New Delhi: Oil cartel OPEC member UAE has assured India of uninterrupted supply of oil and LPG despite disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Monday. India is 83 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and is reliant on nations like the UAE to meet half of its cooking gas (LPG) needs. Pradhan in Twitter posts said he held telephonic discussions with UAE Minister and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group CEOP Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber over tensions in the Gulf region following attacks on two oil tankers last week. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in Sep”Expressed concern at the supply disruptions in the Strait of Hormuz. Dr. Jaber assured me of oil and LPG supplies to India despite the disruptions,” he tweeted. The attacks on oil tankers last week raised concerns over supplies through the Strait of Hormuz that is the conduit for a fifth of the world’s oil. “Spoke to UAE Minister of State and Group CEO @AdnocGroup H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and discussed ways to collaborate and work together to strengthen our hydrocarbon engagement,” Pradhan said. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsDuring the telephonic call, he also discussed UAE’s lead role in ongoing India’s strategic petroleum reserves programme. The UAE has hired storages in the underground storages India has built as insurance against supply disruptions. Pradhan said he also spoke to OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo on Monday. “SG Barkindo reaffirmed India as an important partner for OPEC and expressed keen interest to further strengthen the India-OPEC partnership,” he said. Pradhan has been making calls to leaders of oil-rich nations ever since the BJP came back to power and he was reappointed petroleum minister. “Reviewed current developments in oil markets and ongoing supply disruptions. Expressed concern over significant oil price volatility and resulting challenges to Indian consumers,” he said on his discussions with OPEC Secretary General. India, he said, “will continue to work with OPEC membership on responsible oil pricing, which is the best interests of both producers and consumers.” Also, it was decided to work towards an early convening of the 4th India-OPEC high-level institutional dialogue, he added.
A farmer who built the first new long barrow tomb in the UK in more than 5,000 years has been told that he must pay thousands of pounds in business rates on it.Tim Daw, the owner of the burial ground used by Pagans, has been told by the Valuation Office Agency that he must pay between £4,500 to £5,000 a year in business rates for his burial mound where people pay to inter the ashes of their loved ones.Long barrows were in widespread use in the early Neolithic period and examples still exist today, but the burial method fell out of use.Usually, church graveyards and burial grounds are exempt from the tax as they are seen as places of worship. But Mr Daw has been told that his long barrow is a commercial storage facility that must pay the tax, as it falls above the rateable value on a business property of £12,000.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Mr Daw, from Devizes, Wiltshire, said the decision means mourners visiting his tomb will have to “pay to pray” and that the move discriminates against non-Christian forms of worship. The traditional pagan and druid burial mound is where people pay to inter the ashes of their loved ones like they did in the Neolithic periodCredit:BNPS Mr Daw, makes an average of £1,000 a year from the burial site, but would have to pay £5,000 a year in business rates.He puts any money he takes towards the maintenance of the long barrow and has said that anyone, whatever their religion, is welcome to visit it.He said: “The long barrow is built like an ancient druid temple and we’ve had druids come here to worship.”It has also become used for a loose kind of pagan worship, so I just always assumed it was a place of worship and that was that, like a church.”Mr Daw said he has since had confirmation from a different government agency, the registrar, accepting the long barrow as a place of worship.A spokesman for the Valuation Office Agency said they could not comment on specific cases. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mr Daw, a farmer, said: “I got an email from the business valuation office saying they considered my long barrow as a place for storage, like a warehouse you would store car parts in. He used conventional stone working techniques to create the unusual site at his farm in All Cannings, Wiltshire.The tomb is designed on an alignment that means the sun shines down the central chamber on the Winter Solstice, which also makes it a popular place of worship with druids and pagans.Mr Daw says the building, which took nine months to construct, cost him around £200,000.The long barrow is about 220ft long and 20ft tall and has stone chambers with a series of shelves, called niches, where people pay to have their loved ones’ ashes stored.It has 340 niches that can hold two or three urns and each niche carries a one-off charge of £1,000. All of the niches are now reserved, although only 40 are currently filled with urns. “Them describing it as ‘storage’ is demeaning to the families whose loved ones are buried here.”I couldn’t believe it. It’s not right and it should be treated the same as a Christian church. It feels like discrimination.”We are being told we must pay to pray. There is one rule for the established Christian religions and another for ancient pagans.”Responding to the decline in people wanting traditional Christian burials, Mr Daw decided to create the long barrow.