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Pandemic pain: Fuel prices rose over Rs 20/ltr in FY21, by Rs 10 this yr




You must be feeling the pain of rising fuel prices after it hit the century mark across the country last month.

But, the rise has not been sudden and the pain has been consistent throughout the last financial year and this year too, taking the pump prices of petrol and diesel to unprecedented levels not seen before, even during the big surge in global oil during 2010-14 period when crude prices remained largely above $100 a barrel.

A close look at the official data provided by Petroleum Planning and Analyses Cell reveals that petrol prices (in the national capital) rose by a whopping Rs 20.97 per litre between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 in FY21, the highest ever levels to be recorded so far.

Petrol was priced at Rs 69.59 a litre at the beginning of FY21 on April 1 last year and it was priced at Rs 90.56 a litre on March 31 year. This is a growth of 30.13 per cent in FY21.

The story of price hike doesn’t end in the last fiscal. It has continued well into FY22, albeit at a much sharper pace. In the three and half months of current fiscal, petrol prices have already risen by Rs 10.63 paise a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 90.56 a litre on April 1 to Rs 101.19 on July 14 in Delhi. This is already a growth of 11.73 per cent.

In comparison to petrol, diesel price rise has been less sharper. One reason for this has been VAT cuts effected by several state governments to keep the price rise of this transport fuel under some manageable levels. Also, oil marketing companies have gone soft on diesel price rise lately, reducing the quantum of hike compared to petrol and in fact cutting the price of the fuel marginally on Monday, the first time in several months.

With regard to diesel prices, in FY21 the retail price of the fuel rose by Rs 18.58 per litre from Rs 62.29 a litre on April 1, 2020 to Rs 80.87 a litre on March 31, 2021, a growth of 29.83 per cent in Delhi.

The rise of diesel has been sharper in FY21 in Mumbai where it rose by Rs 21.75 per litre from Rs 66.21 a litre last year to Rs 87.96 a litre this year March end.

In the current fiscal, diesel rates have risen by Rs 8.85 in Delhi from Rs 80.87 on April 1 to Rs 89.72 now. In Mumbai, the fuel has risen by Rs 9.33 per litre to Rs 97.29 a litre now. The fuel is most expensive in Mumbai among all the metros.

The story of fuel price hike over the last five quarters is even harsher in states such as Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra where local duties on petrol and diesel are the highest in the country.

“The fuel price rise in FY21 has been unprecedented as the only reason that can be cited is the high level of taxes imposed by the Centre on petrol and diesel in May last year to mobilise additional revenue for Covid relief measures. This is after global oil prices have firmed up in the last one year but is still far off from 2012-13 level of over $100 a barrel when fuel prices were just over Rs 70 a litre,” said an oil sector expert not willing to be quoted.

Global crude is priced just above $75 a barrel now to take fuel prices to historic high levels. A look at fuel price in 2012 brings out the contrast as the crude in September that year touched over $110 a barrel, still petrol prices hovered around Rs 70 a litre while diesel was close to Rs 50 a litre.

With crude expected to remain moderately firm over next few months, relief to consumers from higher fuel prices could only be expected when government decides to cut tax rates. However, senior finance ministry functionaries have indicated that tax cut is not on the table as of now and they were hoping that crude prices itself would soften as more oil is pumped by major producers. This could keep fuel over the century mark for some time to come.


Bull-run: Sensex crosses 60k-mark; realty stocks rally





 India’s benchmark equity index S&P BSE Sensex crossed the 60,000-mark milestone on Friday. It took 246 days to accumulate the last 10,000 points.

The 30-scrip sensitive index crossed the milestone just after the pre-open session on the back of a rally driven by large caps with many index heavyweights touching their respective highs.

The Sensex opened at 60,158.76 points from its previous close of 59,885.36 points. It took only 42 days to gain the last 5,000 points.

At 12.10 p.m. the Sensex traded at 60,127.50 points, higher by 242.14 points or 0.40 per cent from its previous close.

The NSE Nifty50 traded above the 17,900 points-mark during the pre-noon session. It opened at 17,897.45 points from its previous close of 17,822.95. The Nifty touched a record intraday high of 17,927.20 points.

Sector-wise, Realty, IT, Media and Telecom indices were the best performers since May 18, 2021.

Auto, pharma and metal indices have risen the least.

Amongst BSE 200 stocks, JSW Energy, Mindtree, IRCTC and Mphasis have risen more than 100 per cent over this period.

Furthermore, LTI, LTTS, Godrej Properties and Zee Ent are other large gainers.

The market cap of all listed companies clubbed together crossed Rs 250 lakh crore.

By noon, NSE Nifty50 edged higher. It rose to 17,883.70 points, higher by 60.75 points or 0.34 per cent from its previous close.

