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India liberalises visa rules for Russian citizens  

India took a lead in resolving the vexed visa issue by liberalising its rules for the Russian citizens visiting India on business and tourism.

"We are now issuing multi-entry business visas valid for one year against six months single or double entry in the past and tourist visas valid for six months with multiple entries," India's Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra has said.

The Embassy of India in Moscow has streamlined and liberalised its issuance of business and tourist visas with a view to further encourage business contacts and promote tourism between India and Russia.

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Diesel and LPG price: Kerala, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi reducing VAT and other levies, Maharashtra and Meghalaya likely to follow  

More states reduce diesel, LPG price

NEW DELHI: Steps by states to soften the impact of the fuel and LPG hike on common man gained momentum on Monday with Kerala, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi decreasing their prices after reducing VAT and other levies. Maharashtra and Meghalaya are also likely to follow suit. With the hike last Friday generally coming in for sharp criticism, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee wrote to all chief ministers asking them to reduce state levies on diesel, kerosene and LPG in line with the duty cuts undertaken by the Centre so as to provide some relief to the common man. The states cutting across party lines which have taken the decision have sacrificed revenue by reducing Value Added Tax (VAT) and other levies on petroleum products. West Bengal and Haryana have already reduced prices of some petroleum products since the fuel hike last Friday.

LPG cylinders in Delhi will cost Rs 40 less for BPL and Antyodaya families and diesel 37 paise less per litre for all, Kerala brought down diesel price by 75 paise per litre. Himachal Pradesh exempted kerosene oil from VAT and reduced the tax on diesel to 9.70 per cent from the present 14 per cent. Besides, there would be 'zero' VAT on kerosene oil, a relief of 13.5 per cent while reduction in VAT on diesel would be 4.30 per cent. Uttarkhand announced to waive VAT on kerosene, and would not charge the tax on the amount increased for diesel and LPG after the hike. Similarly, Punjab exempted VAT on the hiked amount of diesel and LPG. This will make diesel cheaper
by 25 paise a litre and LPG by Rs 2.50.


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sales tax rates on diesel in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Lucknow  

The Centre had on Friday increased diesel prices by Rs 3 per litre, cooking gas by Rs 50 per cylinder and kerosene by Rs 2 per litre.

At present, sales tax rates on diesel within India are high and constitute as much as 20% of the consumer price.

Both diesel and cooking gas prices in Delhi may come down a bit after last week's hefty hikes as the state government has assured tax reductions to cushion the blow.
 In Delhi, where diesel now costs Rs 41.12 per litre after the price hike, the government gets 12.5% as sales tax, or around Rs 5 per l itre, as revenue.

Below is a list which shows sales tax rates on diesel in different cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Lucknow.

The above rates are as on 27th June 2011.

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Haryana to waive off five per cent VAT on kerosene  

Marginally lessening the burden on the people of Haryana from the recent hike in kerosene prices , the state government Sunday waived the five per centvalue added tax (VAT) on the fuel,  thus making it cheaper by 70 paise per litre in the state.

Kerosene users in Haryana will now have to pay Rs 14 per litre instead of Rs 14.70 per litre price owing to the increase announced by the central government Friday.

"The waiver on kerosene today makes Haryana a VAT-free state for these two key items," Hooda said here in a statement. He hinted that the state government would also take more steps to control price rise in the state. The central government, after announcing the hike in diesel, kerosene and LPG prices by Rs.3 and Rs.2 per litre and Rs 50 in case of LPG cylinders, had asked state governments to reduce state-level taxes to lower the prices of these commodities.

Hooda said that the state was charging minimum 8.8 per cent (9.24 per cent, including surcharge) on diesel, which was the lowest VAT rate in the country.He justified the increase in prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG cylinders saying that the central government had to increase the rates of petroleum products due to the hike in the global prices of oil.

Hooda pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states were charging maximum VAT on diesel which was 24.7 per cent in Gujarat, 23 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, and 22 per cent in Chhattisgarh. "The diesel rates in Haryana were also the lowest in the country," he added.

Courtesy: ET

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Updates on BGR Energy Systems Ltd’, one of the fastest growing engineering companies in power sector  

FairWealth Securities is bullish on BGR Energy and has recommended buy rating on the stock with a target of Rs 607 in its June 24, 2011 research report.

Entrance into BTG space through JV with Hitachi provides BGR an edge over its competitors in BoP segment. The current order backlog is  approx. Rs 8,000cr and  the company has already placed bids worth Rs 18,000cr..

“The total order backlog as on 31st march 2011, stood at Rs 7971cr, however the fresh order intake during FY11 remained subdued by 22% at Rs 3000cr. Commenting on the muted order intake in FY11, company had bid for projects worth Rs. 18000cr, which was not materialized in the year gone. The company has identified projects worth Rs 40,000cr which it intends to compete during the current financial year.”

