Finance ministry wants ONGC, others to give Rs56,700 crore fuel subsidy

The finance ministry wants upstream oil and gas producers like ONGC to meet one-third of the Rs1,70,140 crore revenue loss that was projected prior to the June fuel price hike and duty cuts instead of about Rs1,14,084 crore actual loss the retailers may suffer on selling fuel below cost this fiscal

New Delhi: The finance ministry wants Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) fuel subsidy outgo to increase almost double to Rs47,640 crore this fiscal so that diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene can be sold at below market prices to consumers, reports PTI.

The finance ministry wants upstream oil and gas producers like ONGC to meet one-third of the Rs1,70,140 crore revenue loss that was projected prior to the June fuel price hike and duty cuts instead of about Rs1,14,084 crore actual loss the retailers may suffer on selling fuel below cost this fiscal.

Upstream oil firms bear one-third of the revenue that retailers lose on selling diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene at government-controlled rates. A similar amount is contributed by the government by way of cash subsidy while the rest is either absorbed by the retailers or passed on to consumers.

Sources privy to the development said the finance ministry wants upstream share to be fixed at Rs56,707 crore or one-third of the revenue loss estimated before the June price hike and cut in customs and excise duty. Of this, ONGC's share would be Rs47,640 crore and the rest would be split between Oil India and GAIL India.

It argues that the government has taken a hit of Rs49,000 crore by way of cut in customs duty on crude oil and petroleum products, and reduction in excise duty on diesel.

Post duty rejig and a Rs3 per litre hike in diesel, Rs2 per litre increase in kerosene and Rs50 per cylinder hike in domestic LPG rates, the revenue loss now is estimated at Rs114,084 crore. One-third of this comes to Rs38,024 crore, of which ONGC would have borne Rs31,943.5 crore.

ONGC in 2010-11 provided Rs24,892 crore fuel subsidy.

Company officials said they haven't got anything in writing from the government on subsidy sharing but confirmed there were talks of raising ONGC's outgo.

Some industry observers are linking the postponement of the follow-on public offer (FPO) of ONGC to hammering its scrip may see because of increased subsidy outgo.

But ONGC officials maintained that the decision to defer the share sale was taken by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and the disinvestment secretary Mohammed Haleem Khan who felt the FPO may not garner the right value keeping in mind the market volatility.

The public issue through which the government is to sell 5% of its shareholding to garner between Rs11,000 crore to Rs12,000 crore, was to open on 20th September and close on 23rd September.

Sources said the FPO can happen by mid-October on the basis of the red herring prospectus filed by the company with the Registrar of Companies earlier this month. Beyond that, it would be required to update the RHP with second quarter earning numbers and refile it.


Share prices fall on low volumes: Monday Closing Report

Watch out for Nifty below 4,990, for further declines

The market closed lower, snapping its three-day winning streak, mainly on weak global cues. The National Stock Exchange witnessed a volume of 50.31 crore shares, the lowest in the past 11 days. The benchmark Nifty touched an intra-day high of 5,068, which was below the 5,070 mark, the level it should have stayed above for an uptrend.

After closing in the positive for the last three trading sessions, the domestic market opened lower, tracking weak Asian markets. The Nifty opened at 5,068, down 16 points from its previous close and the Sensex declined 68 points to start the week at 16,866. Worries over the escalating debt crisis in Europe after the EU delayed a decision on releasing critical rescue funds to Greece, dampened trading sentiment in Asia this morning.

The opening figure on the Nifty was its intra-day high, while the intra-day high on the Sensex came in the first hour at 16,866. Sideways trade continued for a major portion of the morning session.

The lower opening of the European indices on account of a slide in banking stocks and US stock futures trading down resulted in the domestic market edging further southward in the post-noon session. In the last hour, the Nifty dropped to 5,019, its intra-day low, and the Sensex slipped to 16,709. However, a minor pull-back in subsequent trade ensured that the market closed off the day's low. The Nifty closed 52 points down at 5,032 and the Sensex settled at 16,745, a loss of 188 points.

The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was 748:946.

Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index slipped 0.29% and the BSE Small-cap index shed 0.02%.

Eleven of the 13 sectoral gauges settled lower today. The losers were led by rate-sensitives like BSE Capital Goods (down 2.19%), BSE Bankex (down 1.17%), BSE Power (down 1.15%), BSE Metal (down 1.12%) and BSE PSU (down 1.05%). The gainers were BSE Consumer Durables (up 0.75%) and BSE Auto (up 0.34).

