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CNG hiked by 40 paise, PNG by 81 paise in NCR

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New Delhi, May 17 : State-run Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) has announced a marginal revision in prices of compressed natural gas (CNG) and piped natural gas (PNG) in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad effective from Wednesday the recent increase in minimum wages by the Delhi government.

Thus CNG prices will increase by 35 paise per kg in Delhi and by 40 paise per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad, IGL said in a release here.

The new consumer price of CNG is now Rs 37.65 per kg in Delhi and Rs 43.15 per kg in Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad.

IGL also said it will continue to offer a discount of Rs 1.50 per kg in the selling prices of CNG for filling between 12.30 a.m. to 5.30 a.m. at select outlets. Thus, consumer price of CNG would be Rs 36.15 per kg in Delhi and Rs 41.65 per kg in NCR during 12.30 a.m. to 5.30 a.m. at the select CNG stations across the region.

Also effective from Wednesday, IGL has hiked the consumer price of PNG to the households by 81 paisa per standard cubic meter (scm) across Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. PNG in Delhi will increase from Rs 24.05 per scm to Rs 24.86 per scm and in NCR increase from Rs 25.56 to 26.37 per scm.

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Aditya Birla Group to donate Rs 500 cr to fight COVID-19

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Mumbai, April 3 (IANS) Aditya Birla Group on Friday said that it is committed to contribute Rs 500 crore to various COVID-19 relief measures.

Accordingly, the Group is committed to contribute Rs 400 crores to the PM-CARES Fund, while it has already provided a grant of Rs 50 crore to FICCI-Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence for COVID-19 relief measures.

The group has also allocated Rs 50 crore towards supply of one million N95 masks, 280,000 personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as ventilators.

“Commenced production of one million triple layer surgical masks and one lakh overall garments with the support of the Textiles Ministry,” the group said in a statement.

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US economy to decline by 7% in Q2: Report

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Washington, April 3 : The US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the country’s GDP will decline by more than 7 per cent in the second quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic, its said in a report.

If that happened, the decline in the annualized growth rate reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis would be about four times larger and would exceed 28 per cent, Xinhua news agency quoted the CBO as saying in the report on Thursday.

The unemployment rate was also expected to exceed 10 per cent during the second quarter, the CBO said, in part reflecting the 3.3 million unemployment insurance claims reported last week and the 6.6 million new claims reported earlier on Thursday.

The newly released number of weekly claims was about 10 times larger than it had been in any single week during the recession from 2007 to 2009, the CBO noted.

As the novel coronavirus continues to sweep across the country, some 40 states have ordered residents to stay at home unless necessary, including the hardest-hit New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California, and Louisiana.

Non-essential businesses, such as theatres, museums, gyms, and shopping malls were largely shutdown, and restaurants and bars asked to close to in-person dining, effectively paralyzing the consumption-driven US economy.

The CBO report also noted that interest rates on 10-year Treasury notes were expected to be below 1 percent during the second quarter as a result of the Federal Reserve’s actions and market conditions.

CBO’s economic projections, especially for later periods, were highly uncertain at this time, it added.

The US currently has the highest number of cases in the world at 245,213, with 5,983 fatalities.

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US stocks end higher amid rallying energy shares

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has risen above 1 million, according to the new tally from Johns Hopkins University on Thursday afternoon.

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New York, April 3 : US equities finished Thursday’s session higher, underpinned by solid gains in energy shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 469.93 points, or 2.24 per cent, to 21,413.44. The S&P 500 was up 56.40 points, or 2.28 per cent, to 2,526.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 126.73 points, or 1.72 per cent, to 7,487.31, Xinhua reported.

All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors climbed, with energy up 9.08 per cent at the close, outpacing the rest.

Energy shares advanced broadly, bolstered by regained optimism about a possible production cut deal between world’s major oil producers.

Thursday’s market rally came despite data showing a shocking number of Americans applied for unemployment benefits amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In the week ending March 28, US initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, hit 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

The reading easily topped the 3.3 million initial jobless claims announced last Thursday, which at the time was the largest number ever recorded.

“Bear in mind, many people likely tried to file but could not due to overloaded systems,” Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Thursday, while commenting on the unprecedented weekly jobless claims.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has risen above 1 million, according to the new tally from Johns Hopkins University on Thursday afternoon.

The US has reported the most cases, which have surpassed 236,000, along with 5,648 deaths, showed the tally updated by the university’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

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