Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Why lovers buy V-Day presents when come with free gifts
New York : You are more likely to skimp on a Valentine Day gift while choosing it for a loved one if it comes with a free gift, finds a new study which may have implications for merchants, retailers and marketers.
 
Just as people are more likely to give more to close friends than to strangers, people may be more likely to give less to close friends than to strangers if there is a mutual overall benefit for doing so, said the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
 
"The tendency is rooted in a friendly intention of trying to maximise the total benefits for the pair, or the so-called "self-other collective,'" said the team from universities of Chicago and Florida.
 
To understand this, seven experiments were conducted to explore different kinds of relationships - including naturally occurring friendships and those developed in the lab. 
 
The activities in the experiments included sampling chocolates, getting massages, sharing cabs and choosing airline mileage programmes.
 
The results of each experiment supported the hypothesis that because people focus on total benefits when making decisions about how to allocate resources between themselves and people they're close to, they choose the option that benefits themselves.
 
In one experiment, 63 University of Chicago undergraduates were invited to enter a raffle in which each winner and one person they knew would sample gourmet chocolate truffles. 
 
They had to choose between two differently distributed prizes. 
 
In Package A, the winner would receive seven truffles and the other person three, for a total of 10 truffles. 
 
In Package B, the winner would receive two truffles and the other person six, for a total of 8 truffles. The truffles could not be shared.
 
When participants knew they'd sample the truffles with someone they felt close to, almost two-thirds chose the package where they would receive more truffles. 
 
But when participants anticipated sampling truffles with someone they felt less close to, the fraction flipped, and only about one-third chose that option.
 
Although consumers generally spend more on gifts for people they are close to, the researchers say, "they might also be more influenced by discounts, sales, and other saving opportunities" when buying for those loved ones.
 
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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Procuring 120 crore litres ethanol to blend petrol 5 percent: Pradhan
New Delhi : State-run oil marketing companies will procure 120 crore litres of ethanol to reach the mandated target of 5 percent blending for petrol with bio-fuel by end of the sugarcane crop year in September 2016, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.
 
"A memorandum of understanding has already been signed to procure 120 crore litres of ethanol. We'll meet the target of the 5 percent ethanol blending of petrol this year," he told reporters here.
 
"For many years we were stuck at between 1-2 percent, but this year, we will achieve the target," he said after inaugurating a national seminar on an ethanol roadmap for the country.
 
Pradhan said that some states have higher levels of blending, like Uttar Pradesh, which has a bio-fuels policy and where the blending levels are at around 9-10 percent, that is also helping sugarcane farmers in the state get better return on their crop.
 
In this connection, he said that storing the fuel was a major issue facing companies.
 
"PSUs (public sector units) are in the process of increasing the storage capacity for ethanol," he said.
 
"This year we have also started procuring bio-diesel. Out of 85 crore litres that was tendered for procurement, 4 crore litres has come in already. In the next step, we want farmers to produce ethanol from different feedstock like wheat straw, rice straw, corn straw and others," Pradhan added.
 
He said an Automotive Research Association of India study has shown that blending can be increased up to 15-20 percent for ethanol in petrol, as well as bio-diesel in regular diesel, without major changes to existing car engines.
 
"We are talking to various bulk purchasers like the railways, defence and state transport departments towards boosting use of bio-fuel," he said.
 
"For agricultural water pumps, the blending can even be 100 percent of bio-diesel," he added.
 
To boost the ethanol blending programme (EBP) started in 2003, and as a measure of relief to struggling sugar mills, the NDA government, in December 2014, fixed a minimum support price for ethanol in a bandwith of Rs.48.50 to Rs.49.50 per litre.
 
Inaugurating the seminar, Pradhan said that given India's current growth trajectory, the country's crude oil imports are estimated to rise to 550 million tonnes by 2040 and increasing use of bio-fuels will help reduce the import dependence as well as benefit the farmers.
 
"The creation of a second generation ethanol from other biomass will allow us to gave the farmer a better price for agricultural residue that is being burnt today, adding to pollution," he said.
 
"To successfully commercialise the new bio-fuel technology, we need various departments to be coordinated.. agriculture, foods and food processing, micro, small and medium industries, finance and even rural development," the minister added.
 
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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Small savings rates to be revised soon: official
New Delhi : The government will announce a revision of interest rates for small savings schemes in a couple of days so as to align them with market rates but those for the girl child and senior citizens will be kept unchanged, a senior official said on Thursday.
 
"The decisions have been taken and executive order and notification would be issued in a day or two. Broadly the underlying philosophy of small savings rate changes is to make the rate more frequently market-aligned, make it as closely market-aligned as possible," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters here.
 
"At the same time, taking into consideration the interest of small savers and some important social sector measures of the government, the rates under the girl child scheme, the senior citizen scheme, they will continue as it is. They will have quarterly adjustments but whatever spreads they have over the G-Sec rates will not be altered," he said.
 
"First effect of these changes will take place from 1st of April. They will be reset from 1st April," he added.
 
The economic affairs secretary said small savings rates are linked to government securities and readjusted every year, but now be adjusted on a quarterly basis.
 
Moreover, all long term savings of over 5 years will continue to have the spread, he added.
 
"That is whatever policy rates are being announced by the Reserve Bank, the small savings rate will also pass it on. But at the long end of the curve, the spread will be protected. Government has taken into consideration the interest of small savers and the need to also encourage long term savers," Das said.
 
The finance ministry had, last year, announced its plan to review interest rates on small savings after bankers said high rates on such schemes run by the government make it difficult for banks to lower fixed deposit rates.
 
Asked if commercial banks would pass on the benefit of the Reserve Bank of India rate cuts to customers, Das said they were free to decide on their interest rates.
 
"Banks are free to decide on the interest rate. It is for banks to decide by what basis points they will cut interest," he said.
 
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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