The top gainers on the Sensex were Maruti Suzuki (up 3.09%), Jaiprakash Associates (up 2.17%), Wipro (up 0.52%), Hero MotoCorp (up 0.39%) and Bharti Airtel (up 0.29%). The top laggards were Sterlite Industries (down 3.49%), Larsen & Toubro (down 3.02%), Sun Pharma (down 2.62%), ICICI Bank (down 2.42%) and DLF (down 2.08%).

The key gainers on the Nifty were JP Associates (up 3.22%), Maruti Suzuki (up 2.75%), GAIL (up 2.34%), HCL Technologies (up 1.92%) and Wipro (up 1.55%). On the other hand, Reliance Infrastructure (down 4.29%), Sterlite Ind (down 4.26%), L&T (down 3%, ICICI Bank (down 2.99%) and Axis Bank (down 2.94%) were at the bottom.

Markets in Asia settled in the negative as investors await the outcome of the International Monetary Fund meting on 23rd September for fresh bail-out funds for Greece. Market participants are also eagerly awaiting the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting for announcements of any new stimulus to put the world's largest economy back on track.

The Shanghai Composite declined 1.79%, the Hang Seng tumbled 2.76%, the Jakarta Composite fell by 2.09%, the KLSE Composite slipped 1.24%, the Straits Times lost 1.14%, the Seoul Composite declined 1.04% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 1.27% down. The Nikkei 225 was closed for a local holiday.

Back home, institutional investors-both foreign and domestic-were net buyers of stocks on Friday though in a minor way. While foreign institutional investors pumped in funds worth Rs395.16 crore, domestic institutional investors invested Rs39.33 crore in shares.

Fortis Healthcare has drawn up plans to invest $1 billion (over Rs4,700 crore) in the next three years, for expansion in India as well as global markets. Besides, the company also said that it will acquire its Singapore-based arm Fortis Healthcare International Pte Ltd from a firm owned by its promoters-the Singh brothers-as part of consolidation of domestic and global operations. Fortis Healthcare settled at Rs144.75, down 1.60% on the NSE.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been roped in by Deutsche Bank to provide software solutions to the financial services firm's capital markets business unit. TCS will deliver a global application service desk, ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) services, besides other software solutions, to the bank at locations across seven countries-the US, the UK, Germany, Hungary, Philippines, Singapore and India-the country's largest software exporter said in a statement. TCS fell 1.03% to Rs1,017.20.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries today said its US arm has resolved issues raised by the country's health regulator regarding violation of manufacturing standards. The USFDA had pulled up the company for violation of manufacturing standards, such as its inability to produce batches of consistent quality and lack of sufficient corrective actions. Sun Pharma declined 2.66% to close at Rs473.


You have landed at Mumbai. Where's the shuttle to go home?

Taxis are not easily available to travellers arriving at the airport and public buses are inconvenient, underlining the case for a proper bus shuttle service

Transport experts in Mumbai agree that there is a desperate need to initiate action to end the harassment of passengers at the domestic and international airport.

This is the result of the regular refusals by taxi and autorickshaw drivers to ferry passengers without a fuss, the inadequate public transport and expensive-but-usually-unavailable pre-paid taxis, due to which many people are stranded at the airport terminals for as much as two hours.

The solution to this is a special bus shuttle with adequate luggage space from the Mumbai airport and transport experts are pushing hard for it.

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is one of the busiest air terminals in the world, but it doesn't have a dedicated bus shuttle service to various parts of the city, even today. While some major cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad have launched efficient, air-conditioned bus services, the country's commercial capital has none. Even Delhi airport now has a special train service-the Delhi Airport Express-that is a convenient facility for travellers. (Read, 'Delhi Airport Express is a brilliant train service which requires finishing touches'.)

With passengers at the mercy of errant taxi drivers who often refuse to ply and an inadequate number of public bus services to the airport, it is common to see many travellers cart their baggage to the main connecting highway a kilometre away. Most of them are professionals travelling on official work.

While many regular taxi drivers try to fleece passengers, the pre-paid taxi services (like Radio Taxi) are expensive and few. Even those who have cars, find parking charges and the long wait to get to their vehicles unaffordable.

Transport experts insist it is high time Mumbai had a special bus shuttle to and from the airport to eliminate this painful inconvenience.

