Companies & Sectors
GM, SIAM recommend Re1 hike in diesel to end market distortion

The government's revenue earnings from Re1 per litre hike shall be three times more as compared to Rs2,500 crore revenue from the levy of 5% vehicle tax on diesel cars, said the carmaker

Ahmedabad: Terming the proposal to levy vehicle tax on diesel cars as a regressive step for industry, General Motors (GM) on Monday said that industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and company has recommended Re1 per litre hike in diesel prices to the Government, with a view to end market distortion, reports PTI.

With vast disparity in fuel prices, the demand for diesel cars had reached up to 85% and petrol cars had come down to 15%, which otherwise usually remained at 50:50 percent levels in India.

The petrol prices had touched Rs78 per litre level in the recent past, while diesel prices have remained stable at over Rs40-Rs45 per litre or so.

"We as well as SIAM has recommended, a hike in diesel prices by Re1 per litre as it would help government earn Rs6,000 crore revenue," P Balendran, vice president for corporate communication at GM told newspersons.

"The government's revenue earnings from Re1 per litre hike shall be three times more as compared to Rs2,500 crore revenue from the levy of 5% vehicle tax on diesel cars," he said.

The recommendation by GM and SIAM comes in wake of a Union Planning Commission's study.

"The Planning Commission has conducted a study and the report has come out saying that privately owned passenger cars consume only 1.03% of the total diesel consumed in the country," Balendran claimed.

"Therefore, what we have recommended is that levy of additional diesel tax is regressive step for industry," he said.

"All original equipment manufacturers (OEM's) have recommended that right approach will be to increase the diesel prices in small doses and bring down the petrol prices in small doses, so that market distortion is addressed and the sector performs well," he said.

So the way forward is to increase the diesel price a little bit and gradually bring down the petrol prices, so even if industry is sluggish the Government gets more revenue, Balendran said.

According to GM, the car market in India is expected to grow between 6-8% this year.

"We will also trace a similar growth at GM if the market grows at this pace," Balendran said.

Last month GM sold 7,364 units in India, of which 5,286 units were of its popular brand Beat including its 4,800 diesel units and 700 Travera.

With the strike ending at its vendors plant, GM is hopeful of making delivery of 2,000 Taveras this month, amongst its fastest selling models in India having a waiting period of up to three months.

"We shall make delivery of around 2,000 Taveras this month," Balendran said adding that with the strike ending at our vendors place, the production of Tavera at Halol shall be ramped up to 2,500 units from the 1,800 levels soon.

Within next one month time Taveras production shall reach from 1,800 to 2,500. It's localisation is 100%, he said.

GM has proposed to roll out two new car models Sail (both hatchback and notchback) and Enjoy MPV, in heavy vehicle volume category, in the fourth quarter of this fiscal. The company plans to ramp up the production capacity at its Halol's facility from 85,000 units per annum to 1.10 lakh units from next year.


ONGC starts releasing gas For Palatana power project

The first unit of the ONGC-Tripura Power Corp's 726.6-MW gas-based power project is likely to start generation by August

Agartala: State-run ONGC on Monday said it started releasing natural gas to the ONGC-Tripura Power Corporation (OTPC) paving the way for generation of power by a 726.6-MW gas-based power project at Palatana in Gomati district, reports PTI.

The gas started flowing through a 60 km-long pipe connected to the power project at Palatana, 60 km from Agartala. The first unit of the power project was likely to start generation by August, the officials said.

The ONGC, major partner of the OTPC power project, would supply natural gas extracted from Tripura.

The sources said 2.6 million standard cubic metre of gas per day would be required when the power project would start generation in full scale.

It would take a few months more to make it fully operational, the sources said.

K Satyanarayana, ONGC manager, Tripura Asset, inaugurated the gas release programme at a Gas Gathering station GGS) at Gabardi.

The 726.6 MW gas-based power project at Palatana, one of the most prestigious ventures in the north-east, would cater to the needs of power-deficit areas of region.

The project, to be set up with an investment of Rs9,000 crore, is the highest-ever in the state of Tripura.

"The project, upon implementation, shall make the state power surplus and enable it to earn revenue by selling to other states',the sources said.

Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur will buy power from Palatana power plant.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the project in Agartala in 2005.


Jain Irrigation, partners to invest Rs100 crore in NBFC venture

By March 2014, the total investment by all the shareholders in the NBFC will be Rs200 crore and out of that Jain Irrigation's contribution would be about half

New Delhi: Jain Irrigation Systems along with other partners will invest Rs100 crore to roll out a new non banking financial company (NBFC) soon for providing loans to farmers, said a PTI report quoting a top official from the company.

Last week, Jain irrigation had announced it has got RBI's permission to start a NBFC 'Sustainable Agro-commercial Finance Ltd (SAFL)'.

The company had said the new NBFC would be formed in a joint venture with promoter entities and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

"In the next few months, we will together invest Rs100 crore in SAFL for the disbursal of farmer loans," Jain Irrigation Managing Director Anil Jain told PTI.

He said by March 2014, the total investment by all the shareholders in the NBFC will be Rs200 crore and out of that Jain Irrigation's contribution would be about half.

Jain Irrigation will have up to 49% stake in the JV, he added.

When asked whether the NBFC will rope in more partners, Jain said that "discussions are on with banks including foreign banks and financial institutions".

Jain Irrigation plans to launch its NBFC post monsoon from Maharashtra where 40 offices would be opened by the end of this year. The target is to have a pan India presence in the next 3-4 years through a network of around 150 offices.

The NBFC will offer products like agri project financing, contract farming, small business loans, solar pumps and appliances financing and third party tie-ups.

The Jalgaon-based company manufactures drip and sprinkler irrigation systems, besides agro-processed products like dehydrated vegetables and fruits.


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