“The rally in domestic market is driven by positive global cues, strong inflows by FIIs or DIIs, good corporate earnings, falling Covid-19 cases, upbeat corporate commentaries and low cost of capital. Amid the buoyant sentiment and increased activity, Nifty valuations has reached elevated levels and demand consistent delivery on earnings expectations,”said Siddhartha Khemka, Head – Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

“Given rich valuations, one cannot ignore intermittent volatility — however, we expect the positive momentum to continue on the back of improving economic activity and recovery in corporate earnings.”

According to Ashish Biswas, Head of Technical Research, CapitalVia Global Research: “The market is growing due to excess liquidity and a low-interest rate regime. Investors also felt relieved by the Federal Reserve’s stance on withdrawing stimulus and raising interest rates.”

“FIIs and DIIs continue to pour in more investment in the market which has led to further highs. The fear of the third wave has also decreased and investors are not worried about the adverse impacts on the economy as more and more people get vaccinated.”

In addition, Dhiraj Relli, MD & CEO, HDFC Securities said: “This shows the impact of return of FPIs and local investors continuing to invest despite headwinds that cropped up time and again.”

“The absence of a 10 per cent correction in the indices over the last 18 months shows the maturity of the local investors, but also throws up the possibility of that happening over the next few weeks or months.”

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Diesel price increased, petrol rate remains steady





 Auto fuel prices in the country have maintained stability amid volatility in global oil prices, but the oil marketing companies on Friday increased the price of diesel marginally while maintaining stability and petrol prices.

Accordingly, diesel prices increased by 20 paise per litre in the national capital to Rs 88.82 per litre on Friday while petrol price remained unchanged for the 19 consecutive days.

OMCs have preferred to maintain their watch prices on the global oil situation before making any revision in prices.

The wait and watch plan of OMCs has come to the relief of consumers as no revision has been done during a period when crude prices were on the rise over a shortfall in US production and demand pick up. This would have necessitated about Rs 1 increase in prices of petrol and diesel.

In Mumbai, the petrol price was stable at Rs 107.26 per litre while diesel rate increased to about Rs 96.40 a litre.

Across the country as well petrol price remained static on Friday while diesel price increased marginally.

Fuel prices have been hovering at record levels on account of 41 increases in its retail rates since April this year. It fell on a few occasions but largely remained stable.

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Cryptocurrency Hyper Fund under govt scanner





The government is keeping a close eye on cryptocurrency floating in the market based out of the country folowing alert that agencies responsible to check financial fraud are watching a company called Hyper Fund.

Sources said Hyper Fund, a DEFI by Hyper Tech Group has come under the radar recently. The Group claims to have launched the Hyper Fund to provide a decentralized financial infrastructure. Hyper Fund was announced in mid-2020.

As per the company website it is led by Ryan Xu, however, with the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) model Hyper Fund has been luring investors with higher returns and such offerings, a common practice under Ponzi Schemes, that got the authorities alerted in the first place.

According to sources, complaints against such Funds have started pouring in several states. In India, the RBI, Union Finance Ministry and SEBI had warned people against cryptocurrency trading. The RBI is planning to launch India’s official digital currency- E Rupee soon.

The Finance Ministry has clarified that Virtual currencies are also not legal tender. Hence, VCs are not currencies. The RBI has also clarified that it has not given any licence/ authorization to any entity/ company to operate or deal with Bitcoin or any virtual currency.

In June 2018, Amit Bhardwaj was arrested at the Delhi Airport by Pune police along with his brother Vivek Bhardwaj in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme. Bhardwaj, started his own bitcoin mining operations and allegedly cheated more than 8,000 people to the tune of Rs 2,000 crore from across the country.

He has lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police special cell, alleging that he received an extortion call and was asked to pay protection money on September 6, 2021. He had setup multi-level marketing (MLM) scam by luring investors to give him Bitcoins in return for promised higher returns, police had alleged.

Regulators in UK have issued warning against such fund and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have warnings issued for both Hyper Fund and Fund Advisor.

On its website, which was first published on in March 23 ,2021 and later updated on August 31, the FCA said, “We believe this firm may be providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised or registered by us. This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK.”

Warning investors about such fund, it further said: “You will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so you are unlikely to get your money back if things go wrong.”

The Website used by these companies as per FCA ar,

Decentralised Finance (DEFI) offering through blockchain technology by HyperTech Group, which is said to be based out from Hong Kong, as sources said Indian Regulators and Authorities have started monitoring the situation.

Following the measures taken by financial regulators such as the US Security and Exchange Commission and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, Indian regulators and enforcement authorities have started monitoring investment in Hyper Fund — a Decentralised Finance offering through blockchain technology by HyperTech Group.

Globally, Financial regulators acknowledge the fact that Ponzi scheme organizers often use the latest innovation, technology, product or growth industry to entice investors and give their scheme the promise of high returns. Potential investors are often less skeptical of an investment opportunity when assessing something novel, new or “cutting-edge.” On its website, Hyper Fund claims to be �The Strongest Rocket in Blockchain Finance’

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