Greening the Budget

Buzz in the corridors of power is that the upcoming Budget will be packed with reliefs for ‘Green’ industries and measures that will boost the shift towards a green economy. Given the new obligations that India has taken at the international level– don’t be surprised if the upcoming Budget gives a big push to green technology and takes the Hydrogen Mission forward to decarbonise the economy!

Let’s hope the rupee does not turn green after the Budget, quipped a corporate observer who also expects a ‘green’ Budget. While one may have to wait and watch for the Budget proposals, one gaint ‘green’ step the government has taken is to cut down on the vast printing of Budget documents. Most people have to settle for reading Budget documents out of a mobile App or the government website to go through the fineprint!

A train of woes 

Finding the right balance between defending one’s position and showing empathy towards those in Opposition can be a difficult task. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw found himself in a similar awkward situation when protests from agitating candidates against the Indian Railways latest recruitment drive turned violent and a need was felt to handle the matter ``sensitively’’.

The Minister assured that all concerns of the candidates will be heard. However, simultaneously, the Railways went at length to also explain that the procedures followed while holding the recruitment tests were duly notified and above board. A ready solution to such tricky situations is of course setting up a scrutiny committee, but unfortunately it is a short-term one. The big question facing the government now is whether the committee’s proposal, expected by March 4, satisfies the candidates or will it lead to further protests?

Fashion (mis)statement? 

A leopard cannot change its spots as much as a dyed-in-the-cool Marxist, his sartorial tastes. But Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, now in Dubai on way back home after medical consultations in the US, set the tongues wagging after he appeared in spotless white full-sleeved shirt and jet-black pants as he emerged from the aircraft. The patented white half-sleeved shirt and mundu, had been replaced with a attire that represented a capitalistic practice, and a bourgeois way of life. His political opponents are wondering if his latest style statement would reflect on governance after he returns to the State next week.

Chennai Connect 

The connection between chief economic advisors (CEA) and academic institutions in and around Chennai is getting stronger. V Anantha Nageswaran, who has been appointed as CEA a few days back, was the former Dean of IFMR Graduate School of Business and currently Distinguished Visiting Professor of Economics at Krea University. Former CEA and RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is a member of the Governing Council of Krea University. RM Honavar, who succeeded Manmohan Singh as CEA, was the second director of IFMR.

HPCL’s HaPpyShop 

Interesting days are ahead for country’s fuel marketing companies as they diversify from selling auto fuel to wate. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd has worked out an ambitious non-fuel retailing biz strategy. Recently it announced opening of two more convenience stores under its brand name ‘HaPpyShop’. These stores have been opened at Bandra West in Mumbai and Millennium Retail Outlet in Visakhapatnam. The first retail store under brand name HaPpyShop was opened at Nepean Sea Road in Mumbai in September, 2021 and the store has been a huge hit amongst the residents of the locality. In addition, the online store at Madurai is marking the entry of HaPpyShop in the virtual space too.

HPCL has set up its own chain of multi-channel retail stores under the brand name HaPpyShop for making available the products of daily need to its customers. Customers will be able to browse and shop the merchandise on HPCL’s ‘HP Pay App’ (available on App Store & Play Store), and have goods delivered at home. HPCL has also started marketing branded packaged drinking water under the name ‘Paani@Club HP’ at its retail outlets.

Oil retailers’ big competitors now seem to be Big Baskets and other online grocers. Our Burueas