“The massive power generation capacity addition targets in XII plan will augur plethora of opportunities for BGR Energy being one of the key player in EPC segment. The stock is available at 8.8x and 7.8x of it FY12E and FY13E earnings. We recommends ‘BUY’ with a price objective of Rs 607, based on 12x FY12E EPS,” says FairWealth Securities research report.

The full article can be read here

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Check today's LPG or cooking gas prices in 4 metro cities : DElhi, Kolkata, Mumbai & Chennai  

LPG is a blend of Butane and Propane readily liquefied under moderate pressure. LPG vapour is heavier than air; thus it normally settles down in low-lying places. Since LPG has only a faint scent, a mercaptan odorant is added to help in its detection. In the event of an LPG leak, the vapourisation of liquid cools the atmosphere and condenses the water vapour contained in it to form a whitish fog, which is easy to observe. LPG in fairly large concentrations displaces oxygen leading to a nauseous or suffocating feeling.

Today's LPG or cooking gas prices in 4 metro cities can be found here

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Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is likely to file papers for a Rs 11500 crore share sale after the government gives its verdict on its dispute with cairn.

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Diesel prices up Rs 3 per litre, kerosene Rs 2 per litre and cooking gas Rs 50 per cylinder  

The government took the step of raising diesel, cooking gas and kerosene prices for the first time in one year and cut taxes on fuel, delivering a bonanza for cash-strapped oil retailing firms but upsetting budget calculations of households and the economy.

Diesel prices are up Rs 3 per litre, kerosene Rs 2 per litre and cooking gas about Rs 50 per cylinder. The timing is ironical as the steep rise comes a day after international crude prices fell sharply but justifiable as crude oil prices are much higher than June last year, since when prices have been frozen.

Petrol prices, which have been decontrolled and raised several times, were untouched. The government also withdrew the 5% Customs duty on crude oil, and cut excise duty on diesel by Rs 2.6 a litre, losing tax revenue of Rs 49,000 crore and further boosting the finances of oil firms.

It also cut the import tax on petrol and diesel to 2.5% from 7.5%. Petrol and diesel are usually not imported in India but the import price, which includes Customs duty and freight, is always used by fuel retailers to calculate "under-recoveries" or the notional loss by selling fuel below the landed price of imported products.

State oil firms would still suffer an "under-recovery" of Rs 120,000 crore in 2011-12. In other words, they would have together earned an additional Rs 1,20,000 crore in the current fiscal year if fuel prices had been raised to the level of landed cost of imported fuel.
Source-Economic Time

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Solar's module plant in Chennai  

Rs 720-cr solar cell plant to come up near Chennai

By....M. Ramesh ...from the pages of THE HINDU Businessline newspaper.

A solar farm at Sri City. -- M. Ramesh

Chennai, June 21: Shan Solar Pvt Ltd, whose solar PV module plant near Chennai is likely to be production-ready in a month, intends to go further down the value chain and put up a crystalline silicon manufacturing plant. The plant is expected to cost around Rs 720 crore, the company's Chairman, Mr Suryaprakash Singapur, told Business Line today.

Investment ::::: Shan Solar's module plant will come up in the Sri City Special Economic Zone, about 55 km north of Chennai. The company has invested Rs 80 crore in setting up the plant, which can produce 30 MW worth of solar modules each year. An expansion of the modules facility is on the cards —another Rs 60 crore of investments would take the capacity up to about 100 MW.However, the bigger story is the journey down the value chain. The modules plant would import crystalline silicon cells from China or Taiwan and make PV modules — a process of assembly that involves cutting the cells, placing them on glass sheets, wiring them together, laminating the surface and adding a ‘junction box. ‘The key product is the silicon cell, which is made out of poly silicon. Shan Solar wants to make the cells, too. It has acquired additional land in Sri City. While no decision has been taken to put up the plant in Sri City, the company is inclined towards locating the cell plant near the module unit.

Technology partner :::: Centrotherm Photovoltaics of Germany is Shan Solar's technology partner and equipment supplier to the module facility. The collaboration would continue into the cell unit, Mr C Suryaprasad, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Shan Solar, said. Incidentally, Shan Solar participated in the bidding process for setting up solar power projects in the first round of bidding of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The winners of the bidding were those who offered to sell solar power at the least price to NVVN Ltd, the company (a subsidiary of the public sector power producer, NTPC). Shan Solar, which offered to sell power at a little over Rs 14, was out-bid by others, but Mr Suryaprasad feels a lesser price would trip the economics of the project. However, Shan Solar nurtures ambitions of becoming a solar power producer, apart from being a producer of equipment to generate solar electricity. Mr Singapur said Shan Solar would forward-integrate into development of solar farms of 30 MW capacity, but said he was not sure if it would happen in India.

