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Cut in fuel prices after elections

With the international crude price hovering around $50 a barrel, the Centre would consider a cut in fuel prices once the Assembly elections under way in six States were over, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said on Tuesday.“The prices of crude have fallen from an all-time high of $147 a barrel to around $50. People have expectations that petrol and diesel prices will be reduced now. “We have to reduce prices and we will consider it only after the Assembly elections are over,” Mr. Deora told journalists at the ‘India-CIS roundtable on hydrocarbons’ here. Declining to comment on the quantum of the cut, Mr. Deora said it would depend on the prevailing prices of crude.Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey said the Ministry would send a proposal for price cuts and related subsidy issues to the Cabinet next month. Though the margins on petrol and diesel turned positive, oil marketing companies (OMCs) were still losing money on domestic LPG and kerosene, he pointed out.“Three major OMCs suffered a net loss of over Rs.14,000 crore in the first-half of the current fiscal. As per our calculations, the companies will end the fiscal with a revenue loss on fuel sales of Rs.1.1-lakh crore,” Mr. Sharma said.

November 26, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Manmohan upset with DMK ministers in UPA

manmohan The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government is not only under attack from the opposition but some of its ministers too are not enjoying the full faith of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Prime Minister is very upset with two Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) nominees – Minister of Communications and Information Technology A Raja and Union Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways TR Baalu.Raja has been nicknamed the spectrum scam man by the opposition while Baalu is facing flak for not doing enough to build more roads.But now the opposition’s charge has got more teeth.However, Raja says that there is no corruption in the allocation of spectrum.
Karuna defends Raja on spectrum allocation issue
“The entire allocation process is transparent. The Allocation caused no loss to exchequer and the entire process is in line with 2001 guidelines,” Raja claims.The sale of spectrum bands was meant to have generated a windfall for the government.However, from the Leader of Opposition to Prime Minister’s own new-found friends the Samajwadi Party; everyone is having a go at Raja.”A representative of the cartel met me and through me they wanted to meet Mulayam Singh (SP chief). They wanted to pay an obscene amount of money for our silence,” Amar Singh General Secretary said.
In times of global recession, the Prime Minister wants his key infrastructure related ministries to pull up their socks. But the state of affairs in Baalu’s Surface Transport Ministry is very bad.Manmohan Singh is upset with the National Highway Development Authority for having failed to make the desired level of progress. Even as public sector undertakings are willing to spend but the projects under the ministry are just not taking shape.There are many allegations of corruption against the minister including those of Baalu’s family benefiting from dredging contracts for Sethusamudram and the use of his office for gas allocations for his sons firm which have embarrassed the Prime Minister.
Sources also say that the Prime Minister is keen on going for elections earlier if the current round of Assembly elections throws up a favourable response.As a man who has made enormous capital out of his clean image, corruption amongst key ministries is something that he would want to address at the earliest.

November 26, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment