Delhi mulls oil austerity
The government is considering closing fuel pumps at night as one of a number of “austerity measures” aimed at cutting its ballooning oil import bills, Minister of Oil Veerappa Moily said yesterday. Moily said details have not yet been finalized on the new measures, expected to be introduced later this month. “We have not worked out the details, how the austerity measures or the conservation mission will have to be launched,” Moily told NDTV news channel. The country imports about 80 percent of its oil needs and the import bill has risen dramatically because of high global prices and a plunging rupee. The Ministry of Oil wants to cut fuel demand by 3 percent and save about US$2.43 billion in foreign exchange outflows.
Falling prices cool inflation
The nation’s inflation slowed slightly to 1.3 percent last month, helped by stable or falling prices of education services, fuel and household items, state data showed yesterday. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.3 percent last month after gaining 1.4 percent in July, Statistics Korea said. The inflation rate has remained between 1 and 2 percent for 10 straight months. Last month’s reading was below the Bank of Korea’s target range of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent. The central bank said earlier it expected inflation to accelerate to 2.1 percent in the second half of the year from an estimated 1.3 percent in the first half, projecting 1.7 percent for the entire year. The core CPI, which excludes volatile oil and agriculture prices, gained 1.3 percent year-on-year last month, compared with a 1.5 percent rise a month earlier.
Poll shows what lures talent
Sunshine and sandy beaches are all very well, but they are not enough to snare the best expatriate executives to Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, a study found yesterday. A survey of more than 3,000 executives around the world found that the “dominant issue in deciding where to locate is workplace related” and Sydney must do more to emphasize its desirability as a work destination. “While Sydney’s lifestyle remains the city’s major selling point, the challenges are to better define Sydney’s role in global talent’s career path and better promote the advantages it offers for career progression,” the study said. Global high-flyers nominated the opportunity to work on interesting and challenging projects as their top reason for moving cities, with “liveability” — such as the ease of getting around and a city’s security — ranked second.
State to handle asset sale
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Minister of Finance Yannis Stournaras have both insisted any sale of state assets will be handled by the agency set up for this purpose and not by any firm based abroad and run by foreign management. Samaras and Stournaras were responding to rumors that the country’s creditors, unimpressed by the pace of privatizations, are pushing for a foreign-based special purpose vehicle to handle the selloffs. Stournaras told the Ethnos newspaper that he “categorically denied” that the national Asset Development Fund would be moved abroad. The fund’s two last chairmen have resigned over the past six months, one to face unrelated legal issues and the other for improper contact with the buyer of former state betting firm OPAP.