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Petrol, diesel prices rise again on fresh surge in global oil prices

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 Prices of auto fuels petrol and diesel rose on Friday too as global oil surged again, with benchmark Brent crude gaining over 1 per cent to cross $83 a barrel.

Diesel prices increased by a sharp 35 paisa in the national capital to Rs 92.12 per litre on Friday while petrol prices increased by 30 paisa to Rs 103.54 a litre, according to the Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest fuel retailer.

Diesel prices have now increased on 12 out of the last 15 days taking up its retail price by Rs 3.50 per litre in Delhi. Its prices increased between 20-30 paisa per litre so far, but since Wednesday, it breached this to a 35 paisa per litre increase.

With diesel prices rising sharply, the fuel is now available at over Rs 100 a litre in several parts of Madhya Pradesh. This dubious distinction was earlier available to petrol that had crossed the Rs 100 a litre mark across the country a few months earlier. The fuel is getting close to Rs 100 a litre in Mumbai at Rs 99.92 a litre now.

Petrol prices had maintained stability since September 5 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices last week and this week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on nine of the previous 11 days taking up its pump price by Rs 2.35 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 the OMCs to effect the increase.

In Mumbai, the petrol price increased by 29 paisa to reach Rs 109.54 per litre while diesel rates increased by 37 paisa to climb to Rs 99.92 a litre.

Across the country as well, petrol and diesel increased between 30-40 paisa per litre but their retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes in the state.

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.

Crude price has been on a surge rising over three year high level of over $83 a barrel now. 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 $9-10 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 from following 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.

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Tirupur dairy farmers affected as hiked cotton price raises price of cattle feed

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The dairy farmers of Tirupur are affected after the increased price of cotton seeds led to an increase in the price of cattle feed. Cotton seeds are a vital part of the cattle feed and are rich in protein and fibre.

Farmers told that the price of cotton seeds has gone up from Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 in a span of four months. Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Association leader Kolanthaisamy, told that “The rising prices of cotton seeds will also affect ordinary farmers who have a few cows, not just big dairy farmers. The scarcity of cotton seeds is having an impact on farmers.”

P.M. Mukundan, who owns Sree Krishna dairy farms in Tirupur, told, “The lack of availability of cotton seeds has affected the cattle feed; we used to get cotton from Dindigul, Palani, Kumbakonam, and other areas. However, high prices of cotton seeds following the hike in prices of cotton have led to an increase in prices of cattle feed. This is affecting us badly and I don’t know how to run the farm.”

The dairy farmers of Tirupur area are worried that the unprecedented hike will directly affect the production of milk. Farmers who have five to ten cows are affected the most as most have three or four labourers who charge Rs 600 per day and with the increase in the price of cattle feed, the venture goes into a loss.

The Tirupur garment industry, too, is facing difficulties due to the rise in prices of cotton yarn. Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the import of cotton yarn. DMK leader and Member of Parliament Kanizmozhi led a delegation of MPs to meet Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Textile Minister Piyush Goyal to discuss the matter.

The small and medium industries in the textile sector went on a four-day strike in Western Tamil Nadu against the hike in prices of cotton.

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Modi participates in event to launch Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity

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Visiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday participated in an event in Tokyo to launch the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

The event was also attended by US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as well as the virtually by leaders of Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The IPEF seeks to strengthen economic partnership amongst participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

At the occasion, a joint statement was issued which highlights the key elements envisaged within the IPEF.

In his comments during the launch ceremony, Modi said thatthe IPEF is a declaration of a collective desire to make the Indo-Pacific region an engine of global economic growth.

“India has historically been at the centre of trade flows in the Indo-Pacific region, having the world’s oldest commercial port at Lohtal in Gujarat,” the Prime Minister said.

He further called for finding common and creative solutions to tackle economic challenges of the Indo-Pacific region.

Expressing India’s commitment towards working with all Indo-Pacific countries for an IPEF which is both inclusive and flexible, he further said that the foundation of resilient supply chains must be 3T’s: Trust, Transparency and Timeliness.

Noting that India is committed to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region and believes that deepening economic engagement among partners is crucial for continued growth, peace, and prosperity, Modi also said that India is keen to collaborate with partner countries under the IPEF and work towards advancing regional economic connectivity, integration and boosting trade and investment within the region.

With Monday’s launch, partner countries will begin discussions focusing on strengthening economic cooperation and achieving shared goals, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Modi arrived in Tokyo on Monday morning on a two-day visit at the invitation of his Japanese counterpart.

He will participate in the third Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo on Tuesday along with President Biden, Kishida and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Modi and Kishida will also hold a bilateral meeting on Tuesday.

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Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air reveals aircraft picture, says ‘coming soon’

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Stock market maverick Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed airline Akasa Air on Monday revealed a picture of its first aircraft.

Through a Twitter post, it attached a picture of the aircraft with the caption: “Can’t keep calm! Say hi to our QP-pie!.”

In another tweet, it said: “Coming soon to Your Sky.”

The low-cost carrier plans to offer commercial flights starting in the summer of 2022 and use its new fleet of 737s to meet the growing demand across India.

Akasa Air got the no-objection certificate from the civil aviation ministry in October to start commercial flights, as per reports.

In 2021, the company ordered 72 Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft and CFM LEAP-1B engines. CFM delivered its first CFM56 engines in the early 1990s, and by far nearly 600 engines are operated by airlines from the Indian subcontinent.

The purchase agreement, which included spare engines and long-term services agreement, was valued at nearly $4.5 billion.

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