HPCL Current Affairs - 2019
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A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Indian Highways Management Company Limited (IMHCL) and leading Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) like BPCL, HPCL and IOCL for sale of FASTags through their petrol pumps.
FASTag is an electronic toll collection system operated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). FASTag enables automatic deduction of toll charges and lets you pass through the toll plaza without stopping for the cash transaction.
FASTags are linked to a prepaid account from which the applicable toll amount is deducted automatically. FASTag employs Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
Features of the FASTag
The features of the FASTag are:
- FASTag is bank neutral and can be linked to customers’ choice of bank accounts.
- Together with providing flexibility and convenience to the users, FASTag is also user-friendly as there will be no requirement of fulfilling KYC obligations.
- FASTag apps provide provides real-time recharge of any FASTag through UPI by linking customer’s bank account with IHMCL FASTags.
There are plans to expand the FASTag to allow purchasing fuel at petrol pumps in future.
Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology
Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags which are containing electronically-stored information.
A two-way radio transmitter-receivers called interrogators or readers send a signal to the tag and read its response. The RFID reader transmits an encoded radio signal to interrogate the tag. The tag receives the message and then responds with its identification and other information.
The Union Government and state-run oil explorer ONGC clinched deal for acquisition of government’s 51.11% stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) for a consideration of Rs. 36,915 crore. The deal will be closed by end of January 2018. Earlier empowered panel headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley had approved price bid for acquisition. The all-cash deal will help government boost its non-debt capital receipts and meet disinvestment target (Rs 72,500 crore).
Through this acquisition, ONGC is gaining midstream and downstream presence and access to marketing network. This acquisition will make ONGC India’s first vertically integrated oil major, having presence across value chain in sector. The integrated entity will have advantage of having enhanced capacity to bear higher risks, take higher investment decisions and neutralising impact of volatility of global crude prices. As for HPCL, deal will help it in further leveraging synergy at various levels of vertical value chains as part of integrated oil and gas group. It also will enable ONGC to mitigate risk of crude price volatility.
In 2017-18 Union Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that state-run oil companies will be merged to create ‘oil major’. Following this Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCAE) in July 2017 had granted ‘in-principle’ approval to the strategic sale of HPCL to ONGC. This also included change in management control, but allowed HPCL to retain its brand as subsidiary of the national oil explorer.
During 2016-17, HPCL had turnover of Rs 2,13,489 crore and profit after tax of Rs 6,502 crore. It markets around 35.2 million tonne of petroleum products accounting for market share of about 21%and has around 15,000 fuel retail outlets. ONGC contributes around 70% of Indian domestic production of crude oil and natural gas.