• Sales of residential units in top cities were nearly flat in the first quarter, even as
    launches rose. Sales in the top eight cities were 69,485 units in April-June, compared
    with 69,689 units a year earlier, real estate data and analytics company Liases Foras
    indicated.
  • In the wake of aggravating financial conditions of two electricity distribution companies
    (discoms) of Telangana, CARE Ratings has revised its rating outlook for 11 solar
    generators supplying power to the state from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’. Out of these, the
    agency has downgraded the ratings on projects of two subsidiaries of Acme Solar
    (Dayakara Solar and Grahati Solar) from A- to BBB+. Projects whose rating outlook has
    been revised downward include assets of ReNew Power and Mytrah Energy.
  • The Central government has planned ‘Agrim Districts for Accessing Resources
    Sustainable and Harmoniously’ (Adarsh) Scheme to meet the rising energy demands of
    the country.
  • According to the Adarsh Scheme, energy projects of both public and private companies
    in the identified mineral-rich districts will undergo an ‘accelerated consent and
    clearances framework’, subject to the approval of an ‘integrated plan’ which would
    incorporate environment clearances, compensatory afforestation, resource
    development, smart townships, connectivity and market places.

Coastal shipping players want priority berthing and more free time at ports as India
looks to increase the share of coastal cargo movement.

Container Corporation of India (Concor), which started a weekly coastal shipping
service in January, between Kandla and Tuticorin, is witnessing an increase in the total
logistics costs as its ships face delay due to lack of dedicated infrastructure for coastal
cargo at ports, where priority is given to foreign vessels to berth, according to Concor
CMD V Kalyana Rama.

“The Shipping Ministry’s proposal to provide 40% lower port charges for coastal cargo
vessels tends to get diluted when the terminals are operated by the partners in the
public-private partnership model,” said PK Agrawal, Director-Domestic, Concor.

“Concor plans to expand its coastal shipping service to other ports as well,” said G Ravi
Kumar, Executive Director, Concor.

  • Three and a half years after they were first notified, the government is set to partially
    dilute air pollution standards for thermal power plants. The decision to dilute the
    standards retrospectively comes after the Central Government has already delayed
    their implementation by five years, shifting the deadline for full compliance from 2017 to
    2022.
  • The government has informed the Supreme Court, in an on-going case on air pollution,
    that the standard for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions from thermal power plants
    installed between 2003-16 will be raised from existing 300 gm/Nm3 to 450 gm/Nm3.
  • This comes after the power ministry disagreed with the Centre’s apex environmental
    standard setting body, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and insisted that the
    norms be diluted. Ultimately, the power ministry prevailed and the standards are now
    set to be lowered.
  • Existing rules require power plants installed before 2003 to emit less than 600 gm/Nm3
    of NOx, for plants installed between 2004-2016 to emit less than 300 gm/Nm3 and
    those that go operational starting 2017 do even better and emit below 100 gm/Nm3 of
    Nox. The power ministry wanted that most of the functional or under construction power
    plants be allowed to pollute up to 450 gm/Nm3 of NOx pollutants. This is even above
    the average levels of pollution emitted by a majority of existing power plants, the CPCB
    said.
  • India’s crude steel production has grown more than the world output during the first six
    months of calendar year 2019 compared to the same period of 2018.
    During the first half (January-June) of 2019, the production of the metal grew by 5% to
    56.96 million tonnes compared to 54.23 million tonnes compared to the same period of
    2018, according to World Steel Association (WSA).
  • World crude steel production was 925.1 million tonnes in the first six months of 2019,
    up by 4.9% compared to the same period in 2018. Asia produced 660.2 million tonnes
    of crude steel, an increase of 7.4% over the first half of 2018