Wine industry says cancellation of licence fee and earnest money deposit will encourage small wine businesses and thus boost sales in the state. It hopes rest of the states will follow suit
The Delhi government has agreed to scrap registration fees for new wineries looking to sell their products in the state. This will be effective from 1 May 2011.
The decision was taken at the instance of the All India Wine Producers' Association (AIWPA) which also met Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit to put their case before the government.
Till now, new wine businesses wanting to enter the Delhi market were required to pay one-time licence fees (L-1F) of Rs5 lakh and an earnest money deposit (EMD) of Rs2.5 lakh on each brand that they introduce in the state. "This was unaffordable for small wineries and became the biggest impediment for such businesses entering the Delhi market," said Jagdish Holkar, president, AIWPA. Now, the new concession should help push up wine sales in the state.
Mr Holkar said, "The L-1 fee and EMD charge were the main entry point barriers for small wineries to enter a market like Delhi. With the decision to cancel the charges, we hope to see a boost in sales." Henceforward, these businesses will have to pay only a labour registration fee of Rs50,000 at the time of registration.
Mr Holkar also pointed out that the existing duty structure for wines in Delhi liberal for imported brands and adverse for Indian-made wines. "Whereas, big wineries can afford the high cost, small-sized wineries find it very difficult."
Changes have also been made in the duty structure. Excise duty will now be 45% on the wholesale price of a bottle. Some other small charges and taxes have also been abolished.
The Indian wine industry, which after a lean period of two years is showing signs of growth, hopes that other states will take a cue from these changes made by the Delhi government. "The reason we pushed for changes in the wine policy in the national capital is that once the policy is altered in Delhi, there is a better possibility that other states will follow suit," Mr Holkar said.
The association is working to bring changes in the wine policy in the country to enable the industry realise its potential better. "There should be a separate policy for wines and a uniform duty structure throughout India," Mr Holkar said.
MacDonnell Shire Council chief executive Graham Taylor said foreign staff were cheaper and it prevented the council from having to seek handouts from other levels of the government
Melbourne: A central Australian shire council has received severe criticism after reports of outsourcing jobs to India with the Northern Territory government ordering a probe into the matter, reports PTI.
According to a report by Fairfax newspapers, MacDonnell Shire Council has planned to use an Indian call centre to deal with local administration for territory communities. It has reportedly committed A$100,000 for the centre to monitor rent and rubbish collection.
Council chief executive Graham Taylor has confirmed that the Chennai-based company will manage housing maintenance, tenancy, outstation, electricity and waste services for the next two years, but said it was not a call centre, an ABC report said today.
Mr Taylor said foreign staff were cheaper and it prevented the council from having to seek handouts from other levels of the government.
He said the shire does concentrate employment in the local area and 77% of its staff are indigenous.
However, federal indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin said she was extremely concerned, while Northern Territory minister for local government Malarndirri McCarthy said she does not support the plan to outsource some of its administrative functions to foreign companies.
Ms McCarthy said the shire should take immediate action to review this proposal and focus on the development of its local workforce.
Ms McCarthy said her department is investigating whether the shire has breached its procurement processes and taking immediate action to review the proposal.
RIL bid for two deep-sea blocks in the Andaman Basin in the Bay of Bengal and four onshore blocks in Rajasthan and the Cambay Basin, while Cairn India has submitted offers for only two blocks-one onland and one offshore
New Delhi: Reliance Industries (RIL) today bid for six oil and gas exploration blocks while Cairn India submitted offers for two out of the 34 on offer in the ninth round of auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), reports PTI.
RIL bid for two deep-sea blocks in the Andaman Basin in the Bay of Bengal and four onshore blocks in Rajasthan and the Cambay Basin, a source in the upstream oil regulator, the DGH, said here.
Cairn India, whose success in Rajasthan may have propelled Reliance to bid for two blocks in the state, has submitted offers for only two blocks-one onland and one offshore. Cairn has not bid for any two exploration blocks on offer in Rajasthan.
Bids for the 34 oil and gas blocks, which include eight in deep-water areas, seven in shallow water and 19 onshore properties, close today.
Reliance, which had not bid for any block in the previous NELP-VIII round in 2009, has shown interest in onland blocks in Rajasthan, apparently swayed by the huge oil finds by Cairn India.
The Mangala oilfield in Cairn India's prolific RJ-ON-90/1 block in the Thar desert of Rajasthan is currently producing 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) and the entire area, where Cairn has made number of oil discoveries, has the potential to produce up to 300,000 bpd (15 million tonnes a year).
India had received an investment commitment of $1.1 billion in NELP-VIII and it is expecting to better that.
Industry sources said Cairn, which is known to have a knack for making discoveries in areas often abandoned by energy giants, has little interest in NELP-IX as many of the blocks on offer are old and recycled (areas where some or the other company had previously done exploration but had abandoned them as they did not find any or very little hydrocarbons).
Out of 34 blocks, 19 blocks are totally new areas-seven in deep sea, two in shallow water and 10 onland blocks. The remaining 15 (one in deep water, five in shallow water and nine onland blocks) are recycled blocks.
Of the recycled blocks, five are discards of state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the largest bidder in the previous eight rounds of NELP. ONGC relinquished the areas it had won in first and second round of NELP, after it made no discovery.
In the eight rounds of NELP since 1999, 235 blocks have been awarded till date. This has resulted in enhancement of exploration coverage from 11% to about 58% of the Indian sedimentary basin between 2000 and 2010.
The discoveries made under NELP have resulted in in-place hydrocarbon reserves accretion of a staggering 642 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons source said.
A total of 87 oil and gas discoveries have been made in 26 blocks under NELP during this period. The discoveries have added over 640 million tonnes of oil equivalent reserves.
In the first eight rounds of NELP, a $11.1 billion investment was committed, but the actual investment so far has been $14.3 billion.
The blocks offered in NELP-IX include eight deep-sea, seven shallow water and 19 onland. The onland blocks include eight small blocks, for which the technical expertise of companies is not a criteria for submission of submit bids.
These 34 blocks cover a sedimentary area of about 88,807 square kilometres, which is 2.9% of the Indian sedimentary basin area.
The onland blocks fall in Assam (2), Gujarat (11), Rajasthan (2), Madhya Pradesh (2), Tripura (1) and Uttar Pradesh (1). The seven shallow water and eight deep water blocks are off the East and West Coast, but no area in the prolific Krishna-Godavari basin is on offer.
Out of 87 oil and gas discoveries made in the NELP rounds, natural gas production in Reliance Industries eastern offshore KG-D6 block commenced from April 2009.
The eighth round, which closed on 12 October 2009, attracted an investment commitment of $1.34 billion for 36 blocks that received offers. Under NELP-VIII, 70 areas or blocks for exploration were offered, the biggest licensing round in India.
Of the 36 areas bid for, the government had awarded 33 blocks to successful bidders.
The government has hired UK-based Fugro Data Solutions to market the blocks in NELP-IX.