CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ Children enjoy a bath in Puri Canal on Bhubaneswar outskirts | Express SAMBALPUR l tuesday l may 24, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION India joins Indo-Pacific pact for synergy, growth The IPEF covers half the population of the world and more than 60% of the global GDP Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi India joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) that was conceived by US President Joseph R Biden and launched in Tokyo on Monday with Prime Minis, ter Narendra Modi saying he expects it to become the engine of global economic growth. The IPEF covers half the population of the world and more than 60% of the global GDP. “India has historically been at the centre of trade flows in the Indo-Pacific region, having the world’s oldest commercial port in Lohtal, Gujarat. India is committed towards working with all IndoPacific countries for an IPEF which is both inclusive and flexible. The foundation of resilient supply chains must be 3Ts — Trust, Transparency and Timeliness,” Modi said. India is looking forward to collaborating with partner countries under the IPEF framework and work towards advancing regional economic connectivity, integration and boosting trade and investment within the region. “The nations represented here today and those who will join this framework in future are signing up to work towards an economic vision that will deliver for all peoples. The vision for Indo-Pacific is free and open,’’ said Biden. The IPEF seeks to strength- (From R) Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the IPEF’s launch event in Tokyo on Monday | AP It isn’t a traditional free-trade pact: US US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the IPEF is not a traditional free trade agreement, adding new challenges need new approaches. The IPEF is part of US efforts to counter China’s aggression on trade in the region en economic partnership amongst participating countries with the objective of enhancing resilience, sustainability inclusiveness, economic , growth, fairness, and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, according to a joint statement issued on IPEF. Amongst those who attended the event virtually were leaders from Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The IPEF will initiate discussions on trade, supply chains, clean energy de, carbonisation, and Infrastructure and Tax and Anti-Corruption among member nations. Meanwhile, India and the US signed an Investment Incentive Agreement (IIA) that superseded a similar pact in 1997. The IIA was signed by Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra and US CEO of International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Scott Nathan. The IIA is a legal requirement for DFC, which covers various programmes, including debt, investment guarantee, investment insurance or reinsurance, and feasibility studies for potential projects and grants. Petrol tax slashed, but you aren’t getting full relief R a k e s h K u m a r @ New Delhi Consumers were in for a shock on Sunday as the reduction in petrol prices thanks to the excise duty cut was lower than they had thought. Vehicle users in Delhi were expecting `9.50 cut in petrol prices but the reduction was only `8.69. Consumers in other cities also had to shell out more than expected. Reason: the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) raised the base price of petrol overnight, which jacked up the net retail price. OMCs update the base price as and when backend crude and refining prices change. According to the price notification of OMCs, the oil companies in- express read Vinai Kumar Saxena is new Lt Governor of Delhi New Delhi: Vinai Kumar Saxena, the chairperson of Khadi and Village Industries Commission, was on Monday appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Saxena, 64, will succeed Anil Baijal who resigned last week citing “personal reasons” Jab-o-meter NATIONWIDE May 22 May 23 Take your Fresh cases shot Recoveries May 22 8,81,668 doses May 23 Deaths Odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Total doses 1,92,50,82,880 Deaths 11,91,382 doses 2,226 2,202 65 2,022 2,099 46 May 22 May 23 15 21 0 07 22 0 creased the base price on petrol by 58 paise, making petrol almost `1 dearer. Following the hike in base price, the petrol costs `96.72 per litre in Delhi, instead of `95.91 per litre. It means people in Delhi were paying 81 paise per litre more at petrol pumps. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had on Saturday announced slashing the Central excise duty on petrol by `8 per litre and `6 per litre on diesel. She claimed it would reduce the price of petrol by `9.5 per litre and of diesel by `7 per litre in Delhi. After confusion prevailed among consumers in Kerala on the real impact of the excise duty cut on fuel prices, the ‘Price benefits could be wiped out in a month’ The benefits of the excise duty cut would be lost in a month if the Centre allows fuel prices to be hiked like this, warned Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal state’s finance minister K N Balagopal clarified that consumers in the state should have got a price reduction of `10.41 following the 8 cut in excise duty and the `2.41 reduction in state tax but the unexpected base price shrank the benefit to `9.40. Base price may be changed on a daily basis or less frequently as the OMCs prefer, said Gaurav Moda, India Energy Leader, EY. The final price comprises base price, central excise, dealers’ commission and state VAT. Some taxes are absolute (like Central excise), some are levied as a percentage of the base price. So, the exact price reduction may vary from state to state. There is no such issue in the case of diesel. Old wine in old bottle: Congress picks Sarat Pattanayak as OPCC president E x pr e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar After a wait of nearly two years, the Congress on Monday appointed former MP Sarat Pattanayak as the new president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC), bringing him back from a sort of retirement in a bid to rejuvenate the party organisation in the State. Pattanayak’s appointment has raised questions whether electoral improvement of the party was in the mind of the high command or it is just another stop-gap arrangement to nullify rising discontent in the State unit. This is Pattanayak’s second term as OPCC president. He served as the State chief from 2001 to 2004. However, it was a lacklustre affair as his tenure marked the beginning of the decline of the party in Odisha. To bring back a leader, who is not very active now, and entrust him with the task of rebuilding the party has come as a huge surprise for the partymen, who were hoping for handing over the leadership to such a person who would inspire and rejuvenate the almost moribund organisation in the State. That Pattanayak’s appointment is not likely to bring any electoral benefit for the party is clear from the fact that he does not have a pan-Odisha base and his access to the organisational structure in coastal Odisha is limited. Besides, giving charge of the State organisation to a 65-yearold leader also goes against the demand of the party’s rank and file. They wanted overhauling of the organisation with young leaders, and certainly not with persons who were active in politics two decCONTINUED ON: P5 ades back.
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