Rangarajan: Fuel price hike inevitable if crude oil rates remain high

Chairman of the prime minister’s economic advisory council says we may have to wait a few weeks more to see what happens to prices. He believes decline in food inflation will be visible from March

Chennai: In the context of the crisis in Libya, an increase in fuel prices would become "inevitable" if crude oil remains at $100 a barrel, according to C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council.

"If crude oil prices remain above $100, it will be a cause of concern. It will require some action on our part. Some adjustments in terms of raising the prices of petroleum products will become inevitable," Dr Rangarajan told journalists on the sidelines of a function here today.

"Concern for India, primarily is because of increase in prices of crude oil. We might want to watch for a few more weeks to see what would happen," he said.

Asked about food inflation, Dr Rangarajan said it would decline from March. "You see, the impact of the decline in vegetable prices started somewhere in the second week of February. Therefore, even the February numbers may not fully reflect the impact of the decline in vegetable prices. March numbers, I believe will show the result (and) it will come down. One can expect a sharper decline in March," he said.

Asked whether the government was mulling decontrol of prices of diesel, he said policy changes were required for it. "I have already explained that some policy action will be required on that," he said.

Dr Rangarajan hinted that the government would not exempt companies in Special Economic Zones from Multiple Alternative Tax (MAT). "(In the case of MAT) universal application is that all companies should pay a certain minimum tax if they show up some profits. However, if companies in SEZ should be exempted from MAT, is a matter for consideration. The view that has been taken so far is that MAT should be applied to it," he said.

Dr Rangarajan was here to attend the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between Madras School of Economics and the Central University of Tamil Nadu. The agreement between the two educational institutions would enable students to do a five-year integrated programme that will yield a MSc degree in economics, financial economics and other post-graduate programmes being run by MSE, where Dr Rangarajan is chairman. The scope of the partnership ranges from collaboration in teaching, offering training programmes to carrying out research activities.

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Kotak Life Insurance launches Kotak Assured Income Plan

Kotak Assured Income Plan guarantees a second income of up to 10.10% of the basic sum assured to customers for a period of 20 years

Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual Life Insurance has launched Kotak Assured Income Plan. The plan is an ideal investment avenue for customers who desire a steady, tax-free and guaranteed second income to indulge in life's little luxuries with absolute peace of mind. The plan guarantees a second income of up to 10.10% of the basic sum assured to customers for a period of 20 years. In addition to the annual income, up to 110% of basic sum assured will be paid on maturity.

Customers have the flexibility to pay for a limited term and enjoy the benefit of long term cover. The plan provides life cover for 30 years for a premium payment term of 15 years and on death, any time during the policy term it guarantees the customer his basic sum assured.  

The plan has the feature of reduced paid up which allows the customer to continue the policy after premium for at least three years have been paid (In such cases the basic sum assured will reduce depending on the number of premiums paid). The plan's policy loan feature allows customers to tide over liquidity problems by borrowing up to 80% of the surrender value.

Optional rider benefits can be bought to guard against unforeseen situations such as accidental death and permanent disability of the life insured. The plan also offers life guardian benefit and accidental disability guardian benefit as riders to ensure continuation of the policy after the death or accidental disability of the policyholder.  

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JPMorgan Mutual Fund floats Fixed Maturity Plan 95D Series 1

JPMorgan Mutual Fund new issue closes on 9th March

JPMorgan Mutual Fund has launched JPMorgan India Fixed Maturity Plan 95D Series 1, close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective is to generate income through investments in debt/money market instruments and Government of India securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the respective scheme.

The new issue closes on 9th March. The minimum investment amount is Rs5,000.

CRISIL Liquid Fund Index is the benchmark index. Nandkumar Surti and Namdev Chougule are the fund managers.

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