Ashok Datar, an expert in transport, says, "This is absolutely correct. (This is) the least we can do in Mumbai, without fuss or investment and within a few months, without waiting for a bus lane, but by undertaking proper publicity at the bus stops on the frequency of service and appropriate signage (say aircraft) to identify these buses. At the bus stops, the service should get prime space at the airport terminals, with information easily available at various points, for the benefit of passengers as well as those who come to receive them or see them off. We must have at least three routes with a half an hour frequency throughout the night and day, and each should go to south Mumbai, the western suburbs and to Vashi /Thane."

Sudhir Badami, transport activist, estimates the frequency of buses at 3.5 minutes. "In fact, the whole concept of reducing carbon footprint has to come into arguments and we must provide for higher frequencies to attract almost every potential air passenger. These buses need not be restricted to air travellers, so long as other passengers are also willing to pay the fare might be higher on account of the fewer number of people using the service, as the luggage space will reduce seating. Also, these buses should not allow standees, from the point of view of safety of luggage."

Not very long ago, Indian Airlines provided a pick-up facility from certain points in the city to the airport. "In the Indian Airlines days, I used to board the airport bus from Shivaji Park. There was no need to discontinue it. Today, taxis don't come to Mahim, considering it is a short distance for a fare of Rs100. Taxi drivers are known to pay traffic police about Rs100 to get a slot in the queue. Since I always carry a handbag I prefer to come out of the airport and hop in to 'dropping cabs'.  I entirely agree that this is urgently needed across Mumbai. I understand that with the phasing out of Fiats, Mumbai is short by 35,000 cabs," says Nagesh Kini, Mumbai-based social activist.

The monopoly by the taxi unions is the main reason for such inconvenience to travellers. Walter Vieira, marketing consultant, says, "Mumbai is like Goa airport, where the union of taxi drivers, in connivance with politicians, have successfully thwarted all attempts for a bus service. When Damania (Airlines) introduced a free bus service from the city office to/from the airport in Goa, the buses were attacked and the company was compelled to discontinue the service. The government did not intervene and just looked the other way as if nothing had happened. This is also one of the foremost reasons why foreign tourists dislike coming to Goa, for the first hurdle they are faced with on landing is the unreasonable demands of taxi drivers."




3 years ago

I landed at Mumbai airport I am trying to call a cab but all cabs are unavailable. I tried to call Ola cabs, Meru cabs, Tab cab etc but not no one is available. So I have only one way to ask to black yellow taxi or auto rickshaws. So I asked to one auto, two auto but no one is ready to start a meter. Just for 3 km distance they charge Rs 180 and it's too much. I think Mumbai airport transportation is one of the rubbish in India. No system, no planning, traffic police are also corrupts. So I suggest you if you need a cab from Mumbai airport book in advance by Ola cabs or other private car rentals.

Shashidhar V

6 years ago

I had a wonderful vacation of about a month in London and, then, in Scotland. Travel is not much of a hassle in the UK. The black cabs didn't refuse to ferry passengers even for a short distance. And, I land in Mumbai to find it in utter chaos. Cabbies, not to sound racist or communal here, are unclean, uncouth and really without manners. I land in Mumbai - a place I have lived in for over 25 years - to find it to be nothing more than a large village or a slum colony. It is nothing more than that. I booked a pre-paid taxi within the airport and was charged Rs400 for a black-and-yellow non-ac taxi. That, the person sitting at the desk, was the official rate. And, come to think of it, I had booked a Meru to reach the airport earlier on my onward journey and it cost me a lot less - for an AC cab. The union and its members are nothing less than cheats, thieves and petty robbers. Arrest me for saying so. This apart, what I think Mumbai needs is to get rid of autos altogether, with the government funding the drivers to switch over to Nanos. Remove the seating besides the driver to fit in baggage. And, let them come with electronic meters - something like the black cabs, but only smaller in size. That would serve this place better than the autos, which are really polluting.

Sudhir Badami

6 years ago

Voice your demand for better transport to all parts of Mumbai Thane, Navi Mumbai from Airport NOW. Running bus route does not take time, constructing Metros and Monorails take a lot of money and time.


6 years ago

Actually I have always seen plenty of taxis available at the Mumbai international airport, albeit in almost-chaos.
What *would* go a long way is making the Mumbai local train line come up to the airport. This would vastly reduce the chaotic traffic in and around the airport.