By....M. Ramesh ...from the pages of THE HINDU Businessline newspaper

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Alternative energy sources a big theme of 49th Paris Air show  

With fanfare, biofuels and rivalry, Paris Air Show kicks off

Vidya Ram ::::Paris, June 19: ::::The biennial air show at Le Bourget, Paris doesn't officially start until Monday, but over the week-end, there is little doubt that the posturing and courting for business and headlines is well under way as the global aviation industry's titans landed their latest prized aircraft to much fanfare. Already, it's clear that alternative energy sources are set to be a big theme of the 49th Paris Air show – where over 138,000 trade visitors are expected. Lausanne, Switzerland-based Solar Impulse kicked off the show with the arrival of its solar-only powered jet on Tuesday.

After a delayed start, the HB-SIA prototype – which is being billed as the ‘special guest' of the show – landed after a 16 something hour trip from Brussels, and is set to show its capabilities with daily flights, weather permitting of course. Biofuel is also all the rage, with the US-based Honeywell completing the first-ever transatlantic flight of a plane on Saturday, partly powered by oilseed crop camelina. The Gulfstream G450 jet made the journey from Morristown New Jersey, half powered by bio and petroleum based fuel – a mixture that saved it around five-and-a-half tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the airline says. It will shortly be followed by Boeing, which will use a 15 per cent camelina fuel to debut its 747-8 freighter plane on Monday. The company's new passenger jet, the 747-8 Intercontinental, touched down on Sunday morning.

For others, it will be about demonstrating green futures – EADS, which at Farnborough last year paraded a craft powered by algae juice, is already touting Volt-Air, a lithium-air battery-fuelled concept plane of which it will release further details over the course of the week. The pan-European corporation will also bring out the Eurocopter X3 for its first public flight. A video of the craft – dubbed a hybrid because it has both wings as well as rotors – drew appreciative murmurs during a conference held by EADS over the week-end.

However, it will be the solid order intake on which the chief rivalry will occur, led of course by the market's biggest players, Boeing and EADS division Airbus – the latter has already won a contract to sell 72 A320 Neos to GoAir. EADSs lively chief executive, Louis Gallois, presented a bullish view of the company's prospects, for the year ahead, highlighting the Eurofighter consortium's battle against Dassault's Rafale to win the 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft contract from India as one of its major priorities. “We must become faithful citizens of these countries,” he said on Saturday. “I feel we are in a very good position for an additional reason that not only do we have a good aircraft but it is an aircraft in the development phase – it offers Indian companies participation in the development programme” said Stefan Zoller, the head of Cassidian, the EADS division, which is part of the Eurofighter consortium. India will have a sizable presence at the show with nine Indian firms including, specialist Ambica Steels, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Quest Global among the over 2,000 exhibitors.

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Check today's ATF price in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai & Chennai  

Jet fuel is a colorless, combustible, straight-run petroleum distillate liquid. Its principal uses are as jet engine fuel. The most common jet fuel worldwide is a kerosene-based fuel classified as JET A-1.The governing specifications in India are IS 1571: 2001 (7th Rev).

Check todays ATF price here
The site takes you to domestic  and international prices.

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Government to come out with ‘forward looking' CSR spend guidelines  

Flexible CSR spend norms soon

Bombay Chamber President-elect and MD Forbes & Co Ashok Barat (left)
along with Department of Corporate Affairs Secretary D. K. Mittal
(centre) and Novartis India Country President Ranjit Shahani at a
seminar in Mumbai on Monday. Photo: Paul Noronha In what could be
termed as a relief for India Inc, a top government official on Monday
said the government did not wish to make corporate social
responsibility (CSR) spend mandatory, but would instead come out with
'flexible', 'directional' guidelines.

"There is no way the government wants to mandate it. If we make it
mandatory there can be thousand and one ways to bypass it," Corporate
Affairs Secretary D. K. Mittal said at a meeting organized by the
Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry on CSR, here. The government
would come out with 'forward looking' CSR spend guidelines, he said,
adding, "It will be only directional and not mandatory. We want it to
be flexible. But once the new norms are in, firms will have to
disclose their CSR spends or non-spending."

more from MUMBAI, June 14, 2011 ::::::::::PTI …from the pages of THE

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Updates on US ethanol production  

According to EIA U.S. ethanol production climbs to 915,000 bp

The US government stated that although the stocks fell to their lowest levels in 6 weeks, the production of U.S. ethanol surged to the highest level since late January in the last reporting week.The Energy Information Administration said that for the week ended June 3, 2011, the output of ethanol rose by 6,000 bpd to 915,000 barrels per day (bpd).

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