Coal India stock soars at 3% higher rate after its hike in coal prices

State-run miner Coal India has revised its coal prices with immediate effects, for both power and non-power consumers. The decision has come to light after the board has approved its proposal to hike the prices. The average prices hike is expected be around 10%.

The hike in prices will see the increment in the annual revenue of the world’s largest coal company miner. It is expected to increase the revenue increment of Rs. 1,956 crore during the remaining fiscal year of 2017-2018. The total revenue will stand at Rs. 6,421 crores, company said in a regulatory filing.

After its announcement, the shares of the company soared by 3.67 percent to Rs. 298.40 on Bombay Stock Exchange. The hike price will be applicable to all subsidiaries of Coal India, including NEC regulated and non-regulated sectors.

The hike in price is due to the increase in the costs, which has hampered the profitability of the company during last few quarters. The recent revision of the wage adds to the employee’s expenses up to Rs. 5,600 crore annually.

In early December, Coal India levied coal evacuation charges of Rs. 50 per tons. Earnings of public sector miners against this will be Rs. 2,500 crore every year. In the remaining fiscal year 2017-2018 the evacuation fee levied is estimated to generate additional revenue of Rs. 800 crore.

Meanwhile, the sales bills will be also raised on GCV (Kcal/Kg) basis with effect from April 1, 2018, and until then the present mode of raising bills should continue, said Coal India.

The last revised price was in May 2016 by 6.3 percent, which generated on average revenue of Rs. 3,234 crore.

Civilians Struggle as Transport Unions call for Strike in Tamil Nadu

The public buses in Tamil Nadu refused to function on January 5, 2018, in the wake of an indefinite strike called by 12 transport unions across the state, as reported by NDTV. The strike was announced on the evening of January 4th after the demands of the state transport workers union regarding salary increment was turned down by Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar. A large number of commuters were left stranded at the bus stands as only a few buses plied in Chennai and other cities.

Reports from Times of India stated that the key demand of the transport workers was a hike in their wages, making it equivalent to the salary of the drivers in state government corporations. While the government was ready to boost the wages by 2.44%, the union insisted for 2.57% raise. The demands of the Labour Progressive Federation was supported by opposition party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) minister M. Shanmugam.

However, the workers associated with the ruling party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) refrained from joining the strike. Following the strike, A. Soundarrajan of Centre of Indian Trade Unions said that they would like to have further negotiations to solve the matter. Nonetheless, Vijayabaskar stated that the wage growth offered by the government is indisputable and advised the workers to return to their duties. He also added that the strike was a political agenda planted by the opposition party.

Tamil Nadu houses a navy of 22,500 buses with a workforce of 1.4 lakhs. The capital city, Chennai holds around 3,500 buses, as reported by Times of India. Thus the strike has put the citizens in a situation of inconvenience as 15,000 buses remained off the streets. This resulted in the unmanageable crowd in the Metro and suburban trains. Auto rickshaws took advantage of the situation and overcharged their passengers.

Hike Messenger gets a mobile wallet with its latest update

The latest update of the Hike Messenger saw the addition of a wallet service called Blue Packet. This is through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to help users with online bank-to-bank transfer besides instant messaging.

This Blue Packet also has personalized messages and envelopes that can be gifted to friends along with money on special occasions. This will enable one to gift one’s friend cash along with a card to celebrate any special occasion as mentioned in a report by CNN News 18.

The Economic Times informed through its report that this service has been facilitated by Yes Bank. This will also enable users to recharge their numbers through the app.

Hike Messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal informed the media that it took six months for the firm to launch this brand new feature. This was done to sustain the faith of Hike users in the messaging service by offering them something better.

Besides this Hike Messenger has also created app themes with a personal touch. You can now message using the night theme when during the night hours.

Google launches AI-integrated instant messaging app- ‘Allo’

The internet search engine giant, Google has launched an instant messaging app, Allo with an integration of Google Assistance and has packed in a lot of features like smart reply and various options to enable sharing of photos, emojis as well as stickers. Allo is available for both Android and iOS platforms. The app uses phone numbers as a method to identify the users. Users who have downloaded Allo can also link their Google accounts through the app.

Allo has special features specially designed for Indian users in order to take on other instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Hike messenger. Google has enabled smart replies in ‘Hinglish’ and included 200 stickers made by independent artists specially designed for Indian users. The smart reply feature allows users to respond to messages with just one tap. Along with that, the app adjusts to the responses of the user over time by learning from their behavioural pattern.

Allo has Google Assistance integrated on the software which helps in simplifying everyday tasks for users without interrupting their conversations and provides them convenience while chatting or sharing files with friends. One of the foremost important features is the built-in search which helps the user to search anything on Google by just typing @google followed by their search query.  This allows users to continue the conversation in the chat window while running an online search of relevant information.

Google’s late entry into the instant messaging market in the presence of hoards of messaging app like Facebook messenger, Hike, WhatApp, etc. might prove to be a tough competition but Google has earned a name and has proven its worth and credibility in the market, in spite of late entry in a number of previous cases such as Google Chrome and Google search. All of which were introduced later that its competitors but managed to become key players in the market, slowly overtaking incumbents.

Allo has interesting features which the users may be psyched to try out but they also lack few other features which their competitors offer like voice calling and options to share large documents. By rolling out the new instant messaging app in the market, Google has tried to move away from the previous errors of merging Hangouts and Gchat. Instead, Google has introduced a separate slow-networks adaptable video chat application named Duo a month before Allo.

Allo’s mobile focus consumer-centric feature is an attempt to take over the mobile app based market and drive the users to use the app for personal purposes. Whereas apps like Gchat and Hangout are specifically designed for more professional, business usage.

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