Category Archives: Economy

Economy

Mumbai-Delhi trains at to run at 200kmph

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Before bullet trains become a reality in India, the Indian Railways is gearing up to reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Delhi. Indian railways is all set to introduce semi-high-speed trains, which have a top speed of 200 kmph.

An official from the railways said that a study to identify the need to strengthen the infrastructure for this service was nearing completion. They also said that work is expected to begin soon and could be completed in the year 2017.

R. Ramanathan,  the Railway Board additional member said, “A study was on for the past one year to identify bridges that needed strengthening, better signaling and easing sharp curves for such service. The upgrade will take about four years from the launch of work.” The official also said that the existing lines can be used for fast moving trains at 200 kmph as freight trains will shift to the dedicated freight corridor.

Ramanathan was speaking at the sidelines of a CII summit on urban transport on November 22, 2012. At present, the Rajdhani is the fastest India train in the corridor and has maximum speeds of 120 kmph. RK Gupta, the managing director of DFC said that the lines for freight trains will reduce congestion on existing tracks.

Economy

New Railways Minister hints at passenger fare hike

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After the major cabinet shuffle, the new railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has brought some bad news for railway passengers. The minister has hinted about a possible price hike to improve railway services.

When asked if passenger fares would be increased, the minister said, “Fare will not be increased for the sake of increasing fare. If fare will be increased, then it will be for providing better services to the passengers”. After assuming charge at Rail Bhawan, Bansal said that the improvements in services will have to be introduced with the increase in fares.

In the current situation, the Railways is facing some financial issues, and funds are blocked for many ongoing projects. While justifying such a step, the new Railways Minister said that they need to ensure that the vast infrastructure of the railways does not collapse and stop functioning. Bansal added, that for this they have to increase fares.

The minister went on to say that he was sure the pubic would appreciate an improvement in service as well. Adheer Kumar Chaudhary, the new Minister of State for Railways also favored the hike in passenger fares. Chaudhary said that the fares have increased in every area so why not the railways.

Economy

PepsiCo slashes prices of 600 ml PET bottle

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Popular soft drink manufacturer, PepsiCo has announced that it has cut the prices of Pepsi 600 ml PET bottles. The price of the PET bottles will now be Rs. 25, down from Rs. 28, so as to push sales up in the festive season.

On the other hand PesiCo rival Coca-Cola said that it will not match the offer. A spokesperson from PepsiCo said that the price drop is a promotional offer for this season. The spokesperson said, “We expect strong off-takes from these price offers”.

The prices of the popular bottle were cut back about a fortnight ago. According to our sources, people familiar with developments in the company said that PepsiCo has reduced the cost of its product at the cost of its profits, at a time when other companies are looking forward to increase the prices of its products in order to deal with  increasing input costs.

An official on the condition of anonymity said, “The move could negatively impact PepsiCo’s profitability but the company is hopeful volume offtake will make up for a likely dent in profits”. The 600 ml pack is a top seller in the metros as well as tier 1 cities, while the returnable small bottles are popular in the rural areas.

Economy

Oil companies already making profits on petrol

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Oil companies in Pakistan will cut the prices of petrol by Rs. 6 per litre effective October 8, 2012. The consumers in India may not be able to experience such luxuries, despite the fall in global crude prices and the rupee’s rise against dollar.

This also means that oil companies in India are earning profits on petrol. Unofficial calculations have suggested that the oil makers have been making profits of Rs. 2 per litre since September 16, 2012, but so far the companies have not passed on the gains to the customers.

The new calculations are based on the theory that every time the rupee gains against the dollar, petrol becomes cheaper by 77 paise. In the same way, for every one dollar fall in crude oil prices, petrol prices become cheaper by 33 paise.

On an average the price of the Indian basket of crude oil has fallen by $3.74 to $109.09 between September 16-30, compared to $113.64 in the previous fortnight. In this period the rupee strengthened against the US dollar by Rs. 1.82 to Rs. 53.65 compared to Rs. 55.47 in the previous fortnight.

Economy

Food prices likely to rise due to diesel hike

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After a whopping hike in the prices of diesel there are chances that the prices of food might even go up. The retail prices of the essential food items like wheat and edible oils are expected to go up marginally as the cost of transport has also increased.

Abinash Verma, the Director General of Indian Sugar Mills Association said, “There could be some impact on sugar prices in those places where mills are not present. Sugar prices in North Eastern region could increase due to a rise in transport cost”. Verma added that at present the ex-factory price of sugar is ruling in the range of Rs. 34 -35.5 per kg.

BV Mehta, the Mumbai based Extractors Association executive director also expressed similar views and said, “It will have impact on all commodities including edible oils. We are heavily dependent on local transport for movement of oilseeds and oils from crushing centre and also from ports”.Mehta added that it would be difficult to calculate at present how much price increase could be seen in edible oils.

The prices of diesel were increased on Sept 12, 2012 after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political affairs which was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.