West Bengal flood toll rises to 50
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West Bengal flood toll rises to 50

The toll in the floods in West Bengal, where 14 districts are affected, rose to 50 on Wednesday with four more persons losing their lives. Since July 22, around 26 people have drowned, four got electrocuted, five died in incidents of wall collapses, while lightning strikes claimed lives of six, a senior official at the state disaster management department said. Seven people died due to snake bite, while two lost their lives after their boats submerged, he said. Asked about the flood situation, the officer said less amount of rainfall and controlled water release from the barrages were making the water recede. However, the situation at Ghatal in West Midnapore district and Dhaniakhali in Hooghly district continued to be critical. "Our team is constantly monitoring the situation there. There are several thousands of people in relief camps. We are providing them with medicines and food material," he said. The number of relief camps was cut down to 151 after the situation at other places improved and people started returning to their homes. "We are keeping our volunteers there and going to every household to find out if the inhabitants require any sort of assistance," the officer added.
0 0 312 03 August, 2017 Alternative, india more
Government ends subsidy on kerosene
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Government ends subsidy on kerosene

The government has taken further steps to gradually reduce subsidy on kerosene, continuing the series of market-oriented reforms that have galvanised the petroleum sector and attracted big-ticket investment after an era of excessive controls, controversies and untargeted subsidies that made it difficult for private companies to operate. In a recent communication, it has asked state oil companies to keep raising prices of subsidised kerosene by 25 paise every fortnight until the subsidy is eliminated, or until further orders, sources said. The oil ministry had earlier ordered a similar increase only up to July this year. The fuel is still heavily subsidised but demand for kerosene is falling sharply because villages are being rapidly electrified and the government has supplied cooking gas connections to crores of poor people in the past three years. Delhi and Chandigarh are already kerosene-free cities. Subsidised kerosene is also misused to adulterate diesel. Officials said oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan is keen to ensure that market pricing of fuels does not hurt the interests of the poorest sections of society. Pradhan has led a massive drive to give 2.5 crore cooking gas connections to the poor. The price of cooking gas is also being increased gradually to eventually align it with market rates. The government has been aggressively discouraging use of subsidised kerosene, mainly used by the rural poor for lighting and cooking, as it is a polluting fuel and sometimes ends up as an adulterant at petrol pumps. By cutting subsidies, the government is bringing the commodity closer to the market price, which will eventually stop diversion for adulteration as well as encourage consumers to switch to the cleaner liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). A record expansion of cooking gas, especially into the rural and remote areas, and increased supply of electricity in the past three years of the Modi government have provided a cleaner substitute for cooking and lighting to people dependent largely on kerosene so far. Kerosene consumption has fallen 21 per cent to 66,78,447 kilo litres in 2016-17 mainly on 20 per cent cut in allocation to states by the Centre. A financial incentive to states taking voluntary allocation cuts has also begun helping reduce kerosene sale. The under-recovery for kerosene shrank to Rs 11.39/litre in 2016-17 from Rs 27.93/litre in 2014-15. For a subsidised cooking gas cylinder, the underrecovery went down to Rs 108.78 in 2016-17 from Rs 409.72 in 2014-15.
MAJOR REFORMS Kerosene and cooking gas are the only fuels currently subsidised by the government. Pradhan had earlier lifted controls on diesel, which prompted Reliance Industries and Essar to build new petrol pumps. British oil major BP Plc has also taken approval to set up petrol pumps in India.
BP and its partner Reliance have also announced investment of $6 billion in developing a deep-sea gas field, following the government's decision to reform gas prices and allow higher rates for gas in challenging terrains.
Other reforms undertaken by the government include the end of the controversial profit-sharing system, which obliges the oil ministry to closely monitor oilfield expenditure, leading to bitter disputes with private investors. The new exploration policy also allows market price for gas and gives companies the freedom to carve out exploration blocks themselves.
0 0 677 03 August, 2017 Alternative, Economy more
NBCC secures Rs 1,900 crore businesses in May
Posted by on 06 June

