Plastic Ban in India and Saudi Aramco on Fire.
What’s happening this week?
India ban’s e-cigarettes over health risks and plans to ban single-use plastic in India.
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The Ban… India is expected to impose a nationwide ban on single-use plastic, as a part of PM Narendra Modi’s efforts to reduce the usage of pollution causing plastic, as announced in the Independence Day speech. Meaning… no more plastic bags, cups, bottles, straws and certain sachets from next month.
Who is affected? How big is India’s plastic industry you ask — with revenue worth of INR 3.5 lakh crore in FY 2019. Good for… Amidst the news for the plastic ban, paper and jute stock prices surged from the lows in August.
Goodbye plastic and ITR filing season. The due date to file ITR was 31st August 2019, when tax audit is not applicable. In case, a tax audit is applicable, the due date is 30th September 2019.
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Drones and Missiles… attack the world’s largest oil producer — Saudi Aramco on Saturday, affecting nearly half of its production capacity — which accounts for roughly 5% (~ 5 million barrels) of the world’s oil supply.
Who did it? Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed the responsibility for the attack. The Houthi’s have been in conflict with the Saudi-led coalition since they had backed the president who the Houthi rebels forced to flee in March 2015 when conflicts in Yemen escalated. But, the US suspects Iran was behind the attacks, they issued satellite images to back their claims.
What now? The kingdom sent a SWAT team to control the fire and get production back on track in a few days’ time. Saudi Arabia says 50% of the oil production is restored and it is expected to reach normal levels by the end of this month. In the meantime, Saudi could use its emergency oil reserves.
Rise Rise Rise… Oil prices rose to nearly 15% on Monday after markets opened following the weekend attack on Aramco’s oil facilities. Markets witnessed volatile oil prices this week, and finally seem to stabilize after the oil kingdom assures to restore output by September.
Back home… India imports over 80% it’s oil — making us the world’s 3rd largest oil consumer. Yesterday, petrol and diesel prices rose in a single day — highest in 2 months. India tried diversifying sources for imports, from Africa and the US, but the Middle East remains the primary source. We do have a buffer stock for oil reserves. Phew! Which will be used if the crisis persists.
“Current Account under threat if oil surge continues” – Shaktikanta Das