• After a three-year action agenda and five-year strategy paper, the NITI Aayog is now preparing a 15-year Vision Document (FY21-FY35) to link the government policies and expenditure to the long-term economic, social and sustainable development goals. The Vision Document will give a perspective about the size of India’s GDP by 2047, the 100th year of independence. In this context, the document will underline various economic and social goals to
  • be achieved by FY35, an official reported to media.
    The document, which will have 24 chapters, will be prepared by March-April 2020. The themes to be covered under the document include growth, investment and employment; infrastructure and transport; industry; water and land resources; data and public policy; ease of living; banking and finance; communication and digital technology; energy and education.
  • The government think-tank came out with a three-year action agenda covering the period from FY18 to FY20 and a five year action strategy (FY19-FY23) to steer economic growth to an average 8%.
  • Share price of Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) went up 11.3% on Monday (04.11.2019) in the BSE, closing at Rs 137.25 after it became the highest bidder for the Gare Palma IV/1 coal block in Chhattisgarh. The coal mine, located about 30 km from its Raigarh steel plant, has the potential to produce 6 million tonne of the fuel every year. Against the reserve price of Rs 150/tonne, JSPL quoted Rs 230/tonne.
  • The auctioned mine is part of the 27 blocks put up for bidding by the coal ministry after, in February 2019, the Cabinet allowed private companies to sell up to 25% of production from captive coal mines in the open market.
  • After five consecutive months of decline in output, Coal India Ltd’s latest production figures in October was about 28% higher than September records, while dispatches rose around 15%. Even as production has improved sequentially, it’s still about 21% lower than the year-ago period.
  • Analysts say, with the monsoon season now over, the fall in production has halted. In their view, volume woes are likely over due to a stable demand outlook and improved rake availability, said analysts at Edelweiss Securities Ltd in a recent note to clients.
  • As such, Coal India has much to do to catch up on production if it has to meet its FY20 target. In this fiscal so far, coal production has been about 280 million tonnes. The company had set a target of 650 million tonnes for FY20. Back-of-the-envelope calculations show Coal India will have to produce about 73.6 million tonnes a month against the current production rate of 40 million tonnes over the next five months to hit its target, a tall order.
  • Not surprisingly, analysts have lowered coal production estimates for FY20. Ahead, we expect lower volumes though FY20 offtake is likely to be constrained at 595-600 million tonnes, said Edelweiss. However, the demand outlook is improving with production infrastructure such as rake availability looking better. This gives the company greater earnings-growth assurance for FY21. For this financial year, however, analysts have cut back earnings and expect it to be lower than FY19.
  • Nine coal blocks that the government had offered in two tranches with approval to sell their entire production have found only three public sector companies interested in two assets and no takers for the rest. This was the first time that the government offered blocks to state-run non-coal companies for selling 100% output in the open market.
  • Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation showed interest in the Sugia Closed Mine under the seventh tranche and, along with NMDC Ltd and Madhya Pradesh State Mining Corporation, it also aimed for the Tokisud North, a Schedule-II mine. All eight assets on offer in the seventh tranche are Schedule-I blocks.
  • According to the analysts, China is set to boost coal imports this year due to the following reasons:
    • Slow economic growth due to the trade war with the U.S and
    • Attraction of cheaper foreign coal to lower electricity prices for industrial and commercial users by 10% this year.
  • Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi asked Coal India Ltd to fast track its ambitious one billion tonne production target and look to achieve the goal by 2023-24.
  • The minister also sought to relieve fears of 100% FDI in the coal sector, stating that the government will not privatise Coal India.