• The government administered a Rs 25,000-crore booster shot to rescue the real estate sector by approving a “Special Window” fund or an alternative investment fund (AIF) to revive around 1,600 stalled housing projects in the affordable and the middle-income categories. The move is expected to put the real estate sector and in turn, major industries linked to it, on the path to recovery. But for the measures to take effect, clarifications or changes in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, (Rera) may be required.
  • In a bid to ensure quality scrap for the steel industry, the government came out with a Steel Scrap Recycling Policy that aims to reduce imports, conserve resources and save energy. The country’s steel scrap imports were valued at Rs 24,500 crore in 2017-18, while the deficit was to the tune of 7 MT.
  • Utilisation level of coal power plants, many of which are already distressed due to lack of adequate demand and coal supply issues, touched an all-time low in October, with their average plant load factor (PLF) at 48.9% amid falling electricity usage.
  • Conventional power generating companies are undergoing additional pressure with pan-India electricity demand falling for the third straight month in October. As reported, the lowest annual average thermal PLF was recorded at 52.4% in FY86.
  • Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) has managed to woo back one of its top customers, Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO), which had switched loyalties since March this year to Paradip Port Trust for shipping coal sourced by the power utility from the Talcher and Ib Valley coal mines of Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd in Orissa. The issue demonstrates how ports such as VPT, gear up for competition to retain cargo.
  • Linear infrastructure companies are shifting to road construction as growth in power and railway sectors slows down. These firms are looking for opportunities, as the government focuses on building a robust highway network.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), on its part, is looking to encourage such companies to participate in order to draw more bidders into highway construction.
  • Homebuyers in Delhi-NCR will have to wait for about three months longer because of a ban by Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, or EPCA on construction activities in the region to combat air pollution, leading developers said.
  • According to Anarock Property Consultants, more than 540,000 housing units are under various stages of construction in NCR. Out of these, 200,000 units are chronically delayed as these were launched in 2013 or before. This means the construction ban will not impact them much as they have been delayed for long.
  • In the long run, developers might be able to reduce the delay, but projects which are near completion will definitely get delayed,” said Manoj Gaur, managing director of Noida-based Gaur Group. “In that case buyer will go to Rear Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and the developer’s reason for delay will not be accepted. In such cases, developers should get extra time to complete the project.”