New Delhi: Public sector oil companies will step up investment in exploration, refining and petrochemicals by 30% to over Rs46,500 crore in 2008-09l. Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) will account for more than half of the planned investment, according to the Expenditure Budget tabled by finance minister P. Chidambaram in Parliament.
ONGC will spend Rs19,338 crore in domestic oil and gas exploration and production, and its overseas subsidiary ONGC Videsh Ltd Rs6,825.14 crore.
Gas utility GAIL India has planned an expenditure of Rs3,226 crore while Oil India Ltd has budgeted Rs2,230.67 crore.
Indian Oil Corp. plans to invest Rs4,483 crore in refineries and fuel marketing in the coming fiscal while Hindustan Petroleum Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Ltd have lined up Rs1,926.50 crore and Rs1,660 crore, respectively. ONGC’s subsidiary Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd plans to invest Rs810 crore in the next fiscal to produce cleaner fuel and refinery upgradation. PTI
Mobile phones to cost more on 1% excise duty
New Delhi: Mobile phone users would now have to shell out more money for buying new handsets, with the government proposing to levy 1% excise duty on them.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram said the so-called National Calamity Contingent Duty, was being transferred from polyester filament yarn to mobile phones.
“It will definitely increase the prices of mobile phones,” LG business group head (GSM) Anil Arora said.
The proposal may translate into a corresponding 1% hike in the price of mobile handsets. However, a full impact of this needs to be reviewed, a Nokia spokesperson said.
Indian Cellular Association president Pankaj Mohindroo said the proposed levy would increase the prices of mobile phone sets.
When asked how much the prices would go up, he said, “The price rise will not be killing... it will be minimal.”
Global cellular handsets majors Nokia, Samsung, Motorola and LG have their mobile manufacturing plants in India. PTI
Companies told to develop quality seeds
New Delhi: India planned on Friday to invite large private sector and state-run seed companies to submit plans to help scale up production of quality seeds to improve output in oilseeds, oil palm, pulses and corn.
The finance minister said there is a critical deficiency in availability and quality of certified seeds in his Budget speech to parliament..
“...Kribhco, Iffco and Nafed as well as large private sector companies will be invited to submit plans to scale up the production of seeds,” he said.
In a seed production programme, breeder seed is the primary seed from which foundation seed, and finally certified seeds, are developed. In India most producers use poor quality farm-saved seeds, without replacing it every year, affecting yield. Reuters