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Tuesday,07-February-2023
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Petrol, diesel prices rise again amid volatility in oil market

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Petrol

 The prices of petrol and diesel rose simultaneously again on Tuesday amidst volatility in the global oil prices with benchmark crude increasing to above $80 a barrel.

Accordingly, diesel prices increased by 30 paisa per litre in the national capital to Rs 91.07 per litre, while petrol rates rose by 25 paisa per litre to Rs 102.64 a litre, according to Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest fuel retailer.

Diesel prices have now increased on nine out of the last 12 days taking up its retail price by Rs 2.45 per litre in Delhi.

Diesel prices were raised on Friday by 20 paisa per litre and again by 25 paisa per litre each on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday last week and by 30 paisa per litre on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. And again by 30 paisa per litre on Tuesday.

Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices this week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on six of the previous eight days taking up its primo price by Rs 1.45 per litre.

OMCs had preferred to maintain their watch prices on global oil situation before making any revision in prices. This is the reason why petrol prices were not revised for last three weeks. But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now pushed OMCs to effect the increase.

In Mumbai, the petrol price rose by 25 paisa per litre to over Rs 108.67 per litre, while diesel rates increased close to Rs 98.80 a litre.

Across the country as well, petrol and diesel increased between 20-30 paisa per litre but their retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.

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

After rising over three year high level of $80 a barrel earlier this week, global benchmark came down to $78 a barrel and now is again up to $81 a barrel while OPEC+ deciding to stick to its marginal production easing plan and market remaining tight.

Since September 5, when both petrol and diesel prices were revised, the price of petrol and diesel in the international market is higher by around $8-9 per barrel as compared to average prices during August.

Under the pricing formula adopted by oil companies, rates of petrol and diesel are to be reviewed and revised by them on a daily basis. The new prices becomes effective from morning at 6 a.m.

The daily review and revision of prices is based on the average price of benchmark fuel in the international market in the preceding 15-days, and foreign exchange rates.

But, the fluctuations in global oil prices have prevented OMCs to follow this formula in totality and revisions are now being made with longer gaps. This has also prevented companies from increasing fuel prices whenever there is a mismatch between globally arrived and pump price of fuel.

Business

Reliance Jio, GSMA roll out initiative to train rural women in digital skills

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Reliance Jio and global mobile network operators’ organisation GSMA on Tuesday announced the roll-out of their digital skills programme to train rural women in India.

The programme aims to provide need-based training to rural women and individuals from marginalised/low-income groups to help them make meaningful use of digital access.

The national roll-out phase is now underway, with the programme being rolled out across 10 states.

“We are proud to partner with GSMA in this programme to take digital skills training to the women across India and be the wind beneath their wings,” said Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio.

As per the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2022’, women in India are 41 per cent less likely than men to use mobile internet.

A total of 330 million women in India still do not use mobile internet, compared to 248 million men. Lack of literacy and digital skills is one of the top reported barriers to mobile internet use.

As a part of the programme, the GSMA and Jio teams worked together to assess prevalent digital skill gaps and develop need-based digital skills training toolkits that are India-specific.

Over 1,000 rural women and men from Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu participated and provided inputs for the refinement of the digital training toolkits during the trial phase.

Reliance Foundation will be supporting the roll-out through its large network and self-help groups, particularly in rural areas.

“More needs to be done to ensure women are not being left behind in an increasingly connected world. We are excited to partner with Jio and Reliance Foundation to take the Digital Skills Programme national and help accelerate digital inclusion for women,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change.

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Business

Centre asks Vodafone Idea to convert Rs 16,000 dues into equity

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Financially-stressed telecom company Vodafone Idea said on Friday that the government has directed it to convert a portion of its dues worth Rs 16,000 crore it owes to the exchequer into equity in the government’s favour.

“It is hereby informed that the Ministry of Communications has [directed] the company to convert the NPV of the interest related to deferment of spectrum auction instalments and AGR dues into equity shares to be issued to the government of India,” the company said in a filing.

The government will take 33 per cent equity in Vodafone Idea after converting all interest related to payments for spectrum and other dues into equity.

This will make the government the largest shareholder in the telecom company.

Vodafone Idea will convert dues of Rs 16,133 crore into equity and issue shares for Rs 10 each, the company informed.

“We had sought a firm commitment that the Aditya Birla Group would run the company and bring necessary investments. The Birlas have agreed and hence we have agreed to convert. We want India to be a three-player market plus BSNL and ensure healthy competition for consumers,” Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a statement.

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I-T dept raids over 30 locations of five builder groups across Jaipur

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The Income Tax department on Thursday raided over 30 locations of five builder groups across Jaipur. The teams also conducted search operations at two locations of a builder group in Gurugram.

Officials said that the I-T department had received a tip-off that these builders were engaged in making cash deals while selling flats in multi-storey buildings, plots and commercial properties in Jaipur.

After verification, 40 teams of the investigating branch of the I-T department raided their locations on Thursday morning. Raids have been conducted at the premises of Manglam Group, Sanjivani, R-Tech, Jugal Derewala and Haridutt, including their offices, corporate offices and residential premises.

The I-T teams have raided places in Jaipur including Tonk Road, Mansarovar, Rajapark, Jagatpura, C-Scheme, Civil Lines, Ajmer Road, Delhi Road, Agra Road and Sanganer.

Sources said that the department had received complaints of undisclosed income running into crores of rupees. All the five builders were using cash to buy and sell land. So the I-T teams raided around 38 targets simultaneously. According to the information received so far, huge amount of cash, and documents of land purchase and sale have been found from their premises.

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