Keen to boost its trade ties with India, the Chinese side has already indicated that it will pledge to invest billions of dollars in India’s railway, manufacturing and infrastructure projects during its President Xi Jinping’s visit
India and China on Wednesday signed three agreements at Ahmedabad, hours within the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping on a three-day visit. During the visit, both the countries will focus on boosting trade and investments, besides discussing substantive issues including the contentious border dispute.
Xi, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan and a delegation of senior party and government officials, was received by Gujarat Governor OP Kohli and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and other senior state Cabinet ministers and accorded a grand welcome with various folk artists performing at the airport.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the visiting dignitary and his wife at the entrance of the Hyatt Hotel after which the Indian PM showed them an exhibition of various Buddhist artifacts and slides.
Thereafter, the two leaders had a brief meeting before heading for the signing-in ceremony of the pacts which are aimed at giving boost to Chinese investments in Gujarat.
The agreements include sister city pact between Guangzhou in China and Ahmedabad and setting up of an industrial park in the State.
Keen to boost its trade ties with India, the Chinese side has already indicated that it will pledge to invest billions of dollars in India’s railway, manufacturing and infrastructure projects during the Xi’s visit, the third by any Chinese President to India.
The immigration officials detained the activist at Delhi airport in response to a lookout notice issued by the superintendent of police in Tirunelveli
Anti-nuclear power activist SP Udaykumar was detained by the police at the IGI Airport in New Delhi on Tuesday. He was detained for questioning and then was not allowed to board his flight to Kathmandu, while on his way to attend a UN consultation on human rights.
The immigration officials detained him at the airport in response to a lookout notice issued by the superintendent of police in Tirunelveli. S P Udaykumar is widely known as the face of the agitation against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tirunelveli district, and the founder of the organisation People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE).
The Indian Expres quoted him as saying “I feel my human rights have been violated systematically by the state and I feel very frustrated in this land of democracy and freedom.” Numerour cases have been filed against Udaykumar in relation to his agitation against the nuclear power plant in Tirunelveli.
He has above 350 cases lodged against him including sedition, waging war against the state, laying seige through sea etc. As a result of these cases, his passport had been impounded by the local police. When he was asked for his passport at the airport on Tuesday he supplied his election ID and was subsequently questioned for over 4 hours.
When he was finally released he was told to not leave the country as a result of the pending cases against him in Tirunelveli.
Though contents of the report have been kept under wraps, there are indications that the gas price increase may be around 50%
A four-member committee of secretaries has submitted its report on a new gas pricing mechanism, prescribing a rate much lower than the doubling of price approved by previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
"The report was submitted on Tuesday," a top official said.
Last month, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government constituted a committee comprising of secretaries of power, fertiliser and expenditure with additional secretary in the oil ministry as its member secretary, to make amends to a formula notified in January that doubled the gas price to $8.4 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu).
The official said the report will be reviewed in the Oil Ministry before a note is moved to the Cabinet.
Though contents of the report have been kept under wraps, the official indicated that the price increase may be around 50%. Most of the domestically produced gas is currently sold at a price of $4.2 per mmBtu.
The panel has tried to strike a balance between demands for a market linked rate by gas producers to make marginal and deep sea fields economically viable, and consumers in power and fertiliser sector, who have said they cannot afford any rate higher than $5.
Though the government had stated that a gas price will be announced by September end, there are indications that a decision may be put-off until completion of assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana in mid-October.
Any increase, even of $2 per mmBtu, will lead to a hike in CNG price for automobiles, something the ruling establishment does not want on the eve of state polls.
Industry sources said the previous UPA government had notified the Rangarajan formula in January but before a rate could be implemented from 1st April, general elections were announced and Election Commission sought postponement of its implementation.
Since elections to Maharashtra and Haryana assembly have already been announced, a deferment can be sought on similar grounds.
An increase in gas price would have led to increase in cost of urea, power and CNG.
Every dollar increase in gas price will lead to a Rs1,370 per tonne rise in urea production cost and a 45 paise per unit increase in electricity tariff for just the 7% of the nation's power generation capacity based on gas.
Also, there would be a minimum Rs2.81 per kg increase in CNG price and a Rs1.89 per standard cubic metre hike in piped cooking gas.
The increase in gas price would bring windfall for the government -- about $2.08 billion or about Rs12,900 crore from additional profit petroleum, royalty and taxes accruing from doubling of gas rates, according to oil ministry estimates.