Oil companies hike petrol price by Rs5 per litre

The increase in petrol price, which the oil firms had been holding since January even though crude oil had touched a two-and-a-half-year high, came a day after election results of five state assemblies were announced

New Delhi: In the biggest ever price increase of the fuel, state-owned oil companies today hiked petrol price by Rs5 per litre with effect from midnight Saturday, reports PTI.

The steep hike in petrol price is likely to be followed by a Rs4 per litre increase in diesel rates and Rs20Rs-25 per cylinder increase in domestic LPG price later this month.

Petrol in Delhi will cost Rs63.37 per litre at Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) outlets in the national capital from Sunday as against Rs58.37 a litre currently, an official said here.

Even after the hike, oil companies will continue to lose Rs5.50 per litre and another increase in price is on cards soon, he said.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) hiked price by Rs4.99 per litre and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) by Rs5.01 a litre.

Petrol at BPCL outlets currently cost Rs58.39 per litre and at HPCL pumps Rs58.38 a litre.

The increase in petrol price, which the oil firms had been holding since January even though crude oil had touched a two-and-a-half-year high, came a day after election results of five state assemblies were announced.

The government had in June last year freed petrol price from its control but oil companies continued to follow ‘informal’ advice from the oil ministry on rate revision.

The three firms had not raised prices since January in view of assembly elections in states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

“The hike needed to make domestic rates at par with international prices was Rs10.50 per litre but oil companies chose to hike rates by less than half of that,” the official said. “Another hike in petrol price is on cards soon,” he said.

This is the eighth hike in petrol price since the June 2010 decision. Petrol in Delhi cost Rs51.43 after the 26th June decision of the government deregulating its price.

The official said Saturday’s hike in petrol price was made necessary because of rising borrowing of oil companies who faced severe working capital shortage in view of losses incurred on fuel sales.

IOC has seen its borrowing rise by Rs15,000 crore in last 45 days as it loses Rs296 crore per day on fuel sales.

Besides petrol, it loses Rs18.19 per litre on diesel, Rs29.69 a litre on kerosene and Rs329.73 per 14.2-kg LPG cylinder.


RTI activist calls for reforming the culture of secrecy that breeds corruption

Bhaskar Prabhu, convenor of Mahiti Adhikar Manch, says the Right to Information movement must start from the home, through discussion and financial planning with all family members. He was addressing a Moneylife Foundation workshop on using the RTI Act effectively

“Nearly 70% of the Right to Information (RTI) applications are filed by government employees, seeking to know why they have not been promoted or why they have been transferred. Citizens should understand that the RTI is much more than that,” Bhaskar Prabhu, convenor of Mahiti Adhikar Manch said today. Mr Prabhu was speaking at a Moneylife Foundation workshop on ‘How to use the RTI Act effectively’.
Mr Prabhu gave the participants a crash course on the RTI Act, listing the history of its evolution, explaining in detail the salient features, the restrictions and exceptions, the rights of those seeking information and the process to file appeals and reviews.
“We have an inherent culture of secrecy, and it starts in our homes. If we start with our own homes, I think we will create an atmosphere of transparency that will reflect on our public authorities,” Mr Prabhu said. He asked participants how many people really discussed matters within their families before taking decisions, particularly financial decisions.
He described the nature of public information, the institutions that can be classified as public authorities and the forms in which information is available that can be applied for, like even being able to inspect official records.
Mr Prabhu gave numerous examples and tips on how to seek information through the RTI Act satisfactorily. But through the more than 90-minute presentation, he repeatedly underlined the importance of people to ACT on their issues, without which no legislation can work.
“It is the citizen’s right to demand that public authorities maintain records in a way which facilitates the RTI. Ask for a good record-keeping system,” Mr Prabhu said. He also said that in case someone opts for inspecting documents while seeking voluminous information, he must insist that the files/records be made available to him properly indexed and catalogued. “If the authorities resist, fight for it. They are bound to give you information in an accessible form.”
Mr Prabhu also outlined the hurdles that are put in the way of disseminating information and how one should counter them. He also talked about why public authorities should be proactive in disseminating information, and how public awareness can be spread about the legislation.
“Programmes should be conducted for the disadvantaged, to educate them on how to use the Act, suitable training material must be developed, public authorities must be asked to participate in training their public information officers and to sensitise them to voluntarily disclose required information in a cost effective and people-friendly manner,” he said.
Mr Prabhu’s presentation was the second programme on RTI conducted by Moneylife Foundation after the seminar on the ‘Proper and Responsible use of RTI’ addressed by eminent civic activist Ashok Ravat.
The RIT Act is being increasingly used by citizens to check on the progress of plans in their neighbourhood, allocation of funds for schemes and important decisions by the government and has helped in revealing mismanagement and corruption that public pressure can set right. It is key to transparent, accountable, efficient and corruption-free governance.
“If we need a transparent and corruption-free government, we should be proactive ourselves”, Mr Prabhu said. “We must stop bribing officials, and take up the RTI seriously to know about governance deficit. Then only can our grievances be addressed.”  




