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Aviation Minister offers hope as Jet Airways sinks deep

Running out of fuel, Jet Airways had on April 17 suspended its operations. Nearly 90 of its aircraft, out of 119, have already been de-registered with the lessors taking their possession.

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Hardeep Puri

New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Amid dwindling hopes of Jet Airways’ revival, Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday exuded confidence that a solution would be found for the defunct carrier.

“(We are) very confident that we can solve the problems at the now defunct carrier,” Puri said on the sidelines of an event here.

The statement has come days after a section of Jet Airways staff claimed to have received assurance from the Minister for taking measures to resuscitate the carrier.

Running out of fuel, Jet Airways had on April 17 suspended its operations. Nearly 90 of its aircraft, out of 119, have already been de-registered with the lessors taking their possession.

Once a flagship carrier and a well-recognised brand globally, Jet Airways is now staring at complete shutdown in the absence of its shareholder Etihad or a new investor infusing fresh funds.

The employees of Jet Airways are hoping the government will help revive the carrier and has been meeting top functionaries, including Puri, ever since the NDA government returned to power last month.

Puri, a former diplomat, is the new Aviation Minister. In addition to aviation, he holds the portfolios of urban development as well as trade and commerce.

While he is Minster of State (independent charge) for both aviation and urban development, Puri serves as junior to Piyush Goyal in the Commerce Ministry.

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Kia Motors India sells 1 lakh units since July

Additionally, Kia aims to fully utilise the capacity of 300,000 units per annum at its manufacturing unit by 2022.

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New Delhi: Automobile manufacturer Kia Motors India has sold 1 lakh units since July 2020 in the domestic wholesale market.

Accordingly, the maker of Seltos, Sonet and Carnival, has successfully dispatched 200,000 Kia vehicles to its dealerships across India within seventeen months of sales operations in the country.

The company said the top-end — above GTX variants — for the Seltos, Sonet and the Limousine variant for the Carnival, have accounted for nearly 60 per cent of total cars sold.

As per a statement, Kia sold over 106,000 UVO connected vehicles on the road summing up to a humongous 53 per cent of the brand’s total sales.

Besides, Seltos leads the sales charts for Kia Motors India with 149,428 units, followed by the Sonet with 45,195 units, which was launched in September, 2020 and the Carnival with a total sales of 5,409 units.

“In just over a year of sales operations, Kia has emerged as India’s youngest automobile disruptor and one of the best-selling automobile brands in the country,” said Kookhyun Shim, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kia Motors India.

The rapid adoption of Kia cars reiterates the evolving customer preference towards a technology-led exceptional driving experience, coupled with great connectivity. Kia’s focus has also been on offering products that are designed to fulfill consumer demands across both urban and rural areas.

Currently, Kia’s manufacturing plant in Anantapur is running on two-shift operations and given the increasing demand for Kia cars, the brand is evaluating operating in three shifts to meet them.

Additionally, Kia aims to fully utilise the capacity of 300,000 units per annum at its manufacturing unit by 2022.

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Petrol, diesel prices remain unchanged at record high levels

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Retail fuel prices were unchanged on Sunday across the four metros. On Saturday, petrol and diesel touched fresh all-time high levels.

In the national capital, petrol was priced at Rs 85.70 per litre. In Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, petrol was sold at Rs 92.28, Rs 88.29 and Rs 87.11 per litre, respectively.

Although the pump prices of fuels were unchanged on Sunday, they have been elevated for long and have been touching new highs of late.

Global oil prices are above $55 per barrel currently. Crude prices have remained firm for the last couple of weeks in the wake of unilateral production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and a pick up in the consumption in all major economies globally.

The last time the retail price of auto fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018 when crude prices had shot up to $80 a barrel.The current price rise is largely on account of steep increase in central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices.

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Fuel dearer again: Petrol prices up by 22-25 p/l, diesel by 24-26

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 Petrol and diesel prices rose sharply again on Saturday reaching new all-time highs as oil marketing companies (OMCs) decided to break the pause in revision of auto fuel prices to bridge the widening under recovery.

Accordingly, the pump price of petrol increased between 22-25 paisa per litre across all major metros on the day while diesel prices increased in the range of 24-26 paisa per litre.

With this, petrol is now priced at Rs 85.70/litre in Delhi as against Rs 85.45 a litre previously. Similarly, in Mumbai petrol prices increased to Rs 92.28 a litre, a 24 paisa increase from Friday’s price of Rs 92.04 a litre. In Chennai and Kolkata, petrol is now priced at Rs 88.29 and 87.11 a litre respectively, an increase of 22 and 24 paisa per litre from the previous day’s.

Diesel on the other hand faced sharper increase, rising by 26 paisa a litre in Mumbai from Friday’s level of Rs 82.40 a litre to Saturday’s retail price of Rs 82.66 a litre. In Delhi, diesel rose 25 paisa per litre to Rs 75.88 a litre; in Chennai by 24 paisa per litre to Rs 81.14 a litre and in Kolkata by 25 paisa per litre to Rs 79.48 a litre.

The increase in retail price of auto fuel came on a day when global crude prices showed some signs of softening declining by less than 1 per cent to close to $55 a barrel. Crude price have remained firm for last couple of weeks in the wake of unilateral production cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and a pick up in consumption in all major economies globally.

The increase petrol and diesel prices is fourth such revision this week. The auto fuels had risen sharply by 25 paisa per litre each on Monday and Tuesday before OMCs decided to give relief to consumers from frequent price rise for last two days.

With Saturday’s revision, the pump price of petrol and diesel has now increased by Rs 1.99 and Rs 2.01 per litre, respectively in January so far with OMCs deciding to break an earlier longer period of pause increasing the retail prices first time this year on January 6. The price had been raised on six different days since then.

The last few increases in pump prices in petrol and diesel has taken its price to record levels across the country in all major metro cities and other towns. The last time the retail price of auto fuels were closer to current levels was on October 4, 2018 when crude prices had shot up to $80 a barrel.

The current price rise is largely on account of steep increase in central taxes of petrol and diesel and firm crude prices.

Petrol price was very close to breaching the all-time high level of Rs 84 a litre (reached on October 4, 2018) when it touched Rs 83.71 a litre on December 7, 2020. But the march had been halted ever since then with no price revision by the OMCs in the month. The price rise started again only on January 6.

Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making loss on sale of auto fuels.

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