Consumer Issues
Power bills in Maharashtra set to shoot up from September

With the upward revision to 20% from 10%, the FAC ceiling for MSEDCL works out to be at 94.91 paise per kilo watt hour, 99.9 paise for Tata Power, 128.4 paise for RInfra and 144.58 paise for BEST per kWh at the prevailing retail tariffs

Mumbai: Monthly electricity bills of consumers are set to increase from next month with the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) hiking the fuel adjustment cost (FAC) ceiling to 20% from the present 10%, reports PTI.
"...The commission revises the average FAC ceiling to 20% of variable tariff for all distribution licensees in the state," MERC said in its order yesterday.
The revised FAC ceiling will come into effect (for the FAC allowable to be charged to consumers) from September onwards.
The FAC is a variable energy rate that can fluctuate each quarter with fuel and purchased power costs of suppliers.
The decision is bound to affect monthly budgets of consumers who are already reeling under high tariffs and will now have to factor in the hike.
Suppliers, including Tata Power, Reliance Infra, MSEDCL and BEST, have been claiming that rising fuel cost and earlier ceiling of 10% on passing this burden to consumers have further aggravated their losses.
After analysing the monthly FAC of all utilities, MERC had suo-motu proposed to increase the cap to 25%as it observed under-recovery of the cost in recent past. The state power regulator, however, relented only after the public hue and cry over its decision.
"...The commission has already clarified that there has to be a balance between the interests of the consumers and the utilities and the FAC ceiling has to be stipulated in such a manner that fuel cost incurred by the distribution licensees under normal circumstances is allowed to be passed to the consumers on a regular basis, subject to post-facto approval of MERC and only certain spikes due to steep fluctuations in fuel prices or other developments may not get passed through directly within the ceiling," the order said.
With this revision, the FAC ceiling for Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) works out to be at 94.91 paise per kilo watt hour (kWh), 99.9 paise for Tata Power, 128.4 paise for RInfra and 144.58 paise for BEST at the prevailing retail tariffs.


Manesar violence casts shadow on Maruti Suzuki AGM

Maruti Suzuki India chief Bhargava, while speaking at the company's AGM attended by Osamu Suzuki, said the management and workers need to improve relationship

New Delhi: Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSI) on Tuesday admitted it needs to improve management-worker relationship in the aftermath of violence at its Manesar plant, reports PTI


"The management and the workers need to improve relationship," MSI Chairman RC Bhargava said at the company's Annual General Meeting (AGM), in the capital.


The violence at its Manesar plant last month in which a senior official was killed and 100 others injured, cast a shadow on MSI's 31st AGM which was also attended by Osamu Suzuki, Chairman of the company's parent, Suzuki Motor Corp.


Bhargava, who led shareholders in observing a minute's silence in the memory of slain General Manager (HR) Awanish Kumar Dev before the proceedings of the 31st AGM, expressed hope that the company would resume full scale production at the Manesar plant soon.


"Manesar plant violence was pre-meditated. It was unprecedented, not only in the history of MSI, but also in the industrial relations history of India," Bhargava said.


He, however, stressed that to the management there were no "ostensive reasons" for the violence and at the time of the incident "there was no pending demand from the union".


Recollecting Dev's contribution to the company, he said: "Awanish was a very dedicated HR Manager. He had a very good relation with union and it is an irony of fate that he was killed by workers."


On restoration of normal production at the plant, Bhargava said, "We do hope to restore full production in a reasonable period of time." However, he did not specify a timeline.


Nifty, Sensex may enjoy a small bounce: Tuesday Closing Report

Three days of continuous fall may be followed by a small gain but the trend is down

The market, which witnessed a recovery from the lows in the last hour of trade on buying in select blue chips, still settled in the negative for the third consecutive day. Disruption of Parliament proceedings for the sixth day in a row, which has led to a halt in the reforms process, is making investors restless. Yesterday we had mentioned that the Nifty will move sideways with a negative bias, however, a lower low may take the index further down to its first support at 5,325. Today the index went below this level and settled slightly above it at 5,335. We may now see the benchmark seeing a small bounce back. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a much larger volume of 64.93 crore shares and the advance decline was hugely negative at 400:1277.


The market opened flat with a negative bias tracking weak global cues and the continuing political imbroglio at the Centre. US markets settled mostly lower overnight as investors await the announcement from Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. Markets in Asia were mixed in morning trade as the Japanese government downgraded its growth assessment in view of the global slowdown.


