Economy
India's oil import prospects rosy with lifting of Iran sanctions
With the lifting of nuclear sanctions on Iran, the prospects for India as a consumer of oil, prices of which are in free fall towards levels of less than $20 a barrel, look rosy in the near term, says an expert.
 
"From a supply point of view, cheaper oil is good for emerging markets like India and such low prices might sustain for a longer period. It makes for lower trade deficits, helps lower fiscal deficit," Anand James, commodities expert with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
 
"However, from the price point of view, low prices discourage investment in oil exploration and capital expenditure in the sector and in spin-offs, which has a depressive effect and the slowdown thereby gets exaggerated, as seen in case of investments in US oil," he added.
 
The Indian basket of crude oils closed trade on the last trading day on Friday at a 11-year low of $26.40 a barrel, according to official data. The oil marketer cut the price of petrol and diesel by under a rupee each on the same day.
 
The Indian basket, comprising 73 percent sour-grade Dubai and Oman crudes and balance in sweet-grade Brent, had touched a previous monthly low of $26.27 in September 2004.
 
India can resume its unrestricted import of oil from Iran, which is expected to increase its export of 1.1 million barrels of oil per day by 500,000 soon, followed by a further 500,000 bpd thereafter, thus adding to the supply glut that has resulted in global prices plunging in a year from levels of $120-$130 a barrel to below $30.
 
Marking a 13-year low, the price of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket of twelve crudes stood at $24.74 a barrel on Friday, compared to $25 on the previous day, the organisation's secretariat said.
 
The prospect of Iran doubling its crude oil exports has provoked the continuing fall in oil prices with UK Brent crude closing trade on Friday below $29 a barrel.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Second edition of gold bond scheme opens
The second edition of sovereign gold bond scheme opened for subscription by resident Indians for five days from Monday, with the value of the commodity fixed at Rs.2,600 per gram of 99.9 percent purity, and an interest rate of 2.75 percent per annum.
 
"The bonds shall be denominated in units of one gram of gold and multiples thereof. The minimum investment in the bonds shall be two grams with maximum limit of subscription of 500 grams per person per fiscal year," the Reserve Bank of India, said announcing the launch.
 
"The scheduled commercial banks, designated post offices and the Stock Holding Corp of India are authorised to receive applications for the bonds either directly or through agents," the central bank added in the statement.
 
These bonds will be repayable on the expiry of eight years from February 8, which will be taken as the the issue date. Pre-mature redemption is permitted from the fifth year. The price taken for redemption will in rupees, taking into account the the previous week’s average.
 
Finance Minister Minister Arun Jaitley had underscored in his federal budget for 2015-16 the need to develop a financial asset ike the gold bond as an alternative to people purchasing metal gold. The first tranche was open for subscription from November 5-20. 
 
The government claimed thereafter that the the response was excellent -- 62,169 applications were received for a total subscription of 915.953 kg gold, amounting to Rs.246.20 crore by banks and Post Offices. 
 
Highlights of the scheme in its second edition:
 
- Issue price fixed at Rs.2,600 per gram of 99.9 percent purity
 
- Maximum subscription is 500 grams per person per fiscal 
 
- Minimum subscription two grams and in multiples of one gram, thereafter
 
- Rate of interest for 2015-16 fixed at 2.75 per annum payable half-yearly
 
- Bonds in both in demat and paper form
 
- Availability at designated banks and post offices
 
- Tenor of eight years, with exit option from 5th year
 
- Exemption from capital gains tax available. 
 
- On maturity, investor to get equivalent value of gold invested at then prevailing price
 
- Bonds may be used as collateral for loans
 
- Bonds can also be traded from such date as may be notified by central bank.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Delhi HC notice on school management quota issue
The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the city government on a petition questioning its decision to scrap management quota in nursery admissions in private schools.
 
Justice Manmohan sought response from the Delhi government and its education department by January 25 and posted the matter for hearing on January 28.
 
Saying the government can't take away the "autonomy of private schools", the court said parents shall fill the nursery admission forms as per the criteria prescribed by the schools, but it will be subject to the final outcome of the case.
 
Meanwhile, the court questioned the government on the condition of public schools in the national capital. 
 
"There is a rush in private schools because the standard is not good in public schools. When can't you improve public schools? You are taking over private schools. Set your house in order," the court said.
 
The court was hearing a bunch of pleas, including one filed by the Action Committee of Unaided Recognised Private Schools that the government circular was "absolutely without jurisdiction" and should be quashed as it completely took away the autonomy of schools.
 
"The order is liable to be quashed in as much as it completely takes away the autonomy of schools, which is part of fundamental right of private unaided educational institutions, as guaranteed to them under the constitution," the plea said.
 
"About 99 percent of private unaided recognised schools functioning in Delhi are following and have specified absolutely fair, reasonable, just and transparent criteria for admissions in their respective schools," it said.
 
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on January 6 said the decision to scrap the management quota was taken to bring in more transparency in the admission process of private schools.
 
He said the existing provision of 25 percent seats earmarked for students from poor families will remain in place.
 
However, he said, schools were free to grant admission to children of their employees and could allocate points in their criteria.
 
Currently, the schools keep 20 percent or even more seats under the management quota, while 25 percent seats are reserved for economically weaker sections (EWS) students while the remaining are open for the general category children.
 
Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung issued a notification in December 2013, abolishing the management quota in nursery admissions but it was challenged by the affected schools.
 
In November 2014, the high court quashed the admission guidelines issued by the Lt. Governor and gave autonomy to the schools to decide on the criteria as per the Ashok Ganguly Committee guidelines.
 
The city government appealed to refer the matter to a larger bench.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

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