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Gujarat, Delhi most investment-friendly; Bihar, Jharkhand worst

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Investment Friendly State

Gujarat and Delhi are India’s most investment-friendly states. Bihar and Jharkhand are the worst. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the most corrupt states for doing business. West Bengal is the most difficult for land acquisition, environmental clearances and approvals.

These are the findings of the recent “The NCAER State Investment Potential Index”, released by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), which evolved an index to grade states on five main issues: Labour, infrastructure, economic climate, political stability and governance, and perceptions of a good business climate.

The report contains two types of rankings: First, N-SIPI 21, an index that ranks 21 states on the five issues, including through industry surveys; second, N-SIPI 30 which includes all states – including nine not covered by industry surveys – and are based on four issues, excluding perception.

The data reveals that Gujarat tops the N-SIPI 21 index, followed by Delhi and Tamil Nadu, while Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu top the N-SIPI 30 index.

Bihar and Jharkhand fall in the bottom five states in both rankings.

In May 2016, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) listed how Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party was making it easier to do business, adding that the Centre was working with Delhi and Maharashtra to propel India’s rank into the Top 50 in global ease-of-doing-business rankings.

Corruption is the biggest issue faced by businesses, getting approvals comes second

A whopping 79 per cent of industry respondents said corruption was a major issue, followed by approvals before starting business (72.1 per cent) and getting environmental clearances (66.7 per cent).

Earlier this year, India was ranked 76 out of 168 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2015.

In a recent editorial on crony capitalism, however, The Economist said: “Encouragingly, India seems to be cleaning up its act. In 2008 crony wealth reached 18 per cent of GDP, putting it on a par with Russia. Today it stands at three per cent, a level similar to Australia. The pin-ups of Indian capitalism are no longer the pampered scions of its business dynasties, but the hungry founders of Flipkart, an e-commerce firm.”

Bengal worst in land acquisition, environmental clearances and getting approvals

Up to 82 per cent of respondents reported that they had problems in acquiring land in West Bengal, whereas only five per cent reported having any problem in Uttarakhand.

More than half of respondents (54.3 per cent) reported that environmental clearances were a “severe” problem in West Bengal; 11.4 per cent said it was not a problem.

It was easiest to get such clearances in Himachal Pradesh, with no more than 2.5 per cent of respondents reporting it as a “severe” problem, while 87.5 per cent said it was not a problem at all.

In terms of getting approvals for business, West Bengal was, again, the worst, with 68.6 per cent reporting a “severe” problem; 5.7 per cent said it was not a problem. Himachal Pradesh performed the best with no respondent (0 per cent) reporting approval problems.

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu report most corruption issues

In Andhra Pradesh, 74.3 per cent of respondents reported corruption as a “severe” problem; no one (0 per cent) in Himachal Pradesh reported corruption as a “severe” issue.

Business

Petrol, diesel become dearer after OMCs raise retail prices

The pump price of petrol increased by 17 paisa per litre on Thursday to Rs 82.66 a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 82.49 a litre a day earlier.

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Oil Price

Oil marketing companies on Thursday increased the prices of petrol and diesel after keeping the retail prices unchanged for the past couple of days.

The pump price of petrol increased by 17 paisa per litre on Thursday to Rs 82.66 a litre in Delhi from a level of Rs 82.49 a litre a day earlier.

Similarly, the diesel price increased by 19 a litre to Rs 72.84 a litre in the national capital as compared to Rs 72.66 per litre on the previous day.

The prices of auto fuel have also increased across the country but the level of rise has been different depending on the taxation structure in each state.

In the past 14 days, due prices have risen 11 days with petrol prices rising by Rs 1.60 per litre and diesel by Rs 2.38 a litre.

The increase has been primarily on account of firming up of global oil and product prices following news of successful coronavirus vaccine.

Petrol prices had been static since September 22, and diesel rates hadn’t changed since October 2.

Though retail pricing of petrol and diesel has been deregulated and oil marketing companies were following a daily price revision formula, the same was suspend ended for almost two months to prevent volatility in international oil markets from impacting fuel prices regularly during the pandemic.

But with crude on the boil again on news of a successful coronavirus vaccine launch soon, the patience was lost by OMCs who finally resorted to price increase to cover for their under recovery on the sale of two petroleum products.

The benchmark Brent crude has crossed $48 a barrel on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) lately. It has remained an over $44 a barrel for most part of November.

OMCs need almost 40 paise per litre increase in retail price of petrol and diesel to cover for $ 1 increase in crude.

Going by this yardstick, product prices would have to be increased by upto Rs 2 per litre to cover under recovery on its sale.

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India

Special ‘angavastram’ awaits PM Modi in Varanasi

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PM Modi

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Nov 29: A weaver from Varanasi has woven a special silk ‘angavastram’ for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to visit his constituency on Monday.

The ‘angavastram’ carries the Buddhist mantra “Buddham Sharanam Gachchami, Dhammam Sharanam Gachchami, Sangham Sharanam Gachchami” along with a leaf of the ‘Bodhivriksha’.

The weaver, Bachche Lal Maurya, said that he wants Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to gift the ‘angavastram’ to the Prime Minister during his visit to Varanasi on November 30.

Maurya said, “There are reports that Prime Minister Modi may go to Sarnath during his proposed visit to Varanasi, I started weaving the ‘angavastram’ with a Buddhist mantra and a leaf of ‘Bodhivriksha’ especially for him.”

Modi is likely to visit the holy site of Sarnath to watch the light and sound show which shows the transformation of prince Siddhartha into Lord Buddha, his first preaching and then chronicles his journey.

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Business

Brent hits highest since March, spurred by coronavirus vaccine hopes

This follows positive trial results from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

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Brent Crude Oil

SINGAPORE: Brent crude prices hit their highest levels since March as news of a third promising coronavirus vaccine candidate spurred hopes of a quicker recovery in oil demand, while U.S. President-elect Joe Biden received the go-ahead to begin his leadership transition.

Brent crude futures rose 43 cents, or 0.9%, to $46.49 a barrel by 0522 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude added 45 cents, or 1.1%, to $43.51 a barrel.

Brent rose to a session high of $46.56 earlier on Tuesday, the highest level traded since early March before Saudi Arabia initiated a price war with Russia, which sent oil prices crashing. Both oil benchmarks settled up about 2% on Monday after gaining about 5% last week.

“Progress on developing and distributing a vaccine de-risks the path back to normal for oil markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at financial services firm Axi.

“If mobility data is a measure of oil price sentiment, in the not too distant future, the vaccine will get people back on airplanes and cruise ships.”

AstraZeneca said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective in pivotal trials and could be up to 90% effective, giving the world’s fight against the global pandemic a third new weapon that can be cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.

This follows positive trial results from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Also helping to ease uncertainty in financial markets, President Donald Trump on Monday allowed officials to proceed with a transition to Joe Biden’s incoming administration, giving his rival access to briefings and funding even as he vowed to persist with efforts to fight the election results.

U.S. crude oil inventories likely edged lower last week, while distillate stockpiles were seen decreasing for a 10th straight week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday, ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Traders also focused on a week of technical meetings by OPEC and its allies to prepare the ground for next week’s ministerial gathering, which is set to discuss extending oil output curbs into next year due to weak demand amid a second wave of COVID-19.

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