Back home, the Nifty started off at 5,348, down two points and the Sensex fell three points to 17,676. Buying in select stocks enabled the market hit its intraday high in initial trade. At this points, the Nifty rose to 5,359 and the Sensex 17,712.


The benchmarks made half-hearted attempts to venture into the positive in the morning session but strong selling pressure amid choppy trade ensured that the market stayed lower.


Meanwhile, Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC, in an interview to a popular business TV channel, expressed concerns of a possible downgrade if the current situation of policy paralysis continued. “If downgraded to junk status, we will see substantial outflows,” he said.


The market continued to slide further in noon trade as a lower opening of the European indices added to the woes. The indices dropped to their lows a little before 2.00pm. At this point the Nifty fell to 5,313 and the Sensex retracted to 17,571.


Bargain hunting at the lows enabled the market stage a minor recovery in late trade. But the gains lacked strength leaving the benchmarks in the negative for the third day.


The Nifty settled 16 points down at 5,335 and the Sensex finished the trading session at 17,632, a loss of 47 points over its previous close.


Among the broader markets, the BSE Mid-cap index declined 1.03% and the BSE Small-cap index dropped 1.42%.


The sectoral gainers were BSE IT (up 0.92%); BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.70%); BSE TECk (up 0.58%) and BSE Power (up 0.57%). BSE Metal (down 2.44%); BSE Capital Goods (down 1.66%); BSE Bankex (down 0.97%); BSE Auto (down 0.81%) and BSE PSU (down 0.68%) languished at the bottom.


The Sensex was led by TCS (up 2.24%); Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 1.69%); Tata Power (up 1.55%); Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (up 1.53%) and NTPC (up 1.48%). The main losers were Sterlite Industries (down 5.13%); Jindal Steel (down 4.88%); Hindalco Industries (down 3.09%); Larsen & Toubro (down 2.53%) and ONGC (down 1.91%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—United Breweries (up 9.22%) and Gujarat State Petronet (up 4.62%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Welspun Corp (down 9.33%) and Wockhardt (down 7.43%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—HCL Infosystems (up 20.50%) and Koa Tools India (up 17.39%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Net 4 India (down 19.96%) and Gemini Communication (down 19.92%).


The main performers on the Nifty were Power Grid Corporation (up 3.42%); TCS (up 2.28%); Asian Paint (up 1.80%); Dr Reddy’s (up 1.67%) and Sun Pharma (up 1.65%). Sterlite Ind (down 5.53%); Jindal Steel (down 5.31%); Jaiprakash Associates (down 3.50%); Hindalco Ind (down 3.27%) and Sesa Goa (down 3.20%) settled as the top losers.


Markets in Asia closed mostly down as investors turned cautious ahead of an announcement from Fed chief Ben Bernanke later this week. Concerns about China’s economic growth also and the scaling down of its growth assessment by the Japanese government also weighed on the markets.


The Jakarta Composite shed 0.07%; the KLSE Composite lost 0.06%; the Nikkei 225 declined 0.57%; the Straits Times fell 0.15%; the Seoul Composite slipped 0.08% and the Taiwan Weighted tanked 1.42%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite climbed 0.85% and the Hang Seng rose 0.07%.


At the time of writing, among the European markets the CAC 40 of France was down 0.58%, the DAX of German was 0.32% lower while UK’s FTSE 100 was 0.04% higher. At the same time, the US stock futures were marginally higher.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares aggregating Rs200.40 crore on Monday. On the other hand, domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities totalling Rs500.71 crore.


IT firm Mahindra Satyam (Satyam Computer Services) has partnered with global enterprise applications company IFS for joint sales and marketing activities of IFS’ Applications software suite and staff training. The agreement covers joint marketing, including sponsorship of the 2012 IFS World Conference, which will be held in October in Gothenburg, Sweden, Mahindra Satyam said in a statement today. The stock tanked 3.47% to settle at Rs95.90 on the NSE.


Dhanuka Agritech, a crop protection solutions company, has launched three agrochemical products in Tamil Nadu. One of the new products is an insecticide that can tackle sucking insects in cotton, vegetable, fruits, cashew and tea. The other, Fluid, is to fight larval insecticide in major crops, while the third one, Fuzi Super, is an herbicide for paddy. The stock dropped 3.23% to close at Rs90 on the NSE.


After massive protests by locals, the Goa State pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has asked Sesa Goa to stop all activities at its coke oven unit at Navelim in Bicholim taluka, 40 km away from the state capital of Panaji. The locals held a day long bandh yesterday protesting against the increasing pollution allegedly due to coke oven plant at Navelim. The stock declined 3.20% to close at Rs181.50 on the NSE.



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