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NCPEDP pushes for hike in Union Budget allocation for differently-abled

It said that the quantum of state disability pension should be raised to Rs 1,500 per month for every differently-abled person.

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New Delhi: The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP) has said the budgetary allocation for people with disabilities has been too low in the past few years. It has urged the Central government to increase the allocation in the upcoming Union Budget.

In a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, te NCPEDP said,”Over the past few years the budgetary allocation for person with disabilities has been 0.04 per cent which is disheartening and inadequate to meet the needs of this particularly vulnerable and marginalised section of society.”

It noted that people with disabilities have been the worst-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic this year.

“Loss of access to healthcare, support systems, education, livelihood and even basic food supplies are the new normal for the vast majority of India’s differently-abled community. At this time especially and in the near future, access to support has become a survival issue.”

Among its recommendations, the rights’ body for the disabled people said the Union government should ensure inclusive tax policy measures for the differently-abled.

The NCPEDP said no GST should be levied on aids and appliances for persons with disabilities and no tax should be imposed on the purchase of cars and wheelchairs available in the national and international markets.

It also sought an increase in Standard Deduction under Section 80 U and 80 DD of Income Tax for persons with disabilities.

The NCPEDP has asked the Centre to appoint a person in all the states within the Ministry of Finance responsible for disbursing the fund for disabled people.

Among other suggestions, it has urged the Union government to step up investments to safeguard livelihoods, including measures such as unemployment allowances for disabled people, who have lost their jobs and livelihood due to the pandemic.

“Give a boost to employment of disabled persons by providing incentives to private sector employers (as mandated under Section 35, RPwD Act-2016) to ensure that at least 5 per cent of their workforce constitutes persons with ‘benchmark disability’,” the NCPEDP recommended.

It has also suggested an increase in allocation under NHFDC for generating entrepreneurial and self-employment opportunities among disabled persons.

It said that the quantum of state disability pension should be raised to Rs 1,500 per month for every differently-abled person.

Persons with ‘benchmark disabilities’ need to be provided monthly support such as adequate caregiver allowance in accordance with Section 38 of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act,2016, the NCPEDP said.

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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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