In an early sign of economic revival, Tata Steel has reported 24% rise in sales volume in domestic markets to 4.84 million tonne in December quarter against 3.89 million tonne in the same period last year while in Europe it fell marginally to 2.31 million tonne (2.35 million tonne).
India’s power ministry has asked for coal-fired power plants around New Delhi, the capital city with the worst air quality in the world, to be given more time to install equipment to reduce emissions, after the year-end deadline for action passed.
Days after the government eased the entry of domestic and foreign players in the coal mining sector, the Union Minister for Coal, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi, said he wants an open market with no policy restrictions. He said that state-owned Coal India would remain the primary player in the mining space.
Talking about the repeated concerns about coal shortfall, be it under the fuel supply agreement with Coal India or for stressed assets under the SHAKTI scheme, he said, there is a shortfall and that is why we have opened up the sector. About the SHAKTI Policy… my predecessor Piyush Goyal has done well. It is a good policy. But why are all these policies needed for the sake of coal supply. I think there should not be any policy. One should be able to source coal with ease and from various sources. As far as the power sector is concerned, coal stock at power plants has been rising for three months and stands at 32 million tonnes now. So there is no issue on supply side.
Union government launched the “Purvodaya” programme, under which major PSUs like SAIL, IOCL and Coal India and concerned departments of five states, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand, will be working towards accelerating steel production in the region. For this purpose, the steel ministry is looking to invest $70 billion, that is likely to result in $35 billion addition to the GDP, and creation of 2.5 million jobs.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the idea was to promote the region as an integrated steel hub, which can foster growth towards a $ 5 trillion economy.