India Budget 2018
This is a commendable budget from the Govt. as it has a strong focus on boosting the nation’s infrastructure, in the form of road connectivity and coverage of airports. This is expected to help in the development of a number of towns in the country, spelling good opportunities for companies in the oil retailing, bitumen and ATF space to participate in the proposed nation building initiatives.
The thrust on agricultural production, optimizing farm income and the plans for Operation Green to benefit the agriculture sector will provide further avenues for diesel manufacturers to participate in the various activities related to these programs. Moreover, the upsurge in gas connections under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme is another positive step by the Govt. which will create the need for more LPG in the country.
Some respite was expected to address the spiralling fuel prices in the country; however, the restructuring of rates and cesses on MS/HSD is tax neutral, and a marginal increase in the cess on crude has increased the cost to the refiners.
B Anand is the CEO of Essar Oil