Adi Daruwalla

6 years ago

The airport at Bengaluru has a Volvo based bus service, Vayu Vajra that touches major points in Bengaluru city.
The passes can be pre purchased after landing or on the bus. A similar project can be replicated at Mumbai and other Metros and Tier II cities to start with. For Mumbai the touch points can be, from Airport to Borivali, Bandra, Dadar via (Eastern express & Western express), CSMVS, (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahlaya), Chembur, Ghatkopar, Mulund, ThaneVashi with limited stops, connecting with taxi and rickshaw stands for convenience



In Reply to Adi Daruwalla 6 years ago

Dear Sir,

BMC/AAI/state govt /central govt. will not take such initiative because such arrangements ( providing point to point bus service ) will stop their extra INCOME / BRIBES by taxidrivers/auto drivers AND ALSO MAY BE THEIR ASSOCIATIONS.

Who is bothered for a common man ( passangers ) in this country boiling with corruption.

Our Rail/Air passanger's associations and consumer organisations must act to solve this problem.

Such bus services are available at most of major cities' airports around the world.


6 years ago

Low floor AirCon buses sourced under JNNURM by BEST are being used for airport internal duties and carrying Jet Airways/Cambata Aviation markings and logos. (You can see BEST written in small letters over the windscreen if you look hard enough, while the JNNURM used to be there on all buses but is painted over in some now.) The registration numbers of these buses are registered in the name of BEST if you look closely at the certificates, some of which are pasted on to the front windscreen. JNNURM funds for buses were expressly meant for enhancing public transport, and across the country, many cities and towns appear to be benefitting from this.

I have no idea how BEST can be made to live up to its mandate especially wrt public transport at intermodal exchanges. Maybe a start could be made with bus to railway station options, since there are more people and more regular/daily pax there, before going on to airports?

Agreed, the taxi dominance at Mumbai airport is a combination of existing power games which have no part in this day and age, and must be changed.

Good luck.

BTW, I was at Mumbai Airport domestic arrivals yesterday, at about noon, and there were ample taxiis, as usual fighting for our business - especially when they learnt that the destination is Vashi. But yes, the driver of the MERU cab did agree that matters are terrible during the rush hours and nights, especially at the International Airport.


6 years ago

Private transport like taxis and autos - are real nightmare for passangers-at the airports and railway/interstate bus stands.

Auto and Taxi drivers arrogancy is directly proportional to BRIBES they pay to cops on duty and OFF duty.

CORRUPTION IS ROOT CAUSE OF THESE PROBLEMS.There was an article 2/3 days back in Mumbai news papers - during surprise check by RTO -AUTO RIKSHA meters were found heavily tempered and this leds to 40% over chargeing to passangers.

Such temperaing of meters by AUTO drivers is not possible without connivance of some elements in RTO who are supposed to check tempering of meters.Even taxis with old mechanical types of meters are tempered -taxis operating from Borivali/Dadar/Mumbai central and VT..

AUTO drivers showing taxi tarrif card to an non-mumbai passanger is also very common.

About a week back-during 10 am in morning- taxi drivers were asking Rs.200 / Rs.250 for traveling to Sahar International Airport from Swami Nityanand Marg ( Andheri east ) / western express highway crossing ( not a distance of 2 to 3 Kilometers).

Till corruption is not checked-these problems will remain and passangers will be looted / harassed by AUTO/Taxi drivers.


Adi Daruwalla

In Reply to deepaksb 6 years ago

Today the 20th Sep 2011, there was a partial Auto rickshaw strike. The meters were covered with cloth and the rickshaw drivers were charging arbitarily to rasie their voices against the recent hike in petrol prices. Are not these guys running on gas also??? Had to use the King Long bus from Andheri to Mulund and it was not a problem except the long wait due to extra rush. Similar or Volvo service is required with more frequency during peak flight arrival and departure times at the right places at the airport (when there are arrivals buses should not be parked or plied to departures and vice versa, that also happens). In winter air conditioning runs full blast at the airports and in summer maintenance goes on and everyone sweats. We normally sweat in this country for everything

Govind Shanbhag

6 years ago

MDT - Why only airport. Just let your team visit Borivali East, you will find number of taxis autos parked there with half meter down refrusing outright short distances. When confronted they show us the meter which ishalf down. We do not understand why cops allow such public utility vehicles to be parked with half meter down - they should not be allowed at all. Recently I had to catch a train going to Goa from Borivali with my 85 years old mother and had to shell outRs.600/- plus toll charges and luggage charges. Mr.Sharad Rao and Mr.Quadros - are you listening?????

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