Companies & Sectors
Oil ministry proposes gas price hike to $6.7 per mmBtu

In a note for the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, the ministry has proposed raising gas price for state-run firms immediately and that for RIL from April 2014

 
The oil ministry has moved a Cabinet note to raise the price of natural gas produced by state-owned ONGC and OIL as well as private firms like Reliance Industries to $6.7, less than $8-$8.5 hike previously expected. 
 
In a note for the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), the ministry has proposed raising gas price for state-run firms immediately and that for RIL from April 2014, sources privy to the development said. 
 
ONGC/OIL and RIL currently get $4.2 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) as the price of natural gas. 
 
The ministry wants the Rangarajan Committee recommendation of pricing domestically produced natural gas at an average of international hub prices and cost of imported LNG instead of present mechanism of market discovery be accepted with a minor modification.  
Instead of the Rangarajan panel’s suggestion of calculating gas price every month, the ministry has proposed notifying the gas price on a quarterly basis. The gas price based on average of April-June rates would come to $6.775 per mmBtu, much less than doubling of rates previously expected. 
 
Sources said the hike in natural gas price by $1 would result Rs3,155 crore per annum hit on fertiliser plants for producing 23 million tons of urea this fiscal and Rs4,144 crore a year for 32 million tons of urea production from 2017-18. 
 
The impact of every US dollar increase in gas price would be about Rs10,040 crore per annum on the power sector for 28,000 MW of electricity generating capacity. 
 
Sources said ministry wants the pricing formula proposed by the panel to apply to all forms of natural gas—conventional, shale and coal-bed methane (CBM). Also, the price determined shall be applicable to all consuming sectors uniformly. 
 
They said it wanted the new pricing guidelines to apply from 2013 itself on all domestically produced gas barring cases where it is either governed by a definite formula prescribed in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) or the government had previously fixed a tenure for the same. 
 
This essentially meant that RIL would get the new price only from 1 April 2014 upon expiry of the fixed five-year term of current rate of $4.205 per mmBtu. 
 
State-owned ONGC and Oil India (OIL) can, however, get the new rates this year itself for gas they produce from fields given to them on nomination basis by the government. Gas from nominated fields, called APM gas, was last revised in June 2010 to $4.2 from $1.79. 
 
The Rangarajan panel suggested rates may also not apply to BG Group-operated Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields in the western offshore as the current rates of $5.57-$5.73 per mmBtu for the fuel produced from these are derived from a pre-defined formula detailed in the PSC. 
 
However, Cairn India's eastern offshore Ravva gas, which is currently priced at $3.5-$4.3 per mmBtu, may be revised as per the committee recommendations. 
 
The gas price hike proposed falls short of what RIL and its partner BP plc of UK have been seeking. They want domestic gas prices to be freed and benchmarked to the rate at which gas in its liquid form (LNG) is imported into the country. 
 
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) currently is imported at about $14 per mmBtu. 
 
Sources said the ministry said the Rangarajan panel report needs to be accepted so that domestically produced natural gas prices are fixed in a fair manner and in a way that incentivises production. 
 
The panel had suggested taking a weighted average of the US, Europe and Japanese gas hubs or market price and then averaging it with the net imported price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to give sale price of domestically produced gas. 
 
The Rangarajan Committee suggested averaging volume-weighted price of gas at US' Henry Hub, UK's NBP and Japan Customs Cleared prices for the trailing 12 months with the net price that producer got from exporting LNG to India on a long-term contract. 
 
Previously, RIL had from April 2014 wanted to price KG-D6 gas at the rate India pays for importing LNG on a long-term contract from Qatar. India pays 12.67% of the international oil rate plus $0.26 per mmBtu to Qatar. At $100 per barrel oil rate, this translated into a gas price of $12.93. 
 
The panel headed by C Rangarajan —chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister—also suggested gas-on-gas competition after five years.

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COMMENTS

Chandragupta Acharya

4 years ago

Since cost-plus formula was used during the initial investment phase in KG Basin, only marginal cost basis should be used now. The developer has already recovered the investment at zero risk. So what is the logic to pay internationally linked prices now?

Sensex Rally: Winners and Losers as the index challenges the high of 2010

As the BSE Sensex nears its highest levels since December 2010, we look at what has gone up and down among the 30 Sensex stocks?

 
As the BSE Sensex crosses its highest level since December 2010, we looked at which of BSE Sensex stocks have contributed to the rally and which have dragged the index down. Out of the 30 BSE Sensex stocks, 16 stocks are actually down since 30 December 2010 while the remaining are up. The average gain of the 14 stocks is 38% while the average decline for the 16 that is 31%. In other words, it is not that ‘broad-based’ a rally. The uptick in BSE Sensex is explained by less than half of its constituents. 
 
Some of the biggest causalities of the index were commodity stocks such as Sterlite Industries (down 48%), Tata Steel (down 53%), Hindalco Industries (down 55%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 57%) and GAIL India (down 34%). In fact, five out of the bottom six performers are these stocks. Even though commodity prices are down over the last few years, the demand is not high enough to offset low prices. 
 