NBCC secures Rs 1,900 crore businesses in May

New Delhi: State-owned construction firm NBCC today said it has secured businesses worth Rs 1,900.79 crore in May. Over the last year, National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) has secured some big-ticket projects including redevelopment of exhibition centre of ITPO for Rs 2,149 crore and AIIMS redevelopment works project worth Rs 5,828 crore. "NBCC secured a total business amounting to Rs 1,900.79 crore in May, 2016," the company said in a regulatory filing. The company has reported a 6 percent rise in its consolidated net profit at Rs 141.48 crore in the March quarter. Its income from operations rose 40 percent to Rs 2,313.38 crore in January-March 2015-16. For the entire 2015-16 fiscal, NBCCs net profit increased to Rs 311.13 crore and income from operations rose to Rs 5,838.27 crore. The company is also expecting to get three projects for redevelopment of the government properties worth about Rs 25,000 crore in the national capital, NBCC's Managing Director Anoop Mittal had said. NBCC, under the administrative control of Ministry of Urban Development, is present in three main segments -- Project Management Consultancy (PMC), Real Estate Development and EPC Contracting.
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Everstone-backed Servion Global appoints Sameet Gupte as new CEO
Posted by on 06 June

Everstone-backed Servion Global appoints Sameet Gupte as new CEO

Chennai: Everstone Capital and Solmark-owned Servion Global Solutions, a customer engagement management (CEM) solutions provider, appointed Sameet Gupte as its new CEO and Board member. The new appointment comes as the company aims to double revenues within the next four years, with the firm growing currently at around 20% annually. Prior to joining Servion, Gupte was Executive Vice-President & Global Head of financial services for VirtusaPolaris, an IT consulting firm. Gupte replaces Balakrishnan K who has been elevated to Executive Vice-Chairman of Servion’s Board. The high-level changes comes as Servion focuses aggressively on the Digital space, with a clear eye on customer experience evolving as the single largest differentiator for major industries like BFSI, Telco & Healthcare, said the company. With its IP-based platforms, the firm feels that it is perfectly positioned to establish itself as a leader in the Proactive Customer Management space, within these focuses industries. Two thirds of the Servion's revenues come from UK and US markets and the company is increasingly focusing more on these markets. Evertech, an SPV of Everstone Capital and Solmark, owns a majority stake in Servion. In November 2014, Everstone Capital, along with Solmark, through Evertech signed an agreement to invest Rs 403 crore for acquiring a controlling stake in Servion Global Solutions.
0 0 929 06 June, 2016 Also in the news, Alternative more
Mahindra launches Yuvo tractor in MP
Posted by on 12 April

Mahindra launches Yuvo tractor in MP

Bhopal: Mahindra & Mahindra’s Farm Equipment Sector on Tuesday launched new range of tractor Yuvo in Madhya Pradesh. “The Yuvo is the result of an extensive research and development program of Mahindra team, which collected feedback from customers across 12 states,” Ravindra Shahane, Head of Mahindra Marketing, Tractor and Farm Mechanisation told reporters here. “Over 7,000 inputs went into development Yuvo which was then put through 1,40,000 hours of lab and field testing across 12 states covering relevant applications,” Shahane added. He said Yuvo offers many new technology features to farmers in the country, who are looking for tractors in 30—45 Horse Power (HP) range. Yuvo is designed to deliver superior performance in farming operations in any soil condition and offers versatility to carry out over 30 applications, thus making it ideal for using in any part of the country, he added. The Yuvo range comes in five models — 265 DI (32HP), 275 DI (35HP), 415 DI (40HP), 475 DI (42 HP), and 575 DI (45 HP).  
0 0 1623 12 April, 2016 Also in the news, Alternative more
Madras HC makes national anthem mandatory in schools
Posted by on 06 March

Madras HC makes national anthem mandatory in schools

Chennai: The Madras high court has made National Anthem mandatory in all schools including private institutions. Hearing a public interest litigation, the HC bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishen Kaul and justice MM Sundaresh asked the central and state education departments to make steps to verify whether the national anthem is being sung in schools during the morning assembly. The petitioner contended that some private schools do not honour the obligation. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in its reply said a circular has been issued in November last insisting singing the national anthem with decorum and to respect the national flag.  
0 0 1328 06 March, 2016 Also in the news, Alternative more