New Delhi: The Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles today said it expects electric two-wheeler market to witness 100% growth following a Rs95-crore incentive package for the remaining part of the 11th Plan, reports PTI.
As per a scheme approved by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), the government will provide financial incentive for each electric vehicle sold in India during the remaining part of the 11th Plan-2010-11 and 2011-12.
The scheme, effective from 11th November, envisages incentives of up to 20% on ex-factory prices of the vehicles, subject to a maximum limit.
The cap on the incentive will be Rs4,000 for low speed electric two-wheelers, Rs5,000 for high speed electric two-wheelers, Rs60,000 for seven-seater three-wheeler and Rs1 lakh for an electric car.
"This could have an immediate impact on sales of electric two-wheelers. In terms of monthly sales, we expect an immediate doubling of sales," Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles director Sohinder Gill told PTI.
Moreover, those electric vehicle makers who were getting frustrated, will now feel encouraged to grow the market further, he added.
"We have convened a meeting of our members in this week to see how quickly we can pass on the benefits to consumers.
Although these incentives are for the manufacturers to carry out R&D activities and to increase capacities, we will surely pass on partial benefits to the buyers," Gill said.
On an average, electric two-wheelers are priced between Rs25,000 and Rs40,000 depending on the speed range.
As per the notification by the MNRE, the government will take up "dissemination of two wheelers, three wheelers and four wheelers Battery Operates Vehicles (BOV) and R&D and technology demonstration and other activities in the area of Alternative Fuels for Surface Transportation at a total cost of Rs95 crore during the remaining period of the 11th Plan".
For this fiscal, the government will support 20,000 units and 10,000 units of low and high speed two-wheelers respectively, while it will be 80,000 units and 20,000 units in 2011-12.
The government has also decided to incentivise 100 units of three-wheelers and 140 units of passenger cars in the rest of this fiscal, while it will be 166 units and 700 units in the next financial year.
At present, the Indian electric two-wheeler market stands at about 85,000 units annually. Some of the leading electric two-wheeler manufacturers include Hero Electric, Avon Cycles, BSA Motors and Lohia Auto.
In the three-wheeler space, Lohia Auto and Mahindra & Mahindra are present. The four-wheeler market is minuscule with only one player-Mahindra Reva.
MNRE said the manufacturers will have to give at least one year comprehensive warranty, including for batteries, and minimum 30% of the components will have to be indigenous to avail the benefits.
Besides, the companies will have to set up at least 15 service centres across the country to ensure quality and services of the products.
The government will also take up "R&D and technology demonstration projects for various components including battery for 'hybrid electric vehicles', 'plug hybrid electric vehicles', battery operated vehicles and electric/exercise-bike-generator inverter and other such vehicles and their components and activities in this area".
Seeing the potential, some auto majors such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and General Motors are working on to introduce the electric vehicle technology in their existing models across different categories.
New Delhi: The steep hike in onion export prices has failed to improve the domestic market scenario as the vegetable continues to be expensive at a retail price of Rs35 a kg in Delhi, reports PTI.
Besides, onion continues to be expensive in the wholesale market, even after the agri-cooperative and onion export regulator NAFED hiked the commodity export price last week to $150 a tonne.
NAFED's decision to increase the minimum export price (MEP) from $375 a tonne to $525 a tonne for this month was necessitated by sharp increase in retail price of the vegetable at Rs40 a kg over a fortnight period.
The measure, the cooperative had hoped, would help bring down the onion price below Rs30 per kg.
However, trade sources inform that onion is being sold between Rs25-Rs30 a kg in wholesale market in Azadpur, which is Asia's biggest fruit and vegetables market. They add this has been the prevalent rate for the last 4-5 days.
Good quality onion at retail outlets in Delhi is available at Rs35 a kg while poor quality wet onions are being sold at Rs30 a kg.