The biggest gainer in the index has been Sun Pharmaceuticals, which recorded a 100% gain between 30 December 2010 and 17 May 2013. This was helped by the stellar performance of one of its subsidiaries, Taro Pharma. Incidentally, the company has been faced the wrath of the minority shareholders of Taro for undervaluing the stock at time of purchase. 
 
On the other end of the spectrum is Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL), down 57% during the same time period, thanks to government policy inaction, a flailing power sector and bankrupt state electricity boards. While the order pipeline remains strong, it is the cash flow which is a big problem for BHEL, a capital-intensive company. It isn’t that only BHEL is doing badly. Even Tata Power, Coal India and NTPC are down too as power woes continue to drag on without any concrete policy decisions by the government.
 
Consumer-products companies like ITC and Hindustan Unilever have done extremely well during this period. ITC continues to deliver steady performances even as the hospitality and tobacco industries go through tough times. The share price is up 92% since December 2010, mainly because its consumer products business is now making money. Similarly, Hindustan Unilever is up 90% in the same time period, due to improved profitability but also the late surge on the news of its parent company, Unilever’s decision to hike its stake in the company. Both ITC and Hindustan Unilever have reported good 4th quarter results.
 
Surprisingly, barring Hero MotoCorp, the automotive sector has also done well too even though auto sales are stagnant. Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors were up. 
 
With the exception of State Bank of India (down 12%), finance companies have done well. HDFC Bank, HDFC and ICICI Bank were up 56%, 24% and 8% respectively. 
 
TCS, the index heavyweight, is up 26%. It reported decent results for the last quarter ended March 2013. Infosys, on the other hand, has been struggling as it tackles leadership and scaling issues. The share price is down 32% over the last two and half years. 
 

User

COMMENTS

MDSharma

4 years ago

The equity market is very ruthless and manipulate the best way is to play safe,keep well updated on company working,best information available through reliable sources Stay away from greed and scrupulous advisers.
MangalDuttaSharma

Suiketu Shah

4 years ago

The equity market is very manipulated and it is best to stay away from midcap and small caps if you donot have precise knowledge.

Donot employ fraud wealth management companies who wl make you buy "good stocks"(as if the stock owners are yr relatives) at a high price for them to earn illegal cash commission.

REPLY

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to Suiketu Shah 4 years ago

Do agree to it, see the Sensex steeply rising one day w/o basis and falling in the same way. Better stay put it is another T20.

Ramesh Poapt

4 years ago

Broadly, fundamentals of the company/industry has reflected in the above table. 2010 was euphoria of lesser intensity den 2007.Global/national factors has weighed in the above table. Not strictly as Ca Pr Ag opined.

REPLY

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

In Reply to Ramesh Poapt 4 years ago

I did not want to opine like that, but what I am seeing is greed..greed everywhere, though I might gain one rupee only but the other looses 100 rupees is the order of the day. due to these fundamentals going in the market without any basis and with money bags culture better stay out.

CA PRADEEP AGARWAL

4 years ago

My Dear MLF Team,

This market does not belong to true people all crabs and crooks who can sway the market with brute force-result they want money by hook and crook.

Why re-examine the Gadgil Committee report on Western Ghats?

Even as the deadline for inviting comments on the report of Dr Kasturirangan-led HLWG ended today, former secretary EAS Sarma had questioned the motive in re-evaluation of the Gadgil Committee report on Western Ghats

 
EAS Sarma, former secretary of the Government of India (GoI), has questioned the appointment of another committee, a high-level working group (HLWG) under the chairmanship of Dr Kasturirangan to evaluate the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Report (WGEEP) submitted by the Prof Madhav Gadgil Committee.
 
In a letter written to Jayanthi Natarjan, minister of state for environment and forest, the former secretary has questioned the motive behind the constitution of new committee to revaluate the exhaustive report of the Gadgil Committee. “Many of us felt distressed and distraught when your ministry had constituted yet another committee, this time under the chairmanship of Dr Kasturirangan, member of Planning Commission, to re-evaluate the Gadgil Committee report. How is that committee more qualified to question Gadgil Committee’s studies? Did it not result in wasting the tax payer's money?” he said.
 
Mr Sarma said, “In fact, on the same lines as HLWG, I had earlier requested you to set up a similar expert committee to evaluate the threats to the Eastern Ghats. Perhaps, sensing opposition from your colleagues who are clearly in league with the crony capitalist promoters of industry, you have preferred not responding to my appeal,” Mr Sarma said in the letter.
 
After orders from the Central Information Commission and the Delhi High Court, the ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) in May 2012 published the WGEEP report on its website. The reluctance of the ministry was obvious.
 
The WGEEP report submitted by the 13-member panel headed by noted Pune-based ecological expert Prof Gadgil has damned the construction of big dams; the ongoing mining activities; the devastation of chemical industries on the fragile environment of the Western Ghats that comprise 1.29 lakh odd km stretching over six states (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat).
 
