 2018, has so far installed about 30 MW of rooftop solar systems in over 1,700 installations across 22 states in India.

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