D Kirit

5 years ago

Agree with Mr. Prabhui fullly. Let us propogate RTI to have better corruption free India.

Chetan Bordawekar

5 years ago

With due respect to everyone at MoneyLIFE & Mr.Bhasker Prabhu, I was disappointed with the seminar. Mr.Prabhu explained How & Why to use RTI Act. But he didn't discussed the difficulties faced in getting information from Public Authorities. He didn't shared his own experience on RTI Act. I was surprised when he said, "I am not an Activist". Then Who is he? He also skipped many slides without informing what was it contained. He gave basic info like format of RTI application, which everyone knows. It could have been better if he would have allowed audiance to share their experience in short as this help others to take precaution while filing RTI application. Only plus point of seminar, was the small documentary in the begining, which was no doubt excellent. Overall a disappointing seminar.


5 years ago

Excellent views articulated by Mr.Prabhu. One must practice what one preaches.

Market might see minor gains: Weekly market report

The gains could fizzle out at 5,620-5,700 on the Nifty

It was a lacklustre week for the market despite positive domestic economic indicators.  The last two days displayed contrasting trends with the market witnessing a sharp fall on Thursday on global cues, whereas it recovered on Friday, cheering the electoral results in the four states and one Union Territory.

The market ended flat on the first three trading days of the week, fluctuating between positive and negative. It ended with a sharp cut of around 1.4% on Thursday, but recovered its losses on Friday and closed over 1% higher. Over the week, the market was flat with a mixed bias, as the Sensex added 12 points, while the Nifty shed seven points.

Among Sensex stocks, Hindustan Unilever (up 12%), DLF (up 6%), Bharti Airtel (up 5%), ITC (up 3%) and Jindal Steel & Power (up 2%) were the top gainers. On the other hand, Maruti Suzuki (down 4%), Mahindra & Mahindra, HDFC (down 3% each), HDFC Bank and Hindalco Industries (down 2% each) were the losers.

The BSE Realty index gained 4% and BSE TECk rose 1%, while BSE Bankex and BSE Capital Goods were down 1% each, in the sectoral space.

As the market tries to shrug off the downtrend, Friday’s gains could lead to a short-term rally that could fizzle out at 5,620-5,700.

In economic news, the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for March stood at 7.3%, compared to 15.5% expansion in the same month a year ago. However, the performance in March was an improvement from the 3.6% growth registered in February this year. This apart, IIP growth for 2010-11 fell to 7.8% compared to 10.5% in the previous fiscal.

Food inflation dropped to 7.7% for the week ended 30th April, the lowest level in 18 months. The rate of price rise in food items was 8.53% in the previous week and 21.46% in the comparable period of 2010.

India’s exports grew by an annualised 34.4% to $23.9 billion in April, maintaining the tempo of the last financial year, despite a decline compared to the 44% growth in March. Imports for the opening month of fiscal 2011-12 were up 14.1% to $32.8 billion, leaving a trade gap of $8.9 billion.

The country’s total merchandise exports aggregated $246 billion, growing by an impressive 37.55% in the previous fiscal. Imports in the fiscal 2010-11 were $350 billion, down by 21.6%, and the trade deficit was $104 billion.

Chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu suggested that the finance ministry’s 9% growth projection for this fiscal may have to be revised on account of the high global commodity prices and the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.

He added that the country’s headline inflation is likely to be around 8.5% in April, below the 9% average projected by the Reserve Bank of India for the first half of 2011-12.

Echoing a harsher outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier in the week, revised downwards India’s growth outlook for 2011 to around 8% on the back of high inflation and the overall global economic outlook, clouded by rising commodity prices led by oil. The multilateral agency earlier also moderated the country’s growth projection to 8.2% from 8.4%.

Markets have been worried about high commodity prices, rising inflation, rising interest rates and a slowdown in consumer spending, together with the potential downward GDP growth forecasts, and the consensus is that this will determine the trend going ahead.

State-owned oil firms are likely to get the go-ahead to raise the price of petrol by up to Rs3 per litre, which they have not revised since January on informal ‘advice’ from the government in view of the recent state polls. The government is also considering a Rs3-Rs4 per litre hike in the price of diesel as well as the price of domestic LPG by Rs20-Rs25 per cylinder.

On the international front, the People’s Bank of China increased the banks’ reserve requirements by 50 basis points, the eighth time since October, in an attempt to ease inflationary pressures. The 0.5 percentage point increase in the reserve requirement ratio was announced Thursday, a day after China said inflation touched 5.3% in April, with food prices soaring at 11.5%. It’s the sixth straight month that food prices have risen at double-digit rates.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) left its key policy rate unchanged for a second month in a row. Most economists had expected the BOK to raise its policy rate by 0.25 percentage point this month, as part of an offensive against rising prices. It, however, suggested that it will resume tightening in the near future.


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