• Depending on the quantum of green energy being generated by solar and wind plants and to make thermal power stations more flexible to accommodate renewable energy, tariffs of coal-based electricity may be raised by as much as Rs 0.45/unit.
  • An increase in the average daily coal production from Coal India & fuel supplies and reduced power demand during winter has led to an improvement in coal availability in thermal power plants. The number of plants having critical stocks reducing to nil.
  • There are a few coal plants with stocks ranging between one day and three days, but they are not considered critical since they are close to mine mouth or have consumed majority of their coal quota for the period.
  • There are enough stocks at pithead and non-pithead power plants.
  • The Goods and Services Tax Council on Tuesday has allowed the Real estate developers to choose between the old and the new GST regimes, for the projects that will remain under construction as on March 31.
  • The council has also removed the fear among these developers that they might lose accumulated input-tax credit for the under construction projects if they choose the new rate structure.
  • The Council approved a formula to determine the extent to which tax credit can be claimed on purchases for constructions. This formula is based on four factors given below:
    Extent of completion of the project;
    extent of booking of apartments by buyers in the project;
    extent of invoicing of purchases for that project; and
    the proportion of residential space in the project.
  • If the income-tax credit derived from the formula exceeds what is claimed till March 31, the developer would be eligible to claim the difference. If the derived value is less, the developer would need to reverse a part of the credit.
  • This is a developer-centric decision, which will help the real estate market. Realtors are likely to retain the old rate structure for projects nearing completion, while opt the new one for projects just begun.
    A single developer building multiple projects has been allowed to avail different rate structures for different projects
  • Agenda for the 34th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, scheduled on Tuesday is as under:
  • To discuss and finalise the rules, under which the new rate structure on under-construction houses will be imp¬lemented to bring transparency between home buyers and builders;
    Approval to setting up of regional benches of the GST Appellate Tribunal to help faster resolution of “place of supply”-related disputes.
  • Council will clarify the extent to which a developer can avail the input-tax credit (ITC) available in the system against inputs purchased, in addition to the mandatory requirement of 80 per cent purchases from registered dealers.
  • Builders would be able to determine the price of unsold inventory of houses under construction, since they would be able to allocate the ITC across them unit-wise.
    Various doubts raised by real estate developers about the reduced tax rates without ITC eligibility would be resolved to a good extent.
  • On March 18, 2019 (Monday), the Indian rupee closed at 68.53 (seven-month high ) against US dollar on account of the following factors:
    – increased foreign inflows into equities and debt;
    – investment by Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) ;
    – dollar’s weakness against its key rivals overseas; and
    – some comfort on the political results of the upcoming elections
  • Coal India profit has been adversely affected by high labour cost, delay in supply chain process and increasing cost of opening and evacuating coal from new mines.
  • Two of the Subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) and South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) are facing work stoppages due to labour related issues.
  • Constant pressure for salary increase, slow adaption of technology, the delay in supply and higher internal cost has made expenses grow faster than revenues.
  • To bridge the gap between the revenue and expenditure, Coal India has passed the cost to power generators, pushing them to pay more.
  • However, the Centre will keep Coal India’s business ticking. India would see strong growth in coal demand, while it slows down globally.