The country has shipped 10.10 lakh tonnes of onion so far this fiscal, against 12.99 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, the official data showed. India exports onions to Bangladesh, the West Asia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Prices of onion have risen because of supply crunch due to rain, triggered by cyclones in the South and heavy downpours in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, Onion Merchants Association Azadpur market president Rajendra Sharma told PTI.
Maharashtra ranks first in onion production with a share of 18%.
There is a shortfall in supply of 35%-40% at Azadpur market in Delhi, which has lifted the price, said Metharam Kriplani, president of Chamber of Azadpur Fruit and Vegetables.
"Export rush of onion for handsome profit has telling affect on its prices in domestic market," Mr Kriplani said.
But, the situation is showing some improvement with arrival of crop from Rajasthan, Mr Sharma said. Over 275 tempos of onion (each carrying about 8 tonne) arrived at Azadpur market today from Rajasthan to boost the supply, he added.
Meanwhile, NAFED has said it will be reviewing the export prices by month-end.
New Delhi: UK's Cairn Energy Plc may apply this week for government nod to sell its majority stake in the Indian unit to Vedanta Resources, but is unlikely to concede pre-emption rights to partner Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), reports PTI.
The Edinburgh-based firm's current application seeking the nod for sale of 40% to 51% in Cairn India, for up to $8.48 billion, has left out three producing properties, including the giant Rajasthan oilfields.
"The government has in no uncertain terms told Cairn that it will have to apply for approval to transfer control in each of 10 properties," a source with direct knowledge of the transaction said. "Cairn is left with no choice but to apply and is likely to do the same this week."
In its 16th August announcement of the deal, Cairn Energy did not say that the sale of its majority stake in Cairn India to London-listed Vedanta was conditional on government approvals.
However, on being shown the relevant provisions of the contracts for exploration it has with the government, Cairn Energy - about a month later - made an application for permission that left out all of its three producing properties including its mainstay 6.5 billion barrels Rajasthan block.
"This position was not acceptable to the oil ministry who sought law ministry views on the issue. The law ministry opined that Cairn was contractually bound to apply for approvals in all the properties," the source said
Earlier this month, the oil ministry wrote to Cairn Energy citing the law ministry views, after which the UK-based firm has had a change of heart.
Cairn has so far maintained that it is not contractually bound to seek approval for sale of shareholding in the Indian unit in the Rajasthan block, the Cambay basin gas field and the eastern offshore Ravva oil and gas fields.
Though the company looks set to concede the ground on requirement of prior government consent, Cairn is unlikely to yield pre-emption rights to state-owned ONGC, which partners its Indian unit in most of its properties including the Rajasthan block.
"It remains to be seen how the government will react to the continued defiance of Cairn on pre-emption rights," the source said.
The pre-emption is a natural extension of the requirement of government consent and the same has been upheld by law ministry and the Solicitor General of India, the nation's second highest law officer, in their separate opinions on the Cairn-Vedanta deal.
The law ministry, in an opinion sent late last month, had held that the share sale is nothing but transfer of control (in all of the 10 properties of Cairn India), necessitating government nod in all of them and triggering ONGC's pre-emption rights.
Cairn India is primarily an aggregation of interests that it holds directly or indirectly through its subsidiaries in 11 blocks (in India and Sri Lanka). A transfer of controlling stake in Cairn India amounts to a transfer of the respective participating interests, therefore necessitating government approval, according to the legal opinion.
And transfer/sale/assignment of interest to third party will trigger pre-emption rights of state-owned ONGC, which partners Cairn India in most of its properties.
Cairn says the Vedanta deal is only a corporate transaction, involving share transfer, which does not trigger issues like examination of new owners' technical capability and ONGC's pre-emption rights.
Both the oil ministry and ONGC, which hold stake in most of Cairn India's properties, have contested this view and have got legal opinion backing their claims. They feel the deal is effective transfer of control and so ONGC's pre-emption rights are triggered.
Vedanta was to get shareholder nod for the deal by 30th October but has not yet posted a notice for a shareholders meet. Its mandatory open offer for additional 20% stake in Cairn India, too, missed the October deadline as market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is yet to give its approval for the same.