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OPEC daily basket price closes lower

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Crude Down

Vienna, April 15 (IANS/WAM) The price of OPEC’s basket of 13 crudes slipped to $38.58 a barrel on Thursday, compared to $38.91 on Wednesday, according to the OPEC Secretariat.

The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes is made up of the following: Murban (UAE), Saharan Blend (Algeria), Girassol (Angola), Oriente (Ecuador), Minas (Indonesia), Iran Heavy (Islamic Republic of Iran), Basra Light (Iraq), Kuwait Export (Kuwait), Es Sider (Libya), Bonny Light (Nigeria), Qatar Marine (Qatar), Arab Light (Saudi Arabia) and Merey (Venezuela).

A barrel equals 159 litres.

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Congress seeks cash transfers, reduced GST in Budget

The party said the government should increase government capital expenditure and encourage public sector banks to lend without fear of investigative agencies probing every loan.

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P Chidambaram

Ahead of the Budget Session, the Congress on Thursday demanded that the government initiate cash transfers and reduce taxes.

Addressing a joint press conference, Congress leaders P. Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh and Mallikarjun Kharge said, “As regards the economy, what needs to be done to stem the decline and accelerate the recovery have been identified by a number of economists, including those who have supported the Modi government in the past.”

“The government must impart a large fiscal stimulus to the economy, even if it is belated. Such a stimulus alone will put money in the hands of the people,” they said.

The Congress leaders asked the Centre to make direct cash transfers to 20-30 per cent of the families who are at the bottom of the economy for a period of at least six months.

The Congress also asked the government to formulate and implement a rescue plan for MSMEs to revive closed units, recover lost jobs and create new jobs for those who have moderate education and skills, and also reduce tax rates, especially GST and other indirect tax rates on petrol and diesel.

The party said the government should increase government capital expenditure and encourage public sector banks to lend without fear of investigative agencies probing every loan.

The Congress prescription for the economy included abandoning protectionist policies, re-engage with the world, enter into bilateral trade agreements with as many countries as possible, and remove the bias against imports. Formulate sector-specific revival packages for Telecommunication, Power, Mining, Construction, Aviation and Tourism & Hospitality.

“Review and rescind amendments to tax laws that have been widely viewed as tax terrorism. Initiate a comprehensive and time-bound review of the regulations made by RBI, SEBI, TRAI, CERC and other regulatory agencies that have been widely regarded as over-regulation,” Chidambaram said.

However the Congress leaders said they had no expectations from this government.

“Our effort today is to highlight the wrong policies, the incompetent economic management and the missed opportunities, and the reality is that the economy is in a recession, the recovery will be slow and painful, and the rate of GDP growth in 2021-22 (in constant prices) will be modest — no more than 5 per cent.”

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China’s 5G development to empower more industries in 2021

China will build more than 600,000 5G base stations in 2021, while promoting the 5G network coverage in a wider range and at more levels, Zhao said.

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5G

Beijing, Jan 27 : China will boost the 5G industry in 2021 by improving the capability of network coverage, application innovation and industrial base.

With the continuously increasing investment, China’s 5G commercial development took solid steps last year, said Zhao Zhiguo, director of the cybersecurity management bureau of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, at a press conference.

By 2020, all cities above the prefecture-level had full coverage of 5G networks, with more than 200 million 5G terminal connections and over 1,100 5G plus industrial internet projects, he added.

China will build more than 600,000 5G base stations in 2021, while promoting the 5G network coverage in a wider range and at more levels, Zhao said.

The country will foster emerging consumption models such as 5G plus VR/AR and immersive gaming and promote the integration of 5G technology into life services including health, elderly care and housekeeping, Xinhua news agency reported.

Continuous efforts will also be made to organise 5G millimeter wave tests, speed up the research and development of key technologies, shore up the weak links and ensure the safety of the industrial and supply chains, said Zhao.

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Sensex plunges 1,000 points, Nifty below 14,000

Heavy selling pressure was witnessed across sectors, led by banking, finance and oil and gas stocks.

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Stock Market Down

Mumbai, Jan 27 : The Indian stock market witnessed a freefall on Wednesday afternoon, with the BSE Sensex losing over 1,000 points.

Around 2.45 p.m., Sensex was at 47,310.81, lower by 1,036.78 or 2.14 per cent from its previous close.

The Nifty50 also fell below the psychological 14,000-mark.

It was trading at 13,944.25, lower by 294.65 points or 2.07 per cent from its previous close.

Heavy selling pressure was witnessed across sectors, led by banking, finance and oil and gas stocks.

Weak global cues, selling by FIIs and mixed Q3 earnings lead to the bear run in the market.

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