World
Nepal puts fuel deal with China on back-burner

After ties were strained with India following Oli assuming the office, Nepal looked towards its northern neighbour, aiming to import at least one-third of the total petroleum needs of the Himalayan country from China

 

Nepal will not sign a petroleum agreement with China during the official visit of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli to the northern neighbour, according to key ministers.
 
After a five-month unofficial blockage by Madhesi groups at key entry points on the Nepal-India border that hit petroleum supplies after promulgation of the new constitution last year, Nepal attempted to import petroleum products from China.
 
After ties were strained with India following Oli assuming the office, Nepal looked towards its northern neighbour, aiming to import at least one-third of the total petroleum needs of the Himalayan country from China.
 
China gave some 100,000 kilolitres of fuel as grant to Nepal but did not complete the negotiations to export fuel, citing several reasons like difficult geographical terrain, taxes, transportation and other issues.
 
Nepal had sent several teams for negotiations with China that included Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa.
 
Nepal and China agreed to sign an agreement during the visit of Prime Minister Oli.
 
However, officials have told IANS that the deal to import petroleum products from China was "unlikely this time".
 
"We have already agreed to import fuel from China," Thapa told IANS ahead of Oli's visit, adding: "We will follow the negotiations of price and other logistics gradually."
 
For a long time, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) has been the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal.
 
After IOCL said it was considering supplying 70 percent of the total fuel demand, Nepal decided to import the rest 30 percent from China and started negotiations with Petro China. Nepal and China signed a framework deal in November last year.
 
However, following Oli's visit to India in February, the fuel supply from the southern neighbour eased.
 
As Oli begins his visit to Beijing on Sunday, Nepal's Supplies Minister Ganesh Man Pun, who was initially scheduled to join the delegation, has not been included in the final list of delegates.
 
This, according to sources, was because the agenda of importing fuel from China has now been put on the back-burner.
 
"I cannot ask the prime minister why I have not been included in the delegation. After all it is his delegation," Pun said on Saturday, admitting that he was not travelling with Oli to China.
 
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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9 stalled gas-based plants now to generate 7 bn units of electricity

Sunday's reverse e-auction for stranded gas-based plants SGPs is the third phase of auctions conducted

 

The government on Sunday announced revival of 9 stranded gas-based power plants with total installed capacity of 5,942 MW, which successfully bid electricity at Rs.4.70 per unit for six months beginning April, at the conclusion here of the reverse e-auction process.
 
"The auction process successfully concluded on March 20 wherein 9 plants emerged as preferred bidders and were allocated 7.62 million standard cubic meter per day (mscmd) e-bid RLNG (reliquefied natural gas)," said a power ministry statement.
 
"These plants would generate 6.79 billion units of which will be supplied at or below Rs.4.70 per unit to the purchaser discoms during the period from April 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016," it said.
 
"The re-auction resulted in aggressive negative bidding with the lowest bid at Rs.0.03 per unit. As a result there is estimated savings of Rs.18.29 crore to the government's Power System Development Fund," it added.
 
Sunday's reverse e-auction for stranded gas-based plants SGPs is the third phase of auctions conducted.
 
Auctions for the first and second phases were held in May and September respectively last year.
 
A total of 10 mscmd of RLNG will be imported to run SGPs and domestic gas plants (DGPs) between April 1 to September 30.
 
According to the bid document, while 8.9 mscmd of gas will be imported for SGPs, 1.1 mscmd will be allocated to DGPs.
 
The government is offering Rs.1,400 crore subsidy for SGPs and Rs.200 crore to the DGPs for buying imported gas to run their plants.
 
It had, in March last year, allowed gas imports by way of e-auctions for 31 gas-based power units, with a capacity of 14,000 MW, lying idle for lack of feed stock.
 
The 31 power stations with a combined capacity of 14,305 MW became eligible to apply for Power System Development Fund (PSDF) to generate 30 percent of their installed capacity using imported LNG.
 
In the first phase of auctions, 10 of the plants bid through reverse e-auction for generating over 5 billion units of electricity to be supplied at below Rs.5 per unit during peak summer, and in the second phase, 13 plants with an installed capacity of 8,262.08 MW emerged successful bidders.
 
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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Online shopping to grow by 78% in 2016: Assocham-PwC

Around 55 million consumers purchased online in 2015 and the number is expected to grow to 80 million this year with better logistics, broadband and Internet-ready devices, it said

 

Average online purchases in India are expected to increase by 78% this year on the back of attractive deals and aggressive marketing of merchandise, industry chamber Assocham said on Sunday.
 
"Unfazed by slowdown, average online purchases are expected to increase by 78% in 2016 from 66% in 2015, due to attractive deals and aggressive marketing of ever-expanding range of merchandise from clothes to jewellery, from electronics to books," said a study by Assocham and international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).
 
Around 55 million consumers purchased online in 2015 and the number is expected to grow to 80 million this year with better logistics, broadband and Internet-ready devices, it said.
 
The report said the growth of e-commerce has been driven by aggressive merchandising and discounting from flash sales and daily deals, more online loyalty programmes and increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets among consumers.
 
"The smartphone and tablet shoppers will be strong growth drivers. Mobile phones already account for 11% of e-commerce sales, and their share will jump to 25% by 2017," it said.
 
Overall the e-commerce industry, worth $25 billion, has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of about 35%-40% a year, and is expected to cross the $100 billion mark in five years, it added.
 
"E-commerce is big business and getting bigger every day. Online shopping has been embraced by Indians with close to 8-10 million adults making a purchase via the Internet in the last year," said Assocham secretary general D.S.Rawat.
 
The report also said computer and consumer electronics, along with apparel and accessories, will contribute 40% of the total retail e-commerce sales in 2016, from the current level of 35%.
 
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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