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No respite for common man as fuel prices rise again

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Petrol Price

Mumbai, Oct 9 : Petrol and diesel prices in Mumbai are being sold at Rs 87.73 per litre (increase by Rs 0.23) and Rs 77.68 per litre (increase by Rs 0.31) respectively amid weakening rupee and high international crude oil prices.

Petrol and diesel prices in Delhi stand at Rs 82.26 per litre (increase by Rs 0.23) and Rs 74.11 (increase by Rs 0.29) respectively. In Chennai, Petrol Rs 85.50 per litre, up 29 paise; diesel Rs 78.35 per litre, up 26 paise
In Kolkata, Petrol Rs 84.09 per litre, up 32 paise; diesel Rs 75.96 per litre, 29 paise

The Modi government gave a temporary relief last week  by announcing Rs 2.5 cut on fuel, following which some states also cut VAT on fuel by Rs 2.5. But, oil marketing companies have not stopped increasing petrol and diesel prices ever since Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s announcement.

The prices vary from region to region due to local taxes, as the product is excluded from the GST regime. Delhi has the lowest tax rate among the four metro cities.

The increase in transport fuel rates comes amid a continuous surge in crude oil prices. On Friday, the Brent crude was priced at over $84 per barrel.

On Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a cut in excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre. Additionally, the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) have been mandated to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Re 1 a litre.

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Newsprint paper manufactures voice concerns

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News Papers

New Delhi, Aug 13 : Indiscriminate import and dumping of newsprint paper is threatening the very survival of the domestic newsprint industry, says the Indian Newsprint Manufacturers Association (INMA), the apex body of newsprint manufacturers in India.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, as much as 85 percent of domestic demand for newsprint paper was met by imports while the country has adequate manufacturing capacities to meet the demand both in terms of quality and quantity. In a SOS communication to the Prime Minister, INMA has asked for urgent remedial measures to safeguard the interests of the industry.

“The adverse impact of dumping is so serious that currently no good orders are in place to keep the plants running, resulting in severe financial stress, endangering the continuity of the mill operations and retaining employment,” INMA has said in a statement.

“Domestic newsprint production capacity was 2.6 million tonnes in FY 2014-15 but has come down to 2.2 million tonnes in view of continued challenging environment leading to closure of mills. However domestic capacities are still adequate to meet the domestic demand. There is an urgent need to curb dumping and other unfair trade practices operating in the industry,” states INMA.

Due to imports being cheaper than the domestically manufactured newsprint product, during FY18 and FY19, domestic sales of newsprint stood at 1.2 million tonnes per annum which reduced drastically to 0.7 million tonnes in FY20 in view of dumping.

According to INMA, against the import price of $800 per tonne of newsprint in FY18, the news print is currently being dumped by exporters at $390-400 per tonne which is almost $250-300 per tonne cheaper than their home country sales price. With Covid pandemic leading to demand reduction worldwide, market intelligence points to dumping of newsprint paper at $350 per tonne.

INMA says it is not against legal import by actual users but against unfair trade practice being adopted by the exporters. As an urgent measure, INMA has asked for imposition of a five-year moratorium on newsprint imports, among other asks.

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PM Modi unveils ‘transparent taxation’, Rights’ Charter for taxpayers

The Income Tax department will adopt a ‘taxpayer charter’ which outlines rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.

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Narendra Modi

New Delhi, Aug 13 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the ‘transparent taxation’ platform, which brings into effect faceless assessment of taxpayers, and the Rights’ Charter for the taxpayers.

Also the Income Tax department will adopt a ‘taxpayer charter’ which outlines rights and responsibilities of both tax officers and taxpayers.

Launching the platform ‘Transparent Taxation – Honoring the Honest’, Modi said the department will start faceless appeals from September 25.

“Effort is to make tax system seamless, painless and faceless… Honest taxpayer plays an important role in nation development,” he said.

Asking people to pay taxes due to them, Modi said while it is the responsibility of tax officers to deal with taxpayers with dignity, people should also consider paying taxes as their responsibility.

Fundamental reforms were needed in Indian tax system, he said, adding India is among the nations with lowest corporate tax rates.

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India

Nritya Gopal Das, Chief of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, tests positive for coronavirus

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chief of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, has tested positive for coronavirus.

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Nitya Gopaldas

New Delhi: Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chief of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, has tested positive for coronavirus. He complained of breathlessness following which he was found COVID-19 positive. A team of doctors is monitoring his health.

Mahant Nritya Gopaldas was present at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on August 5 and had shared stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He had said after the ceremony that the long wait for the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya ended with the bhoomi pujan.

In his address after the ground-breaking ceremony at Ram Janmabhoomi on Wednesday, the Mahant mentioned the speedy construction of the temple several times. He repeated this to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the latter came to take his leave after the ceremony.

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