After Diesel and LPG, kerosene subsidy pulled off

The government has taken further steps to gradually reduce subsidy on kerosene, impelled the petroleum sector and attracted investment. This has happened after excessive controversies and un-targeted subsidies that made private companies suffer.

State oil companies have been asked to make constant rise in kerosene prices, by 25 paise every fortnight until the subsidy is eliminated, or until further orders. The demand for kerosene is at acute fall, its consumption has dipped by 21 percent to 66,78,447 liters in 2016-17, according to a newspaper report. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday stated that the administered prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene are set to rise with the calibrated reduction in subsidy

In line with this decision, 2.5 crore villagers are being rapidly exhilarated, and supplied free gas connections, under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna. This is to massively encourage people to move towards cleaner sources like liquefied petroleum gas.

The present reforms are a boon to the oil industry. Dharmendra Pradhan, Oil Minister, said he is keen to ensure that market pricing of fuels do not trouble the poorest station. By eliminating the subsidies, the government brings commodity closer to the market price, which will prevent adulteration of diesel using kerosene.

Pradhan had earlier lifted controls on Diesel which prompted new petrol pumps by Essar and Reliance Industries. Rather a $6 billion investment has been announced by Reliance and BP (British oil major) in developing a deep-sea gas field. To this, the government has allowed higher rates for gas in challenging areas. The government had been taking measures to bring down other factors that made it difficult for private companies to operate, according to a newspaper report.

Sources: Asian Age, Times of India

Image Source: Bloomberg

Trump spells Trouble For North Korea

On June 30, 2017, United States President Trump said at a press conference with South Korean President Moon Jaein that, “Together we are facing the threat of the reckless and brutal regime.” Aiming at North Korea to “choose a better path…quickly.” Pointing out the importance of their alliance and targeting Seoul over trade and sharing the cost of defense.

The US President said that North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missiles program required a “determined response,’ and stressed that ‘strategic patience’ with their government had come to hault. Moon said that it is really important to engage in dialogue with North Korean Leaders. The South Korean President added, that his country would continue defense reforms and build up the capacity to defend itself. “North Korea issue is top priority- the only strong security can bring about genuine peace” in the Asia-Pacific region, added Moon.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has warned against the consequences of any military solution to be “tragic, on an unbelievable scale”. Trump’s only hope lies in persuading China, North Korea’s neighbor and prime trading partner, to handle rein in Pyongyang, even though he has lately been frustrated that Beijing hasn’t been a great help. Moon and Donald Trump are open to any new discussion with North Korea, but only under certain circumstances that would lead to Pyongyang get rid of its non-benefiting weapon schemes.

Further events, where North Korea executed a missile launch that failed, and held a military parade in show of strength, and US deployed a submarine and group of warships to the region, has further raised tensions between them.

Source: Reuters, CNN

Iran accuses US of Interventions

Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State accused by Iran on brazen plans to change the current government, violating international law and the U.N. Charter. Tillerson said “U.S. policy is only to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons and encourage support on elements inside Iran, that would lead to peaceful transition of that government“. In a hearing held on 14 June, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the 2018 State Department budget.
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Kohshroo said in an open letter that, ”Tillerson’s comments are contradicting the pledge made by United States to shun any interventions- directly or indirectly, politically and militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.”
“The people of Iran have proven that they are capable to decide their own destiny and attempts by the U.S. will be doomed to failure,” said Kohshroo. “They have learned how to stand strong, as evident in the Islamic Revolution of 1979.”
With release of the newly declassified documents in sheer coincidence with Tillerson’s statement, clarified how U.S. agencies were after Mohammad Mossadegh’s throw. The popular and democratically elected, prime minister of Iran, 1953. On 5 June, the Senate approved a sweeping sanctions bill- a mandatory sanction on individuals who are involved in the ballistic missile program, and anyone who does business with them.
Iran ridicules any advancement from the U.S. who has tried to meddle in Iranian affairs. Qassemi, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson called the opposition “confused”. New sanctions won’t bother enforcement of the landmark nuclear deal that former president Obama and others reached with Tehran two years ago, insist Senators.