About the issues of clean air and sustainability, Solar power, Thermal power, Clean air and Electric vehicles were four things of interest in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget. The announcements were, however, incremental in nature, rather than path-breaking.
Stressed power assets, which were planning to bid for coal under the new SHAKTI auction, have now complained against the national miner for offering a lower coal volume than the demand. The power industry has alleged that Coal India has done so to jack up the price of coal in the auction by more than 100 per cent over the notified price.
The Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) will start with 5 lakh tonnes of coal production from its Naini block in Odisha from March 2021. A decision to this effect was taken at the Area General Managers meeting headed by SCCL Chairman and Managing Director N Sridhar at Singareni Bhavan. The meeting discussed steps to be taken to speed up several works in two of the allocated mines Naini and New Patrapada in Odisha and set up deadlines for each activity.
Implementing Budget proposal would generate good demand for steel sector as the National Highways Authority of India is set to commercialise the development of over 6,000 km of highways by 2024. Railways is to achieve electrification of 27,000 km of tracks, four station re-development projects, set up a large solar power capacity alongside rail tracks, operate 150 trains through PPP mode, implement 148-km Bengalaru suburban transport project. Further, inland water ways of 890 km is to be completed by 2022 and 100 more airports would be developed by 2024.
India has become the second-largest market globally for green bonds with $10.3 billion worth of transactions in the first half of 2019, as issuers and investors continued to adopt policies and strategies linked to sustainable development goals, according to the Economic Survey 2019-20.
Green bonds are debt securities issued by financial, non-financial or public entities where the proceeds are used to finance 100 per cent green projects and assets. India now has the second-largest emerging green bond market after China.
The Centre will pay Rs 1,240 crore to Coal India’s exploration arm for two years up to 2021 to explore blocks that would be auctioned to commercial coal miners, company executives said.
The Centre used to provide up to Rs 250 crore for exploration of non-Coal India blocks. Following opening up commercial coal mining, the amount jumped to Rs 540 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 700 crore for 2020-21.