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We take PM Modi’s views seriously while deciding oil prices: Saudi

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Viennai: Oil cartel OPEC will consider views of world leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who represent the voice of major consuming nations, with seriousness before taking a decision on cutting output to support falling prices, Saudi oil minister Khalid Al Falih said.

India is the world’s third largest oil consuming nation, which is more than 80 per cent dependent on imports to meet its energy needs.

Led by PM Modi, it has been very strongly making a case for oil producers’ cartel OPEC to price crude at reasonable and responsible rates.

 

Speaking to reporters at the meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Saudi oil minister Khalid Al Falih said: “We take the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi seriously who (like US President Donald Trump) is equally vocal about the issue. We just met him in Buenos Aires (during G20 summit) and privately he made those points very very strongly that he does care for Indian consumers and is very serious about it. I have also seen him at three times at various energy events in India where he was very vocal.”

He was replying to a question on US President’s expectations from OPEC meeting.

“Well, President Trump is the president of the largest consuming country in the globe — 21 million (barrels), I believe, or thereabouts. That’s 20 per cent of global markets if not more. And the consumer in the US, just like the consumer in France, just like the consumer in India, just like the consumer in Saudi Arabia, wants affordable energy. So, he (Trump) has every right to wish for affordability of energy for the citizens of the United States and he is very vocal using his favourite communication tool which is Twitter and we hear him and we take his views seriously,” he said.

Ahead of the meeting, Trump in a tweet had hoped that OPEC will keep oil flowing and not take decisions that would lead to higher oil prices.

“Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!,” he had said.

Consuming nations are part of OPEC deliberations even when they are not physically present in the meeting room, the Saudi oil minister said.

“And the fact that President Trump tweets about it and reminds us, I think, is a healthy thing and we take it as one input factor but at the end of the day our most important guiding principle is to bring supply and demand into balance and we don’t think the US will benefit from an over-supply market for an extended period of time where investment flows stop and the fantastic growth in US shale is brought to a halt in the way it happened in 2015-2016,” he said. OPEC on Thursday delayed a decision on production until it meets with other producers on Friday. Following this, crude oil prices traded sharply lower. Growing concerns that oil producers won’t reach an agreement to aggressively reduce production has also weighed on prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost USD 2.30, or 4.4 per cent, to USD 50.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Members of OPEC concluded their meeting in Vienna, without deciding on output-cut figures. It plans to debate output figures with non-OPEC producers during their meeting .


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India can’t achieve 9-10 per cent GDP growth without agri-revolution: Kant

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New Delhi: India cannot achieve 9-10 per cent GDP growth without revolution in the farm sector, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said.


Addressing Mahindra Samriddhi Agri awards, he said there is a need to boost investment in the agriculture sector as well as to introduce new technology and market reforms.


Kant also stressed on scrapping Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee and some old laws like Essential Commodites Act, which restrict movement of farm produces.

 


However, he said agriculture is a state subject and the central government has limited role in it.


“In India 50 per cent of our population is dependent on agriculture. If India’s GDP has to grow at 9-10 per cent for the next 30 years, then it cannot be without bringing revolution in the agri sector,” Kant said.


He also emphasised on eliminating middlemen in marketing of farm produces to boost farmers’ income.


Kant expressed confidence that farmer income will be doubled by 2022.
He said there is a need to spread good agriculture practice and success stories of farmers across the country.


“The second revolution in agriculture will come from technology and marketing,” Kant said.


Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd,, said: “The contribution made by our farming community is a manifestation of this new age of farming which we celebrate through our annual awards”.


As part of Mahindra Agri Village (MAV) programme, he said the company has worked closely with more than 50 villages.


“Our Prerna initative has empowered nearly 2,000 women farmers over 40 villages, through the introduction of gender-neutral farm tools for reducing farm drudgery, and dissemination of knowledge and essential capabilities,” Goenka said.


Mahindra Samriddhi Krishi Shiromani Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award) 2019 was conferred upon E A Siddiq for his immense contribution to Indian agriculture. The award was handed over to recognise his contribution of enhancing productivity of paddy (Both Basmati & Non Basmati).


The group gave awards in total 11 categories.

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Mukesh Ambani bails out Anil in Ericsson payout case day before SC deadline

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Mumbai: Billionaire Mukesh Ambani stepped in to bail out younger brother Anil Ambani by helping him repay Reliance Communications’ (RCom’s) dues to Ericsson. The last-minute rescue spares the younger Ambani a three-month jail term for contempt of court.


RCom cleared the entire dues to Ericsson India to purge the contempt of a Supreme Court order. The debt-ridden company had already paid Rs 118 crore of the Rs 550-crore dues. In addition, the company had paid around Rs 3 crore in penalties to Ericsson.


“My sincere and heartfelt thanks to my respected elder brother, Mukesh, and Nita for standing by me during these trying times and demonstrating the importance of staying true to our strong family values by extending this timely support,” said Anil Ambani in a media statement. RCom had time until Tuesday to make the payment, failing which Anil Ambani, its chairman, would have had to serve a three-month jail term, according to the court’s order.

 
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Probing Amazon, Flipkart for alleged violation of foreign exchange law: ED

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi : Investigation has been initiated against e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart for alleged violation of foreign exchange law, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday informed the Delhi High Court.


A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani noted the submissions of the ED that a case has been registered under provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) against the two companies and disposed of a PIL which has alleged that the e-commerce giants were violating foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.


The court had earlier sought response of the central government, Amazon and Flipkart to the plea which has sought a probe into the alleged FDI violations.

 


The ED, in its reply filed through central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan, has said the “department has already registered and initiated investigation under the provisions of FEMA against the two companies to ascertain whether they have been contravening any provisions of FEMA or contravening any rule, regulations, notification, direction or order issued in exercise of the powers under FEMA….”
The agency also sought dismissal of the petition.


The petition by an NGO, Telecom Watchdog, also asked for initiation of legal proceedings against the two e-commerce companies under the FEMA for alleged violation and circumvention of FDI norms.


The plea, filed through advocate Pranav Sachdeva, has claimed that Amazon and Flipkart have created multiple entities to circumvent the FDI norms and route the hot-selling stock at cheaper rates.


The petition has contended that according to Press Note 3 of 2016, which regulates FDI in e-commerce, entities like Amazon and Flipkart are not to exercise ownership over stock, nor directly or indirectly influence price of goods and services sold on their marketplace.


It claimed that by creating name lending companies, Amazon and Flipkart buy branded goods in bulk at discounts from manufacturers and render small sellers uncompetitive by a wide margin, thus influencing the prices in violation of the FDI norms.


“As a consequence of this FDI norms violation, smaller sellers are unable to participate in the fast growing e-commerce sector,” the plea has contended, adding that due to subsidised prices on such platforms, small sellers are unable to sell in the brick-n-mortar world too.


Besides, the plea has also claimed that the two e-commerce firms have created several other group companies in the chain to divide discounts and losses.


“Exchange offers, EMI costs and bank offers are funded completely or substantially by Amazon and Flipkart and constitute a clear influence on price in violation of FDI norms,” it has alleged.

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