What was hurting to the powerful developmental lobbies were the stringent recommendations made by the WGEEP in terms of making all the 142 talukas that come under the Western Ghats, into Environmental Sensitive Zones (ESZs) of three categories—ESZ I, ESZ II and ESZ III as per order of fragility. 
 
Here is the letter sent by Mr Sarma...
 
To
Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan
Minister of State (Environment & Forests)
Govt. of India
 
Dear Smt. Natarajan,
 
Subject:- Why re-examine the Gadgil Committee report on Western Ghats? How is the new Committee competent to undertake such a re-examination?
 
I refer to the comprehensive report submitted by the Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Prof Madhav Gadgil (HLWG report) and the report of yet another committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan to re-evaluate the HLWG report.
 
Having interacted with Prof Madhav Gadgil in one session while he was in the process of formulating his views on Western Ghats a couple of years ago, I thought that there could be no better person than him to evaluate the ecology of the Western Ghats and recommend measures to protect it. The Committee under his chairmanship had gone about in a systematic and professional manner and come up with suggestions that would save the Western Ghats and its resources for the posterity. I felt disturbed when MOEF had displayed inexplicable hesitation in releasing that report. It was under intense public pressure that your Ministry had to place the report in the public domain.
 
Western Ghats are rich in biodiversity and the health and the well being of their ecology will determine the future of that region for centuries to come. As a result of indiscriminately set up industrial and mining projects, the ecology of that region has already come under a serious threat.  The region cannot bear any additional stress. If at all, the stress that already exists may have to be reduced.
 
In fact, on the same lines as HLWG, I had earlier requested you to set up a similar expert committee to evaluate the threats to the Eastern Ghats. Perhaps, sensing opposition from your colleagues who are clearly in league with the crony capitalist promoters of industry, you have preferred not responding to my appeal.
 
Many of us felt distressed and distraught when your ministry had constituted yet another committee, this time under the chairmanship of Dr. Kasturirangan, Member of Planning Commission to re-evaluate the Gadgil Committee report. How is that committee more qualified to question Gadgil Committee's studies? Did it not result in wasting the tax payer's money?  Apparently, the Gadgil Committee report would hurt the interests of several corporates and, therefore, is unpalatable to the rulers of UPA! The way the HLWG report has so far been handled by the Prime Minister, the Planning Commission and MOEF confirms my strong feeling that most decisions of UPA are dictated these days by crony capitalists who seem to permeate the system like never before!
 
What worries me most in the latest report (Kasturirangan's) is that it contemptuously dismisses the role of the people at the grass-roots in economic decision making. The authors of the latest report seem to be oblivious of the fact that the Indian Constitution begins with the words, “We, the people of India...” Ours is a democratic system. The authority that is implicit in the Constitution emanates from the people. The Gram Sabhas are a Constitutionally created entity. The real wisdom and the knowledge about the ecology of any region rest in the local communities. To think that the ultimate wisdom rests with the Planning Commission, or the South Block, or Paryavaran Bhavan, is to delude oneself.
 
I feel pained to read the letter written by Prof Madhav Gadgil to Dr. Kasturirangan on the latter's report. I have enclosed a copy of that letter for your ready reference. I am sure that several persons among the civil society have also written to you, expressing their concerns.
 
I realise that MOEF has fixed a ‘deadline’ for submitting comments on the report and it so happens that today is that deadline! When the ecology of the country comes under the threat of crony capitalism of the worst kind, these deadlines have no relevance.
 
I fully endorse what Prof Madhav Gadgil has said in his letter to Dr. Kasturirangan. I wish Dr. Kasturirangan and his colleagues in his committee had the courage and conviction to tell MOEF that they would not re-evaluate Prof Gadgil's report.
 
I request MOEF to reject Dr. Kasturirangan Committee report and, instead, accept HLWG report without any hesitation. The sooner that MOEF does this, the greater will be its credibility as a body obligated under Article 48A of the Constitution to protect the environment of this country.
 
I am confident that you will accede to this appeal unhesitatingly.
 
I have marked copy of this letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission, hoping that they would introspect on what I have said here..
 
Regards,
Yours sincerely,
 
 
EAS Sarma
Former Secretary to GOI
Visakhapatnam
 
Separately, Prof Gadgil in an open letter to Dr Kasturirangan pointed out that out that the WGEEP report has advocated a graded approach with major role for grassroots level inputs to safeguard the Western Ghats. On the other hand, the HLWG rejected the framework and advocated partitioning of the natural and cultural landscapes. 
 
Prof Gadgil said, “This is like trying to maintain oases of diversity in a desert of ecological devastation. Such fragmentation would lead, sooner rather than later, to the desert overwhelming the oases. It is vital to think of maintenance of habitat continuity, and of an ecologically and socially friendly matrix to ensure long-term conservation of biodiversity-rich areas, and this is what we had proposed”. 

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